1. The SDN iPhone App is back and free through November! Get it today and please post a review on the App Store!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice

Low GPA, Even for Caribbean What now?

Discussion in 'Caribbean' started by mdhopes&dreams, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. mdhopes&dreams

    mdhopes&dreams New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am in serious need of advice? I have a low GPA 2.6 and crappy MCAT 19. I have not gotten accepted anywhere. Rejected at St. Georges, Ross, AUC. I have worked in hospitals all through my undergraduate. Unfortunately i had to work and i could not handle school and working my grades suffered. Whats done is done i could not do without working and now i have to deal with the situation i am in. Should I go back and re-do my basic sciences? Although I heard this was not a good Idea. Should I apply to a master program? If so what an MPH. Go back to school and take more classes? What can i do to try and gain acceptance to a good caribbean school? I am seeking an opportunity a fresh start to try to achieve my dream of becoming a doctor. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. AmericanIMG

    AmericanIMG Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a friend that was also in your situation. He had worked 20-30 hrs a week during his undergrad, and though he was very intelligent, his GPA suffered for it. What i would suggest is that if you really want to be a doctor and you have the determination and drive to go all the way through, reapply to the Caribbean schools...all of them that are decent (St Matts, St George, AUC, Saba, Ross, St James) and make sure that in your application you make direct reference to your work, your hours of work and your determination to succeed. Also, i believe that your letters of rec will be very very important. if you get good letters, then i believe that at least one of those schools will give you an opportunity, and if you are serious about medicine you will grab ahold of that opportunity and succeed. Remember all you need is for one school to give you a shot.
    Good Luck
    :thumbup:
     
  4. Therese737

    Therese737 Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would re-take the classes. Was the 2.6 gpa CUMULATIVE, or was it your science gpa?
     
  5. Leukocyte

    Leukocyte Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,575
    Likes Received:
    11
    Ross has a pre-medical program for applicants who were denied admission to the Ross MD program. Did you ask about it? I do not know much about it, but I heard it is for 1 semester, and if you do well in it, you will get a seat in the following MD class.

    Good Luck. :thumbup:
     
  6. TTSD

    TTSD Sexually Deprived
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,289
    Likes Received:
    7
    You can work with a 2.6 if you show a good trend upwards, especially in the sciences. Though the question is the MCAT. Probably, if you can afford to do so, take more classes, kick @$$, and retake the MCAT then apply.
     
  7. determined2bnmd

    determined2bnmd Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    The pre-med program at Ross is on invitation by school only. I attended a Ross interest meeting and I asked about this program, I think it is actually called Med-Prep, anyways, the guy who is in admissions told me that only the school can admit you to the Med-Prep program if they feel you may need more work in the pre-reqs department.

    MDHopes&Dreams, I am actually in your same situation. I graduated with a 2.5 cum. I started out as a science major and because of hardships and family issues I couldn't cut it so I changed my major to at least graduate from school on time. My grades in my second major are cool, but my overall, because of those science classes taken previously, pulled my GPA :thumbdown: down. So right now I too am trying to at least get good enough grades to make it into a Caribbean school and my only choices, because of the state I live in and would like to practice in, only accepts the Big 3. I know this sounds like a cop out but I too work many hours trying to support myself and pay "dem darn bills", and I can only do my best at this point. So I am taking courses little by little at a JC and soon will enter a "post-bac" program in the fall.

    If I were you I would re-take at least the pre-reqs to show schools that you now, despite your work load, are really serious about going to med school, and/or maybe take a Kaplan course for the MCAT's. I know this sounds like a lot and maybe too much money to spend that you may not even have, but at least start there. Believe you me there are many people out there who are in your same shoes and are trying what they can do to make it into medical school, so don't feel like you are alone. :)
     
    Idahodc likes this.
  8. CuteNurse

    CuteNurse Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not sure if its a whole 2 cents but ....

