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Keepitclassy

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Hi SDN, here's my story and I was wondering if you guys could help me out.

Incoming senior at the moment, here's what I'm at right now:

98 Credit Hours

cGPA: 2.704
sGPA: 2.670

This semester I'm wrapping up a 3.69 GPA (at lowest, 3.44 if I mess up my physics final and finish with a B in the class)

Once I finish up my degree, if I get straight A's my senior year, I'll cap out with the following (best case scenario)

cGPA = 3.072
sGPA = 3.132

Last 55 Credit hours in best case scenario;

cGPA = 3.910
sGPA = 3.902

Realistically, I do believe I can finish with at least a 3.0 on the dot if I put my mind to it, in that case my grades would be the following:

cGPA = 3.000
sGPA = 3.132

Last 55 Credit Hours

cGPA = 3.710
sGPA = 3.686

Now that that's out of the way. Just like most everyone on this particular subsection of the forum, I desire to become an MD. However, I didn't realize this until 6 months ago, and at that point the hole I dug myself my freshman/sophomore year was already too big. My EC's are fairly solid, practice MCAT scores at the moment range from 32-37 and I have a lot of studying/touching up left to do, but even if I were to reel in a 35+ MCAT on the real deal I still don't think I'd receive an acceptance letter. My interview skills are good, but this horrid GPA is definitely my Achilles heel.

But optimistically speaking, what can a 3.0 cGPA/3.13 sGPA, 30+ MCAT, solid EC's, and an upward trend of ~3.7 get me? Would my best course of action be to pursue a masters and then apply? I should be able to land an 80+ percentile on the GRE's. Would maintaining a 3.6+ GPA while pursuing an MS in Epidemiology/Immunology/Virology be beneficial?

My mother (enrolled in med school at age 17, and received her MD at age 21...big shoes to fill...) scoffs at the idea of an SMP due to it being a complete waste of time if it doesn't land me an acceptance letter. However, I think with a strong MCAT I'd be able to land myself into a respectable program, and I definitely would go all out once there.

Any advice and possible routes are GREATLY appreciated, thank you!
 

GeorgiadisMD

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Welllll you sort of are in a hole (pretty sure you knew that already) but some advice is to just keep giving it your all. You may very well be the pre-med who gets in with a low, but upwards GPA. If not, there's always DO school. But yea, unless you can bring up that GPA to a 3.4-3.5, it will be a shot in the dark. Nothing is impossible though.

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Keepitclassy

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Welllll you sort of are in a hole (pretty sure you knew that already) but some advice is to just keep giving it your all. You may very well be the pre-med who gets in with a low, but upwards GPA. If not, there's always DO school. But yea, unless you can bring up that GPA to a 3.4-3.5, it will be a shot in the dark. Nothing is impossible though.

Yeah, at this point I'm hoping to score strongly on the MCAT and snag that upward trend. I'll continue building on my EC's.

Is it unheard of to transfer from DO to MD? Or apply to medical school while in a DO program?
 
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Koosalagoosagoo

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Yeah, at this point I'm hoping to score strongly on the MCAT and snag that upward trend. I'll continue building on my EC's.

Is it unheard of to transfer from DO to MD? Or apply to medical school while in a DO program?

You need to do a bit more research DO (osteopathic) and MD (allopathic) are both medical degrees. If you manage to get straight A's DO is a possibility. You might even be able to take some classes over because grade replacement is possible with DO schools. At this point I would rule out most MD schools if not all, thats if you can pull a 3.5-3.6. There is also the possibility of doing a post-bac. Transfers among medical schools are extremely rare. Once you got into DO you would stay DO. Also if you have such a low GPA do you think you are even ready for medical school, just because your mom is one doesn't mean you can do it. I didn't sugar coat anything for you...
 
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SmurfinUSA

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OP, if you decide to apply this year, I would like to suggest to apply widely and early. At a certain point, stats can't be changed much but in hindsight I see that applying early makes a huggggggggggggggggggge difference.

Also, my upward GPA trend helped me. Freshman <2.0 --- Senior 3.8 or so. Go hard at the MCAT and then apply early as possible.

You can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Deekle

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Lotsa folks here with similar stories (myself included). The MCAT isn't a magic wand to wave you into med school, but strong EC's, personal statement, LOR's and a good MCAT score combined can cure lots of GPA woes.

You MUST end at 3.0 or higher or you're looking at postbac land. Don't stick your nose up at DO, they're doctors too and beggars can't be choosers. Develop good relationships with at least 2 science profs and one non-sci for your LOR's. The best LOR's come from folks who know, like and respect you. Find a good Doc to shadow with and develop that relationship too. Good MD LOR's are priceless. (Not one from your mom though)

Apply early and broadly as has already been stated. If you don't get in this cycle, make some calls and find out where schools think you need to shore up. Work on those areas and keep applying until you get in. Sock away as much cash as you can in the meantime. The less you have to borrow, the less you'll end up paying in no longer subsidized student loans.
 

mduck

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SMP for sure. I did one and got into 5 MD schools despite my 3.0 undergraduate GPA (my sGPA was even lower, and my MCAT was average). But, as mentioned time and time again, it's not a guarantee--you also have to have all the other stuff (strong PS, ECs, LORs, etc.) going for you.
 

