krisrox

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Alright guys. Hi! I'm actually a pre-psych student, but my boyfriend's going for med, just took the MCAT and is feeling really bummed about his stats. Personally, I don't think they're too bad, so I wanted to provide him with some concrete reassurance.

First of all, I think he should apply DO. He's got a 3.5c 3.3s, but that will go up this year (he's a senior taking a year off, applying for 2011) His MCAT will probably be around a 28-27 (According to the AMCAS practices).

He's been an EMT-B for a year now, is in charge of the EMT program at his UG, works for an ambulance company, doing health research and has a couple thousand dollar grant. He's got over 100 volunteer hours at a hospital, ER shadowing experience, he holds leadership position in his social frat.

He has good letters from a bio prof, his research supervisor, and his volunteer coordinator.

His EC's are really good, and his bio grades are amazing. His chem grades, however, not so good. That's what's brining down his GPA. I suggested he take some classes in his year off to raise his GPA or try a masters program in health care research or an MPH. I don't know how good of advice that is. He likes emergency medicine, so he's going to continue working as an EMT in his year off. What else can he do to get in??

Thanks in advance for the advice, guys. I'll always be proud of him no matter what, but for his sake I hope he has a chance at his dream!
 

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If those stats continue thru into the application cycle, a 3.5/3.6 and a 27/28 he'll be an excellent candidate for all DO schools, however his chances at MD will be rough.
 

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What state are you guys in? State can help out quite a bit, because some states are much more competitive than others when it comes to state med schools.
 
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krisrox

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What state are you guys in? State can help out quite a bit, because some states are much more competitive than others when it comes to state med schools.
He lives in IL, but his family lives in MI, so he could get residency requirements for schools in both those states, right?
 
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krisrox

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If those stats continue thru into the application cycle, a 3.5/3.6 and a 27/28 he'll be an excellent candidate for all DO schools, however his chances at MD will be rough.
That's what I figured. He doesn't really have a DO mentality... but he'd be willing to adopt one!
 

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He lives in IL, but his family lives in MI, so he could get residency requirements for schools in both those states, right?

Not necessarily. He could still be competitive for some IL schools, but DO schools wouldn't be a bad option. Not to mention, if he's not applying for another year and he ends up with a 27 or 28 and doesn't want to go for DO he might want to consider an MCAT retake. If he can get his score above a 30 he would be sitting in a much better place. Also, he should focus on bringing up that science gpa next year.
 
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krisrox

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Not necessarily. He could still be competitive for some IL schools, but DO schools wouldn't be a bad option. Not to mention, if he's not applying for another year and he ends up with a 27 or 28 and doesn't want to go for DO he might want to consider an MCAT retake. If he can get his score above a 30 he would be sitting in a much better place. Also, he should focus on bringing up that science gpa next year.
Thanks for the advice. I know he's going to bring up his science GPA because he's done with his chem courses and has straight A's in bio courses. Retaking the MCAT wouldn't be a bad idea and I'll suggest it a few weeks from now if he gets his scores back and they're in line with our prediction. If they're lower than that, he said he's definitely going to retake.
 

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That's what I figured. He doesn't really have a DO mentality... but he'd be willing to adopt one!

I think this is a fallacy people use to make themselves feel better about going DO. DO mentality is often taken to mean they care about the patient and not just the disease, which implies MD's don't feel the same way. I disagree with this type of thinking. Yeah, they may say they treat the whole patient, but when it comes down to it most people go the DO route because they can get in, not because they have a different mentality about treating patients. Just my take.
 
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Thanks for the advice. I know he's going to bring up his science GPA because he's done with his chem courses and has straight A's in bio courses. Retaking the MCAT wouldn't be a bad idea and I'll suggest it a few weeks from now if he gets his scores back and they're in line with our prediction. If they're lower than that, he said he's definitely going to retake.
My advice would be to apply broadly to both lower tier MD and DO. Definitely apply to his MD state schools, and throw in some other MD schools as well. He has some good ECs it sounds like, and if he can write a compelling essay or is a good interviewer, I definitely think he has a pretty good shot at becoming an MD.
 
