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Ok, my turn for advice...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by SD, Jun 22, 1999.

  1. SD

    SD Senior Member
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    Okay.. I need some advice from all you D.O.'s to be. (I feel like the little pre-med'er again). I received my scores yesterday... Ick. The test just kicks me in the butt. Okay, so here are my #'s, let me know what you think.. August 98: 8,8,4,O (20 tot) and April 99: 10,9,6,Q (25 tot). At least I improved in every section, but that 6 is going to hurt realllllyy bad... Any ideas or suggestions on applying? (GPA: 3.76 overall, 3.55 sci) Thanks everybody in advance!

    Sara
    (known as SaraDoc2Be on AOL AIM)
     
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  3. libuser

    libuser Junior Member
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    That is tough! Well, your only choice is to apply. It is great that you improved so drastically. Yet, as you stated, that 6 is still going to hurt. What did you get the 6 in! I am curious to know why your GPA's are so high, yet your MCAT scores are average to slightly below average. My guess is that your going to have to draw off other areas that are excellent (essay, experience, etc.) in order to make up for the 6. To be honest, your chances are slim. I will probably get some slack for saying that, but it is true. I got 9, 9, 8 on the MCAT, and I struggled to find a spot. When I applied (last year), I knew that I was on the boarder line. Hope for the best! Also, I would again retake the MCAT in August, try to solve why you keep getting lower scores in whatever section that is!! Your dedication and improvement can only help!
     
  4. njdevil

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    Honest opinion...

    First of all, unless the 6 is verbal, you are either not preparing properly or your school inflates grades (which will be looked down upon by schools).

    Straight up, save your money...it is a really long shot and not worth it. 9 and 8's at least...that's the avg of the country. I applied with 7-7-10 and didn't get an interview. I applied with a 9-8-9 and only got 3 out of 14 schools yo interview me (I did get accepted by one and waitlisted at two).

    So take a prep course like Kaplan and get ready for August.
     
  5. RyJay

    RyJay Junior Member

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    Sara,
    Just curious.....did you take a prep course already? If so, which one? Thanks for the feedback.

    Ryan
     
  6. edgar

    edgar Senior Member
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    Sara,


    I think you should go ahead and apply, but if you can, retake the MCAT in August. Your grades are excellent. Maybe you could tell us if there are any extenuating circumstances that caused you to have a lower score than you expected. The admissions committees do understand that sometimes certain situations affect people's ability to score their best. And I don't think you will be wasting your money by applying this year, you never know until you try. Just try to get all your applications/letters of rec/secondaries in ASAP so you can try to get an early interview. E-mail me if you have further questions.

    EDGAR
     
  7. Synergy

    Synergy Member
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    Sara,
    I know someone that got in with lower MCAT scores overall, but nothing lower than a 7, so you should give it a try (she/he interviewed at 3 schools (2 MD, 1 DO), and was accepted at the DO school, and wait-listed at one MD school. Now she/he had other great life experiences and medical experience. Overall, it will be tough for you to get in. You should apply and give it a try. Apply to as many schools as you can affored, but target the schools with lower MCAT score avgs. Good Luck.
     
  8. jdaasbo

    jdaasbo Senior Member
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    hmmm. sounds like you do really well and then fizzle at the end of the exam. could it be an endurance problem?

    either that or bio and ochem are not your strong suits.

    I am sure you can improve that 6 a whole lot.

    Keep trying i say. I know that is not what you want to hear, but i think you know what you need to do.

    best of luck
     
  9. SD

    SD Senior Member
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    The 6 was in the Bio section. It just frustrates me so much that that section is highest on most peoples, and I can't even get it above a 6! One small bit of info, I have not had Bio 2 yet, due to some scheduling conflicts. Besides my numbers, I have some doctor office experience, and I'm an EMT. This Fall, I will start my classes for my Paramedic certification. Do any of you think that this type of experience can help, maybe even enough to get an interview?? I wonder if schools look at overall scores or each section...
    Guess I'll be dragging those old books out again.. Ugh...
     
  10. scoren

    scoren Member
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    Sara,

    Don't drag out the books again! This is only my opinion, but it sounds like you're studying the wrong way.

