Oct 28, 2010
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Pre-Medical
I completed my undergrad with a 3.0 cGPA and a 2.8 sGPA. I took the MCAT twice and scored a 29R and a 31R (32R aggregate). I have conducted neuroscience and biology research, served various leadership positions throughout college, worked full-time in an ophthalmology clinic and even volunteered abroad in India and Pakistan separately. I was rejected by all 15 MD schools I applied to last year and, thus, enrolled in the MAMS program at Boston U directly after undergrad. Now that I am in the program and looking ahead, I realize that not much is going to change in 1 year and my chances haven't improved significantly enough. What could I do to improve my chances to get into an MD program? I already have strong extracurricular activities but my academic record is bringing me down. My advisors told me to take next year off to "find myself" but that just seems like an utter waste of time.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Ursa

woof
5+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2010
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If you are applying broadly to middle-tier schools (no Harvards, Yales, or JHopkins) then your MCAT should be fine. If your EC's are good, then you need to make a GPA change. You have a few options.

You, could do a post-bacc, a masters, or continue with your undergrad. Since you are a reapplicant, I assume you have graduated from undergrad...if so, that option is out. Don't worry though, you would be better off with either of the other two options because they let you start fresh in terms of GPA, whereas undergrad would be like fighting a losing battle at this point.

I would suggest getting a masters in a pretty solid science (no nutritions, life sciences, etc.)... look into things like mol. gen., mol. biology, and biochem. Getting a 4.0 in a masters program like this usually will give you a better shot at an interview, where you have a chance to defend what happened with your undergrad GPA.

If you show them that you are improving your work ethic and can handle some rigorous science courses, they will give you a shot to prove yourself at an interview.

I am a reapplicant too, and I have increased my interview invites by 600%...and I know you can be successful too! Good Luck!!!

I am editing my post just to add something....taking another year off seems like the worst thing that could happen at this point (believe me, I've been there), however in the long run (4yrs med school and at least 3 yrs residency) one year isn't much of a difference. Also, taking the extra year will not only increase your gpa, but it will show adcoms that you are committed to the process. If you apply a 3rd time without improving your gpa, they will see right through your decisions and know that you think the process of getting to be a competitive applicant is an "utter waste of time." I hope this helps you!
 
Oct 27, 2010
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don't know much about mams program but you should consider doing post-bac or smp. you have great mcat so it would be a waste for you not to apply. through a post-bac or smp you can definitely raise your gpa. no need to "find yourself." what is that? thats not a very encouraging advice.
 

MSmentor018

Hooah!
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Jul 9, 2007
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apply broadly....very broadly. 15 isn't enough, the lower your scores, the more you should apply. look at usn&wr, find where your mcat/gpa fits and that'll give you an idea of where your stats fit in. good luck!
 

Bernoull

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Mar 24, 2007
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apply broadly....very broadly. 15 isn't enough, the lower your scores, the more you should apply. look at usn&wr, find where your mcat/gpa fits and that'll give you an idea of where your stats fit in. good luck!
U're MCAT is competitive, it's ur gpa that's hurting you more. What schools did u apply to last time, did u get any interviews?

How are ur grades in ur BU MAMS program?

Get the MSAR and choose ur schools wisely with an eye for a) how do ur stats compare AND b) are you the type of student School X tends to recruit (in other words, do u "fit" their mission/vision, selection criteria bla bla bla)...

I'll say apply to ~30 schools, it's expensive but infinitely cheaper that waiting out and doing grad programs!!!

Gdluck
 
Sep 28, 2010
104
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TX
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Medical Student
I understand that med schools want to recruit students that are not going to drop out (good gpa), will succeed in med school (MCAT), and understand where medicine is going (clinical ecperience).
Take a post bac two yr approach in sciences to improve SGPA to above 3.5.
Retake MCAT to improve score some more. Aim for score of 36 to compensate for lower gpa.
Get even more extensive clinical experience to show that you're dedicated to medicine.
Apply broadly to both mid tier & low tier schools. My advice is to use MSAR book to see which schools accept OOS more vs IS.
Don't give up. Apply multiple times if you have to. But, right now follow what I said. It seems like your advisors are telling you to "find yourself" because they think you will find something else other than medicine in this break as a career.
 

