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Paramedic to MD/DO

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by emsa5804, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. emsa5804

    emsa5804 Junior Member
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    Fresh out of H.S. my father said, "Have money, goforth, be educated."

    I took his money and signed up for some classes at the local Comm. College. I never attended class and never dropped the classes. With this news my father stopped funding my education. Can't blame him. Leaving out some details for the sake of briefness I funded my way through paramedic school. I was able to fight hard through paramedic school to bring my GPA up to an impressive 2.0. (insert sarcasim here) I'm now married and have a mortgage, two car payments, two kids, two dogs, and a guinea pig to pay for. I've decided to go to school full time while working full time on an ambulance in a large metro area. It will take 78 credit hrs at 4.0 grades to bring my GPA up to a 3.0... I'm guessing if I work really hard, by the end of undergrad I may be able to bring my GPA up to a 3.1 maybe 3.2.

    So, the question is, Is it possible for me to get into medical school with that low of a GPA? If so, what is my best plan of attack?

    Thanks for the help...
     
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  3. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member
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    I graduated with a BS in Biomedical Eng back in '90 from Boston U with a 2.5 gpa due to some chronic medical issues. I worked as a clinical engineer for about 6 1/2 years at a hospital, stayed home as a mom for a few years more and then started taking post-bacc classes. I had a 4.0 in post-bacc and scored a 33 on the MCAT. I had 17 yrs EMS experience as a volunteer and former EMSI. So, yes it is possible.

    Suggestions:

    Fight with everything you have to get "A's" in your classes from now on. Its tough to do while a family and work, so take things slow at first until you get your study habits down.

    Some med schools may want to see a one or two full time semester with a full courseload to demonstrate that you can handle the rigors of med school. I know this may not be financially feasible, but keep it in mind.

    Network! Network! Network! Who do you know and how can they help you? Advice, shadowing options, LORs, etc...tap into your EMS circle and start building contacts and support.

    Keep other options like PA and NP open. The years of training are significantly less and the careers offer patient care with a great deal of autonomy. Look at all of your options and if you still can only see yourself happy by becoming a doctor then go for it.

    Best of luck!

    Deirdre
     
  4. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc
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    "Keep other options like PA and NP open. The years of training are significantly less and the careers offer patient care with a great deal of autonomy."

    AGREE- as a medic who becomes a pa you can have a very rewarding career as an em pa. money is good. hours are as much or as little as you want.
    realistic salary range is around 80-125k/yr, more as a senior em pa working at a trauma ctr or rural solo er position.scope of practice variable. the more rural/remote you go and the more experience you get the more you can do. I work solo a few times a month in a small dept and do whatever comes in the door(codes, chest pain, trauma, etc)
    I'm sitting here playing on the internet at work now for $67/hr.....and I have no school loans......
    see www.aapa.org for general pa info
    www.physicianassociate.com for a pa dedicated forum
    www.appap.org for optional pa residencies
     
  5. 10yearmedic

    10yearmedic Member
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    If you actually pull a 3.9 or a 4.0 for the next 78 credits, and get a good score on the MCAT, the medical schools may still take a look at you. Some schools use a point system to evaluate who they will interview. UW actually gives more weight to your junior year than any other year. They multiply your freshman GPA by 1, soph by 2, junior by 3, and do not factor in your senoir year GPA at all. So if you are going back to school as a soph, do well, and take the upper division science classes in your junior year and ace them, you still have a shot a med school. Also, use a section of your personal statement to explain your GPA, maybe use your inprovement to showcase your increase in maturity. Just my .02. Good luck
     
  6. emsa5804

    emsa5804 Junior Member
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    Thanks for the quick response.

    A friend of mine who just left EMS for DO school double majored in Bio/Chem. He said this added a year to his undergrad degree. My thought is, it may add a year to my degree but, that also gives me more time to raise my GPA. Is this a good idea?
     
  7. Jambi

    Jambi Caldari
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    Can you apply for "academic forgiveness" for your older, poorer grades, where they degree applicable? If they're past a certain age I think they can wipe them clean with proof of later solid academic performence. I'm not sure if they carry over to AMCAS though. Maybe someone in the "know" can chime in.

    Either way, good luck. :thumbup:
     
  8. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    AMCAS is very clear - ALL grades from ALL colleges and universities must be reported and recorded. Sorry. However, I can tell you a condensed story:

    I'm a paramedic of 13 years. Got hurt, lost my job, went back to school. Did pretty ok - 3.6 GPA with dual math/chem major in 3 years. But had GPA of about 1.7 from 20 years ago. This had to be reported on AMCAS, which made my GPA 3.23. Ick. Got 29 on MCAT. Applied last year late. No interviews. Applied this year early - VCU interview. Three DO school interviews. Acceptance to DO school by 10/5. Still waiting for my own state school to acknowledge that I breathe. Oh, and I have a husband, a home, two kids, two cars, and two dogs, too :D .

    It's possible even with bad grades in the past. Some schools really like to see the commitment to medicine from prior experience on the app. Good luck to you - remember, if you don't try YOU are the one saying no. Make THEM say no. :)
     
  9. Captain Fantastic

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    The average GPA for accepted students is what, 3.5? So for every 3.8 accepted there's a 3.2 that got in as well.

    I wouldn't double major unless you really like both subjects. Having a double major won't help you get in. The schools don't really care what your major is as long as you've had the pre-req courses. The schools will probably give your last 60 hours the most weight anyway. There's no reason to extend undergrad for another year just to go from 3.2 to 3.3, IMO.
     
  10. Lindyhopper

    Lindyhopper Senior Member
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    This is probably misleading. I'm pretty sure you want "mean" not average. This is actually statisticly quite important. At 3.5 the bell curve is really starting to thicken. There are just so many people in the 3.4 -3.3 range that they are ones balancing the 3.8s & 4.0s.
    Not sure what that means to the OP, but it's generally good to be reality based when planning.
     
  11. Captain Fantastic

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Oh, you have to do better than that. Which mean? Arithmetic? Geometric? Generalized? Harmonic? You've got to qualify it or we'll have no idea what you're talking about. :p

    I'm just bustin' your chops. Thanks for setting the record straight (and pointing out how little I retained from my minor in math). :)
     
  12. emsa5804

    emsa5804 Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the help. I haven't been with this site long but, I think I have found a valuable tool. I'll just keep pluggin' away and see where school takes me. Thanks again. :)
     
  13. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)
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    It will be difficult to raise your GPA significantly.

    However, don't underestimate the power of a good MCAT score and the assessment of the adcom. You just have to get it high enough to be able to get in the door and explain the obstacles you overcame...
     

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