anax007

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Hi Everyone. I was wondering if u could please help me by providing some insight regarding my situation. I attend a public university in Michigan. I entered university in Fall 2002 and I am still currently attending the same university 7 years later. This September I am going into my 8th year. I have had many troubles throughout this long duration. For 2 years my Dad was unemployed, so everyone in my home had to help out. I have also underwent quite a few major changes. When I entered I was pre-med, but then 3 years later changed to business, and then again changed my mind and went back to pre-med in 2007 after a lot of self-reflection about what I wanted to accomplish and where my interest truly rested. On top of this I have a bunch (and I mean a whole bunch) of grades of W and X (an X is like a W, but it means insufficient basis to give a grade; and I'm sure, as u probably know, a W is a withdrawl). All in all I have completely screwed up my entire life and my chances of going to an allopathic US med school. Though recently I have changed a lot of my ways and have started to take my educational goals seriously. I declared my major in biology and I believe I can either finish up my BS by December 2010 or May 2011. Meaning it would have taken me 9 years to complete my undergrad, which is insanely long and terrible. Currently my cumulative GPA is a 3.21 and I'm hoping that I can get straight A's this year and the next to bring it up. Another problem is that when I calculated my AMCAS GPA (with an AMCAS GPA calculator I found online), my current sci GPA was like 3.1 and my cumulative GPA was 3.02, which is also terrible. But again if I get straight A's for 2 semesters , which I am capable of if I put in the effort, I can bring the sci GPA to about a 3.37 and the cumulative GPA to abt a 3.30 to 3.32. And then if I also manage to get good grades in my final year, I can bring the sci GPA to about a 3.52, and cumulative GPA to about 3.50. Which I cannot get into an allopathic med school with unless a miracle occurs. I have not taken the MCAT yet, but will next spring or summer, and am hoping I can get a score above a 30, which I would need to. Hopefully 33 to 35. I also have volunteer experience at a hospital, plan to do doctor shadowing this month and in winter break, and plan to do research in January 2010 through July 2010. At my university the Biology Dept offers an accelerated BS/MA or MS plan which I think I can hopefully get into next summer, that would enable me to take classes in the 2010-2011 year that would count both towards my BS and a Master's degree. I would receive my BS in Biology in May 2011 and then a year later in May 2012 I would get my MA or MS in Biology (whichever one I may choose to do). Now my question to u guys is, should I follow this plan, that I have listed above, and apply to med school for entrance in Aug 2012 (meaning apply in Aug 2011), after hopefully completing my Master's in Biology in May 2012? Or should I complete my BS in Biology in December 2010 or May 2011 and then apply into a Special Master's Program at the schools that offer it? If I do opt for an SMP I was thinking either Univ of Cincinnati, Georgetown Univ, or Boston Univ. Do you think I have what it takes to get into the SMP for either of these 3 schools? Or do I have no chance of ever getting into an SMP at any school due to all of the time that I have wasted during my undergrad? If accepted I surely would take things seriously and strive to achieve perfection during the program. That means I would then try for acceptance into an allopathic med school for the August 2012 year, applying of course in Aug 2011.
Or furthermore, have I wasted all of my chances of getting into an allopathic US med school becuz of all the time I have wasted? I cannot get myself to stop thinking about this. I keep telling myself that with all of this time that I have wasted, I will NEVER get accepted into an allopathic med school. If you guys could please provide some insight into my situation, I would greatly appreciate it. I would value ur opinions and advice greatly, since at this moment I believe I can never skyrocket out of this mess. Thanks. :(
 

STAT EKG

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Have you considered DO schools at all? AACOMAS, the application service for DO schools, applies grade forgiveness - meaning that they only take your most recent grade in a class into consideration when calculating your cGPA and sGPA. I think that your best chance of an MD acceptance, at the moment, would be through an SMP.

Also, you mention that you hope to get a 33-35 on your MCAT. Do you have any idea just how hard the MCAT is? Lots of people on the WAMC forums throw out that they expect to achieve these scores (which are roughly 90th percentile and above) if they study hard enough. Unfortunately, about 90% of students taking the MCAT, which arguably has the strongest pool of test-takers for any standardized test, do not get a 33 or above. As a matter of fact, even getting a 30 is pretty tough for most people.