jadealer

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Oct 13, 2009
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Also, if you can get your GPA above a 3.0, DO school might be a viable option for you to look into. If you retake any classes which you did poorly in and get good grades, DO schools do grade replacement while MD schools average the two grades. So DO is more forgiving of previous academic errors.
 

fahimaz7

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Jul 18, 2004
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DO school is a very viable option. MD schools will require you to prove to them that you are capable of making grades in a much more rigorous curriculum. To do this, they are going to want to see a two year history of good grades, while taking academically challenging classes. If you can manage a 3.8+ in a SMP, that is a good start. But if for some reason you can't get the grades, you might have to head DO or Caribbean.

I had similar grades and MCAT scores, and it took 4 cycles to get in. I also did a master's program, and ended up with a 3.9.

Good luck!
 

0919mmk

5+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2009
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I think there is some great advice posted above. The one thing that I guess I would argue is that a year off is not always a terrible idea. First off, you can use that year to improve your app in ways other than GPA. Clearly your GPA is your issue, and you should do whatever you can to address that. However, I think there is something to be said for taking some time to "grow".

Just to qualify my remarks, I am going to be reapplying next spring. I applied last cycle with a low 3's gpa and a 32 MCAT. I obviously didn't do as well as I had hoped, however, I got 3 interviews --> 2 waitlists and 1 offer that didn't pan out (see my recent posts, its a long story).

In any case, I think the reason I even got interviews was a) my decent MCAT, but more importantly b) I took time after UG to do cool things. My PS revealed someone who was a pretty interesting guy with some unique experiences. I had fun in my time off, and learned a lot about myself, as corny as that sounds. But its totally true, and I think it had a lot to do with me getting interviews. Really, with my GPA, i shouldn't have gotten probably any interviews.

Bottom line, dont totally discount the value of taking time off. If you structure it and use it wisely, it can def help you in the undertaking. Good luck
 
Sep 5, 2010
268
11
cali
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Attending Physician
with a 31 mcat on 2nd attempt, I think your chances at any US MD school is slim to none if your gpa is <3.4
 

dragonfly99

10+ Year Member
May 15, 2008
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I think you should consider DO schools, and if you try once or twice for US MD and DO schools, consider bailing for a foreign school/Caribbean.

If you really want US MD schools, then you may need another year or two of VERY good grades, and to raise your MCAT score.
It sounds like your advisor may not think you have what it takes. If you want to be a doctor then you sometimes have to be willing to put your nose to the grindstone and prove those types of people wrong...
 
OP
O
Oct 28, 2010
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks a lot for the advice.

To answer some of the questions:

No, I have yet to be invited to an interview (MD and DO).
My grades in the BU MAMS program are around 3.6 right now.
I already applied to most of the schools in the country (according to MSAR) that accept OOS students without interview invitations. In fact, I've been rejected from Indiana U Med twice and I'm in-state.

I am probably going to take a second year to conduct some clinical research and plan on retaking the MCAT after my first year is done at BU. If I get rejected for my third cycle I may have to settle for the Caribbean.

Again, the advice really helped. Please post anything else you feel I need to hear.
 

fahimaz7

15+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2004
3,286
216
Colorado
Status
Attending Physician
Thanks a lot for the advice.

To answer some of the questions:

No, I have yet to be invited to an interview (MD and DO).
My grades in the BU MAMS program are around 3.6 right now.
I already applied to most of the schools in the country (according to MSAR) that accept OOS students without interview invitations. In fact, I've been rejected from Indiana U Med twice and I'm in-state.

I am probably going to take a second year to conduct some clinical research and plan on retaking the MCAT after my first year is done at BU. If I get rejected for my third cycle I may have to settle for the Caribbean.

Again, the advice really helped. Please post anything else you feel I need to hear.
You don't need clinical research. What you need is a track record of solid grades and focus, something that you aren't going to get unless you start making A's in school. Why would an admissions committee accept a slacker (poor GPA with a decent MCAT), when they have 400 applicants with better grades and the same MCAT? Medical school is all about hard work and effort. If you don't have a strong track record of doing that, the admission's committees are going to continue to reject you for wasting their time.