kmurphy

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I am a graduating this spring with a degree in Psychology. I have decided that I want to go to osteopathic school in order to become a psychiatrist but my grades are lacking (2.7). I am planning on taking next year to study for the MCAT, work and take some pre-med classes. I have a ton of volunteer experience in the medical field and my grades in psychology are very good, however, I am worried that I will spend a year studying like crazy for the MCAT and dedicating my life to becoming a better applicant when in reality my lacking GPA leaves it impossible for me to get into Medical School. I am willing to do as much work as necessary to get in, I guess I just need to hear that it is possible.
Have you heard of anyone being accpeted with a poor GPA?
What would you recommend for me to do in this next year to make myslef a better applicant?
Thanks for your help,
Kathleen
 

Fin-Nor

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so what is it? 2.6 or 2.7? psych grades are very good? everything else is really poor?

you'll prolly be needing an MCAT of like 30+ and ace, and i mean all A's all your premed classes. think you got what it takes? that's pretty hard to do, in all honesty. DO schools arent all about #'s, but when you are at the bottom of the stack, #'s is probably going to be the determinant.

but hey, if you got the will, i guess i'd say go for it...
 

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Several DO programs offer post bacc programs. Schools such as PCOM & LECOM (I'm sure you can find more) offer one year certificate programs that often feed pretty much right into their med schools. They are usually not too difficult to get into & a strong B average in the program will pretty much get you into the Med school. :thumbup:
They also offer the advantage of teaching material that will directly prepare you for med school. The histology, physiology etc will make the first year of Med school much easier.
You will probably have to first take the basic sciences (Orgo & Gen chem, Physics, & Bio) before entering the certificate program but some schools offer the basic sciences in conjunction with their program.
It is often good to contact schools you are interested in and get their input.
http://www.pcom.edu/Academic_Programs/aca_biomed/BioMed_CertP/biomed_certp.html
 

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I agree with above. I also was under the impression that non science majors needed a high gpa or high mcat to kind of prove that they were able to handle a tough science courseload. Your gpa will definitely be a red flag when the admissions comittees look at your transcript. However, I've heard of more ridiculous stats getting in, so give it a shot. Just make sure that you get 30+ MCAT and write a killer personal statement.
 

medic170

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Most schools have a cutoff of having a GPA above 2.7. Check the AACOM website and the admission criteria is listed for each school. IMO, you need to raise that gpa in a post bacc to have any chance.
 

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I didnt have stellar grades (too much beer at WSU), but rocked the MCATs and also had to do a year of a post bac (it will show the school that you can do the basic sciences). Youve got your work cut out for you, but it can be done.
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A good MCAT will go a long way in helping your cause, but you really need to focus on getting your GPA up closer to the 3.0 range...especially in your science classes. It may add a little time to your schooling, but you can do it. Good luck!
 

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kmurphy said:
I am a graduating this spring with a degree in Psychology. I have decided that I want to go to osteopathic school in order to become a psychiatrist but my grades are lacking (2.7). I am planning on taking next year to study for the MCAT, work and take some pre-med classes. I have a ton of volunteer experience in the medical field and my grades in psychology are very good, however, I am worried that I will spend a year studying like crazy for the MCAT and dedicating my life to becoming a better applicant when in reality my lacking GPA leaves it impossible for me to get into Medical School. I am willing to do as much work as necessary to get in, I guess I just need to hear that it is possible.
Have you heard of anyone being accpeted with a poor GPA?
What would you recommend for me to do in this next year to make myslef a better applicant?
Thanks for your help,
Kathleen
I'd say if you do well on the MCAT, your GPA wouldn’t be that big of a deal. There are people in med school right now who flunked out of college, then went back later and got a degree. Osteopathic schools seem to be pretty good about looking past "woops" type things if you can demonstrate you are able to do better, like doing well on the MCAT.
 

medic170

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LadyDoc said:
I'd say if you do well on the MCAT, your GPA wouldn’t be that big of a deal. There are people in med school right now who flunked out of college, then went back later and got a degree. Osteopathic schools seem to be pretty good about looking past "woops" type things if you can demonstrate you are able to do better, like doing well on the MCAT.
I think a 2.6 gpa is a little more than a woops
 

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medic170 said:
I think a 2.6 gpa is a little more than a woops
Worse than flunking out? I wouldn't say not. People do all kinds of crazy things in college when they're younger. I'm just saying that if she does well on the MCAT, it will go a long way towards getting her in. It's pretty hard to change a 4 year GPA without taking a whole bunch of classes anyway, so it's not like she can do anything about the 2.6.

