Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Please don't be brutal...but honest

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by frozensmoke99, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. frozensmoke99

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I am a 27yo African-American woman in Boston, MA applying to medical school. I have 3 degrees all in Science (AA in General Health Science, Dual AA/AS (private 2 yr) in Biological Science and General Education (Comm. Coll.), and BS in Health Science (Northeastern University). I have worked in the health care field all my life. I am currently a Clinical Research Assistant for one of Boston's prominent hospitals. I have scrubbed in with surgeons and assisted (yes we are a teaching hospital) with the surgeries (CABG's, BPG, Stents, etc). The situation is in my senior yr at NE...I made the Dean's list (in the Spring), received a scholarship and had a GPA of 3.7. My mom got sick starting the summer semester. I ended up finishing my BS in a yr (overlapping in classes) and graduated in August of '07....to make a long story short....my GPA dropped from 3.7 to 2.8....I started to miss a ton of classes to help with my mom....I ended up with 2 D- in lil dinky classes (training and Development and another) that mean nothing and a C in Calculus I and II. The two professors that gave me the D- wanted to really give me an F but I fought it just so I can walk across the stage.:bang: My other grades (General Chemistry I & II, Organic. Chem. I, II, & III, Physics I, II, III, Micro Bio. I, II, & III and Statistics I & II, I have straight A's)...I am very good in Math and Science but my mom's health took the best of me in the end. So my mom ended up passing on Easter Sunday from Ovarian Cancer at the age of 56. I didn't want to go on. :(

    Eventually, I snapped back into reality and said okay let me prepare and make due with what I have...I enrolled in Kaplan (paid over 2k) and started taking the course. I registered for my MCAT and just when the Devil gets started...my aunt got sick....here we go all over again....not to hold anyone up...my aunt (who is a yr younger than my mom) ended up passing from Breast Cancer in Sept of '07 at the age of 56 also. I was devastated. I did poorly on the MCAT (I couldn't focus)....got a 8O (Please don't judge me)....I know I am fit to become a physician but stuck as what to do now....

    I applied to 31 schools and received 16 invites for secondary's....I am stuck as what to do now...should I just focus on applying to the 3 Medical Schools in my state or what? I have heard of some people getting into their state schools with very low GPA and MCAT Scores....can someone please help me (but be gentle).:confused:
     
  2. 236116

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Honestly, your stats suck. You got an eight? Or is that a typo? While being a disadvantaged urm in-stater might help, it's not a shoo-in. What EC's do you have? Have you considered a masters?

    Sorry about your mom and aunt. :(
     
  3. MarylandDude

    Removed

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    8 O? that's hard for me to believe, don't you get 4 four points for having your name the test? or something of that nature?
     
  4. JeetKuneDo

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2,347
    Likes Received:
    18
    Status:
    Medical Student
    This post is kind of sort of like those e-mails I get asking me for my bank account number because I won a random lotto or something...

    But still, bottom line is do post bac, raise the gpa to at least a little bit over 3.0 and retake the mcat. No way any school is going to accept you with an 8. Your mcat is probably the weakest part right now.
     
  5. frozensmoke99

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical

    Please let me explain the 8O....i tried calling to cancel or rescheduled but I was too late. I had no other choice to either take it or loose out on the money spent on the MCAT. So I went in not focused, devastated, and broken...completed the essay section and at break explained I couldn't complete it.....
     
  6. LittleRocker

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    For the record, you could have voided, but can't undo that now.
     
  7. 236116

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    well at least you're practically given to get a better score.
     
  8. JeetKuneDo

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2,347
    Likes Received:
    18
    Status:
    Medical Student
    You will need to improve it still. Since you're a non traditional student, I'm sure adcoms will take your hardships into account. Just improve that mcat score to 27+ and gpa to 3.0+.
     
  9. frozensmoke99

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    so can someone tell me if this is crazy...I am not totally giving up on medicine (just putting it on hold)....I have looked into PA programs (my GPA fits right in and they don't require the MCAT or GRE...well the program's in MA that I looked at) but most of their deadlines were Nov. 1, 2008 (which passed) and same thing with the nursing program. But I found one nursing program whose deadline is Feb. 1, 2009 and need to have at least a 2.8 GPA (which starts in the summer)...I am going to apply to this (please pray that I get in) and do the BSN for the 15 months...work as a nurse for at least 2-3 years and then reapply...I would be only 30 (which is not to old correct)...a better place in my life from mourning (which I still am) and more focused...Is that a bad idea?

    or go with a postbac cert or degree?
     
