May 15, 2012
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Hi all,

I was an applicant for 2014-2015 (~3.5 cgpa, ~3.35 sc. gpa, 30 mcat, graduated 3 years ago) and had 3 interviews resulting in 3 waitlists. Knowing that my gpa was probably killing me, I've recently started to do some post-bacc in upper level science courses to fix this. So far I've only taken 7 credits and have a 4.0 in those classes, but by next spring I plan to have completed 23 credits total. Looking further ahead, when I am finished these 23 credits of post-bacc, I plan to start an MPH to further enhance my credentials (also my work would be paying for it, which is a huge incentive).

The main issue that I'm facing is that 2016-2017 will be the last year before my MCAT will expires. So I can either take an extra year and finish my MPH free of charge but have to retake the MCAT, or apply for 2016-2017 while I take my first year of MPH classes. How would it look to admissions committees that I would be working on my MPH during the application cycle but wouldn't be finishing it by the start of medical school? Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks for the help.
 
OP
farnell
May 15, 2012
176
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Pre-Medical
Anyone? Could really use the help. Are either of these plans reasonable?
 

md-2020

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I don't think you need an MPH, as that is costly in time and money. Adcoms on here are adamant that is also doesn't add much to your app.

3 interviews w/ no acceptances may suggest interview deficiencies. With an excellent post-bacc already done, I'd go ahead and apply again.
 
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femmegoblue

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Apply broadly, all the low-tier private MD's, apply to any DO school your heart desires and don't waste your time in an MPH. Why don't you just not even start the MPH program and instead spend the year making some quality money and saving? With your 23 post-bacc credits and broad, smart applications you do not need an MPH.
 

femmegoblue

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Also, your MPH won't even adress your main problem: your science GPA. Keep up the A's in your science post-bacc courses and spend time getting some more experience/upping your interview skills.
 
OP
farnell
May 15, 2012
176
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Thanks for the quick replies. I've already gotten some feedback at two of the three schools I was waitlisted at that the main reason I was not accepted was my GPA. One of the schools specifically said I had a very good interview, but I don't know about the two.

I was considering the MPH after 23 post-bacc credits because it would be 100% free, but it sounds like maybe I should devote even more time/credits to post-bacc? How many credits is considered enough? What is my endpoint?
 

Affiche

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Apr 20, 2014
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Again, what are your ECs and how broadly did you apply?

Edit: with a below average gpa and average/below average MCAT, you'll need above average ECs and a smart list of schools.
 
OP
farnell
May 15, 2012
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I think that my ECs are pretty decent, at least good enough to net me some interviews despite a sub-par gpa. I have some hospital volunteering, shadowing, and plenty of research. I applied to about 20 low-tier schools with good yield considering my state of residence.
 

Affiche

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I think that my ECs are pretty decent, at least good enough to net me some interviews despite a sub-par gpa. I have plenty some hospital volunteering, shadowing, and plenty of research. I applied to about 20 low-tier schools with good yield considering my state of residence.
It might be time well spent to get involved in something that isn't cookie-cutter.
 
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itsogre

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I don't think you need an MPH, as that is costly in time and money. Adcoms on here are adamant that is also doesn't add much to your app.

3 interviews w/ no acceptances may suggest interview deficiencies. With an excellent post-bacc already done, I'd go ahead and apply again.
3 interviews/3 waitlists doesn't suggest interview deficiencies, since OP's GPA is below average and was probably the factor in the decision to not take OP off the waitlist. I'm not surprised that OP's waitlists didn't materialise into an acceptance, since the GPA does indeed need some work with a post-bacc.
 

DokterMom

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It might be time well spent to get involved in something that isn't cookie-cutter.
Excellent advice. An unusual EC can raise eyebrows in the positive sense. Do your current ECs and research naturally lead to any particular area? Think populations nobody really wants to work with (until they try it and realize how rewarding it is) -- the elderly, mentally ill, memory care, mentally or physically disabled, impoverished, homeless. The less the average pre-med wants to work with a particular population, the better it will look if you do.
 

tea guzzling traveler

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I would say do the MPH if you have a personal interest in it, but not to increase your credentials as I don't think it would help significantly. (It is really cool that they pay for it) You've done the GPA grade repair it sounds like, now you have a few options:
A) Make your EC's better
B) Apply more broadly, include DO into the mixture
C) Go the MPH route, retake the MCAT and try to get 90+%. However, I would say that is a bit risky.

