Aug 3, 2013
33
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi everyone,

I have posted before about my abysmal grades throughout undergrad (2.75) and I wanted to go into more detail about my overall application:

-First of all, I have a 2.75 GPA with mostly C's in the lower div pre-req classes (ochem, physics, and calculus). -I have moderately O.K. grades in upper div bio classes (B+, A-)
-I have taken the MCAT once (with a 26), and I plan on taking it again on January 25th, 2014.
-I have 2.5 years of research in neuroscience under my belt with 2 publications and 3 abstracts (if those even matter).
-I have been an EMT for the past year for an ambulance company
-In my freshman/sophomore years in college, I worked as a manager for a health/fitness company (don't want to be too specific or I'd give away my identity!)

I have been told to reconsider my career path, and I took this advice into consideration, and have decided on completing a masters' program in biomedical sciences before even thinking about applying to medical school. I'm going to be completely honest here, I did not like my EMT experience because I felt as though I didn't really get to interact with doctors as much as I'd hoped to. That being said, I have an interview for a scribe position next week.

What should I do? The fact that I didn't really enjoy my EMT experience kind of shows that I should not be in the medical field as a doctor, right? What Masters' program is going to accept someone with <3.0 GPA? I have a list of schools that accept 2.75 minimum, but that's exactly what I have and I'm worried that it's cutting it too close. Anyways, here's my list of schools:

Barry University
Drexel University (IHS program)
Midwestern University
NY Medical College
SFSU (post bac-no masters)
William Carey U
UNT Health Center
Indiana U
Hampton U
U of Cincinnati

Some more info: I'm not a URM, and I am not from a disadvantaged family, I have 3 letters of rec so far: 1 from a PI, another from a research supervisor, and the last from my EMT teacher because I did really well in that course.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please be honest and as brutal as you'd like...I appreciate anything that will constructively help me in my future. Thank you.

sr41489
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
A master's program is not going to help you very much. You need to show grade redemption in undergraduate coursework. Improved grades in a masters program won't move the needle on your undergrad GPA (grad and undergrad are calculated separately) and at a 2.75 you're going to be autoscreened out pretty much everywhere.

You'd be much better off retaking the undergrad classes and applying to DO schools, as they allow grade replacement and it will be much easier to improve your GPA that way.

SMPs might be another option but they are expensive, risky, and I don't know if it's worth it if you'll still have a sub-3.0 undergrad GPA.

Not liking being an EMT just means you don't like being an EMT, which is a very specific health care role. You should do clinical volunteering and shadow to figure out if you definitely want to be a doctor.
 

DrMidlife

has an opinion
10+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2006
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I don't think you should retake the MCAT next month. I don't see a reason to believe you'll do substantially better. On average, MCAT retakes result in the same or lower score. Assume you get one and only one more chance with the MCAT.

Your C's in prereqs are what you should address first, because that level of mastery of the content is a basis for chronic academic trouble in postbacs/smps/med school. Look for options to retake the prereqs. Get A's in those, then start looking at MCAT and app strategy.

I think you should be looking at a 2nd bachelors in a science if you're serious about pursuing med school. Be less worried about how others think about your 2.75 and more worried about how you think about it.

Best of luck to you.
 
OP
S
Aug 3, 2013
33
0
Status
Pre-Medical
That's the thing, I'm not considering medical school anymore. I have decided I'm not good enough for that path, and want to pursue a graduate degree in biomedical sciences instead so that I can further my education that way. I know this isn't the right forum for that topic, but since I have signed up for the MCAT, I figured I can still talk about grad school programs that accept the MCAT as their entrance exam.
 

DrMidlife

has an opinion
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Oct 30, 2006
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Whoa, wrong list of programs. If you want to have a career in something other than med/dent after you do grad work, then do real grad work. The programs you're listing are 1-2 year terminal programs with no purpose other than getting people into med/dent school. They won't qualify you to work in industry or academia except at the $35k salary range. And they're WAY too expensive to use as a method to figure out your next steps.

What kind of job do you want to have on the other side? Honestly you need to invest in figuring that out first.
 
OP
S
Aug 3, 2013
33
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I think that a job in the pharmaceutical industry would be interesting to me. In college, I excelled specifically in pharmacology, biochemistry, immunology, and molecular biology (A's in those classes and particular interest in biochem)...
 
