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PhiPhenomenon

This may be the dumbest idea of all time, but I wanted to hear what you guys thought about this.

Unfortunately, my GPA is pretty lackluster (3.1, Northern Arizona U.) and I am a career changer so there is a chance I can make it into med school, given a couple of years. With that said, it would be a stretch for me to get into a top tier post-bac like Goucher or Bryn Mawr unless I took some... post-bac to bump up my grades.

Obviously I'd avoid the pre-reqs but what if I took other classes that would bump up the BCPM GPA (math) and some of the other non-science pre-reqs and get my GPA up to 3.4, get more extra-curricular under my belt, and then apply?

As a side note, if I could find anyway to get into the JHU post-bac program I'd be all over it like Oprah on a ham.
 

drizzt3117

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I think you should just try to do your postbac wherever (hes if you don't mind relocating) and just take your prereqs and apply, I just don't think that plan is really useful, or likely to succeed, I think that might be a bit transparent.
 
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PhiPhenomenon

I think you should just try to do your postbac wherever (hes if you don't mind relocating) and just take your prereqs and apply, I just don't think that plan is really useful, or likely to succeed, I think that might be a bit transparent.
Transparent in a way that says 'I want to get into the best med school I can?'
 

jslo85

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For some strange reason, I don't think that's what he means =X
 

darkjedi

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I'm no expert on the matter, but from what I could gather from these forums, it seems like your stats can still be competitive for many postbac programs. I noticed your profile said PA, so Temple and Drexel obviously come to mind. If I'm not mistaken they seem like a good way to link from within the school.
 

drizzt3117

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Transparent in a way that says 'I want to get into the best med school I can?'
First of all, in order to be competitive for the top programs, you probably need > 3.6, > 1300-1350 (1600 pt SAT scale) or 720+ GRE and to be qualitatively excellent. Most of their other candidates will have this without blatant gpa padding.
 
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PhiPhenomenon

First of all, in order to be competitive for the top programs, you probably need > 3.6, > 1300-1350 (1600 pt SAT scale) or 720+ GRE and to be qualitatively excellent. Most of their other candidates will have this without blatant gpa padding.

I have the latter (1310 SAT score on the 1600 scale, 1920 on the 2400 scale, it's actually the reason I got a scholarship that got me through school debt free), the qualitative part may be subjective, but I have some confidence in it (obviously, it will get better) the obvious deal breaker is the GPA, and the 'padding' that would go with it considering the best I could do would be a 3.4ish.

I'm not sure if it is just the folks at SDN or if its adcoms everywhere but what is the big deal if I do take more classes in fields I am interested in in order to make up for academic flops? I would think that it would show a dedication over anything else.
 

robflanker

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I think its a poor idea as well.

Even if you got to a 3.4, you would be still below the numbers Drizzt cited. Your SAT is at the bottom end of the scale and thus not good enough to balance off the lower GPA. Unless you have got some super ECs hidden up your sleeve - its just not a good idea.

If you wanted to go get a degree in something else unrelated before applying that would be one thing.
But you said you wanted to take classes in something you are interested in - aren't you interested in medicine? Thus, what are you taking? You clearly won't be taking the pre-reqs nor upper level science classes, so more classes in an unrelated field in a blatant attempt to improve your stats just doesn't seem like a good idea.

Even if you did it - you are still a marginal candidate based on drizzt's numbers.
 

darkjedi

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I have the latter (1310 SAT score on the 1600 scale, 1920 on the 2400 scale, it's actually the reason I got a scholarship that got me through school debt free), the qualitative part may be subjective, but I have some confidence in it (obviously, it will get better) the obvious deal breaker is the GPA, and the 'padding' that would go with it considering the best I could do would be a 3.4ish.

I'm not sure if it is just the folks at SDN or if its adcoms everywhere but what is the big deal if I do take more classes in fields I am interested in in order to make up for academic flops? I would think that it would show a dedication over anything else.
To tell you the truth, I don't think anyone here knows for sure whether or not a gamble like that will work. Even the statistics and numbers cited are all based off the hear-say of other SDNers. Schools don't typically publish statistics like these so it's hard to tell what is really competitive for their programs. However at the same time I can understand why some people may be skeptical that a plan like this would work. A 3.1 isn't an irrecoverably bad GPA. Though it may not be good enough for the top 3, there are still plenty of routes available if being a doctor is what you truly wish to be.
 
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PhiPhenomenon

Fair enough, I definitely appreciate the feedback guys.

The classes I would be taking would be a couple of classes the MSAR placed under 'recommended' for a couple of schools along with oodles of math (I actually plan on taking up Spanish regardless of the academic situation, since I need to brush up for a couple of job opportunities).

