1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Low GPAers/Postbaccs getting into top tier schools

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by pompompurin, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. pompompurin

    pompompurin Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    hey

    has anyone been accepted to or know someone who has been accepted to a top tier medical school even though they had low undergrad grades or were postbaccs for academic-enhancement reasons (basically their undergrad gpas were not high enough)?

    if so, what factors do you think got you accepted? did you need an extremely good reason as to why your grades were subpar? was it a long and difficult process?

    just curious...
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    30,989
    Likes Received:
    9,849
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I think there are quite a few examples of this. Usually those people distinguished themselves in some way in the interval between college and postbac and then totally aced the postbac and MCAT. One is probably less likely to end up at the top schools after a lackluster college performance and only a short gap between college and postbac, though. You might have better luck getting such success stories on the nontrad board.
     
  4. DrMojorisin

    DrMojorisin Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    My experience has been that no matter what you do after undergrad, if you have a blemish in undergrad there it still counts against you significantly. I think that the relative negative impact will vary significantly between average schools, but will usually be unacceptable at top tier schools. Almost entirely, people getting into top tier schools have nearly perfect applications, or are URM/politically connected/legacy with only a little smudge.

    So I personally think it would be a fluke for someone with a low undergrad GPA/flawless postbac combo to get in at top tiers without being URM, politically connected, or legacy. I recommend browsing through the profiles at www.mdapplicants.com to get a better idea of what kind of people are getting into specific schools.

    To be fair, a person with a great postbac recovery can be a very attractive candidate to regional schools. These assertions are based on my personal anecdotal experience (3.0 BCPM undergrad/3.2 undergrad-->3.7 graduate gpa and 27 undergrad MCAT-->33 grad MCAT). I received no interviews from schools in the top 30. Outside that range, most schools have been highly interested (but not enough to give me scholarships).
     
  5. DrMojorisin

    DrMojorisin Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    After rereading the OP, I realized that they already agreed with most of what I said and was looking for the exception where a bad undergrad/good postdoc did make it in. I don't know of that person- but I can say it will probably help a lot if you do your postbac at the top tier school you want to go to.

    Also I've learned from experience not to admit to youthful indiscretion in order to explain a low undergrad GPA. Instead focus on some of the problems you were having at that time in your life. After all, if you weren't having those problems you probably wouldn't have made thos stupid youthful decisions. So yeah, basically you need a good reason for a low GPA. Infirm or dying family members/close friends are the classic choice. Its better if you can come up with something more unique. Avoid using romantic failures, they appear immature. Ideally, you will have had a personal health problem that interfered with your grades but made you love doctors.

    My first instinct was to blame my lack of parental support. Later I learned that one of the best things you can do is pretend like your parents are brilliant and flawless, even if they aren't, because people will assume you are like them.
     
  6. bkflaneur

    bkflaneur Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I don't have any specifics, but I think that for nontraditional applicants, some schools focus much more on post-college experience and postbac performance, while others are more concerned with the big picture. I interviewed at Pitt a few weeks ago, and I got the impression that they don't care as much (within reason) about your undergrad if you have good work experience and do well in postbac classes and the MCAT. But that was just my gut impression from what the associate dean of admissions told me.
     
  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    30,989
    Likes Received:
    9,849
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I don't really agree with your advice, but everyone's views are tainted by their own personal experiences, I suppose. Some non"regional" schools are impressed by a stellar performance years later. But it tends to need to be after a significant period of time during which that person has done quite a lot, and the undergrad performance cannot be unbelievably bad -- more like just shy of adequate. And a huge MCAT performance helps a ton. However there is no way that your best chance of admission to a top school is by going to a postbac at that school -- most of the top schools do not have linkage and most of the top postbacs (Bryn Mawr, Goucher, Gtown SMP, etc.) are not affiliated with top schools. (And places like HES hardly ever feed into Harvard -- your odds are actually better from elsewhere). So no, that part is just wrong.
     

Share This Page