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krisrox

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I think this is a fallacy people use to make themselves feel better about going DO. DO mentality is often taken to mean they care about the patient and not just the disease, which implies MD's don't feel the same way. I disagree with this type of thinking. Yeah, they may say they treat the whole patient, but when it comes down to it most people go the DO route because they can get in, not because they have a different mentality about treating patients. Just my take.
Now I'm not an expert in the differences between the two, but I believe DO's take a whole-body approach to medicine, which my boyfriend calls "crap." They also emphasize preventative medicine which he says "will put him out of a job." He promised never to utter these during an interview, but if that doesn't scream "I don't want to be a DO!" I dunno what does...
 
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krisrox

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My advice would be to apply broadly to both lower tier MD and DO. Definitely apply to his MD state schools, and throw in some other MD schools as well. He has some good ECs it sounds like, and if he can write a compelling essay or is a good interviewer, I definitely think he has a pretty good shot at becoming an MD.
Thanks, cardinal, that's good advice. I'll pass it along.
 

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Thanks for the advice. I know he's going to bring up his science GPA because he's done with his chem courses and has straight A's in bio courses. Retaking the MCAT wouldn't be a bad idea and I'll suggest it a few weeks from now if he gets his scores back and they're in line with our prediction. If they're lower than that, he said he's definitely going to retake.
If he struggles with the PS section you might want to suggest the Berkeley Review books for his retake. They are amazing and are perfect for the student who struggles with general chemistry and physics.

I would approach the retake situation carefully though. You don't want to bruise his ego too badly. Give it some time. If his score is not where he wants it he'll probably just want you to be there to support him, not remind him about his bad scores and a possible retake in the future. From the impression I'm getting about him he'll probably ask you if you think he should retake. Then just say it's up to him, but a retake might make him more competitive on his first cycle. So it could save him thousands of application dollars and a year of his time.
 
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krisrox

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If he struggles with the PS section you might want to suggest the Berkeley Review books for his retake. They are amazing and are perfect for the student who struggles with general chemistry and physics.

I would approach the retake situation carefully though. You don't want to bruise his ego too badly. Give it some time. If his score is not where he wants it he'll probably just want you to be there to support him, not remind him about his bad scores and a possible retake in the future. From the impression I'm getting about him he'll probably ask you if you think he should retake. Then just say it's up to him, but a retake might make him more competitive on his first cycle. So it could save him thousands of application dollars and a year of his time.
Yeah, you're definitely right. I'm not going to make his decision for him, but the facts I give him could sway him. This is why I need knowledgeable pre-med folks like you to help me with the facts!
 

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Now I'm not an expert in the differences between the two, but I believe DO's take a whole-body approach to medicine, which my boyfriend calls "crap." They also emphasize preventative medicine which he says "will put him out of a job." He promised never to utter these during an interview, but if that doesn't scream "I don't want to be a DO!" I dunno what does...

But see once again, this implies that MD's don't believe in preventative medicine and the whole-body approach. That's the part I don't buy. Sure some are more concerned about the disease than the patient, but that is true for DO's as well. I think it's just a facade they put on to make themselves feel different. The only true difference is OMM and even then most DO's don't really apply OMM when they start practicing.

And your bf is a little off the mark by saying preventative medicine will put him out of a job. That ridiculous talk.
 
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Thanks for the advice. I know he's going to bring up his science GPA because he's done with his chem courses and has straight A's in bio courses. Retaking the MCAT wouldn't be a bad idea and I'll suggest it a few weeks from now if he gets his scores back and they're in line with our prediction. If they're lower than that, he said he's definitely going to retake.
http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2008/mcatgpa-grid-3yrs-app-accpt.htm

Take a look at that chart. Roughly 45% of people with a 3.5 and a 27-29 get into med school, and I'd bet his ECs are better than average which should help. However, if he can boost his MCAT into the 30+ range, his chances become over 67%, so retaking or taking a class may be helpful. Take advice here with a grain of salt, as its a self-selecting group of highly-motivated premeds, and the averages and standards here are likely higher here than in the real world.
 

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Yeah, you're definitely right. I'm not going to make his decision for him, but the facts I give him could sway him. This is why I need knowledgeable pre-med folks like you to help me with the facts!
You should really order him the MSAR. Then you can let him see how competitive he is or isn't at specific schools.
 
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krisrox

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But see once again, this implies that MD's don't believe in preventative medicine and the whole-body approach. That's the part I don't buy. Sure some are more concerned about the disease than the patient, but that is true for DO's as well. I think it's just a facade they put on to make themselves feel different. The only true difference is OMM and even then most DO's don't really apply OMM when they start practicing.

