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If I have to go to grad school, what to get?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Prncssbuttercup, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    So, I've received two rejections. As I'm feeling dejected about my being rejected, I am looking at my backup plan to know what I need if I would need to apply later this year. I figure it's better to have an acceptance to a grad program that I can turn down if I do indeed get in, than wait, have to wait a whole year to apply to either... Ok, that said, I'm looking at programs, I'm not super interested in doing an SMP, primarily because there really aren't any in CO (where I'd likely try to go) or MN, the second/backup choice, but also because they're expensive, and I'd rather do something I can utilize for a career if needed (as in I never am accepted)... So, I'm looking at stuff like A&P, MPH, Epidemiology, or maybe just general bio... I am looking for something that 1, helps me get noticed by adcoms, 2, is interesting, and 3, helps me find a job if needed when I'm done...

    Thoughts appreciated...
     
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  3. FutureDrB

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    Well, personally I wouldn't pick a grad program simply because it will look good on your med school application. I went through this thought process before I pursued my Master's degree.

    I was going to get an M.S. in Physiology because I thought it would help my chances. Then I thought, what in the world am I going to do with a degree in Physiology? I ended up getting my graduate degree in Counseling; it was patient-centered and I enjoyed the classes. I never plan on becoming a counselor, because I'm going to be a doctor, period. Even if I have to apply for 15 cycles. But again, I enjoyed the classes and it taught me a lot.

    If you are getting a graduate degree as a backup plan for not getting into medical school, make sure it's a worthwhile degree, something you enjoy, and something you can actually put to use if all else fails.

    Oh, and only 2 rejections?! Better shake that off, because you're likely going to get more. I'm assuming you applied to a number of schools, like 10+.
    Hang in there.
     
  4. fizzgig

    fizzgig LudicrousSpeed!
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    if you're wanting your interim degree to be part of your backup plan, it depends on what you want to do as a backup (not trying to be obnoxious, i promise :) )... MPH seems pretty common but if policy and the social/population aspect of how healthcare gets delivered isn't something that interests you in the end then meh, maybe not. people seem to complete that in a predictable amount of time at least? if you really like research there's always those avenues as well.

    that said, i didnt post to be much help on the extra degrees because i dunno. i just wanted to say 2 rejections isn't a game over yet!! it's early, keep your head up!
     
  5. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    That's why I said a bunch of times that I'd like to get a degree I can use if I never end up getting in. If you applied for 15 cycles, most schools wouldn't consider you or send a secondary after 3, and you'd have to be making money somehow for those 15 years.

    Anyway, yes, I applied to 24 schools, 2 MD, 22 DO. I am likely going to be rejected from both MDs (1 already did), and I haven't received all the secondaries yet for DO, so I don't know... I do know that LECOM (Erie) didn't send me anything yet and others already have their secondaries in. Sooo.... I like to have solid plans in place as a backup BEFORE I'm left scrambling to get LORs, etc... I've already taken the GRE, so that's a non-issue... The reason I'm concerned is because my stats aren't great, and I'm on a wing and a prayer... I am not fooling myself into thinking I can't possibly be rejected everywhere, I could be... I realize it's only 2, but really, I just don't want to be left scrambling. The grad programs typically have deadlines around Jan/Feb, and if I don't have any bites before that, I'm going to apply to grad school so I am not in my job for another annual review... (fall 2012)

    Either way, I think we'd all be kidding ourselves if we're doing a master's program to get into med school, and DIDN'T consider how it would look on a transcript. They want science, they want you to prove you're intelligent enough to do the work. I, however, don't want an MS chem, biomed, etc... I don't ever want to work in biotech again, ever. Period.

    oh, I suppose: I will either work in some type of clinic doing something health related, or I'd like to have a master's so I can teach at a CC or something... I'd rather be a teacher than a lab tech...
     
