More than just Numbers: A guide for the less than perfect Med School applicant.

exmike

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Hello everyone.

Some of you guys know me, if not, you can read my story here

http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=922

In any case, many of the stories I have read here are inspiring, and I am glad that people with less than perfect records are still striving towards their goal of medical school. I remember when I was thinking about applying to medical school, there really wasnt anything like this post-bacc forum or even a reapplicants forum (thats right, SDN didnt have those a year and a half ago). When you talk to your guidance counselors or read med school info books, it can get really discouraging, partially because they make it seem like you need to have discovered a cure for AIDS while maintaining a 4.0, but also because - lets face it- most people dont know how to advise someone with a 3.0 GPA about how to get into medical school. After all, according to the AAMC, if you have a 3.0, your chances of getting into medical school is in the low single digits in terms of percentages so you really cant blame people for saying its impossible.

What i really needed (and didnt have) was a reliable guide from someone just like me about the steps I should have taken to address my low GPA. Even having a forum like this would have been awesome, but that didnt exist just a year ago. I blindly created my own program for addressing my GPA, and fortunately, it worked and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. There is a lot of static out there about whats the right thing to do in any given situation, and obviously books that say "get above a 3.5 and do this and that " aren't any help when we already finished college with something far below that.

So what I am proposing (and something I have thought about for a long time since I got into medical school) is creating a guide to applying to medical school for the less than perfect applicant. Something that will motivate without blowing smoke up their butts. Realistic EVIDENCE BASED advice that really isnt available anywhere else. I would like to publish this guide online so anyone can access it, and perhaps even distribute it in print if there ever is a demand for it. This is information that NEEDS to be out there!

I would like to start the process this summer during my "vacation" and I would like to recruit all of you succesful (and not so successful) less than perfect applicants to help me create this guide because each story is a meaningful contribution. That means you liverotcod, lightningk, Kazema, and others. Hopefully our collective efforts will inspire less than perfect premeds and motivate them to reach for their dreams.

Just reply to this thread if you are interested in contributing and PM me with your email.
 

yogiberra

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Like I said your the "Come Back Kid", one question you did a MPH and the Georgetown SMP, do you think both are neccesary to be a succesful applicant or would the SMP suffice? Congrats once again keep up the good work.
 
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E

exmike

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yogiberra said:
Like I said your the "Come Back Kid", one question you did a MPH and the Georgetown SMP, do you think both are neccesary to be a succesful applicant or would the SMP suffice? Congrats once again keep up the good work.
I got into schools a couple months into the SMP, so I'd say it was my MPH that got me in. Thats what worked for me, but it could be something else for others. Thus the need for a guide like this. Some people with a similar profile to me did just fine with a SMP
 

imrep1972

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exmike said:
Hello everyone.

Some of you guys know me, if not, you can read my story here

http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=922

In any case, many of the stories I have read here are inspiring, and I am glad that people with less than perfect records are still striving towards their goal of medical school. I remember when I was thinking about applying to medical school, there really wasnt anything like this post-bacc forum or even a reapplicants forum (thats right, SDN didnt have those a year and a half ago). When you talk to your guidance counselors or read med school info books, it can get really discouraging, partially because they make it seem like you need to have discovered a cure for AIDS while maintaining a 4.0, but also because - lets face it- most people dont know how to advise someone with a 3.0 GPA about how to get into medical school. After all, according to the AAMC, if you have a 3.0, your chances of getting into medical school is in the low single digits in terms of percentages so you really cant blame people for saying its impossible.

What i really needed (and didnt have) was a reliable guide from someone just like me about the steps I should have taken to address my low GPA. Even having a forum like this would have been awesome, but that didnt exist just a year ago. I blindly created my own program for addressing my GPA, and fortunately, it worked and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. There is a lot of static out there about whats the right thing to do in any given situation, and obviously books that say "get above a 3.5 and do this and that " aren't any help when we already finished college with something far below that.

