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Need advice on my application

cubsfan95

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My last two years GPA is 3.5.

The issue with my app is that when I first started college I was not really motivated and I attended classes and dropped them the incorrect way so I have 8 F's calculated into my cumulative GPA. I got my motivation back a little later and transferred to another school where I did succeed eventually. My GPA and the F's never transferred over to the new school so I still ended up graduating with honors. The problem is with applying to med schools and pretty much all other health programs that used a centralized application service.

I took the MCAT last year and got a 503

I went to an open-house at my state MD program last year and I spoke with the Dean of admission and he said I could make an appointment to discuss my app with him. He told me to bring my transcripts though. When I did see him, things were going well but after he saw my transcripts with the F's, I feel like he judged me immediately and he pretty much said in so many words that I don't stand a chance at that school. I was asking him about the other parts of my application which included hospital employment, volunteer work with a leadership position, and extensive clinical shadowing and he said that is all good but the school needs to see demonstrated "excellence" first. This caught me off guard because it says on the website that the schools looks at every applicant holistically and I can tell you that this Dean was focused on numbers only. My pre-med adviser at the state school I graduated from, who knows this Dean, said that MCAT is more important at this particular institution. The problem is I think this Dean took a look at my blemished past and already made up his mind about me. During our meeting, he was actually taking notes and I think they have a file on me already even though I haven't applied.

What can be done in this situation? I was thinking either hire someone to work with me on the application or just go to the Caribbean and not waste any more time. Based on my interaction with this Dean, I really think the application process is a lot harder than some people make it out to be so I don't want to waste my time doing something that will not lead to an admission. He didn't even advise me to specifically "improve" my app. The last thing he said to me was "There is a reason you came here to speak with me so that is a positive sign." I don't know how to interpret that but once he saw my transcript, his whole demeanor changed as if I was wasting his time and I felt like he was rushing me out of the room at that point.
 
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KnightDoc

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3.0 cumulative 2.8 science cumulative

My last two years GPA is 3.5.

The issue with my app is that when I first started college I was not really motivated and I attended classes and dropped them the incorrect way so I have 8 F's calculated into my cumulative GPA. I got my motivation back a little later and transferred to another school where I did succeed eventually. My GPA and the F's never transferred over to the new school so I still ended up graduating with honors. The problem is with applying to med schools and pretty much all other health programs that used a centralized application service.

I took the MCAT last year and got a 503

I went to an open-house at my state MD program last year and I spoke with the Dean of admission and he said I could make an appointment to discuss my app with him. He told me to bring my transcripts though. When I did see him, things were going well but after he saw my transcripts with the F's, I feel like he judged me immediately and he pretty much said in so many words that I don't stand a chance at that school. I was asking him about the other parts of my application which included hospital employment, volunteer work with a leadership position, and extensive clinical shadowing and he said that is all good but the school needs to see demonstrated "excellence" first. This caught me off guard because it says on the website that the schools looks at every applicant holistically and I can tell you that this Dean was focused on numbers only. My pre-med adviser at the state school I graduated from, who knows this Dean, said that MCAT is more important at this particular institution. The problem is I think this Dean took a look at my blemished past and already made up his mind about me. During our meeting, he was actually taking notes and I think they have a file on me already even though I haven't applied.

What can be done in this situation? I was thinking either hire someone to work with me on the application or just go to the Caribbean and not waste any more time. Based on my interaction with this Dean, I really think the application process is a lot harder than some people make it out to be so I don't want to waste my time doing something that will not lead to an admission. He didn't even advise me to specifically "improve" my app. The last thing he said to me was "There is a reason you came here to speak with me so that is a positive sign." I don't know how to interpret that but once he saw my transcript, his whole demeanor changed as if I was wasting his time and I felt like he was rushing me out of the room at that point.
If this is something you really want, there is no need to give up on your dream based on negative feedback from one person at one school. Yes, if it was in fact the dean of admissions you met with, you need to write off that particular school, but there are a ton of other schools out there!

