Jan 15, 2012
23
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello all,

I graduated from UCLA, year of 2012. I earned my B.S. in biochemistry with a cGPA of 3.3 and sGPA of 3.0, and as of right now, I currently work full time as a AP chem and AP bio teacher at a tutoring center in a rich neighborhood near Pasadena, CA, making decent but not fantastic money.

I took the MCAT last May and received a 28R (Bio 10, Phys 10, Verb 8) and I already signed up for this May, with the goal of 35+ (which should be in reach, since teaching AP chemistry and AP bio at my workplace REALLY got me familiarized with the material, more than when I was a student! :eek:) I feel like I just need to work on my Verbal and know how to interpret passages the "right" way, if you know what I mean.

Unfortunately I have been having doubts about my path toward mainstream medicine (MD as opposed to DO). I guess it doesn't help since my roommates are all ex-premeds (if there ever is such a word!) and I just wanted to give additional info about my extracurricular experiences and attitude toward other alternatives before suggesting whether I should either give up my unrealistic pursuit of medicine or whether I have a decent chance.

Extracurricular experiences:
-Volunteer tutoring/mentoring in Koreatown near downtown Los Angeles. (4/hrs, week). Was Finance Director my 2nd year, managed money from our student group and provided rides for service.
-Phi Delta Epsilon medical fraternity. Joined my second year. Unfortunately no leadership experience (bs politics surrounding the UCLA chapter... long story), but plenty of volunteer experience, blood drives, etc. (2-10 hours/week)
-Public Health tutoring/mentoring at a public housing project near Santa Monica, CA. Joined 3rd year, earned position of Site Coordinator my 4th year. Managed the site, the curriculum, interns, and even the snacks we gave to the elementary school kids.
-Other random volunteer via church, dorm events, etc...

After graduation:
-Working as a "teacher" (formally tutor) in San Marino, CA at a predominantly Chinese, and super-rich neighborhood. Make $25/hr. Currently my only active thing that I've got going on for now.

Ethnicity, background, etc:
-Korean-American. Born in Sacramento, CA. Always surrounded by whites, was the only Asian kid in school. Did pretty well in high school, got 2180 SAT,, SAT II Chem 800, SATII bio 770, SAT II Math 780 (idk if my background matters anyway)

Based on the info above, should I even bother applying? To be frank, having a "big boy's" job, as opposed to lab tech, research, McDonalds, has given me A LOT of life lessons that being sheltered by academia would have not offered me (such as boss shortchanging paycheck, office politics, interacting w/ co-workers, etc). Would a personal statement involving my work experiences be enticing to the admissions panel, assuming I make it both interesting and relevant?

Additionally, several of my friends and co-workers have suggested that I either do postbac, earn my Masters, or apply for DO school. I refuse to do any of those choices, due to the fact that it is my personal belief that going to school again just to apply for school again is a very inefficient path (since I'd rather get a M.S. in biochem and try to work my way up in the biotech industry), and that I will always regret being "inferior" to MDs if I ever earn my DO, also to mention that I may not be able to practice medicine in Europe (since it is not certified there), if Obamacare makes it difficult for aspiring MD's to make a decent living. PLEASE PLEASE convince me otherwise... :(

Lemme know if you guys need additional info. I sincerely apologize if my post is not coherent and organized at all, since I am not a frequent OP-er at all.

Best regards,

Discouraged in Los Angeles
 

113

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Jan 20, 2013
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If you are not opposed to DO, retaking some of your classes can quickly boost your GPA, and a 28R will get you into many DO schools.

With your low GPA, applying to MD schools will be an uphill battle. Since you are a biochem major, you probably have lots of undergrad science credit hours. In this situation, a postbac will not impact your AMCAS GPA very much. So if you want to apply MD, your best shot will be after performing well at an SMP.

You said you didn't like any of those options, but, realistically, those are your best options for becoming a doc.

Applying with your current GPA and MCAT will likely result in rejection. AAMC publishes a chart that you can look up. It will show the acceptance rate for people with a 3.0-3.3 GPA and 28 MCAT.


Edit: Found it. 16.1% of Asian applicants with your numbers were accepted. https://www.aamc.org/download/321516/data/2012factstable25-3.pdf
 
Last edited:
OP
S
Jan 15, 2012
23
0
Status
Pre-Medical
So, if I do consider DO, how good will be my chance of being accepted? I have a coworker who has similar stats (but is like 8 years older than me) who got into 3-5 DO interviews, but no MD's :(

Also, would retaking the MCAT and earning a much higher score (let's say 36) increase my chances somewhat? Or is whatever I have( minus the personal statement) pretty much set in stone?
 
