Enormous Upward Trend.. But not enough?

TheNeuroGuy

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Jun 16, 2009
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    Hey guys,

    So I'm applying to MD schools this cycle. I've applied to 12 and have already been rejected from 2 and waitlisted on 1. I haven't even gotten an interview request. I'm a PA resident so I applied to all the PA schools and a few OOS, and the schools weren't anything spectacular.

    Anyway, here's my trend:
    Freshmen: .44 <--- PSU
    Sophomore: 3.90 <-- COMMUNITY COLLEGE
    Junior: 3.44 <-- JUST TRANSFERRED TO UNIVERSITY
    Senior: 3.83 <-- ADJUSTED TO UNIVERSITY :)
    Overall: 3.12
    Overall BCPM: 3.19

    MCAT (take 1): 27O
    MCAT (take 2): 33P

    My freshmen year I went to PSU and failed almost every class I took (I didn't really know what I wanted to do in terms of a career, so I just ended up not doing anything). Then, I dropped out and went to community college and then transferred to a top liberal arts university in the state on full scholarship. I have no doubt that I am intelligent and motivated enough, so please do not question my abilities.

    Since PSU, I've worked very hard to get my act together. I have very good EC's.
    I was the president of multiple clubs and organizations, involved in intramural clubs, received many awards and was accepted into numerous honor societies, did 2+ years of research and completed an honors thesis. I even received an award for being top 2 in my major (neuroscience) during graduation. (this was mostly all after I transferred, btw).

    I have volunteered about a total of 100hrs in a hospital setting and shadowed several doctors.

    I took the MCAT twice and had obvious improvement.

    At this point, I just don't know what to do. I got waitlisted at school that had the lowest acceptance requirements. Although I'm waiting to hear back from a few others, I thought I should prepare myself for what I should do next.

    I've worked for the past 5 years on making myself a good candidate for medical school, and I'm not about to give up yet. Currently, I am participating in an AmeriCorps program.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
    Last edited:

    gdfernan

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    Apr 6, 2011
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      Are you now concentrating on the 2014 cycle? If so, increase volunteering (but I expect your AmeriCorp will cover that). Would be helpful if you try some volunteer tutoring which will hit two birds at once (teaching and service). Increase shadowing to > 50hrs.

      Did you apply to low LizzyM score MD schools this cycle? If not add a few next time around (ie. Albany).

      Retake some of the classes you did poorly in the 1st year and get As

      Also consider DO. Retakes will really count here.
       

      TheNeuroGuy

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      Jun 16, 2009
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        Are you now concentrating on the 2014 cycle? If so, increase volunteering (but I expect your AmeriCorp will cover that). Would be helpful if you try some volunteer tutoring which will hit two birds at once (teaching and service). Increase shadowing to > 50hrs.

        Did you apply to low LizzyM score MD schools this cycle? If not add a few next time around (ie. Albany).

        Retake some of the classes you did poorly in the 1st year and get As

        Also consider DO. Retakes will really count here.

        Oh, I forgot to mention - I'm also an MCAT teacher for the princeton review. I do AmeriCorps full-time and teaching part-time.
         
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        Goro

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          Normally we like upward trends, but yours is a "W" shaped slope instead of the typical "V" or an incline. I suspect that's what may be hurting you. Also, did you aim too high and apply to only top tier schools? You might have better luck with the low tiers, like Rosy Franklin or NYMC.

          Also, you're fine for any DO program.

          Hey guys,

          So I'm applying to MD schools this cycle. I've applied to 12 and have already been rejected from 2 and waitlisted on 1. I haven't even gotten an interview request. I'm a PA resident so I applied to all the PA schools and a few OOS, and the schools weren't anything spectacular.