  10. Demas567

    Demas567 Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know plenty of people who score in the teens and low 20s but never someone who got an 8. I know your situation is a little different though. My advice would be to retake the MCAT and not waste your money applying to medical school unless you score at least in the mid-20s or higher. :luck:
     
  11. 236116

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Do not go into nursing unless you want to be a nurse. The same with PA school.

    Take the time, do the postbac. You can do it.
     
  12. SN2ed

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    7,550
    Likes Received:
    188
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    What were your practice MCAT scores?
     
  13. closer23

    closer23 Liberal
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Non-Student
    I second this. Do not go into nursing unless you plan on being a nurse for a long time. I imagine that you'd be looked down upon for completing a nursing program only to work as a nurse for a couple years and then reapply.
     
  14. TehDoc

    TehDoc What a pain...
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,260
    Likes Received:
    2
    I can't imagine the devastation you felt. My advice would be to really take time off until you are sure you can focus. Going from A's to D's and a 8 MCAT is rough, Retake the MCAT.
     
  15. SiR99

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do a post-bac to boost your gpa and Retake your MCAT and apply again

    Also, Go to your school and Tell them what has happened to you that lead to those D's. They may change your grade to a W, but seriously it doesnt hurt to try. If they do then all you have to worry about is the MCAT.

    Honestly, you seem like a very capable person that just had some bad luck.

    You HAVE TO write about what happened to your mom/aunt in your personal statement so the Adcoms can take your situation into account.

    Good luck, I hope everything works out for you :thumbup:
     
  16. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    12,205
    Likes Received:
    4,160
    I agree. Don't do nursing because it is very time-consuming and may end up having a worse impact on your decision to go into medicine. I would strongly suggest looking into a post-bacc program (there are many and forums dedicated to them on here (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=71)
    The above is a good place to start for that information. Now, in regards to the mcat, one thing I would recommend doing is taking care of that while applying to post-bacc program. I would focus on those two and just try and not think about this year/app cycle. Honestly, the application you handed in is not a reflection of yourself and so I wouldn't let it bother me in the least if I did not get in. As a positive note, this coming application cycle gives you a chance to prove that you are definitely better than what they saw last year. Take the post-bacc courses in the coming fall to show them that you can handle the courses in medical school and show them that the lower grades earned are definitely not a reflection of your potential. You still have time to apply to these programs as they are tailored for people who are usually appyling and figuring out that they may not get in (usually deadlines are july, 09 in this case) and have a weak gpa/not strong gpa. In essence, these programs would be good for you to prove yourself in that aspect.

    In regards to your MCAT. You have already prepped for the mcat and you should have some idea of what your score should fall into. I would take the time this coming spring to fully reprepare to take the MCAT this coming April/May/June. Keep your head up and just focus on getting that score you know you can get.

    That's my advice. You have plenty of time to handle both those tasks. As I already said, this application cycle, if you don't get an acceptance, is not a reflection of your true potential and so I would not let it deter you in the least into reapplying. In addition, I would also look into DO school.

    Goodluck and don't give up.


    - edit -

    In regards to your personal statement and how you want to add your past circumstances, I would try and focus not on what happened, but how it has affected you. From personal experience, it would seem that admins are more interested in how the challenge/obstacle has affected you instead of a recounting of what happened. This is a prime opportunity to show how you have matured as an applicant and to highlight some of your strengths.
     
  17. Rabbit36

    Rabbit36 Lagomorphadelic
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    32
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    First, I'm terribly sorry about your losses, and I hope that you can stay strong to continue on with your dream as a dedication to your mother and aunt. They passed, and it's terrible in a way most people are lucky enough not to know, but the last thing they probably would have wanted is for your potential to have been held back because of it.