    I don't know if you guys are familiar with MUA/SABA ? they are sister schools and MUA has a pre-med program that is two semester (8 months) in length. It is designed for those short of or with poor scores in pre reqs. If you maintain at least a B on average they guarantee you a seat in the upcoming MD class regardless of undergrad performance.(I hear if you get at least a 2.0 they'll let you in anyway) I chose this route because I am told by students that it is excellent prep for the MD program and gives you an accurate glimpse of MD student life. Good luck and I'll help anyway I can. :love:
     
  9. ny skindoc

    ny skindoc Senior Member
    15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2002
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    11
    If you keep looking you will find some caribbean program to take you and your money.You have been rejected because the schools feel from their experience with thousands of students that there is a decent chance you wont be able to handle the work and will fail the boards.I agree its worth retaking some courses to show them what you are capable of.Either pre-reqs or higher level science classes.A masters in a basic science would help.I dont think an MPH is what you need.An MCAT of 19 is a very poor score by any standard.If you retake the MCAT after better preparation with a substantially higher score you will likely get into one of the the caribbean "big three".
     
  10. archon218

    archon218 Too Hot for TV!!
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try St. James
     
  11. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!'
    Administrator Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Messages:
    4,627
    Likes Received:
    1,424
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    My main concern is your low MCAT score.

    Although you may take post-bac/masters (or premed at a Caribbean school) to raise your GPA, you must address this low MCAT score.

    Why? You have to look at the future. If you ever want to practice in the United States, you must take the USMLE. The USMLE has been described as "MCAT on steroids". So for your sake (and future), you must self-analyze and self-criticize your deficiency and take steps to fix it.

    Is English your second/third language?
    Did you not have an adequate science prep for the MCAT?
    Did you study seriously and long enough for it?
    Are you not a good standardized test-taker? (this must be fixed and can't be used as an excuse since the USMLE is a standardize test). Do you get test anxiety?
    Do you have good study habbits?

    You must fix the reason(s) why you did poorly on the MCAT. Otherwise, you might end up w/ an MD, but deep in debt and no USMLE to enable you to practice in the states.
     
  12. erichaj

    erichaj Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a real problem.
    The Mcat is a very difficult test and so is the USMLE (all of them), however, the USMLE as hard as it is, is more specific. Its focus is medicine.
    I'm not saying it's easy, it's not. but I think if you do well in medical school you will be able to pass it with good scores.

    but, your problem is getting in first.
    There was a post in here some time ago about some of the reasons people have a hard time getting into medical schoo and doing well in their calsses in and out of medical shcool.
    FIND THAT POST.
    it had some good information.
    EH.
     
  13. TTSD

    TTSD Sexually Deprived
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,289
    Likes Received:
    7
    Speaking of which, just from anectodal evidence, it seems that those who make it into medical school with mediocre MCAT scores say the USMLE was much more easier than the MCAT, more straightforward.
     
  14. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,919
    Likes Received:
    19
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Excellent advice! :thumbup:
     
  15. Leukocyte

    Leukocyte Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,575
    Likes Received:
    11
    AUA? Where is it?
     
  16. AmericanIMG

    AmericanIMG Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    be careful about AUA, i am not 100% of their credentials, but i would make sure that if i got a degree from there i could practice in the state of my choosing...send me a private message if you want more info about this
     
  17. I was in your situation a year ago...2.6 gpa due to working (and partying...let's be honest), however my MCAT was a 29. Either way, I was rejected everywhere, and so I had no choice but to enroll in a masters program which i am finishing up now. I got a 3.9 in the program last semester and will probably have a 4.0 this semester. I was recently accepted to two allopathic schools in the US. So in my admittedly biased opinion, I think that's the best route to go...
    My advice would be to retake the MCAT and then apply to a masters program...not necessarily an MPH. if you want, post a reply and I'll tell you about the program I did.
     
  18. determined2bnmd

    determined2bnmd Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Captain I wanted to know what masters program are you doing and how long is it?
     
