question for newly accepted and existing DO students

stevo23

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Hello

This is directed at new and current DO students. I'm sorry that it is another "how likely am I to be accepted scenario" but I figure most of you have talked to fellow students and gotten their story or any unusaul academic circumstances that still warranted admission. I graduated in '04 with a 2.9 overall and 2.8 science gpa as I'm embarrased to say. Im sitting for my MCAT's this spring and currently work at Johns Hopkins in cancer research. I have 3 publications thus far with hopefully a few more to come. I am starting a masters in biotech at hopkins this summer. With 6 or so classes under my belt (hopefully all A's) and 5 or so publications, do you think I have a decent shot at matriculating in the fall of 06'? I know it is important to do well on my MCAT's. I consent patients and routinely spend time in the OR. I also volunteer at Shock Trauma at UMD. I have everything I need to succeed. Will this be enough to compensate for my less than perfect gpa? I am also awaiting test results to confirm that I may have ADD and shed some light on my academic hardships in college. So there is my life story! Thanks so much for your input and best of luck to all of you in your medical school endeavors.

Sincerely,
Stephen
 

cure4cancer

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Someone might want to correct me on this, but to my knowlege
if you absolutely own the MCAT, your GPA might be overlooked
so try to spend a lot of time studying for it.. like your life depended on it
 

jkhamlin

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stevo23 said:
I am also awaiting test results to confirm that I may have ADD and shed some light on my academic hardships in college.
I think you have been scammed. There is not a test for ADD.
It sounds like you are worrying too much about an excuse for your average stats. If you have a 2.9/2.8, then you need to develop better study skills and pursue a master's degree. It could also depend on your MCAT, but I have heard that if you have too much of a discrepancy between your MCAT and GPA it could be a "red flag."
 
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stevo23

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I know it may easily seem like an excuse ( the ADD testing). However being a stellar student in high school and the beginning of college and then hitting a wall as for as studying and focus go, I felt the testing was necessary. I'm just trying to pinpoint my weaknesses and get to the bottom of things before embarking on a rigorous academic regimen in medical school. It may be my study skills, but I think they reflect another problem. OCD combined with adult ADD is counterproductivity at its best. Trust me, I would never use this as a crutch because regaurdless of anything I may have, I will be the one to get through school. I know what I'm capable of, and thats what makes things frustrating right now. I do appreciate your honesty and your reply, and you could be completely right. I just need to be sure before I move forward.
 

irishlaydi

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stevo23 said:
Hello

This is directed at new and current DO students. I'm sorry that it is another "how likely am I to be accepted scenario" but I figure most of you have talked to fellow students and gotten their story or any unusaul academic circumstances that still warranted admission. I graduated in '04 with a 2.9 overall and 2.8 science gpa as I'm embarrased to say. Im sitting for my MCAT's this spring and currently work at Johns Hopkins in cancer research. I have 3 publications thus far with hopefully a few more to come. I am starting a masters in biotech at hopkins this summer. With 6 or so classes under my belt (hopefully all A's) and 5 or so publications, do you think I have a decent shot at matriculating in the fall of 06'? I know it is important to do well on my MCAT's. I consent patients and routinely spend time in the OR. I also volunteer at Shock Trauma at UMD. I have everything I need to succeed. Will this be enough to compensate for my less than perfect gpa? I am also awaiting test results to confirm that I may have ADD and shed some light on my academic hardships in college. So there is my life story! Thanks so much for your input and best of luck to all of you in your medical school endeavors.