This isn't to say that you can't do it because obviously some people do, but most people don't. To add to this idea, be aware that there are an extremely disparate number of SDN reporting great MCAT scores relative to the general MCAT test-taking population.
 

RogueUnicorn

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have you considered do schools at all? Aacomas, the application service for do schools, applies grade forgiveness - meaning that they only take your most recent grade in a class into consideration when calculating your cgpa and sgpa. I think that your best chance of an md acceptance, at the moment, would be through an smp.

Also, you mention that you hope to get a 33-35 on your mcat. Do you have any idea just how hard the mcat is? Lots of people on the wamc forums throw out that they expect to achieve these scores (which are roughly 90th percentile and above) if they study hard enough. Unfortunately, about 90% of students taking the mcat, which arguably has the strongest pool of test-takers for any standardized test, do not get a 33 or above. As a matter of fact, even getting a 30 is pretty tough for most people.

This isn't to say that you can't do it because obviously some people do, but most people don't. To add to this idea, be aware that there are an extremely disparate number of sdn reporting great mcat scores relative to the general mcat test-taking population.
usmle? =)
 

STAT EKG

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I was referring to standardized tests people take as undergrads, high schoolers, etc.

I'd definitely imagine that the USMLE has a stronger pool of test-takers, but, to my surprise, most of the doctors I've worked with said that the MCAT was actually a harder test than the USMLE. This is obviously anectdotal, but I was still pretty surprised to hear that a majority of docs who I worked with thought the MCAT was harder.
 

RogueUnicorn

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i thought we were comparing testee pool? but i can totally see their point
 
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anax007

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Jun 23, 2008
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Hi. I have considered some DO schools as well, but would rather love to get into an allopathic med school. What about if I do the accelerated Master's Degree in Biology that I mentioned in the post, do you think that will help me get into an MD school? Or should I just try getting into an SMP to increase my acceptance chances at an MD school? Do you think I can get accepted into an SMP either at Georgetown U, U of Cincinnati, or Boston U?
I attend Wayne State University, which also has a med school. Do you think I would have a shot at Wayne State Med, considering I'm an in-state applicant?
 

STAT EKG

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Hi. I have considered some DO schools as well, but would rather love to get into an allopathic med school. What about if I do the accelerated Master's Degree in Biology that I mentioned in the post, do you think that will help me get into an MD school? Or should I just try getting into an SMP to increase my acceptance chances at an MD school? Do you think I can get accepted into an SMP either at Georgetown U, U of Cincinnati, or Boston U?
I attend Wayne State University, which also has a med school. Do you think I would have a shot at Wayne State Med, considering I'm an in-state applicant?

I think an SMP would be MUCH more beneficial to you than an accelerated Master's Degree in Biology. The SMPs that you mentioned are all very competitve. I've heard some say that they're competitive to a degree almost comparable to med school admission, so keep that in mind. I'm not saying that you should only apply DO, but you should definitely add some DO schools. I don't know how being a student at Wayne State will affect you in their admission process, but I'd imagine this would give you greater access to communicating with admissions committee members about your situation. I would definitely make it a point to talk with people on the admissions committee about your situation before you apply. Numbers are a huge deal on SDN... and if all you are to an adcom is numbers, then yeah, better numbers are going to have a better chance of getting in. So, make it a point to not be a bunch of numbers at Wayne State if that's where you really want to go; the better they know you as a great person, the more likely your application won't get tossed in the trash.
 
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anax007

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Jun 23, 2008
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Thanks for the input STAT EKG, it really helped. As for the SMP, if I opt for it, which other schools offer an SMP? (Besides the ones I have listed). And furthermore, where do you think I would have a shot at getting into an SMP (as far as the other schools go)? Ur input is kindly appreciated and thanks again for the help. :thumbup:
 

