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mighalg

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Apr 21, 2012
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Right off the bat, I'm going to say: 3.1 BCMP, 3.3 cumulative, 12B, 12P, 14V MCAT (after retake) but please read on.


My tale is kind of convoluted so bear with me here. I am currently finishing up my 6th (!) and final year of undergrad at a state university. Basically, I finished all my credit hour requirements for a double major in biology and economics and a math minor at the end of my 4th year, but my GPA was so atrocious that I decided to pile on more classes to raise it hence my super-super senior status.

To make a long story short, I had a terrible financial and commuting situation during my freshman and sophomore years, which meant I had to work nearly full time while also commuting roughly 4 hours a day, leaving ZERO time for studying. This inevitably led to horrible grades in my science prereqs, a situation which reached a nadir when I got an F in Orgo II and a D in orgo lab. I have since retaken both these classes and earned a B(ummer) in both.

My job situation improved during my junior year and I was able to live near campus, and I embarked on an up-and down GPA rebuilding effort. During the subsequent 8 semesters I never took fewer than 19 credit hours, all the while working 2 jobs for ~35hrs/week. There was definitely a steep improvement in my grades, and I took basically every mid and upper level biology and biochemistry course offered at my university. During these last 4 years I got predominantly A's, a few B's, and 2 unfortunate C's in my science classes since it's really hard to take this many credit hours and work two jobs while being academically flawless. This semester, I'm taking 22 credit hours of which 18 are upper level bios and I'm on track to get all A's , while also working 2 jobs. With that said, I torpedoed my science GPA so badly during my first 2 years that even with all these credit hours it's still going to be barely above 3.0 when all is said and done.

The situation is not much better on the EC front. I was an executive officer at a finance club for a year, and I did a full year (300 odd hours) of research. My need to support myself financially never left me much time for volunteering, so all I've done so far is 40 some hours (ongoing) at a local hospital this most recent semester.

Obviously, I've got a problem and a very uphill battle trying to get accepted to an allopathic school if I apply this year. I'm a white male (although born abroad). My cumulative science gpa is extremely marginal, even with the upward trend, and the 3.3 cumulative isn't hot either. My MCAT is my one saving grace but I don't feel confident that this one stat is going to wipe the slate clean of the stankin' GPA. I feel somewhat confident of my ability to make adcoms empathize with what I feel was a very rough time I had just trying to make ends meet during college, but that's assuming I get an interview to begin with.

So with all that said, have I any chance at all to get accepted without taking the plunge and going for a post bac or SMP? I've already wasted 2 years of my life (and money) staying extra in undergrad to boost that GPA so I'm not sure I could bear it to come back for another dose. Will schools take into account that unlike many (I acknowledge not all) premeds I had to not only fight for high grades but just for enough money to pay tuition and eat, and look with more understanding on my GPA follies?
 

mighalg

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Apr 21, 2012
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Oh yeah, and another question. Would my situation warrant me marking "disadvantaged" on my application? As a bit more info, I grew up in an Eastern European country until I was 10. My mother divorced my father and came to the states where she married an American citizen. While my newly constituted family in America wasn't poor enough to qualify for any gov. handouts and in fact I did not even qualify for financial aid, my "stepfather" worked as a machinist. Not only that, but the familial situation was err.. unstable, which resulted in me having to get my first part time job at 15 and then the whole macabre process of having to pay my way through college that I've already detailed. So, can I mark disadvantaged, and if so, would it help?
 

Temperature101

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May 27, 2011
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Right off the bat, I'm going to say: 3.1 BCMP, 3.3 cumulative, 12B, 12P, 14V MCAT (after retake) but please read on.


My tale is kind of convoluted so bear with me here. I am currently finishing up my 6th (!) and final year of undergrad at a state university. Basically, I finished all my credit hour requirements for a double major in biology and economics and a math minor at the end of my 4th year, but my GPA was so atrocious that I decided to pile on more classes to raise it hence my super-super senior status.

To make a long story short, I had a terrible financial and commuting situation during my freshman and sophomore years, which meant I had to work nearly full time while also commuting roughly 4 hours a day, leaving ZERO time for studying. This inevitably led to horrible grades in my science prereqs, a situation which reached a nadir when I got an F in Orgo II and a D in orgo lab. I have since retaken both these classes and earned a B(ummer) in both.

My job situation improved during my junior year and I was able to live near campus, and I embarked on an up-and down GPA rebuilding effort. During the subsequent 8 semesters I never took fewer than 19 credit hours, all the while working 2 jobs for ~35hrs/week. There was definitely a steep improvement in my grades, and I took basically every mid and upper level biology and biochemistry course offered at my university. During these last 4 years I got predominantly A's, a few B's, and 2 unfortunate C's in my science classes since it's really hard to take this many credit hours and work two jobs while being academically flawless. This semester, I'm taking 22 credit hours of which 18 are upper level bios and I'm on track to get all A's , while also working 2 jobs. With that said, I torpedoed my science GPA so badly during my first 2 years that even with all these credit hours it's still going to be barely above 3.0 when all is said and done.