With your GPA and MCAT, you're not going to have an easy time, and probably need to do some GPA repair, and maybe consider taking another shot at the MCAT. Search these forums for posts on reinvention, and definitely consider DO programs, because they will definitely be more receptive to someone with your stats. The difficulty in actually getting through Caribbean program and getting to the point of obtaining a license to practice in the US should make it a last resort, after several failed US application cycles, if then, and you are just not there yet. Good luck!!!
 
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cubsfan95

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Do you think I would get the same reaction from any other Dean of admissions or do you think he was just being too harsh?

Also, I had applied to the Touro Harlem MS program which has a guaranteed DO spot if you get a specific GPA but I was waitlisted. They actually never did get back to me until I called and then I was told I was waitlisted so that is another frustration.
 
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StudentDoGter

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I’m glad you did were able to do better at your second school. Because your cgpa is a 3.0 and your sgpa is a 2.8, have you considered doing a DIY post bacc consisting of upper division science courses? It seems like a lot of fellow students in your stats range do that before applying to school to “demonstrate excellence” in those types of classes. Even if you did well your last year or two, maybe this will help ?
 
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cubsfan95

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I’m glad you did were able to do better at your second school. Because your cgpa is a 3.0 and your sgpa is a 2.8, have you considered doing a DIY post bacc consisting of upper division science courses? It seems like a lot of fellow students in your stats range do that before applying to school to “demonstrate excellence” in those types of classes. Even if you did well your last year or two, maybe this will help ?

Yeah, that's actually what I wanted to do initially so I applied to Touro because they have the bridge to the DO program but I got waitlisted there. I think it is a big risk to get a MS in biomedical sciences without a direct bridge program though. I was told not to apply to LECOM by multiple people so that's why I only applied to Touro.
 
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lumya

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Hi, please don't be disheartened by your meeting with the Dean. The fact stands that thousands of people apply for medical school each year and only about 40% of them get a seat. There's a lot of really good candidates who don't get offered admissions - it's just a numbers games. You truly have to exceptional to get into medical school.

Your science GPA is a little low. A lot of schools examine candidates holistically, however, keep in mind that they still have cutoffs for GPA and MCAT scores. For a lot of schools, that is a 3.0 sGPA. Please read Goro's guide to reinvention for guidelines on how to improve your GPA. Your MCAT is also a little low, which coupled with your GPA might signify a lack of science comprehension to the admissions committee.

Medical school is a very long and arduous road and it can be incredibly frustrating. You had the initiative to reach out to the Dean which is a great step, however, don't take his words against you personally. There are set benchmarks that these schools set because once again, they screen thousands of applicants a year. Because there are so many students, your background does send up red flags - most schools don't take the time to thoroughly vet every single application, but instead screens based on metrics like your GPA.

There are plenty of forums regarding the horrors of Caribbean medical schools. It's worth it to take your time, improve your overall application, and apply when your application screams "excellence." Since you've already demonstrated that you're able to improve your GPA, keep at it. You don't need a formal SMP or post-bacc, just some higher level courses at your local college. Best of luck going forward.
 
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cubsfan95

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Also, I just got this vibe from the Dean at the first school that he was using those F's against me regardless of what I may choose to do in the future. He could have easily said, go do a masters and retake the MCAT but he didn't even hint at those things. This is not one of the most competitive schools and the focus of this program is community health and he still said it like he said it.
 
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candbgirl

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There is so much in your post but to start with you currently wouldn’t make it through an auto screen. You should start with a DIY post bacc and take a few semesters of upper level science courses. You need to try to get all As and move your GPAs up. Especially your sGPA. It has to be at least a 3.2+. Once you do that you might want to consider a SMP or maybe you could try applying to DO schools. You have to prove to ADCOMS that the you of the 8 Fs isn’t the you of now. A3.5 GPA isn’t going to help you convince anyone of anything. The average GPA for matriculated students is 3.7+.

