Please.....Help! Advice! Answers!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by johnlin, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. johnlin

    johnlin Junior Member
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    Hi, everyone...Please give some advice on these questions...

    Here is the case:

    uGPA 2.6 (Down Trend, 3 Fs, 2 Ds)
    Sci GPA 2.4
    Senior Honor Thesis A (Hope it helps...)
    MCAT 32 (Retaking...?)

    I really need to do something to cover my Fs and Ds...

    (1) Is it better to go to Harvard Extension School, or to be a

    Special Student at state university? Which path would be more

    helpful on your post bacc record?

    (2) I think that AMCAS will calulate your post bacc GPA

    with uGPA together. So, do medical schools calculate your

    post bacc GPA for you when they review your record?

    (3) Can 4 years of research, 1 year of ER volunteering, and

    2 years of community services to be considered as the strong EC?

    Of course, EC is always more the better. What else can I do?

    (4) any other suggestion would be greatly appreciated...


    Thanks!!!
     
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  3. johnlin

    johnlin Junior Member
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    Hi, everyone,


    You do not need to answer all of them...

    One question would be great to me...

    thanks...:clap:
     
  4. Veilside

    Veilside Senior Member
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    all i can tell you is that your gpa sucks. i highly advise you to do a post-bac program in order to offset your low undergrad gpa. your mcat is solid, so i do'nt think you have to worry too much about that. good luck

    edit: i don't know how much effect there is on where you do your post-bac. i think it's more important to do well regardless of where you are.
     
  5. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    ok, yes, your gpa does suck as the above poster mentioned. but hey, you already knew that! even though you should try not to be too optimistic, it is still POSSIBLE to get in probably if it's something you REALLY want to do. you will have to absolutely ace your postbac classes. oh yeah, and retake the mcat if you think you can do better.

    ok, so even if you can sort of get your numbers up, i'd suggest doing something AMAZING extracurricularly. is that even a word? you will need something that makes you stand out. like maybe starting a non-profit, joining the peace corps, etc... otherwise i don't think you have much of a chance.

    hope that helps. sorrry i can't really answer your specific questions.
     
  6. mightymouseal

    mightymouseal Membership Revoked
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    Did you say four years of research? Four [email protected]$# years! How many publication do you have??? Wait a second man, if you've got crazy stuff going on research wise stick around wherever you're at and keep it up for a while. Go for a MS, that'll help you get your grades up, and apply to some school on the basis of wanting to do research. You don't have to go MD/PhD to be research intensive. Give it a shot, don't go straight to some other school w/o applying first, stranger things have happened.
     
  7. unicorn1

    unicorn1 Junior Member
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    hey...i agree with the previous poster in that you need to do
    something that totally makes you stand out....perhaps go
    volunteer in a third world country and really help people out
    where its needed (just one suggestion).
    I taught English abroad in India for a semester...and it was an amazing experience.
    Also I would suggest getting a per diem/part time job in a hospital
    ....like ER tech or something...I dont know where you live but at most of the hositals in NJ they also have CIMs in the ER (Clinical
    Information Manager) where you actually follow the doctor and get the personal/past history of the pt, follow up on labs, x-rays etc...and type the chart for that pt...its beyond great experience opportunity....plus working at the hospital...u can probably get
    a doctor to write you a nice recommendation
    thats the other things...you need excellent recommendations that
    kinda say that despite you bad gpa you would be a great asset
    to the medical field (ofcourse you need to do something about the gpa too to show improvement...and thats what your post bac
    is for....u should not only do well...but extraordinary)
    Anyway, I think it may take some time but if thats what u want and are committed....u can do it...sorry to sound so cliche
     
  8. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    1) I would think doing well at the Harvard Extension school post-bac would be more impressive than being a "special" student at a state program
    2) AMCAS breaks down your GPA in multiple ways -- cum, science, non-science, and year-by-year as well as UG and post-bac. So don't worry about that. Just worry about making perfect grades post-bac to make up for the dismal UG showing.
    3) your EC's are not at all out of the ordinary (aside from the 4 ears of research -- I hope you have some publications to show for that!), and they will need to be (along with your LORs, postbac grades, and essays). Everything about your application other than those UG grades is going to have to shine for you to have a chance.
     
  9. johnlin

    johnlin Junior Member
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    Thank you for your advice unicorn 1 and SMW !

    :) mightymouseal, too...


    To SMW:

    I assume that AMCAS will break down the MS grades by years,

    right?
     
  10. Boardrider

    Boardrider Junior Member
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    johnlin:

    have you applied for 2003, or are you waiting to apply?

    My numbers are real close to yours. My trend as an undergraduate was significantly upwards, with a few early Fs and Ds hurting my overall gpa. My junior and senior years rocked. I have many ECs, with most important being an HIV test counselor for several years. So far this year i am hold for interview at 5 schools. Been rejected from 8. I'm going for MS if it doesn't work. I getting an MS will let me (or you) show we can kill the advanced science courseloads.