  19. I'm in the Drexel IMS (Inderdepartamental Medical Sciences) program. It is only one year...I don't actually get a masters, although I have the option of staying to get a Master's of Medical Science. Since I got into Med school and don't care about having a maters, I am for-going the second year. The IMS program is fairly unique...I basically took all of Drexel Col. Of Med. major first year classes (including exams), minus gross anatomy (Biochem, immunology, physio, micro anatomy, nutrition, neuroscience...all courses span both semesters). It gives you the chance to show admissions committes how well you can perform in a med school environment. Overall, the program is great at prepping you for getting into med school, but you have to put in a significant effort - nothing is handed to you.
    There is an alternate program called MSP - Medical Science Prep. - that is basically a year long prep for the MCAT. Many MSP students do MSP one year, take the MCAT that April, and then do IMS the following year while applying to Med school, and they get an MBS - Master of Bio Science - degree.
    Check out the Drexel IMS thread in this forum or go to
    http://www.drexel.edu/med/ims/imsp.asp
     
  20. Sorry...minor typo...undergrad gpa was 2.9, not 2.6...but none-the-less...a 2.6 is definitely not unsalvagable and a good post bacc program will do a lot to help you out.
     
  21. coffeeluver

    coffeeluver Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    1

    CaptainZero,

    Students can get into the IMS program with a 2.6 GPA? Do you know if they have any minimum GPA or MCAT cut-off?
     
  22. To clarify, my Undergrad was a 2.9...I apparently wasn't paying attention when typing that first post. But, to answer your question, yes people do get into IMS with GPA's that low (I'm not aware of any cut-offs). However, if your GPA is that low and the rest of your application doesn't include things such as solid clinical experience (above and beyond the perfunctory "Shadowed an MD for a summer") it may be more difficult to get in. The fact of the matter is that a lot of people come into IMS with very low GPA's and if they are willing to work hard they can do really well in the program. The adcom knows this, so they aren't as opposed to low GPA's as you might think.
    Also, If you feel that both your MCAT and GPA need improving, I strongly recommend doing the MSP program and then IMS. Just doing IMS and taking the MCAT on your own that same year is a nightmare...borderline impossible. Plus, doing both programs gets you a Masters of Bio Science (MBS). The people I know that are getting the MBS (MSP last year, IMS this year) have done very well in terms of gaining acceptances to Med schools (numerous osteopathic as well as several solid allopathic programs: Tulane, Temple, Jefferson etc.) and just two years ago they were in the sub 3.0 GPA and Sub 25 MCAT group. But I will reiterate...these people worked their asses off. Nothing is handed to you in either program(MSP and IMS) - they are both extremely challenging and you have to put in a lot of time and effort in order to be successful.

    I also feel that right now I should clarify one of my previous posts (actually in a different forum, but you may have come across it)...the one where I pointed out all of the neg aspects of the program. As I mentioned, I'm just a tad burnt out right now...so it's easy for me to blow the neg aspects a little out of porportion. The program is solid and if you work hard (I can't seem to stress the need to work hard enough...) it will get you to where you want to be...I'm sure next year at this time I will have forgotten about the neg aspects I listed and will just be thankful that doing what I've always dreamed of.
     
  23. wylie313

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    i would like a little clarification. when you guys are saying 2.6 or 2.9 is that cumulative gpa, or science gpa? bc now im getting worried, i had a 3.13 science gpa, but cumulative was 2.88, so im freaking out right now!
    any info would be much appreciated
     
  24. lynk

    lynk Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Without a doubt your situation sounds very similar to mine. I had a low GPA and tried to write the MCAT with no science classes. (GPA 2.7 MCAT 17) Given my strong background in community work and desire to achieve I was accepted to a number of schools in the Caribbean as well as one in Cambridge. SMU, St Eu., Belize, KISM. Now I have even been given the opportunity to do a PhD with an MD. Keep your goal and you will get there. Try to meet people that can help you, in my opinion I would not have even come close if it were not for the help. I want to practice in the US so I am willing to make a few sacrifices as well. I am from Canada. Good luck
     
  25. Sandeep2000

    Sandeep2000 Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Lynk,

    Did I read your post correctly; are you saying you gained admission to SMU with NO science courses, just an MCAT score? Appreciate any clarification.

