May 12, 2012
7
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi everyone,

I just found this forum and it seems full of useful information. I would like some advice from you SDN gurus about my situation.

So my gpa overall and science is a 3.1 and I have three mcats 20, 20, 16 (was stupid and didn't void this one-no excuse for it at all), as you can see my numbers are horrendous. Last year I was in a postbac program and ended up withdrawing, I got all W's except for one class which I got a D just because technically that class ended after I withdrew so that grade had to be given. I ended up leaving the postbac because of health/personal reasons.

I just don't know where to move on from here. I can't seem to give up this dream of wanting to go to medical school. After withdrawing I spent weeks shadowing other fields, and nothing really sparked my interest. But, the more obvious problem is if I can even make it to med school with my track record of grades and mcat. I was scoring around 25s on my practice fls and felt decent leaving but clearly I'm lacking content review considering my scores.

Also, during the postbac I began to realize how bad of a test taker I am. I loved what I was learning, taking the medical school classes were great, I truly enjoyed being there, but I had some serious issues with my exams. I would know content well but I'm horrible at MC questions on exams. Yet, here I am trying to get into a professions which has tons and tons of exams...

It's just so discouraging that I have to now give up something I've been trying to work at for so many years. Should I just look into some other career? Keep at this medical school dream? My health problems are under control now but I can't go back to the postbac program I was in before, it just cost too much money to go at it again.

I'd love to hear any advice you guys have. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
 
Last edited:

SpecterGT260

Catdoucheus
5+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2012
8,223
82
Status
Medical Student
It is not unheard of for people with your stats to get in either MD or DO but Caribbean is your only real bet at this time

However, I do think tests are fairly accurate in testing knowledge. i.e. bad test taker = bad learner, or at least demonstrates a lack of handle of the material :shrug: if you are struggling like this you may want to reconsider. Your numbers may be PA level. I am not sure
 
Last edited:
OP
T
May 12, 2012
7
0
Status
Pre-Medical
It is not unheard of for people with your stats to get in either MD or DO but Caribbean is your only real bet at this time
Thank you for your response, I am definitely considering the Caribbean as an option as this point.
 

Conflagration

Avatar from MeluuArts of dA.
7+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2011
1,474
817
Status
Pre-Dental
I'm hardly an expert, but you may want to find a way to fix the MCAT, whether that be in a course setting or with review books.

If you can pull a 25+, there's no reason why you shouldn't be a decent DO or solid Caribbean candidate for next year, as long as you try to add a little volunteering.
 

FSUchess99

unproven wanna-be
Aug 14, 2010
63
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Do you have to start med school this cycle? Sometimes it takes people a few years to "get it."

If financially possible, consider getting another job in health care and slow down a little. Waiting is not the same thing as procrastinating/giving up.
 

MedPR

Removed
Dec 1, 2011
18,581
44
Status
Pre-Podiatry
You'll have to retake the MCAT regardless.
 
OP
T
May 12, 2012
7
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm hardly an expert, but you may want to find a way to fix the MCAT, whether that be in a course setting or with review books.

If you can pull a 25+, there's no reason why you shouldn't be a decent DO or solid Caribbean candidate for next year, as long as you try to add a little volunteering.
I am looking into TBR since it's been getting good reviews. I have quite a bit of volunteering under my belt as well as other medical/non-medical activities, I've stopped volunteering though since I feel like I should be focusing all my energy to bring up my mcat score.

Do you have to start med school this cycle? Sometimes it takes people a few years to "get it."

If financially possible, consider getting another job in health care and slow down a little. Waiting is not the same thing as procrastinating/giving
up.
I didn't think about this actually. I am looking into jobs at the moment so I can find a place to take my class with a D over again. I've been a premed for what feels like years, but I'm willing to spend a few more years working at it. I was just wondering if given my stats this is a good idea and I'm not blinded by false hope.

I also have another question, this class that I have a D in in medicinal biochemistry if I can't find this exact class somewhere else, would plain Biochemistry count as a retake?

and thanks for the responses guys, I appreciate it.
 

poopyhead

5+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2010
329
1
Status
Non-Student
Also, during the postbac I began to realize how bad of a test taker I am. I loved what I was learning, taking the medical school classes were great, I truly enjoyed being there, but I had some serious issues with my exams. I would know content well but I'm horrible at MC questions on exams. Yet, here I am trying to get into a professions which has tons and tons of exams...
You're going to be taking many, many tests in the future, regardless of how indicative they are of physician abilities. #1 priority IMO.
 