    That said, and 8O will almost certainly not get you in anywhere, so I recommend you don't waste money on any more secondaries. You probably should have voided the test at the end so schools would never see it, but it's ok and in the past. Your final semester is understandable, and considering your grades in the pre-reqs and other difficult classes, it could be overcome (although if it brought your overall GPA to 2.8 it would make it very hard to get a foot in the door for them to even look at the circumstances). I think it's really important to be a healthy, passionate, and emotionally balanced applicant, so make an effort to deal with the deaths of your aunt and mother before you dive into such a stressful process. Try not to rush your grief, but also try as best as possible not to dwell on it, instead celebrating their lives and your memories. I know it's easy for me to say. Once you feel you can put all your effort into studying for the MCAT go for it with everything you've got. If you can pull off something around a 30, you can definitely have a shot at MD schools, and even more so at DO schools if you feel that's for you. Being African American will also certainly help you get your foot in the door in spite of the low gpa, don't be ashamed if that helps you. You have a lot going for you, and most schools try to make an effort to take that into account.

    Another possibility, as mentioned by others, is to consider a post-bac (special masters program would probably be more appropriate since you got A's in the pre-reqs). You usually need to have taken the MCAT and done decently to enter an SMP, so that should still be your priority. Maybe read up on them in the post-bac forum on this site. The fact that this happened your last semester is unsettling because there's no way to know if you've recovered and can once again focus on school. You need to assure schools there is nothing to worry about there, that it was a blip brought on by family tragedy. An SMP could definitely do that, but it can be very expensive and delays entry to med school a little (better than never though)

    It's definitely not lost. This is a terrible case of circumstance, but if you can show who you are and what a good doctor you'll be in spite of it, schools will definitely want you. Good luck to you! :luck::luck:
     
  18. alibai3ah

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,423
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I'm truly sorry about your losses. That is tragic and my condolences go out to you and ur family. First of all, your gpa will matter less than other people's b/c ur 27 and its been 5+ years since you did undergrad. But I would recommend doing a post bac and getting that gpa up to ATLEAST 3.0 (1+ year). Most schools will have that cut off. Secondly you need to retake your MCATs for sure. And tehy need to see significant improvement. An 8 is not a very good score, sure, but you have practice and study hard (8 hours a day for 3 months or so). Don't fret over your bad score, because you can explain that to the adcomms, and if you get a 31+ or so, it will show that that score was an outlier. You have good EC's it seems, you ahve shown a genuine interest all your life, which is good. I think you can also discuss your family member's deaths and how that affected your ability to study. In addition, if your family member's deaths in any way insprired you to become a doctor is also good thing to discuss (if it did?). You can apply with URM status, which should give u a bit of an advantage at some schools. Good luck, I hope you do well.
     
  19. Rabbit36

    Rabbit36 Lagomorphadelic
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    32
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    The OP got her BS in August 2007, so it hasn't been 5 years. It's clear the 8 was from going in to the test and basically just sitting there, and I don't think it's reflective of your abilities at all, so yes just take it again. On a side note: definitely consider getting screened for BRCA1/ BRCA2 since you have definite family history of early breast and ovarian cancer. Don't want the same thing to happen to your kids.
     
    #19 Rabbit36, Dec 15, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  20. copingmethods

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Wow, if you told them you weren't completing it, they kinda screwed you. Why wouldn't they just void it right then? If that's really how it went down, I would see if the AAMC can retroactively remove that score. (edit: I know, it's probably a longshot)
     
  21. herbb

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I think I got <20 on my diagnostic MCAT at Kaplan, so don't despair about your MCAT score. If you work on it, it will go up.
     
  22. frozensmoke99

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Okay you guys have me balling my eyes out over here....I understand that with Post baccs i would have to have the GRE or MCAT....I think i will start taking some of these postbacc premed degree courses at Northeastern University ASAP....but thanks for being easy.:oops:
     
  23. 236116

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    *gives tissues*

    Talk to an advisor there, too. Drive is nearly half the battle- and you've got that.
     
  24. CuyahogaMD2B

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I truly understand something of what you have gone through. My mom got sick (breast cancer) during the summer of my sophomore year. I took a LOA (Leave of Absence) that was recommended by the department chairman because I just couldn't concentrate (I was trying to work with one of my professors during the summer). My head would not work and I was pretty depressed about the possibility of losing my mom. I was blessed because after two years of surgery, chemo, complications and more surgery, my mom is currently cancer free.

    I came back and dedicated my studies to her. I just don't know what I would have done if I had lost my mom who has been my rock. My heart goes out to you with your losses. How much can any one person bear?

    My one question is that with all you have gone through, are you ready for medical school even if you get in? You have been through so much more that I did and I don't know if I would be able to do medicine after that. Like I said, it took 2 years out of my life and then some with my mom's illness.

