low mcat/gpa...a suggestion (special masters prog)

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ramkijai, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. ramkijai

    ramkijai Member

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    Hello,
    For people with low mcats or gpas (especially reapplicants) I wanted to suggest looking at so called "special" masters degree programs. There are three that I am aware of : finch (applied physiology program), georgetown (title?), and mcp hahnemann (msp or ims program). I am currently in the ims program and am finally getting some traction after stagnating for a long time on the med school app treadmill. The concept behind all three is the same: show what you can do by taking classes alongside matriculated first year med students. Regarding the mcp program what is nice is that there is no competition either wilth your fellow students or with the med students. Your performance is measured against the first years (their average equals a B; one std deviation above the mean or below is an A and C respectively). I have found the students to be a wonderful group and supportive of each other. About 2/3 of the students get into med school after one year in the program and rough 85% get in eventually. The program is a BIYATCH!!! 22 units and to get an A is like passing a kidney stone the size of Half Dome. That, in a perverse way, is good because the med schools know what your grades mean. In most grad programs to remain in good standing requires a 3.0 and so making a difference in your gpa is much more difficult in that context. This is probably getting long winded so I will stop and be happy to answer any questions. One last thing...I have a special place in my heart for every nontraditional student who picked themselves up, righted their lives and bravely took on the challenge to go to med school. NEVER GIVE UP!! You guys/gals rock!! Take care.

    Rajesh
     
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  3. UCLA2000

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    UCLA has a reapplication program.
     
  4. Rachmaninoff

    Rachmaninoff New Member

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    I have a quick question. If you take these programs at a certain institution are you able to apply to other institutions and realistically be accepted or must you stick with the same school?
     
  5. UCLA2000

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    No you are NOT stuck at that institution. You generally have a great shot of getting in at that institution, but you are not limited to it.

    A Masters degree is not the same thing. The programs generally have you taking undergrad level courses.

    It's not going to look good if you don't finish your MA degree....
    Some med schools will question your ability to follow through with what you start. They may also question whether or not you will leave med schools half way through.
     
  6. KrazyKid

    KrazyKid Junior Member

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    Where can we find out about these programs?? I'm interested...I myself have just recently figured out how to study (and take tests correctly) anyway I would like to know more about these type of programs.
    ~Sean
     
  7. ramkijai

    ramkijai Member

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    Hello,
    Thanks UCLA2000, i was not aware that UCLA had such a program (oh to dream...Cali... home sweet home)

    Rachminoff, only about a quarter to a third of the students elect to go to MCP Hahnemann; most go elsewhere.

    FuturePro, I agree with UCLA2000, quitting would not be a good idea; if you get an interview that will surely come up so if you decide to quit keep that in mind. Also to elaborate a bit more on the structure of the IMS program here at MCP, we take 6 classes: Biochemistry, Immunology, Nutrition, Histology/Microanatomy, physiology, Neuroscience (replaces Histo in the Spring) and a class in medical ethics (not taken by medical schools). The one major class that we do not take is Gross Anatomy. Still it is 22 units which is more than enough. We take the same exam, have the same instructers, watch the same lectures, discussion etc. as the medical students. It is, for all intents and practical purposes, an audition of sorts for medical school. Getting an A in a course is equivalent to "Honors" for the med student. If you get a B or higher in every class you are GUARANTEED (sp?) an interview at MCP. For someone with a a sub 3.3 gpa (been there: UGA 2.9) who can't get their foot in past the intial screen no matter how many post bac classes they load up on (been there: 3.7 post bac GPA) or high their MCAT (again been there: 38 S) programs like this can really help. Good Luck with everything and I hope this helps. Take care.

    Rajesh
     
  8. ramkijai

    ramkijai Member

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    Hi Krazy,
    go to MCP Hahnemann School of medicine website; click on the link to Medical Science Programs. Also the Finch/Chicago medical School has a similar prgram described as "Applied Physiolgy"; as far as G-town, I don't know but try calling the medical school. Again these are not post bacc programs but masters programs (some of these schools have both...it can be kind of confusing)

    Rajesh
     
  9. Mylaina

    Mylaina Senior Member

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    Hey- What is the likelihood of being matriculated into MCPHU if one does the program there? I mean, if you do decently, is there a risk of it being a waste of money and a year?
     
