WindyCityZete

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Hi everyone, I kind of feel stuck in a rut and was wondering if anyone had some insight into this.

Basically, I finished undergrad with a non-competitive gpa in 2014 (2.98) so I pursued a post-bacc MA in Biomedical Sciences degree in-order to demonstrate that I could handle upper level coursework. I excelled in the program and finished with a 3.89 gpa. However, that was completed in 2017. The reason why I didn't apply directly out of grad school was due to family reasons (dad lost his job for over a year, family member diagnosed with cancer). I'm looking to apply this upcoming cycle and have support from my the doctors at my workplace and support from my grad school professors, but was not sure how this large gap in my application would look.

I took a few courses at a CC in 2019, but couldn't apply because my family was in a poor financial situation. Should I or do I need another post-bacc in-order to be competitive? Any suggestions on how to move forward toward applying? I don't have an adviser so any info is appreciated. Thanks!

Some additional stats/info
undergrad gpa: 2.98
grad gpa: 3.88
cGPA: 3.18
sGPA: 3.18
last 48 credits post bacc work (26 grad 22 undergrad) gpa: 3.93
volunteer work: 376 hours (90 free clinic, 160 mentorship program, ER volunteer 126)
shadowing: 300 hours ( 24 ophtho, 60 ER/Peds, 216 IM/FM)
clinical: 1066 hours (ophthalmic tech/EMT)
research: 4266 (CRC, 3 publications, 1 first author)
MCAT: 501 (125,125,126,125)
 
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deleted1085158

As long as you have all the prereqs, then no.

MCAT is low. I don't even think 501 is 50th percentile anymore. Retaking the MCAT could mean the difference between getting the DO acceptance or not.

MD = not happening

You can also look at PA school because you have the clinical hours. It's actually not a bad route.

Also, don't make excuses because nobody likes excuses.
 
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Dral

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Also, don't make excuses because nobody likes excuses.
Agree. OP, whether it's fair or not, the medical field doesn't like to see gaps in the process. It's ok to have a non-trad 'gap' like got a PhD, did a Post bacc, worked as a chemical engineer, did peace corp.

However, during a few whole year gap, all you are telling us is that a family member got cancer (sorry to hear that. I hope things are going ok), your Dad lost his job (hopefully it wasn't/isn't permanent) and you took some cc courses. That does not fill up a few years. What else did you do? Did you have meaningful employment? Did you do a bunch of volunteering?

Also, there is aid (I believe) to offset the cost of applying to medical school if you can prove you need it. I'm not sure if that covers travel though.

I'm not saying they ARE excuses, but the way things are presented in your post, they sound a bit that way.

You'll need to have a good explanation of what meaningful things you did for the years between 2017 and 2021.

Best of luck. Also agree with above that a retake on MCAT could put you at a more competitive level for a DO acceptance.
 
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deleted1085158

the medical field doesn't like to see gaps in the process.
I disagree. DO schools take in a ton of non-trad students and I guarantee you they are not all busy getting PhD's or changing the world.

MD admission is different because that group is looking for certain members to join.
 

Dral

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I disagree. DO schools take in a ton of non-trad students and I guarantee you they are not all busy getting PhD's or changing the world.

MD admission is different because that group is looking for certain members to join.
I don't know much about DO schools so that's good to know, but I know it becomes more of an issue as you move along in training.

If you think doing little versus doing something more substantial won't make a difference though...I would think DO schools would even look more favorably on the person who did more.
 
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deleted1085158

I don't know much about DO schools so that's good to know, but I know it becomes more of an issue as you move a long in training.

If you think doing little versus doing something more substantial won't make a difference though, you are misinformed.
I wouldn't call it doing little versus doing something more substantial. For some people, your circumstances decide what you can and cannot do in life.

If you need to work a minimum wage job to pay the bills, then that's what you have to do if you don't have the luxury of mommy and daddy paying your student loans so that you can go attend pre-med camp somewhere on their dime.

Regarding training, of course that would make sense. That's why these Caribbean people get into trouble when they don't match on their first attempt.
 
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Dral

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I wouldn't call it doing little versus doing something more substantial. For some people, your circumstances decide what you can and cannot do in life.

If you need to work a minimum wage job to pay the bills, then that's what you have to do if you don't have the luxury of mommy and daddy paying your student loans so that you can go attend pre-med camp somewhere on their dime.