          Anyway, here's my trend:
          Freshmen: .44 <--- PSU
          Sophomore: 3.90 <-- COMMUNITY COLLEGE
          Junior: 3.44 <-- JUST TRANSFERRED TO UNIVERSITY
          Senior: 3.83 <-- ADJUSTED TO UNIVERSITY :)
          Overall: 3.12
          Overall BCPM: 3.19

          MCAT (take 1): 27O
          MCAT (take 2): 33P

          My freshmen year I went to PSU and failed almost every class I took (I didn't really know what I wanted to do in terms of a career, so I just ended up not doing anything). Then, I dropped out and went to community college and then transferred to a top liberal arts university in the state on full scholarship. I have no doubt that I am intelligent and motivated enough, so please do not question my abilities.

          Since PSU, I've worked very hard to get my act together. I have very good EC's.
          I was the president of multiple clubs and organizations, involved in intramural clubs, received many awards and was accepted into numerous honor societies, did 2+ years of research and completed an honors thesis. I even received an award for being top 2 in my major (neuroscience) during graduation. (this was mostly all after I transferred, btw).

          I have volunteered about a total of 100hrs in a hospital setting and shadowed several doctors.

          I took the MCAT twice and had obvious improvement.

          At this point, I just don't know what to do. I got waitlisted at school that had the lowest acceptance requirements. Although I'm waiting to hear back from a few others, I thought I should prepare myself for what I should do next.

          I've worked for the past 5 years on making myself a good candidate for medical school, and I'm not about to give up yet. Currently, I am participating in an AmeriCorps program.

          Does anyone have any suggestions?
           

          TheNeuroGuy

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          Jun 16, 2009
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            Normally we like upward trends, but yours is a "W" shaped slope instead of the typical "V" or an incline. I suspect that's what may be hurting you. Also, did you aim too high and apply to only top tier schools? You might have better luck with the low tiers, like Rosy Franklin or NYMC.

            Also, you're fine for any DO program.


            My GPA by grade-level is really misleading. On the AMCAS application they took my courses and grouped them according to the amount of credits you need for each grade-level (32 for each). So, I was done my "junior" year by the time I was done the first semester after I transferred. My other 3 semesters at the university were grouped together in my "senior" year.

            My actual progression according to year was this:
            '05: .24 (PSU)
            '06: .54 (PSU) OVERALL PSU GPA: .44
            '07: 3.70 (CC)
            '08: 3.80 (CC) OVERALL CC GPA: 3.75
            '08 SUMMER: 3.00 (UNIVERSITY) <-- very intense summer program to receive full scholarship
            '09: 3.70 (UNIVERSITY)
            '10: 3.71 (UNIVERSITY)
            '11: 3.91 (UNIVERSITY) OVERALL UNIVERSITY GPA: 3.74

            But, you know, it's not exactly clear this was my progression because my AMCAS GPA doesn't reflect this. In fact, this is not at all obvious unless you really look in depth at my GPA.

            Yeah, DO schools are an option. I'm just really pissed because I've worked very hard and I just wouldn't get into an MD because my GPA progression isn't exactly clear.

            I believe I am just as qualified to be accepted into an MD program as others who are admitted.

            [EDIT]: I realized it might sound like I'm disrespecting DO schools. I'm going to apply to DO schools next cycle because I want to become a physician regardless of the means required to get there. I understand that DO schools can be forgiving of people that have messed up, but I'm just extremely frustrated with the MD process.
             
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            Goro

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              There are schools out there that like upward trends and give you the benefit of the doubt, so You'll need to do your homework and find out who they are.

              My GPA by grade-level is really misleading. On the AMCAS application they took my courses and grouped them according to the amount of credits you need for each grade-level (32 for each). So, I was done my "junior" year by the time I was done the first semester after I transferred. My other 3 semesters at the university were grouped together in my "senior" year.