UTsksk

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Hi Everyone. I was wondering if u could please help me by providing some insight regarding my situation. I attend a public university in Michigan. I entered university in Fall 2002 and I am still currently attending the same university 7 years later. This September I am going into my 8th year. I have had many troubles throughout this long duration. For 2 years my Dad was unemployed, so everyone in my home had to help out. I have also underwent quite a few major changes. When I entered I was pre-med, but then 3 years later changed to business, and then again changed my mind and went back to pre-med in 2007 after a lot of self-reflection about what I wanted to accomplish and where my interest truly rested. On top of this I have a bunch (and I mean a whole bunch) of grades of W and X (an X is like a W, but it means insufficient basis to give a grade; and I'm sure, as u probably know, a W is a withdrawl). All in all I have completely screwed up my entire life and my chances of going to an allopathic US med school. Though recently I have changed a lot of my ways and have started to take my educational goals seriously. I declared my major in biology and I believe I can either finish up my BS by December 2010 or May 2011. Meaning it would have taken me 9 years to complete my undergrad, which is insanely long and terrible. Currently my cumulative GPA is a 3.21 and I'm hoping that I can get straight A's this year and the next to bring it up. Another problem is that when I calculated my AMCAS GPA (with an AMCAS GPA calculator I found online), my current sci GPA was like 3.1 and my cumulative GPA was 3.02, which is also terrible. But again if I get straight A's for 2 semesters , which I am capable of if I put in the effort, I can bring the sci GPA to about a 3.37 and the cumulative GPA to abt a 3.30 to 3.32. And then if I also manage to get good grades in my final year, I can bring the sci GPA to about a 3.52, and cumulative GPA to about 3.50. Which I cannot get into an allopathic med school with unless a miracle occurs. I have not taken the MCAT yet, but will next spring or summer, and am hoping I can get a score above a 30, which I would need to. Hopefully 33 to 35. I also have volunteer experience at a hospital, plan to do doctor shadowing this month and in winter break, and plan to do research in January 2010 through July 2010. At my university the Biology Dept offers an accelerated BS/MA or MS plan which I think I can hopefully get into next summer, that would enable me to take classes in the 2010-2011 year that would count both towards my BS and a Master's degree. I would receive my BS in Biology in May 2011 and then a year later in May 2012 I would get my MA or MS in Biology (whichever one I may choose to do). Now my question to u guys is, should I follow this plan, that I have listed above, and apply to med school for entrance in Aug 2012 (meaning apply in Aug 2011), after hopefully completing my Master's in Biology in May 2012? Or should I complete my BS in Biology in December 2010 or May 2011 and then apply into a Special Master's Program at the schools that offer it? If I do opt for an SMP I was thinking either Univ of Cincinnati, Georgetown Univ, or Boston Univ. Do you think I have what it takes to get into the SMP for either of these 3 schools? Or do I have no chance of ever getting into an SMP at any school due to all of the time that I have wasted during my undergrad? If accepted I surely would take things seriously and strive to achieve perfection during the program. That means I would then try for acceptance into an allopathic med school for the August 2012 year, applying of course in Aug 2011.
Or furthermore, have I wasted all of my chances of getting into an allopathic US med school becuz of all the time I have wasted? I cannot get myself to stop thinking about this. I keep telling myself that with all of this time that I have wasted, I will NEVER get accepted into an allopathic med school. If you guys could please provide some insight into my situation, I would greatly appreciate it. I would value ur opinions and advice greatly, since at this moment I believe I can never skyrocket out of this mess. Thanks. :(
How many hours do you have where you can pick up your gpa from ~3.0 to 3.5? I'd assume after so many years in college that you'd be clocking in tons of hours by now.
 
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anax007

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Jun 23, 2008
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Overall, I am taking a large amount of credit hours in the next 4 semesters. A decent amount of them will be repeat courses, where I can hopefully achieve a better grade in them. When going from ~3.0 to 3.5 I'm factoring in these repeats and other science courses that I will be taking and hopefully attempting to get majority A's, and a couple B+'s and A-'s here and there. I have clocked in a decent amount of credit hours, but as u probably read in the initial post I withdrew (and got grades of W and X) from a whole bunch of courses. I really screwed up bad. But overall, what is ur opinion on my situation? What should I do to increase my chances of being accepted to an allopathic med school? As a back up, and strictly back up, I'm thinking of going to a Caribbean med school. Ur insight will be much appreciated. thanks.

P.S- Thanks to you as well STAT EKG for the valuable insight.:thumbup:
 

physicsnerd42

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Overall, I am taking a large amount of credit hours in the next 4 semesters. A decent amount of them will be repeat courses, where I can hopefully achieve a better grade in them. When going from ~3.0 to 3.5 I'm factoring in these repeats and other science courses that I will be taking and hopefully attempting to get majority A's, and a couple B+'s and A-'s here and there.
The thing is: even if you do achieve a higher grade in some classes, you can't just substitute the higher grade for the lower one when calculating your GPA for allopathic schools. This form of grade forgiveness only exists when applying to osteopathic schools (I believe). So, only calculate your GPA when taking ALL grades into account for the MD application.

