Not so great "overall" GPA for 2 combat deployment veteran, Chances??

Dec 7, 2013
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Ok, so long story short. I'm almost 30 years old and finishing up my Bachelors in Biology. At 18 I had high hopes but no real ambition. I was truly lost in a sense. It took me joining the military at 21 to find out my true calling. I served my first deployment as an airborne infantry platoon medic in Afghanistan and finished out my active duty enlistment as an ER medic at Ft. Carson.

After leaving active duty I found a slot as a flight medic in the national guard and started back into college. Since returning, I've gotten A's in most of my classes except 2(chem 2 and humanities lol). The caveat to that is that before joining active duty my grades were not that stellar. I really stopped going to school and made terrible grades. A lot of the previous grades have been "reprieved", but I still believe that they show up when submitted to medical schools. My "overall" right now is a 3.6, but when you add in those bad semesters its more like a 3.0. Since joining the national guard I have subsequently deployed again to Afghanistan as a flight medic for a total of 2 years in Afghanistan.

So my question is this: Will my experience and current grades trump my F ups in the past? I know that no one can tell me for sure and no, I haven't taken the MCAT yet. I take it mid next year. I'm just trying to get a feel from people that have gotten accepted or people with experience to see what my chances are.

I really appreciate any help!
 

pyrrion89

PGY-1, MD
May 29, 2013
928
674
Status
Medical Student
Nearly unmatchable EC's. Many schools are trending now toward accepting more applicants who have taken at least a few years off from college, probably because they like the kinds of experiences that arise from such an extended break between initial undergrad and applying to med school. From what I've heard most admissions committee members look at GPA trends, and, especially if your bad record is far far back in the rear-view mirror, which it seems to be in your case. Keep in mind a good GPA for applying would be above a 3.5 GPA, but it becomes a liability if it begins to dip below that. Just make sure to do well on the MCAT (30 or higher would be best)!

Also keep in mind DO schools do grade replacement, which would give your overall GPA a considerable boost. There are also some MD schools that are more military friendly and you should consider applying there (any SDNers know which? I forgot).

Thank you for your service. :)
 
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No Limits

I was told there'd be Cookies
Nov 3, 2013
925
1,370
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Pyrrion89 pretty much said everything I was going to say. If you maintain a strong upward trend and kill the MCAT I imagine you should get some love from schools. Definitely look into D.O. schools as well. To be sure, I'd wait for LizzyM, Goro, Catalystik, or GynGyn to tell you how to proceed when they see this. Good luck to you and thanks for your services... Much respect:thumbup:
 
OP
A
Dec 7, 2013
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you all! "Kill" the MCAT is my worry, lol. BTW, I have also worked in a civilian ER since leaving active duty as an ER Tech. Not the best of experience since I can't do as much but it is great to keep a foot in.
 

No Limits

I was told there'd be Cookies
Nov 3, 2013
925
1,370
Schrödinger's Box
Status
Medical Student
Thank you all! "Kill" the MCAT is my worry, lol. BTW, I have also worked in a civilian ER since leaving active duty as an ER Tech. Not the best of experience since I can't do as much but it is great to keep a foot in.
You have some pretty unique ec's, I'd mention them all.

As far as doing well on the MCAT, just head over to the MCAT forums when you're ready to start studying for it. You'll find some good advice and resources if you do a bit of searching around.
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forums/mcat-discussions.31/
 

darklabel

PGWhy
7+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2012
2,386
912
Status
Resident [Any Field]
The critical thing is to make sure that both your sciGPA and cumGPA are above 3.0 to pass most school's screens. As long as you kill the MCAT (easier said than done) then you'll be fine.

Good luck :)
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,308
11,903
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
Ok, so long story short. I'm almost 30 years old and finishing up my Bachelors in Biology. At 18 I had high hopes but no real ambition. I was truly lost in a sense. It took me joining the military at 21 to find out my true calling. I served my first deployment as an airborne infantry platoon medic in Afghanistan and finished out my active duty enlistment as an ER medic at Ft. Carson.

After leaving active duty I found a slot as a flight medic in the national guard and started back into college. Since returning, I've gotten A's in most of my classes except 2(chem 2 and humanities lol). The caveat to that is that before joining active duty my grades were not that stellar. I really stopped going to school and made terrible grades. A lot of the previous grades have been "reprieved", but I still believe that they show up when submitted to medical schools. My "overall" right now is a 3.6, but when you add in those bad semesters its more like a 3.0. Since joining the national guard I have subsequently deployed again to Afghanistan as a flight medic for a total of 2 years in Afghanistan.

So my question is this: Will my experience and current grades trump my F ups in the past? I know that no one can tell me for sure and no, I haven't taken the MCAT yet. I take it mid next year. I'm just trying to get a feel from people that have gotten accepted or people with experience to see what my chances are.

I really appreciate any help!
The short answer is yes, your "experience and current grades" will trump your academic past. Of course, we don't know all the pieces of the pie yet, particularly an MCAT score and BCPM GPA, but in general, despite a low cGPA from the past, military veterans who demonstrate excellent academics in the most recent years tend to do very well applying to med schools. Adcomms highly value their experience, maturity, and leadership skills.

Some past threads illustrating my point:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=12339552#post12339552 (MCAT 37)
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=853249 (MCAT 29) went on to get several more acceptances than mentioned in thread.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
52,561
76,203
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
First, many thanks for your service to our country.

Your great upward trend and service record should overcome the early poor grades. Most AdComs have a soft for for veterans, and anumber of schools value reinvention

Be sure to contact admissions deans to find out if you competitive. A good MCAT will make your app very strong.

Ok, so long story short. I'm almost 30 years old and finishing up my Bachelors in Biology. At 18 I had high hopes but no real ambition. I was truly lost in a sense. It took me joining the military at 21 to find out my true calling. I served my first deployment as an airborne infantry platoon medic in Afghanistan and finished out my active duty enlistment as an ER medic at Ft. Carson.

After leaving active duty I found a slot as a flight medic in the national guard and started back into college. Since returning, I've gotten A's in most of my classes except 2(chem 2 and humanities lol). The caveat to that is that before joining active duty my grades were not that stellar. I really stopped going to school and made terrible grades. A lot of the previous grades have been "reprieved", but I still believe that they show up when submitted to medical schools. My "overall" right now is a 3.6, but when you add in those bad semesters its more like a 3.0. Since joining the national guard I have subsequently deployed again to Afghanistan as a flight medic for a total of 2 years in Afghanistan.

So my question is this: Will my experience and current grades trump my F ups in the past? I know that no one can tell me for sure and no, I haven't taken the MCAT yet. I take it mid next year. I'm just trying to get a feel from people that have gotten accepted or people with experience to see what my chances are.

I really appreciate any help!
 

Lil Mick

5+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2009
927
33
The South
Status
MD/PhD Student
Thanks for your service!

I found myself in a similar situation (aimless and in trouble-->military-->premed-->MD/PhD student). As long as you're above a 3.0, you should be fine, especially with a high MCAT score (shoot for 33+). Schools will see the dramatic improvement, and you can even address this in your PS (1st attempt--experiences as a medic--subsequent experiences). Send me a pm if you want to talk about it more.