So what I am proposing (and something I have thought about for a long time since I got into medical school) is creating a guide to applying to medical school for the less than perfect applicant. Something that will motivate without blowing smoke up their butts. Realistic EVIDENCE BASED advice that really isnt available anywhere else. I would like to publish this guide online so anyone can access it, and perhaps even distribute it in print if there ever is a demand for it. This is information that NEEDS to be out there!

I would like to start the process this summer during my "vacation" and I would like to recruit all of you succesful (and not so successful) less than perfect applicants to help me create this guide because each story is a meaningful contribution. That means you liverotcod, lightningk, Kazema, and others. Hopefully our collective efforts will inspire less than perfect premeds and motivate them to reach for their dreams.

Just reply to this thread if you are interested in contributing and PM me with your email.
Don't know how much my story would help, since I have not been successsful.... YET... but if I can contribute, I would be more than happy to. Great idea.
 

Smittyballz

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imrep1972 said:
Don't know how much my story would help, since I have not been successsful.... YET... but if I can contribute, I would be more than happy to. Great idea.
Your story is inspiring, but also it makes me question my route to success. I was wondering how much money you have spent to get where you are now. I would love to help you out with your book but I have a long way to go until I am accepted. GOOD JOB though I look up to u and your accomplishments. :)
 

Homer101

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I would just like to say that for people like myself hearing such stories gives a lot of hope and inspiration. Seriously most pre-med advisors are so discouraging if your GPA is less that 3.5

Good luck with your book and its a great idea.
 

CaliforniaBear

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Hey exmike

I think that this is a great idea. Since we seem to be numbers twins, with the exception of your MPH, I think that we have similar stories. I feel that I have learned a whole lot in my three years of applying that would help a lot of people that are in positions like ours. I'll PM you.
 

ygreenst

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I'd like to help too, since I definitely received my fare share of discouragement from undergrad advisors based on my numbers. But this year I got in :) So I'll PM you.
 

sunnyjohn

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Hola exmike,

Well I am just at the beginning of the long journey, but I would be happy to help out.

I have already told a bunch of my old (loser) classmates about SDN. It is a heck of a lot more helpful than some pr-med advisors.

I would certainly buy such a book!

If you need a guinea pig to try out your theories, I volunteer!

Agape
 

AnotherDork

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Hi exmike-

A fantastic idea... I would be happy to help in any way possible.

I'm a pretty standard less-than-perfect applicant: 3.1 gpa, 2 years research, some volunteering. Applied unsuccessfully 2 years ago, did the BU MAMS program, and got into a few places, while still waiting to hear from others.

Let me know if you need anything, and good luck!
 

BobLJ99

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Hey Exmike:

I love your idea! Whenever I think of an underdog accomplishing what everyone else said was impossible, I think of the movie Rudy. I know, I know, so I am a bit corny, but I love that movie.

Anyways, I am in a similar underdog role. Went through a difficult time during undergrad after losing my mother, who was my last living parent. Finished my last three semesters strong and ended up with a 2.8 cumulative GPA. I only took four science classes (none of which were the pre-reqs for med school) and have a BCPM of a 2.37.

Since undergrad, I went on for my master's in social work, which I will be graduating this May with a 3.98. I was accepted into Harvard's Health Careers Program, but not without scrutiny from Bill Fixsen and Owen Peterson. If I can remember correctly, "I strongly recommend you reconsider medicine. Admission to medical school is ferociously competitive and even if you do well in postbacc work and the MCAT, your chance of success is slim." I went against their advice and will be starting the HCP this summer. With successful completion in the HCP, I want to apply to Georgetown's SMP program.

I have a long road ahead, but I have the drive and determination to do this. Hearing the success stories of others who have been the underdog is truly inspiring! I only wish premed advisors could offer this type of encouragement.
 

Axe

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I had to do a MS postbac because of a poor BCMP (~3.0) and I think success hinges upon a high MCAT (>95th percentile). Thats about the only common theme I saw in reading about people that managed to get into a MD school in the states with serious GPA defects and that was also true of my own application. That and a demonstration of maturity and owning up to past phuckups in the essay and interview. There a bunch of people in my program and other SMPs that end up at osetopathic institutions and mostly it was a result of average to subpar MCATs.
 

