Jan 7, 2013
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Hi all,

I'm preparing to apply to several post-bacc career changer programs and I'm worried about my math scores in UG as it relates to eventually applying to med school (for MD)
I had a 3.29 cGPA in undergrad, which I hope to increase through post bacc, but my issue is that I was a math minor with some kinda poor math grades (3 Cs - Calc 2, 3, and Vector Spaces). Even if I get straight A+s through post bacc, my BCPM GPA will be hover around a 3.2, simply because of these scores (if this happened, my cGPA would be 3.4ish).

Is this something to worry unduly about? If all it takes to get over these courses is acing my post bacc program I'm not worried about it, but I'm worried that these may really pull down my sGPA and hurt my chances.

As a side note, my medical experience is working full and/or volunteer in EMS for 3.5 years.

I'd just like to know how competitive this would make me before I invest 2 years and many thousands of dollars into this. I'd prefer not to leave post-bacc in debt and end up in the Caribbean. I'm also looking for MD as opposed to DO, but I could probably be swayed with a convincing argument.

Thanks for taking the time to reply
 

OneTwoThreeFour

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Oct 10, 2012
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OK, here's what I'd do if I was you:
1. Do that post-bacc, and get your A's. Your GPA is your GPA at this point. Sunk cost, water under the bridge.

2. Everybody is going to say "all you have to do is crush your MCAT." From what I've read and seen, they say that because it's 100% the truth. With your GPA, you'll probably need like, a 34+ to avoid some really tough conversations with yourself about whether you're going to live and die for an MD.

3. Get a position in a research lab, shadow physicians, do community service. Don't try to make money while you're leaking money, because right now, getting in to allopathic is the most important thing. and that 10$/hr waitering job isn't going to look nearly as good on your application as 250 hours volunteering in the local ER or serving the underprivileged.

For the record, I may have started out with a bit of a better GPA than yours, but that is the path I've taken, so if you need support, send me a message.

You got this ****, but you have to really want it.
 
OP
R
Jan 7, 2013
29
4
Status
Thanks. Looking at some of the stickies at the top of the forum, it looks like with that GPA and a 35 MCAT, I have about a 50-60% chance of acceptance into allopathic.

Also, assuming EMS is ranked about the same as shadowing and research, I'll have no problems there. I'm currently working EMS full time, and I'll keep that up either volunteering or part time (possibly in an ED) through post bacc.

Looks like its time to get cranking on those apps.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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Sep 4, 2006
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I'm also looking for MD as opposed to DO, but I could probably be swayed with a convincing argument.
The non-Texas DO application service (AACOMAS) doesn't include math in its sGPA.
I'm currently working EMS full time, and I'll keep that up either volunteering or part time (possibly in an ED)
Since your clinical experience is strong, if you already know your way around the ER, then consider some nonmedical community service for a cause you care about, instead. Taking on a leadership role within such a group would reflect on you favorably.
Also, assuming EMS is ranked about the same as shadowing and research . . .
Strong clinical experience can overweight a lack of research, but IMO it would be wise to plan some dedicated physician shadowing time, ideally including a primary care doc for a taste of longitudinal care.
 

take the shot

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Jun 17, 2007
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Hi all,

I'm preparing to apply to several post-bacc career changer programs and I'm worried about my math scores in UG as it relates to eventually applying to med school (for MD)
I had a 3.29 cGPA in undergrad, which I hope to increase through post bacc, but my issue is that I was a math minor with some kinda poor math grades (3 Cs - Calc 2, 3, and Vector Spaces). Even if I get straight A+s through post bacc, my BCPM GPA will be hover around a 3.2, simply because of these scores (if this happened, my cGPA would be 3.4ish).

Is this something to worry unduly about? If all it takes to get over these courses is acing my post bacc program I'm not worried about it, but I'm worried that these may really pull down my sGPA and hurt my chances.

As a side note, my medical experience is working full and/or volunteer in EMS for 3.5 years.

I'd just like to know how competitive this would make me before I invest 2 years and many thousands of dollars into this. I'd prefer not to leave post-bacc in debt and end up in the Caribbean. I'm also looking for MD as opposed to DO, but I could probably be swayed with a convincing argument.

Thanks for taking the time to reply
Being an EMS will help your application. Don't underestimate how much admission committees like applicants who have medical experience and still want to be doctors. It says to them you know what it's like to work with pts and you still like it.

Down side: the reality is your grades as they stand right now can hurt your application. Med schools want students who have proven they have what it takes to do well academically and GPA is a component of that assessent. If there is any way you can repeat calc 1 and 2, I would strongly recommend you do that. Although this takes time, superior grades should replace what you have and give a boost to your GPA. Most people hate the idea of redoing classes, but if you do well you will be able to spin your application with things like "I lacked in maturity, discipline, focus (or whatever) when I was younger...now I have the determination and focus to do well in med school". Better to do this now then (as you said) waste lots of money and time applying to med school and being rejected.

My undergrad had self-study courses for algebra and trig...all I had to do was go take the tests at the testing center but never had the time (too busy partying) What fun it was to explain 3 Fs for algebra 1...NOT But I took advantage of kick ass grades later on to convince them I was smart enough for med school

Best of luck to you!
 
OP
R
Jan 7, 2013
29
4
Status
If there is any way you can repeat calc 1 and 2, I would strongly recommend you do that. Although this takes time, superior grades should replace what you have and give a boost to your GPA. Most people hate the idea of redoing classes, but if you do well you will be able to spin your application with things like "I lacked in maturity, discipline, focus (or whatever) when I was younger...now I have the determination and focus to do well in med school". Better to do this now then (as you said) waste lots of money and time applying to med school and being rejected.
I was under the impression that allopathic schools did not accept repeat classes, and only osteopathic schools would look at a repeat grade.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,389
11,994
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
I was under the impression that allopathic schools did not accept repeat classes, and only osteopathic schools would look at a repeat grade.
If you repeat a class, allopathic schools will see both grades earned on the AMCAS transcript, and both are included in the calculation of your application GPAs. So they do "accept" retakes, in that they will consider a poor grade redeemed by a better effort, it's just that they don't allow for grade replacement, like DO schools will.
 
OP
R
Jan 7, 2013
29
4
Status
The non-Texas DO application service (AACOMAS) doesn't include math in its sGPA.
That is a fairly convincing argument for DO haha

If you repeat a class, allopathic schools will see both grades earned on the AMCAS transcript, and both are included in the calculation of your application GPAs. So they do "accept" retakes, in that they will consider a poor grade redeemed by a better effort, it's just that they don't allow for grade replacement, like DO schools will.
Ah, OK. That makes sense. Thanks.