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Please Help!!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by phosphorylation, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. phosphorylation

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    Hey everybody, I'm new here, and I have been going through all these threads tryin to find answers for my questions, and it seems all the threads revolve around them but don't exactly answer them.


    I'm a junior in microbiology. After this quarter I will become a senior. I didn't take the MCAT in april (or now) because I still haven't finished my orgo sequence, so basically I don't feel well prepared. I'm taking it in August, and now I'm pretty much memorizing the Kaplan MCAT book, while attending my classes at the same time. The thing though is that my GPA is anything but good. Its not that I'm stupid, its just that I've forcused more on the tougher and upper level courses. For example, I would rather take a calculus based physics course instead of a normal one and get a C in it rather then getting an A in the easy one, etc. I realise I have made a lot of wrong decisions, and I also realise that its pretty much impossible for me to get accepted into my own school, Ohio State. My GPA is 2.83 right now. I'm assuming I will score around 30 on the MCAT. The question to everybody is what kind of MS granting schools do you think I should apply to? I realise that I might have to go out of state. But does anyone know of any easy schools to get into that I could just use as backup schools?

    One more thing, I'm going to file my AMCAS application in the very beginning of june, and then my secondary will also be probbaly done before i take the MCAT. I'm not sure were the recommendation letters come in. Do I send thm with the AMCAS? Does the person recommending me send it to them, and if the person that reccomends me is the one that sends them, when exatly does he/she send them, after the primary AMCAS app. or the secondary school one. And if he/she is the one that sends them, or even if its me. Lets say I'm applying to 20 medical schools. Each school requires 3 of them. For the person thats recommending me, do I have to make them write 20 copies of the reccomendation letter and have them send it to each school. Because if we do the math, thats 60 reccomendation letters...right?

    I know this is a long message, but I need ur help big time...any comments, solution, med school names, or anything is greatly appreciated. Thanks you everybody in advance.


    ~geo

    "He who loses all his money loses much. He who loses a friends loses much much more, and he who loses faith loses all." anon.
     
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  3. duka

    duka Senior Member
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    Are you trying to get into an MS or an MD program? you ask about the MCAT and talk about the process, but then you're wondering what MS programs to look at--
    If you do want to go to med school, with a 2.8, I would look at taking another year to give your GPA a boost, or else maybe offshore (not sure-- anyone else think this too?)
    As for the reccs etc, there are about 20 threads on the process-- do a search and read the stickey in allopathic forum for advice.
    good luck!
     
  4. phosphorylation

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    thanks for your reply man, sorry its a typo, i meant MD granting schools...
    will do the search...
     
  5. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    Since he is filling out his AMCAS i assume he's applying to medical school.

    OP, unless you are underrepresented, I dont think you should be applying this year. You really need to raise that GPA before you apply, whether it be another year of school or a MS program. If you want to send out a couple apps, then by all means, but I would refrain from an all out assault in terms of applications as you may find it extremely costly, frustrating, and time consuming.
     
  6. ZekeMD

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    When you say MS, did you mean MD, or are you going to do a grad program before med school?

    If you're asking about MD programs, you do have a shot if you do well on the MCAT. There are a couple SDNers who have gotten in with low GPA's. I know exmike had great success, so talk to him. I would shoot for 33+ on the MCAT if you want to improve your chances. With anything below that you will be really borderline.

    As for what schools to apply to, here's what I would suggest:

    MSU
    the SUNYs
    Penn State
    All your state schools
    SLU
    Tulane

    Those are just the ones that I would pick off the top of my head if I were concerned about getting in at all. Hope this helps.
     
  7. phosphorylation

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    thanks zekemd, but how can I find Mike? I'm new here, im sorry....
    thanks:) oh, and by the way, sorry about the type, i meant MD.
     
