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GPA off-putting for top 20s?

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fuzzydoc303

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Let me preface by saying I realize this post is a reflection of my neuroticism.

I have a relative on the board of admissions at a top 10 med school who told me that my GPA of 3.88 as an ORM may slightly put off top 20 schools I am applying to.

Is a 3.88 good enough for top programs? Would there have been a meaningful difference in my application if I had, say, a 3.95 instead of a 3.88? Thanks in advance for your advice!
 

PhilzCoffeeAddict

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More things are consider aside from GPA... MCAT scores, extracurriculars, community service, research, etc.
 
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Checklist

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I got into at least one top 10 with a lower GPA than you and am not URM. Can't imagine there's any real difference between 3.88 and 3.95. Kill your MCAT and do solid research, ideally with pubs.
 
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Microbug

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Nah, everyone knows you need a 4.0 and MCAT 528 to be competitive.
 
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fuzzydoc303

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Thanks for your advice everyone. As you all know this is a scary process, and your words are more than helpful in easing my nerves.
 

Goro

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Let me preface by saying I realize this post is a reflection of my neuroticism.

I have a relative on the board of admissions at a top 10 med school who told me that my GPA of 3.88 as an ORM may slightly put off top 20 schools I am applying to.

Is a 3.88 good enough for top programs? Would there have been a meaningful difference in my application if I had, say, a 3.95 instead of a 3.88? Thanks in advance for your advice!
The median at Top Schools is 3.9! This person is an idiot.
 
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altblue

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giphy.gif

Hopkins when they see a 3.88.
 
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fuzzydoc303

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Haha okay thanks guys. Glad to hear I'm just being paranoid. I'll tell my cousin that Goro says he's an idiot :)
 
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PreMedMissteps

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Is a 3.88 good enough for top programs?



Your preoccupation with “top programs” is a bigger problem. What’s up with that? Family pressure/expectations?

What if you get into a top 50 med? Do you think your medical career will be derailed?
 
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MDPedigree

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Your preoccupation with “top programs” is a bigger problem. What’s up with that? Family pressure/expectations?

What if you get into a top 50 med? Do you think your medical career will be derailed?
Some people just have an inherent drive to be the best of the best. It was not enough for Michael Jordan to be getting paid millions of dollars to play professional basketball. He still woke up at 4am everyday and practiced for hours on end when most professional basketball players would have fulfilled their obligations and would still be getting over their hangover. He was driven to be the best.

Who are the people who get into Harvard, Hopkins? The people who are driven to be the best. There is nothing wrong with wanting that for yourself. Stay Hungry; Stay Foolish. Never Settle.
 
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altblue

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Some people just have an inherent drive to be the best of the best. It was not enough for Michael Jordan to be getting paid millions of dollars to play professional basketball. He still woke up at 4am everyday and practiced for hours on end when most professional basketball players would have fulfilled their obligations and would still getting over their hangover. He was driven to be the best.

Who are the people who get into Harvard, Hopkins? The people who are driven to be the best. There is nothing wrong with wanting that for yourself. Stay Hungry; Stay Foolish. Never Settle.
Shouldn't he be worried about being the best doctor, rather than the doctor with the best pedigree?
 
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MDPedigree

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Shouldn't he be worried about being the best doctor, rather than the doctor with the best pedigree?
One could argue that going to a top school gives you the best chance to be the best doctor (Best research, facilities, experts in their fields). It definitely does not hurt your chances. And people pursue MD's for a plethora of different reasons.. some people want to go into academia or research.. if thats the case.. going to the best school UNDOUBTEDLY makes an impact.
 

altblue

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One could argue that going to a top school gives you the best chance to be the best doctor (Best research, facilities, experts in their fields). It definitely does not hurt your chances. And people pursue MD's for a plethora of different reasons.. some people want to go into academia or research.. if thats the case.. going to the best school UNDOUBTEDLY makes an impact.
I'm sure it does. But I don't think you can reduce the soft skills that go into effective medicine into a simple pedigree.
 
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MDPedigree

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I'm sure it does. But I don't think you can reduce the soft skills that go into effective medicine into a simple pedigree.
All else equal though, if his soft skills remain as best as they can be, the better schools open more opportunities. Going to a top 50 will not give you better soft skills than going to a top 5. My pediatrician is the nicest man I have ever met, he got his MD from Harvard. Another doctor I was volunteering under was the biggest douche doctor I have ever met, he went to UMASS.
 

