New to Pod School Process

mcdds75

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Hello, I'm new to the forum and have began looking into the Podiatric profession. I have only taken the DAT and my scores are not very high. I graduated in 1999 with a degree in biology and my grades where not up to par (2.7 GPA). Since then I completed a Post-bac biomedical program with a 4.0 which consisted of biochem, pharm, physiology, anatomy, etc... I have also taken human gross anatomy at Univ. of Cincinnati and received an A in their summer program.
I applied to dental schools and placed on the wait list at U of L (top ten school). I did not get accepted and I'm having trouble getting interviews anywhere else. Podiatry is a great profession and has similarities to dentistry (patient interaction, manual dexterity, hours, and giving back to others).
My questions are, should I apply now to all schools with my DAT scores and see what happens. In the mean time study and re-take the test this spring to bring my scores up (I haven't had chem. in 10 years) or take the GRE and apply. I don't know if I take the MCAT that I would do well enough to get in. If the GRE is a possibility, is that just the general test or subject test along with it? If so, what subject test is required? My strengths are medical relevant courses, not gen/org chemistry and math!
Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.
 

bdaddyjolley

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Hello, I'm new to the forum and have began looking into the Podiatric profession. I have only taken the DAT and my scores are not very high. I graduated in 1999 with a degree in biology and my grades where not up to par (2.7 GPA). Since then I completed a Post-bac biomedical program with a 4.0 which consisted of biochem, pharm, physiology, anatomy, etc... I have also taken human gross anatomy at Univ. of Cincinnati and received an A in their summer program.
I applied to dental schools and placed on the wait list at U of L (top ten school). I did not get accepted and I'm having trouble getting interviews anywhere else. Podiatry is a great profession and has similarities to dentistry (patient interaction, manual dexterity, hours, and giving back to others).
My questions are, should I apply now to all schools with my DAT scores and see what happens. In the mean time study and re-take the test this spring to bring my scores up (I haven't had chem. in 10 years) or take the GRE and apply. I don't know if I take the MCAT that I would do well enough to get in. If the GRE is a possibility, is that just the general test or subject test along with it? If so, what subject test is required? My strengths are medical relevant courses, not gen/org chemistry and math!
Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.

I would advise to take the MCAT since DAT and GRE are probably not going to be accepted after this year. I think the GRE is a bogus test for POD school anyways. I have taken it for grad school and there is no science relavence to it unless you take the subject GRE. I think it's a ******ed test (just my opinion). The DAT at least tests on basic sciences and Perceptial ability which I think relates more to POD school than, "are these two words antonyms or synonyms?" So I would advise MCAT even though it is probably the hardest one out of the three.
Also you'll need to shadow a pod to make sure this is something you like and not because you are having problems getting into Dental school. It shouldnt be a fall back profession even though it seems many use it as that.
 

JEWmongous

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Hey,
I believe Ohio and NYCPM are going to be the only pod schools still accepting the DAT as a placement test next year. Ohio actually will take the PCAT, GRE, DAT, MCAT, OAT, etc. However, I think the MCAT is the way to go and most of the pod schools are following this idea. I originally considered the the DAT but now the MCAT is computerized, offered 22 times a year, the test is shortened, and more. Podiatry is a medical specialty so the MCAT seems to be the ideal test for this profession. Just an opinion! Take care and good luck with everything!!!
 
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cool_vkb

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Hello, I'm new to the forum and have began looking into the Podiatric profession. I have only taken the DAT and my scores are not very high. I graduated in 1999 with a degree in biology and my grades where not up to par (2.7 GPA). Since then I completed a Post-bac biomedical program with a 4.0 which consisted of biochem, pharm, physiology, anatomy, etc... I have also taken human gross anatomy at Univ. of Cincinnati and received an A in their summer program.
I applied to dental schools and placed on the wait list at U of L (top ten school). I did not get accepted and I'm having trouble getting interviews anywhere else. Podiatry is a great profession and has similarities to dentistry (patient interaction, manual dexterity, hours, and giving back to others).
My questions are, should I apply now to all schools with my DAT scores and see what happens. In the mean time study and re-take the test this spring to bring my scores up (I haven't had chem. in 10 years) or take the GRE and apply. I don't know if I take the MCAT that I would do well enough to get in. If the GRE is a possibility, is that just the general test or subject test along with it? If so, what subject test is required? My strengths are medical relevant courses, not gen/org chemistry and math!
Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.