When you fill out your primary application, you will need to address your severe grade deficiencies (and this includes all the withdrawals).

As has been stated previously, if you want a shot at an allopathic school you will probably need to do a SMP (which is tough and expensive). Is there a particular reason you don't want to do a DO? If you do well on the MCAT, you will have a better shot at getting into osteopathic schools than allopathic schools. DOs have the same practice rights as MDs, so this isn't a bad option.

Also, I don't want to be indelicate about this, but how much debt do you have? Nine years in college + (maybe) a year of post-bac + four years of med school is probably a huge chunk of change that could be pretty hard to pay off, even as a physician.

Edit: I see you're considering the Caribbean. DO schools are typically a better option (for a few reasons) than Caribbean schools. This point is debatable to some people. From my perspective, however, if you attend a US DO school, you will get a residency spot in the US. If you attend a Caribbean school, you really need to go to one of the three most well-known and then survive the attrition and be one of the best to come back here for residency.
 
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anax007

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The thing is: even if you do achieve a higher grade in some classes, you can't just substitute the higher grade for the lower one when calculating your GPA for allopathic schools. This form of grade forgiveness only exists when applying to osteopathic schools (I believe). So, only calculate your GPA when taking ALL grades into account for the MD application.

When you fill out your primary application, you will need to address your severe grade deficiencies (and this includes all the withdrawals).
Thanks for the input physicsnerd42. When I was calculating my GPA I did take ALL grades into account, including the bad grades. What I did to get the hopeful 3.5 GPA was averaging both the previous bad grades with the hopeful "what if" grades that I am hoping to obtain in the next couple of semesters. But even so, I would get that hopeful 3.5.... after 3 to 4 semesters. After 2 semesters it would be ~3.41 to 3.44, depending on how many credits I take. Which still couldn't get me into an MD school (or else I don't think it can). My only concern regarding DO schools are that u don't have as many opportunities as an MD. For example, if u wanted to practice medicine outside the US, like say in Europe, it would be much more difficult (and maybe impossible) for a DO to do this. Also, the fact that MD's get the cream of the crop specialty residencies and surgery residencies. This concerns me. Regarding the debt question, I don't really have that much debt. The school I attend, Wayne State University, is overall pretty affordable. But in my situation, upon entering wayne state, I received a Presidential Scholarship, which covered 4 years of tuition (which I clearly lost down the drain). So the debt situation is not extremely terrible. I am just really bent on hopefully getting accepted into an allopathic med school. Since I am not knee deep in debt, do you think that a SMP would be a good option for me? Also what do you think my acceptance chances into a SMP would be? And what MCAT score would u say I need to achieve (both to get into a SMP and in order to get into a MD/DO school, given my terrible academic record)? Thanks for the insight, and please keep the advice coming.:thumbup:
 

physicsnerd42

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Thanks for the input physicsnerd42. When I was calculating my GPA I did take ALL grades into account, including the bad grades. What I did to get the hopeful 3.5 GPA was averaging both the previous bad grades with the hopeful "what if" grades that I am hoping to obtain in the next couple of semesters. But even so, I would get that hopeful 3.5.... after 3 to 4 semesters. After 2 semesters it would be ~3.41 to 3.44, depending on how many credits I take. ... Since I am not knee deep in debt, do you think that a SMP would be a good option for me? Also what do you think my acceptance chances into a SMP would be? And what MCAT score would u say I need to achieve (both to get into a SMP and in order to get into a MD/DO school, given my terrible academic record)? Thanks for the insight, and please keep the advice coming.:thumbup:
Okay, this is actually pretty good news, IMHO. A 3.4-3.5 is definitely in the range of some allopathic schools. Schools will be concerned about how long it has taken you to graduate (and all the Ws), but if you put in 2-3 solid years of classes with no withdrawals to complete your degree (ending strongly), that will help to mitigate some of the damage to your record. You will need to be able to explain your academic history, but you now have a shot if you also get a good MCAT score. Because of your GPA and academic history, study hard and get into the mid 30s with at least a 10 in every section. If you do that (and have good letters and extracurriculars), it might be worth applying to med school without having completed an SMP. Since med school apps happen much earlier than SMP apps, you can apply to the SMP programs if you don't get any bites with the MD application.

