Mar 19, 2010
3
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I want to get into a good MD program, but I have a 3.1 science GPA (this is in my first three semesters, 10 science credits) - I got a C+ in general chemistry, a B+ in organic 1. I also have three W's on my transcript from dropping organic 2, organic 2 lab, and calc 2. I have a 3.5 cumulative. I'm concerned that I've already ruined my record by doing so poorly in the start. What can I do to improve this, and do I still have a chance?
 

Morsetlis

I wish I were a dentist
7+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2010
4,924
37
161
31
The "Garden" State
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You have a chance if you act like a superstar the rest of your years at college.
 

MDtobe31311

Class of 2014!
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2008
169
0
141
Status
Medical Student
You definitely still have a chance. I had about the same grades you did my soph year -- I think my science GPA was a little higher, but not by much.

Currently my cGPA is 3.55, and my sGPA is 3.4 and I received 4 interviews this app round. Granted, I haven't been accepted yet, but no outright rejections either (waitlists and one that I haven't heard back from because I just intervied there).

My advice: along with getting sraight As from now on, make sure that you get a lot of volunteering, community service, clinical experience, and unique extracurriculars under your belt. I'm almost my ECs helped my app A LOT and came up in every interview. And APPLY EARLY! (early/ mid June!)
 
Sep 4, 2006
30,630
10,441
281
Inside the tesseract
Don't get too distracted by the necessary ECs, though, when your first priority needs to be getting near-straight As. You can add activities later, but your GPAs will be increasingly difficult to redeem the longer you wait to start. If you can end with a steep upward grade trend, you're not out of the running.
 
Mar 19, 2010
3
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the encouragement.

I've done a little math and I think by the end of this semester (end of my second year) I can have my science GPA up to a 3.3. It looks like my best case scenario for science GPA at the end of my third year is 3.7, but I'm not the smartest person around and that's if I get A's in most upcoming science classes.

As for EC's, I really haven't packed on a lot yet, but I'm volunteering at the hospital helping patients pick art work for their rooms - my cousin told me that counts as patient care, but I'd really like to get into something more medical. I've been doing research for the previous semester and this semester and I'm going to get a poster published and present at a symposium, but not a paper. Does it still 'count' as being published? I'm also in the honors program and I want to do an honors thesis, but I still don't know exactly what I want to concentrate in. I'm going to Mexico this summer with the global experience for undergraduates program, but it's only a month and the only medical-related aspect of it is giving first aid. I coordinated two soup kitchen trips for the MSA, but I haven't done much else with student-run organizations. I also haven't done any shadowing at all, and I'm not really sure how to go about finding those opportunities.

I guess I have four questions now:

1) How can I find shadowing opportunities? Should I try to find doctors to contact personally?

2) Should I try to get into more 'medical' patient care volunteering, or is that not feasible for an undergraduate?

3) I've read in some other threads that MD programs will average your grades if you retake a class. My school doesn't do this - they said if I retake general chemistry, it won't affect my GPA at all. Will the med school I'm applying to still do it?

4) Do schools generally take into account the college you come from? I'm going to University of Michigan in Ann Arbor now, but I feel like I could get better grades in some other universities in the area. Much as I'd hate to leave my school, I don't know if having come from there is going to make up for the relative difficulty of the classes.

I really appreciate the help, and sorry for the long posts.
 
Sep 4, 2006
30,630
10,441
281
Inside the tesseract
1) One generally meets docs while volunteering and asks them. You could also ask your personal physician back home, the premed advising office at your school, or cold call local docs' offices and ask if they would take you.

2) What you're doing is clinical experience. If the hospital won't let you work more closely with patients, try a nursing home, clinic, or hospice. You may need to do this anyway to have better contact with physicians you can ask to shadow.

3) AMCAS will recalculate your GPA according to their own rules, regardless of your current school's policy. So your AMCAS GPA would include both grades.

4) The difficulty of your currnt school is more likely to be regarded by the highly-selective med schools. There are many that don't mind you taking community college classwork (though there is the risk that such classes won't be sufficiently rigorous). I think you'll be fine taking classes at any four-year college. Go where you can get the highest GPA.
 

J ROD

Watch my TAN walk!!
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2005
58,227
1,968
281
working on my tan......
Status
Resident [Any Field]
1) One generally meets docs while volunteering and asks them. You could also ask your personal physician back home, the premed advising office at your school, or cold call local docs' offices and ask if they would take you.

2) What you're doing is clinical experience. If the hospital won't let you work more closely with patients, try a nursing home, clinic, or hospice. You may need to do this anyway to have better contact with physicians you can ask to shadow.

3) AMCAS will recalculate your GPA according to their own rules, regardless of your current school's policy. So your AMCAS GPA would include both grades.

4) The difficulty of your currnt school is more likely to be regarded by the highly-selective med schools. There are many that don't mind you taking community college classwork (though there is the risk that such classes won't be sufficiently rigorous). I think you'll be fine taking classes at any four-year college. Go where you can get the highest GPA.
:thumbup:
 
Mar 19, 2010
3
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you very much for the answers! A question about averaging the two grades - the class is a 3 credit class, but if I take it twice will the averaged GPA have the weight of 3 credits or 6 credits? Hope I asked that clearly :D