And your bf is a little off the mark by saying preventative medicine will put him out of a job. That ridiculous talk.
The OMM is another "crap" thing that DO's do, according to him, but he'll be reassured by the fact that they don't use it in practice.

He's also an econ major, so he takes an economic point of view when looking at medicine as well. That's why he has qualms about preventative medicine. I definitely don't agree with it, that's just the point of view he's coming from. I always tell him he needs to find another job that's more in line with his values. But I don't know if I really mean that and I know he'd make a great doctor.
 

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http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2008/mcatgpa-grid-3yrs-app-accpt.htm

Take a look at that chart. Roughly 45% of people with a 3.5 and a 27-29 get into med school, and I'd bet his ECs are better than average which should help. However, if he can boost his MCAT into the 30+ range, his chances become over 67%, so retaking or taking a class may be helpful. Take advice here with a grain of salt, as its a self-selecting group of highly-motivated premeds, and the averages and standards here are likely higher here than in the real world.

I agree with this poster.

Also, this table will allow you to select his race for a more clear idea on his chances.

http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2008/mcatgpa-grid-3yrs-app-accpt-raceeth.htm
 
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krisrox

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You should really order him the MSAR. Then you can let him see how competitive he is or isn't at specific schools.
What's that? Tell me more...
 
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krisrox

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Thanks for the tables. They make for concrete evidence that he has a chance!
 

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Now I'm not an expert in the differences between the two, but I believe DO's take a whole-body approach to medicine, which my boyfriend calls "crap." They also emphasize preventative medicine which he says "will put him out of a job." He promised never to utter these during an interview, but if that doesn't scream "I don't want to be a DO!" I dunno what does...
I never said whole-body in my interviews. I'm a proponent of preventive medicine so I did talk about it, but not because I was interviewing at a DO school. I would have talked about it regardless. For me, I used OMM as my main talking point at DO interviews. His views are a bit radical about osteopathic medicine. In general, I think he should first realize he'll be working with DOs or possibly going to an osteopathic medical school and secondly he has to cut the attitude/bias for his own good. That attitude will piss a lot of people off.
 

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Now I'm not an expert in the differences between the two, but I believe DO's take a whole-body approach to medicine, which my boyfriend calls "crap." They also emphasize preventative medicine which he says "will put him out of a job." He promised never to utter these during an interview, but if that doesn't scream "I don't want to be a DO!" I dunno what does...
 

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Ask him to shadow a DO and MD of the same specialty. I'm sure he'll realize there is ultimately no difference at all. DO schooling is simply allopathic classes + OMM. There is also no salary difference between the two, and DO's can go into any medical field they want, just as MDs can. It's like the nonexistent difference between a DDS and a DMD, in the end either degree allows you to be a dentist, the same thing with MD/DO both allowing you to be a doctor.
 

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What's that? Tell me more...

http://www.amazon.com/Medical-School-Admission-Requirements-2010-2011/dp/1577540778/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249582760&sr=8-1



Also, Bacchus is usually a little to extreme for my taste, but I would have to agree with him on this one. Your bf's perspective is very jaded. He should shadow some docs in both fields if for no other reason than to get a more realistic perspective about medicine. I'm surprised he still thinks like this working as an EMT, but it is what it is...
 
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krisrox

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I never said whole-body in my interviews. I'm a proponent of preventive medicine so I did talk about it, but not because I was interviewing at a DO school. I would have talked about it regardless. For me, I used OMM as my main talking point at DO interviews. His views are a bit radical about osteopathic medicine. In general, I think he should first realize he'll be working with DOs or possibly going to an osteopathic medical school and secondly he has to cut the attitude/bias for his own good. That attitude will piss a lot of people off.

I absolutely agree. We have had countless arguments over this very issue.

But, alas, I am not here to divulge relationship details and would prefer to focus on his chances on getting into med school, DO or MD. His attitude is something I cannot change (I've tried for 2 and a half years), but his confidence can be elevated based on what you guys tell me. I'm really pushing for him to go DO despite his obvious bias against it.
 

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Your bf should apply to both MD and DO, plenty of MD programs in IL have taken students with 27 on MCATS and 3.5 gpas, his ECs are awesome. He has a okay shot at MD, as long as he applies early and writes good statements.
 

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So he doesn't really want to be a doctor, he just wants to have the sense of superiority that the MD initials behind his name will supposedly give him?

