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Does my PhD/research make up for my low GPA?


New Member
May 28, 2019
  1. Pre-Medical
Undergrad GPA (cumulative): ~3.2 (Upward trend; Y1: 2.9, Y2: 2.7, Y3: 3.5, Y4: 3.7, sGPA is the same)
Grad school GPA: 3.9.

Research (clinically intensive): I built a novel medical device and translated it to 3 different patient populations in separate clinical trials.
6 first author publications (12 pubs total)
$200,000 in scholarships and awards (Doctoral NSERC-CGSD was the big one)
40+ conference abstracts/presentations (~15 international).

Tons of volunteering/leadership/committee stuff from undergrad/grad.

I really turned it around from my first few years in undergrad and became a top-tier graduate student at my university. Schools in Canada don't look past my undergrad GPA (haven't had any luck with UofT). Should I expect the same thing in the states, or are schools more forgiving?

I wrote the MCAT during my PhD and got a 507. I am debating a rewrite following my defense if I find some schools that will consider my application if I score high enough.

Bonus: I was offered a post-doc at Harvard. I'm considering this just for the experience/opportunity to do amazing research, but the end goal is clinician-scientist. Does it hold any weight if I pursue this before applying?

Any/all thoughts appreciated, thanks.
Nov 18, 1999
  1. Attending Physician
Do the postdoc.
Your chances at the regular MD admissions process are not good. You will get filtered out by MD admissions for low undergrad GPA before anyone gets a chance to look at your research achievements. I think the only way into MD would be a specialized PhD-to-MD program or an 'in' at your home institution (like if your PI would help you get through initial admissions filters).
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Full Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 7, 2015
I’d go to harvard and attempt to really crush the MCAT. If you do really well, then you can try applying DO. You might be more limited to clinical rsrch, but it’s possible something like a 517+ can get you some MD’s despite your gpa.
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Full Member
2+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2019
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
If you smash the MCAT you'll get some looks from med schools. Can't put a timeline on that though, especially given the uncertainty of these times. Take the post-doc position while you work through these questions
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