    The good new for you is that the bio section is probably the easiest section to improve on! I'd hold off on releasing your score (if you haven't already), apply this year at the beginning of June and take the test again in August after you complete an MCAT prep course.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Matthews

    Matthews Member
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    SD,

    You should definitely apply. Do not let anyone tell you that you shouldn't.

    In your essay, be sure to bring up the fact that you have not taken many biology courses, because if most people had only Bio 1 going into that test, they most likely wouldn't do well either.

    Finally, get your applications in early and use a shotgun approach. Apply to the private schools mostly, both DO and MD and then of course, the schools in your state. Also, look at some schools that have 175+ students in their incoming classes.

    Sign up for a few biomedical post-bac classes if you don't get in and get some research experience before trying again. You will have to be strong on the maturity issues to compensate for a low MCAT so really take the time to get that across in your essay. Write about the emotions you feel as a paramedic on a tough call etc...

    This is only my opinion of course. Every application is different and there are alot of unknowns about yours.


     
  12. SD

    SD Senior Member
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    One little problem about taking a prep course... I live in the boonies (small, rural town) and the closest Kaplan or PR is 2.5 hours away.. I can't afford the time to drive their multi times, etc. Also, is there anyone here who has actually gotten in with a 6, or know of someone who has?? Thanks again...

    [This message has been edited by SD (edited June 23, 1999).]
     
  13. Kansai

    Kansai Member
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    Sara,

    I'd give it a shot and apply. I got a 6 in Physical Sciences and got 2 acceptances. Like you, I had only completed half of the necessary courses prior to taking the MCAT. One school even complimented me at the interview for getting a 6 without all the classes. It's really hard to know what each school is looking for in your application. I have alot of really varied life experiences and am older (32), so maybe they cut me some slack. I wouldn't torture yourself with that exam again until you have evidence from the schools that your scores are the problem. It sounds like you have the GPA and the medical experience to get in. I would really emphasize these aspects on your applications, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, get everything in early!! If you decide to apply, turn your supplementals around within a few days of receiving them. Get great letters of rec, especially from a D.O. I think you have a chance, but the competition is intense. It may take more than one application cycle. Good luck to you!

    Stef
     
  14. Nik

    Nik Member
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    SD-

    I know for a fact LECOM average stats this year was a 3.3 GPA and a 24 cumulative MCAT. Rememvber, 50% scored above this and 50% scored below this, so your stats are still definately competitive. I'm also sure ayour a good candidate for Pikeville and Touro as well. Your 6 in Bio will hurt you (like others have said) but be sure to mention the fact that you didn't have all your biol classes in the essay. I suggest calling the schools and asking them what they think. Above all, apply to all the DO schools, and see if you can't improve the bio section in the August MCAT.
    Good Luck!

    ------------------
    Nik
    UNECOM class of '06
     
  15. 8404

    8404 Senior Member
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    Sara,

    I gained acceptance with a 6 in verbal, 7 in physical, 10 in bio, and R in essay and lots of luck. I had lots of medical experience also, but statistically my scores should have eliminated me (which they did from many, many applied to places). Its still worth the try and your focus MUST be to improve that bio score for next time around if you are forced to go that route. An extra year wont kill you-heck I am already 29!
     
  16. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member
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    I don't understand how you have a 3.55 GPA in sciences but haven't taken Bio 2 yet. What is your major?

    Generally, what gets people in the Bio part of the MCAT is not bio but Organic Chem. Actually, I always felt that just taking general bio 1 and 2 to prepare for the MCAT is not very productive, because these are extremely basic classes.

    I also think it is to one's advantage to take extra classes, beyond the pre-recs. Several people in my class who took only the pre rec's had a very difficult time this year and for some of them the school year isn't over yet...

     
  17. SD

    SD Senior Member
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    My major was Sociology, a major which I took great consideration of before undertaking it. I know that it would probably be looked upon by med schools as a "cop out" major, but I truly was/am intrigued by it. To me, it's actually very similar to osteopathy in a way, both look at outside influences, including environmental and social factors, and look at the overall influences and big picture. Anyways, (sorry about the sidetrack..) I have taken all the chem, orgo, physics, bio 1, and biochem, and a couple entomology classes. I have many more hours in the social sciences, including medical sociology, etc. I'm sure that not having more higher level courses has also not helped that darn Bio MCAT score...
     
