MD & DO Licensed Nurse (LVN) UCLA Non-Trad Chances: Should I even apply this round with my current stats?


5+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2012
Medical Student
Hi everyone,

At this point I simply want advice on what action to take next. I am currently at a fork in the road.

These are questions I am considering:

1] Should I even consider applying to medical school with my current stats?

2] Should I instead apply to a MPH or Post-Bac program to raise my GPA and continue doing research in effort to become a stronger applicant?

3] There may be a good chance of getting published in my current Lab. Would it be worth taking a leap year in effort of getting published?


Sex: Male
Age: 27
Marital Status: Single (no children)
Race: White
Languages: English only
California Resident
Non-Trad student
Major: Biochemistry
cGPA = 3.3
sGPA = 3.2
MCAT = 34

-Cardiac stem cell research working with fibroblasts. (1 year)
>I mostly surgically excise hearts from mice, mince them, and isolate the fibroblasts by running trypsin digests and then plating.

-Clinical research at a satellite UCLA hospital. (5 months)
>Collecting nasal and throat specimens and delivering them to clinical laboratory at the hospital. Including explanation of procedure to patients and obtaining consent.

-Surgical Quality Internship. (1 year)
>Mostly quality assurance type work consisting of auditing surgeons for not filling out required documentation mandated by both the hospital and join accreditation. This involved rounding to most areas of the hospital and checking individual patient charts and manually inputting my findings into the hospital database. From the data collected I would prepare a weekly report of audits.
>Had the privilege of auditing/watching a number of surgeries as well.

-Volunteering at hospital (about 170hours total)
-No shadowing
-Letter from a distinguished professor in science (discovered replicase).
-Letter from the department head of surgical quality.
-Letter from my PI that I’ve been doing undergrad research with (cardiac stem cells).
-I am a Licensed Practical Nurse with 3 years experience. (wide range of work experiences including: multiple admissions, code blues, yelling employees and family members, combative patients, 5150s, elopements, etc.)

Unfortunately, because I have to work to support myself this takes out a good chuck of time which keeps me from being able to study as much as I would like (volunteer research too). I feel that if I didn't have to work as much my grades would be better. I don't plan on working when I enter med school, I'll have to take out loans.

I plan on applying broadly (15-30 schools). I have more than enough experience to write an incredible personal statement but am worried about my grades. Going to a “top” school is not a huge priority, what really matters to me is a school that provides a great learning environment with an emphasis on research. I am also considering DO schools as well but would prefer a school that is research intensive.

I greatly appreciate all input, thank you graciously :)
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Staten Island Dump
5+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2013
I think because of the GPA (and cc classes, probably) that you have very little chance of gaining admission to an MD program this year. I would even say that you might have some difficulty even after another year (I don't think a pub will be a magic bullet). I am not one of those people who always jumps in and says this, but I honestly think your best bet is going DO at this point. Otherwise you will have to put your life on hold for another 2 years while you try to repair your GPA (and there is no/ middle to low guarantee that it will even help you get an admission at this point). If you go to a DO school in a big city, you can always create research opportunities for yourself at nearby research institutions.


5+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2012
Medical Student
Thank you for your input. I am definitely planning on applying to a number of DO schools. I appreciate your honesty.