    Thanks

    Sandeep
     
  26. Dr.BadVibes

    Dr.BadVibes Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Messages:
    2,476
    Likes Received:
    1
    Have you considered the possibility that you are not intellectually capable of becoming a doctor? Low GPA coupled with horrible MCAT scores....rejection from Caribbean schools (which ive never heard of)......dude, perhaps you should reconsider your career choice. I am not going to be like the others here and be all supportive and cheery cheery....i cant believe you guys are all talking about the backdoor in becoming a doctor.....geez, next time I goto the doctor, Im gonna be checking which school they went to, cause after reading this, im getting kinda scared. Im glad that in Canada, IMGs cant practice so we dont have Dr. Nick Rivieras like some of you guys.....
     
  27. Brian Pavlovitz

    Brian Pavlovitz give me that marrow!
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Not all IMG's had bad GPA's and MCAT scores. A good number of them were just as competitve as their "US" (or Canadian) counterparts: it just so happens that there is an overabundance of applicants for the number of medical school slots-- which you may or may not know, seeing as you're in dental school...not putting down dental students, mind you! But if you haven't applied, you wouldn't know. My class at SGU has a good handful of Canadian students, by the way: all of whom are excellent students who will make great physicians.

    As far as never hearing of the 3 Caribbean schools mentioned, they are considered "The Big 3" as far as Caribbean Medical Schools are concerned because they have excellent reputations; I would say that a majority of medical students in the US and Canada have heard about them. But, there are many threads on this, if you care to search.
     
  28. Dr.BadVibes

    Dr.BadVibes Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Messages:
    2,476
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trust me, I know all about the Caribbean and North American medical school process....and yes, I know full well the hardships of getting into a North American med school.....many well qualified candidates are rejected and they seek alternatives, such as the Caribbean.....fair enough.

    My problem is with the guy with the low GPA AND low MCAT scores, who still wants to find the backdoor to become a doctor....this is the kinda of guy in the Caribbean med schools that scare me, and are the real life Dr. Nick Rivieras....it is candidates like these who undermine the whole Caribbean med school process and create the current stigma against IMGs
     
  29. wylie313

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    if hes not cut out to become a doctor he wont make it past 1st year, so dont even sweat it. if on the other hand there has been much maturation on his part and a new found respect for knowledge, and the passion to succeed, he should be given every chance as someone coming out of college with a 4.0 and 30+ MCAT score. besides isnt that what the car. schools is all about, giving people with potential the opportunity to realize that potential?
     
  30. Brian Pavlovitz

    Brian Pavlovitz give me that marrow!
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I definitely see your point. To be honest, there are a couple of people that I've encountered at SGU who make me a bit scared, myself!

    Glad we're on the same page. :cool:
     
  31. DOCTORSAIB

    DOCTORSAIB Ophtho or bust!
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,660
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Wouldn't the sheer volume of material and intensity of classes weed people out. Even if they barely passed their classes, they'ed still have to pass all 3 steps of the USMLE. In some ways, thank God that the board exams exist!
     
  32. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,919
    Likes Received:
    19
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    LOL... I love The Simpsons.
     
  33. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,919
    Likes Received:
    19
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    On a serious note, low scores on the MCAT have puzzled me for a while. Verbal is pretty much critical thinking so people should do decently well with a little practice. I can understand an 8 or a 9 in verbal but less than that for a native English speaker is just plain lack of practice/effort.

    The physical sciences allow you miss a little less than half of the questions (on average) and still score a 7-9. In order to get 4-5, you have to miss almost all of the questions.

    Finally, biological sciences is the bread and butter of most future medical students, so the bio should be the best section.

    In the end, if you manage to get around a 50-60% on all sections you have 23+. I could not see how you could score less than that unless you miss most of the questions on 2/3 of the sections.

    I know that some people read slowly, some did not do pre-reqs before and some people did not study at all, but sub-20 scores really make me wonder.
     
  34. sunny123

    sunny123 BOSCO!!!!
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,275
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    That wasn't a racial comment, as it is referring to a cartoon character.