J-Rad

Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2003
3,542
21
With my Children Of The Corn
Status
Attending Physician
OP: Whenever I see someone ask a question such as I yours, there always has to be an individualized response. That is, some people come here and write of one or two major hurdles and while you can argue that they have a very uphill climb due to (makeing up a scenario) middling MCAT (27) and early poor performance, you put some stock in the fact that the former was followed by definite upward academic trends and other solid attributes to their CV. Unfortunately, there is little to suggest positive attributes to your application package thus far. At this point you are beyond a long shot for any American medical school. More worrisome is that your performance in the post-bac program demonstrates that you are not ready for medical school level work. Yes, there is a Carribean medical school that will accept you somewhere. They will take your money and keep you in long enough to put you heavily in debt and either fail you out or stall you at a point that is effectively the same. Do you want to be working menial jobs trying to pay off $100K+ loans that bought you a couple of years on an island and nothing else? You can do it, but I would beware. The people who succeed usually have some prior demonstration of success. You aren't there yet.

So what should you do now? How indebted are you right now? Is there an affordable state school that you can reasonably attend and work on a second degree and demonstrate improved performance? If you cannot let go of this dream, this might be your only option. Can you see yourself in an allied health profession? Nursing, Respiratory therapy, sonography, etc.? Would they help to satisfy that itch? Then consider them. Is there some other fallback career in which you could see yourself satisfied and that you are currently qualified to do? This is the most logical, though I know all will not follow the most logical (some would say that I didn't).
 

411309

zzzz
Jul 17, 2011
2,431
18
chillville
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi everyone,

I just found this forum and it seems full of useful information. I would like some advice from you SDN gurus about my situation.

So my gpa overall and science is a 3.1 and I have three mcats 20, 20, 16 (was stupid and didn't void this one-no excuse for it at all), as you can see my numbers are horrendous. Last year I was in a postbac program and ended up withdrawing, I got all W's except for one class which I got a D just because technically that class ended after I withdrew so that grade had to be given. I ended up leaving the postbac because of health/personal reasons.

I just don't know where to move on from here. I can't seem to give up this dream of wanting to go to medical school. After withdrawing I spent weeks shadowing other fields, and nothing really sparked my interest. But, the more obvious problem is if I can even make it to med school with my track record of grades and mcat. I was scoring around 25s on my practice fls and felt decent leaving but clearly I'm lacking content review considering my scores.

Also, during the postbac I began to realize how bad of a test taker I am. I loved what I was learning, taking the medical school classes were great, I truly enjoyed being there, but I had some serious issues with my exams. I would know content well but I'm horrible at MC questions on exams. Yet, here I am trying to get into a professions which has tons and tons of exams...

It's just so discouraging that I have to now give up something I've been trying to work at for so many years. Should I just look into some other career? Keep at this medical school dream? My health problems are under control now but I can't go back to the postbac program I was in before, it just cost too much money to go at it again.

I'd love to hear any advice you guys have. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

honestly I dunno why no one else has brought this up but I seriously doubt your work ethic. Two 20s in a row? I mean did you not even do anything different the second time to study? Then taking it again and getting a 16? Im not trying to be mean but you were averaging 25s on practice tests, that's not good man that should have been a red flag that "hey im not doing what I need to be doing". Then you went to a post bacc program and dropped out. You gotta get your head on straight before you try something else...Med school is tough.

So be honest, how did you study for the mcat the first 3 times and can you honestly say you gave that post bacc program your everything?
 

Mosonik

5+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2012
663
72
Status
Resident [Any Field]
OP: Whenever I see someone ask a question such as I yours, there always has to be an individualized response. That is, some people come here and write of one or two major hurdles and while you can argue that they have a very uphill climb due to (makeing up a scenario) middling MCAT (27) and early poor performance, you put some stock in the fact that the former was followed by definite upward academic trends and other solid attributes to their CV. Unfortunately, there is little to suggest positive attributes to your application package thus far. At this point you are beyond a long shot for any American medical school. More worrisome is that your performance in the post-bac program demonstrates that you are not ready for medical school level work. Yes, there is a Carribean medical school that will accept you somewhere. They will take your money and keep you in long enough to put you heavily in debt and either fail you out or stall you at a point that is effectively the same. Do you want to be working menial jobs trying to pay off $100K+ loans that bought you a couple of years on an island and nothing else? You can do it, but I would beware. The people who succeed usually have some prior demonstration of success. You aren't there yet.

