beckhunter116

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Hey Everyone! Its been sometime since I've been on SDN and I'm in need of some advice. Here is my brief story/stats. I applied in Aug of 2009, got a bad MCAT and found out that I would be moving to another state in a month so at that point I just emailed all of the schools I had applied to and withdrew my application. I only applied to DO schools.

AACOMAS GPA
cGPA 3.27
sGPA 2.89

Post Bacc (all science) 46 credit hours 3.72

cGPA(with pb) 3.39
sGPA(with pb) 3.48

MCAT 23R (6PS 8BS 9V)

Worked all through school 2 jobs were leadership positions average of 30hrs/wk.

2000-2003 Honors Program 72 hrs of community service.
2000-2004 Peer Facilitator 400 hrs and attended a conference.
2005-2007 Science Association member 25 hrs.
2008-2009 Low income clinic volunteer 94 hrs.
2009 (summer only) Research assistant 63 hrs (no publication).
2009 Outpatient Cancer facility volunteer 40 hrs.
2009 Physician Shadowing MD/DO in FP, EM, and Anes. 36 hrs.
2010 PA Shadowing in Ortho, Derm, and EM 20hrs.

So in Oct 2009 moved from GA to SC and spent til Feb 2010 finding a job. I currently work for a major corporation in customer service and have spent most of my time working and trying to recover from a 7yr relationship that ended. I'm just starting to look into volunteer opportunities here, I am thinking of Habitat for Humanity and then going to look into the local hospitals for opportunities there. I know I need to take the MCAT again.

So I guess I am looking for opinions on if I should apply May 2011? Where I need to focus? And what kind of odds I have? Thanks and good luck to everyone waiting to hear from schools!
 
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Oct 27, 2010
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for a 23 you're not bad for a do school. but ya retake the mcat. you have great stats for pb gpa. lecom might be a good choice. your odds are better for that school. but thats my opinion. def appy may 2011.
 

Ursa

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Your MCAT is still low for DO schools. You will need to retake and improve by at least 3 points, in my opinion. After you do this, apply broadly to DO and Caribbean, and you might see some interviews! Good Luck!
 

Goro

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Concur that you'll need to re-take MCAT. The 6V is a big question mark, especially if your a native English speaker. GPA looks good.
 
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beckhunter116

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Concur that you'll need to re-take MCAT. The 6V is a big question mark, especially if your a native English speaker. GPA looks good.
I got a 9 in verbal, the 6 was in physical science and I ran out of time in that section.

I know I need to retake the MCAT, that is without question. I guess I am looking for opinions on the other parts of my application and how much of an improvement I need by the time I apply in May. Meaning if I add 100 hrs of hospital volunteering and 50-60 hrs of community volunteering plus some shadowing will that show a nice improvement. Or is that not going to be enough of a change to my application to get me some interview invites? Thanks to everyone who commented.
 

jslo85

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I'd take a look at osteopathic SMPs. Your AACOMAS GPA will probably worry Adcoms unless a) you retake the MCAT and get a 4+ point increase or b) you take coursework from a medical school curriculum and be successful.

If you aim at some of the DO schools that have SMPs with a high matriculation record such as LECOM postbacc/M.S, VCOM, Touro NY M.S, Touro NV M.S., Nova MBS, etc. and submit apps now, I think you stand a good shot of landing a spot. Some programs guarantee/conditionally accept their students into the medical school class for the next cycle.
 

0919mmk

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I got a 9 in verbal, the 6 was in physical science and I ran out of time in that section.

I know I need to retake the MCAT, that is without question. I guess I am looking for opinions on the other parts of my application and how much of an improvement I need by the time I apply in May. Meaning if I add 100 hrs of hospital volunteering and 50-60 hrs of community volunteering plus some shadowing will that show a nice improvement. Or is that not going to be enough of a change to my application to get me some interview invites? Thanks to everyone who commented.
Honestly I think that beyond retaking the MCAT, you are in pretty good shape. Your ECs are sound, and your postbacc GPA proves that you are not an idiot :) If I were you, I would budget my time more towards the MCAT than, for example, more community service. I would take those 50-60 hours and just plug away at MCAT. If you can score a 27-29, you should be good for DO, and possibly even an in-state school MD program...although that will be hard to be honest.

If you take the time to do practice tests, maybe invest in a prep course, 27-29 should be totally attainable. Good luck!
 

