Aug 21, 2015
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Hi SDN,

I am not sure where to begin; but here it goes. I went to Miami Dade College-Honors College, it is not a community college anymore. I graduated with an overall GPA of 3.9. I transferred to UNC-CH for my junior and senior year. During my first semester, I took Orgo 1, Molecular BIo/Genetics, Nutrition, History, Life fitness (requirement), and the lab for genetics. Unfortunately, I did not do so well on Orgo and Molecular Bio/Genetics; I got a D on both. I was not expecting it to be so hard. On my second semester, I began to study harder and began to improve my grades. I went from getting Cs, to getting Bs, and As, towards the end of my time there. I ended up graduating a semester early, at the end of the Fall semester 2012, from UNC with my bachelors in Biology; so that I could study for the MCAT. I ended up taking the MCAT over the spring semester and taking Orgo 1 and 2 (including labs) again in Miami Dade College (because it was cheaper and because I didn't have to apply to any transient student programs nor select a major to take the classes).I know I should have taken Orgo 1 and 2 elsewhere, like Florida International University or any other University; but I was having money issues. But I was in the top 5% of the class with the second highest grade in the class. I ended up getting As on Orgo 1 and 2, and a B and an A on the lab 1 and 2, respectively.

Here is my cumulative GPA so far (taken from my 2013 AAMC application for the year of 2014):
Cumulative Undergraduate 3.34 (BCPM) 3.73 (AO) 3.49(Total)

I took the MCAT twice (both in 2012) before I graduated from UNC. I took it once to get a feel for it; I felt confident on it and so I selected to have it scored and ended up getting a 13. My parents pushed me to take it again the next month so that I could apply before I graduated from UNC. I did some light studying for MCAT and ended getting 18. This is when I decided not to apply and just graduate and prepare for the next MCAT in March and apply in July of 2013. I ended up studying using Exam Crackers and got the same score of 18. I went on applying to MD schools anyways (in 2013). I was so cocky back then; and as you might have guessed, I did not get in.
For the year of 2014, I couldn't find a job since the summer of 2013 and I let my negative MCAT performance get the best of me. I pretty much ended up wasting that year. I did do some volunteering on the weekends on a hospice. At the beginning of 2014, I began to read books on investing, business management, entrepreneurship, securities, etc. I decided to study, meanwhile I figure out what to do with my life, for the MCAT. Over the summer of 2014, I took a Princeton review class and began to see an improvement on my scores. I was getting mid 30s on the practices tests. When I took the real MCAT, in October, I ended up getting a 20. I even got more discouraged to get into medical school. At the beginning of 2015. I decided that I was going to start my own business and began to learn HTML and Wordpress to launch a web site business. I also got my life insurance and variable annuities/securities license. Strangely enough, I gathered the strength and courage to continue with my dream of being a doctor. I began to encourage myself to do better and ended taking TPR again for the new MCAT over the spring. In july 2015, I took the test again and got a 490. Two weeks ago, I got a CNA position near UNC. On my way up, from Miami, to NC, I stopped by UF college of Medicine. I talked to an advisor and realized that I haven't improved much since my MD application in 2013.
On my road trip, I reflected a lot and decided not to apply for the 2016 academic year, against my parents wishes. They want me to take the test in September 23, 2015 so that I could apply now, since I have my application completed. I also realized how bad I want to become a Doctor and I am willing to do anything it takes to get in and become a doctor.
Nevertheless, I start my job soon; but I feel that I should go back home in Miami instead and do more volunteering in the hospital, do some volunteering doing medical research in UMiami, take some classes in Florida International Universit: like Biochem, statistics, retake Genetics. I know that I need to focus more on Biochem because I saw it a lot on the new MCAT and I wasn't prepared for it. Before I left Miami, I talked to someone at UM and the told me I could become a medical research volunteer to build up my resume and my application to medical school. My only concern is that I haven't been able to find a job since my last undergrad position as a clinical research assistant in 2012. So, leaving my CNA position is a huge risk. But one of my friends talked to the dean of medicine at UNC, and he says that doing research (for instance, in Infectious diseases or cancer) somewhere where there is a strong patient interaction is better than being a CNA.
1)What do you think I should do? Should I stay in NC and stick with my CNA? or go back home and better myself?

