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For the sake of clarification, chance me.

Only a freshman in college, but I'm owning up to my mistakes as early as I possibly can and doing what I can to amend them. I'm a believer of having all my bases covered, and want to do things right the first time around--rather than be that depressed senior undergraduate asking what to do about a 3.0 GPA.

I currently have a 2.8 GPA. My science GPA, however, is a 1.3. This is because I have only taken three real science classes in college: Chemistry, Biology, and Algebra. I took Chemistry while still in high school and failed it, because I skipped the final exam. I took Biology last year and withdrew, then enrolled later for an online class and made a D. Then comes Algebra, which is a B because I actually put effort into it.

This looks very bad, and it is bad. I know that this will be asked about this down the line, but I am done feeling bad about it and all I'm interested in is working hard. And I have been, my grades are better now and I am waiting until I transfer to a four-year to take any more science classes--which I plan on working hard in. Obviously I am at a disadvantage, even with showing an upward trend.

I will have thirty-one credit hours done when this semester ends.

Volunteer hours: Low right now, but rising due to volunteering in the ER weekly.

Shadowing hours: None, plan on starting that soon.

MCAT: Obviously I haven't taken it yet.

I am starting a research project when I transfer next year and am planning a major in the sciences. I want to know exactly what I must do to improve, and what my chances are if I do improve.

If anyone interested needs any more information about my academic status in order to offer advice and criticism, I'll be happy to share it.
 

TriagePreMed

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    Bottom line: too soon to tell.

    The biology and Algebra are "forgivable" down the road if you do really well in higher biology and math because the bio is not a lab science and the algebra is a low level math course. The chemistry follows the same rules as previously but is considered a prerequisite which means retaking it is the best course of action.

    For MD, 30 credits with a ~B- average can be countered by straight A's until graduation to get about a 3.7, which is fairly competitive. The upward trend will help too. Problems will happen as soon as you hit 3.7 average in the rest of the courses because you get about a 3.5ish GPA that starts being below competitive.

    For DO, you have plenty of time to do retakes on the current grades and put your GPA to a stellar number.

    A last suggestion is not to major in the sciences if you continue to have difficulty with them. Better to get a decent GPA in science and then do something easier to get your GPA to survive.

    As for EC, it's good that you're beginning early. Try to get some leadership in there. There's probably at least one club on campus desperate for a chairman of some kind.
     
    What I'm aiming for is a MD/PhD program. Forensic pathology interests me and I would like the opportunity for a fellowship, provided I got into medical school, and was successful with all of the "before" steps. So, I know I definitely need to be competitive. I realized this at the beginning of this semester and started making A's.

    A DO/PhD program would definitely be interesting to look into if, down the line, I never made it into the allopathic route.

    I had no idea that I was being early on some EC's, if you were to ask me I would say I'm barely going at a good pace when it comes to that. In any case, thanks for the insight.

    I like the cation pun, too.
     
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    I'm taking thirteen credit hours this term, and will be taking the same amount next term. My GPA will be a 2.8 at the end of this semester, I calculated it as current in the opening post.

    I'm a bit neurotic about my GPA ever since I started turning my school life around. I update it pretty much weekly and keep a record of my current percentages in each class. It actually relives more stress for me than anything, because I know where I stand and I can relax comfortably if I know I'm doing okay.

    My GPA should jump considerably higher next semester when I retake a course or two that I made D's in. I calculated retakes into the change in GPA, and it's still a considerable leap. Provided I make A's, of course.
     

    torshi

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      Only a freshman in college, but I'm owning up to my mistakes as early as I possibly can and doing what I can to amend them. I'm a believer of having all my bases covered, and want to do things right the first time around--rather than be that depressed senior undergraduate asking what to do about a 3.0 GPA.

      I currently have a 2.8 GPA. My science GPA, however, is a 1.3. This is because I have only taken three real science classes in college: Chemistry, Biology, and Algebra. I took Chemistry while still in high school and failed it, because I skipped the final exam. I took Biology last year and withdrew, then enrolled later for an online class and made a D. Then comes Algebra, which is a B because I actually put effort into it.

      This looks very bad, and it is bad. I know that this will be asked about this down the line, but I am done feeling bad about it and all I'm interested in is working hard. And I have been, my grades are better now and I am waiting until I transfer to a four-year to take any more science classes--which I plan on working hard in. Obviously I am at a disadvantage, even with showing an upward trend.

      I will have thirty-one credit hours done when this semester ends.

      Volunteer hours: Low right now, but rising due to volunteering in the ER weekly.

      Shadowing hours: None, plan on starting that soon.

      MCAT: Obviously I haven't taken it yet.

      I am starting a research project when I transfer next year and am planning a major in the sciences. I want to know exactly what I must do to improve, and what my chances are if I do improve.

      If anyone interested needs any more information about my academic status in order to offer advice and criticism, I'll be happy to share it.

      You still have time to have a major upward trend in GPA since you are currently a freshman, only if you are really dedicated tho, straight A's for now...