  10. Homer J. Simpson

    Homer J. Simpson 1st and goal from the 1 yard line.

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by UCLA2000:
    <strong>UCLA has a reapplication program.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Do you know of a link to the program??

    Thanks.
     
  11. Homer J. Simpson

    Homer J. Simpson 1st and goal from the 1 yard line.

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  12. ramkijai

    ramkijai Member

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    i saw a few questions regarding these programs...hope this helps.
     
  13. ramkijai

    ramkijai Member

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    mylaina,
    the number of people that get in varies from year to year. Most go elsewhere. The placement rate is about 65% after the first year and 85% of the students get in somewhere two years after starting. admission to MCPHU is not guaranteed but the interview is (as long as you meet the min. requirement). Call their office for questions and advice. I sound like a salesman for them but they are really good and up front.
     
  14. ComplexPuzzle

    ComplexPuzzle shakin dat a**

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    The following address is for the program at Georgetown. <a href="http://www.go.to/physio" target="_blank">www.go.to/physio</a>
    Hope this helps. Does anyone know of any other programs.
     
  15. BVS

    BVS Junior Member

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    New York Medical also has a program. It's called the Interdisciplinary M.S. Program (Basic Medical Sciences).

    I'm thinking about the MCPH program myself. Do most people apply before the first year or after they have completed the program? AMCAS starts in June and the classes don't start until August. How does that work?
     
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  17. ComplexPuzzle

    ComplexPuzzle shakin dat a**

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    here is another website with info about one year master's programs

    www-hobbes.syr.edu/hpap/LISTPB.HTM
     
  18. ramkijai

    ramkijai Member

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    BVS,
    most apply before the program starts. This year it was really hard because of the AMCAS situation which totally screwed up the timing of the secondaries. But in a normal year both school and apps can be done simultaneously. I would add that if you can wait a year you will benefit more in terms of improving your app.
     
  19. rata tat tat

    rata tat tat Junior Member

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    does anyone know if there are schools in Michigan or Mass with these types of programs. I would really appreciate any reply.
    Thank you
     
  20. Homer J. Simpson

    Homer J. Simpson 1st and goal from the 1 yard line.

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by BVS:
    <strong>New York Medical also has a program. It's called the Interdisciplinary M.S. Program (Basic Medical Sciences).
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Isn't this just a regular Master's program? I didn't see anything on the website indicating that it helped lead to medical school.
     
  21. JZZZZZZZs

    JZZZZZZZs Senior Member

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    ramkijai,
    Oh my gosh, you didn't have any luck applying even with a 3.7 post-bacc. gpa and a 38 on the MCAT?!?!!! What do these schools want?!?? I'm in a similar situation as yourself in that my undergrad gpa was subpar, (around a 3.16) and I was planning on taking some post-bacc. classes to boost up my gpa but after reading your post, I'm wondering if it really is the right course to take. In your opinion, do you think I should completely bypass an informal post-bacc. program and aim for a more recognized Master's program such as the ones at MCP or Chicago/Finch?!?? I thought I had the next year planned out by doing a post-bacc. program but now I just don't know. :rolleyes:
    Please help!!! Anybody?!!?
     
  22. buglady

    buglady We need more cowbell

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    i know of a ms program out of dartmouth...it's not really a premed type program, but it's an interesting degree in clinical evaulative sciences....it's only a one year prorgram and the whole goal of the degree is to focus on improving health care. The application is due soon, though! They will accept MCAT's or GRE's, but they have to be official.

    There's also a premed/post bac. program at Duquesne and Univ. of Penn., if that helps at all! :D
     
  23. scooter31

    scooter31 'Ello Guv'nah!

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    FYI-

    Boston U has a reapplicant program , and I'm sure of UCSF having one as well, for Ca residents only though.... hope this helps.... I'm in the sane boat!!!! Any additional info- PLEASE post!!!!
     