    #4 Prncssbuttercup, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  6. fizzgig

    fizzgig LudicrousSpeed!
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    uh, ok, if you're just asking what masters degrees are utterly useless, i don't know. i mean, get an MBA then, that's probably pretty useful. whether you'll do something YOU enjoy with it, who knows. MPH and Epidemiology i dunno if lots of people actually get jobs w it vs using it as a transition to something. A&P i would think would be kind of a narrow set of things you could do with it. hope you get some folk who know more to rank for you, if just job outlook is what you're kinda checking on.
     
  7. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    More wondering what is actually a master's that looks good on the application, and can be useful. an MBA isn't going to look good on an app. They won't care, it's not science or science/health related...
     
  8. fizzgig

    fizzgig LudicrousSpeed!
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    hmm. well the basic sciences that are research-loving (bme, bio, chem, etc) i would think are good, but you said you kinda wanted to avoid those.

    dunno how relevant this is but maybe don't discount MBA right off the bat (if you have the interest) - it can relate back to healthcare if you want it to, and places with dual degrees (cleveland clinic for instance) have MD/MBA as one of their options, so at least some places can appreciate the connection.
     
  9. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    Fair enough. I guess here's the reason I thought A&P/Bio=teaching, MPH/E=job or possibly teaching,all seem interesting. I do like public health, especially epidemiology, but you're right not sure about the job stuff... Kinda figured they would be good additions to show dedication to health, etc...
     
  10. n3xa

    n3xa "the anchor"
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    Speak for yourself! :p

    I honestly did not think I was going to come back to health care in full swing when I went to graduate school. As I filled out my applications this season I really haven't given much thought to my grad-level courses, but to the research and teaching experiences gained from graduate school instead. With a master's degree you can teach CC or at some universities, like you said earlier.

    And like everyone else said, do it because you enjoy the work and take advantage of every opportunity available. Good luck!
     
  11. fizzgig

    fizzgig LudicrousSpeed!
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    you might be totally right about the MPH/E i'm just ignorant about those.

    A&P/Bio = teaching yeah you might be right about that, i would think those would help you qualify to teach at HS or jr college level in some spots. if you wanted to teach at univ level of course you'd run into trouble.
     
  12. FutureDrB

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    I'm sorry, but first, any type of education is not worthless.

    Two, as I said before, if you really want a Master's degree, get it in something you enjoy. Who gives a flying fig if the ADCOMS question you about it. "So, I see you got a Masters in Medieval Basketweaving. Can I ask why?" Sure, because I enjoy Medieval Basketweaving. Next question.

    Three, as another poster said, ADCOMS aren't ignorant. So you get a Masters in something "medical-related". They are going to ask you about that too. What are you going to say, "Uh, yeah I just took that to make my application look good."

    I'm sorry if this comes across as rude, I'm not trying to be rude at all. All of us are just offering our opinions per your request. Stop trying to "impress" the ADCOMS. They can see through the B.S. They talk to hundreds upon hundreds of applicants.
     
  13. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Agree.

    OP, instead of getting an MS you don't even want, how about getting a clinically oriented job? More clinical experience can only help your app, and it has the added benefit that you will be paid for it rather than having to take out loans for a grad school boondoggle that will be a waste of your time.

    Please note that I am not saying going to grad school in general is a waste of time; with three grad degrees and my MD, I'm hardly one to be disparaging grad degrees! However, getting a grad degree to make your app look good is an utter waste of time and money, and it will do very little to improve your app. You might as well send that tuition money to me and go do something fun this year, because we'll both be a lot happier if you do. ;)
     
  14. NightGod

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    If every doctor had an MBA, my guess is they'd be able to participate a lot more in pushing for financial reform. As it is, most are kinda stuck hoping the administration staff isn't screwing them over. Honestly, I think Business pr Economics are two of the most useful degrees a medical student can pursue in their undergrad schooling. Doesn't seem to me like it would be all that hard to sell an adcom on the idea if they asked about it, either.
     