Some schools are very easy to get in. You might even recieve an interview on the same day of applying.:laugh: you will have no problem. Everyone says its very easy to get in. but the top tier schools are very hard.
 

Feli

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I agree you should take the MCAT. There is a definite possibility that podiatry schools will no longer accept the GRE in the near future. It is an APMSA issue right now and the support seems to be strongly in favor of adoping an MCAT-only stance. I agree with the trend... I took both and I agree: the GRE is absolute cake compared to the MCAT.

...Podiatry is a great profession and has similarities to dentistry (patient interaction, manual dexterity, hours, and giving back to others)...
^^This statement seems to me that you might just be trying to get in to a medical program however you can. I view the two medical fields as vastly different; the medications, essential anatomic regions (leg vs head/neck), and pathologies are markedly dissimilar. I'm not trying to be mean, but that same thought will certainly pop up in the podiatry school interviewer's head also. You might consider shadowing a couple local podiatrists and reading a bit on aacpm.org to have answers if those questions are asked of you.

Many people who enter a program (esp an intensive 4yr program) which they are not passionate about will perform inadequately and leave with nothing but a large debt. It sounds like your graduate education might have you prepared to do well and you would likely be accepted to at least some pod schools, but many people with an M.S. degree have still struggled in the past. Just because you can get in definetly does not mean you would graduate. Learning more about the profession and seeing if it truly interests you may be the best deciding factor.
 

JEWmongous

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I'm pretty positive 5 or the 8 schools will be MCAT only next year: Barry, Scholl, Des Moines-CPMS, AZPOD, and California.

Temple says the MCAT, GRE, and DAT are acceptable but I have heard from a few interviewees (sp) and students who did the internship there that they grilled them for not taking the MCAT.

I met with one of the deans at NYCPM and he said they will continue to take the DAT and MCAT but they don't accept the GRE. He also said they don't look at the perceptual ability section of the DAT. In fact, I got an online newsletter from NYCPM today saying the same thing and that the DAT may be a more "convenient" test for some people.

OCPM will take many different tests. They mentioned you have to score at least in the 60th percentile. I asked them if they were going MCAT only soon and it did not seem to be in the near future.

I would suggest taking the MCAT if possible. However, you might be able to get away with the DAT at a few places this year. I'm doing a study abroad program in France this year and planning on taking the MCAT in late may in Frankfurt. Better get started on my examkrackers materials :idea:
 

mcdds75

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Thanks for the responses. I have been shadowing a podiatrist for several weeks and feel that the profession has lots to offer as a specialization of medicine. Yes, dentistry and podiatry are different in terms of anatomical locations and pathology of disease, but they are similar in terms of establishing patient to doctor relationships and helping people who need specific Tx's. I'm not looking to "just get into any medical program out there," I've turned down a verbal acceptance into Osteopathic school in Pennsylvania. I want to be happy going to work everyday and give back to my community by becoming a health care professional. Dentistry and Podiatry are the two avenues I've chosen to pursue by taking my time and spending time in both professions.
 

mcdds75

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I have seen on different schools websites that LOR are obviously needed, but some require 2 letters, while others require 3 or more from faculty etc...
I might have trouble getting more than 2 quality letters due to the duration of time that I have been out of school. I have a podiatrist who is writing a letter, along with my anatomy instructor. Other than that, I don't have too many resources. Any suggestions?
Also, can the letters get sent directly into AACPM for distribution to the schools being applied to, or does each school need it's own copy?
 

cool_vkb

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I've turned down a verbal acceptance into Osteopathic school in Pennsylvania.

You said you havent even written MCAT and your undergrad GPA was 2.72 and you have a hard time getting LORs. Ofcourse you had a 4.0 in Post Bacc. But really, this sounds very strange and hard to believe that you were given a verbal acceptance (That too a verbal acceptance) by an Osteopathic School:confused: just based on GPA (since you dont have MCATs and LORs). Its really confusing.
 

