Aug 25, 2017
7
2
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi! I've been browsing the forums for over a year and have decided to put my info out there.

I have an unusual academic background, so the numbers are difficult to discern my prospects.

I had a 2.5gpa from undergrad (Math major). I did not complete the final 8 credits needed for graduation. I took 6 years off, transferred to an ivy-league school (I was previously at an ivy) and began the process of completing my bachelors (they required that I complete 64 credits as a transfer student). In my final year, as a transfer student, I became very ill. Instead of withdrawing from courses, I took Fs. I was hospitalized a few times, and eventually was diagnosed with cancer. I attempted to complete my degree while in treatment, but received 2Fs and 2As per semester. I'm not sure why I continued taking a full load when it should have been obvious to me that my health wouldn't permit it. Finally, after dragging my 3.8gpa down to a 2.0gpa, I went on health leave until I regained my health. I returned and completed 12 credits and received As, so I believe I have a 2.3gpa.

BUT......
During the 18mo that I took off to regain my health, I decided to take science courses at my local state university, 10min from my house (I was commuting 3hrs to my ivy transfer school). I completed Bio I/II, Chem I/II, Physics I/II, Orgo Chem I/II, Genetics, Cell Bio, Microbio, Biochem, Anatomy & Phys, Immunology, Developmental Bio, Calc I/II + all the required labs. I received a 3.94 GPA in these courses. I took the MCAT and received a 317, although I am considering retaking it.

After I completed these science courses, I returned to the ivy transfer school to complete the final 12 credits for my BA. I knew that if I took the science courses after graduating, the grades would count as post-bac and wouldn't lift my GPA. I don't know what my GPA will be after AMCAS does its calculations.

I have good LORS, research (but no publications) and years of community service in lower income areas. My health is very good. I feel confident that I can take on the workload of medical school.

In addition, I am married and have 3 children.

Considering my weird undergrad background, I am trying to decide what to do next. Is a masters necessary? URM, 32yo - would prefer not to lose any more time. Thoughts?
 

NarutoMD

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2017
174
176
Hi! I've been browsing the forums for over a year and have decided to put my info out there.

I have an unusual academic background, so the numbers are difficult to discern my prospects.

I had a 2.5gpa from undergrad (Math major). I did not complete the final 8 credits needed for graduation. I took 6 years off, transferred to an ivy-league school (I was previously at an ivy) and began the process of completing my bachelors (they required that I complete 64 credits as a transfer student). In my final year, as a transfer student, I became very ill. Instead of withdrawing from courses, I took Fs. I was hospitalized a few times, and eventually was diagnosed with cancer. I attempted to complete my degree while in treatment, but received 2Fs and 2As per semester. I'm not sure why I continued taking a full load when it should have been obvious to me that my health wouldn't permit it. Finally, after dragging my 3.8gpa down to a 2.0gpa, I went on health leave until I regained my health. I returned and completed 12 credits and received As, so I believe I have a 2.3gpa.

BUT......
During the 18mo that I took off to regain my health, I decided to take science courses at my local state university, 10min from my house (I was commuting 3hrs to my ivy transfer school). I completed Bio I/II, Chem I/II, Physics I/II, Orgo Chem I/II, Genetics, Cell Bio, Microbio, Biochem, Anatomy & Phys, Immunology, Developmental Bio, Calc I/II + all the required labs. I received a 3.94 GPA in these courses. I took the MCAT and received a 317, although I am considering retaking it.

After I completed these science courses, I returned to the ivy transfer school to complete the final 12 credits for my BA. I knew that if I took the science courses after graduating, the grades would count as post-bac and wouldn't lift my GPA. I don't know what my GPA will be after AMCAS does its calculations.

I have good LORS, research (but no publications) and years of community service in lower income areas. My health is very good. I feel confident that I can take on the workload of medical school.

In addition, I am married and have 3 children.