The application process is very hard and I doubt that anyone who has ever applied to medical school found it any different. Applying to the Caribbean would be a mistake. Although you will be accepted the chances of you graduating and matching to a residency are not great. If you do a search you will find that only around 50% of Caribbean students even match. Med school, like applying to med school, is very hard. You can hire whomever you want to help you with your application but even they can’t guarantee an acceptance. Only around 40 percent of all applicants every cycle are accepted. That means around 60 percent of all applicants are rejected each cycle. That includes applicants with stellar applications. Any Admissions Dean that looks at your transcripts will see the 8Fs, just like the one you talked to. It’s up to you to decide if you want to fix it by proving to ADCOMS that you are now a great student and ready for medical school. Your GPA is low but it’s redeemable with hard work and perseverance. I’m sure you are disappointed in the outcome of your appointment but you have to move on. Good luck.
 
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KnightDoc

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Do you think I would get the same reaction from any other Dean of admissions or do you think he was just being too harsh?

Also, I had applied to the Touro Harlem MS program which has a guaranteed DO spot if you get a specific GPA but I was waitlisted. They actually never did get back to me until I called and then I was told I was waitlisted so that is another frustration.
There is no way to predict how any particular person is going to react. It depends a little on basic bedside manner, as well as the tier of school, how it feels about reinvention, etc. There are definitely schools that will screen you out based on 8 Fs, 2.8sGPA, 503 MCAT, etc., but not all of them. That's why you need to carefully read the posts from the adcoms on reinvention.

The dean was definitely obnoxiously harsh, but he was also being honest, and that's going to save you some time and money, at least with respect to that school, so it's all good. There are going to be plenty of frustrations given the hole you have to dig out of. My advice is to keep your eye on the prize, and to not spend a lot of negative energy dwelling on what is done and can't be changed. Focus on what you need to do to reinvent yourself, and on schools that will reward that.
 
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cubsfan95

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You would benefit from a DIY post bacc at a local college in the next year. Take enough additional undergraduate level science courses to raise your sGPA to 3.0 . With your current sGPA of 2.8 you could be screened out at many schools.
Where is your state of residence ?

I don't want to which state for anonymity but it's a larger East Coast school.

Do you feel MD is out of the question and this is really now about trying to get into a DO program?

I literally spoke to that Dean for a total of five minutes and I felt his message was a stern "no chance" ...for MD.

With this pandemic, I think my plans are going to be delayed by another year because I don't think a lot of programs will have in-person classes this fall so I am trying to figure out what to do without losing another year.
 
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KnightDoc

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Also, I just got this vibe from the Dean at the first school that he was using those F's against me regardless of what I may choose to do in the future. He could have easily said, go do a masters and retake the MCAT but he didn't even hint at those things. This is not one of the most competitive schools and the focus of this program is community health and he still said it like he said it.
Yes -- it's great that you took the initiative, but you had a bad meeting with the one person who can make you or break you at that school. Unfortunately, an application to that school at any point in the future will probably be a waste of time and money, since he was clearly being discouraging to you. That dean is not going to reward whatever reinvention you happen to achieve. Forget that one school and move on.
 
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cubsfan95

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There is no way to predict how any particular person is going to react. It depends a little on basic bedside manner, as well as the tier of school, how it feels about reinvention, etc. There are definitely schools that will screen you out based on 8 Fs, 2.8sGPA, 503 MCAT, etc., but not all of them. That's why you need to carefully read the posts from the adcoms on reinvention.

The dean was definitely obnoxiously harsh, but he was also being honest, and that's going to save you some time and money, at least with respect to that school, so it's all good. There are going to be plenty of frustrations given the hole you have to dig out of. My advice is to keep your eye on the prize, and to not spend a lot of negative energy dwelling on what is done and can't be changed. Focus on what you need to do to reinvent yourself, and on schools that will reward that.

Ok, at least that is good to know. The funny thing is I went to an open-house and I interacted with the M1's and I felt like we could have all been classmates so that's why it was frustrating to hear that from him because I felt like he was saying "you're not as good as them."

I even petitioned to get the old school to administratively change the F's to W's since I technically didn't attend classes but they turned me down twice. I don't know how much that would have changed things but it would have improved my GPA.