2)Should I apply to schools outside the US? or just wait to apply next year and better my self?

3)Also how can I improve my MCAT scores drastically? I am willing to study harder and longer than before; but I am sure that I don't have the right techniques. My true weakness in Verbal/CARS. 4)Should I retake the test in september? (The material is still in my head and I am sure that if I study hard enough I could get at least a 500, something the advisor at UF said could help but is not enough to be competitive enough).


P.S
I do have 1 year of clinical research experience and 6 months of shadowing doctors and PAs I also dread having to take another year of to apply to medical school; but I know it is absolute necessary. I have been slapped in the face by life and now I am aware that it is harder to get in to medical school than I had previously thought. I will be more involved in the SDN network and learn more things about making myself a better applicant. AND PLEASE EXCUSE MY BAD GRAMMAR, I AM FREAKING OUT ABOUT WHAT TO DO!
 
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DrMidlife

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I think you're saying:
2012 MCAT #1: 13
2012 MCAT #2: 18
2012 MCAT #3: 18
2014: MCAT #4: 20
2015 MCAT #5: 490

You need to get away from your parents. They do not understand med school or med school admissions. They need you to become a doctor for reasons that have nothing to do with you. Their goals for you are ridiculous.

Applying to med school in September is a complete waste of time and money.

Taking the MCAT 5-6 times doesn't help you, it hurts you. It says you need 5-6 tries to pass a long test. There are about 100 more long tests, harder than the MCAT, in med school. And after.

You are exactly the student the Carib loves to accept, because you'll fail out after paying a lot of money for a year or two, before you're allowed to do risky things that are expensive to the school. You'll be in the half of the class that leaves the island early with $100k debt and no degree.

You need to get away from your parents.

Best of luck to you.
 
OP
N
Aug 21, 2015
3
7
I think you're saying:
2012 MCAT #1: 13
2012 MCAT #2: 18
2012 MCAT #3: 18
2014: MCAT #4: 20
2015 MCAT #5: 490

You need to get away from your parents. They do not understand med school or med school admissions. They need you to become a doctor for reasons that have nothing to do with you. Their goals for you are ridiculous.

Applying to med school in September is a complete waste of time and money.

Taking the MCAT 5-6 times doesn't help you, it hurts you. It says you need 5-6 tries to pass a long test. There are about 100 more long tests, harder than the MCAT, in med school. And after.

You are exactly the student the Carib loves to accept, because you'll fail out after paying a lot of money for a year or two, before you're allowed to do risky things that are expensive to the school. You'll be in the half of the class that leaves the island early with $100k debt and no degree.
You need to get away from your parents.

Best of luck to you.
Yeah, I understand that my parents don't get med school admissions. So, I will be making my own decisions. Once I commit to something, I always follow through no matter what. What makes you think I will fall out of school? My real concern now is how can I make myself a stronger candidate for next year? Should I get a masters? more volunteering in a research setting? etc
 

DrMidlife

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490 is a bottom 20% score, on your 5th take. You got another 20. Put the shovel down.

Getting in to med school is not what you should be thinking about. There's nothing here that says you'll be getting through.

In med school you take tests like the MCAT, constantly, on new material, with longer and longer questions to read before you can answer. Fine, fail one exam, move on, no retakes. Struggle on more than one exam and you are in deep shlt. If you need to remediate or repeat a year you trash your residency choices, and your med school wants you gone. Failing a board exam is career suicide. Getting a low board score is pretty darned suicidal.