Regarding training, of course that would make sense. That's why these Caribbean people get into trouble when they don't match on their first attempt.
Fair enough. It's good to hear that DO schools are more willing to go that direction. I will use that knowledge when advising people in the future.
 
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deleted1085158

Fair enough. It's good to hear that DO schools are more willing to go that direction. I will use that knowledge when advising people in the future.
Don't take my word for it. That's just what I am seeing. I have a friend who used to work at GNC selling vitamins and now he is an MS3.

Speak to these programs before advising your customers.
 

WindyCityZete

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Agree. OP, whether it's fair or not, the medical field doesn't like to see gaps in the process. It's ok to have a non-trad 'gap' like got a PhD, did a Post bacc, worked as a chemical engineer, did peace corp.

However, during a few whole year gap, all you are telling us is that a family member got cancer (sorry to hear that. I hope things are going ok), your Dad lost his job (hopefully it wasn't/isn't permanent) and you took some cc courses. That does not fill up a few years. What else did you do? Did you have meaningful employment? Did you do a bunch of volunteering?

Also, there is aid (I believe) to offset the cost of applying to medical school if you can prove you need it. I'm not sure if that covers travel though.

I'm not saying they ARE excuses, but the way things are presented in your post, they sound a bit that way.

You'll need to have a good explanation of what meaningful things you did for the years between 2017 and 2021.

Best of luck. Also agree with above that a retake on MCAT could put you at a more competitive level for a DO acceptance.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to paint a better picture here.

Aunt diagnosed in mid 2017 with pancreatic cancer. She doesn't have any family of her own (no spouse/kids) so my mom and I spent time taking her to chemo and helping her around the house. While that happened, I began working as a clinical research coordinator and ophthalmic tech and started to publish/present some of my independent research. Aunt passed away in 2019 so I began my application, but my dad lost his job around march of that year so I decided to push it off and help my parents since they still have a lot of debt of their own. Took some classes on the side and published a few more projects. Began volunteering at a free clinic and as a volunteer mentor for high school students which I still do today. Dad got another job in 2020, and I began studying for the mcat. Wasn't scoring so well around the same score as before and my exam date got cancelled like many others. Plus my app would've been late so I decided to focus on the mcat and apply with an early application. I'm still working as a CRC and Oph tech and still volunteer with my HS students.

I'm sorry if it sounded like I was making excuses. Wasn't my intention, but I also wasn't just sitting at home doing nothing either. Definitely not as impressive as the PhD mentioned earlier, but that was my reality.
 

Dral

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Ok so my knowledge stands. I did not mean to imply that someone had to work toward a PhD or such to take up their time. Those were not the best examples on my part. The main point I was trying to get across is that doing something that is meaningful (able to report on an app) is better. OP, did you work between the years of 2017 and 2021? I was under an assumption you weren't working, but that could be incorrect.

And I have no customers. It is known that SDN advice is taken with a grain of salt based on all of our knowledge and experiences.
 
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Dral

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Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to paint a better picture here.

Aunt diagnosed in mid 2017 with pancreatic cancer. She doesn't have any family of her own (no spouse/kids) so my mom and I spent time taking her to chemo and helping her around the house. While that happened, I began working as a clinical research coordinator and ophthalmic tech and started to publish/present some of my independent research. Aunt passed away in 2019 so I began my application, but my dad lost his job around march of that year so I decided to push it off and help my parents since they still have a lot of debt of their own. Took some classes on the side and published a few more projects. Began volunteering at a free clinic and as a volunteer mentor for high school students which I still do today. Dad got another job in 2020, and I began studying for the mcat. Wasn't scoring so well around the same score as before and my exam date got cancelled like many others. Plus my app would've been late so I decided to focus on the mcat and apply with an early application. I'm still working as a CRC and Oph tech and still volunteer with my HS students.

I'm sorry if it sounded like I was making excuses. Wasn't my intention, but I also wasn't just sitting at home doing nothing either. Definitely not as impressive as the PhD mentioned earlier, but that was my reality.

Ok, that's pretty good. So you were busy during that time with other things that med schools would consider meaningful. It sounds like it wasn't the best time for you. I'm sorry for that. You may be be able to draw things from those years to discuss in your personal statement.

I think choosing not to apply opposed to applying late that year was probably a good choice since you are still working and volunteering.
 
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