Another good thing: Wayne State has a med school, so you could maybe even stay in Detroit for another 4 years. :D
 

Diggidy

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I was going to ask where you got the idea that having a 3.5 essentially barred you from an MD school? A quick search on MDapps brings up several applicants with worse stats than that, that were accepted. Some advice, don't throw the towel in with two years left, you have no idea if you can get in with a 3.5 until you first get a 3.5, and then apply.
 
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anax007

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Thanks for all the input guys. physicsnerd42 I had another question for you and would appreciate it if you please answer it. I believe I can finish my BS in Biology in May 2011. Do you think I should apply for entry into Wayne State's med school for Aug 2011 (meaning I would apply in Aug 2010) OR should I wait until I graduate in May 2011 and then apply in Aug 2011 for entry in Aug 2012? What do you think? Also, there are 2 other universities in Michigan (Oakland Univ and Central Mich Univ) that are creating MD schools and both will welcome their inaugural class in Aug 2011. Do you think I would have a shot at either of these 2 schools, since they are new med schools?
Also if I don't get into a med school after applying in Aug 2010, for entry in Aug 2011 (if and only if u suggest it), do you think I should apply for an SMP then, or should I wait the following year after I finish my Bachelor's. Thanks again for all ur help and the great advice.:thumbup:

PS- Would u mind if I contacted through SDN whenever I need an honest opinion and advice during the school year? I promise it won't get out of hand like right now (considering it is summer). And I know that u are very busy since u are an MD/PhD student at Dartmouth, which is really awesome by the way. Great accomplishment. Thanks.
 

physicsnerd42

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Thanks for all the input guys. physicsnerd42 I had another question for you and would appreciate it if you please answer it. I believe I can finish my BS in Biology in May 2011. Do you think I should apply for entry into Wayne State's med school for Aug 2011 (meaning I would apply in Aug 2010) OR should I wait until I graduate in May 2011 and then apply in Aug 2011 for entry in Aug 2012?...Also, there are 2 other universities in Michigan (Oakland Univ and Central Mich Univ) that are creating MD schools and both will welcome their inaugural class in Aug 2011. Do you think I would have a shot at either of these 2 schools, since they are new med schools?
Also if I don't get into a med school after applying in Aug 2010, for entry in Aug 2011 (if and only if u suggest it), do you think I should apply for an SMP then, or should I wait the following year after I finish my Bachelor's. Thanks again for all ur help and the great advice.:thumbup:

PS- Would u mind if I contacted through SDN whenever I need an honest opinion and advice during the school year? I promise it won't get out of hand like right now (considering it is summer). And I know that u are very busy since u are an MD/PhD student at Dartmouth, which is really awesome by the way. Great accomplishment. Thanks.
Yeah, feel free to PM me whenever you want to.

You probably want to wait until you've finished your degree before applying for two reasons: 1. It'll demonstrate that you're going to finish your degree this time around. 2. It'll help you build your GPA back up before applying.

Honestly, if your GPA is 3.4 to 3.5 and you do well on the MCAT, I wouldn't waste money on a SMP unless you apply to med school once and don't get in.

You probably have a decent shot at Wayne State. It's impossible to know now, but I'd guess that new med schools will be some of the least competitive allopathic schools to get into since they have no track record. Just apply widely when you apply.

Edit: Make sure you also do some ECs (research would be good if you have time to do it without sacrificing grades. Also make sure to do some shadowing).
 
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anax007

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Hi physicsnerd42. I PM'ed u a little while ago, hope u get my message. Just to add something to that whole accelerated Masters program I mentioned in the PM, U have a choice btwn a MA or MS in Biology only. No MS in Biotech for the accelerated program. Thanks again.
 
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anax007

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Hey physicsnerd42. If ur reading this, I PM'ed you one more question regarding the reply u sent me back. PLease take a look at it if u get some free time. thanks again.
 
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anax007

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Hey physicsnerd42. I PM'ed u one more message. Thanks for ur help.