  24. ramkijai

    ramkijai Member

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    Hello,
    I am glad there is some interest here because I initially posted so that others would be aware of the types of programs that are out there. Let me start with the MCAT. When i applied to med schools my MCAT was 35 R (10/14/11) and I only got the 38 S (11/14/13) this past april. Sorry if that was a bit misleading. having said that I think it is a major mistake to think that a high MCAT score will mitigate in any significant way a sub-par academic record. A low MCAT with low grades is the kiss of death but don't think that a high score will be too much different. ok so what about grades? Ask yourself the following: how much of an effect is the following program going to have on my gpa? If you have a lot of science courses odds are that taking a few upper division or graduate level courses (keep in mind that to remain a grad student in good standing you need to maintain a 3.0; if that is the baseline how difficult is it going to be to stand out?) is not going to significantly move your GPA. Also evaluate why your GPA is subpar (below 3.4-3.5). Is it the result of a single event/bad semester? Or does it reflect a consistent pattern of performance (grades sucked over several semesters)? If it is a consistent pattern the road ahead is a lot tougher. that is my situation. I have several publications and significant ECs/clinical as well as a 2.7 UG GPA. Bottom line that is what they see and why I could not even get an interview. i found out about the mcphu program during my inital application but could not get admitted due to my academic performance. I then retook the MCAT (it had expired) and got in. I have two interviews so far due solely to my performance in the first semester here. This IS NOT a post-bacc program. I do not think (but may be wrong) that the UCLA/UCSF/BU programs are similar. UCLA and UCSF I have never heard of before; from what i have heard BU's program is quite lame (again willing to be corrected). the three program of which I am aware are G-town,Finch,MCPHU. So my advice,JZ, is look closely at the program, call MCPHU, i think you sound like the type of person for whom this program was designed. Whew!! long-winded,sorry,...hope this helps. Good luck!
     
  25. Ripley

    Ripley Dr. Wannabe

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    Ramkijai--

    Thanks for posting this info! I was unaware that such programs existed. I never finished college and had a dismal gpa(really not kidding). I recently returned to school - I am now 30 - and am retaking all that good shtuff, like orgo & physics. Never mind that I am doing very well now, I KNOW that a lot of places will just toss my app into the trash bin due to cumGPA. But this programs sounds as if it will give me an actual real chance!

    Good Luck on your interviews and keep us updated!
    I LOVE success stories!! :D :D :D

    Christina
     
  26. BVS

    BVS Junior Member

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    Homer,

    I don't think the NYMC program is advertised as a post-bach program but it is what the someone from the adcom suggested for me. Also, I don't know what else you would do with that degree besides apply to medical school.
     
  27. JZZZZZZZs

    JZZZZZZZs Senior Member

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    ramkijai,
    I am taking your advice and analyzing my situation right now. Unfortunately, my low undergrad GPA was the result of several bad quarters throughout my undergrad career and does not display any sort of upward trend. My worst performance was during my senior year because I was just get burned out on school and wanted to get the heck out. (Not that it's an excuse, but I took about 16 to 20 units every quarter, finishing in 4 years with a major and a minor.) After graduating, I took a year and half off, and came to realize that I wanted to pursue medicine. I don't really have any impressive ECs or research besides tutoring in college. I know I have a long way to go and was planning on taking post-bacc. classes for the next year while simultaneously getting more clinical and research experience. I figure I will take about 3 to 4 classes per quarter, averaging 12-16 units and end up with around 50 extra units. And if I work hard and ace those classes, it should significantly boost up my cum. GPA by .3 points. So...with the above information, do you still think I should look into these special master programs? It sounds like the people who get in to these programs (such as yourself) are already very well-rounded applicants (in terms of clinical/research exp.) except in the area of grades. And like you said, I would imagine that once you're in the master program, you would have no outside time for research or volunteering. Is that correct?
    Thanks in advance for all your help!!!!
    And congratulations on your interviews if I haven't already congratulated you.
     
  28. JZZZZZZZs

    JZZZZZZZs Senior Member

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  29. ramkijai

    ramkijai Member

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    Hi JZ,
    You are right about the types of students in the program. Most everyone has applied to medical school previously so their application is set with respect to ECs, clinical experience and the MCAT. The program is for those who are relatively close to getting in but need help in clearing that final hurdle. I think if you can get your GPA close to 3.5 that is a competitive GPA. Research and clinical experience are important, more the latter than the former. But still keep in mind that most applicants will have the same background. I will be honest with you and say that the process to getting into medical school is hard to figure. The critical things are still GPA and MCAT. The advantage of the masters program is that it can show that you are willing to commit to a one year rigorous program matched up against med students. I don't know if I have helped much here but I still would suggest calling the MCPHU program (tel # is on website) and give them your background and they will happily give advice. Good Luck!
     