Now, maybe that was harsh. Reality is, in practice, there isn't a difference for the majority of doctors. Some DO's use OMM, a lot don't. I can't even respond to preventative medicine putting him out of a job, I honestly do not know what that means. If he's referring to wanting to go EM, and then worrying that somehow that will prevent people from breaking bones, getting shot (extremes, I know), it's ridiculous.

Most people who go DO do not go just for OMM...they go because they may get in to DO school and not MD (I may be one of these people, we'll see what happens this cycle). In the end, your boyfriend is just...wrong...

And yeah, as Bacchus said, tell him to check his attitude before he enters school....maybe 0.01% of doctors actually care if their coworker is an MD or DO, most are pretty mature...bringing up the difference in a negative fashion is just petty...

Tell him to shadow a DO/MD and realize there is no difference in the way 98% of them practice...all the DOs I know do not even use OMM, despite having studied it...and if he can't get past the DO title, tell him the Carribbean is ready and willing to take $300,000 off his hands...
 
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Shooting for a 27-28 isn't a great goal. I'd suggest some further content review until those practice scores get above 30. If that means postponing the MCAT, so be it.
 
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krisrox

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So he doesn't really want to be a doctor, he just wants to have the sense of superiority that the MD initials behind his name will supposedly give him?

Now, maybe that was harsh. Reality is, in practice, there isn't a difference for the majority of doctors. Some DO's use OMM, a lot don't. I can't even respond to preventative medicine putting him out of a job, I honestly do not know what that means. If he's referring to wanting to go EM, and then worrying that somehow that will prevent people from breaking bones, getting shot (extremes, I know), it's ridiculous.

Most people who go DO do not go just for OMM...they go because they may get in to DO school and not MD (I may be one of these people, we'll see what happens this cycle). In the end, your boyfriend is just...wrong...

And yeah, as Bacchus said, tell him to check his attitude before he enters school....maybe 0.01% of doctors actually care if their coworker is an MD or DO, most are pretty mature...bringing up the difference in a negative fashion is just petty...

Tell him to shadow a DO/MD and realize there is no difference in the way 98% of them practice...all the DOs I know do not even use OMM, despite having studied it...and if he can't get past the DO title, tell him the Carribbean is ready and willing to take $300,000 off his hands...
Thanks for this post. I'm going to let him take a look at this thread so he can decide for himself what he wants to do. Of course, he's also going to have to wait on his MCAT scores and he still has 2 semesters left... but you made a lot of good points that are going to be more effective coming from you than from me.
 
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krisrox

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Shooting for a 27-28 isn't a great goal. I'd suggest some further content review until those practice scores get above 30. If that means postponing the MCAT, so be it.
He took his MCAT this week. He had some practices above a 30, but his AMCAS (or whoever it is that approves the MCAT tests) scores were slightly lower. He may end up retaking it anyways next year, but he really doesn't want to.
 

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He took his MCAT this week. He had some practices above a 30, but his AMCAS (or whoever it is that approves the MCAT tests) scores were slightly lower. He may end up retaking it anyways next year, but he really doesn't want to.
I see. Basically, if he gets a 28, I see two options:

1. Apply this year to a broad mix of MD and DO.
2. Retake the MCAT, get the GPA up a little and apply next cycle. Do more content review until until you can consistently get above a 30 on AAMC tests.
 
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krisrox

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UPDATE:

Showed the boyfriend the thread. He was definitely reassured, although he wasn't happy I divulged so much about his stats and attitudes and what-have-you. (He also denied ever saying OMM was "crap," but I know the truth...)


Thanks for the advice, guys. Good luck to you all in this ultra-competitive field!
 
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NEW UPDATE: BF got a 27 MCAT. He's bummed, but he's getting more hopeful looking at the stats of those accepted. He's got a 8PS,9V,10B, and the averages are an 8.5 or something where he wants to go, so I'm encouraging him. Good advice? Bad advice? I think he's got a shot at DO schools...
 

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Yep, keep on the DO trail. MD is probably out for all but the least selective state schools, none of which are in IL or MI. If he has the money for an AMCAS submission (probably in the $500-600 range after secondaries), IL schools are about in middle of the pack in terms of selectivity, so he could give those a shot. If not, no big deal. DO will be his bread and butter anyway.

P.S.: Note that it will cost *at least* $180 to submit any apps via AMCAS, so it's pretty much an all-or-nothing endeavor.