Personally, I would advocate for options A+B. That's my backup plan in case I don't get in this cycle.
 

Goro

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Agree 100%


I don't think you need an MPH, as that is costly in time and money. Adcoms on here are adamant that is also doesn't add much to your app.

3 interviews w/ no acceptances may suggest interview deficiencies. With an excellent post-bacc already done, I'd go ahead and apply again.
 
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OP
farnell
May 15, 2012
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Excellent advice. An unusual EC can raise eyebrows in the positive sense. Do your current ECs and research naturally lead to any particular area? Think populations nobody really wants to work with (until they try it and realize how rewarding it is) -- the elderly, mentally ill, memory care, mentally or physically disabled, impoverished, homeless. The less the average pre-med wants to work with a particular population, the better it will look if you do.
Out of curiosity, did you apply to osteopathic schools?
I have experience volunteering with a program that aims to prevent dementia in geriatric patients. It was a main talking point in all of my interviews. However, I think that this is good advice and I could always improve my ECs.

Also, I applied to one DO school, but will definitely up the number next time around.

I still have one question that has gone unanswered - could I finish my post bacc work, START my MPH while apply (I figure why not, it's free and I am definitely interested in getting the degree), and then matriculate into school without having finished the MPH? I think it would make sense and that way if I wanted to finish it during med school, I would already be halfway done, but I just have no idea how an admissions committee would view that. @Goro could you comment on this?
 
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Goro

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Definitely yes!

I still have one question that has gone unanswered - could I finish my post bacc work, START my MPH while apply (I figure why not, it's free and I am definitely interested in getting the degree), and then matriculate into school without having finished the MPH? I think it would make sense and that way if I wanted to finish it during med school, I would already be almost done, but I just have no idea how an admissions committee would view that. @Goro could you comment on this?
 

GrapesofRath

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You've gotten good advice here. The fact you were able to net 3 waitlists with a below average GPA and below average MCAT is indicative of what must have been a very solid application outside of the numbers(assuming you aren't a URM).

What you also have to realize is that school's often accept at least half the applicants they interview. If each school has a 50%(at least) of taking a person they interview, you do the math that means there is almost a 90% of an acceptance with 3 II's from a pure hypothetical perspective. Now there are all sorts of complicating factors so this is hardly some perfect science. Yes your GPA can still cause concern even after an interview and probably played a role in your waitlist; but the point here is there is a solid chance your interview itself factored into those decisions as well at least one of those schools(ie its not always being a poor interviewer but sometimes the difference between having a average/decent interview and a very strong one that makes the difference). So working on the interview technique is very important.

I tend to agree with the advice above as well doing non cookie cutter things such as working at hospices>>>>generic MPH degree in terms of standing out and boosting your application credentials. If you yourself said you are doing the MPH to boost your chance of medical school admission realize there are more effective means of doing this. Again, in your case it is rather important in the next year to do something to stand out. You do not want to re-apply to the same schools a year from now with just doing an MPH on your resume. The good post-bacc work is a nice start keep it up. If you can bring your GPA up to close to a 3.6 with that upward trend it will not be what keeps you out of medical school itself.

And yes apply to more DO schools next cycle.
 
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May 7, 2015
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I've heard from some admissions people irl that they wouldn't pull a student from completing a Master's to matriculate...
It just begs the question, why are you really doing a masters if you're applying to medical school?
What else have you/will you do just to 'look good'?
(not asking, just what some adcoms will inevitably wonder)
 
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OP
farnell
May 15, 2012
176
67
Status
Pre-Medical
I've heard from some admissions people irl that they wouldn't pull a student from completing a Master's to matriculate...
It just begs the question, why are you really doing a masters if you're applying to medical school?
What else have you/will you do just to 'look good'?
(not asking, just what some adcoms will inevitably wonder)
This is exactly the issue I wanted an opinion on, and I'm glad Goro was able to comment on it...I definitely want to get the degree, not just doing it solely to enhance my credentials...but if I explain how I plan to still finish the degree during medical school, as many students do, I'm not sure how they could view it negatively... In that case, it's not like I'm quitting, I'm just making sure I can pursue my ultimate goal of MD or DO.

Thanks to everyone for the advice, I think I know how I am going to approach this now.
 
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