Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

Need Advice (You can be honest)

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by tryingagain, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. tryingagain

    tryingagain Soon to have no life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's a VERY brief summary.

    Took MCAT in April 2000 without studying. Received an 18 (ouch!). I have a 3.26 GPA, major in Biology. Collected recommendations but did not officially apply anywhere in 2000.

    I am currently enrolled in Kaplan. Received a 24 on the first full-length exam. Am studying very hard for April exam. I am currently working as an Orthopedic Consultant (sales).

    Met with my old college's pre-med advisor today. She told me that my GPA was just too low. Advised me to look at D.O. or overseas schools.

    What do you think? I have read some of your posts and know there is hope, but level with me. Is the advisor right? What score do you think I need on the MCAT to be competitive if at all?

    Thanks for all your time and good luck.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
    Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2000
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Hi,
    The only way there is any hope is to get a good MCAT score. Then even though your GPA is low, you should be able to get in somewhere. If you live near a med school, I would suggest making an appointment with the dean of admissions and asking them for advice. They are willing to meet with prosepective applicants to go over their transcripts, volunteer and job experiences. Do it now, build up a relationship with them.

    It will be hard, but please don't get discouraged. Good luck and keep posting your questions. :)

    Oh, are you finished with your undergraduate work? If you are then you could do a one year post-grad program. They are usually called pre-medical certificate programs. Med schools look at your performance in these programs to offset a low undergrad GPA. Lots of schools have these programs. And some pre-med advisors give bad advice. Check into the post-bac programs before giving up.
     
  4. Fanconi

    Fanconi Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2001
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    1
    This is one of those awkward situations where your numbers aren't helping you. The best thing you can do is to "beef up" the other areas of your applications, incl. volunteering, shadowing doctors, etc...

    Realistically, I think you know that the odds are sort of against you from a numbers perspective. But all of us know that there is much more to an application than a person's stats.

    What would I do in your situation? I would go ahead and apply. See what happens, but certainly have a well-formulated backup plan in your mind.

    If you really want to be a doctor, go for it. Remember that there are a ton of other fields that you might enjoy... Research? Grad school? Dental school? Podiatry? I'm not saying that these are lesser options, but the point is that you don't just have to be a doctor to work in medicine, if that's what you want to do.

    Best of luck. I say go for it. What's the worst that could happen?
     
  5. tryingagain

    tryingagain Soon to have no life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all for your honesty and replies. I will consider being a D.O., not because it is a lesser option but because I want to be a doctor. I need to work hard on the MCAT until that day.
     
  6. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2001
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    1
    1) get a decent MCAT score, no lower than around 30.
    2) take courses to bring up your GPA. i'm very surprised no one has mentioned this yet. if you don't have competitive numbers you will be screened out before any adcom gets the chance to see what else you might have accomplished (i.e. extracurriculars, research, volunteer exp, etc). you need to bring your GPA up to be considered seriously, regardless of what your MCAT score is. you can rock the MCAT but still not get any attention because of your GPA--it matters that much. ignore any advice you get about the MCAT being the 'great equalizer'--you still need a solid GPA.
     
  7. Doctora Foxy

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,368
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I agree with sandflea, it may be helpful to take some upper level science classes and get As to improve you gpa (and science gpa!). Apply after the grades have been reported so you can put them on your application.

    If you don't want to wait and want to apply asap, do some research about DO and foreign med schools, b/c your gpa may be high enough as it is.

    So go rock the mcat!!!!!! good luck! <img src="http://www.theunholytrinity.org/cracks_smileys/otn/party/beerchug.gif" alt="" />
     
  8. Zack90

    Zack90 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keep working at it.... It can be done... You need a solid MCAT score.. With having almost a 3.3 GPA, I've been lucky enough to be accepted to three schools this year. The first time I applied, I had a 3.2 GPA and a 26 MCAT. This year, with 6 more upper Bio classes (earned some form of an A in each class), I was able to improve my GPA only slightly, but rocked the MCAT the second time with 12's in both science sections.... So, in my opinion, a solid MCAT can help address a not so nice GPA. Also, as previous posters stated, beef-up the other parts of your application too. Good Luck.
     
  9. tryingagain

    tryingagain Soon to have no life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not in a position to drop everything and go back to school.

    Besides, I would have to take a LOT of classes to significantly improve my overall GPA. I will continue to study my ass off in hope of a miracle.
     
  10. tryingagain

    tryingagain Soon to have no life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just checked - I have 135 total undergraduate credits. It would take a lot of classes to move that ugly 3.26.
     
  11. UCLA2000

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    2,314
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Where was the 3.26 from?
    You definately need a good mcat score....
     
  12. tryingagain

    tryingagain Soon to have no life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    0
    University of Kentucky

    I didn't decide to go to med school until the end of my junior year. So even though I averaged around a 3.5+ for the last 3 semesters, it wasn't enough to overcome my earlier less disciplined days.
     
