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Let's be realistic...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Buckeye(OH), Apr 2, 2004.

  1. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    Hi All:

    Need some feedback here and let me preface this by saying:

    1) I realize my mcat/gpa are on the lower spectrum, I don't need anyone else telling me that.
    2) Let's pretend like retaking the MCAT is not an option.
    3) Please don't say to apply to DO schools because I already have that portion planned out.
    4) I know this is expensive.
    5) I have no intention nor any chance of getting into a top 20 school. That's my fault, I should have worked harder the first two years of college

    OK, so obviously to maximize my chances of getting into an allopathic school I will want to apply to more than just a few places. To me personally, that means 30 or so schools (glass half empty). Clearly that is not feasible, nor is it logical. I am an Ohio resident so naturally I will apply to all Ohio schools besides Case (I haven't a chance in hell there).

    ME:

    MCAT: 25 (10 VR-7PS-8BS) and than 28 (8 VR-8PS-12BS)
    UGPA: 3.23 Molecular Genetics
    Undergrad Instit: Ohio State

    Grad GPA: currently 4.0 MPH
    Grad Instit: Ohio State

    I have been doing research for the past 3 years, have a few publications, a few in the pipeline, and a few that are further down the pipeline.

    I have many hours vested in community service (teaching science at schools, Habitat for Humanity)
    I have volunteered at hospitals previously.

    I have excellent LOR's or I assume so.


    So, in addition to:

    OSU
    U Cincy
    Wright State
    Med Col Ohio
    S. Illinois
    GW
    Rush
    Wayne State
    UK
    U of Louisville
    Finch

    Where might I consider applying?



    Thanks a bunch
    Adrian
     
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  3. Farrah

    Farrah Senior Member
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    What did you study post bacc? Did you get another degree?
     
  4. LP1CW

    LP1CW Senior Member
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    Albany, Drexel, Temple, NYMC, maybe Meharry or Howard.

    Some might say Vermont, but I don't think they have many seats, small class, ten to Maine, 20 or so to Vermont, tons of Cal.

    And as you know, DO.
     
  5. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    (besides the schools already mentioned):

    EVMS and VCU- both of these schools interview a ton of out of state students with less than great numbers. They seem to put a lot of emphasis on essays and EC's.

    And of course to make sure you get a spot somewhere you'll want to shadow a DO, read up on the philosophy, and apply to DO schools.

    I think you have a pretty good shot to get into the OHIO schools, especially Wright State and MCO, but you know that being an ohio resident. Good state to be in for medical school admissions purposes....good luck
     
  6. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    Masters in Pub Health is IP and will be finished by next March, obviously before I would start school.


    Adrian
     
  7. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    I should also add that the gpa is low because of two bad quarters and there was an upward trend in my gpa after those quarters.



    Adrian
     
  8. 911Med

    911Med Senior Member
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    Please!
    Keep your head up brotha!
    Pre-meds have a tendency to be cynical and above all pessimistic. You've proven yourself academically. Look for schools who opt not to use "edit checks" for MCAT and such.
    You'll get in.
    It may take blood, sweat, tears and prayers - but in the words of an MD I used to work with, "If you really want to be an MD, it will happen."
    Have faith.
    Way to rock that post-bac - I'm trying the same here.
    All this taken in consideration you went to a below average school whose football teams rely on insurance fraud for income. - Just kidding.
    Go Blue!
     
  9. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    Remember that some schools wont care about your grad GPA whatsoever (as opposed to a true post-bacc program). That said, OSU looked very favorably upon my public health coursework, and it obviously worked in my favor in gaining admission.

    I think the part of your app you could improve the most is your MCAT. If you could push that baby above 30, I think you have a really good shot. Good luck.
     
  10. umass rower

    umass rower Insert clever phrase here
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    See if you can find a way to draw attention to your publications as your real experience in the scientific world. I think that if you play your hand right, you can use that to show that although your grades and MCAT weren't spectacular, you have an excellent ability to apply knowledge and communicate.

    No, your application won't blow away adcoms, but with perseverance I have seen people on here get in with less.

    I agree with adding Temple. When I interviewed there, they were definitely proud of their ability to produce capable, more "human" doctors who weren't just walking stat boosters.
     
  11. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    OSU recommended this program to some others that I know of who were in similar positions. Actually one person took the MCAT got a 30, went down to a 27 on the MCAT. Got rejected from OSU, reapplied after the MPH and got in.


    I guess we shall see.



    Adrian
     
  12. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    you are sorta like me gpw wise that is.

    our gpas are all under the avgs at all med schools.
    you could use your mcat to help decide where to apply.
    since i was a cali resident combined with my gpa i had to apply to 43 schools. here are some schools that you might consider applying to.

    oh by the way nice mph work and research those should help you out at most...so in addition to...