    I know that you have invested the energy into this year's application but you may need another year or two to just get your feet on the ground and your head clear. I wish you all the best and hope that you find what you need to keep your dreams alive but studies have to be hard for you right now.
     
  25. VanBrown

    VanBrown Your retarded.
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    your story is compelling and I wish things were better for you

    however, no adcom will care about the things in your life that can't be quantified and put onto an application. Is that fair? No it isn't.

    Do a postbac program and focus on the MCAT and making straight As. I think that if you want to succeed you can but I make no promises. Remember adcoms will not care at the end of the day. They will look at your numbers and who you know and make a decision based on that alone.
     
  26. pianola

    pianola MS2
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    6,072
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Apart from all the advice others have given you, if I were you, I would formally withdraw from all of the schools to which you have applied. I think the AAMC may have some sort of record regarding whether you withdrew or got rejected. And I guess I just don't think an 8O has any reasonable chance of acceptance.

    But cheer up! You have time to raise your GPA and MCAT. The world will not end when you turn 28 or 29 or 30. This is a long career path and it takes time for everyone.

    I don't believe post-bacc programs require the GRE or MCAT. Consider taking as many undergraduate classes at a 4-year university as you think you can handle at one time. It doesn't have to be part of a formal post-bacc. You just have to show that you can handle college-level coursework at an A level. I would not recommend graduate work.

    You might consider:
    (1) posting in the non-trad forums for special advice on being a non-trad student
    (2) PMing njbmd -- she's kind of known for her 'tough love' approach, but she might be able to give you some special advice.

    :luck::luck::luck: You can do it! (It'll just take some time...)
     
  27. Kaya12

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    First off, let me say that I truly believe you will one day make an amazing doctor. Your life and family situations have shown you how precious and fragile life is... I have also been through a similar situation, and feel I may be able to offer you some advice. My dad is currently fighting stage IV colon cancer; last year when we found out, I couldn't study for the MCAT. I got a 26... This year, I have been taking my dad to chemos, volunteering, working and retook the MCAT to get a 32 (with help of lots of studying and kaplan haha!).

    My advice to you is, do WHATEVER it takes to score better on the MCAT. Yes, it is a stupid test, and yes you will make an amazing doc no matter what you score on it. But, the sad truth is that the adcoms won't even read your app if it is not high enough (at least 28-29). Take the Kaplan course (put it on a credit card! I did! You can count it as part of the entire expense of completing med school... it is an investment!) Get the time off to study! Seriously, take a leave of absence if you can at all, or study after work and on weekends (for at least 2 months)... It will be hard, but this is an investment in your future! You have been an amazing daughter, and now it is your time to give yourself the time you deserve to get where you want to be! I have all the faith in the world in you... Just make it happen sweetie!
     
  28. biophysicianai

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Medical Student
    You have the kind of life experience that very few pre-meds have. You could write some very seriously compelling personal statements. But, getting your story across is also absolutely necessary to contextualize the weaknesses of your application. Do you know anyone who saw you going through your rough patches? If they could provide you with a LOR, you'd be in significantly better shape.

    Given the problems you had to deal with, you can be proud of how well you did, and could have a lot to say in an interview - if you get to one. Your numbers hurt you, and need some improvement. I'd say that if you did well in a post-bac, you could absolutely get into a good medical school. You just need to get your foot in the door, and to do that, you need to improve your stats.

    Remember, slow and steady wins the race. A post-bac is 2 more years of your life, and thousands of your dollars, but it may be necessary for you to accomplish your dream. The debt will disappear later on, but the "I wish I would have..." never will if you do not go through with this.

    You'll have good luck from here; it looks like you've already gotten rid of all of the bad.
     
  29. Retsage

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Messages:
    808
    Likes Received:
    3
    On the one hand, you have great activities to show, are an underrepresented minority, and have a lot of life experiences. On the other, your numbers are bad. The GPA may be excused away by the circumstances with a strong letter explaining the situation. The MCAT needs to be rewritten.
     
  30. Lukkie

    Lukkie Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,769
    Likes Received:
    3
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    ...why didn't you just void the exam

    other than that i agree with retsage. you have a good explanation for your GPA (and also your mcat hiccup) but i think with just a couple months of good studying you can score a decent (25+) score, especially considering you got an 8 on just one section.
     