Last edited:

kgpremed11

Removed
Aug 25, 2012
613
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello all,

I graduated from UCLA, year of 2012. I earned my B.S. in biochemistry with a cGPA of 3.3 and sGPA of 3.0, and as of right now, I currently work full time as a AP chem and AP bio teacher at a tutoring center in a rich neighborhood near Pasadena, CA, making decent but not fantastic money.

I took the MCAT last May and received a 28R (Bio 10, Phys 10, Verb 8) and I already signed up for this May, with the goal of 35+ (which should be in reach, since teaching AP chemistry and AP bio at my workplace REALLY got me familiarized with the material, more than when I was a student! :eek:) I feel like I just need to work on my Verbal and know how to interpret passages the "right" way, if you know what I mean.

Unfortunately I have been having doubts about my path toward mainstream medicine (MD as opposed to DO). I guess it doesn't help since my roommates are all ex-premeds (if there ever is such a word!) and I just wanted to give additional info about my extracurricular experiences and attitude toward other alternatives before suggesting whether I should either give up my unrealistic pursuit of medicine or whether I have a decent chance.

Extracurricular experiences:
-Volunteer tutoring/mentoring in Koreatown near downtown Los Angeles. (4/hrs, week). Was Finance Director my 2nd year, managed money from our student group and provided rides for service.
-Phi Delta Epsilon medical fraternity. Joined my second year. Unfortunately no leadership experience (bs politics surrounding the UCLA chapter... long story), but plenty of volunteer experience, blood drives, etc. (2-10 hours/week)
-Public Health tutoring/mentoring at a public housing project near Santa Monica, CA. Joined 3rd year, earned position of Site Coordinator my 4th year. Managed the site, the curriculum, interns, and even the snacks we gave to the elementary school kids.
-Other random volunteer via church, dorm events, etc...

After graduation:
-Working as a "teacher" (formally tutor) in San Marino, CA at a predominantly Chinese, and super-rich neighborhood. Make $25/hr. Currently my only active thing that I've got going on for now.

Ethnicity, background, etc:
-Korean-American. Born in Sacramento, CA. Always surrounded by whites, was the only Asian kid in school. Did pretty well in high school, got 2180 SAT,, SAT II Chem 800, SATII bio 770, SAT II Math 780 (idk if my background matters anyway)

Based on the info above, should I even bother applying? To be frank, having a "big boy's" job, as opposed to lab tech, research, McDonalds, has given me A LOT of life lessons that being sheltered by academia would have not offered me (such as boss shortchanging paycheck, office politics, interacting w/ co-workers, etc). Would a personal statement involving my work experiences be enticing to the admissions panel, assuming I make it both interesting and relevant?

Additionally, several of my friends and co-workers have suggested that I either do postbac, earn my Masters, or apply for DO school. I refuse to do any of those choices, due to the fact that it is my personal belief that going to school again just to apply for school again is a very inefficient path (since I'd rather get a M.S. in biochem and try to work my way up in the biotech industry), and that I will always regret being "inferior" to MDs if I ever earn my DO, also to mention that I may not be able to practice medicine in Europe (since it is not certified there), if Obamacare makes it difficult for aspiring MD's to make a decent living. PLEASE PLEASE convince me otherwise... :(

Lemme know if you guys need additional info. I sincerely apologize if my post is not coherent and organized at all, since I am not a frequent OP-er at all.

Best regards,

Discouraged in Los Angeles
Have fun at Mc'donalds.
 

113

Removed
Jan 20, 2013
569
11
Cheshire Bridge, ATL
Status
So, if I do consider DO, how good will be my chance of being accepted? I have a coworker who has similar stats (but is like 8 years older than me) who got into 3-5 DO interviews, but no MD's :(

Also, would retaking the MCAT and earning a much higher score (let's say 36) increase my chances somewhat? Or is whatever I have( minus the personal statement) pretty much set in stone?
You'd probably get a few DO interviews if you apply early and broadly enough.

Reference the link in my previous post to see how much a higher MCAT might benefit you.
 

user3

7+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2010
3,279
1,170
Status
Medical Student
Stop being a jackal and apply DO. You want to be a doctor right? Nobody will care what the initials are after your name. I had a doctor who I had no idea whether he was an MD or DO until I got a close look at his ID.
:thumbup:

OP you have GREAT chances for DO. Take advantage.
 