Do you think it would be wise to talk to individual schools first and get their advice and see if it differs from this Dean?
 
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Faha

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I don't want to which state for anonymity but it's a larger East Coast school.

Do you feel MD is out of the question and this is really now about trying to get into a DO program?

I literally spoke to that Dean for a total of five minutes and I felt his message was a stern "no chance" ...for MD.

With this pandemic, I think my plans are going to be delayed by another year because I don't think a lot of programs will have in-person classes this fall so I am trying to figure out what to do without losing another year.
Yes, MD is very unlikely. You would be better off to apply a year from now after a post bacc and raising your sGPA to 3.0 .
These are DO schools where you could receive interviews if you raise your sGPA to 3.0 :
ACOM
ARCOM
NYIT-AR
WCU-COM
LMU-DCOM
WVSOM
ICOM
BCOM
UIWSOM
UP-KYCOM
LUCOM
LECOM (all schools)
PCOM Georgia and South Georgia
 
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KnightDoc

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Ok, at least that is good to know. The funny thing is I went to an open-house and I interacted with the M1's and I felt like we could have all been classmates so that's why it was frustrating to hear that from him because I felt like he was saying "you're not as good as them."

I even petitioned to get the old school to administratively change the F's to W's since I technically didn't attend classes but they turned me down twice. I don't know how much that would have changed things but it would have improved my GPA.

Do you think it would be wise to talk to individual schools first and get their advice and see if it differs from this Dean?
No need, and you don't want to risk another reaction like the one you got. You'll find the advice you get here, especially form the adcoms, is pretty good. I realize you're looking for encouragement directly from the schools, but right now you have nothing to show them other than a subpar GPA and MCAT. If I were you, I'd stick to seeking advice and encouragement from places like SDN for the time being, and hold off on reaching out to schools until my application was more ready for prime time.

The link that was posted previously in this thread is probably the single best resource for someone in your position.
 
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candbgirl

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Do you feel MD is out of the question and this is really now about trying to get into a DO program?

I literally spoke to that Dean for a total of five minutes and I felt his message was a stern "no chance" ...for MD....

Currently you’d probably have a hard time time getting into a DO school. I’m not saying you wouldn’t be accepted but why would a school take a chance on you when they have hundreds of applicants with better applications. I’m not entirely sure but I think the average GPA for DO is around 3.4-3.5/and becomes more competitive every cycle.

As to MD I really don’t see any chance unless you excel in a DIY post bacc and then a SMP and achieve a3.7+. In addition you’d have to retake the MCAT and just rock it. As I said above your GPAs probably wouldn’t even make it through auto screening at this point.

We Know you are angry and upset and disappointed. And that’s okay. But at some point you are going to have to accept facts and make a plan to work towards your goals. But even then remember, there are no guarantees and always have a Plan B.
 
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cubsfan95

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Yes, MD is very unlikely. You would be better off to apply a year from now after a post bacc and raising your sGPA to 3.0 .
These are DO schools where you could receive interviews if you raise your sGPA to 3.0 :
ACOM
ARCOM
NYIT-AR
WCU-COM
LMU-DCOM
WVSOM
ICOM
BCOM
UIWSOM
UP-KYCOM
LUCOM
LECOM (all schools)
PCOM Georgia and South Georgia

That's what I feel too.

Do you have any thoughts on WVSOM? I ask because I have a relative that went there who failed the boards so that is why I don't see that program positively and I'm doing more research on DO board pass rates.

Any thoughts on PCOM in philly?
 
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KnightDoc

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That's what I feel too.

Do you have any thoughts on WVSOM? I ask because I have a relative that went there who failed the boards so that is why I don't see that program positively and I'm doing more research on DO board pass rates.

Any thoughts on PCOM in philly?
PCOM in Philly is very reputable. I would caution you about drawing generalizations about any program based on anecdotes. Your success will ultimately be determined 100% by you. Better schools will definitely provide better experiences, better reputations and better networking opportunities, but any given person can be successful coming out of any particular school.
 
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