  15. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    I think you guys are misunderstanding my question. The reason I posted the particular MS degrees is because I AM interested in those. An SMP, is imho ONLY used to 'impress' adcoms, that's why people do them. They have no benefit to the person except to get into med school. You don't get any kind of true specialized training, you just retake all your UG courses at a higher (supposedly) level. To me, it's a waste of time because I can't put it on a resume and get a job with it (because most teaching jobs require 20 grad credits in a particular thing, and they don't have it)... Ok, that said, Q, working on the job thing, however, the main reason I am being rejected is GPA. So, most of these places have in their stupid form letters/email that I should consider a graduate program. So, I'm looking at it... like I said, I don't like to be caught with my pants down. I'd rather be accepted to a grad program and be able to start right away versus having to wait.

    and thanks guys about the MBA thing, it's not a horrible idea, I just don't know if I truly am interested, and I don't know if it would show academic improvement enough... know what I mean?? My UG GPA is low, by PB work is really high (s3.91, c3.83), but I don't know if it is enough... so, I want the grad degree to 'be enough' if the PBUG work isn't...
     
  16. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    How do you know you're being rejected because of your GPA? Did you get feedback from any schools about that, or are you making that assumption? Because if it's the former, then an SMP or another year of post bac makes perfect sense, but a regular (non-SMP) MS is not very helpful. And if it's the latter, well, you might want to ask the schools that rejected you what they'd like to see you do to improve your app before you start trying to fix the wrong problem.
     
  17. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    So, I have 79 credits after graduation, I actually can't take any more UG courses and get financial aid, or I don't think I can because I haven't been granted a second UG degree. My PB GPA is c3.83, but my AMCAS cGPA is 3.05, AACOMAS is 3.18. In both rejection letters they stated "you were competitive in many areas, but our incoming class averages are xx-MCAT, and ~3.5 GPA" So, while it is an assumption, the UMN-D email specifically stated I "should consider doing graduate work or an SMP", and I don't think my assumption is much of a stretch. I think it's pretty likely it's the major reason. I have 6000+ hours of volunteering, I have shadowed, have excellent LORs, and worked in biotech research for 12 years.
     
  18. hopefuldoc97239

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    If you already work in biotech research I'm not sure why you want a grad degree that will help you find jobs... can't you just work in biotech? With 12 years experience, a MS in biology will only be a small feather in your cap, and the benefit will potentially be outweighed by the time it takes to get the degree. If being a physician doesn't pan out, I'd suggest just staying in biotech. If you want to switch out of biotech, that decision should be made after you've totally given up aiming to be a physician.

    But it doesn't really matter, because if you want to go to some other program (say an MPH program, for example), you're probably not going to get accepted to start in the program this year, which means you have a year to apply to those programs AND still work on getting into medical school.

    If you're serious about being a physician, then I think there's only one real plan of action with three different possible faces: formal SMP, formal post bac, or do-it-yourself post bac.

    Looking at your MDApps profile, it looks like you have a GPA problem and an MCAT problem. Specifically, your PS score of 7 is a stinker. To me, this is the most obvious red mark.

    Fortunately, for people with a PS = 7, you can see here that 48% of people who retake the MCAT gain 1 or more points on their PS score. Another 28% have no change.

    GPA repair is possible. You might not ever get your cumulative GPA's up as much as you'd like, but you can at least hope for an upward trend. Look for BCPM classes that are relatively easy... "Ethics of Genetic Research," "Nutrition," "Elementary Data Analysis." That sort of thing. A lot of these classes will give you a pretty easy A, and on your GPA they count just as strongly as your O-Chem class or your Calculus class (assuming the same number of credits).

    So, yeah. That's my recommendation. Try to repair both GPA and MCAT scores. Do the repair this year, and while you're at it try applying to MPH programs (or whatever catches your interest) for next year, but do something this year to repair your GPA and MCAT.

    You can probably get these masters program applications sent out in the fall or early winter, that way your late winter and spring are "free" to study for the MCAT, and your late spring and early summer can be spent re-applying.
     
  19. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    I'm curious did you read ANYTHING that has been posted previously??? I'm curious because I already posted a ton of info that you seem to have either ignored completely, or you somehow missed it.