    Yes this is true. Schools such as Ross make their students retake an entire semester of classes if they were to fail even one of the courses. Within Caribbean schools the dropout rate is quite high, and people do leave the schools without even finishing the program.
     
  35. colt

    colt Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    1
    I didn't know that getting 50-60% of your questions right would yield near mid-20's, interesting.
     
  36. anhoi

    anhoi Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    All is not lost my friend. I understand your situation completely and I have gained admission into SGU. First, my overall gpa was slightly higher at a 2.7 but my science gpa was a dismal 2.3. Because we believe our grades are low due to our inability to balance work and education in our younger years, it becomes necessary to prove that we are intellectually capable of absorbing the vast amounts of information that will be throw at us in med school.

    As alluded to in an earlier posts, there are a few ways to do this. Go do a masters/post-bacc program and retake the MCAT, doing well in both will give you the option of going to any of the "Big 3" and an outside shot of getting into a US allopathic school. The negative of this course of action is that you will be at least 2 years away from entering medical school. The quickest option would be to retake the MCAT and do much better (at least a 24 - that's average for all test takers, aim for a 27+). With a score in this range you will most likely get accepted to one of the three caribbean medical schools you've set your heart on. My GPA being lower than yours, I proved I was worth a risk by doing decently on the MCAT (33S), you need to do the same.

    Last, people do get rejected from Caribbean medical schools. I applied to SGU and Ross and was denied at Ross. They instead offered me a place in their MERP program (1 semester of science classes with a guaranteed seat in the following semesters MD class provided you maintain a 3.0 GPA in the MERP program). I decided to go directly to SGU when I was offered a spot in their MD program. So don't give up hope, just find a study tactic that works for you. Please PM if you would like further info.
     
  37. ihusse2

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I think i might need some advice to you. Ok heres my situation. I haven't taken my mcat yet and i haven't finished undergrad yet. i'm two years away of getting my bio degree. The thing is, i failed precalc and got a D in English during my first semester of freshman year due to some depression issues. I've been working really hard ever since trying to raise my gpa from a 1.2. So far ive managed to raise it to a 2.6 but i don't even know if the admissions committee of any med school is going to bother to even look at my profile. i've retaken precalc and gotten an A. Then i took calculus after that and gotten an A. I haven't retaken English yet but i'm planning to take it. But no matter how hard i try to raise my gpa, i don't think its going to get any higher than a 3.0 and i know that i'll probably get into a Caribbean med school but i really don't want to. i rather get into a good U.S. med school. No offense to any one attending a Caribbean med school. i just don't really want to travel outside the U.S.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thank you
     
  38. PAN627

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    With a 2.6 GPA even alot of Carib schools wouldn't accept you. There are some that would accept you into their pre-med programs, but unless it's a sketchy med-school even the schools that are not " big 4 ( SGU, AUC, Saba, Ross) would take a GPA like that into the med-school directly. Its EASY to get into a carib school, but not THAT easy. 2 years ago I had 3.8 undergrad/ Sci gpa, but no MCAT, no physics or calc. I applied to SABA hoping for conditional acceptance ( completion of Organic in the summer before fall 06) and they rejected me. Even with my high sci gpa , they wouldn't conditionally accept me upon completion of organic. They wanted the organic scores BEFORE acceptance. Trust me, I felt very silly being rejected from a Carib school. I didnt have the time to take extra semesters to fulfill all the requirements, and take the MCAT ( I was already a year behind for medical/health reasons) so I came to a Carib school after all that. I graduated this year, top of my class, and got over the US average step score ( which is currently 222). Just to give you some incite, since there aren't many carib students on this site.
     
  39. a817

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I would say keep picking up your gpa and the only other option you have is DO. DO only factor the repeated grade, so that should bump your gpa. Do well on the mcat. With your gpa only carib and DO schools are options and they both have trained many successful physicians. The choice would be up to you, but you still need to raise your gpa for them still at this point, at least to around 3.0.
     

Share This Page