The situation is not much better on the EC front. I was an executive officer at a finance club for a year, and I did a full year (300 odd hours) of research. My need to support myself financially never left me much time for volunteering, so all I've done so far is 40 some hours (ongoing) at a local hospital this most recent semester.

Obviously, I've got a problem and a very uphill battle trying to get accepted to an allopathic school if I apply this year. I'm a white male (although born abroad). My cumulative science gpa is extremely marginal, even with the upward trend, and the 3.3 cumulative isn't hot either. My MCAT is my one saving grace but I don't feel confident that this one stat is going to wipe the slate clean of the stankin' GPA. I feel somewhat confident of my ability to make adcoms empathize with what I feel was a very rough time I had just trying to make ends meet during college, but that's assuming I get an interview to begin with.

So with all that said, have I any chance at all to get accepted without taking the plunge and going for a post bac or SMP? I've already wasted 2 years of my life (and money) staying extra in undergrad to boost that GPA so I'm not sure I could bear it to come back for another dose. Will schools take into account that unlike many (I acknowledge not all) premeds I had to not only fight for high grades but just for enough money to pay tuition and eat, and look with more understanding on my GPA follies?
I would say that you have a >60% at MD....and 99% at DO if you dont mind having a DO degree. I think 60%+ is a great shot at MD. Apply to low tiers MD and I think you might get many interview invites due to your attractice MCAT and from there it's all up to you.
 
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music2doc

Student of Mad Doctoring
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Jan 28, 2011
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Are you a US resident/citizen or applying as an international?

What was your first MCAT score?

You actually have about a 50-55% chance at an MD program if a US resident AND your schools only consider the second MCAT score. The recommendation by the AAMC, however, is to average MCAT scores, so many are moving in that direction. As a result, if your first score was in the 20s (say, 28 -- about as high as anyone would ever suggest retaking), then your average would be a 33, giving you a 40-45% chance.

If you are considered an international applicant, of course, your chances drop drastically.
 

soon2bedoctor

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Apr 10, 2007
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I had very similar stats and had a couple of interviews last cycle even though I applied very late. I also did not have extenuating circumstances like you. I think that you would be able to secure low-tier acceptances if you apply this cycle. However, I am confident that if you apply to the top-tier SMPs that you would get in and basically guarantee a seat in medical school. SMPs are very expensive, so its a tough decision. If you are willing to wait it out, I suggest applying without the SMP this cycle. Worst case scenario, you can apply to SMPs next year.
 

mighalg

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Apr 21, 2012
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Yes, I'm a US permanent resident, by the time I apply I should be a citizen as well. My first MCAT was a 30 (8BS, 11PS, 11V) and I took it 2 years ago.Do most schools average MCATs?

Also, thanks for the encouragement, but is something like 60% realistic? I looked at this file

https://www.aamc.org/download/161696/data/table19.pdf

and the average science gpa for white admits is 3.65 with a .28 standard deviation. That means less than 2.5% of white admits had a science GPA as low as I have! I think my main hope is that schools take my extenuating circumstances into account, but I have no idea if there is even such a thing as "extenuating circumstances" in the eyes of administrators if you're not black or Hispanic.
 

mighalg

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Does anybody have any input about the disadvantaged status?
 

Jamie561

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Sep 2, 2011
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Oh yeah, and another question. Would my situation warrant me marking "disadvantaged" on my application? As a bit more info, I grew up in an Eastern European country until I was 10. My mother divorced my father and came to the states where she married an American citizen. While my newly constituted family in America wasn't poor enough to qualify for any gov. handouts and in fact I did not even qualify for financial aid, my "stepfather" worked as a machinist. Not only that, but the familial situation was err.. unstable, which resulted in me having to get my first part time job at 15 and then the whole macabre process of having to pay my way through college that I've already detailed. So, can I mark disadvantaged, and if so, would it help?

What part of this is disadvantaged exactly?
 

music2doc

Student of Mad Doctoring
7+ Year Member
Jan 28, 2011
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  1. Medical Student
What part of this is disadvantaged exactly?

The OP's stepfather being a machinist and therefore not being in the top 30% of household incomes.

OP, you could mark disadvantaged -- honestly, anyone can -- but I believe there might be a comment box to fill out in that case, so you would need to sell it as such. To me, it doesn't seem like you were that disadvantaged (especially if your mother was able to get you to the U.S. and marry an American citizen so easily). That said, if you had to partially support your family, I can see where you might qualify. It's all a case of "distance traveled." It's really up to you.
 
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