    1. I WILL NEVER WORK IN BIOTECH EVER AGAIN I HATE MY JOB (said previously)
    2. Yes, my GPA is low, I posted it TWICE earlier. My 26 MCAT is pretty average for DO and is actually 1pt higher than the average at one of the schools that I was rejected from.
    3. I'm not applying to a grad program in the middle of my application cycle (again said previously) it is IF I'm not accepted anywhere this cycle.
     
  20. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Hey, relax; I know you're frustrated, but people are just trying to help.

    OK, if the rejection letters mentioned their GPA average, it's possible that was the problem, although it's also possible that this is a generic rejection letter they send to everyone. Tough to tell without actually asking. Be that as it may, it's only two schools out of 24, and it's a little early to be thinking about throwing in the towel. If it were me, I would sit tight for now and focus on the DO schools, because with your post bac performance, your stats are probably pretty reasonable for some of those schools. (Strong work on the post bac, BTW.)

    And take a deep breath, because things may get worse before they get better. I got a couple of rejections in July when I was applying too, the first of which was from my then-top choice school. I was starting to look at post docs, because I had already made up my mind that I wouldn't be applying twice. Then all of a sudden in August, the invites started rolling in, and I had more than I knew what to do with. Went on 17 of them before I finally had to cry uncle.
     
  21. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    Q, sorry. I just became irritated at seeing "why not just stay in biotech" ummm... Because... That's why.

    Anyway, I'm not throwing in the towel, I just want to have a solid backup plan if I need it. I'm praying someone notices the PB work, but some schools don't/won't. I refuse to be in my job another year, if I could quit now, I would. I hope I'm as lucky as you, but you're Q, I'm Sue, I don't have a PhD! ;) I did contact Regis in Denver, they have an SMP (which is in biomedical science) that could help, but honestly I'm sick of this line of work.
     
  22. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Ain't no pleasing everyone in this world, which is as true for me as it is for you. Things don't always (maybe ever?) seem to work out the way I plan them to, but they still somehow work out decent all the same. Yours will, too. Speaking of which, I'm glad to see that both FL DO schools are on your list. I went to college just south of Bradenton in Sarasota, and I think it's one of the nicest places to live in the country, especially for the cost of living. Nova has an amazing campus. I didn't wind up applying there, but I did go visit and took a tour. Either one is going to be way nicer in February than Duluth would be!

    Finally, as nice as it would be to have the ego boost of getting eight zillion interviews and acceptances, keep reminding yourself that it only takes one school to give you a shot, and you can only matriculate into one med school anyway. You've done all the right things in terms of applying broadly, applying early, and choosing schools that are within range for your stats. You have good ECs and a strong post bac performance. Now, unfortunately, there isn't much more to be done than to wait, and (IMHO), do some job hunting for next year as your backup plan. Pay down those loans as much as you can over the next year or two, especially if you have any consumer debt. Some of my residency classmates who went to expensive private colleges and expensive private med schools have $300,000+ in debt, and they're feeling the pain now that the first payments are about to come due in a few months. They can do income-based repayment, but still. :eek:
     
  23. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    Yeah, I'm currently trying to figure out what to do with my house, & looking for jobs in Denver... (For those who don't know/remember) I live in MN my husband works in Denver) I'm hoping I can leave my job soon, but I'm also terrified about how to pack & move in a really short time... FL would be nice in the winter, but UGH the summer would be atrocious!! Either way, I'll go where I get in, I just am praying for CO...
     
  24. hopefuldoc97239

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    Slow down... I did read your original post and browsed the rest. I didn't commit it all to memory.

    I gave you my advice based on your situation as you described it in the first post, plus what I gleaned from browsing the other comments. If I seemed to ignore bits, maybe that's because even after reading what you said I still wanted to make a particular recommendation. For example:

    Yes, you're right, you had said this already. You said "The grad programs typically have deadlines around Jan/Feb, and if I don't have any bites before that, I'm going to apply to grad school."