Trust me, there are people in medical school right now who originally flunked out of college. I know two of them personally.
 

stomper627

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medic170 said:
I think a 2.6 gpa is a little more than a woops

Not necessarily....if one starts out nearly flunking out, but hangs on, getting 1.0-1.9 during frosh/sophs, but pulls head out of the keg/bong and shows that they can act like an adult getting over 3.0-3.5, but couldnt manage to get the accum, up higher than a 2.7. if they have excellent extracurriculars, research, PS, etc. it could still be done....
On one of my anesthesia rotations, I had an attending tell me he flunked out of 2 schools (undergrad) before he got his sh!t together.
Im not saying its easy....ones definitely got work cut out, but it can be done....good MCAT and Postbac make it easier.
stomper
 

medic170

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LadyDoc said:
Worse than flunking out? I wouldn't say not. People do all kinds of crazy things in college when they're younger. I'm just saying that if she does well on the MCAT, it will go a long way towards getting her in. It's pretty hard to change a 4 year GPA without taking a whole bunch of classes anyway, so it's not like she can do anything about the 2.6.

Trust me, there are people in medical school right now who originally flunked out of college. I know two of them personally.

I still think that with a 2.7 you a person will HAVE to do some post bacc work to prove they can perform academically. Even if you had a bad first 2 years, you can bring a gpa up to higher than a 2.7 in the last 2 years. Like I said, most medical school have a written policy of applicants having at lweast above a 2.7 as a requirement. Also, I guarantee that ANYONE who flunked out of college and got into med school had to have went back and did some post bacc work first! I am not trying to rain on the OP, but I believe that honesty without fluff is the best way for people to get themselves on the right track now. The OP needs to go to school post-bacc full time and take some upper level scoences along with the remaining pre-med requirements, and s/he needs to perform well while doing it, as well as scoring well on the MCAT. That is the only way s/he is going to go to med school, and I am sure s/he can do it because s/he said they were willing to do anything to get there.
 

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kmurphy said:
I am a graduating this spring with a degree in Psychology. I have decided that I want to go to osteopathic school in order to become a psychiatrist but my grades are lacking (2.7). I am planning on taking next year to study for the MCAT, work and take some pre-med classes. I have a ton of volunteer experience in the medical field and my grades in psychology are very good, however, I am worried that I will spend a year studying like crazy for the MCAT and dedicating my life to becoming a better applicant when in reality my lacking GPA leaves it impossible for me to get into Medical School. I am willing to do as much work as necessary to get in, I guess I just need to hear that it is possible.
Have you heard of anyone being accpeted with a poor GPA?
What would you recommend for me to do in this next year to make myslef a better applicant?
Thanks for your help,
Kathleen
I did some research, and most schools actually have a minimum of 2.75 (and that precludes that you have a good MCAT).

Do a post-bacc program or master's degree

post-bacc programs are available at many schools, including TCOM & OSU-COM
 

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medic170 said:
I think a 2.6 gpa is a little more than a woops

I agree. Especially when the degree = psychology (no offense to any psych majors)
 

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Buckeye(OH) said:
I agree. Especially when the degree = psychology (no offense to any psych majors)
offense taken :oops: . Actually the University of North Dakota includes psych courses as part of science gpa. I asked them why at the interview, and the interviewers didn't know. Psychology curriculum can be pretty challenging depending where and what you take (i.e. courses like physiological psychology). The OP could have a decent (As and Bs) major gpa and his other classes bringing that gpa down. Post-bacc programs sound like the way to go. Good Luck.
 

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I know people from multiple schools with in-progress degrees or degrees in psych. Not a single one of them has come in with anything lower then a 3.7.

That is what my opinion is based on. Obviously your opinion differs and thats just fine :)
 

medic170

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Buckeye(OH) said:
I know people from multiple schools with in-progress degrees or degrees in psych. Not a single one of them has come in with anything lower then a 3.7.

That is what my opinion is based on. Obviously your opinion differs and thats just fine :)
I was an IDS major with a psych cognate, and while some of my psych classes were very challenging, I have to say, non of them compared to Organic chem or upper level neurology.
 

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WVSOM told me their average GPA was somewhere in the low 3's. If that is the average, I'm guessing there are people in the 2's. medschoolstats.com has the numbers of every school, MCAT scores too.

You might want to get an idea of where you want to go and start working with them. Find out what they like to see, where they focus more, etc.

Good luck!
 

cutaway

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kmurphy said:
I am a graduating this spring with a degree in Psychology. I have decided that I want to go to osteopathic school in order to become a psychiatrist but my grades are lacking (2.7). I am planning on taking next year to study for the MCAT, work and take some pre-med classes. I have a ton of volunteer experience in the medical field and my grades in psychology are very good, however, I am worried that I will spend a year studying like crazy for the MCAT and dedicating my life to becoming a better applicant when in reality my lacking GPA leaves it impossible for me to get into Medical School. I am willing to do as much work as necessary to get in, I guess I just need to hear that it is possible.
Have you heard of anyone being accpeted with a poor GPA?
What would you recommend for me to do in this next year to make myslef a better applicant?
Thanks for your help,
Kathleen
I managed to get into osteopathic school with an undergrad GPA of 2.54 (folly of youth at a very non-grade inflated school ;-)), BUT in order to do so:

- Master's Degree (Epidemiology) GPA 3.9
- A's in several post-bacc med school pre req classes, O-Chem/Biochem included
- 6+ years of responsible public health work experience
- MCAT 32, maxed out essay

So it took a while.