  30. JZZZZZZZs

    JZZZZZZZs Senior Member

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    ramkijai,
    Again, I have to say thanks for answering my question and reinforcing my general impression regarding these special masters programs. I hope our posts will help others who are in similar situations decide their own best course of action. (And the key word here is definitely OWN) There's so much information and support out there but it takes just as much work to wade through all of it as it does to initially gather the info. Sigh... :p Well, best of luck with everything.
     
  31. Art_Vandelay

    Art_Vandelay Junior Member

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    Question... I have been out of school for a long time(graduated in 94 with bio degree 2.7 gpa), and have within the last two years decided that i want to go into medicine. I expect to be finishing a master's degree in pharmacology within the year, gpa should be around 3.9 or so, the research is quality . I've also taken approx 21 miscellaneous graduate credits not related to the pharmacology program(mostly A's). My question is, how much weight will adcoms give my undergrad gpa considering that it was so long ago. I'm taking the mcats in august, assuming i do well, is it reasonable for me to think that adcoms will take me for the student I am now and not the slacker i was 8yrs ago? And do the post bacc programs such as the ones described in the above posts hold any advantage over just a straight thesis based master's degree?
    Any help you guys could give me would be appreciated! By the way, great posts, very informative.

    You may be done with the past, but, the past might not be done with you.
     
  32. JZZZZZZZs

    JZZZZZZZs Senior Member

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    Hi Art,
    First off, let me just say kudos to the hard work you've put into your pharmacology master. A 3.9 is a very impressive show of dedication and committment. I, myself am fairly new to the whole med school adcoms' mentality but from what I've read in other posts, they definitely like to see an upward trend in your cumulative GPA and the fact that you went back to school after a few years to pursue a master should also be looked upon favorably. Maybe you can even tip that more in your favor by mentioning your motivation for this decision. (Hopefully considering that it is a good one.) As for your undergrad GPA, I've heard that med schools don't like excuses for your poor performance but would rather see the actions you've taken to prove that you're capable of the material. It certainly looks like you've done that. So ace your MCAT and get involved in some clinical volunteer programs and we will all see you in medical school!!!!
    As for the special masters program, it doesn't look like you should really worry about it since you will already have a masters. These programs are really for those who do not want to go into a specific area of research but who would like to boost their cumulative GPA up. I don't think they have any sort of advantage as to regular masters in being favored by the adcoms. Hope this helps!
    :)
     
  33. Art_Vandelay

    Art_Vandelay Junior Member

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    Thanks JZZZZZZ. I appreciate your response, and hope that you are correct. One other question (not related to the above), what do you think the best type of exposure to medicine would be? Obviously, something clinical where you deal with patients, but in what capacity?? shadowing a doctor? volunteering in emergency room? etc...
    How did you go about getting your experiences?
     
  34. rata tat tat

    rata tat tat Junior Member

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  35. rata tat tat

    rata tat tat Junior Member

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    bumpity bump
     
  36. JZZZZZZZs

    JZZZZZZZs Senior Member

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    Sorry Art for getting back to you so late,
    Guess I haven't been checking the boards in awhile but to answer your question, I think the best exposure to medicine is doing anything involving patient interaction where you'll be caring for the old, young or sick. Personally, I see more value in volunteering at say a clinic for the underserved than a hospital where they'll just make you do paper work and won't let you touch a patient for the sake of avoiding lawsuits. Also, you might want to look into county hospitals where the volume of patients are higher and the hospitals are more short-staffed. They usually allow you for a more hands-on experience. Anything you end up doing should give you a better understanding of what it takes to be a good, caring physician and also the basic infrastructure/politics of health care. Best of luck in your volunteering! :D
     
  37. futrfysician

    futrfysician Senior Member

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    Barry Univ. in Miami has a BioMedical Sciences program whereby you do 1 or 2 years in meical school type classes. Straight first year stuff. Gross, Histo, Micro, et al.

    They place 88% of their students all over. Most come there, then go back home and get in somewhere. It is highly regarded and the school will write committee letters for you upon getting thru the 14th credit successfully.

    Basically, get A's and B's here and you can get in somewhere. They take 40 in each class.

    I am in there as a back up since I am an OPM. Need to do something to get going...running on borrowed time you know.

    Come on GWU..send that Acceptance letter. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     

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