              My actual progression according to year was this:
              '05: .24 (PSU)
              '06: .54 (PSU) OVERALL PSU GPA: .44
              '07: 3.70 (CC)
              '08: 3.80 (CC) OVERALL CC GPA: 3.75
              '08 SUMMER: 3.00 (UNIVERSITY) <-- very intense summer program to receive full scholarship
              '09: 3.70 (UNIVERSITY)
              '10: 3.71 (UNIVERSITY)
              '11: 3.91 (UNIVERSITY) OVERALL UNIVERSITY GPA: 3.74

              But, you know, it's not exactly clear this was my progression because my AMCAS GPA doesn't reflect this. In fact, this is not at all obvious unless you really look in depth at my GPA.

              Yeah, DO schools are an option. I'm just really pissed because I've worked very hard and I just wouldn't get into an MD because my GPA progression isn't exactly clear.

              I believe I am just as qualified to be accepted into an MD program as others who are admitted.

              [EDIT]: I realized it might sound like I'm disrespecting DO schools. I'm going to apply to DO schools next cycle because I want to become a physician regardless of the means required to get there. I understand that DO schools can be forgiving of people that have messed up, but I'm just extremely frustrated with the MD process.
               

              MedPR

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                My GPA by grade-level is really misleading. On the AMCAS application they took my courses and grouped them according to the amount of credits you need for each grade-level (32 for each). So, I was done my "junior" year by the time I was done the first semester after I transferred. My other 3 semesters at the university were grouped together in my "senior" year.

                My actual progression according to year was this:
                '05: .24 (PSU)
                '06: .54 (PSU) OVERALL PSU GPA: .44
                '07: 3.70 (CC)
                '08: 3.80 (CC) OVERALL CC GPA: 3.75
                '08 SUMMER: 3.00 (UNIVERSITY) <-- very intense summer program to receive full scholarship
                '09: 3.70 (UNIVERSITY)
                '10: 3.71 (UNIVERSITY)
                '11: 3.91 (UNIVERSITY) OVERALL UNIVERSITY GPA: 3.74

                But, you know, it's not exactly clear this was my progression because my AMCAS GPA doesn't reflect this. In fact, this is not at all obvious unless you really look in depth at my GPA.

                Yeah, DO schools are an option. I'm just really pissed because I've worked very hard and I just wouldn't get into an MD because my GPA progression isn't exactly clear.

                I believe I am just as qualified to be accepted into an MD program as others who are admitted.

                [EDIT]: I realized it might sound like I'm disrespecting DO schools. I'm going to apply to DO schools next cycle because I want to become a physician regardless of the means required to get there. I understand that DO schools can be forgiving of people that have messed up, but I'm just extremely frustrated with the MD process.

                AMCAS does reflect grade trends because you enter your courses and grades by time (summer/fall/spring of what calendar year). Schools see that.

                Your GPA is simply too low to get into MD schools unless you're a URM. Your MCAT is solid, but barely above matriculant average. You're primarily competing against 3.7/32 students.

                Truthfully it doesn't matter how qualified you think you are. If you can't get in, you can't get in.
                 

                TheNeuroGuy

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                  AMCAS does reflect grade trends because you enter your courses and grades by time (summer/fall/spring of what calendar year). Schools see that.

                  Okay, fair enough. That makes me feel a bit better.

                  Your GPA is simply too low to get into MD schools unless you're a URM. Your MCAT is solid, but barely above matriculant average. You're primarily competing against 3.7/32 students.

                  Truthfully it doesn't matter how qualified you think you are. If you can't get in, you can't get in.

                  I view my last 2.5 years at the university to be more indicative of my success at medical school than anything else. So yes, while I'll be competing against people with 3.7GPA, and my overall GPA might not be that high, my GPA for the last 4 years of college should make me competitive.

                  I'm going to apply to DO schools, but are there certain MD schools that would be more forgiving of my PSU GPA? If so, does anyone know what they would be?
                   
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                  Goro

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                    Ahh, I have the list at work! I think someone with a history like yours got into Albany, for one. Shoot me a reminder and I'll post them tomorrow.

                    I'm going to apply to DO schools, but are there certain MD schools that would be more forgiving of my PSU GPA? If so, does anyone know what they would be?
                     