Considering my weird undergrad background, I am trying to decide what to do next. Is a masters necessary? URM, 32yo - would prefer not to lose any more time. Thoughts?
317 MCAT? Do you mean 517 because the lowest you can get is a 472 (118 across the board)? If you got a 517, don't retake. That is a great score already. Also, what is your cGPA? sGPA? How were you able to transfer to another Ivy League with a 2.5? I am just curious.
 
OP
N
Aug 25, 2017
7
2
Status
Pre-Medical
317 MCAT? Do you mean 517 because the lowest you can get is a 472 (118 across the board)? If you got a 517, don't retake. That is a great score already. Also, what is your cGPA? sGPA? How were you able to transfer to another Ivy League with a 2.5? I am just curious.
haha, yes! Ouch. Definitely a 517. :) I was accepted as a transfer as a "special student" it's a program made available at my school - it was initially a conditional acceptance. I proved a 4.0 after 16 credits and was given full acceptance as a transfer. I would rather not go into the specifics as there are fewer than a handful who go in as nontrads.
My science gpa is 3.73, but that includes a B- from 12 years ago. All of my other science courses were taken within the past 18mo at an A/A-. I don't know what my college gpa will be because I have 120 credits at one school and 84 credits at another school. Plus, the 63 credits at the state school. I don't know how AMCAS will tally my gpa.
 
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NarutoMD

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2017
174
176
haha, yes! Ouch. Definitely a 517. :) I was accepted as a transfer as a "special student" it's a program made available at my school - it was initially a conditional acceptance. I proved a 4.0 after 16 credits and was given full acceptance as a transfer. I would rather not go into the specifics as there are fewer than a handful who go in as nontrads.
My science gpa is 3.73, but that includes a B- from 12 years ago. All of my other science courses were taken within the past 18mo at an A/A-. I don't know what my college gpa will be because I have 120 credits at one school and 84 credits at another school. Plus, the 63 credits at the state school. I don't know how AMCAS will tally my gpa.
NP, I was just curious because I know it's hard to transfer with that GPA, especially to an Ivy League. So 120 credits at 2.0? and 80 credits at? What kind of URM?
 
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Ad2b

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Fabulous job on the MCAT!!

Story of your health makes an excellent personal statement or secondary as do your grades/changes/etc.

Were your grades before you graduated? All of them? so no post bacc?

I think your MCAT score will get some serious looks as well as your really strong upward trend AND the EC's.

Others who actually review applications will probably chime in but I see no reason to wait; apply broadly.

(Last, as I wanted to address the med school portion first: I've heard saying congrats to someone who's beaten cancer back on it's knees is not taken the way that people mean it so though that's what I want to say, what I will say :p is, I'm very happy you are healthy, on track to get into med school and will be able one day to use your experience plus all the others to treat patients. They'll be lucky to have you!!)
 
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OP
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Aug 25, 2017
7
2
Status
Pre-Medical
Yes, all of them were before I graduated from my transfer school. That's also a major reason why I decided to wait to complete the final 12 credits at my transfer school. I knew that my science courses at the state school would count as post-bac in the AMCAS calculation. My URM group is hispanic/latino. And thanks for the kind words! Really appreciate it.
 
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Ad2b

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I don't see any reason to wait. That MCAT score is like 97% ... I can dream that big not sure if I can get that big!!!

Best of luck to you now and wherever you land!
 
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NarutoMD

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2017
174
176
Yes, all of them were before I graduated from my transfer school. That's also a major reason why I decided to wait to complete the final 12 credits at my transfer school. I knew that my science courses at the state school would count as post-bac in the AMCAS calculation. My URM group is hispanic/latino. And thanks for the kind words! Really appreciate it.
Yes, all of them were before I graduated from my transfer school. That's also a major reason why I decided to wait to complete the final 12 credits at my transfer school. I knew that my science courses at the state school would count as post-bac in the AMCAS calculation. My URM group is hispanic/latino. And thanks for the kind words! Really appreciate it.
I am sure the huge upward trend will work in your favor. The problem is that you need to figure out what your cGPA is. Also, I think it is a bit late for MD since you haven't submitted your AMCAS yet. You can apply for DO if you are up for that since their deadline is much later. But with a 517 and URM, if you can wait till next year to apply, I think you have a good shot at landing somewhere good. Just for your info, not all latinos are URM in case you don't know that already. But congrats on the comeback and good luck with your medical journey. I am sure you will eventually get in somewhere.
 