From my experience, I think DO schools are far more receptive to candidates who have shown academic improvement/ attitude change than are MD institutions - I think AMCAS and AACOMAS even calculate grades differently, accounting for post-bacc, graduate grades in the total.

If you really want this, you can probably do it, but you may have to really crank on the classwork and standardized test prep. Think about a couple years out and whether you are really ready for this. I do think DO school is a good choice for your situation - I certainly couldn't seem to get any traction with MD schools when I applied - I think my undergrad GPA got me red-flagged in every initial screen.

-C
 

medic170

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cutaway said:
I managed to get into osteopathic school with an undergrad GPA of 2.54 (folly of youth at a very non-grade inflated school ;-)), BUT in order to do so:

- Master's Degree (Epidemiology) GPA 3.9
- A's in several post-bacc med school pre req classes, O-Chem/Biochem included
- 6+ years of responsible public health work experience
- MCAT 32, maxed out essay

So it took a while.

From my experience, I think DO schools are far more receptive to candidates who have shown academic improvement/ attitude change than are MD institutions - I think AMCAS and AACOMAS even calculate grades differently, accounting for post-bacc, graduate grades in the total.

If you really want this, you can probably do it, but you may have to really crank on the classwork and standardized test prep. Think about a couple years out and whether you are really ready for this. I do think DO school is a good choice for your situation - I certainly couldn't seem to get any traction with MD schools when I applied - I think my undergrad GPA got me red-flagged in every initial screen.

-C
Good story. If you want to get in with a GPA that low, it is going to take a lot of work to make up for it. But it can be done if you are will to perservere. There is no easy fix though, and a good MCAT alone will probably not be enough. Try to be inspired by stories like this, hard work and perserverence are the only path to medical school for any of us, that path just looks different, and may be longer, depending on one's circumstances.
 

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Wow, your an inspiration. I have been retaking courses and currently have gone from a 2.6. to 2.7. I am thinking about doing a master's program or a post-bac in. I have been working as a Medical Assistant to gain more experience for the past 2 years. If I get a good MCAT..maybe I can get in too..If u don't mind me asking what DO school did you apply to? You can message me personally too. Again, after reading your post it still gives me hope of one day being a physician.

Thanks.
 

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I was about to move this thread over to pre-osteo but then I realized it was 5 years old. I'm gonna let it stay here for now unless there is any objection (hate to move a 5 year old thread - it's almost museum worthy)
 

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Go Caribbean and don't waste time/money on postbac programs. There comes a time when you need to realize what is best.
 

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There are many schools these days that will take an applicant like you. The problem is that they aren't in the states. I would recommend Universidad Autonomica de Guadalajara (if you have a pulse they'll take you), St. George's, or Ross. There are other. Give them a look. After 4 years you're an MD and nobody is the wiser. My brother had a 19 and a 20 on the MCAT and got in. I had a 26 MCAT and am a 4th year at AZCOM with a 3.0 science and 3.3 total GPA undergrad.
 

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Graduated in '04 with a 2.6 GPA (~130 hours, Molec Bio BS), informally took postbacc classes most in upper division bio classes not taken previously (roughly 40 hours), still had roughly ~2.9 cumulative GPA at that point (MCAT score of 26), and received several interviews from DO schools.

It's possible.
 

firstgeneration

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Graduated in '04 with a 2.6 GPA (~130 hours, Molec Bio BS), informally took postbacc classes most in upper division bio classes not taken previously (roughly 40 hours), still had roughly ~2.9 cumulative GPA at that point (MCAT score of 26), and received several interviews from DO schools.

It's possible.

Still give me hope, if you don't mind me asking where you got accepted and what courses you took to get accepted, Any advice on taking the MCAT. You can also PM me personally too. I thought your input is a good inspiration that I too can still become a doctor someday, a DO. With a lot of hard work. I would like some advice since you have been in my position already. Its good that you are not alone.
 

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I am a graduating this spring with a degree in Psychology. I have decided that I want to go to osteopathic school in order to become a psychiatrist but my grades are lacking (2.7)....
What would you recommend for me to do in this next year to make myslef a better applicant?
Thanks for your help,
Kathleen
Sorry Kathleen, but there's no way, even with a 45 on the MCAT, that you'll be a competetive candidate.
Get into a post-bac program, boost your grades (remember, repeating a course and receiving a higher grade deletes the poorer grade from your GPA calculation) and only then take MCAT.
You need to prove to adcoms that you can handle the load of medical school.
 

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Sorry Kathleen, but there's no way, even with a 45 on the MCAT, that you'll be a competetive candidate.
Get into a post-bac program, boost your grades (remember, repeating a course and receiving a higher grade deletes the poorer grade from your GPA calculation) and only then take MCAT.
You need to prove to adcoms that you can handle the load of medical school.
Considering the OP asked this question in 2005, I'd say there is a fair chance she's not wondering if she'll be a competitive candidate and perusing this thread for answers anymore. How on earth do these things get bumped?