Nov 7, 2010
9
0
Status
Pre-Medical
OK...please be kind, but honest...what are my chances and what schools should I apply to??

I am 33 years old and have 15 years experience as a paramedic for a major city EMS service. I have an undergrad 3.3 GPA due to one bad semester 15 years ago. (My actual undergrad GPA is 3.6, but they count those bad grades, so AMCAS gives me a 3.3). B.S. in Chemistry.

I have 15 credits post-bac (undergrad level classes) in Microbiology with a 3.75 GPA. Hope to finish a second BS in Micro, but that is not certain depending on my finances.

MCAT 34P

As for activities, I am very active in my church and our local church leader is writing me a letter along with several physicians from work.

OK..Let me have it, and thanks in advance!!:)
 

ucladoc2b

10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2008
355
4
Status
Medical Student
OK...please be kind, but honest...what are my chances and what schools should I apply to??

I am 33 years old and have 15 years experience as a paramedic for a major city EMS service. I have an undergrad 3.3 GPA due to one bad semester 15 years ago. (My actual undergrad GPA is 3.6, but they count those bad grades, so AMCAS gives me a 3.3). B.S. in Chemistry.

I have 15 credits post-bac (undergrad level classes) in Microbiology with a 3.75 GPA. Hope to finish a second BS in Micro, but that is not certain depending on my finances.

MCAT 34P

As for activities, I am very active in my church and our local church leader is writing me a letter along with several physicians from work.

OK..Let me have it, and thanks in advance!!:)
Honestly, pretty good.

Your numbers are great, honestly. A strong upward trend with your GPA will mostly overrule your old grades. You also have a very stong MCAT. Both of these factors demonstrate that you have the academic talents to succeede in medicine.

Your non-trad experiences could be a great asset and could be a great "hook" for your application and career ambitions if played right. Just make sure that you have a convincing answer to the "why medicine" question in your PS and letters.

I would apply to mostly MD schools. Maybe some strong DO schools.

Now for a more complete picture:

What is your state of residence?
Were you economically disadvantaged growing up?
Any research experience?
Any physician shadowing?
 
Jun 25, 2010
316
1
Status
Pre-Medical
stating the obvious here, clinical exp is good, gpa is low but in the DO range, mcat is fine and dandy, get some shadowing under your belt and apply DO. chances look good
 
OP
T
Nov 7, 2010
9
0
Status
Pre-Medical
PA resident, not economically disadvantaged- although I did do my entire undergrad while working a full time job (but the pay is good), and I am going to try and do a few credits of undergrad research this summer.

I work full time as a paramedic -directly under a physician with standing orders. I will have letters from 1 DO and 2 MD's that are the command physicians at a major university hospital ED.
I am working on my PS now, but will admit I am having a hard time with exactly what to write!! I think I will be good if I can GET an interview, but am worried that with the 3.3 some computer will just exclude me without a human ever getting to see my application!
 

ucladoc2b

10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2008
355
4
Status
Medical Student
PA resident, not economically disadvantaged- although I did do my entire undergrad while working a full time job (but the pay is good), and I am going to try and do a few credits of undergrad research this summer.

I work full time as a paramedic -directly under a physician with standing orders. I will have letters from 1 DO and 2 MD's that are the command physicians at a major university hospital ED.
I am working on my PS now, but will admit I am having a hard time with exactly what to write!! I think I will be good if I can GET an interview, but am worried that with the 3.3 some computer will just exclude me without a human ever getting to see my application!
Your MCAT will ensure that someone will look at your application. Some bad grades 15 years ago likely won't hurt you that much, especially if you do well in your recent course work.

As for your PS, your main question is why medicine, what you can bring to the field, how your past experience will be an asset to the profession. Say, for example, you are interested in emergency medicine and working with EMS as part of your career (maybe as a medical director or researcher or something). Your previous experience would make you a great asset as you know how medics work and think. This would give you the "hook" that so many applicants want in their apps. (Just some ideas).

Being a PA resident, you have a number of schools that will strongly favor you and are not rediculously competitive (all of the private ones tend to favor applicants from the area). Apply to all of the schools in PA (including PCOM, if you desire). You will likely interview at a few of them.
 
Last edited:

TriagePreMed

Membership Revoked
Removed
Apr 28, 2010
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OK...please be kind, but honest...what are my chances and what schools should I apply to??

I am 33 years old and have 15 years experience as a paramedic for a major city EMS service. I have an undergrad 3.3 GPA due to one bad semester 15 years ago. (My actual undergrad GPA is 3.6, but they count those bad grades, so AMCAS gives me a 3.3). B.S. in Chemistry.

I have 15 credits post-bac (undergrad level classes) in Microbiology with a 3.75 GPA. Hope to finish a second BS in Micro, but that is not certain depending on my finances.

MCAT 34P

As for activities, I am very active in my church and our local church leader is writing me a letter along with several physicians from work.

OK..Let me have it, and thanks in advance!!:)
Absolute good shot, especially since the bad semester was 15 years ago. It could easily be explained away. I suggest you don't stress too much. Your MCAT reflects you still got it.
 
OP
T
Nov 7, 2010
9
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for all your help!! I feel a heap better. I was reading about so many people with similar GPA's not getting accepted I was starting to stress!
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,401
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Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
How many postbac credit hours do you plan to have before applying? What was your cGPA in the last year of college from long ago?

Does any of your church work include community service or teaching? Have you considered shadowing physicians who don't work in the ER (a broader experience might be nice to have on the application)?
 
OP
T
Nov 7, 2010
9
0
Status
Pre-Medical
My DO letter is also from a radiologist that I have shadowed that works with my step-father (also a radiologist). My church work is pretty broad including all sorts of different activities from helping to clean the church to working with the food bank, serving at mass, being a minister of communion, etc. I'm not sure if any of that will help my application, but hopefully my commitment to serving God will. I honestly didn't get into church activities to help me with med school, but people seem to think it will help, so I will definately mention it!

My actual GPA from undergrad is 3.65 becasue I took every class that I did poor in over again and got an A. I only did poor becasue I was young and foolish and didn't go to class at all (this was 15 years ago which makes me wonder why AMCAS even counts it). With the one semester of poor grades averaged in, it lowers me to ~3.3.
I plan on having about 15-20 credits post bac before applying. I only got my BS a few years ago becasue I did most of my undergrad work while working full time.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,401
12,009
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
While it's true that AMCAS counts everything, your nontrad status and the fact that the poor grades were long ago will cause many med schools to give less weight to earlier grades.

With the 15-20 postbac credits and your most recent 30-45 credit hours (or more) as an undergrad demonstrating consistent excellent academics, and the strong MCAT score, I think you will have a good shot at an acceptance, provided you apply widely. I'd include less-selective MD schools primarily, a number of DO schools, and a few MD dream schools.