  18. Synergy

    Synergy Member
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    I scored much higher than a 6 on each section and Touro and Pikeville didn't even invite me for an interview. In addition my sci GPA >3.5 abd Cum >3.5, so admissions is a crap game. Don't count on getting in with low scores. Sara, good luck. It never hurts to give it a try if you can afford the app cost, etc.
     
  19. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member
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    Sara

    I don't think that osteopathic schools will look at major in sociology as a "cop out". There are many successfull applicants and med students who did undergrads in the social sciences or humanities.

    However, every school looks at chances each applicant has to succeed in their program. You have improved your MCAT score but it is still low. A 6 in the verbal part may be barely acceptable for some schools, taken in the context of other high points , but a 6 in the bio part is bound to raise many eyebrows, possibly enough of them that you may not get any interviews.

    Like others have suggested, you may wish to go ahead and apply with your current numbers, but don't keep your hopes too high.


    Don't undermine your ability to succeed by your rush to get there. Like I mentioned in my previous post, a lot of the people I know that took just the pre-recs, and had good MCAT scores too, had great difficulties with the massive amount of basic science required of them as MSIs. Think about it: during the first year you take about 70 something credit hours of science courses. That is more than half the number of credit hours needed for a BS!!! All in one year! Getting into med school is great but getting through med school is better :)
     
  20. Max

    Max Junior Member
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    SD:

    I was accepted at PCOM, PCSOM, and LECOM last year with a 22(7,7,8,) and an overall GPA of 3.2 (science 3.6). I think most osteopathic schools do look at more than just numbers. A classmate, here at Pikeville, got in with a 6 in verbal. But I know several applicants who had much higher scores and didn't get in. It is a crap shoot, just apply and see what happens
     
  21. DO DUDE

    DO DUDE Senior Member
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    Some schools won't interview students with MCAT or GPA averages much higher than those they usually admit because the chances are that they will be accepted at more competitive schools. The admsissions committees are reluctant to "waste" their time considering students that are more likely to snub them later when they are offered multiple acceptances. This is probably the reason SYNERGY wasn't interviewed at TUCOM or PCSOM.
     
  22. MW

    MW New Member

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    At least apply to UNT Health Science Center in Ft. Worth, Texas. I know a dude who is starting there this Fall and he got a 23 on last August mcat. He was in my organci chem class and got C's (I don't know about the rest of his grades). He is a nice guy, but I know of nothing about him that really stands out. You may want to send out apps to a couple of schools now, and some that indicate that you will retake the August mcat (if that is what you decide to do). Good luck!
     
  23. Matthews

    Matthews Member
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    Don't apply to UNTHSC Ft.Worth, unless you are a TX resident. If you are out of state you will need better scores than most.
     
  24. DOGBOY2

    DOGBOY2 Junior Member
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    Come on now. A 4 on the bio section. That is the only section that is at all relevant to medical school. I will be the one that says what most others are thinking. Pursue a different career
     
  25. SD

    SD Senior Member
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    Dogboy, give it up. I can tell you right now that I'm going to be a doctor, a great doctor. It may take me a little longer than most people, but I will succeed. [​IMG]
     
  26. Wes73

    Wes73 New Member

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    Sara,

    I say you definitely aren't getting in if you don't apply. If you can afford to take the gamble (and every admissions cycle is a gamble!), give it a shot. The scores aren't great, but they improved sig. the 2d time around, which is good. In your app, explain the difficulty BRIEFLY, and then move on. Don't make it the focus of your app. Your soc major can be a selling point if you make people understand your interest in it. Research your schools thoroughly, and apply to those that seem to fit your personality; check out their websites, read about them in their catalogs and the reference books.

    Before you retake the MCAT, consider that few people raise their scores in a retake. You were able to once; what has changed that would increase your score again?

    If you don't get in this year, you've at least learned a bit more about the process than you knew beforehand. You've written essays and gone through it once, which makes next year even easier.