    I am really just hoping that someone from an adcom appreciates my potential and focuses on my latter year performance. Good luck I hope it all works out for you.
     
  11. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    yep, they break them down every which way. Now whether the adcoms actually look at all the possible breakdowns is another question. But it is the way it is. Just rock those post-bac courses. Good luck to you!! :)
     
  12. johnlin

    johnlin Junior Member
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    (1) Thank you very much SMW! :)


    (2) To Boardrider,

    Actually, I am thinking to apply next June for very 1st time.

    However, I am also considering to take 1-2 years post bacc

    or ms courses before applying...

    I believe that your case is more Positive because I know

    that many schools focus on final 2 years (60 credits)

    for people with good MCAT and clinical experience.

    :clap:
     
  13. ttac

    ttac Trust me, it's still fun.
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    Johnlin,
    Your post almost described me exactly...I had a horrible time as an undergrad. I had 1F, 4D's, and 9C's on my transcript, and left college with a 2.42 GPA in '97. I too, did research for 4-5 years, and accumulated 7 or 8 upper division/grad bio classes with a 3.8 GPA. I had to apply 3 times but I ended up getting accepted to Drexel and USUHS (and interviewed at Creighton and UC Davis) this past year.

    Instead of taking the full-time post bac route, I decided to take 1-2 classes each semester, while doing research full time. At my Drexel interview, I was specifically asked: "So, why didn't you take a full-time post bac program, instead of just taking one or two classes at a time? How do I _know_ that you can handle the full-time science course load of medical school?"

    I basically defended myself by saying that I wanted to continue in research, and noting that if I had done a full-time postbac program, I wouldn't have been able to work on my EC's, which are unusual (and probably were why I was interviewed in the first place)

    I also made sure to make no excuses for my past performance, and candidly admitted that I would not have been mature enough, or responsible enough to handle med school in my early to mid-twenties. (I am 27 now)

    Actually, the first thing my interviewer said at my interview was "Hm... so you went to MIT...tough school". I said "Well, it still doesn't excuse my performance as an undergrad." I went into all of my interviews with the mindset that there wasn't really anything that I could blame my undergrad performance on, other than _me_. Sure, if I had gone to an easier undergrad, my GPA might have been 2.62 instead of 2.42, but ultimately, the problem was that I was irresponsible and immature as an undergrad.

    My EC's definitely made me stand out: Army ROTC, 5 years as a reserve army officer (graduated 2/67 in my Officer Basic Course class), graduated from one of the tougher army schools (Sapper Leader Course). I also was listed author on 4 publications (2 in JBC, 2 in PNAS).

    I think MCATs are key here. If you think about it from the adcom viewpoint, if your UGPA is <3.0, they have all the reasons in the world to reject you over some 23 year old with a 3.7 GPA. Why take the chance on someone who screwed up once, and despite claiming that he/she has changed, may screw up again? I honestly think that it would take an MCAT of at least 34 to counterbalance this potential problem.

    Another thing I have noticed in applicants with <3.0 who were ultimately accepted was that most seemed to take the formal postbac route. I remember someone with a horribly low UGPA who got a 4.0 in a formal postbac program, and ended up going to Dartmouth.

    Anyway, if you do a search for "Low GPA" or some variant of that, you find some other success stories.

    Best of luck!
    -ttac
     
  14. johnlin

    johnlin Junior Member
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    To ttac,

    Thank you for your advice, which is very helpful...

    Congratulations on getting into Drexel and USUHS

    :clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  15. ttac

    ttac Trust me, it's still fun.
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    Thanks, John.
    After slaving away with AMCAS for 3 years and spending close to 10,000$ on postbac classes, AMCAS fees, secondaries, and flights to interviews, when I got my first acceptance, I reminded myself again of how lucky I was to be given a second chance.

    I have the utmost respect for applicants who pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and get up to reapply the next year after having been beaten down emotionally and psychologically by med schools the previous year. That takes alot of courage and really makes the first acceptance that much sweeter. I'll admit, even though I think of myself as the tough, macho army guy :p, after chasing a dream for 3 years, holding my first acceptance letter in my hands was an emotional experience.

    When I first got to Drexel three months ago, I swore I would work my butt off, not only to make sure that I didn't repeat the same mistakes as before, but also because I think I have an obligation to other 'reformed slackers' ;) to convince adcoms that people can truly change, and make it more likely that they will admit them in the future.

    So far I have been honoring pretty much all of my classes (except for micro, darnit!) and when I bumped into my former interviewer (she remembered me really well) who was the asst. dean of admissions, I made sure to tell her how I was doing, and remind her that people can truly change.

    I'm interviewing applicants now (done 5 interviews so far) and I definitely look favorably (while still trying to be objective) at people that have a goal in mind, who don't give up until they get it. I'd like to think I am doing my part to give people a second chance who have already atoned for their sins.

    -ttac
     

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