  31. kac714

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    nvm
     
    #31 kac714, Dec 15, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  32. shiftingmirage

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    59
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Don't waste your time and money on a BSN or PA program. Keep your current job, retake the classes you failed/D-. Retake the MCAT and explain your hardships in your application next year of the year after. Also, if you want to fill out your state secondaries, go ahead but filling out all your secondaries is again a waste of your time and money. Just because you don't get in this year don't give up hope. 1/2 or so of all accepted individuals are reapplicants. If you fix the grades and MCAT, and apply early, you'll get in somewhere.
     
  33. cpants

    cpants Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,631
    Likes Received:
    261
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Don't waste one penny on secondary applications. Withdraw from all the schools you applied to. You can still be a doctor, just not with that MCAT. Keep fighting.
     
  34. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,362
    Likes Received:
    32
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    You can still redeem your gpa to some degree, it is going to take awhile and a lot of credits with straight A's but it is possible. You can also make your own informal post-bacc program for yourself, take tons of science including plenty of upper level stuff (but also make sure you are going get A's). Once you are in the groove and all scienced up, please take a MCAT class, you are going to need to multiply that score at least 4 times over. It will be a tough road, and you need to do some soul searching and decide if you really want to embark on this journey. Good luck to you whereever life may take you. :luck:
     
  35. halekulani

    halekulani Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,200
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Medical Student
    just get a better mcat. don't bother with the secondaries.
    that 8 won't get you in anywhere.
     
  36. TRN1983

    TRN1983 MS1 - I.e. "Know nothing"
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    488
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hmm... well, an 8 is literally the score you would get if you randomly guessed on each of the sections (3 PS, 2VR, 3BS) so that's going to kill your current app cycle. HOWEVER, if you come back well prepared and do fairly well on a second attempt ~30 the 8 probably won't mean anything. People will probably assume there was some sort of strange error or situation b/c it is the "random guess" score. Personally, I'd rather get an 8 than a 25 (assuming the next score is reasonable). So, don't worry about it too much.

    In the meantime, just do like everyone said and retake the MCAT and then try to up your grades a bit.

    Your chances at getting in this year are pretty much zilch, but in the future you've still got a great chance if you put in a little more work.

    Good luck :luck:
     
  37. Bartelby

    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,246
    Likes Received:
    432
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Honestly, this score is more reassuring to me than, say, a 20O. I think if you got As in so many basic science courses and really gave it your best shot, it is impossible that you could score a legitimate 8. You were just too out of it from all the emotional stress to even actually take the test.

    I wish you the best of luck. I probably won't check back on this thread, so PM me if you want any specific advice.
     
  38. dsma0722

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Hi,

    I never usually post, but I feel compelled to do so by reading your story. I just want to tell you that people in these forums are giving you really good advice and most are really coming from a good place. Many have been through this process, which can be brutal to even the most academically well-proportioned applicants.

    On that note however, don't get discouraged by what may seem as harsh comments. While an 8O on the MCAT is not sufficient to get into most MD schools in the country, I don't think schools will frown upon you if you retook the MCAT and did well enough to reapply. Improve your GPA with post bac studies. Seriously, I hate telling you that those scores are not good enough, but I also hate to give you the impression that it will contend with people who score 30+. Lets face it, its hard enough applying with a 30+ and a 3.5+.

    I DO honestly believe, however, that if you give yourself enough time to prepare (maybe a year or two), you can do very well next time around. As to what score you should shoot for, it is hard to say. Although you should shoot for as high as possible (at least a 30) you may hear many stories of people getting in with less than that. And usually there are two reasons why. Number one, you have mentioned the hardships that took place in your life. Maybe if you eventually incorporate these factors into your personal statement as reasons why you are motivated to become a physican and as testaments as to what you can offer your future patients, your experiences can be postive factors that will also double as explanations for previous poor performance (killing two birds with one stone:)). Number two, although there is much controversy around this on these boards, many believe URM status will help you as well, although I'm not personally making any claims to this because I am not URM. Check out MDapplicants.com, by the way, and browse people's profiles - especially those who are URM.

    All in all, I guess my advice would be to take some time to really plan this out. It is a really big decision to go through with this and you want to make yourself as strong an applicant as possible. This is coming from a person who also took on some very personal hardships. Three years ago, I scored an 11 on my first Kaplan diagnostic. Last year I received a 27Q the first 'real' time and a 31Q the second 'real' time. Now I am pleasantly surprised with many invitations to interview this application season.