So what should you do now? How indebted are you right now? Is there an affordable state school that you can reasonably attend and work on a second degree and demonstrate improved performance? If you cannot let go of this dream, this might be your only option. Can you see yourself in an allied health profession? Nursing, Respiratory therapy, sonography, etc.? Would they help to satisfy that itch? Then consider them. Is there some other fallback career in which you could see yourself satisfied and that you are currently qualified to do? This is the most logical, though I know all will not follow the most logical (some would say that I didn't).
J-Rad speaks the difficult but honest truth in my opinion. Med school is more than a dream it involves serious amounts of money and you definitely don't want to throw that much at something before you're trend is on the up. Are you stuck in the day dream of being a doctor or is it possible you arent being honest with yourself about what you want? And let's be honest... the allure of being a doctor sounds good to 99% of people. If it really is what you think you would be great at it and want to put in the sacrifice and many years do it! But do it for the right reasons
 
Jul 19, 2010
677
6
Old Swampy
Status
Medical Student
Hi everyone,

I just found this forum and it seems full of useful information. I would like some advice from you SDN gurus about my situation.

So my gpa overall and science is a 3.1 and I have three mcats 20, 20, 16 (was stupid and didn't void this one-no excuse for it at all), as you can see my numbers are horrendous. Last year I was in a postbac program and ended up withdrawing, I got all W's except for one class which I got a D just because technically that class ended after I withdrew so that grade had to be given. I ended up leaving the postbac because of health/personal reasons.

I just don't know where to move on from here. I can't seem to give up this dream of wanting to go to medical school. After withdrawing I spent weeks shadowing other fields, and nothing really sparked my interest. But, the more obvious problem is if I can even make it to med school with my track record of grades and mcat. I was scoring around 25s on my practice fls and felt decent leaving but clearly I'm lacking content review considering my scores.

Also, during the postbac I began to realize how bad of a test taker I am. I loved what I was learning, taking the medical school classes were great, I truly enjoyed being there, but I had some serious issues with my exams. I would know content well but I'm horrible at MC questions on exams. Yet, here I am trying to get into a professions which has tons and tons of exams...

It's just so discouraging that I have to now give up something I've been trying to work at for so many years. Should I just look into some other career? Keep at this medical school dream? My health problems are under control now but I can't go back to the postbac program I was in before, it just cost too much money to go at it again.

I'd love to hear any advice you guys have. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
My thoughts:

1. You did poorly on the MCAT three times, even if you do score well a fourth time, three low scores (especially the 16) may negate the quality of your fourth.

2. You withdrew from a postpac and got a D in one of the classes? I can honestly say your chances of med school and slim-to-nil. A postbac is meant to be a clean slate, but the stakes are high: if you do well, you stand a chance of making it into med school, and if you drop the ball, it shows you are unable to handle medical school courses. Although you did drop-out of the program for personal/helath reasons, it's difficult to tell how sensitive ADCOMS would be to these reasons

3. Being a bad test taker is a very undesireable trait for med students/physicians: not only will you have high-stake board exam, you also need to take stressful shelf and class exams, too

4. I know you have a dream of becoming a physician, but to be brutally honest, your GPA and MCAT scores are not comeptitive. I know TONS of people who have/had dreams of being a famous musician, NBA player, or fashion model, and for one reason or another, they didn't work out. These people, however, evaluated what their strengths and talents were, refocused them, and moved on to other careers and pursuits

5. I would avoid the Caribbean because your postbac work and MCAT scores suggest you would not be successful in med school. Most posters are critical of Caribbean schools due to the projected tightening of residency spots, but in your case, I would be concerned that you would do poorly in med school, and would either not finish or would graduate and would be unable to find a residency spot due to a lackluster application. The last thing you want to do is take on student loans at a Caribbean school and then fail out or end up being unable to find a residency position.

6. I don't think PA school would be an option for you because your GPA is too low

7. I apologize if anything I posted upset you or hurt your feelings. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to do :luck:
 
OP
T
May 12, 2012
7
0
Status
Pre-Medical
OP: Whenever I see someone ask a question such as I yours, there always has to be an individualized response. That is, some people come here and write of one or two major hurdles and while you can argue that they have a very uphill climb due to (makeing up a scenario) middling MCAT (27) and early poor performance, you put some stock in the fact that the former was followed by definite upward academic trends and other solid attributes to their CV. Unfortunately, there is little to suggest positive attributes to your application package thus far. At this point you are beyond a long shot for any American medical school. More worrisome is that your performance in the post-bac program demonstrates that you are not ready for medical school level work. Yes, there is a Carribean medical school that will accept you somewhere. They will take your money and keep you in long enough to put you heavily in debt and either fail you out or stall you at a point that is effectively the same. Do you want to be working menial jobs trying to pay off $100K+ loans that bought you a couple of years on an island and nothing else? You can do it, but I would beware. The people who succeed usually have some prior demonstration of success. You aren't there yet.