    Even so, I recommended that you apply in the "fall or early winter." Why? Because your chances of getting into grad school, like med school, are improved with an early application.

    Waiting until February is a good way to make sure that you also don't get into grad school.

    In other words, even though you say "I like to have solid plans in place" the plan you described is shaky. That's why I described a different plan. Now you know why, but getting upset about someone giving you advice that you don't like is as futile as the guy who wants to have babies.

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c[/YOUTUBE]
     
  25. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    Doesn't that specifically depend on the school/program/etc? The program at regis doesn't even open until Jan... and UCD (CO-Den) doesn't say much about competition in the MPH programs. I'm guessing they have many slots available... not sure on that... I don't know anyone who's ever been turned down from the UMN program though... anyway, your comments caught me at a bad moment. I actually read the part about "just stay in biotech" to my coworkers (it came through at lunch) and one of them almost spit their food out... That's how much I don't want to be in biotech, that my coworkers will spit their food out because of shock.... anyway... I'm over it...
     
  26. wholeheartedly

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    Ok, I'll apologize in advance. I think I got all this, but I'm half asleep so forgive me if I didn't.

    My general policy is don't apply to a grad program you aren't going to love and with people who aren't good to work with. I also don't advocate grad school for the sake of getting into medical school (for the benefit of future readers of this post, because i don't think that's what you're attempting to do SBB). It's a recipe for disaster or at least misery in most cases.

    Since I don't think that's what you're dealing with, I'll just point out some things to consider that came up while I was making my decision to begin a graduate program prior to medical school. I'm actually going to PM you more specific details as well about my grad school program and experiences.


    I'd try to find something that will be valuable to you as a physician, as a future profession if physician doesn't work out just yet, and that will look good on an app. and that you're interested in, easy right? :smuggrin: (make sure you don't stumble into a program where you deal with the same crap you don't like about your biotech position)


    consider debt and funding. some of these degrees will offer a tuition waver and/or stipend for teaching and research, some will charge you an arm and a leg to attend.

    consider the length of time to finish. as noted above, some have very predictable timelines to finish, and some might take 3 years for a research based masters. this can be problematic since quite a few med schools have a policy that you must finish any graduate degree in progress before you can matriculate. So it would really suck if you wanted to get out in 2 years but couldn't...

    There's a lot of uncertainly in your possible outcomes here. Don't jump in to applying to grad yet. I'd just take the time to research in detail the programs and go over the required courses and descriptions and see if something jumps out at you as being a great fit.
     
  27. SisterDisco08

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    I didn't get in last cycle, so I am doing an SMP this year. A little background on my situation: I graduated in three years, and rushed an application through in October. Several AdComs told me they were interested in me, but that I applied way too late. They said that they had no question of my abilities to succeed in classes, but that there was really nothing better for me to do than an SMP during my gap year. So, I applied to three (Wayne State-MS in Medical Sciences, Toledo-MS in Medical Sciences, and U of Michigan-MS in Physiology)

    I ended up choosing Michigan, despite the fact that it was the only one with absolutely no linkage to the med school, because of the rigor of the program, and the fact that it wouldn't be an MS in Pre-Med, like Wayne and Toledo's degrees. I really liked Toledo, but Michigan was half the cost for me...

    It really depends on what the most important thing is to you. If it's linkage, look into somewhere like Toledo (77% last year, and a guaranteed interview). If it's not, I would recommend something like U of M's new Physiology program :)
     
  28. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    Disco, any program I do will either be in CO or MN (in that order). Thank you for the info however. I am not so concerned about linkages because none of my top schools have them anyway. I am currently talking with the people at Regis about their program. It is 9 months and starts Aug of each year, so I'd certainly be done in time. The tuition isn't bad for the program considering I've seen some (esp linkage programs) that run into 50k... http://www.regis.edu/regis.asp?sctn=rcmsbs It is in Denver (BIG YAY) and they don't OPEN the cycle until Jan (also YAY). Since it is an SMP, they will take all of my letters etc just the way they are, which means I just have to submit it all to them... (again YAY)... Hoping I don't need to do it, but I will if I have to...
     
