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Post-Bacc? Out from US?

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rose22

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Hello,
I am actually very new to this forum and have found very helpful information so I decided to sign up and ask for advice. Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to help others. My goal has been to become a doctor.
I am currenly finishing up my last year at UCLA with a degree in Biology and a minor in Latin American Studies. My overall GPA is a 3.2 which I know isn't what medical schools are looking for. I am a very determined individual and I would very much appreciate any advice you have to offer about the path I should take to achieve my goal.
I will be the first in my family to graduate from a university and we are all really excited. It has not been easy especially since my mother, father and myself had to work to put me through school (which I will forever be greatful for). I had to commute 2 hours to and from school but we made it happen. My letters of rec are very strong and I plan on taking an MCAT course next quarter and taking the MCAT right after. Should I apply to Medical Schools in the US (which is where I'd like to stay), do a Post-Bacc, or go the Carribbean route (which I would rather not do but will if they take me)?
I've been very involved in my community by organizing and directing a group that volunteers at an orphanage outside the states (where my dad is from). I've also lived and taught AIDs prevention in Africa and have traveled to Honduras with Global Medical Brigades(which I loved). I've seen a great need of medical care to the various places I've been to and would really be happy doing this kind of work. I've also volunteered at the hospital and at a research lab for the past 3 years now. Lastly, the work that I have done in my community as well as in the labs have allowed me to receive scholarships.


What should be my next step to reaching my goal? Thank you :)
 

Stratego

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Your extracurriculars sound terrific. Do you have some US physican shadowing as well?

Yes, your GPA of 3.2 is low (3.65 being the median for those accepted to med schools). What do you think it will be by the end of this year when you'd graduate? What is your BCPM GPA (all Bio, Chem, Physics, and math classes)? Why is your GPA so low; did you have one bad semester or a slow start as a freshman?

You need to get the cGPA higher and show and upward grade trend. Are you open to staying an extra year in college? Are you open to applying to DO med schools also? What are your parent's countries of origin?
 

bannie22

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I am amazed that someone with financial difficulties have had the opportunities to do so much outside of the US. It is quite amazing that you have been able to attain all the funding, not just for the infrastructure, but also for the personal expenses because plane tickets are not cheap.

Just do whatever stratego said and you'll be fine. Your GPA is low and uncompetitive for MD schools, and a lot of your chances will depend on how well you do on your MCAT

and reading back... i am very very impressed that you can find the money ... which is close to $2000 to pay for an mcat course... are you subsidized or did you family manage to make some extra money on the side?
 

rose22

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My parents are from Mexico. I applied for funding and was awarded money to travel. I know am really, really lucky I know and the experiences that I have had abroad were amazing. Visiting the various clinics and seeing the need for various forms of healthcare really opened my eyes.
I had a bad quarter Fall of my Junior year because I was the support for my mom since she had a major surgery done. She had her surgery done at UCLA which was right across from my classes so I would just walk over to her once I was done with lecture. School wasn't a priority for me at that time which I know is what really hurt me as far as my GPA.
I have been doing well since then especially since I picked up a minor. I am about to finish up my undergraduate course work next quarter (winter). So should I apply for a Master's Program, do a Post-Bacc, apply to schools outside the US? I know I can be a great doctor however I also am aware that the GPA i have will not show my ability to perform well although I know I can. I really do appreciate your feed back. Thank you.
 

TheMightySmiter

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Your ECs are great and you are a URM (under-represented minority) so that will help you out a bit. Here's what I would do in your situation. Study your ass off for the MCAT and take it when you planned to take it. If you get a fantastic score, like a 35+, you can probably apply with that GPA. You could address a bad quarter or semester in your personal statement. However, if you get a low or mediocre score, you should either stay in UG for an extra year or do a post-bacc program to raise your GPA. Keep up your ECs and shadowing. :)
 

Stratego

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you should either stay in UG for an extra year or do a post-bacc program to raise your GPA. Keep up your ECs and shadowing. :)
Good advice. If you continue to do well, you have a decent shot at allopathic schools.
 

bannie22

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Yep. I am going to repeat it here too!

Raise that GPA, and do very well on the MCAT. There must be something special about you to have been awarded so many funds for all those mission trips, so I am sure you will do well in your ECs and interviews.
 
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