  13. rajneel1

    rajneel1 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2001
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    1
    i would say atleast 30 on the MCAT. take more classes (although it looks like you don't want to, those post bac things are expensive and not worth it in my opinion because they do not guarentee you anything). research can help, especailly independant projects, presentations, publications, etc. explain your situation in your personal statement and get very strong letters of recommendation. do more volunteer work, maybe EMT, more clinical work (maybe with chronic illnesses like schizophrenia, hospice, autism, etc.). apply to medical school early early early and apply to alot and a good range (probably only like 2 dream schools totalling maybe 25-30 schools). if you do not get in and are probably going into a not so competitive residency then go to a foreign med school like st. george or ross (they will take you not matter what). if you want to be a medical doctor and don't like the DO approach...then don't do DO (or anything else) just because you think that your numbers are too low for an MD!!
     
  14. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by tryingagain:
    <strong>I just checked - I have 135 total undergraduate credits. It would take a lot of classes to move that ugly 3.26.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">You're in a similar position to me - and my GPA is one huge smear on my application. There's a few things you can do (since you mentioned you can't drop everything and go to school). First off is to become very obsessed with doing well on the MCAT. Make it your life's goal (because, of course, once you do well on it, you can move on to life's goal #2 - applying). If I was in your position, which I sorta was, I would take an April MCAT - this is because it puts your MCAT score right there with your GPA. If it's an August MCAT, you just have your GPA standing there alone, and we both know that's not a pretty sight. In addition, find some good volunteer work - something medically related so it shows on your application that this is what you want to do. Buff it up with a great personal statement and you should be fine. But the primary goal right now (IMO) would be to nail that MCAT.

    Good luck.
     
  15. nray

    nray Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kutastha,

    What were your stats? and have you gotten in anywhere?
     
  16. UCLApremed

    UCLApremed Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey tryinagain,

    you are much better situation than me in terms of GPA. but i couldn't believe that the advisor told you to go oversea or DO schools. she didn't mention post bac classes?

    it all depends on how hard you want it. there is more to an application then just #s. if you think you have what it takes to be a great doctor, then by all means apply but you need to bust the mcat before others can see you.

    what matters is who you are now and who you will become. if you take classes and can ace all of them and bust the mcat, then who you are a few years ago is not revelant and insignificant.

    taking the mcat w/out studying is a suicide mission. make sure you are prepare this time. i would advise that if you are not prepare, don't take it. if you do bad the 2nd time, then a 3rd time would not look good.
     
  17. tryingagain

    tryingagain Soon to have no life
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    0
    I totally agree. Taking it without studying is suicide. I would like to blame it on the course load that I had that semester but the bottom line is that I just didn't study.

    Today I am studying very hard. I am enrolled in Kaplan and studying 4+ hours per day on top of that. As I have said, I have already improved 6 points. I am going to give it all I can.

    I do not want to be a 50 yr old man one day and wonder what would have happened if I had just re-taken the MCAT. Now I will know, one way or another.
     
  18. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by nray:
    <strong>Kutastha,

    What were your stats? and have you gotten in anywhere?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">1995:
    BS in biochem, UCSD
    MCAT - 29R (7V, 11P, 10B)
    25 schools, 7 or so secondaries, no interviews

    1996:
    MS in chem, UCSD
    MCAT - 34S (9V, 14P, 11B)
    30 schools, 11 or so secondaries, no interviews

    2002:
    PhD in Mol Biol, USC
    MCAT - 36R (11V, 12P, 13B)
    25 schools, 17 secondaries, 4 interviews (so far), one acceptance to UVM.

    It hasn't been a fun 7 years.
     
  19. WonderBoy

    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2001
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    41
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Wow Kutastha, now thats commitment. Can't believe you stood in there that long. I think I would have opted to go abroad for med school if I was in your position. How did you manage to stay focused that long?
     
  20. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Imago:
    <strong>Wow Kutastha, now thats commitment. Can't believe you stood in there that long. I think I would have opted to go abroad for med school if I was in your position. How did you manage to stay focused that long?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I just had a dream and I stuck to it. I was ready to continue on with a post doc, but decided to give it one more try.
     
  21. piggy

    piggy Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2002
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey there. just wanted to add my opinion: MCATs and GPA are important, but they aren't the only things important. I think schools want to know your motivation for going into medicine and what life experiences you have. Another thing, though taking more classes won't significantly increase your GPA, I think it'd help to show an upward trend in your GPA and that you could do well taking an intensive load despite a rough past. A good personal essay also helps tremendously. Good luck on your MCATs, actually, good luck with the entire med school application process!
     
  22. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
    Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2000
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Andrew,

    I can't believe all the work you put into the last 7 years. I am so glad it has finally paid off for you. I think they should have taken you last year. Way to go, youre an inspiration!!!!!
    Amy
     

Share This Page