Nontraditional Student Competitiveness

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10+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2008
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I just joined the Message Board, and was hoping to find out how competitive I am in respect with other students.

I currently am an RN with an AD from a community college, I am graduating from a 4-year college with a BSN, and have completed all of the required courses along with my baccalaureate workload, save for English and Biology, both of which are transfer credits. My GPA is 3.59, with a 3.67 Science GPA. I am 30, and have worked for 3 years in an ICU, and am CCRN certified as well.

My LORs are from two physicians that I work with, as well as my baccalaureate Ochem, GenChem, and Theology professors.

I will take my MCAT in April, and was just wondering how I stack up against the more traditional applicants for US Allopathic MedSchools.

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Considering the mean GPA for students accepted to med school is 3.6 or so, I'd say your 3.59 is pretty competitive in comparison.

The experience components desirable for a successful med school application are leadership, research (not essential, but markedly increases the number of schools willing to consider you), humanitarian work, and clinical exposure. Demonstrating experience caring for sick folks isn't something you have to worry about, considering your work as a nurse. Shadowing a physician, the second component, might be good for you to list on your application, to demonstrate that you have a good idea of what a doctor does. I'm sure you see docs all day in the hospital, and know what they do there, but ask some of them if you can go and watch them work in their office, or go on rounds with them to other units in the hospital to show you have a broader base of experience.

Good Letters of Reference are needed, and it sounds like you are on top of that. You need a compelling Personal Statement, and good interview skills also.

The last needed element is a good MCAT score. Consider taking the free full-length MCAT you can link to from the AMCAS website:
Depending on how long it's been since you completed the prerequisites, consider taking a formal MCAT prep course. A score of 30-31+ is a good goal.
Just to elaborate on a few of Mobius' points:

1) Make sure in your PS you drive home why the change in career from RN to MD. Both professions are about helping people, what about being a doctor helps you achieve your goals that being an RN doesn't? I'm sure you weren't going to say thing, but making more money and the added prestige is NOT something you want to say at any point in the application process... not trying to insult your intelligence, but every now and then you'll run into someone who will actually say something like that, and I just wanted to make sure you had heard it from someone.

2) I strongly recommend a formal MCAT prep course such as KAPLAN, especially for someone like you who probably hasn't seen a lot of the material in a few years. Got a lot of good out of it.