Keepitclassy

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You need to do a bit more research DO (osteopathic) and MD (allopathic) are both medical degrees. If you manage to get straight A's DO is a possibility. You might even be able to take some classes over because grade replacement is possible with DO schools. At this point I would rule out most MD schools if not all, thats if you can pull a 3.5-3.6. There is also the possibility of doing a post-bac. Transfers among medical schools are extremely rare. Once you got into DO you would stay DO. Also if you have such a low GPA do you think you are even ready for medical school, just because your mom is one doesn't mean you can do it. I didn't sugar coat anything for you...

Sugar coated or not, I have a pretty good idea of where I stand, and although I remain optimistic about the situation, rest assured I remain grounded.

My low GPA is due to messing up intro courses/electives. I've nailed A's/B's in all my upper level Bio/Orgo/Physics classes. For example; C in Gen Chem 1, C in Gen Chem 2, A in Orgo 1, A in Orgo 2. The two gen chem courses I coasted, did no work outside of class, and crammed the night before for exams. Most of my Gen Ed's I got B's, and slept in class and blew off assignments (Generally I'd score A's on all my tests, couple that with low homework grades and I usually wound up with a High B in the class. Teacher's were reluctant to bump me up to an A due to lack of participation and sleeping in class)

And although my work ethic still isn't where I want it to be, it's considerably better than where it was before, and I'm improving on it daily.

I haven't ruled out DO entirely, but I would prefer to attend an allopathic school over osteopathic. Of course, if the only acceptance letter I receive is from an osteopathic school, I wouldn't turn it down.

Regarding my mother, although she is a huge influence on my life she hasn't exactly pushed me to do medicine. In fact, most of her stories are horror stories regarding excruciating work hours, stressful lifestyle, and malpractice incidents filed against her fellow surgeons. However, she is the one funding my education (for undergrad at least) and she knows her stuff for the most part, at least more so than the average parent.

OP, if you decide to apply this year, I would like to suggest to apply widely and early. At a certain point, stats can't be changed much but in hindsight I see that applying early makes a huggggggggggggggggggge difference.

Also, my upward GPA trend helped me. Freshman <2.0 --- Senior 3.8 or so. Go hard at the MCAT and then apply early as possible.

You can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll most likely be applying for the class of 2014, and have a checklist of sorts that I'm working on so I can send out my application ASAP once the doors open per say.

Definitely going to go all out on the MCAT, certainly I can make some heads turn if I reel in a 30+

Lotsa folks here with similar stories (myself included). The MCAT isn't a magic wand to wave you into med school, but strong EC's, personal statement, LOR's and a good MCAT score combined can cure lots of GPA woes.

You MUST end at 3.0 or higher or you're looking at postbac land. Don't stick your nose up at DO, they're doctors too and beggars can't be choosers. Develop good relationships with at least 2 science profs and one non-sci for your LOR's. The best LOR's come from folks who know, like and respect you. Find a good Doc to shadow with and develop that relationship too. Good MD LOR's are priceless. (Not one from your mom though)

Apply early and broadly as has already been stated. If you don't get in this cycle, make some calls and find out where schools think you need to shore up. Work on those areas and keep applying until you get in. Sock away as much cash as you can in the meantime. The less you have to borrow, the less you'll end up paying in no longer subsidized student loans.

This upcoming semester I'll be working more intimately with professors in the upper level bio courses/labs I'm taking where my class size is ~30 as opposed to ~300 like my orgo/physics/genetics lectures are. I'll definitely be taking advantage of the student/teacher relationship and hopefully I'll be able to get some potential LOR's.

My EC's right now are pretty solid. By the time I apply it should consist of about ~300-350 volunteer hours (Clinical & Non-Clinical, at 2 different hospitals), Clinical Research Assistant, Marketing & Advertising Consultant, Business Owner, Eagle Scout, and several student organization memberships. Looking to add UG research (low GPA at the moment is hindering my chances though) and possibly a summer internship (several interviews lined up) as well as shadowing.

As for shadowing, I haven't been able to land anything quite yet. I'm volunteering at two local hospitals and hopefully I'll be able to make some connections which will lead to a shadowing opportunity. Any advice on how to increase my chances in landing a shadowing gig?

I will be working as well, and something I'm able to put on my resume (Which is totally unrelated to the medical field) is that I did create and operate my own company and handled ~$52,000 in 9 months of operation trading virtual currencies. I know it won't help my acceptance at all, but I guess it's one of those "It's better than nothing" kind of things haha.

SMP for sure. I did one and got into 5 MD schools despite my 3.0 undergraduate GPA (my sGPA was even lower, and my MCAT was average). But, as mentioned time and time again, it's not a guarantee--you also have to have all the other stuff (strong PS, ECs, LORs, etc.) going for you.

Do you mind me asking which SMP you attended and the GPA you finished with? If I get accepted to one of the more competitive programs (i.e. Loyola/Georgetown) I'd definitely consider my options. However I'm a little skeptical about attending the low-mid tier SMP's, since these programs are practically useless if it doesn't land you into a medical school.
 