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Aug 25, 2017
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Pre-Medical
I don't see any reason to wait. That MCAT score is like 97% ... I can dream that big not sure if I can get that big!!!

Best of luck to you now and wherever you land!
So you don't think that I need to do a Masters or look exclusively at DO schools? The pre-health advisor at the state school told me
I am sure the huge upward trend will work in your favor. The problem is that you need to figure out what your cGPA is. Also, I think it is a bit late for MD since you haven't submitted your AMCAS yet. You can apply for DO if you are up for that since their deadline is much later. But with a 517 and URM, if you can wait till next year to apply, I think you have a good shot at landing somewhere good. Just for your info, not all latinos are URM in case you don't know that already.
Oh, well, I'm brown, so that's what I meant. :)
I wasn't planning on applying this year. I just finished the summer session at my transfer ivy to graduate, and was told by my pre-health advisor at the state school, that DO schools were out of reach unless I completed a Biomedical Sciences MA at their school. I was unsure if this was true, so I decided to just take some science grad courses as a non-degree student. I was also thinking of re-taking the MCAT and studying for it this year. At this state school, she said that I would need a 520+ to make up for my undergrad gpa as they screen for secondary apps.
 

NarutoMD

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2017
174
176
So you don't think that I need to do a Masters or look exclusively at DO schools? The pre-health advisor at the state school told me


Oh, well, I'm brown, so that's what I meant. :)
I wasn't planning on applying this year. I just finished the summer session at my transfer ivy to graduate, and was told by my pre-health advisor at the state school, that DO schools were out of reach unless I completed a Biomedical Sciences MA at their school. I was unsure if this was true, so I decided to just take some science grad courses as a non-degree student. I was also thinking of re-taking the MCAT and studying for it this year. At this state school, she said that I would need a 520+ to make up for my undergrad gpa as they screen for secondary apps.
No, your MCAT score is already perfect. Don't even think about retaking it because your chance of getting a higher score is low and the difference is not worth retaking it. What's worse is that you get a lower score and that will look even worse. I think you should continue taking classes and volunteering/researching and then apply next year.
 
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Aug 25, 2017
7
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Pre-Medical
Ok, thanks! Sorry, I'm bad at replying here. I see that you posted some questions above. So yes, 120 credits at 2.5gpa, then 84 credits at 2.3gpa, then 63 credits at 3.94gpa. The low gpas are so frustrating because they are a combo of As and Fs, with the occasional B. It's the dumbest thing that I could have done. I don't believe that adding all these credits together will bring me above a 3.0gpa. It would take years and years of getting As to bring it up to a 3.0gpa as I have so many accumulated credits now.

I'm worried that I have zero chance of getting into any of my state med schools. It seems like they have hard cutoffs and my gpa is a killer. The other option are the private schools near me, but I'm stuck with some of the most competitive med schools in the country. I guess I'm very worried that I don't have a decent chance anywhere, and because I have a family, I can't move across the country for med school. Now I'm just whining.
 

NarutoMD

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2017
174
176
Im guessing you are from CA? With over 200 credits at ~2.4, it will take you a few years to bring it up to at least a 3.0. Your MCAT is only good for 3 years so I suggest you focus on the DOs. I think with your background, a huge upward trend, and MCAT, you should have a decent chance at some DOs if you continue raising that GPA. I am not sure about MD though. I am sure other more knowledgeable SDNers will give you better advice. Good luck!!
 