      Also, scores are not the only thing you should worry about when it pertains to med school, obviously you have some EC's in mind such as volunteering, and shadowing etc.
      I recommend get all these done before your junior year is over, so get to it.

      Volunteering at the most 100 hrs, no need for more.
      Shadowing 2-3 docs, (Including primary care doc.) 60-80 hours total.

      Start that research project.
      Also, any EC's non-related to medicine is fine. Get involved, freshman year is perfect for all this to happen.

      As for your GPA, you need to rock it for the next couple years then you will be fine, it's too soon to give the "chances for med school" for you, since your only a freshman. you have a lot of time to improve. Also, rock the MCAT+ all the EC's and you will be fine.
       
      Sounds good. As for EC's, I have a ton of interests outside of medicine. I do martial arts, and am looking into writing for the student newspaper on campus when I transfer--as well as joining the French club to help with my learning to be bilingual. (Biophysics major/French minor.)

      Sometimes I worry about becoming some kind of Jack of All Trades, Master of None--but I just follow what I'm passionate about. I've even considered taking up piano lessons on the side.
       

      TriagePreMed

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        If MD/Ph.D is your goal, you must maintain as close to a 4.0 from now on. Personally, I think Unless you are URM and demonstrate research interest in minority issues, you've put yourself into a world of hurt already if that's your goal; most people in those programs are close to a 4.0 GPA.

        Retakes don't erase previous grades for MD, so you should calculate them as being another class.
         

        TriagePreMed

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          Catalystik

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            I have a ton of interests outside of medicine. I do martial arts, and am looking into writing for the student newspaper on campus when I transfer--as well as joining the French club to help with my learning to be bilingual. (Biophysics major/French minor.)
            Maybe you shouldn't be distracting yourself with too many ECs at this point when your first priority is to figure out how to get high grades. Most would take their first year to figure out new study strategies to accommodate the faster learning pace in college.
             
            Fair enough. I've learned new study strategies already, but I may need the downtime to adjust to university level.

            Also, TriagePreMed, I am not a URM. I am, more or less, southern white trash who has family members in trailers sporting Confederate flags. I'm a bit of a black sheep in my family when it comes to my liberal values and desire for education, but unfortunately I don't think this alone will be an advantage in the application process. That only happens if your skin is a different color I guess.

            Based on another thread of mine, I plan on contacting someone in the biophysics department tomorrow and asking some questions. I have plenty of time to re-evaluate my major and decide if it's right for me.
             
            Nov 24, 2007
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              On the bright side, Pathology is not competitive. If you can get in to school, you'll be fine. It doesn't seem that science and math are easy for you. That's fine, if you can get your act together. As for MD/PhD, the fellowship applicants I've seen, and the MD/PhD students in my school were extraordinarily bright. As in 4.0 while doing significant research projects while in college. I don't see that in your future, unless you make dramatic changes (like you're an alcoholic or never attend class, etc).
               

              TriagePreMed

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                Also, TriagePreMed, I am not a URM. I am, more or less, southern white trash who has family members in trailers sporting Confederate flags. I'm a bit of a black sheep in my family when it comes to my liberal values and desire for education, but unfortunately I don't think this alone will be an advantage in the application process. That only happens if your skin is a different color I guess.
                You could apply as a disadvantaged student, which would give you an edge.
                 

                StIGMA

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                  Advice: Focus on your GPA and only your GPA for now. Put med school out of your mind for a bit, you won't even be applying for 2 years. Put MD vs MD/PhD out of your mind, put pathology out of your mind... all these are nice to think about, but they are distracting from your current goal of LEARNING YOUR COURSEWORK and SETTING A FOUNDATION OF KNOWLEDGE for future classes.

                  Fact is, even when you are applying, if you choose MD/PhD or MD, there is still a high chance that you will be unsure about your decision. 3-4 extra years... is it worth it? These are big decisions that you will be able to make in the future... if you setup the foundation now. Pathology, fellowships, other fields? Man, you are at least 5 years off from having a foundation to intelligently consider these things. Bottom line is you can do research with an MD or MD/PhD, and you won't know the differences in the pathways until you have a lot more experience, including lab work. So keep it in your mind - even knowing about MD/PhD programs puts you ahead of the game at this point - but you have to set yourself up for them. Note that some DO/PhD programs do not cover tuition/stipend for medical school, and these programs are also considered undesirable as far as MD/PhD programs go.

                  Do well in your classes. If you start doing REALLY well in your classes, consider entering lab work in your mid-sophomore year or the summer after your sophomore year [you mentioned starting a project now... if you do, DO NOT sacrifice your grades. Check out the MD/PhD forum FAQ to see what GPA's are expected]. At this point, GPA is #1, and believe it or not, foundations in biology, O-chem, etc. will allow you to get higher grades in advanced biology classes, biochemistry, etc will a little bit more ease.

                  Best of luck!
                   
                  Okay, thank you for the advice.

                  I've had a lot of questions answered and the answers have been invaluable. I'm sure I'll have more, when I come back. I'm taking more or less a break from the internet while I study for finals this week.
                   
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