  8. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    Hi,
    I agree, it is going to be really hard to apply with that GPA. I don't think you should. I think you need to take some more classes and get some A's to push the GPA up. Just because you are a senior does not mean you have to graduate now. You can take more classes and then graduate. I was classified as a senior for almost 2 years while I got in all the classes I wanted. I was a transfer student so I started with a lot of credits. I still took 4 years to graduate but you can take longer in order to boost up your gpa. I would very very much encourage you NOT to graduate with tha GPA. Strive to bring it up. If you are set at graduating,then you may have to go back as a non-degree seeking student or an extended studies student to take more classes. You will then have an undergrad GPA and a graduate GPA and then they will be combined for a total GPA

    I would not suggest you apply this year. Take the MCAT and see how you do and take some more classes and then apply next June. It is for your own good. As said above, unless you are a URM, you will not be accepted with that GPA and you will waste a whole lot of money and feel really upset at the end when you haven't been accepted anywhere. Can you get lucky....... well that would remain to be seen, but I doubt it.

    If you decide to apply......Does your school have a pre-med advisor? If so, they are the ones that ususally handle the LORs that come in. You have them write them and then they send it to the advisor. You never see it. Then the advisor should send them out to the schools that request them when you get the secondaries.

    If your school won't handle the letters, you can hire a service to do it for you. You can't send them yourself, though because you have to sign a waiver saying you won't see them. Or you could ask the letter writers to make copies and give them envelopes you have stamped and all they would have to do is send them for you when you tell them where they go, but that makes more work for them.

    Hey, I can't tell you what to do. I can make suggestions and then it is up to you to decide. I have been here a long time, I have known 100's of pre-meds and have helped a whole bunch of people. What I am saying is based on being involved in pre-med matters since 1998. I ran a pre-med society for 2 years and have been quite personal with a number of dean's of admissions at a number of schools. You are facing an uphill battle at this point. Choose wisely and don't rush to apply before your application is the best it can be.

    Good luck and welcome to SDN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
     
  9. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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  10. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    OP, don't listen to these naysayers. You can get in with this GPA if you get a 30+ on the MCAT. Do a search on mdapplicants.com - there are acceptances with GPA's such as yours.

    How are your EC's? Clinical experience? I'd apply to Drexel, Temple, Finch, Howard, Meharry, Wright State, NYMC, and your homestate schools.
     
  11. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat
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    Also, don't fear the ochem on the mcat. 'tis wimpy ochem.
     
  12. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    99.999% of applicants with below 3.0 GPAs will not get in. Don't give this poster a false sense of security about applying.
     
  13. Ms.Doctor

    Ms.Doctor Senior Member
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    Taking time to boost your gpa may be a good idea. However, if you've taken a TON of classes, it probably won't move anywhere if you are just taking extra classes. Your best bet, if you score well on the MCAT is to take a post-bacc or masters program-- kick butt, get as close to a 4.0 as possible and you will impress!

    good luck!
     
  14. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Don't let these worrywarts get you down. These people are overachievers who have to do everything perfect. You want to go to medschool, apply!

    I'm not giving a false sense of security, I never said "with your GPA you'll have no problem." But why not apply this year, and just plan on not getting in and doing the post-bacc or whatever. The worst that could happen is you'll lose the app money. Unless you're tight on money, go for it! The fact is, as I stated, that people with your GPA are accepted - there's no reason why you can't be one of them.

    I wasn't going to apply last year, I was going to do a post-bacc year - but at the last minute I decided to go ahead and apply and I got multiple acceptances - now I don't have to go through another year of hell before starting what I really wanted in the first place.
     
  15. leavesam

    leavesam Member
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  16. phosphorylation

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    Hey Amy, thanks a lot for your replys to the other thread. I have been thinking about what you said, about waiting for another year till I apply. Actually its one of those things I tend to convince myself to not think about. And its been going on for the last year or so. Honestly Amy, would you think of someone as being something less if it takes him more then 4 years for premedicine...? Because I really feel like crap. I don't know what I'm going to do! Its just that I feel like a total loser...and i'd be lying to myself if I said that I would be able to get in if I did really really good on my mcat...

    thanks again amy...
     
  17. Skaterbabe74

    Skaterbabe74 Senior Member
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    Definitely don't worry about taking more than 4 years to graduate. The majority of people out there find it difficult to graduate in 4 years...especially if you are coming late to the premed process. There's also nothing wrong with taking a few extra classes to boost your gpa. Due to monetary constraints (full time but not more than 15 credits/semester) I actually will be taking 6 years from my entrance to my current school to finish my degree (course I'm also double majoring) with transfer credits so 5 years is definitely not a big deal. If money is not an issue and you have something that will help you stick out I'd say go ahead and apply. You never know what will happen. If, on the other hand, money is an issue, and you don't really have anything all that special in the EC department wait a year, either take more classes before graduating, enroll in a post bacc or a one year masters, rock the year and apply then. Your gpa is really iffy at this point so unless you have tons of other stuff to make you stick out and an incredible MCAT don't waste your money. Becoming a doctor is a marathon not a sprint - one year will not make a difference and it will only help you in the long run.

