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Over 45 not a science major

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Round2, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. Round2

    Round2 2+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    This is perhaps another "will I get in" and "what should I do" thread.
    Spotty under grad record. I'm still waiting to see what the application service calls it in the way of GPA. Probably about 3.0 overall and 2.75 sciences. Masters and Doctorate in an unrelated liberal arts field that I worked in for about 20 years, not really much anymore. Sciences are community college post-bac with lots of Cs and Ds and Ws, and go beyond the basics to include A&P, Micro, Biochem, etc.. 31 MCAT 10/10/11. Last 2 years employed more or less f/t in a clinical healthcare environment.
    Very late application to 1 DO school that was basically my first and only choice, application paperwork still not complete, with nothing more I can do to speed it up. Pretty much writing that off as futile effort at this point.
    One foreign medical school I had contact with for a different reason told me that if I apply I would pretty much be immediately accepted and could start in Sept. or January, do 4 terms there, then clinical rotations in the US.
    Not really interested in foreign schools, nor in relocating. I live at a hub of many medical schools; Philadelphia, but not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.
    I've read much of the forum posts. The only ones that seem to be reasonable good advice in my situation are those saying to apply early next year and apply broadly. However, I feel the clock ticking. I'm also getting the message that with my sciences GPA I'm unlikely to make it past the first cut most places, and there just isn't anything practical I can think of to do anything about that.
    I'd like to hear from anyone who's been in a similar situation.
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  3. Orthodoc40

    Orthodoc40 7+ Year Member

    So, are you asking whether you should go to the foreign school (start immediately b/c you feel that the clock is ticking) or whether you should reapply (because you don't want to relocate)?
  4. madscientist50

    madscientist50 5+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Some schools do have a cut off, if you call and ask the admission people they well tell you if the have strict cut off, or if they have a composite they look at more as in if you got a 3.5 gpa and 25 MCAT your okay but if you got a 3.1 and a 30 your may still be okay, just call and ask them, they are usually very polite and forward with info.
  5. stiffany

    stiffany Hurry up and wait... 5+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    I may be flamed for this, but I think you have a much better shot at the DO schools than the MD schools. I think DO schools tend to be more forgiving of past bad records (as long as you've now shown you can do the work) and also seem to be more friendly towards non-traditional students. The fact is, as someone who will be in their 50s by the time you finish medical school, you're fighting an uphill battle against age discrimination and general curiosity about whether or not it's worth it to invest in someone with only maybe ten years of practice potential down the line after residency. As far as the Philadelphia schools, I didn't get into any of them with a 35 MCAT and a 3.5 GPA from an Ivy League, so you're not a guaranteed shoe-in even with the homefield advantage.

    I personally think you should see what happens with the DO school you're waiting to hear back from. If you get in, great! If not, start filling out applications for next year EARLY and apply to a broad range of schools especially DO and lower tier MD. No matter who you are, applying earlier helps - March is way too late! Think July or August of the preceeding year...I wouldn't jump on the Caribbean option unless you just really can't stand the idea of waiting another year. The Caribbean programs are expensive, lots of people drop out of them (which is uncommon state side for med school), and unless you definitely want to do a less competitive specialty, you'll be fighting an uphill battle to get into a good allopathic residency spot. With the osteopathic schools, you'll be able to match into an osteopathic or allopathic residency if you take both of the residency "entrance exams" - COMPLEX and USMLE - and with a state-side degree, I think you'll be on much better footing!

    Good luck. :luck:
  6. Krisss17

    Krisss17 2+ Year Member

    Well being over 40 myself (probably 44/45 when I can actually get in med school), I totally understand what you mean about the clock ticking.

    It's your GPA, particularly your science GPA that is the problem. If you really want to stay in the country (which I do understand), I would suggest that you retake your low grade science classes and reapply to DO schools...don't limit yourself to just one though... Your MCAT looks just need to up that GPA and DOs look more favorably upon repeating classes if you increase the grad.

    Best of luck:luck:

  7. Orthodoc40

    Orthodoc40 7+ Year Member

    Agree that DO schools should be included in your list, if for no other reason than age. (Don't kill me for that - I'm close to your age, and they are definitely less age discriminatory in my opinion.) If you do, try now to find a DO in your area that you can shadow/work with - get a good letter of recommendation from them. Many schools don't require it, several do, but it helps, either way.
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Your age and nonsci major are not particularly relevant. Folks in their 40s with good stats get into med school, and nonsci majors often have an advantage in admissions because they are more easilly able to show well roundedness of interests.
    However, your clause above is the reason I suspect you have not much of a prayer at allo schools (can't speak to DO). When rehabilitating a low undergrad GPA, you need to get "mostly A's" in your postbac. Lots of C's and D's in a postbac tend to be nails in the coffin, notwithstanding your solid MCAT. Probably even worse that you struggled at a community college, but that is a different debate. Your goal with the postbac not only was to pull up your GPA, but to show a great current track record in sciences. C's and D's does not do this. You can probably fix it, but it's going to require a long streak of A's. Sorry if I sounded harsh. Good luck.
  9. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!' Administrator Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2002
    It's probably too late for PCOM right now if your application is not complete ... interview season is almost over

    If you go through the foreign medical school route, be aware that state law and the PA Board of Medicine does not allow foreign medical students to do clinical rotation in the state (but you can return to PA to do your residency or start your practice if you attend a reputable foreign medical school - be careful as there are some non-reputable schools that can potentially result in non-licensure)

    Applying early helps ... but your science GPA may be below the cutoff at some DO schools ... do some research and save yourself some money

    Also, while PCOM does not require a DO Letter of Recommendation, it is strongly "advised" and can only work in your favor ... since you're in Philly, a PCOM alumnus letter or a PCOM faculty DO letter will definately be beneficial.

    The most important thing is your academic record ... is there evidence that you can handle the rigors of medical school? The burden of proof is on you to show them that you can handle it.

    Also keep in mind that PCOM receives more applications than any other DO schools

    According to USNews:
    PCOM has a 10.8% acceptance rate for Fall 2005 Admission
    University of Pennsylvania has 4.8%
    Temple has 7.8%
    Drexel has 13.3%
    Jefferson has 6.7%
  10. Round2

    Round2 2+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    Thanks to all who replied, especially those addressing a strategy for next year.
    The Application service finally sent me its calculations of GPA, and I am somewhat amazed at how they calculated. It appears that undergrad they drop the "w" items and on a retake calculate only based on the later grade. They also appear to drop graduate level professional school grades (where I had an ocean of Cs) entirely. They get science of 3.24 and overall of 3.47. Knowing that, it should be pretty easy to push over 3.25/3.50 cut-off points for next year with just 1 retake over the summer.
    It does appear however that I've missed this year's window.
  11. Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student 2+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    You look like you are in pretty good shape for PCOM and UMDNJSOM and also for Drexel, Jefferson and Temple if you are interested. With a 31 MCAT and your gpa, I would certainly apply to all five of these schools if I were you (and didn't want to relocate). Good luck!

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