KHep

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I agree about the verbal acceptance sounding strange. Maybe it was encouragement to apply? All of the DO schools require an MCAT and usually a composite letter from the premed advisory committee. I know the acceptance that I received from WVCOM was a formal letter with a lot of paper work to return to them. Of course, I didn't apply to PCOM.
 

krabmas

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Hello, I'm new to the forum and have began looking into the Podiatric profession. I have only taken the DAT and my scores are not very high. I graduated in 1999 with a degree in biology and my grades where not up to par (2.7 GPA). Since then I completed a Post-bac biomedical program with a 4.0 which consisted of biochem, pharm, physiology, anatomy, etc... I have also taken human gross anatomy at Univ. of Cincinnati and received an A in their summer program.
I applied to dental schools and placed on the wait list at U of L (top ten school). I did not get accepted and I'm having trouble getting interviews anywhere else. Podiatry is a great profession and has similarities to dentistry (patient interaction, manual dexterity, hours, and giving back to others).
My questions are, should I apply now to all schools with my DAT scores and see what happens. In the mean time study and re-take the test this spring to bring my scores up (I haven't had chem. in 10 years) or take the GRE and apply. I don't know if I take the MCAT that I would do well enough to get in. If the GRE is a possibility, is that just the general test or subject test along with it? If so, what subject test is required? My strengths are medical relevant courses, not gen/org chemistry and math!
Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.

As another poster stated in another thread about raising the bar to get into podiatry school...

If each applicant stops trying to find the easiest way into pod school this will help raise the bar.

Do you want to be the student that found the easy way in then come back on SDN as a pod student encouraging others to raise the bar knowing that you did not do your part to begin with?
 

mcdds75

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The verbal acceptance was based upon my post-bac preformance and all I needed to do was to take the MCAT for application/admission purposes. I don't need to defend myself on facts to anyone, so don't raise skepticism. Yes, it was encouragement to apply, before classes began for first year students. I had enough time to take the entrance exam and obviously that was needed to be "officially" accepted. Also, at the time I would have had plenty of LOR from professors at LECOM. I completed this program in 2004, and since then I have had several health related issues to deal with (MEN's Type IIA) and asking for LOR's from those professors from 2 1/2 years ago seems strange. Any suggestions? I just don't know if they will write encouraging letters based on that extensive of time being away from the school. I hope that cleared up things for anyone interested.
 

mcdds75

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As another poster stated in another thread about raising the bar to get into podiatry school...

If each applicant stops trying to find the easiest way into pod school this will help raise the bar.

Do you want to be the student that found the easy way in then come back on SDN as a pod student encouraging others to raise the bar knowing that you did not do your part to begin with?

If people are new to something and are asking for advise, don't degrade them by assuming things. If students get into a school and don't do well, they won't graduate! If they get into a school and perform better than average, and are good with patients, then that doctor can work on me anyday. If you are passionate and believe in yourself, you can do anything. I'll take a doctor who got a B/C average in professional school anyday over someone who gets all A's! It's a fact that those average students have better bedside manner and make better doctors. I want to be the student who got into school, learned from the best and gives the best, for all of my patients, no matter what!
 
D

Dr_Feelgood

If people are new to something and are asking for advise, don't degrade them by assuming things. If students get into a school and don't do well, they won't graduate! If they get into a school and perform better than average, and are good with patients, then that doctor can work on me anyday. If you are passionate and believe in yourself, you can do anything. I'll take a doctor who got a B/C average in professional school anyday over someone who gets all A's! It's a fact that those average students have better bedside manner and make better doctors. I want to be the student who got into school, learned from the best and gives the best, for all of my patients, no matter what!

I get a lot of A's and I've been told that I have excellent bedside manner. I think that you are also being to sensitive to Sam's comments. She was not insulting you be challenging you. You elude to the fact that you are interested in podiatry, yet you are reserved about taking the MCAT b/c you won't do well. If you want to be the best you can be than don't take the easy way in. Prove your worth. Many of the hardworking pod students see colleagues that do the minimum. The unfortunate thing is it translates into everything in their life. So we try not to encourage under-achievements.