So what should you do now? How indebted are you right now? Is there an affordable state school that you can reasonably attend and work on a second degree and demonstrate improved performance? If you cannot let go of this dream, this might be your only option. Can you see yourself in an allied health profession? Nursing, Respiratory therapy, sonography, etc.? Would they help to satisfy that itch? Then consider them. Is there some other fallback career in which you could see yourself satisfied and that you are currently qualified to do? This is the most logical, though I know all will not follow the most logical (some would say that I didn't).
I am about ~80k in debt, 50k of that is from my postbac (the one I withdrew from). I was actually in two diff postbac programs, I went from an informal one to a formal certificate program in another state. My gpa is first one was 3.7 so it wasn't that I couldn't handle the coursework, but during the second postbac I had some serious medical hurdles to deal with, missed a lot of class which is why I got a D in the biochem course. I left the first program thinking it would be better do a formal program, looking back I should have just stuck with what I was doing.

honestly I dunno why no one else has brought this up but I seriously doubt your work ethic. Two 20s in a row? I mean did you not even do anything different the second time to study? Then taking it again and getting a 16? Im not trying to be mean but you were averaging 25s on practice tests, that's not good man that should have been a red flag that "hey im not doing what I need to be doing". Then you went to a post bacc program and dropped out. You gotta get your head on straight before you try something else...Med school is tough.

So be honest, how did you study for the mcat the first 3 times and can you honestly say you gave that post bacc program your everything?
The 16 was during my "medical issue" and I stupidly didn't void, I also only took the AAMC and studied off of EK which I'm beginning to see was not thorough enough for someone like me with a shaky foundation.

Yeah, I know what you mean though. I'm definitely going to look into other fields right now. My bs is in Public health and it's something I enjoy studying so I might look into that, since it's still somewhat health related.

J-Rad speaks the difficult but honest truth in my opinion. Med school is more than a dream it involves serious amounts of money and you definitely don't want to throw that much at something before you're trend is on the up. Are you stuck in the day dream of being a doctor or is it possible you arent being honest with yourself about what you want? And let's be honest... the allure of being a doctor sounds good to 99% of people. If it really is what you think you would be great at it and want to put in the sacrifice and many years do it! But do it for the right reasons
My thoughts:

1. You did poorly on the MCAT three times, even if you do score well a fourth time, three low scores (especially the 16) may negate the quality of your fourth.

2. You withdrew from a postpac and got a D in one of the classes? I can honestly say your chances of med school and slim-to-nil. A postbac is meant to be a clean slate, but the stakes are high: if you do well, you stand a chance of making it into med school, and if you drop the ball, it shows you are unable to handle medical school courses. Although you did drop-out of the program for personal/helath reasons, it's difficult to tell how sensitive ADCOMS would be to these reasons

3. Being a bad test taker is a very undesireable trait for med students/physicians: not only will you have high-stake board exam, you also need to take stressful shelf and class exams, too

4. I know you have a dream of becoming a physician, but to be brutally honest, your GPA and MCAT scores are not comeptitive. I know TONS of people who have/had dreams of being a famous musician, NBA player, or fashion model, and for one reason or another, they didn't work out. These people, however, evaluated what their strengths and talents were, refocused them, and moved on to other careers and pursuits

5. I would avoid the Caribbean because your postbac work and MCAT scores suggest you would not be successful in med school. Most posters are critical of Caribbean schools due to the projected tightening of residency spots, but in your case, I would be concerned that you would do poorly in med school, and would either not finish or would graduate and would be unable to find a residency spot due to a lackluster application. The last thing you want to do is take on student loans at a Caribbean school and then fail out or end up being unable to find a residency position.

6. I don't think PA school would be an option for you because your GPA is too low

7. I apologize if anything I posted upset you or hurt your feelings. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to do :luck:
No feelings hurt at all, I'd rather have harsh criticisms than sugar coated responses at the moment, so thanks.

I'm definitely looking into a different route, most probably public health since it's the only other thing I can see myself doing. It's not that I have a poor work ethic, because I have done well in classes, I just managed to butcher my gpa in undergrad and that was years ago. I'm 28 now and have spent 6 years since undergrad doing the med school jig which is why I don't feel like letting it go. I also have a ton of B- which pulls my gpa down.

