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I need help!!!!!!! Should I go P.A. or D.O.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Snu134, Jan 19, 2001.

  1. Snu134

    Snu134 New Member

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    I'm 23 and have 2 years before I obtain my degree in Biology. My grades for my first three years of school really messed with my cum. GPA. Over the last 1 1/2 years I have brought it up to almost a 3.0. How much are they going to hold my past against me? If I can end up with a 3.3 and do well on my MCAT's will that be enough? Or am I pretty much screwed? Any imput would be helpful.

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
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  3. lisams1

    lisams1 Junior Member

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    Your past performance will not be nearly as important as you most recent (which by then will be great). Just work really hard in the next 2 years to really bring it up and kick butt on the MCAT. If being a doctor is what you really want then go for it. Look at it this way, having your grades flounder and then be able to prove you have it in you to get straight A's will make your application interesting and give you something to talk about in your interviews.
     
  4. Hi Chris...

    Join the ranks - medical students who crahsed and burned their first few years in university are legion.

    What matters now (since you can't change the past - even that night with the bottle of Quervo and the donkey! [​IMG] ) is the upward trend in grades you have.

    To be honest, a 3.3. is at the lower end of the acceptable range for many medical schools, especially those in California. I'm sure you are aware that California schools are among the most competitive in the nation. However, your application will not be assessed soley on your cumulative gpa. Many schools will initially evaluate you based on an algorithm of your cum gpa, BCPM gpa, and your MCAT scores. If the latter two are impressive, it may sway any negative thoughts about the cum.

    At any rate, it is WAY too early to be thinking about PA programs (as per your posting title) if your dream is to be a physician. Your job over the next two years will be to get as many "As" as possible in your classes, smoke the MCAT and get some clinical experience and good letters of rec (if you don't have either of these). Consider taking some classes post-bacc or post-poning graduation if you feel that your overall or BCPM gpa is still lacking.

    Hope this helps and best of luck to you.
     
  5. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    Chris:

    I am a PA of 5-years and I am here to tell you that in my opinion, PA school should NOT be an alternative for those who cannot get into medical school.

    The reasons are two fold. First of all, I doubt you will ever really be happy by settling for "second best". Take it from someone who has been down that road and is now studying for the MCAT ten years after having Orgo., Physics, Bio., etc. This is not to say that being a PA is second best in general. It is only second best if being a physician is what you wanted to be from the begining.

    Secondly, don't be so sure that getting into PA school is going to be any easier than medical school. In most cases, medical school applicants are not as strong as other applicants because most pre-meds don't have much in the way of clinical background. PA schools are looking for nurses, medical technologists, EMTs, etc. who have been in the health care field for years. Amongst those who do have this kind of background, the competition is still very tough. In 1993, when I applied to SUNY @ Stony Brook, there were 500 applicants for 40 slots. The applicant pool has increased significantly since then while the classroom size has increased only minimally.

    In my opinion, your stats are such that with persistance and the willingness to travel anywhere for medical school, you will eventually get in.....somewhere. It just takes a decision on your part that you ARE going to do this and you will do what ever it takes to make it happen, be it take extra classes, MCAT review courses, volunteer in hospitals....whatever.

    Good luck to you.

    Chris
     
  6. bjjack

    bjjack New Member

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    As another PA - 8 years this May - stick to your goal. I am also trying to go the MD route, now when it is much harder due to age, time since basic sciences, plus family. I have found that I long for the autonomy plus I would like to be paid for the work I do since for the most part it is on par with my supervising physician.
     
  7. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    I'm with ya Bjjack! Good luck....
     
  8. Chris,
    I was in your situation a few years back, and graduated undergrad with a 3.3. I ended up takin a year off and then got my M.P.H.
    So far I've gotten into 3 D.O. schools and will attend COMP in the fall.
    So you are definitely not out of it yet! Keep at it and good luck!

    Greg
     
  9. BoonDoc

    BoonDoc Member

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    Don't try the PA route. I am finding that it is easier to get into med school than to PA school.
     

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