I bet Sam would be the first to welcome you to podiatry but don't cheat yourself or your future patients by taking the easy way into a sub-par podiatry program. Be all you, can be; in the podiatry reserves!:D
 
D

Dr_Feelgood

I'd like to add 1 more thing. We have discussed similar issues before. I would like to see everyone wanting the most of their education. Whether it is for yourself or for your patients, you need a drive to succeed. As I commented to Feli, (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=367880) no one should strive to be the king of the average. Why settle? You can call me a gunner, but I want to be #1 in everything. I think that every patient has been pleased with my temperament and my knowledge. Intelligence, drive and kindness are not exclusive traits. Why not have it all?
 

Feli

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...It's a fact that those average students have better bedside manner and make better doctors...
You are thinking in the correct way, but, as someone who worked in a hospital with numerous doctors and nurses for years and is now a pod student, I will tell you that this statement above is not always true even if we want it to be. It's actually more often that the opposite is true in my experience. The mediocre students might be the nicer doctors, but be aware of the difference between nicer and better/capable/knowledgeable. People generally won't sue a health care worker they view as a friend (that's C.Y.A. 101 when you get into school or ever talk to a lawyer), and every health care professional knows that.

Some of the nicest and most friendly doctors and nurses you find are also sometimes the most incapable of providing top care; the friendliness and humor is a logical defense to avoid getting sued or fired for incompetence. Unfortunately, there's a lot of glad-handing docs out there who might be the friendliest guys in the world but probably barely ever crack open a medical textbook, do CMEs, or read journals. They dish out healthy doses of "you'll be fine" coupled with and a smile and pat on the back and send you on your merry way. Will you sue them if they fail to diagnose a heart murmur or didn't notice your abnormal thyroid level which was causing your depression? Probably not... they're so nice, and it was an honest mistake, after all. :p

Conversely, many top doctors (rated by their peers and surgical or diagnostic success) are viewed as arrogant or abrasive. A heart surgeon who seems to do his pre-op workups in 3 minutes and whip through his rounds in the mornings might be viewed as cold and impersonal, but maybe he's spending his limited time reviewing the chart and writing nurse orders that are going to medically help that patient out a lot more than simply chatting about their grandson would. Those guys really don't need to be holding patient's hands and ultra-empathetic because their medical work and knowledge are top notch.

I know my examples are extremes on both ends of the spectrum, but it's for the sake of getting the point across. Obviously every doctor is not your either your best friend yet a bumbling *****, and obviously every doctor is not Dr. House either (TV doc who is a genius diagnostician yet bold and rude to patients).

Ideally, most docs and clinical students will tell you that you try to find a happy medium. As a student, you will have more time to spend with each patient because you are not a smooth running diagnostic machine yet; it is a good time to develop skills of dealing with patients with pain/frustration/anxiety. Later on, if you have worked hard and gained experience, you know what questions to ask and what symptoms to look for; your competence might allow you to greatly shorten patient interaction times without compromising medical care level. At that point, you might choose to help as many people as you can and leave the buddy-buddy stuff to nurse assistants or LPNs who don't have to see 30-50 patients by the end of the day.
 

krabmas

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If people are new to something and are asking for advise, don't degrade them by assuming things. If students get into a school and don't do well, they won't graduate! If they get into a school and perform better than average, and are good with patients, then that doctor can work on me anyday. If you are passionate and believe in yourself, you can do anything. I'll take a doctor who got a B/C average in professional school anyday over someone who gets all A's! It's a fact that those average students have better bedside manner and make better doctors. I want to be the student who got into school, learned from the best and gives the best, for all of my patients, no matter what!

Don't be too sure about those not doing well - not graduating. Why do you think there are crappy pods out there? They snuck by. Some schools still refuse to raise the bar and/or kick people out. They seem to loose all their senses and try to help students along who should not be in school anymore and probably should have never been accepted. They forget that this student will one day have the potential to kill a patient with the information that the student has neglected to learn. Once a student graduates from pod school there is little in the way of that graduate from practicing.
 
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