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
81
Status
Pre-Medical
So, if I do consider DO, how good will be my chance of being accepted? I have a coworker who has similar stats (but is like 8 years older than me) who got into 3-5 DO interviews, but no MD's :(

Also, would retaking the MCAT and earning a much higher score (let's say 36) increase my chances somewhat? Or is whatever I have( minus the personal statement) pretty much set in stone?
absolutely. 28 to a 36 is a HUGE jump. but know that even with a 36 (or hell even a 40), MD acceptance will be somewhat difficult with only a 3.3 cGPA and a 3.0 sGPA.

so if you are dead set on MD, then you must do 2 things

1) retake MCAT and get as high as you can (which you are willing/prepared to do)
2) raise both your GPAs (which you aren't willing to do, it seems)
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
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With your numbers, and that attitude, your only choice is a Caribean diploma mill. Just make sure you fork over all four years' worth of tuition at once, and are still breathing when you write the tuition check, because that's all they require.

DOs are considered inferior to MDs only amongst pre-meds and elderly MDs. Go talk to some actual doctors and get their opinions, or better yet, talk to some DOs.

There's always a need for qualified techs in academia and industry, so your future is set.

Ahh, I just noticed your second post. Your 3.0 sGPA will hurt you at some schools, like mine, but you definitely shoudl get some interviews, especially at the newer schools.

Even with a 45 on the MCAT, I think it's unlikely you'll get interviews at MD schools. Your personal statement will NOT overcome a 3.3 GPA

So, if I do consider DO, how good will be my chance of being accepted? I have a coworker who has similar stats (but is like 8 years older than me) who got into 3-5 DO interviews, but no MD's :(

Also, would retaking the MCAT and earning a much higher score (let's say 36) increase my chances somewhat? Or is whatever I have( minus the personal statement) pretty much set in stone?



Additionally, several of my friends and co-workers have suggested that I either do postbac, earn my Masters, or apply for DO school. I refuse to do any of those choices, due to the fact that it is my personal belief that going to school again just to apply for school again is a very inefficient path (since I'd rather get a M.S. in biochem and try to work my way up in the biotech industry), and that I will always regret being "inferior" to MDs if I ever earn my DO, also to mention that I may not be able to practice medicine in Europe (since it is not certified there), if Obamacare makes it difficult for aspiring MD's to make a decent living. PLEASE PLEASE convince me otherwise... :(

Lemme know if you guys need additional info. I sincerely apologize if my post is not coherent and organized at all, since I am not a frequent OP-er at all.
 
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
81
Status
Pre-Medical
With your numbers, and that attitude, your only choice is a Caribean diploma mill. Just make sure you fork over all four years' worth of tuition at once, and are still breathing when you write the tuition check, because that's all they require.

DOs are considered inferior to MDs only amongst pre-meds and elderly MDs. Go talk to some actual doctors and get their opinions, or better yet, talk to some DOs.

There's always a need for qualified techs in academia and industry, so your future is set.

Ahh, I just noticed your second post. Your 3.0 sGPA will hurt you at some schools, like mine, but you definitely shoudl get some interviews, especially at the newer schools.

Even with a 45 on the MCAT, I think it's unlikely you'll get interviews at MD schools. Your personal statement will NOT overcome a 3.3 GPA






Additionally, several of my friends and co-workers have suggested that I either do postbac, earn my Masters, or apply for DO school. I refuse to do any of those choices, due to the fact that it is my personal belief that going to school again just to apply for school again is a very inefficient path (since I'd rather get a M.S. in biochem and try to work my way up in the biotech industry), and that I will always regret being "inferior" to MDs if I ever earn my DO, also to mention that I may not be able to practice medicine in Europe (since it is not certified there), if Obamacare makes it difficult for aspiring MD's to make a decent living. PLEASE PLEASE convince me otherwise... :(

Lemme know if you guys need additional info. I sincerely apologize if my post is not coherent and organized at all, since I am not a frequent OP-er at all.
with all due respect, i strongly disagree with this. 3.3 isn't a terrible GPA, and at my alma mater, the dean showed up a graph with all the undergrads' applicants MCAT and GPA in a grid, GPA on the x-axis, and MCAT on the y-axis. plenty of applicants got at least one acceptance with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.25, and those applicants had a range of MCAT scores (most 34+, of course).

my school also have a good number of 39+ MCATers applying each cycle, and the overwhelming majority (95+ %) of them got at least one acceptance, even though with sub 3.3 GPAs.