    Give yourself the time to do well. By the way, when the time comes, having life experience can be a positive thing for you and this has been told to me from MD admissions people and students at several schools.

    Good luck with your journey.
     
  39. bluesmd

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,206
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
  40. frozensmoke99

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical

    Thank you so much...just walked into the office and read this reply and you brought tears to my eyes....I know I can be the most competent and amazing doctor out there. I have faith in GOD but also myself. I have been through so much....I am a single mom and I have a lot of support from my church, family, friends, professors, and so on. Yes, my mom, dad, aunt, nana, brother, sister are my rock. They keep me more grounded b/c they are some mean people out here in life that feels only this type or person can become a physician. People have no clue what I had to go through to get where I am today. I might not be happy with the scores I have but I am happy b/c I know what I am capable of. I have always wanted to become a doctor. As a child I witnessed a lot of things (medically speaking) and so wished that once I got older I was going to become a doctor to help a cause. In high school, I ended up getting a scholarship my senior year. HAHAHA, a few months after graduation I found out I was pregnant....that still didn’t stop me from pursuing my dreams. My mom was a single parent and no matter what she had my back....she had a child that was determined. Well I gave birth to my beautiful daughter (who is now 8yo)....sad thing I got hit by a car while on a bike (no helmet) only a month after she was born. I broke everything on my left side (humorous in 3 places, knee, ankle and wrist)...I don't know if many of you saw the movie Child's Play w/ Chucky....well basically when he was doing the voodoo on guy at the apartment that was how my body was mangled. I was in a body cast that started on my left wrist that went up my arm around my back and my whole leg. But when I got better I enrolled in a private 2 yo college and received my 1st AA in General Health Studies. There are so many reasons personally why I want to become a physician...My AMCAS essay was great...my background and activities are great...it was my scores....I am just so nervous that when the time comes again to take it...I am going to think back to this score I received recently....Luck just doesn't like me.....
     
  41. unsung

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    13
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    What's the breakdown on that 8, btw? I think to a lot of folks it signals something like 2, 3, 3, which is kind of scary. Otoh, if you basically STOPPED taking the test half way through, it might be something like 8, 0, 0, which is much more understandable and redeemable.

    Glad you posted on SDN, 'cuz folks here give great advice.. better than my pre-med advisor did, even. The consensus seems to be:

    1. Withdraw from all schools applied to this cycle. (A rejection is gonna hurt more than a withdrawal... I don't just mean hurt you emotionally, but having that rejection on your record is gonna make it that much harder for you to apply to the same school in future cycles.

    2. Take post-bacc courses... these don't necessitate the MCAT or GRE 'cuz they are undergrad lvl courses. What I did was retake o-chem & physics at my local state univ, 'cuz like you, my old course work was 5+ yrs old. Plus it was a good way to study up on the MCAT. Made all As, which helped to show an upward trend, and dragged up my GPA a little. How many courses you want to take depends on how much ground you've got to make up GPA-wise. It helps to take those courses that contribute to MCAT studying, imo.

    3. Re-take the MCAT AFTER you've completed those post-bacc courses and whatever prep you want to do. If you want prep books, I'd highly recommend EK. Rock that test!

    4. Apply early, and apply broadly. If this means applying the next cycle if you took the MCAT too late, then apply the next cycle. Give yourself the best possible chance.

    I know you want to be a doctor and have the personal motivation few of us feel in the same way. If this is the case, don't settle for being a nurse (completely different career, anyhow) and don't get tempted to do something easier like PA. Unless you feel like those careers could/would satisfy you in the longterm.

    It seems like you fell off the wagon several times, what with taking the MCAT when you were clearly not ready, and choosing the keep that score instead of voiding. And even after that, electing to apply to 30+ schools with a 8 MCAT.

    It almost seems like you were just going to "give it a shot" the way people buy lottery tickets sometimes, and see what comes of it. Well, in this process, sure chance plays a huge role, but to give yourself any chance at all, the numbers have to be decent. There's ~ ZERO chance without a mid-20s MCAT. Unless you have some insanely special talent/circumstance, etc.