    OSU
    U Cincy
    Wright State
    Med Col Ohio
    S. Illinois
    GW
    Rush
    Wayne State
    UK
    U of Louisville
    Finch
    -------------
    Albany
    Boston U
    Creighton
    Drexel
    Loyola
    NYMC
    Penn St
    Temple
    UIC
    UVM
    SLU
    MCW
    Jefferson
    EVMS
    VCU
    MSU
    Wright St.
    Kansas
    -------------
    and since now that i noticed you said you had an upward trend...which is a good thing cause the schools i interviewed at all remarked at the encouraging upward trend of my grades.
    i would not hesitate to throw some top 20 schools in there as well. why not? excellent postbacc gpa, mph degree...so apply to top 20 research schools as well.

    good luck.
     
  13. usmaple

    usmaple Senior Member
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    What's your GPA breakdown (BCPM vs. non)?
     
  14. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    May I ask how much it will end up costing you without including the cost of flights etc?


    Ahhhh, nothing like encouraging words.




    Adrian
     
  15. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    don't assume you don't have a chance at a school...this process is a toss of the dice, it really is, so apply to some of those schools that YOU think are out of your league anyway(they may not be after all)!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  16. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    I dont know....what is BCPM?
     
  17. usmaple

    usmaple Senior Member
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    BCPM = Bio, chem, physics, and math/stat courses (this doesn't include any engineering for whatever reason). When you fill out your application, your GPA will be divided between BCPM and non-BCPM courses, with BCPM (supposedly) holding more weight.
     
  18. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    BCPM is what AMCAS considers your science gpa basically.
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Math
    classes all combined to get your avg science gpa.

    AMCAS breaks it down into 3 sections

    BCPM gpa
    ALL others gpa (non science)
    TOTAL gpa

    and gpas are subdivided by each year FR, SO, JR, SR, PBU(postbacc), CUG(cumulative u-grad), GRAD.

    -------------------------------------------
    about your question about cost non including potential flights for interviews and such....
    well a good safe number would be to say that combining both primary and secondary application costs....say each school on average you apply to will set you back around 110-120 dollars. I applied to 43 and it set me back close to 5K i think.
     
  19. zinjanthropus

    Physician Faculty 15+ Year Member

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    I would disregard the advice about applying to NYMC, Drexel, GWU, and the slew of other schools. Sure, they take a lot of out of staters, but they end up being competitive because so many apply and they waste a lot of money.

    Second, I don't think you are in that bad of shape if you apply early. Just learn to SELL and MARKET YOURSELF better. You are so self-depreciating that it will translate into your application. Sell the strong points...you improved on the mcat, you have done much better in a grad program, you have an mph, you have a publication...those are great things to have!
     
  20. zinjanthropus

    Physician Faculty 15+ Year Member

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    also, your some of your pub health classes will count in the bcpm which will pull that up (e.g. biostats, immunology, epidemiology)...the bcpm is almost as important as the cug alone.
     
  21. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    So what schools do you recommend? I don't really know how to market myself :(
     
  22. zinjanthropus

    Physician Faculty 15+ Year Member

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    the way you market yourself is by figuring out what it was that lit the fire under your ass..something happened to make you improve, something happened to inspire you to a 4.0 in grad school....what was it? how will it carry over to med school? how will it make you a unique contribution to the student body and, more importantly, a great doctor? that parts for you to figure out.

    as far as schools go, you should obviously apply to every school in ohio and stop thinking that you have no chance at any particular school....but apply as early as possible...the first day you can hit the button on 'submit' in june...this will increase your acceptance chances tremendously...other schools i would consider would be state schools around ohio that consider ohio residents...i.e check places like UK, MSU, pitt, psu, etc and see if they have a lot of ohio residents....i just felt that in this past application cycle the drexel et al., were a receptable for me to throw away 100 dollar checks. however, the state schools and even, more reputable private schools, gave my application much more attention.
     