0919mmk

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p.s. I have a pretty low GPA myself, and I happened to be looking at SC MD schools. For SC residents, those particular schools could be in your range, assuming you get, lets say, 29+ on the MCAT. If you are going to be applying with GPA issues, SC is actually a pretty good place to be :)
 

cabinbuilder

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I got a 9 in verbal, the 6 was in physical science and I ran out of time in that section.

I know I need to retake the MCAT, that is without question. I guess I am looking for opinions on the other parts of my application and how much of an improvement I need by the time I apply in May. Meaning if I add 100 hrs of hospital volunteering and 50-60 hrs of community volunteering plus some shadowing will that show a nice improvement. Or is that not going to be enough of a change to my application to get me some interview invites? Thanks to everyone who commented.
Re do the MCAT.
Don't discount the importance of the essay. All the volunteer hours in the world aren't going to counter a lousy essay. Remember that medicine is about 90% paperwork/dictations. If your grasp of the English language sucks that is a huge red flag. Be sure to have a good story and don't start your essay with: "I want to be a doctor because, ......etc" Talk about your passion, your journey, what motivates you, your focus, how you see your future, etc. Be sure someone reads it over before you submit it. I have been looking at many essays recently that are just a synopsis of the volunteering experience and nothing about the person applying.

When I write an essay my goal is - what do I need to put on paper to make myself sound worthy of them meeting me and giving myself the opportunity to get my foot in the door? What sets me apart from the rest?
 
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fahimaz7

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MD is out of the question. I wouldn't waste my time. If you can get your MCAT up a lot, you might have a chance with a DO school. Other than that, you'll looking at something tropical.

What were your post-bacc classes?
 
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beckhunter116

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MD is out of the question. I wouldn't waste my time. If you can get your MCAT up a lot, you might have a chance with a DO school. Other than that, you'll looking at something tropical.

What were your post-bacc classes?
A&P1 and 2, Chem 1 and 2, Organic 1 and 2, Biochem 1 and 2, CVA, ecology, microbiology...I think that is all.
 

fahimaz7

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A&P1 and 2, Chem 1 and 2, Organic 1 and 2, Biochem 1 and 2, CVA, ecology, microbiology...I think that is all.
With the exception of organic chemistry and possibly A&P, those classes are going to be seen as weak classes. Are you still in school? Are you taking upper level, medical-school quality courses? Are you taking a full load? Why did you take Ecology and comparative vertebrate anatomy? The whole idea is to show the admissions committee that you can handle a medical school load...
 
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beckhunter116

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With the exception of organic chemistry and possibly A&P, those classes are going to be seen as weak classes. Are you still in school? Are you taking upper level, medical-school quality courses? Are you taking a full load? Why did you take Ecology and comparative vertebrate anatomy? The whole idea is to show the admissions committee that you can handle a medical school load...
My degree isn't in biology so I needed all of those classes except Biochem 2, ecology, and CVA. This was an informal post bacc, not a SMP or linkage post-bacc. I took those other science classes, b/c if med school isn't a reality then I can apply for middle/high school science education programs because I would have an applicable number of science credits for the masters program admissions. Although, if I don't get into medical school, I will probably re-evaluate at that point based on my current job, and being promoted from within there. Most semesters were full load and I've supported myself through school working at least 30hrs in supervisor/lead jobs and volunteering.

Edit: I know A&P is not required for med school, when I started my post-bacc I was still thinking of physical therapy, physician assistant, and medicine, so I wanted to take the pre-req for all of those.
 

fahimaz7

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My degree isn't in biology so I needed all of those classes except Biochem 2, ecology, and CVA. This was an informal post bacc, not a SMP or linkage post-bacc. I took those other science classes, b/c if med school isn't a reality then I can apply for middle/high school science education programs because I would have an applicable number of science credits for the masters program admissions. Although, if I don't get into medical school, I will probably re-evaluate at that point based on my current job, and being promoted from within there. Most semesters were full load and I've supported myself through school working at least 30hrs in supervisor/lead jobs and volunteering.

Edit: I know A&P is not required for med school, when I started my post-bacc I was still thinking of physical therapy, physician assistant, and medicine, so I wanted to take the pre-req for all of those.
Well, I would applaud your ability to score well in those classes, while holding down a full-time job. But, with a 23 MCAT, you're going to be having a hard time talking an admissions committee into an interview. So, depending on your previous shadowing experience in the PA/DPT fields, I would say....