Deekle

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As far as shadowing goes, work your contacts. I found that the more rural
the better. Not sure where you live, but my experience was the big hospitals never let me even get sight of a doctor (not even a resident.). I now shadow a rural ER doc who lets me get as involved as I can (within the confines of legality and good judgement.). I've had the opportunity to perform CPR (yes, I'm certified) for a couple of codes, seen a couple of intubations, not to mention all the folks who have taken the opportunity to cut, tear, break, puncture or otherwise mangle their bodies and needed to get put back together. Even saw a kid with a broadhead arrow in the butt. All in all, it's more fun because the rural folks are usually more laid back. See if your mom has any contacts. Make some phone calls. Most important, when you get a gig, be cool. Don't be a pain in their butts, try to help out where you can and stay out of the way where you can't. Ask questions, but remember that they are at work, so don't monopolize the time. Go with the flow and they'll keep inviting you back.
 

Keepitclassy

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As far as shadowing goes, work your contacts. I found that the more rural
the better. Not sure where you live, but my experience was the big hospitals never let me even get sight of a doctor (not even a resident.). I now shadow a rural ER doc who lets me get as involved as I can (within the confines of legality and good judgement.). I've had the opportunity to perform CPR (yes, I'm certified) for a couple of codes, seen a couple of intubations, not to mention all the folks who have taken the opportunity to cut, tear, break, puncture or otherwise mangle their bodies and needed to get put back together. Even saw a kid with a broadhead arrow in the butt. All in all, it's more fun because the rural folks are usually more laid back. See if your mom has any contacts. Make some phone calls. Most important, when you get a gig, be cool. Don't be a pain in their butts, try to help out where you can and stay out of the way where you can't. Ask questions, but remember that they are at work, so don't monopolize the time. Go with the flow and they'll keep inviting you back.

I live right in the heart of Chicago, quite the opposite of rural. I'm an OOS student, so all of my mothers contacts are back home in Dallas where she resides. In chicago, she knows a lot of the faculty at the school I attend (Good friends with the Dean of the school of public health and several graduate professors) however it doesn't really help me in this aspect.

My EC's and work experience are definitely above average in terms of resume comparison, however my GPA sticks out like a sore thumb so it's hard to compete with other pre-meds who have mediocre EC's but proven work ethic when applying for internships/research.
 

Deekle

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I'm in IL as well, and the doc I shadow is a UIC grad. I'll see if he has any contacts in the Chicago area on Tuesday when I see him next.
 

gettheleadout

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Definitely going to go all out on the MCAT, certainly I can make some heads turn if I reel in a 30+
An MCAT score in the low 30's won't do anything for you with barely a 3.0 GPA. If you want your MCAT to attempt to compensate for your low GPA at all then you'll need a 35+. Remember the average matriculant MCAT is ~31, so 30+ is the goal given average stats. You'll need to aim much higher with a far below average GPA.

This is of course assuming you forego an SMP. Also, getting an M.S./M.A. in hopes of helping your chances is useless.
 

mduck

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Do you mind me asking which SMP you attended and the GPA you finished with? If I get accepted to one of the more competitive programs (i.e. Loyola/Georgetown) I'd definitely consider my options. However I'm a little skeptical about attending the low-mid tier SMP's, since these programs are practically useless if it doesn't land you into a medical school.

I did the one at Tufts and I'd highly recommend it. It's a smaller/newer program (relative to those at BU & GT) so they provide TONS of support. Tufts also abides to their policy of interviewing the top 25% of the class; from what I know, other schools either don't have a % or give very few of their students interviews (I have friends who successfully completed the program at BU and weren't even considered for interviews). I finished the program with a 3.85 and ended up with interviews at some amazing schools like UW and UCLA, despite being OOS. But like I said before, your success in the application cycle is also contingent on other parts of your app (ECs, LORs, PS). So basically, an SMP is effective in overcoming low undergrad GPAs but will not compensate for the parts of your app that might be lacking.
 

shinbeats

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Are you a firm believer of Osteopathic medicine? if not you will be with that GPA.
 

thisisatest

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I've heard this asked before and I always wonder--

HOW DO YOU DIG YOURSELF OUT OF A HOLE YOU HAVE DUG?
unless you are planning to go to china, you climb, maybe make a little dirt ladder in the wall of the hole so you can hold on to something.


anyway. do an SMP or get interested in some lower end DO programs.
 

peytonpoet

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An MCAT score in the low 30's won't do anything for you with barely a 3.0 GPA. If you want your MCAT to attempt to compensate for your low GPA at all then you'll need a 35+. Remember the average matriculant MCAT is ~31, so 30+ is the goal given average stats. You'll need to aim much higher with a far below average GPA.

This is of course assuming you forego an SMP. Also, getting an M.S./M.A. in hopes of helping your chances is useless.


Why is getting an M.S./M.A. useless?
 

Shalashaska

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Many of the MS/MA programs are known for grade inflation. While there are medical schools that take graduate GPAs under consideration, there aren't many. Graduate GPAs are also calculated in a different category and will not help raise an undergrad GPA.
 
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