Apr 1, 2010
111
0
0
Denver, CO
Status
Pre-Medical
I thought I would post a thread here as a motivation for myself as well as to get some input on my path. Within the next year I will be applying to a handful of osteopathic schools because I am genuinely interested in the field (not because of the fortunate coincidence I have a better chance of acceptance :D ).

I graduated from the Univ of North Carolina in May 2008 with a B.S. in Biotech and Biochem, finished with a meager 3.0 GPA, but lots of extracurriculars. I decided about half way through my last year that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine. So I got EMT/CNA certified while working at a clinical path lab for a year. I then began working at the University of Colorado Hospital doing prostate cancer research, working with patients and doing lots of bench work. I'm also volunteering at a local hospice facility every week and have volunteered at various health fair around the state implementing my phlebotomy skills. I am currently taking some graduate classes at the University (work pays for it) in cancer biology to hopefully show some improvement from my undergrad GPA. The MCAT is scheduled for June and I've been studying my butt off for it.

I really hope all of this effort will not be fruitless. My GPA is going to hurt me more than anything but I feel that true passion and determination is really the backbone to overcoming these kinds of obstacles. Any input you guys/gals could give me would be much appreciated.

For what it's worth, I'm considering applying to RVSOM, WVSOM, VCOM, as well as a few others.
 
Feb 17, 2010
58
0
0
Status
Medical Student
I would advice you to apply broadly. It's up to you which school you want to apply but if you worried about your GPA, then it's better to apply more than few schools. Without MCAT it's hard to tell whether you have a good chance or not, but assuming you will do better why don't you apply at least ten schools that you're interested? Your EC's are pretty good. No worry there. If you improve your GPA and score well on MCAT you have decent chance. So study hard and get good score on the test, that will help you so much. But also do well on your class and pump your GPA. 3.0 is low for any med school. Bring it up to around 3.4 if you can. If you determined to become physician, you can do it. But please apply broadly and early as well. Otherwise you might waste year. It is so hard to get interview spot not to mention acceptance at any med school. With hard work you can do it! Good luck.
 
Apr 1, 2010
111
0
0
Denver, CO
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the advice! I am taking a practice MCAT in a month and will then register for the real deal (assuming my score is a 30+). I will be applying broadly to several DO schools and hopefully luck will be on my side. If I don't get in for 2011, I'll continue taking grad classes and try again in 2012... at least before Dec 21 2012... DOOMSDAY! :laugh:
 

UpwardTrend

Post Baccin it up
Oct 31, 2009
224
2
0
Mizzouri
Status
Pre-Medical
That gpa must be accompanied by a killer MCAT to get in. You should take advantage of the 30+ MCAT Study Habits thread on the MCAT forum if you have not already done so. You will want to take more than one practice test. Many people suggest taking the practice tests under the same conditions as you will when you take the real thing. ie go to bed early, get up early, breakfast, time it the same, etc. Do this several Saturdays in a row.

If you don't get in this time then you should retake any D's or F's in your academic history.

If they are C's that are keeping your gpa down then you may want to consider an SMP.
 
Apr 1, 2010
111
0
0
Denver, CO
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't have any D's or F's. Just a handful of C's in classes that I didn't care for. What is an SMP?

Thanks for the advice on the MCAT stuff. I'll keep a close eye on that forum!
 
Jan 28, 2010
22
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
SMP is a specialty masters program....it's a masters program where you pretty much take some classes with MS1 students and initially prove your worth. Some programs have deals with the students where if you beat the curve of the med school students then you get in or at least an interview. Each school is different in that regard, but it's meant for students with low gpa and decent/high mcat. You should check it out, but I think it's best to focus on what you're doing now. SMPs in my opinion are like a last resort because if you mess up there...you have pretty much no chance.
 

UpwardTrend

Post Baccin it up
Oct 31, 2009
224
2
0
Mizzouri
Status
Pre-Medical
An SMP is a Special Masters Program. It is a short (usually 1 yr) Masters Program that shows adcoms that you can survive the rigors of med school. They are ideal for people with a borderline gpa. The good programs let you take some classes with actual med students. Do a search for "SMP" and you will find many programs from both DO and MD schools. You can apply to med school part of the way through your SMP. Sometimes SMP's offer great committee letters, guaranteed interviews, or even guaranteed linkage assuming you do well. These programs can make or break you though.

If you end up with a 30+ MCAT, cGPA of 3.0, sGPA above 3.0, good EC's and you apply broadly then you definitely have a chance. Otherwise lengthen your timeline and apply to SMP's.

Good luck!
 