    Best wishes,
    Wes
     
  27. sean

    sean Senior Member
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  28. mightymouse

    mightymouse Member
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    I would tend to agree with DOGBOY here but would say so as harshly as he did. If you cant improve that Bio section even another point or two, the only DO schools you will get into are those of less quality. I am a DO student at a more established school, but if youre content with going to school at one of the less quality and established DO schools, go ahead and apply. Otherwise, improve your score at least one point on that Bio section.
     
  29. Sara. Apply! Who cares what school you get into, despite what mightymouse says! They'll still let you be a doctor when you graduate and complete residecy won't they? A medical school wouldn't be a medical if it wasn't qualified to be one. Don't worry about your score. Once you get in, you can prove to everyone that you've got what it takes. I'm a plumber and an air conditioner repairman by trade. I honestly think they were more excited about what did for a living in the interview than what I had done in school and on the MCAT(a meager 24). I interviewed at 5 schools and was accepted at two. Go figure?
     
  30. SD

    SD Senior Member
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    Thanks reddog. I have decided to apply this year and sent out my application in late June. I hope that it wasn't sent out too late and that maybe some grand miracle will happen and I'll get an interview. Thanks again to all those who replied. I'll be sure to keep you all updated!! [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by SD (edited July 23, 1999).]
     
  31. Gosh you guys are harsh!
    SD apply and do so early. Medical schools all have a point ranking system giving each applicant points per category. i.e.
    [1]MCAT scores max 5 pts 0-22 get 1 pt 22-24 2 pts etc..
    [2] GPA 5 pts max under 3.0 1 pt 3.0-3.2 2pts 3.3-3.4 3pts etc..
    [3] Medical experience: 0-2mo 1 pt 2-4mo 2pts etc..
    [4] Coursework/School Harvards scoring higher than state schools Advanced degrees giving more points than only BS's. Also type of program Engineering vs Psychology are also factored into the scoring process
    [5] Letters of recommendation

    All of these categories are added up. In this example 5 pts ea*5=25 pts max. Cut off for interview may be 20/25.

    Because you are scoring strong in other areas I would say you would definately get an interview. Schools really do consider the entire application. In some schools the MCAT and grades are given more weight.

    Please let me know if you any other questions I can help you with.

    [​IMG] Diane

    ------------------
     
  32. MedicD

    MedicD New Member

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    Definitely apply! My MCAT scores weren't much better than yours, although I had been out of school for three years when I took the test. I am also a paramedic, and trust me, that work experience helps, especially being a female in a male dominated profession. It shows some guts. My grades were also very similar to yours, and I received interviews and acceptances from allopathic and osteopathic school. Give it a shot, and don't give up!
     
  33. mightymouse

    mightymouse Member
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    ok, we all need to wake up and stop living in this dream world that has been created. Not everyone will make and excellent doctor and scores are important in determining partial qualification. Anyone advocating application with such low scores is simply giving BAD advice. SD may be the best doctor thatever lived, but will be turned down 99% of the time with scores so low. Retake the test and prove that you can walk with the big boys. If you cannot improve your scores, another path may be inevitable. If one cannot perform some minimal standard on the MCAT, there is no way that that person can survive medical school no matter how GREAT they may think they will be. By the way, which ones of us dont think we will become great doctors. EVERYONE thinks this but not everyone actually can become a great doctor. Many need to be weeded out and the MCAT is one way to determine academic ability to complete medical school. Any of you who say otherwise are either dishonest with yourselves or are living in a dream world. SD, you may become a great doctor, but you MUST improve in order to have a chance to do so, and rightly so. So everyone, stop blowing air up peoples ***** and drop the "feel good about yourself and numbers dont really matter" attitude that does more harm to people than good. Good luck SD, reapply and IMPROVE. If youre as great as you feel, than you can improve for acceptance to a good program rather than squeaking into the backdoor of an unaccredited, unestablished second rate school. God Bless and best of luck to you.
     
  34. mightymouse

    mightymouse Member
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    My advice of course applies to the 6 score in biology and not the others. They seem quailty and are competitive. It is that one area that should and must improve since medicine has much to do with biology.
     
  35. SD

    SD Senior Member
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    Thank you to all who replied! I sent in my apps, and by some miracle, I actually received an interview invite. [​IMG] Maybe it is possible... <grin>
     

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