    Good luck!
     
  18. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    Hi,
    There is nothing wrong with taking more than 4 years to complete your degree. Med schools may ask you about it and then you tell them you wanted to take all the courses that you were interested in and that is all you need to say.

    I would never discourage someone from applying if I thought they had a good chance of getting in. I am a reapplicant and know what it is like not getting into the school of your choice. I don't want you to feel that if at all possible. And it is expensive to apply and send in secondaries. And it sucks when schools send you a secondary and then 2 weeks after getting your money, they reject you because they didn't screen their applications.

    If you kick butt on the MCAT, I still worry that it wouldn't be enough to overshadow the low GPA. I just don't think there is anyway around it. I just feel that you have to raise it somehow.

    I had a bad semester when my grandmother died during my finals. I know how hard it is too raise it once it gets low. Doing a post bac program is another great idea and can give you a good option to get a better GPA, but it will be averaged in with the undergrad. But at least it would show schools a great upward trend.

    Just think things through. I do feel for you. It is really rough and I wish you all the best with whatever you decide. :) :) [​IMG]

    Thanks leavesam. I guess I can't add today. You are right, he did have a 35. Sorry exmike ;)
     
  19. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    a high percentage of people with a sub 3.0 gpa will not get accepted regardless of their mcat score. there are thousands of people with low 3.0s and 30+ mcats that get no love or get stuck on waitlists and do not get off them...

    with that gpa, the OP will not get secondaries from schools that have computer cutoffs. nor will any adcom really take the application into strong consideration unless the other parts of the application are exceptional...and even then it would still be highly difficult.

    with a 2.85 and a supposed 30 on the mcat, which she is also taking in August...which will put the OP behind a bit more...the person will have to apply to a large number of schools. why take the risk this year with a sub 3 gpa and losses of thousands of dollars when you could improve a specific portion of your application by doing a post-bacc program or an MS etc...to show the adcom that you can get good grades in the sciences.

    i had a 3.4 and 31 on the mcat with some solid extracurricular experiences but still only heard back from 4/43 schools. thats less than a 10% return...i think you should take some time to improve the grade aspect of your application to make your overall application solid. good luck.

    oh about your LOR question. if you have a letter service at your university...what you do is you get your writers to send their LORs to the letter service center and they are the ones that take care of everything. the professors only need to write the letter once.
     
  20. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    Dont worry about having to take your time to get in medical school. I took four years off before applying! What is important that you eventually reach your goal. A couple of my helpful and friendly SDN peers have already pointed that out, and I'm a good example of that. Just make sure to plan out your course of action well, get some GOOD advice from your adivsors or the goodl 'old people of SDN, and above all, work hard and you'll reach your goal.
     
  21. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member
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    There is some good advice for you here from the above posters.

    I had a sub 3.0 GPA due to health issues as an undergrad. My advice is to put some time between your GPA and your application to med school. Get some good solid work and volunteer experiences. Do a post-bacc and get a 4.0; then rock the MCAT. Its not easy, but it can be done.
     
  22. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Dude, am I invisible? Look, these people are partially right, it will be very difficult for you this year - but it is 100% possible. As I said, a quick search of mdapplicants.com comes up with multiple acceptances of people with GPAs such as yours, and the rest of their apps were not that stellar (30+ MCATs). As skaterbabe and I said, unless you're tight on money, there is absolutely no reason to not apply this year. You will wonder forever whether your post-bacc work and the extra time was even necessary. I'm assuming you have good EC's and clinical experience.
     
  23. GTea

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    About the LOR, I recommend that you get about 5. Many schools have requirements as to what kind of letters are acceptable, and some schools do require (or recommend) sending more than 3. Make sure you get science and non-science professors to write your letters.

    Good luck!
     

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