OP
S
Aug 3, 2013
33
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Plus, my research was in neurosci, but we used a lot of biochemical approaches in the research. I found it interesting, but I don't think doing bench work for the rest of my life would be great.
 

darklabel

PGWhy
7+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2012
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Have you thought about other careers such as Nursing or PA? Or is grad work more your thing?
 
OP
S
Aug 3, 2013
33
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Yeah I have thought about it, and by doing my EMT work, I realized that I'd rather not see patients in my career. I know it sounds terrible, but that's the truth.
 

MDOnlyWillDo

Diet Dew = elixir of life
5+ Year Member
Sep 22, 2009
193
76
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Pre-Medical
If you're more interested in pharm, neuroscience, mol bio, etc. then you need to pursue those avenues, and not try and combine a medical track into a graduate track. You'll have to suck it up and take the GRE instead or whatever test is specific for those programs, but I'll bet you still need an undergrad GPA higher than 2.75 to get into primary graduate schools.
 

FromTheGroundUp

The Lovable Loser
Jun 26, 2012
30
7
Atlanta, GA
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi everyone,

I have posted before about my abysmal grades throughout undergrad (2.75) and I wanted to go into more detail about my overall application:

-First of all, I have a 2.75 GPA with mostly C's in the lower div pre-req classes (ochem, physics, and calculus). -I have moderately O.K. grades in upper div bio classes (B+, A-)
-I have taken the MCAT once (with a 26), and I plan on taking it again on January 25th, 2014.
-I have 2.5 years of research in neuroscience under my belt with 2 publications and 3 abstracts (if those even matter).
-I have been an EMT for the past year for an ambulance company
-In my freshman/sophomore years in college, I worked as a manager for a health/fitness company (don't want to be too specific or I'd give away my identity!)

I have been told to reconsider my career path, and I took this advice into consideration, and have decided on completing a masters' program in biomedical sciences before even thinking about applying to medical school. I'm going to be completely honest here, I did not like my EMT experience because I felt as though I didn't really get to interact with doctors as much as I'd hoped to. That being said, I have an interview for a scribe position next week.

What should I do? The fact that I didn't really enjoy my EMT experience kind of shows that I should not be in the medical field as a doctor, right? What Masters' program is going to accept someone with <3.0 GPA? I have a list of schools that accept 2.75 minimum, but that's exactly what I have and I'm worried that it's cutting it too close. Anyways, here's my list of schools:

Barry University
Drexel University (IHS program)
Midwestern University
NY Medical College
SFSU (post bac-no masters)
William Carey U
UNT Health Center
Indiana U
Hampton U
U of Cincinnati

Some more info: I'm not a URM, and I am not from a disadvantaged family, I have 3 letters of rec so far: 1 from a PI, another from a research supervisor, and the last from my EMT teacher because I did really well in that course.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please be honest and as brutal as you'd like...I appreciate anything that will constructively help me in my future. Thank you.

sr41489
Hey there! Just my two cents...

Coming out of undergrad I had a sub-3.0. I applied to Barry, UMiami, and FIU's "second degree" post-bacc. I got accepted to all of them. I am proof that It is possible to get into a post-bac with less than stellar grades.

If location is no issue, my short list of "ideal" post-bacc/ SMPs would be Barry, Columbia, and UMiami.

Again... Just my two cents. Good luck!!!

EDIT: If you are no longer considering medicine why are you here??? Head over to forums that would be more beneficial to helping come to a decision on what you actually want to do.

Good luck!

You can't sit with us.
 

kami333

10+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2007
1,454
27
Status
Medical Student
I have been told to reconsider my career path, and I took this advice into consideration, and have decided on completing a masters' program in biomedical sciences before even thinking about applying to medical school.
I think that a job in the pharmaceutical industry would be interesting to me. In college, I excelled specifically in pharmacology, biochemistry, immunology, and molecular biology (A's in those classes and particular interest in biochem)...
Plus, my research was in neurosci, but we used a lot of biochemical approaches in the research. I found it interesting, but I don't think doing bench work for the rest of my life would be great.
Yeah I have thought about it, and by doing my EMT work, I realized that I'd rather not see patients in my career. I know it sounds terrible, but that's the truth.
I think you need to take some time and figure out what exactly it is that you want to do. Don't do anything rushed, like retaking the MCAT or enrolling in a postbacc/masters right away. Another sub-average MCAT score or a random grad degree isn't going to do you any good regardless of what path you decide on. Take your time to minimize the possibility of regrets.