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Aug 25, 2017
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Pre-Medical
Im guessing you are from CA? With over 200 credits at ~2.4, it will take you a few years to bring it up to at least a 3.0. Your MCAT is only good for 3 years so I suggest you focus on the DOs. I think with your background, a huge upward trend, and MCAT, you should have a decent chance at some DOs if you continue raising that GPA. I am not sure about MD though. I am sure other more knowledgeable SDNers will give you better advice. Good luck!!
Thanks! No, I'm in NY.
 

Ad2b

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So you don't think that I need to do a Masters or look exclusively at DO schools? The pre-health advisor at the state school told me.

Generally, the pre-health advisors are sorely underpaid, over worked babysitters for the students who have not thought about course in life or how to get there.
Typically, they are only good for the 3.9, with a 515+ MCAT types. Anyone else? not.so.much.

Your MCAT score is fine for THIS year and if you're interested in the DO path, there is absolutely nothing wrong with app'ing both DO and MD (the clinic where I work is staffed by DO's and MD's and the medical director of one of the branches is DO)

You do NOT need to do a Masters, imo. And the comment about DO only? I almost laughed out loud. No. That's like a slap your face AND the DO schools.

I know of someone 2 years ago that applied MD only, with a 3.3, 516 MCAT, fewer EC's, white, 35 year old... applied in late SEPTEMBER. Got into all 5 schools applied to... n-1 is true but n-1 is still n-1. It's just the crap shoot that some people are willing to play and spend money on and others are not.
 

precisiongraphic

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Oct 29, 2015
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I usually do not recommend late applicants but in your case, I'd say to apply to a small, focused group of MD schools local to you this year with the following caveats: Only if you have letters of reference already done or can get them by September 15th and only if you really are URM for the schools to which you want to apply. Mexican, yes. Puerto Rican, yes. Others are a "maybe" depending on the school but you do have a good story and diversity due to age. I would not apply DO this year but apply next year if you don't get in - unless there is a DO school close to you that would keep your commuting time low and you wouldn't have to move your family.

There are AMCAS calculators available via google or try this thread.
 

Goro

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Start list with Harvard and any other school you like

Hi! I've been browsing the forums for over a year and have decided to put my info out there.

I have an unusual academic background, so the numbers are difficult to discern my prospects.

I had a 2.5gpa from undergrad (Math major). I did not complete the final 8 credits needed for graduation. I took 6 years off, transferred to an ivy-league school (I was previously at an ivy) and began the process of completing my bachelors (they required that I complete 64 credits as a transfer student). In my final year, as a transfer student, I became very ill. Instead of withdrawing from courses, I took Fs. I was hospitalized a few times, and eventually was diagnosed with cancer. I attempted to complete my degree while in treatment, but received 2Fs and 2As per semester. I'm not sure why I continued taking a full load when it should have been obvious to me that my health wouldn't permit it. Finally, after dragging my 3.8gpa down to a 2.0gpa, I went on health leave until I regained my health. I returned and completed 12 credits and received As, so I believe I have a 2.3gpa.

BUT......
During the 18mo that I took off to regain my health, I decided to take science courses at my local state university, 10min from my house (I was commuting 3hrs to my ivy transfer school). I completed Bio I/II, Chem I/II, Physics I/II, Orgo Chem I/II, Genetics, Cell Bio, Microbio, Biochem, Anatomy & Phys, Immunology, Developmental Bio, Calc I/II + all the required labs. I received a 3.94 GPA in these courses. I took the MCAT and received a 317, although I am considering retaking it.

After I completed these science courses, I returned to the ivy transfer school to complete the final 12 credits for my BA. I knew that if I took the science courses after graduating, the grades would count as post-bac and wouldn't lift my GPA. I don't know what my GPA will be after AMCAS does its calculations.

I have good LORS, research (but no publications) and years of community service in lower income areas. My health is very good. I feel confident that I can take on the workload of medical school.

In addition, I am married and have 3 children.

Considering my weird undergrad background, I am trying to decide what to do next. Is a masters necessary? URM, 32yo - would prefer not to lose any more time. Thoughts?
 
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