Sincerely,
Stephen
Hi. I think if you are definately interested in DO, then get some shadowing under your belt. Unless you already work with DO's. I had lots of clinical experience and research, but everyone I talked to before applying this year said shadowing or working with a DO is very important. Plus I enjoyed it. Anyway, Just a suggestion. I think that if you go Masters or Post-Bac and get A's and B's you'll do great, but definately need the MCAT too! Good Luck. :luck:
 

DrFeelgoodDO

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stevo23 said:
Hello

This is directed at new and current DO students. I'm sorry that it is another "how likely am I to be accepted scenario" but I figure most of you have talked to fellow students and gotten their story or any unusaul academic circumstances that still warranted admission. I graduated in '04 with a 2.9 overall and 2.8 science gpa as I'm embarrased to say. Im sitting for my MCAT's this spring and currently work at Johns Hopkins in cancer research. I have 3 publications thus far with hopefully a few more to come. I am starting a masters in biotech at hopkins this summer. With 6 or so classes under my belt (hopefully all A's) and 5 or so publications, do you think I have a decent shot at matriculating in the fall of 06'? I know it is important to do well on my MCAT's. I consent patients and routinely spend time in the OR. I also volunteer at Shock Trauma at UMD. I have everything I need to succeed. Will this be enough to compensate for my less than perfect gpa? I am also awaiting test results to confirm that I may have ADD and shed some light on my academic hardships in college. So there is my life story! Thanks so much for your input and best of luck to all of you in your medical school endeavors.

Sincerely,
Stephen


I am a former student member of the admissions committee at my DO school (i graduated in '04). Everyone has an opinion...blah, blah, blah....now here's the reality of the situation.....you need to do two things: 1) You are gonna need a 4.0 (or close to it) for your grad degree and 2) do well on the MCAT - the closer you get to 30, the better. #1 is more important than number two b/c at a lot of med schools (or at least at UMDNJ) if your grad GPA is significantly higher than your undergrad GPA, they use that one instead. So basically it's a second chance. Don't drop the ball this time. As for the MCAT, it's important but no where near as important as your grad GPA. It's a seemingly pointless exam, but you still want to make sure you do well. It would be pretty poor form to apply with a sh1tty MCAT score given your academic record. Plus, if you do poorly on the MCAT, it suggests that you will not do well on your medical boards. And there are studies to prove this fact.

As someone who has been on both sides of the admissions process, I feel that my advice is more than correct. Research and volunteering and shadowing DOs and fairytales are all wonderful things, but they aren't going to get you an invitation to interview. And w/o an interview, there is no acceptance. Follow my advice above and I'm sure that in 5 years someone will be calling you "Doctor."

Any other questions, PM me.

Later,

Feelgood
 

BMW19

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I disagree with Dr. Feelgood, as much experience as he/she has. I know plenty of people with your GPA who had average MCAT scores 24-27 who were accepted at DO schools. Now what they did have were:

1) A sincere desire and passion to be DO (not just a way to circumvent allopathic school and the Carribean)

2) Desire to work in underserved or rural areas, things that DO schools want to sincerely see

3) A lot and I mean a lot of wordly/healthcare experience much like yourself.

That being said, like Dr. Feelgood so pleasantly stated it doesn't mean you will get an interview. All i'm saying is that I know people in your situation who have had success entering DO school (for the right reasons). That being said you should rock your MCAT. Hope this helps

BMW-


stevo23 said:
Hello

This is directed at new and current DO students. I'm sorry that it is another "how likely am I to be accepted scenario" but I figure most of you have talked to fellow students and gotten their story or any unusaul academic circumstances that still warranted admission. I graduated in '04 with a 2.9 overall and 2.8 science gpa as I'm embarrased to say. Im sitting for my MCAT's this spring and currently work at Johns Hopkins in cancer research. I have 3 publications thus far with hopefully a few more to come. I am starting a masters in biotech at hopkins this summer. With 6 or so classes under my belt (hopefully all A's) and 5 or so publications, do you think I have a decent shot at matriculating in the fall of 06'? I know it is important to do well on my MCAT's. I consent patients and routinely spend time in the OR. I also volunteer at Shock Trauma at UMD. I have everything I need to succeed. Will this be enough to compensate for my less than perfect gpa? I am also awaiting test results to confirm that I may have ADD and shed some light on my academic hardships in college. So there is my life story! Thanks so much for your input and best of luck to all of you in your medical school endeavors.