                    Aerus

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                      Okay, fair enough. That makes me feel a bit better.



                      I view my last 2.5 years at the university to be more indicative of my success at medical school than anything else. So yes, while I'll be competing against people with 3.7GPA, and my overall GPA might not be that high, my GPA for the last 4 years of college should make me competitive.

                      I'm going to apply to DO schools, but are there certain MD schools that would be more forgiving of my PSU GPA? If so, does anyone know what they would be?

                      There probably are, but you'll have to apply very broadly in order to target those schools.

                      And while it is clear that you are academically competent, you're competing against people who've never had that low GPA dent. Why should schools pick you over them? I'm not trying to undermine your achievements, but you should think about it in the school's perspective.
                       

                      TheNeuroGuy

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                        There probably are, but you'll have to apply very broadly in order to target those schools.

                        And while it is clear that you are academically competent, you're competing against people who've never had that low GPA dent. Why should schools pick you over them? I'm not trying to undermine your achievements, but you should think about it in the school's perspective.

                        Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. That's why I'm frustrated with the whole process. If I were on the adcom and I had to pick someone with a solid GPA trend vs. someone who started low and went high, I'd most likely pick the solid trend. I'd pick the upward trend if there were any empty spots and I wanted to give someone a chance.
                         

                        Temperature101

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                          Hey guys,

                          So I'm applying to MD schools this cycle. I've applied to 12 and have already been rejected from 2 and waitlisted on 1. I haven't even gotten an interview request. I'm a PA resident so I applied to all the PA schools and a few OOS, and the schools weren't anything spectacular.

                          Anyway, here's my trend:
                          Freshmen: .44 <--- PSU
                          Sophomore: 3.90 <-- COMMUNITY COLLEGE
                          Junior: 3.44 <-- JUST TRANSFERRED TO UNIVERSITY
                          Senior: 3.83 <-- ADJUSTED TO UNIVERSITY :)
                          Overall: 3.12
                          Overall BCPM: 3.19

                          MCAT (take 1): 27O
                          MCAT (take 2): 33P

                          My freshmen year I went to PSU and failed almost every class I took (I didn't really know what I wanted to do in terms of a career, so I just ended up not doing anything). Then, I dropped out and went to community college and then transferred to a top liberal arts university in the state on full scholarship. I have no doubt that I am intelligent and motivated enough, so please do not question my abilities.

                          Since PSU, I've worked very hard to get my act together. I have very good EC's.
                          I was the president of multiple clubs and organizations, involved in intramural clubs, received many awards and was accepted into numerous honor societies, did 2+ years of research and completed an honors thesis. I even received an award for being top 2 in my major (neuroscience) during graduation. (this was mostly all after I transferred, btw).

                          I have volunteered about a total of 100hrs in a hospital setting and shadowed several doctors.

                          I took the MCAT twice and had obvious improvement.

                          At this point, I just don't know what to do. I got waitlisted at school that had the lowest acceptance requirements. Although I'm waiting to hear back from a few others, I thought I should prepare myself for what I should do next.

                          I've worked for the past 5 years on making myself a good candidate for medical school, and I'm not about to give up yet. Currently, I am participating in an AmeriCorps program.

                          Does anyone have any suggestions?

                          Go DO since your stats are competitive for most DO schools. Being accepted to any med school is a big achievement on its own. Period.
                           

                          FrkyBgStok

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                            Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. That's why I'm frustrated with the whole process. If I were on the adcom and I had to pick someone with a solid GPA trend vs. someone who started low and went high, I'd most likely pick the solid trend. I'd pick the upward trend if there were any empty spots and I wanted to give someone a chance.

                            looks like you answered your question. for every application that just needs a chance, there are 4 that don't. so unless you have something in your application to really draw them into it and really spark an interest, there is no reason at all to "take a chance." Or really to even look at the application. It is crappy, but it is what it is. frustrating yes because many applications are better and stronger because of certain situations, but there isn't much that can be done. apart from having something else incredible.
                             
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