Be willing to care about how miserable this will be. Be willing to do something that won't suck so hard. Be willing to have the imagination and initiative to consider one of the bazillion other things you can do with your life. Let it go.
 

gyngyn

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This MCAT history is chilling.
It reveals 3 years and 5 attempts to plateau at the 20th percentile.
The only MD school with a 10th% at your best score is San Juan Bautista.
I don't think 5 attempts would convince them that you are a good risk, though.

There are many ways to be of service that don't require rapid fire, high-stakes standardized testing to succeed. Medicine is not one of them.
 
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GrapesofRath

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Working as a CNA for a couple years and considering applying to PA school in a few years once you have sufficient patient contact hours might be feasible.

The question is what represents your abilities more accurately: a 3.5/3.35 from a very competitive school like UNC(which is a GPA that has gotten people into PA school and coming from such a competitive school reveals you have the abilty to handle a solid courseload) or the disasterous series of MCATs for you. For medical school the answer is clear which one it is. For PA school it might not be as clear but taking the MCAT 5 times and not breaking 20 calls into question your reasoning skills to a serious degree. And PA school might not have as many standardized tests as medical school but the workload is still absolutely brutal while you're there.

Either way we are getting ahead of ourselves. There are many potential paths in the health field that pay well that don't have an MD or DO attached to them. Pharmacy school could be an option potentially. Nursing school. Potentially optometry school. Pathology Assistant could be of interest to you as well. But there comes a point where you have to adapt and realize the reality of the situation that pursuing a career in medicine simply is not the best path to go.
 

md-2020

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Working as a CNA for a couple years and considering applying to PA school in a few years once you have sufficient patient contact hours might be feasible.

The question is what represents your abilities more accurately: a 3.5/3.35 from a very competitive school like UNC(which is a GPA that has gotten people into PA school and coming from such a competitive school reveals you have the abilty to handle a solid courseload) or the disasterous series of MCATs for you. For medical school the answer is clear which one it is. For PA school it might not be as clear but taking the MCAT 5 times and not breaking 20 calls into question your reasoning skills to a serious degree. And PA school might not have as many standardized tests as medical school but the workload is still absolutely brutal while you're there.

Either way we are getting ahead of ourselves. There are many potential paths in the health field that pay well that don't have an MD or DO attached to them. Pharmacy school could be an option potentially. Nursing school. Potentially optometry school. Pathology Assistant could be of interest to you as well. But there comes a point where you have to adapt and realize the reality of the situation that pursuing a career in medicine simply is not the best path to go.
OP's GPA is very inflated from 2 years at a CC like school (isn't Miami-Dade a CC? Idk). Their UNC GPA is most likely more along the lines of 3.0/2.5


Agree w/ everyone's concern about 5 disastrous test results, unfortunately that's gonna be the end for med school.
 

Goro

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100% agree with my sage colleague.

OP, it seems that you have plateaued your MCAT abilities, and they're not going to get any better. Your scores, and the inability to improve them indicate a high risk for failing out of med school and/or failing boards.

You also display a high degree of risky behavior and poor-choice making. That alone would get you rejected at my school.

It's time for Plan B. Sticking with CNA is sound.

And you're an adult now. You're old enough to vote, drink, drive, smoke, work, pay taxes, and fight and die for your country. You're thus old enough to grow a spine and stand up to your parents. Their dreams of you being a doctor are over.


I think you're saying:
2012 MCAT #1: 13
2012 MCAT #2: 18
2012 MCAT #3: 18
2014: MCAT #4: 20
2015 MCAT #5: 490

You need to get away from your parents. They do not understand med school or med school admissions. They need you to become a doctor for reasons that have nothing to do with you. Their goals for you are ridiculous.

Applying to med school in September is a complete waste of time and money.

Taking the MCAT 5-6 times doesn't help you, it hurts you. It says you need 5-6 tries to pass a long test. There are about 100 more long tests, harder than the MCAT, in med school. And after.

You are exactly the student the Carib loves to accept, because you'll fail out after paying a lot of money for a year or two, before you're allowed to do risky things that are expensive to the school. You'll be in the half of the class that leaves the island early with $100k debt and no degree.