Anyway just wanted to say thanks to everyone responding, it's not that I haven't thought of all these red flags either, but part of me always wants to keep hope that things will work out, but it's becoming more and more apparent that I really need to find something I can succeed at. The last thing I'd want is to get into med school and fail out.
 
Apr 29, 2011
173
0
Status
Medical Student
I'll offer my 2 cents to the OP...

As some already have mentioned, MC test taking skill is the #1 obstacle between you and med school. Even if you managed to pull a 26+ on the MCAT, repair your GPA, and get into med school, you need to know what is ahead of you...which is tons of exams, exams and exams. And of course, most if not all are MC formatted to simulate the board exam questions. You will need to pass Step 1 after your second year in order to move on to rotations and if you don't pass after your third try...a lot of programs will kick you out with lots debts on your back. I am sure you know the boards are no where easier than the MCAT and twice as long. If you could analyze your hardship in taking MC tests and figure out/learn how to take exams, then we can move on to the next hurdle.
 
Jul 25, 2011
2,233
3,015
Status
Resident [Any Field]
OP: The above posters gave you heartfelt and honest advice. You will find success in a field you enjoy and do well in. Good luck!
 

Poisson

5+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2012
139
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I got to tell you buddy, you really need to reassess your situation here. Getting a message in the mail that says you have gotten into Ross is not time for celebration. I would retake courses, and more importantly, work on the MCAT until you get yourself up to the high score range. SGU and AUC offer pretty low attrition right now (who knows AUCs future with the DeVry crime family coming in), and are safe bets, but I would not attend SABA or Ross with your numbers. If you are a bad test taker SABA requires 75 to pass now. SGU will hold your hand a bit, but not entirely, and if you fail you may have to appeal your case, but usually students get a few chances, and don't need to retake the whole term. If you decide to check out foregin schools, actual litigamete schools they will take north americans, but I think your MCAT is a red flag. The good thing about foreign graduate entry programmes is that attrition is much lower there, but the investment is higher. I know one school I looked up grading standards, and this is a high ranked school on the world ranking of medical schools, and D- was given the grade of P. The difference of more the European system though is that you pretty much take one test at the end, and that's your grade, maybe a few notebooks or other assignments in the process, but minimal. If you want the security of high graduation rate and good residency chance, try to work your way into a DO program here in the states. AUC does however post a 3.1 average entrance GPA along with low MCATs, and this may or may not be old, but does kind of hint that people in your wheel house might be passing the degree. Generally though I think the good investment for a caribbean student is someone that can crack either the MCAT or the GPA really high. My advice is if you gotta do caribbean, do SGU or AUC, other than that, work on your stuff for the US. Europe in general I think has more varieties of exams, even T/F exams, essay, mixed with multiple choice. US education has a lot of MC. I have seen a big percentage, maybe even 70% of a biochem class in Europe be a T/F test. When you go to a legit school abroad, you get more hand holding if you fail the final (don't do that more than twice most likely though), but the information is not spoon feed. In Europe you may get an oral exam retake, a summer exam, and if those are failed you may repeat or replace (not sure what that means) this course, but rarely repeating the whole term. This isn't to say though that something could go wrong and a person could be dismissed if this activity repeats several times. Caribbean schools in contrast like to make people pay money and take all the courses if they fail one course, and boot people out.
 
Last edited:
Apr 30, 2012
34
0
Status
Medical Student
You said your BS is in Public Health... have you considered an MPH? That could open some doors especially if you are interested in DO and even if not public health might be a good fit for a career. I completed an MPH before applying to med school and I think it definitely helped in my personal statement and in interview discussions.

Also, you didn't mention if you had any work/volunteer/clinical experiences. These things are really important in rounding out an application, so with lower scores some solid experiences would be essential in my opinion.
 

AliceNWndrlnd

10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2009
74
0
Status
You said your BS is in Public Health... have you considered an MPH? That could open some doors especially if you are interested in DO and even if not public health might be a good fit for a career. I completed an MPH before applying to med school and I think it definitely helped in my personal statement and in interview discussions.

Also, you didn't mention if you had any work/volunteer/clinical experiences. These things are really important in rounding out an application, so with lower scores some solid experiences would be essential in my opinion.
I would have to agree with this. As hard as it may be to hear, I think that you need to take some time, and really decide if medical school is what you really want to do, or just a dream. If you get your MPH, you can still have a solid career in the medical field, develop some good contacts for LORs, and give yourself a chance to retake some classes, and recommit to the MCAT (if it is still what you want to do).