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My Chances: What are they?

Big Chips

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Nov 9, 2010
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  1. Pre-Medical
    At first glance, I certainly would say I look like a long-shot, as I'm sporting a 3.0 GPA (A- average in the chems, though :thumbup:) and just received a 24 on the MCAT. I'm planning, though, to retake next summer and hopefully to not choke (was consistently getting 31's on last 5 practices, both Kaplan and AAMC). My goal this time around will be to simply study... a lot more.

    Any way, beyond the GPA and MCAT, I work in a lab which has quickly earned me more than I could've ever expected. I recently was awarded a grant to fund a study which should get me published, and have been titled (by a technicality) as a PRA even though I'm still an undergrad. Additional to this (and like any other premed student on the planet), I've started volunteering at a hospital, which has dropped me into the deep end of patient interaction within the ER and will culminate in a scribe position. My premed advisor tells me this is an impressive list, and very relevant to what admission boards look for in research and volunteering.

    My question mainly lies in the importance of these latter accomplishments - Will this, at least to an extent, separate me from the typical subpar applicant?

    Better yet, should I even bother applying anywhere yet?
    Should I simply retake the MCAT and apply?
    Or should I retake the MCAT along with a Post-bac (or grad school) before applying to any med school?

    PS, I'm certainly more set on MD schools.

    Thanks in advance?
     

    Pons Asinorum

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    1. Attending Physician
      ...3.0 GPA...24 on the MCAT...
      My question mainly lies in the importance of these latter accomplishments... Will this...separate me from the typical subpar applicant?
      Not much. You're latter accomplishments most likely won't get looked at because your stats are so poor. You'll be screened out.

      Better yet, should I even bother applying anywhere yet?

      Nope, not if you're applying MD-only.

      Should I simply retake the MCAT and apply?
      Or should I retake the MCAT along with a Post-bac (or grad school) before applying to any med school?

      No, you need to also be working on something that will rehabilitate your GPA as well if at all possible. It needs to be undergraduate-level, so grad school is out.

      PS, I'm certainly more set on MD schools.

      You need to start wrapping your mind around getting past that mindset. Without significant changes, you have a poor chance for an MD acceptance. It will be easier/quicker for you to rehab your GPA via DO grade replacement, and the chance of you bumping up that 24 more than 3-4 points is simply not likely, regardless of your practice exam scores, based on published MCAT statistics. Your putative future stats make you more likely (though still not likely) for a DO acceptance.
       

      Catalystik

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      1. Attending Physician
        I agree with Pons A that your wonderful achievements are unlikely to be appreciated if you don't get your stats above automatic cutoffs. A string of straight As for a few years will do wonders for your chances at an MD school. A much stronger MCAT score will be important too. Keep in mind that the mean stats for acceptees to MD schools are 3.66 and 30.8 MCAT.

        For DO med schools means are 3.48/26.09. I, too suggest you learn about this path to beoming a physician.

        We have a mod who got into an MD school with a 3.0?/MCAT 35. We have a member who got into one MD school with a 2.92/MCAT 43.

        With a 30+ MCAT score and a low GPA you might get into a Special Masters Program (which is not a traditional masters degree) that could override your low undergrad GPA with extraordinary performance.

        But any path to GPA redemption starts with earning consistent great grades, so worry about doing that first.
         
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        Big Chips

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        Nov 9, 2010
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        1. Pre-Medical
          No, you need to also be working on something that will rehabilitate your GPA as well if at all possible. It needs to be undergraduate-level, so grad school is out.

          Well, I should have mentioned these tidbits:
          1. My GPA has been improving for the past 2 years and I'll probably end up with a "senior" GPA of around 3.5.
          2. I graduate in May.

          So, there isn't much I can necessarily do to rehabilitate, here. Ideas?

          My main concern with this post, though, is that I was unaware that undergrad GPA was a permanent scar - I was under the impression (simply an assumption, I guess) that post-bac academic enhancement was somewhat of a clean slate for GPA. But I guess that's why it's termed, "enhancement."
           

          Catalystik

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          1. Attending Physician
            I was unaware that undergrad GPA was a permanent scar - I was under the impression (simply an assumption, I guess) that post-bac academic enhancement was somewhat of a clean slate for GPA. But I guess that's why it's termed, "enhancement."
            An SMP can clean the slate to some or to a great extent. Additional undergrad Postbac classwork is generally calculated in with all the other grades from before you graduated. Some schools give less weight to the freshman year, or more weight to the last two academic years, or for an applicant of nontraditional age may give much less weight to grades earned 5-7+ years ago. A very-few schools do regard a BCPM GPA from a heavy-science traditional masters. Every school has their own formulaic approach, and most don't share that information.
             
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