  23. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    i understand what zin is trying to say but...regardless of the competition because of the high number of applicants that shouldnt stop you from applying (well boston u does suck cause they have 10k applicants...). for me at least...it was almost like i couldnt afford NOT to apply since i would just be decreasing my chances if i didnt apply to a school altogether. some of the schools listed above invite a large number of people to interview which is key cause for us gaining that interview is the hardest thing. once we get to that level, then we have an opportunity to talk about ourselves during the interview to let the school know that they should have nothing to worry about when it comes to being able to handle the potential workload of med school and that your reasons of wanting to enter medicine are strong enough to convince them...you are worth an acceptance.

    apply to a lot of schools. the ones mentioned above by everyone is a good list. also dont forget to apply to top 20 schools as well. numbers arent everything fortunately (although they are very significant).

    from what i can see...you were able to get yourself on track and perform at a high level after your bad performance early on in your college career. thats a good point.
    you were able to maintain a perfect gpa post bacc while getting your MPH degree. excellent.
    you are a published researcher which is another strong point to emphasize esp. to the top research schools.
    it seems like you have done excellent volunteer work and i assume that you wouldnt have done it for so long if you didnt enjoy the aspect of caring for people.

    you got a lot of good things going for you that can balance out the overall 3.23 gpa. your mcat is decent. and you got a lot of other stuff to back you up and give reason for med schools to take a chance on you.
     
  24. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    is AMCAS supposed to take your epi grad class and put it in the BCPM category? they didn't do that for me....they took all my public health classes and put then in the all other category....is that what they are supposed to do?
     
  25. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    i think so.
     
  26. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    Public Health classes in general arent BCMP unless they are hardcore science (rare). I had 67 public health units and only 10 were BCPM, and six of those were undergrad MCB classes we had to take for my concentration.

    To the OP. Jlee is right in everything. Dont be afraid to apply to some top tier schools, you might be suprised. You're from OH, why didnt you throw Case up in there? You'll never know unless you try, and fortunately there are adcoms out there willing to forgive inconsistencies.
     
  27. 2bkiddoc

    2bkiddoc Senior Member
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    after getting some advice of my own from him (thanks!) ive learned that JLEE knows a whole lot to this process and is someone to listen to!:clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  28. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    The reason I didnt include case was I figured it would be money better spent somewhere else.

    In all honesty, this is the story as to my gpa. My parents are Indian, and to them, if you are Indian you HAVE to be a doctor (even though my dad is an engineer all my other family is MD).

    Anyways, long story short, the lower grades were at a time in which I was rebelling against my parents for something that I wasn't sure I wanted to do. I had always wanted to be a doctor but when I was a soph/earrrrly junior, I wasn't sure. When I finally decided what I wanted to do, I got cranking.

    Should I tell the adcom's this? Or should I just say the my two bad quarters are when I had like 2 organic chems, a biochem, and a second writing course (which is a lot)?

    Im trying to get my personal statement going and man, its hard.


    With so many opinions out there (and yes I know it is ultimately up to me), maybe it really is worth it to apply to as many schools as financially possible and than weed out the rest?



    Thanks for the advice
    Adrian
     
  29. 911Med

    911Med Senior Member
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    Buckeye,
    Your personal statement should focus on the positives. You've accomplished some great things post-graduate.
    Sell yourself.
    Hmm...think about it - do you think an ADCOM wants to read that you were "rebelling" against becoming a physician and hence, were sabotoging yourself?
    This when thousands of people REALLY want to get in?
    I identify with your point, however, you would be focusing on a negative, and it would be difficult to compose without sounding ethnocentric or arrogant.
    Just my two cents.
     
  30. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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  31. zinjanthropus

    Physician Faculty 15+ Year Member

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    yes, this is the exact type of thing that could make you stand out as long as you can explain what changed...i.e. are you now just following along with your parents wishes or did something happen in your own life to cause you to seek out medicine...

    oh, and i wasn't implying that you shouldn't imply to some top tier schools. on the contrary, i think you should definitely put some great schools on your list - especially those that you have a decent shot at due to residency (like case and osu) but also some private out of state places.
     
  32. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    The shift in grades is on my own behalf. I finally realized, I wouldnt be happy being a PhD in a lab all day and I decided I had to do something about the current situation. However, some of that same lab work also served as an impetus. The work that I did has netted successful Phase I/II trials in women that had no other option (breast cancers in which all other treatments had failed). The guy I work for is an MD so, he's kinda been my "idol" of late.

    Adrian
     
  33. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    i agree...you should write about how you were struggling with a decision that you wanted to come to on your own without the constant pressures of a family that wanted you to do something you weren't sure about during a time in college when you have a lot of important decision to make about your future.

    its an honest story and one worth telling to the adcom to let them know that you are absolutely sure this is what you want to do.
     
  34. Why that expensive? I applied to around 35 schools. :)
     
  35. Deuteronomy

    Deuteronomy Member
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    buckeye, scratch WSU from the list unless you're a MI resident.

    Overall, you'll be good to go though...don't worry about it :)
     
  36. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    WSU = Wright State = Ohio. Which WSU were you referring to?



    Adrian
     
  37. zinjanthropus

    Physician Faculty 15+ Year Member

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    think they meant wayne state
     
  38. Yep, there ain't so much thing as leagues on an individual dice-by-dice basis.
     

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