However, I have to agree wholeheartedly with Goro when it comes to your attitude. DOs have the exact same responsibilities/privileges as MDs, period. And save for a few uber-competitive residencies, DOs will get you where you want to go, be it internal medicine, surgery, whatever. Also, how does DO not being able to practice in Europe at all relevant in your case? Are you thinking about practicing medicine in Europe? If not, than that fact has zero relevance to your situation. There is nothing wrong with wanting to shoot for an MD; that's what I am planning. But I know that ultimately, graduating from a US medical school is all that's needed to get me what I want to be; whether or not I end with a MD or DO is, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant.

MD isn't out of the picture for you. But you need to willing to raise both of your GPAs and score a 35+ MCAT in order to stand a solid chance.
 
Last edited:

TriagePreMed

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Additionally, several of my friends and co-workers have suggested that I either do postbac, earn my Masters, or apply for DO school. I refuse to do any of those choices, due to the fact that it is my personal belief that going to school again just to apply for school again is a very inefficient path (since I'd rather get a M.S. in biochem and try to work my way up in the biotech industry), and that I will always regret being "inferior" to MDs if I ever earn my DO, also to mention that I may not be able to practice medicine in Europe (since it is not certified there), if Obamacare makes it difficult for aspiring MD's to make a decent living. PLEASE PLEASE convince me otherwise... :(
Then you are done, my friend. Fact is that even with a 35+, you have a horrendous sGPA. MD schools have plenty of options, especially among California and Asian applicants.

I do think you shouldn't bother with DO if that's your attitude. Even with your current stats, you're on for the newer DO schools since the better ones have 3.5 c/sGPA averages. If you'll feel inferior, that's even worse. That's one of the unspoken good things about DO: people that get it often have strong self-esteem because they don't let the opinions of others make them feel inferior.
 

carnelian

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Jul 18, 2012
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with all due respect, i strongly disagree with this. 3.3 isn't a terrible GPA, and at my alma mater, the dean showed up a graph with all the undergrads' applicants MCAT and GPA in a grid, GPA on the x-axis, and MCAT on the y-axis. plenty of applicants got at least one acceptance with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.25, and those applicants had a range of MCAT scores (most 34+, of course).

my school also have a good number of 39+ MCATers applying each cycle, and the overwhelming majority (95+ %) of them got at least one acceptance, even though with sub 3.3 GPAs.
I think the Goro's post was referring to OP's attitude when he said that the personal statement won't overcome the 3.3 GPA. Not criticizing the GPA itself.
 

TriagePreMed

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DO not being able to practice in Europe at all relevant in your case? Are you thinking about practicing medicine in Europe? If not, than that fact has zero relevance to your situation.
http://www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/development/international-osteopathic-medicine/Pages/international-practice-rights-map.aspx

I don't know why it's so prevalent to believe DO cannot practice internationally. There are a ton of countries, including European ones, like the UK, Italy, Greece, Germany, etc. that do accept full scope of practice for DO. I would find it hard to believe that the OP, being Asian, would want to go to an Eastern European Country, Spain or France. Chances are he'd want to stay in an English speaking country.
 
OP
S
Jan 15, 2012
23
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey everyone, thanks for the input. Judging by many of the posts, I am more convinced about taking the DO route. I will find more info on it. I was just worried that going the DO route will limit my opportunities for getting into specialties (i.e. anesthesiology, shadowed one over the summer), and getting hired by hospitals. Again thanks.

Slightly more encouraged in Los Angeles
 
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
81
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Hey everyone, thanks for the input. Judging by many of the posts, I am more convinced about taking the DO route. I will find more info on it. I was just worried that going the DO route will limit my opportunities for getting into specialties (i.e. anesthesiology, shadowed one over the summer), and getting hired by hospitals. Again thanks.

Slightly more encouraged in Los Angeles
a couple things.

MDs are NOT out of the running provided you are willing to do some serious GPA enhancing work and really blow the MCAT out of the water. but getting into a DO will be easier/faster, so you'll have to make that decision.

and regarding DO limiting certain specialties; i am no expert so i can't comment on it much. but many on SDN claim that save for a few extremely competitive specialties (which anesthesiology may or may not belong to), DO is equal to MD, all things considered. but, if you truly want to pursue a super competitive residency and/or academic medicine, then MD will give you an edge, no doubt about it. however, that doesnt mean a DO can't get into those programs.