bdesh123

10+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2007
11
0
Status
HI everyone I had a couple of questions. Please help me out.

I have a BS in Biochemistry, graduated 2009. Last few months I just worked multiple odd jobs to pay off credit card bills and such. Now things are a little more stable so I can think of going back to school.

###1
My AMCAS GPA is 3.1 (not going to apply to MD school)

My AACOMAS GPA cGPA-3.3 sGPA 3.4


Retaking chemistry I & II with “A” will increase my cGPA-3.45 sGPA 3.68. I want to enter medical school in 2012. I will take my MCAT March 26th 2011 and start applying soon after.


I can repeat the chemistry classes in spring 2011 or after the MCAT (summer 2011). It would be easier for me to take the classes over summer as it will not thwart me from giving my full attention to MCAT study. If I take the summer classes the grades will not be available until late august 2011.

Do you think the delay in submitting final better grades will hurt my advantage of submitting application early? Will it decrease my chances?

###2
Do I have enough EC?

3 semesters of cancer/ toxicology research.
Volunteering at local soup kitchen.
Volunteering at a hospital right now.
Captain of cricket team back home.
Supervisory position at my fulltime job.
Hobbies include CNC machining and designing, flying model helicopters.
Repaired computers and programming experience.
Worked as a pharmacy tech. Exposure to pharmaceutical law, privacy law and patient exposure.
Fluent Spanish, Bengali, Hindi and Urdu speaker.
Organized a medicinal drug take back program. Send letter and bill to senator so it can be turned in a law.
I take care of elderly and sick family members.
***Looking to shadow an DO around my place. Will make it happen.

####3
LOR
One solid from my research professor
One solid from my Biochemistry professor (he saw my work ethics and stuff)
One from volunteer work at the hospital
Hopefully one from the DO I will shadow

Do I need more LOR?

####4
Now a few other things about me to help you fathom my predicament and tell me if I have any chance of getting into a DO school. (I am spending 5+ hours a day until the exam day to prepare and practice for the MCATs. I know it is hard but I think I can will manage a decent score)

About my grade, it always had a steep upward trend.

Community college GPA (last 5 semesters) 2.8->3.0-> 3.5-> 4.0 ->4.0
Four year university GPA 2.9->3.8 ->3.4 ->4.0
I only did bad on the 1st semester as I took physical chemistry with bunch of other sciences and due to unfamiliarity with the 4yr college level difficulty. It improved immediately after as you can see.

Reasons behind my poor grade, are they good enough

I moved to US and started going to a community college. I changed majors resulting in multiple bad grades. I also had to hold a full time job the whole time I was going to college to support my family here and back at home. I also had to take care of my sick mom and elderly uncles. It took me 7 years total to finish my undergrad. I fixed computer on the side to make extra money to get by. But i never lost sight of becoming a doctor.


Thanks for your time and patience. I know this is a long post but I thought the more information you have the better understanding of my situation you will have.

Thanks again
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
7+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2009
16,100
5,347
Status
Medical Student
You seem fine. Honestly your gpa seems alright as it is, unless your general chemistry grades are below C's I don't think retaking is all too necessary ( A good mcat will compensate; however don't consider this me saying don't retake it). Anyways your EC's seem fine, get that DO Lor and you'll be in good shape.
 

TriagePreMed

Membership Revoked
Removed
Apr 28, 2010
6,216
32
Status
I will say retake them. Better safe than sorry. If your volunteer hours cumulative add up to +200, you are doing fine.
 
Nov 12, 2010
47
0
Status
Medical Student
my gpa was lower, i got in. try to get at least a 28 on your mcat. the pharm experience will help, but if you need to work while going to school consider working as a nurse aid. some hospitals do not require a cna, but it would probobly be a good idea to get it anyway. two week course, one more thing to put on your app, and actual Pt care experience can really help. i'm pretty sure my clinical experience is what got me in.
 

SFO-IST

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
522
3
Status
Medical Student
don't wait so late to take the MCAT. Shoot for January, so that you have extra time should you need it. Waiting until april will mean you have no choice but to take it then (unless you apply late) regardless of whether you're ready or not.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,288
11,879
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
###1
My AMCAS GPA is 3.1 (not going to apply to MD school)

My AACOMAS GPA cGPA-3.3 sGPA 3.4

Retaking chemistry I & II with “A” will increase my cGPA-3.45 sGPA 3.68. I want to enter medical school in 2012. I will take my MCAT March 26th 2011 and start applying soon after.

I can repeat the chemistry classes in spring 2011 or after the MCAT (summer 2011). It would be easier for me to take the classes over summer as it will not thwart me from giving my full attention to MCAT study. If I take the summer classes the grades will not be available until late august 2011.

Do you think the delay in submitting final better grades will hurt my advantage of submitting application early? Will it decrease my chances?
Retaking Chem I & II will give you a better shot at the more competitive DO schools, and will also make it likely you'll perform better on that part of the MCAT, if you wait to take it.

If you take Chem in summer school, the GPA won't be included in your application GPA if you apply before those grades are on your official transcript, so I'd suggest you wait.

Is there any reason you can't take one of the Chem classes in the spring semester 2011? If you take the second early in the summer, your application would not be much delayed. You could also consider retaking just one of the Chem courses, depending on which you got the lowest grade in or understood the least.

I can't comment on the adequacy of your ECs without knowing how many months and total hours you engaged in them. Three semesters of research is terrific though.

I think that another letter from a science faculty member who taught you would be helpful.
 
OP
B

bdesh123

10+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2007
11
0
Status
My GRE score in ! 1480. I am satisfied with the score. My contingency plan is to go for Phd program. Now i am sure i will get into one for sure.

Thanks everyone. I think I have a much clearer picture. Retaking one chem will make cGPA from 3.3-3.35 sGPA 3.4-3.5. I Will repeat both. I am going to look into the Nurses Aid program. I am sure theres some local class that i can finish.

I am going to sign-up for Chem II now and take January MCAT. Finish up Chem I during the 1st session of summer. If needed i will retake MCAT march 26th.


My volunteering at the hospital is fairly new 10-15 hours/week for a month now. Although I am positive that i will gather over 200 hours in next couple months.

I will ask my other genetics professor for a recommendation letter. I got an A on that class. Sadly it will be a superficial one but LOR nonetheless.

Thanks again. I think i have much more clearer list of priorities.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,288
11,879
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
A duration of only 8-10 months of hospital volunteering will look skimpy for clinical experience, though 200 hours is nice. Be sure to include the pharm tech work, emphasizing the time you spent at the window with sick clients, too. Be sure to include your care of sick relatives somewhere as well. Hint: your Personal Statement can touch on this but should not be all about that experience.

When asking for an LOR of a prof who doesn't know you well, you want to be sure to give her a basis for feeling she understands you. Get an appointment to discuss your "career plans". Bring a copy of your CV, transcript, and a draft of your Primary Statement, with maybe a photo too. Have a conversation about your contributions to the class, grades, and motivation toward medicine long enough that she can feel she got to know you, then ask if she feels she could write you a strong LOR to support your candidacy for med school. This generally works well enough that the prof can add a personal touch to the letter that will give it more strength in the eyes of adcomms.