LaurieB

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I think I safely qualify in the low GPA catagory so count me in on your project.

Laurie
 

Phil Anthropist

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barumpadumpbump!

I will gladly contribute when I'm successful (it'll be a few years). In the meantime, I'm keeping track of my journey from "less than perfect" status to acceptance-earning med school applicant (and of course, future physician).

Phil :D

P.S. I compiled a list of some of the enrichment postbac programs available. I still have to type it up, but I will probably try to post it in the next few weeks.
 

Crake

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Hey Exmike, great idea! I remember reading your story a while back; very inspiring. Congratulations on getting in, best of luck to you.

If you ever need someone with a bit of editing experience, drop me a pm.

-Crake
 

ctothed

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ygreenst said:
I'd like to help too, since I definitely received my fare share of discouragement from undergrad advisors based on my numbers. But this year I got in :) So I'll PM you.
I think undergrad premed advisors should rethink what they are going to say before they go telling someone to change their career plans based on 2 or 3 C's. :mad: I seriously took my advisors lip to heart. :( I also got NO advice about any of the masters or postbac programs available to people who want to become more competitive and improve their transcript. I think the SDN site is awesome- I found out about the Georgetown, EVMS, NYMC and Drexels programs primarily through these forumns. :idea:
 

mshheaddoc

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Phil Anthropist said:
P.S. I compiled a list of some of the enrichment postbac programs available. I still have to type it up, but I will probably try to post it in the next few weeks.
That should be a priority you pigtailed lurker :p
 

Phil Anthropist

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ctothed said:
I think undergrad premed advisors should rethink what they are going to say before they go telling someone to change their career plans based on 2 or 3 C's. I seriously took my advisors lip to heart. I also got NO advice about any of the masters or postbac programs available to people who want to become more competitive and improve their transcript. I think the SDN site is awesome- I found out about the Georgetown, EVMS, NYMC and Drexels programs primarily through these forumns.
Premed advising at most schools just seems to suck. There are premed advisors going around telling applicants that a 3.5 is too low to get an acceptance into a US MD school.

Regarding postbac enrichment programs, the only program my preprofessional office mentioned was the Georgetown SMP...And there are so many more pre-professional enrichment programs out there.

There is so little info out there on the options one can take after a less than stellar undergrad performance. This is why exmike's guide could be a very helpful resource.
mshheaddoc said:
That should be a priority you pigtailed lurker :p
You did not just go there, you @#%*&)!!!! :mad: :mad: :mad:

P.S. I see you had some fun in Windy City ;)
 

Kazema

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Hey, I'm definitely interested in contributing. I got a ton of excellent advice from you and others who've been in my shoes and would love to pass along the stuff I learned to others. I will never forget the cool, detached, "Oh medical school? Suuuuure" expression on my premed advisor's face the first time I talked to her about applying to medical school (though I can't really blame her since my GPA was a 2.4 and I was on academic probation for the second time; plus I do have to thank her for helping me out a TON along the way despite my horrible GPA and really getting excited about my chances once I got my MCAT scores :laugh: ) PM-ing you my e-mail address as soon as I post this.
 

mshheaddoc

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Phil Anthropist said:
You did not just go there, you @#%*&)!!!! :mad: :mad: :mad:

P.S. I see you had some fun in Windy City ;)
Yes I did and I would like to see your list :p :D Phil the ever so intelligent professional post-bacc student.
 

Sparkles

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Stupid question but didn't want to start a new thread about it. lol

What is SMP? I saw you had an MPH- masters in public health (right?) but what is smp?
 

mshheaddoc

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Sparkles said:
Stupid question but didn't want to start a new thread about it. lol

What is SMP? I saw you had an MPH- masters in public health (right?) but what is smp?
Special Masters Program