You need to get away from your parents.

Best of luck to you.
 

W19

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This MCAT history is chilling.
It reveals 3 years and 5 attempts to plateau at the 20th percentile.
The only MD school with a 10th% at your best score is San Juan Bautista.
I don't think 5 attempts would convince them that you are a good risk, though.

There are many ways to be of service that don't require rapid fire, high-stakes standardized testing to succeed. Medicine is not one of them.
Not only that, Spanish is probably the first language of most of these students... I would encourage OP to find another career in healthcare if he/she want to work with people... Just do a 3-year BSN to NP program... Or try PA if you can get a good GRE score...

Even the new DO schools won't take the bait after 5 MCAT attempts...
 
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OP
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Aug 21, 2015
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Thanks for the comments guys. But I want to inform you that I managed to get into Medical School this year, entering 2017. I worked as a CNA for nearly a year, took more science classes in college, and got a 502 on the MCAT. Granted, I was getting 510s on the Princeton Review Practice tests, which some say its harder. I got a bit nervous on the actual test and I am sure that affected my performance. Nevertheless, I persisted and will be attending medical school in the United States this August!

Thanks for your encouragement.
 

md-2020

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Thanks for the comments guys. But I want to inform you that I managed to get into Medical School this year, entering 2017. I worked as a CNA for nearly a year, took more science classes in college, and got a 502 on the MCAT. Granted, I was getting 510s on the Princeton Review Practice tests, which some say its harder. I got a bit nervous on the actual test and I am sure that affected my performance. Nevertheless, I persisted and will be attending medical school in the United States this August!

Thanks for your encouragement.
Glad I was wrong!

Enjoy the summer before the soul crushing med-school routine sets in this fall ;)
 
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gyngyn

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Thanks for the comments guys. But I want to inform you that I managed to get into Medical School this year, entering 2017. I worked as a CNA for nearly a year, took more science classes in college, and got a 502 on the MCAT. Granted, I was getting 510s on the Princeton Review Practice tests, which some say its harder. I got a bit nervous on the actual test and I am sure that affected my performance. Nevertheless, I persisted and will be attending medical school in the United States this August!

Thanks for your encouragement.
Thanks for letting us know.
If you could tell us where you you got in it would help us counsel others.
 

W19

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Thanks for the comments guys. But I want to inform you that I managed to get into Medical School this year, entering 2017. I worked as a CNA for nearly a year, took more science classes in college, and got a 502 on the MCAT. Granted, I was getting 510s on the Princeton Review Practice tests, which some say its harder. I got a bit nervous on the actual test and I am sure that affected my performance. Nevertheless, I persisted and will be attending medical school in the United States this August!

Thanks for your encouragement.
Wow! You got in after 6 MCAT attempts! You are very persistent. Kudos dude!
 

Surgeongirl

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Thanks for the comments guys. But I want to inform you that I managed to get into Medical School this year, entering 2017. I worked as a CNA for nearly a year, took more science classes in college, and got a 502 on the MCAT. Granted, I was getting 510s on the Princeton Review Practice tests, which some say its harder. I got a bit nervous on the actual test and I am sure that affected my performance. Nevertheless, I persisted and will be attending medical school in the United States this August!

Thanks for your encouragement.
This is very inspirational and I'm Glad you didn't give up! Which school did you get into if it's ok to ask?
 

DrfluffyMD

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First step on a long journey.
 

steo55

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Thanks for the comments guys. But I want to inform you that I managed to get into Medical School this year, entering 2017. I worked as a CNA for nearly a year, took more science classes in college, and got a 502 on the MCAT. Granted, I was getting 510s on the Princeton Review Practice tests, which some say its harder. I got a bit nervous on the actual test and I am sure that affected my performance. Nevertheless, I persisted and will be attending medical school in the United States this August!

Thanks for your encouragement.
Congrats!!! Glad you didn't give up on your dream! May I ask which medical school you got into? :)