Mar 20, 2010
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Hi all,

I recently joined the forum. I wish I discovered it before :) First some background info:

I am currently a junior majoring in economics. My cGPA is 3.58 and my sGPA is around 3.2 (I took all the requisites except org chem). A little elaboration on that science GPA:

In my freshman year (when I didn't know I wanted to be a doc) I took chemistry for science requirement and got C and C+ in both semesters :( So, I am retaking it this year. I got an A in first semester and this semester I am doing really well too. Assuming this semester I get an A too, my sGPA will go upto 3.6. However, having read the forums, I am well aware that most MD schools take the average of these grades. So I guess I am looking into a 3.45 sGPA by the end of this semester.

1) Do you guys think it was a good idea to retake this class? Even though MD schools take the average grades, does retaking a class leave a permanent scar on your records? That is to say that will the admissions committee directly eliminate me from consideration if I've retaken a class?

2) In my case is it a good idea to take a year off so that my senior year grades get counted too? I am planning to take a human physiology and cell bio class to boost that sGPA next year. But I am worried that the only important classes are the pre-requisites and additional science courses might not have the same weight as they do. Would it be a good idea to take a year off and take bunch of science classes?

3) Is it frowned upon if I am not a science major? I am doing economics because I really enjoy it but I still have the time to get a minor in biology...

4) I took the MCAT and received a score of 36. Do you guys think this is enough to compensate for my low GPA? Also, my MCAT is slightly weighted towards the verbal: 15 verbal, 11 bio, 10 sciences.

5) My parents are not American and do not live in the United States (I am a citizen though). So I have to go back to my home country every summer. I interned last summer back home but I was wondering if internships and hospital experience are relevant when they are done abroad? Also, for internship and physician shadowing, do I need letters of recommendations from the physicians? Sorry if this a newbie question but I am a newbie :laugh:

I really don't have much choices with that GPA. I am planning to apply to some low-tier MD schools and also apply broadly to DOs. What do you guys think my chances are given my situation?

Sorry if that message was too long.. Thanks a lot in advance! I'd really appreciate if you could answer these questions! :)
 
Sep 4, 2006
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1) Retaking doesn't hurt you. Considering that you did so well on the MCAT, you probably didn't need to retake Gen Chem again, but the As will help your GPA the same as if you'd taken another class in the sciences.

2) Prerequisites and upper-level science are weighted the same. More weight may be given to the classes you took most recently, so ending with an upward grade trend is good. Your MCAT score compensates for the slightly low GPA, but doesn''t tell adcomms that you'll survive a med school curriculum the way that As in upper-level science classes and a good science GPA does. If you apply in June 2010, you'd probably get in somewhere, but into a less selective school than you might aspire to with another year of GPA repair.

3) Your major doesn't matter. Your GPA DOES matter (along with MCAT score).

4) See #2.

5) International physican shadowing and clinical experience should not stand alone. They should supplement US-based experiences, not take their place. You do need to acqyuire these experiences in the US before you apply. Physician letters from a DO are needed by many DO med schools. Any physician letter is fine at others. MD schools rarely ask for a physician letter, but some prehealth committees require them for the purposes of writing a committee letter.
 
Mar 20, 2010
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Thanks! That pretty much cleared my doubts... But do you suppose I have a chance of getting into an MD school or should I just stick with only applying to DO?
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Thanks! That pretty much cleared my doubts... But do you suppose I have a chance of getting into an MD school or should I just stick with only applying to DO?
I think you have a chance at MD. How good a chance depends on how much BCPM GPA repair you do before applying. I think you don't need to necessarily hit the 3.5 mark if you can earn a string of As in your remaining prerequisites and some upper-level science classes. Are you in too much of a hurry to wait another year? It would be difficult to get in the experiences you're lacking if you plan to apply soon.
 
Mar 20, 2010
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And how in the hell did you get a 15 in verbal?
Had always been good when it comes to verbal. My SAT was 650 Math, 780 verbal :D

I think you have a chance at MD. How good a chance depends on how much BCPM GPA repair you do before applying. I think you don't need to necessarily hit the 3.5 mark if you can earn a string of As in your remaining prerequisites and some upper-level science classes. Are you in too much of a hurry to wait another year? It would be difficult to get in the experiences you're lacking if you plan to apply soon.
I am not much of in a hurry. In fact, I have just the right time to stay one more year and get a bachelor's degree in Bio. I am thinking of taking the bio classes before I am done with my Econ degree, so that as I am applying I will have a higher science GPA... With the exorbitant tuition I am paying, my parents won't be too pleased that I am staying for another year but hey, it's all worth it in the end! :)

Also, one last question: I didn't mention it in the first post since I figured it was irrelevant, but I am also a German Literature major. I know "being diverse" and coming from different backgrounds were big assets back when I was applying to college but is this still true for med schools? Will a MD or DO school be impressed by my not-so-usual degree?s (According to this I will have three degrees: Bio, Econ, and Ger Literature)

Again, thank you so much guys. Not only you are an incredible help but also boosted my morale & motivation. :)
 

J ROD

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Also, one last question: I didn't mention it in the first post since I figured it was irrelevant, but I am also a German Literature major. I know "being diverse" and coming from different backgrounds were big assets back when I was applying to college but is this still true for med schools? Will a MD or DO school be impressed by my not-so-usual degree?s (According to this I will have three degrees: Bio, Econ, and Ger Literature)

Again, thank you so much guys. Not only you are an incredible help but also boosted my morale & motivation. :)
they usually dont care about major...just grades.

Three BAs would be different, I dont think it woud help necessarily....

more stuff to hang on the wall though....:thumbup:
 
Sep 4, 2006
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I am not much of in a hurry. In fact, I have just the right time to stay one more year and get a bachelor's degree in Bio. I am thinking of taking the bio classes before I am done with my Econ degree, so that as I am applying I will have a higher science GPA... With the exorbitant tuition I am paying, my parents won't be too pleased that I am staying for another year but hey, it's all worth it in the end! :)
Don't take so much time that you let that nice MCAT score expire. Most schools let you use it for 2-3 years, and then you have to retake it.

You could just as easily graduate then take more science classes at a cheaper state school. Postbac classes taken when you are not a grad degree candidate are also figured into your undergraduate application GPA.