    But the point is, DON'T get desperate and start trying desperate things, hoping chance will swing the result in your favor. It's a long road. You've been through a lot. Maybe what you've been through makes you feel like so much of life is just crappy luck? But you ARE in control. You CAN get into medical school and become a doctor. It may take a few years to do it... do you want to spend that time working insanely hard? It's up to you. That said... good luck. :luck:
     
  42. What up doc

    What up doc FLASH
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    shocked at all he positivity from SDN

    *pats SDN on the back*

    sorry about your loses...really really wish you voided that mcat, but hey...

    best of luck to you
     
  43. GoingUp

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Have I made a huge mistake?!? After reading all of these...everyone seems to go against nursing school very strongly. I am currently in nursing school....is this going to hurt me when its time to apply to med school??
     
  44. Superman78

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    1
    Take another year and retake classes in a postbac program and prepare for the MCAT. Luckily the MCAT is now offered frequently throughout the year so you shouldn't be so nervous about it, you'll always have another chance.
     
  45. dragonfly99

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5,092
    Likes Received:
    47
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    The MCAT of 8 is awful but not surprising since it looks like you only took some tiny part of the test. You won't be able to get in med school with that so I agree with withdrawing your applications for this year...you'll be wasting your money if you pay for secondary applications as well. I think if you later retook the MCAT and did well, then everyone will just ignore that 8...especially if you just tell them you walked out in the middle of the exam, didn't finish it, and why.

    I suggest that if you live in a city that has a med school(s) (it sounds like you do) that you should just telephone them and ask for an informational interview w/one of the staff in the admissions office. They will very likely like to talk with you for a few minutes to give you advice. With your background working in health care, your personal experiences, and being underrepresented minority in the field of medicine, you are exactly the type of student a lot of schools are looking for. They just need to make sure you are academically ready when you enter medical school, which is why they require the MCAT and are so picky about grades. They want the people they accept to make it through school all right.

    I would retake the calculus class that you got C's in - prove that you can do it and get a good grade, like A- or A. I don't know what "training and development" is, but it doesn't sound like a real math/science course so I might just skip retaking that one. If you need to do so later just to raise the GPA, that's OK, but I wouldn't start with that one. I'd retake some classes for a semester or two. When you get your cumulative GPA back above 3.0 or so (hopefully 3.2 would be better) then I would retake the MCAT. You might need to take it next January (a year from now?) or if you feel you are already pretty well prepared, could take it next summer. It IS a really hard exam so being prepared is super important.

    I also agree w/the above advice that you should take with your internist, family doctor or an OB/gyn about your family history of cancer and see if they want to run any tests. You can live a happy and healthy life, but remember you have to put your health (mental and physical) first.

    Agree with above advice not to do nursing or PA school right at this moment...make sure it is what you want, otherwise you would spend a lot of tuition on something that is not your passion. Having said that, PA would definitely be an option if the MCAT ends up being a huge thorn in your side...they won't care as much about the MCAT score, if at all...and it sounds like you already have a lot of relevant work experience. PA's also do a lot of the stuff we (internists) do, though there's a lot they don't do also. They make good money as well, and have better hours than the majority of MD/DO doctors.

    Slow and steady wins the medical school race. Just don't retake the MCAT until you are really ready, and avoid any more low grades (C and D's). I think you still have a shot. Even if the MCAT turned out not great, I think you'll still have a shot at DO schools, which don't care as much about the MCAT and care more about work experience and life experience, which you have.
     
  46. caroladybelle

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agree with the above.

    (not to mention, the long wait lists to get into good programs)
     
  47. cpants

    cpants Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,631
    Likes Received:
    261
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    It may hurt you depending on the school.
     
  48. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    from what i understand, that 2.8 is only one semester, and it is the one which your mom passed away (sorry for your losses).
    it sounds like you had a great 7 semesters (or even more because of your other degrees) so even with that one bad semester, your overall gpa should still be about 3.5-3.6, minimum, right? that's probably good enough to not necessarily NEED a postbacc, especially because you got A's in all the non-math prereqs. if anything, maybe you might want to take additional math (stats?) but otherwise i think you are fine for sciences.
    mcat seems to be the biggest issue here. once you hammer away studying and start averaging in the low-mid 30s on practice tests, id take the exam, unless you are aiming for high 30s/low 40s that is..
    a solid score, some good essays explaining your circumstances, and maybe a a few A's in math and an extra bio class if you want, should make you a very solid applicant. you still have a shot at med school. good luck!
     
  49. jsanchez

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    please take the MCAT again. sorry for ur losses. if you really want it, u can achieve it!
     
  50. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    11,510
    Likes Received:
    489
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    This is more appropriate for What are My Chances?
     

Share This Page