Fellow Non-trad looking for Advice

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Dec 29, 2006
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I'm posting today in hopes that someone can give some perspective on my current standing as an applicant for the 2009 entering class. I graduated in 2005 with a 3.3 overall GPA and a 3.0 science GPA. After not being accepted to medical school I took a job as a clinical research coordinator (CRC). I quickly moved up to head the department and now have several abstracts to my name as well as a substantial amount of clinical research experience (independent work through large Phase III studies). My job has also allowed me to interact daily with both English and Spanish-speaking patients (take medical history, concomitant medications, draw blood, check vitals, etc), and take an active role during the patient examination. I've taken the MCAT three times: April 2004 (26N), April 2006 (28L), Sept 2007 (31Q). I have not taken any post-grad coursework as my typical work day is about 10 hours. I will be applying in May.
Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated as I've had little to no contact with an advisor for a few years.

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You have some great clinical experience and a great MCAT. You are going to have to work on that science GPA though :(. I would suggest taking any pre-reqs you haven't taken or some upper level science courses to get it up. I have seen a lot of people have these great profiles and have either the MCAT or the GPA not high enough and then get rejected from these great schools that they would otherwise be good candidates for. It happened to me and I've seen it happen to people with great MCAT scores and not great science GPAs. So think about an SMP or a special science post-bac.

Check out the following for starters:

You've got several concerns. First, obviously, that GPA isn't winning any awards. The MCAT is good, but it's after 3 attempts. Taking it again would look bad unless it's a very significant improvement, and that's simply statistically unlikely. Of course, the GPA would be tough to bring up. One thing you might be overlooking, however, is that research job of yours. Now, research is great and looked upon very favorably. However, with your stats, you should be looking at state schools whose mission is to train practicing physicians for their particular state. They may look at your experience and think that you are primarily interested in research, even if that is not the case. You have to really sell yourself to the missions of your target schools.
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Did you have that MCAT score the last time you applied? I would advise working on your GPA at the moment, your clincal and extra-curricular activities are great and will help you tremendously but I have a feeling that your application was rejected initially because of concerns on how you would handle an academic rigorous science curriculum - I don't think your work experience addresses these issues. Take some upper level science courses and bring up that science GPA and you will have a great shot. On the other hand, if that MCAT score is new than give it a shot, that might help alleviate some concerns on how well you'll perform in the sciences.
Agreed that if at all possible, some post-bac classes - or retaking your previous classes - would really help bring up your GPA.

Don't forget to apply broadly and early this fall.

Best of luck!