Keep in mind that reputable graduate programs screen too so that you may have to try to boost your GPA regardless, and with funding the way it is going to a weak grad program in the sciences isn't going to do you any favors. If you don't have the passion for benchwork some other paths in biotech/pharm related areas to consider are in administration, fields like clinical trial management (project management) are relatively well paying and stable compared to being a perpetual postdoc.
 
OP
S
Aug 3, 2013
33
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the replies!

I worked last night and this furthered my desire to NOT go into medicine as a practicing doctor, but going into pharma sales or biotech sales. I have been told by many that I would be great in that field, and I feel the same way. Now I need to know how I'm going to get there. I know I should probably start by retaking my undergrad lower div classes and redeem myself for my bad grades. Then I can apply to programs. I will have an updated list in a few hours, but I just wanted to let everyone know my plan. Thanks again I really appreciate the advice!
 

Apollo1

Deciding between MD/DO and PA
5+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2013
254
152
Status
Pre-Medical
You don't need a Masters for a sales job. IF that's where you truly want to go, maybe take some business ed. courses; otherwise don't waste your money.
 
OP
S
Aug 3, 2013
33
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Well I want a Masters so I can further my education in the sciences. I am interested in science so I'd like to do this, plus industries look at a masters more seriously than a bachelors from what I've seen online and through my research.
 

Labrat07

5+ Year Member
May 20, 2013
300
246
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I'm confused. Why do people prefer post bac program/smp over DIY post bac?? Those are really expensive and not convienence at all. At least DIY, you can do at your schedule. Possibly cheaper. Do the ad com consider them higher priority or something???
 

DrMidlife

has an opinion
10+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2006
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I'm confused. Why do people prefer post bac program/smp over DIY post bac?? Those are really expensive and not convienence at all. At least DIY, you can do at your schedule. Possibly cheaper. Do the ad com consider them higher priority or something???
Some people seem to be much more comfortable when there's a very familiar recipe to follow. That includes both premeds and adcoms. Some people also really like there to be a degree/certificate at the end, so that there's a finished thing for the resume. But buyer beware: I've seen about a dozen small private schools, with unfilled seats in their prereqs, simply put up a web page saying they're offering a postbac when they're doing no such thing.

One major problem with DIY is being able to register for the classes you need. On the west coast and in major metro areas, a lot of times you find yourself SOL when you try to take science classes as a non-degree-seeking student. One time at UWash I squatted for 2 weeks to try to get a seat before the drop period ended with nobody dropping. That's 20% of the term.

Imho choosing structure vs. DIY depends on how well prepared you are for the rigor of the prereqs, how many classes you need to take, how you need to pay for more classes, and what schools you have to chose from. (For me it was a choice between DIY and 2nd bachelors. I did both.)

Edit: an SMP is a completely different thing from getting prereqs done. SMPs are for those who are ready for med school but for the sole problem of undergrad GPA aren't in an acceptable state. You can't DIY an SMP - you need a med school to host you.

Best of luck to you.
 

Labrat07

5+ Year Member
May 20, 2013
300
246
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Thank you for the explanations. It's more clear now.
 

FromTheGroundUp

The Lovable Loser
Jun 26, 2012
30
7
Atlanta, GA
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm confused. Why do people prefer post bac program/smp over DIY post bac?? Those are really expensive and not convienence at all. At least DIY, you can do at your schedule. Possibly cheaper. Do the ad com consider them higher priority or something???
I would prefer a formal post-bac over a DIY any day. I would rather have the structure and the "guarantee" of being able to register for necessary classes. Unfortunately for me, price and finances were definitely a determining factor for me to go the DIY route.

In the end, it depends on your preference and individual situation.
 
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OP
S
Aug 3, 2013
33
0
Status
Pre-Medical
So with everyone's advice, I canceled the MCAT, not EVER taking it again, and I'm going to sign up for the GRE in the next few months or so, depending how I do on the practice exams. Damn, these tests are so expensive! Anyways, thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it!