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MD & DO GPA 3.57; MCAT 35 - Need help with school list, please!

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by jlt2665, May 14, 2014.

  1. jlt2665

    jlt2665 2+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    GPA: 3.57
    MCAT: PS 12, V 10, BS 13
    Major: BS Biochemistry
    Texas Resident

    I know my GPA is not the best, but it’s mostly because of things that happened during my junior year:
    • Watched 3 loved ones die from cancer (actually having to commute back and forth between cities as often as I could because each had terminal cancer and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with them)
    • Had a good friend get run over by a bus (it was a freak accident)
    • And then I was diagnosed with cervical cancer
    I ended up making a 2.7 that year. Besides my junior year, I made around a 3.6-4.0 every semester. I was wondering which schools would be forgiving with my GPA?

    I didn’t want to risk applying last cycle because my GPA had dropped so much. I enrolled in a post-bacc program instead and got another 4.0, so there is an upward trend from my junior year.

    · 1 year as an elementary school student teacher (Not a tutor; I actually taught my own lessons and wrote some lesson plans)
    · 2 Medical Brigades to Honduras
    · 3 years involved in Colleges Against Cancer: 1 year as the Relay for Life logistics chair, 1 year as a Luminaria committee member, and 1 year as a general member.
    · Currently working as an ER scribe for 8 months (20+ hours per week)
    · Volunteered at a Psychiatric Hospital for a year (>100 Hours)
    · Currently volunteering at on a typical patient floor for 3.5 months (Around 40 hours so far)
    · Marathoner and Fundraiser: Ran in 2 marathons for Team Livestrong and the LA marathon for the ThinkCure! Foundation. Fundraised over $1,500 for Livestrong and just a meager $250 for ThinkCure.
    · 3 years in a Sorority: T-shirt chair one semester, philanthropy committee one semester
    · One semester so far of research experience at a medical school (worked 12-15 hours per week); no publications
    · 2 years in a typical prehealth honor society

    I was wondering if my ECs were pretty okay? After reading a bunch of other people’s, I’m beginning to feel like mine are really lackluster.

    Application strategy:
    I want to keep my application as well rounded as possible and not repetitive, so my personal statement describes my reasons for pursuing medicine and my works/activities/most meaningful experiences describe what I’ve done to show that I’m committed to medicine, what I’ve done to solidify my choice, and what I've done to show that I'm a worthy candidate. I was wondering if this was a good strategy (To keep the PS separate from Works/Activities)?

    I worked on my PS for a little under a year, and I’ve gotten good feedback on my personal statement from my academic advisors, my university’s writing center, and some people on SDN, so I’m fairly confident that it is pretty strong.

    All schools in Texas: UTMB, UT Houston, UTSA, UT Southwestern (reach), Baylor (reach), UNT, Texas Tech, Texas Tech Paul Foster, Texas A/M

    Florida Atlantic
    George Washington
    Loma Linda
    NY Medical College
    Penn State
    University of Washington
    University of Illinois

    I’m really not sure of my chances of getting into an MD program. The goal is to become a physician, so if need be, I’ll apply to some DO schools. Some that I would consider applying to (besides UNT) include: NSU, PCOM, PCOM Georgia

    I really need help editing my list so I can ensure I’ll get into somewhere this upcoming cycle.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this long post!!! All of y'all who do are really so great. :):):):):)
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  3. sheepdog1992


    May 14, 2014
    This is just my opinion. I'm obviously not an expert lol

    I think you have really good EC's, especially the 3 years in Colleges Against Cancer. Since you have one outlier of bad GPA due to substantial reasons, I think you (should be) able to justify that and they (should) consider it. Otherwise, you have a good MCAT and seemingly good EC's. Since you're a Texas resident, I really believe that your chances to get into an MD program should be good.

    Hope that helps!
  4. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Very sorry to hear of all your troubles. Hope the cancer is under control? You obviously have a LOT to write about for your PS and secondaries!

    The "V" shaped curve will hurt less than you think. The key is to apply strategically

    ECs are fine. I have a soft spot for anyone willing to be a teacher.

    Goro suggests

    UT Houston,
    UT Southwestern
    Texas Tech,
    Texas Tech Paul Foster,
    Texas A/M

    Florida Atlantic
    Loma Linda (have you read their abstinence policies?)
    Wake Forest
    NY Medical College
    Penn State
    All other new MD schools
    Any DO school
  5. ThisCouldBeYou


    Oct 27, 2013
    You have great ECs. The fact that you're a TX resident will help/hurt you. One buddy of mine is a TX resident, super strong candidate. Got into all the TX schools, but not anywhere else. I guess they figured he'd go there, especially since tuition is so advantageous. They were right.
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
    DokterMom and gyngyn like this.
  6. jlt2665

    jlt2665 2+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    Thank y'all for y'alls input! I probably just have low confidence with my application, but I'd rather be realistic and put forth the best application I possibly can then to be overly confident and end up reapplying next cycle. But y'alls opinions make me feel a little better about it:)

    As of now, we are monitoring my condition. Luckily it's benign, so there is a chance for it to clear on its own. I opted not to have a partial hysterectomy or LEEP because of the risk of infertility and because I'm so young. If it starts to metastasize, then I will do what I need to treat it. The reason it struck me so much was because I had just seen someone die from cancer around 4 months prior, so it was kind of the cherry on top of my sundae.

    I did read Loma Linda's abstinence policy. I'm not entirely sure if they would like reading about a girl who has cervical cancer (since there is pretty much only one way to contract it), but I don't drink/smoke. One of my loved ones had pancreatic cancer, the other was a smoker with lung cancer, so, I've kind of learned from them. My decisions aren't rooted in religion, but they do coincide with their policy.

    And I kind of figured that being a Texas might be somewhat detrimental to my AMCAS application, but I'm really hoping that it doesn't impact it too much. It would be great to stay in Texas, no doubt, but I want to increase my chances of being accepted, and applying broadly will do that.

    Thanks again for y'alls time!!:happy::happy::happy:
  7. DokterMom

    DokterMom 2+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2013
    Why so much insecurity? You've got really good numbers and a compelling story. One academic blemish, but in light of all you went through that year, it's barely a blip.

    Apply everywhere in Texas and in my honest opinion, drop everything else that you would not choose OVER a cheap Texas acceptance. (Remember, the cost difference is going to run around $2,300 per month in loan repayments after you graduate.)

    Texas schools love Texans, so they'll read your application. (Your OOS schools get 10,000 applications!) You've got a lot going for you -- Great MCAT, ECs, good enough grades and a 'rebound' to prove you're back on your game. What's not to love?

    Out of state mid-tiers generally DO NOT like Texans because they know that if you're a good enough applicant, you're likely to get an in-state acceptance, and highly likely to accept it since it's so cheap. The flip side is that if you don't get an in-state acceptance, there's the implication that you were not a good enough applicant, bombed your interview, had no social skills, etc. With nine schools to choose from, presumably one of them would like you if you were qualified, right? So they'll generally save their interview invitations for students who are more likely to matriculate if accepted -- simple yield management -- or if they want you enough to throw $40,000 per year at you to neutralize the cost difference, then...

    If you want to apply out of state, aim HIGH, not LOW. Baylor and UTSW are wonderful schools. Very few schools are considered better. The ones that are would be willing to consider your application because they believe you will be willing to consider them.
    gyngyn likes this.

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