Siromas

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Thanks for your advice everyone. As you all know this is a scary process, and your words are more than helpful in easing my nerves.

OP, your GPA shouldn't be holding you back anywhere- just apply appropriately.

With a solid MCAT and the right mix of EC's, you will be a very competitive applicant.
 

PreMedMissteps

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Some people just have an inherent drive to be the best of the best. It was not enough for Michael Jordan to be getting paid millions of dollars to play professional basketball. He still woke up at 4am everyday and practiced for hours on end when most professional basketball players would have fulfilled their obligations and would still getting over their hangover. He was driven to be the best.

Who are the people who get into Harvard, Hopkins? The people who are driven to be the best. There is nothing wrong with wanting that for yourself. Stay Hungry; Stay Foolish. Never Settle.


It’s fine to reach for the stars, but it’s a bad idea to be so preoccupied with attending a top 20 med school that if accepted lower, the student thinks that their future is limited.

While reaching for the stars, it’s a good idea to remain realistic and be ready to happily accept the top 50 (or lower!) med school that may accept you.

@MDPedigree You may think that’s settling. It’s not. It’s accepting reality and then making the most of it.

The student can still reach again when it comes to matching at a top residency by getting top step scores, etc, etc.

I know a young doctor who went to her state school, which is probably top 50 in both research and primary care rankings. She did very well, followed a well-thought-out plan, and is now the #1 residency program (UCSF) for her competitive residency.

Just don’t want you to lose the forest thru the trees....
 
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begoood95

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I didn't read all the replies, but OP your GPA is better than mine, yet I still got love from the "top 20's." I would say that above a ~3.70/3.75 your MCAT is a better predictor of "top-20" love.

My sGPA was 3.70 when I applied, cumulative GPA was 3.75.
 
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MDPedigree

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It’s fine to reach for the stars, but it’s a bad idea to be so preoccupied with attending a top 20 med school that if accepted lower, the student thinks that their future is limited.

While reaching for the stars, it’s a good idea to remain realistic and be ready to happily accept the top 50 (or lower!) med school that may accept you.

@MDPedigree You may think that’s settling. It’s not. It’s accepting reality and then making the most of it.

The student can still reach again when it comes to matching at a top residency by getting top step scores, etc, etc.

I know a young doctor who went to her state school, which is probably top 50 in both research and primary care rankings. She did very well, followed a well-thought-out plan, and is now the #1 residency program (UCSF) for her competitive residency.

Just don’t want you to lose the forest thru the trees....
Your future is definitely not limited if you attend a top 50. It will be much harder to match into top residencies if you do go (your story is more of an outlier than the norm) but like you said, you can still match at great places from any US MD if all other boxes are checked. That being said, it doesn't make it wrong for someone to want a top med school to give them the best chance at a top residency. On the flip side, where you go to medical school will follow you despite where you do your residency and you will be judged for it unfortunately (mainly in academic settings).

And just for reference, I am NOT someone who will be attending a Top 20 med school. I am perfectly happy with my acceptances, I am just saying that I believe it is wrong for people to say it is wrong to have incredibly the high ambitions to want to attend the strongest medical schools just because you can still be a good doctor by not going to a top medical school.
 
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Goro

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Some people just have an inherent drive to be the best of the best. It was not enough for Michael Jordan to be getting paid millions of dollars to play professional basketball. He still woke up at 4am everyday and practiced for hours on end when most professional basketball players would have fulfilled their obligations and would still be getting over their hangover. He was driven to be the best.

Who are the people who get into Harvard, Hopkins? The people who are driven to be the best. There is nothing wrong with wanting that for yourself. Stay Hungry; Stay Foolish. Never Settle.
This is true, but there are also only so many baseball players who can play for the Astros. And there are only so many Harvard/Stanford caliber pre-meds. It's one thing to dream, but practicality is also important.
 
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altblue

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This is true, but there are also only so many baseball players who can play for the Astros. And there are only so many Harvard/Stanford caliber pre-meds. It's one thing to dream, but practicality is also important.
I think a lot of people forget how getting into a Wayne State or Drexel caliber MD program is impressive too

This isn't like undergrad, where getting like a 3.1 and a 21 ACT will get you into a solid regional program
 
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