  29. TwinsFan

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    OP, this may not be what you want to hear but it may be helpful...

    First, congrats on the great postbac grades, I think they show you have academic potential. Also I have one question, did you take full time classes (12+ credits, preferably 15+ credits) for at least 2+ semesters during your postbac, or was it part time?

    If the answer is no full time work to the question above, then an SMP or a year of full time postbac (15+ credits a semester) would be very helpful to show handling the full time load.

    If yes than there are two glaring weaknesses in your application:
    1- low cGPA and sGPA
    2- low MCAT, especially in PS

    1- To fix this retake any C or below courses to bump the cGPA and sGPA up a couple tenths. Even with 200 credits it can be done, as long as you have C+ or below grades, otherwise it will take a while. At 200 credits every C to an A will be worth about 0.03 cGPA and perhaps double that or more for your sGPA. So it will take 6-8 retakes to get a couple tenths (~1 yr). It seems like a lot of work and it is, but for some schools that number (a 3.3 or 3.4) makes it a whole lot easier to take a serious look at you, even with a solid postbac. You may feel beyond doing this with your extensive postbac, but it WILL help at some DO schools. There are a lot of great applicants and every school wants solid numbers, this will help overcome that hurdle.

    2- The 7 in PS is sub par. A 26 is mediocre. And you already have a strike against you with the low GPA. You are obviously very serious about wanting to become a physician. It is time to buck up and do whatever it takes to increase this score. Study like you life depends on mastering critical problem solving and mastery of the material, think of your biotech job as motivation. If you can increase your score several points this could become an asset to your application and lend a lot of credibility to your postbac and academic capabilities. This is easier said than done. But if you want it bad enough you will find a way.

    Lastly, it is still early, keep your head up and good luck!
     
  30. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    I did take full-time courses for several semesters, while working full-time as well. I realize the PS score is low, but it is what it is for now. I'm not retaking it unless I have to, and that will mean taking a prep-course. There's no way I can improve it on my own. The bio would have been higher if I could have done better on the Ochem... But I don't remember it all anymore, just some... After 15 yrs I think I did pretty well for no class.
     
  31. nicknickp3

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    I just kind of jumped to the bottom so I apologize if im repeating something someone already said. If your goal is Doctor why waste time with a masters? Why not consider, for example, Lecoms sweet post bac or one like Tcoms? They both have linkage, and if your goal is medicine you are going to be relocating anywho. Or why not just do the typical year of grade replacing?
     
  32. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    Husband lives in Denver and has a high paying job in Denver. Relocation is a last-ditch effort. I've done a fair amount of grade replacing, but I can't retake every B I've ever received. and really, that's what it would take because while lower grades bring your GPA down more, there are far fewer of them to replace than the boatload of Bs I have. My mindset in college was why study for an A when I can do nothing and get a B... except in Gen chem, biochem, and physics, I got Cs in those, at this point I'd rather retake none of those...
     
  33. n3xa

    n3xa "the anchor"
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    Did you get those Cs as an undergrad or as a PB student?
     
  34. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    UG... PB work is almost straight As except a B- in intro to marketing, and 2 Bs in Biochem, and development psychology...
     
  35. TwinsFan

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    I agree with you, don't waste time retaking Bs, but I would retake the Cs.

    If you retook those Cs and got As your cGPA would shoot up a tenth or more and your sGPA would go up probably double that into a competitive range. They would also be an excellent refreshers to nail the MCAT and they show some additional academic commitment since you're willing to go back and prove your ability.
     
  36. jissho

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    Self directed learning is a skill that you should develop. After you complete your training in medicine you will be expected to keep up with new advancements in the field. If you have already taken and passed the courses (even with low grades) I don't see a reason why you shouldn't be able to go back and fill in the gaps so that you can improve your score. It will seem daunting at first but it is doable. Give it a shot.
     
