dentist82

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Hello everyone,

I have a very special case and I would highly appreciate your contributions. I have Bachelors Degree in Dental Surgery from Iraq (BDS) and I came to the U.S. eight months ago. I'm intersted in being a physician now and to attend medical school. The problem is my GPA is really low and trust me it wasn't becasue I was lazy but my college was in a war zone and violence and attacks were so bad that sometimes they asked us not to go to college for a month or so. So basically it was nothing I have control over. I know that the GPA is very important for application but do you think they will understand my situation or I'm just wasting my time??? I need guidence before pursuing this path and I'm sure I will do just fine if I got admitted to a program but I need a chance. :(

What do you think I should do? How to start? Do you think it's possible? I'm only intersted in M.D. though. Btw, I'm 26 years old with no children.
 

pianola

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(Assuming that you have already taken the necessary pre-requisites to apply to medical school) it might be helpful to have at least one year of classes in the United States to demonstrate that you are a strong student.

GPA is one of the markers that medical schools use to evaluate you -- so I just have no idea.

Good luck either way, though!
 

dentist82

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Thank you Pianola, I appreciate your help. I haven't took any pre- courses becasue I don't know if it will be helpful in raising my GPA to a good level that allow me to get accepted. Again, thank you so much.
 
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briton

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Hello everyone,

I have a very special case and I would highly appreciate your contributions. I have Bachelors Degree in Dental Surgery from Iraq (BDS) and I came to the U.S. eight months ago. I'm intersted in being a physician now and to attend medical school. The problem is my GPA is really low and trust me it wasn't becasue I was lazy but my college was in a war zone and violence and attacks were so bad that sometimes they asked us not to go to college for a month or so. So basically it was nothing I have control over. I know that the GPA is very important for application but do you think they will understand my situation or I'm just wasting my time??? I need guidence before pursuing this path and I'm sure I will do just fine if I got admitted to a program but I need a chance. :(

What do you think I should do? How to start? Do you think it's possible? I'm only intersted in M.D. though. Btw, I'm 26 years old with no children.

Depending on which schools you are applying to, your degree from overseas might not even be accepted (as is the case for the bulk of the Texas schools) and you might need to study additionally here in the US to get the necessary prereq classes/hours. In that case your overseas GPA will not count either so you will have a clean slate. I advise you to check with AMCAS as to how your GPA will be counted.
 

Law2Doc

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Depending on which schools you are applying to, your degree from overseas might not even be accepted (as is the case for the bulk of the Texas schools) and you might need to study additionally here in the US to get the necessary prereq classes/hours. In that case your overseas GPA will not count either so you will have a clean slate. I advise you to check with AMCAS as to how your GPA will be counted.

Agree with this. I would guess you are extremely unlikely to be able to directly apply to med school with your current credentials. However I disagree about the "clean slate" comment -- AMCAS is going to want all your grades, regardless of nation.
 

briton

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Agree with this. I would guess you are extremely unlikely to be able to directly apply to med school with your current credentials. However I disagree about the "clean slate" comment -- AMCAS is going to want all your grades, regardless of nation.

Perhaps "clean slate" was a bad choice of words. Applying in Texas using TMDSAS, all your grades have to be reported but the grades from non-US accredited schools do not figure in the GPA calculation, so only grades from the 90 hours you must have in US schools count. I didn't apply to any AMCAS schools so I can't speak to how they calculate the GPA. Additionally, unless the pre-req classes you have taken overseas translate directly to US classes you will probably have to retake them in the US. It's frustrating to have a degree from abroad and to still need to take extra classes, but if you have the commitment it is worth it.
 

gman33

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Contact the individual schools to which you may apply.
Most will probably tell you that you need a US bachelor's degree.
 

Scottish Chap

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....but the grades from non-US accredited schools do not figure in the GPA calculation, so only grades from the 90 hours you must have in US schools count.
This is actually the correct statement, folks. Foreign grades are not verified via AMCAS and so will not be incorporated into the AMCAS GPA. The only exception is if the OP 'rolled' the BDS credits into a U.S. undergraduate degree on a 'pass/fail' basis to accelerate an undergraduate degree stateside. In this case, they would still not affect the GPA.

Dentist82: Welcome. U.S. medical schools will look for 60-90 credits completed in the U.S. (preferably including: general and organic chemistry, physics, biology; 8 credits each with lab), and a decent MCAT score. Good luck!
 

dragonfly99

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Agree with Scottishchap,
It really doesn't matter that you were a dentist in Iraq or that you went to school there, or what grades you got. They are very very unlikely to count for anything in the US (either in your favor or against you...so I wouldn't worry about the GPA).

Normally one needs a US bachelor's degree, with GPA of 3.5 or above, or approximately that, to compete for a spot in a US medical school. Sometimes they'll let someone in with 90 hours (3 years of college instead of 4). You also need to have volunteer or other health care related work experience in the US so they know that you have some knowledge of what it will be like to work in a medical career. You also will need to take the MCAT exam and do well.

My recommendation if you want to do this is to enroll in a US 4 year college or university, preferably one that regularly sends students on to medical school (not all do and the quality of colleges and universities can vary a lot). Start taking general biology, with lab, and 1st year college chemistry, with lab. See how you do and try to get A's. Then go talk to the college's premedical advisor - there is usually a professor or even a special office assigned to give students advice about how to get in to medical school. They can help you with knowing what you need to do.

If you don't want to redo an entire college degree (or at least 3 years/90 credits of one) plus 4 years of medical school and residency, then you could consider trying to get in to dental school (not sure what that would be like but would think they might also want you to repeat some college course work in the US prior to getting in to dental school), or another profession like physical therapist, physician's assistant, etc. You could definitely have a shot at getting in to a US medical school if you can do well in your college courses...it's just that it's a long, long road (even for a US student). Best of luck with whatever you decide to do, and welcome to the US!
 
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