As for the extra-curriculars I have up my sleeve, they aren't anything incredible, or necessarily relevant, but I did do some eye-catching stuff (eg. interning with the movie production house that made 'The Matrix'... used to be a film student).
 

darkjedi

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Fair enough, I definitely appreciate the feedback guys.

The classes I would be taking would be a couple of classes the MSAR placed under 'recommended' for a couple of schools along with oodles of math (I actually plan on taking up Spanish regardless of the academic situation, since I need to brush up for a couple of job opportunities).

As for the extra-curriculars I have up my sleeve, they aren't anything incredible, or necessarily relevant, but I did do some eye-catching stuff (eg. interning with the movie production house that made 'The Matrix'... used to be a film student).
Typically the extra-curriculars that postbacs and medschools look for are medically or research related. i.e. at a hospital, shadowing physicians, or lab/bench work doing bio research. I'm sure leadership qualities are also looked for.

I would focus on building your ECs as well.
 
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drizzt3117

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To tell you the truth, I don't think anyone here knows for sure whether or not a gamble like that will work. Even the statistics and numbers cited are all based off the hear-say of other SDNers. Schools don't typically publish statistics like these so it's hard to tell what is really competitive for their programs. However at the same time I can understand why some people may be skeptical that a plan like this would work. A 3.1 isn't an irrecoverably bad GPA. Though it may not be good enough for the top 3, there are still plenty of routes available if being a doctor is what you truly wish to be.
I was involved in admissions and postprogram applications advising for one of the programs so I have a pretty good idea of what is competitive for most of the programs. The numbers I quoted are pretty much on the low side of what people have. The top programs have a lot of 3.8/1500 literature majors from ivies or top lacs, that kind of student is sort of their bread/butter. I actually has a somewhat below average gpa when applying (~3.5 from a top 5) but perfect test scores, actually I was told that at interviews that my gpa was relatively low.
 

darkjedi

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I was involved in admissions and postprogram applications advising for one of the programs so I have a pretty good idea of what is competitive for most of the programs. The numbers I quoted are pretty much on the low side of what people have. The top programs have a lot of 3.8/1500 literature majors from ivies or top lacs, that kind of student is sort of their bread/butter. I actually has a somewhat below average gpa when applying (~3.5 from a top 5) but perfect test scores, actually I was told that at interviews that my gpa was relatively low.
Oh wow, SDN needs more people like you hahah.

I'm still waiting to hear back from where I applied to, but I know I wish I had a better feel of the averages stats of applicants to various programs. Most of what I gathered was just from what people stated were their own or their classmates' GPAs/scores, which may or may not have self-selection bias.
 
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PhiPhenomenon

I was involved in admissions and postprogram applications advising for one of the programs so I have a pretty good idea of what is competitive for most of the programs. The numbers I quoted are pretty much on the low side of what people have. The top programs have a lot of 3.8/1500 literature majors from ivies or top lacs, that kind of student is sort of their bread/butter. I actually has a somewhat below average gpa when applying (~3.5 from a top 5) but perfect test scores, actually I was told that at interviews that my gpa was relatively low.
The word humbling comes to mind.
 

drizzt3117

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Oh wow, SDN needs more people like you hahah.

I'm still waiting to hear back from where I applied to, but I know I wish I had a better feel of the averages stats of applicants to various programs. Most of what I gathered was just from what people stated were their own or their classmates' GPAs/scores, which may or may not have self-selection bias.
I think it's sort of all over the map, but the top programs are a lot harder to get into than a lot of top med schools because they're basically free tickets into top schools. It's not all about stats though, there were definitely a few ppl who had top stats but didn't show enough interest in the field etc. We had one guy interview who went to Penn ug and harvard law school that was top 1% at both institutions that ended up not getting in because the committee thought he didn't express clear interest in medicine.
 
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drizz usually gets things covered fairly well early on in threads but I thought I would chime in and second the recommendations *not* to try and get into one of these top programs when the other routes are viable. Your main goal should be Med School not Top Post-Bacc >> Med School.

I applied with stats from a respectable institution (not top 5 or anything, however) that are considered competitive in these applicant pools. I will ballpark at GPA > 3.8 , SAT > 1900. None of the programs gave me a second look. EC's weren't bad by any stretch, either. I had illustrated a clear interest in medicine, volunteered clinically for two years, and was active in my University community.

I attributed my unsuccess to the superior success of my peers. The people attracted by these programs do incredible things and accomplish scholastic excellence without exception.

Nothing is stopping you from achieving similar things in a program outside of the elite ring at the top, so I say go for it and forget the two step post-bacc route.