  37. isoquin

    isoquin Allopathetic
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    When I interviewed applicants who came from graduate programs, one of my first questions was always: why? Why go there and then apply here? Anything short of an honest answer is going to be readily known as false, and make you look bad. Your goal is becoming a doctor, even before going to grad school, so your answer to "why go to grad school?" must honestly admit "I wanted to improve my resume, prove my abilities, and work towards a medical field I love". Alternately you can do the "I very much wanted to become a doctor but thought this background would serve to both prove my abilities AND provide a unique foundation to my career."
     
  38. drdan83

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    SBB, I'm rooting for you.

    Just get that MCAT up above 30. That will help address any doubt the adcom will have.
     
  39. wholeheartedly

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    I'm not sure that reflects that she hasn't developed the kind of self-directed learning needed as a physician. There are certain strategies that test prep courses are supposed to teach you specifically for tackling the MCAT and it's frequently described as being unlike any other test. She might just need test taking pointers to use the material she's learned to more efficiently answer MCAT type questions in the allotted time.

    Plus, sometimes things just make more sense when someone else explains them. Docs use all kinds of resources to continue to expand their knowledge from studying on their own, articles, other docs, CME classes online, or conferences. I think the most important trait in a physician is to know what you don't know and the resources you can use to figure it out.
     
    #38 wholeheartedly, Jul 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  40. jissho

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    A graduate degree in Epidemiology would open up a career in outcomes research. Management positions in outcomes research at a company like Merck pay very well. Clinical research companies also like to fill their clinical trial management positions with people that have advanced degrees in biomedical research. If you do clinically oriented biomedical research during graduate school this may put you in a good position to land a clinical trial management job.

    If you currently hate your job and want to do something that gives you direct patient contact, look into the Clinical Research Coordinator position. It is a common choice among premeds who choose to take a year off before starting medical school.
     
  41. ksn

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    Is there a limit on the number of times you can apply to medical school?
     
    #40 ksn, Jul 31, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  42. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    Some schools do have a limit yes. I do have 1 interview so far, hoping for more soon.... We'll see I guess... Right now my plan is to apply to Regis in Jan if things aren't looking good...

    As for my MCAT score, you can only do so much studying on your own. The books only can tell you so much. I am not currently inclined to retake O-chem, gen chem, and physics in order to do so much better on the MCAT. Studying brought my scores up some in those sections but not much, so I feel like I would need some type of class in order to really re-learn the material. Taking the practice tests is really what helped my score.
     
  43. isoquin

    isoquin Allopathetic
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    There are some schools that refuse application after two rejections, but not many.

    Keep in mind also that research doesn't always need to be academic. The benefit is that your PI may be well known, but going into industry has a few benefits: it's not expected that industry researchers get published like academics, you get to do a lot of more cutting edge and expensive technological research, and when all else fails, you can say the work is proprietary and you can't talk about it. :p
     
  44. LingoLaine

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    I'm located in the Denver area and would highly recommend that you move to Colorado to establish in-state residency ASAP. If you decide to do a grad program, make sure it is here. If you moved right away, you would DRAMATICALLY increase your chances of acceptance at CU for possible future application cycles, especially if you could raise your MCAT score as well. I just took an online Princeton Review course and found it VERY helpful. If you don't get in to CU (eventually), you'll be established in the area and can still apply to Rocky Vista.
     
  45. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    I've already applied to RVU, and I can't really give up my job in MN and up and move to CO. I am still hopeful for an acceptance this year... If I can move, as I am trying to find a new job in CO, that's great, but I can only do my best...
     
  46. Ellipsis1104

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    I fell in :love: with that school way back when, and almost went there.
    ~coulda, woulda, shoulda. . .
     
  47. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    Q, and Ellipsis, Bradenton is where I have an interview... I have all my stuff booked and the interview is 8/29... 4 weeks out... Hopefully I don't have to buy a new suit, hopefully my butt is small enough to still fit in it!
     
  48. Ellipsis1104

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    :thumbup: :luck:
     

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