Apr 1, 2010
111
0
0
Denver, CO
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm currently taking graduate classes that are shared with some med/dental students. My employer is paying for it so it's a great benefit. Hopefully this will be comparable to an SMP option as the admissions board will see my drastic improvement over undergrad.
 
Apr 1, 2010
111
0
0
Denver, CO
Status
Pre-Medical
Here is a question for you guys...

My undergrad GPA was right around a 3.0 with my science GPA being around 3.1 or so. This is because I worked a nearly full time job (30 hrs/week) and ran my own business which ate up every spare second of the day. Is this something I can use to my advantage when applying? I busted my butt for 5 years to end up with a mediocre GPA but there was a good reason for it.

Thanks for the input.
 
Sep 12, 2009
27
1
0
Status
From the info you have given me, I am sure that you would be able to make it through med school. However, I don't think colleges will take into account that you worked a full time job + running your own business as they will really look at your scores. Like a previous poster stated, I would retake those courses where you made a C in and that should significantly improve your gpa since the colleges will replace your grade. The only osteopathic school that will average your grades is TCOM.
 
Apr 1, 2010
111
0
0
Denver, CO
Status
Pre-Medical
Just finished my 3rd practice MCAT. I am raising my score 3 points each time I take it. 21 -> 24 -> 27. My official date is Aug 13th to take the real deal. All of my practice tests have been after a 9-10 hour day at work when I'm already exhausted so hopefully I'll have a nice advantage come the real thing.

I'm tired of reading all of these threads where people study for 3 weeks and get a 35+. Too bad it doesn't come that easily for all of us. :rolleyes:

EDIT: Also signed up for some courses next semester. Epidemiology 7600 and Neurobiology 7650 through the grad school. Gotta beef up this application somehow!
 
Feb 20, 2010
312
2
0
Status
Medical Student
I thought I would post a thread here as a motivation for myself as well as to get some input on my path. Within the next year I will be applying to a handful of osteopathic schools because I am genuinely interested in the field (not because of the fortunate coincidence I have a better chance of acceptance :D ).

I graduated from the Univ of North Carolina in May 2008 with a B.S. in Biotech and Biochem, finished with a meager 3.0 GPA, but lots of extracurriculars. I decided about half way through my last year that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine. So I got EMT/CNA certified while working at a clinical path lab for a year. I then began working at the University of Colorado Hospital doing prostate cancer research, working with patients and doing lots of bench work. I'm also volunteering at a local hospice facility every week and have volunteered at various health fair around the state implementing my phlebotomy skills. I am currently taking some graduate classes at the University (work pays for it) in cancer biology to hopefully show some improvement from my undergrad GPA. The MCAT is scheduled for June and I've been studying my butt off for it.

I really hope all of this effort will not be fruitless. My GPA is going to hurt me more than anything but I feel that true passion and determination is really the backbone to overcoming these kinds of obstacles. Any input you guys/gals could give me would be much appreciated.

For what it's worth, I'm considering applying to RVSOM, WVSOM, VCOM, as well as a few others.
:clap: Horray for VCOM! Great school that really looks past grades to see the inner applicant so to speak, and since you are genuinely interested in osteopathy they will love you (they're also HUGE on OMM, so beef that up). One caveat is that they are pretty GPA heavy and pretty MCAT light, so you may need to get a solid MCAT to offset your GPA a bit and then make some phone calls / write some letters. You've got this though, good luck!
 
Apr 1, 2010
111
0
0
Denver, CO
Status
Pre-Medical
Wow, thanks! I'm finding it difficult to run across any positive input with my current situation. My buddy is at VCOM right now and is loving it.


BTW, one might notice a huge lapse in when I posted this and when I'll be taking the test. I got distracted for a couple of months in between b/c I was backpacking for awhile. I won't be very productive once the snow starts falling either because I'm shooting for a 70+ day snowboarding season. Damn Colorado is distracting!

(Maybe I'll move to Ohio :laugh: )
 
Apr 1, 2010
111
0
0
Denver, CO
Status
Pre-Medical
Just took the MCAT on Friday. To be honest, it was a killer! Some very difficult (although, I think experimental) passages and advanced o.chem stuff. On the AAMC's I progressively scored 21, 25, 27, and 28. If I got a 30 on the real deal I will be ecstatic. Should know in about a month.

In other news, I have 2 new graduate classes that will be starting in 2 weeks; Immunology and Tissues Disease & Mechanism. It shouldn't be too difficult to pull a 4.0 in both of these. Still volunteering with Hospice, working in the pathology lab and urology clinic at the hospital, and bolstering my application where the numbers fall short.

Hoping this work will pay off when I apply next year.