Take the MCAT again
Take the GRE

Apply to whichever one you have a better chance of getting into. My wife is in DPT school and she is loving it. PA is also a great program, with a significantly lower time of training.

If you're true calling is to be a practicing physician, then continue to take upper level classes (that mimic medical school) and retake the MCAT. You can get in eventually, you just need to keep working on it and get the MCAT up.
 

J ROD

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I am from SC....so I can tell you that GPA will make you not very competitive at the moment for SC MD schools. But, USC is letting in more students soon so that may change.

For DO schools,

I would shoot for a 27+ MCAT score witht that GPA.

At this point, it is easier to raise the MCAT than the GPA.

Also, continue to volunteer somewhere so that you show commitment to it and not just have it for application appearances.

Overall, I think you are decent shape as long as you can bring that MCAT up and shoot for all sections above an 8. :)
 
Jun 1, 2009
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I don't think you will really add anything substantial to your ECs just by doing medial chores at a hospital - you have quite a few great ECs and you already do have volunteer clinic experience. Maybe instead of adding several smaller ECs, you could try finding something really unique that a lot of people won't have as a clinical EC, and involves a LOT of patient contact - actually interacting with the patients in a clinical way, not just bringing them food or such (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just that it's going to be a very common experience). Also, a leadership position or a non-clinical community service activity might be good (seeing as you only have 1 non clinical/science one).

But otherwise, the number 1 problem is the MCAT, as everyone said. You should study your ass off for MINIMUM 3 - 4 months and increase your score (I would be aiming to get ~30 on your practice tests, so it'd be likely to end up with ~27-30 on your actual MCAT) to compensate for your current MCAT score and your sGPA.
 

fahimaz7

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But otherwise, the number 1 problem is the MCAT, as everyone said. You should study your ass off for MINIMUM 3 - 4 months and increase your score (I would be aiming to get ~30 on your practice tests, so it'd be likely to end up with ~27-30 on your actual MCAT) to compensate for your current MCAT score and your sGPA.
If you need 4 months of full-time studying to score a 30 on the MCAT, you're doing something wrong. It's the MCAT, it's not a fluency exam in mandarin. We don't even spend 3-4 months on Step 1. It would be pointless.
 

SFO-IST

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I went from a UC to industry for a few years with a similar ug GPA, did my postbac, and now got in to my top choice DO schoolS. As Louis Pasteur said, "Chance favors the prepared." You can do this...

I would keep your head up and focus on the MCAT. This is what's killing your app for now. EVERYTHING else should be a distant second priority. get above a 30 on your MCAT. Take Kaplan or PR and dedicate yourself to nothing but studying MCAT. While you're studying, if you notice a large variation in your practice test scores, know that it is likely due to problem areas for your content. Once your scores remain constant over 3-5 tests, you'll know you're done. While 1 month may be good for some people, getting a 2.7 as an undergrad means you weren't applying yourself effectively for whatever reason. There are likely problem areas which you'll need to iron out. Don't worry, all it takes is time, and you're going to do it!

That will get your app on the admissions counsellor's desk at many schools.

The next part will be presenting your EC's to the AdCom in a compelling way. Highlight your strengths and make sure it's your voice that's coming out in the essay - not the voice you think the Adcoms want to hear. Work for weeks on a final draft to your personal statement that, if you were the AdCom, would leave you no choice but to admit the applicant (you). Then show it to 5-10 people in healthcare or sales or marketing. work with their criticism. Once you have something like a 10th-15th draft, then take it to a UC pre-med advisor. Preferably one who is busy, doesn't know you at all, and will spend 30 seconds reading the essay because she is too busy/disgruntled with budget cuts to care. If you get a positive answer take it to a second one.

Now you have a winning essay. Don't worry, you'll get in, and your intimate knowledge of how mind numbing and soul crushing corporate America is will make you even more committed to medicine as a med student and tolerant of difficult practice conditions as a physician. Go get em!

PM me if you have more questions.
 

oldfatman

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PM me if you have more questions.
Doing lots and lot of questions is the royal road to a higher score on a standardized test. I recommend doing at least 100 a day.

Revise and revise your personal statement. This ties your application together.