Sincerely,
Stephen
 

jkhamlin

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stevo23 said:
I know it may easily seem like an excuse ( the ADD testing). However being a stellar student in high school and the beginning of college and then hitting a wall as for as studying and focus go, I felt the testing was necessary. I'm just trying to pinpoint my weaknesses and get to the bottom of things before embarking on a rigorous academic regimen in medical school. It may be my study skills, but I think they reflect another problem. OCD combined with adult ADD is counterproductivity at its best. Trust me, I would never use this as a crutch because regaurdless of anything I may have, I will be the one to get through school. I know what I'm capable of, and thats what makes things frustrating right now. I do appreciate your honesty and your reply, and you could be completely right. I just need to be sure before I move forward.
I think you missed a critical part of my point. You are trying so hard to find an explanation that you got yourself tested for a disorder that there is no test for. If you got a test that you have to wait for "results" on, then you have just been ripped off.
Also, now you are mentioning another disorder that is often mistaken by those outside of psychology. When most people refer to OCD, they are referring to OCPD.
This is by no means a diagnosis, but you don't seem to sound like someone with OCPD or ADD. Maybe OCD, but doubtful. The odds of having any disorder are miniscule at best despite what the media has people convinced of.
Don't take the psych stuff too seriously, the media almost always gets it wrong. :rolleyes:
 

bth7

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Yo Stevo,

First - anything's possible. I failed 2 classes in college, had some unoffical withdraws, and I got accepted to a DO school with a final GPA of only 3.0. That's without any ameliorating post-bac or grad work, but I also rocked the MCAT.

I agree with other posters that you just gotta do well in grad school. Not a 4.0, but good, especially in hard science classes.

Seriously do well on MCAT. Take a test prep. Take LOTS of timed practice exams. This is the only way to study. Don't shoot for a 30, shoot for a 35+.

I think demostrating an interest in Osteopathy is important, but not critical. It definetly looks good if you have spent some time with a DO. I didn't have anything specifically osteopathic experience and still got in, but I was definetly questioned about it.
 

DrFeelgoodDO

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Thanks BMW for the response. In fact, probably to your dismay, I agree with your response but w/o the same reasoning. However, you have completely confused two seperate issues. I can understand how that could have occurred, seeing as you haven't even stepped foot into med school yet. Let me explain.....

What you have confused is the subtle difference between a) what is required to be invited for an interview and b) what qualities make you an attractive candidate for acceptance. As much as I may disagree with the concept, EVERY medical school ad comm uses GPA and MCAT as THE major decision criteria on whether or not an applicant should be interviewed. As much as I do not like the system, GPA AND MCAT SCORES ARE YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR!! Keep in mind that every school is different, so every school has different cut offs. In other words, some schools are more competative than others. All the other stuff - passion to be a DO, wanting to practice in a rural area, wanting to be a primary care physician, having healthcare experience, etc. etc. IS, and I repeat, IS important. However, it is only truly important for an ad comm when an applicants file goes before the committee and the decision to accept is being made. Again, this occurs AFTER the interview. It's a very subtle difference. You kind of have to be on the other side of things to truly realize how much of a difference there really is between the two concepts.

You say that you know plenty of people with MCAT scores btwn 24 and 27 with about a 3.0 GPA who have been accepted at DO schools. What DO schools? Again, as a former member of my schools admissions committee, I find this statement hard to believe. You may know a few people in this scenario with those kinds of grades who have been accepted to one DO school or another, but I guarantee that that is NOT the norm. It is the exception.

Finally, your sarcasm concerning my initial response has been duly noted. I realize that my previous post may have sounded harsh to you, but what I typed was the absolute truth. I know b/c I have been there. And more importantly, this is not the type of situation where it is justified to blow sunshine up each other's ass. The OP has a really good shot at getting into med school if he does well in grad school and does OK on the MCAT. To make statements like "I know plenty of people with your GPA who had average MCAT scores 24-27 who were accepted at DO schools" to try to put the OP at some sort of ease is just ignorant and wrong. It sets people up for probable failure. Unfortunately, BMW, getting into med school is a game just like anything else in life. It's not as touchy-feely as you may think. That may not be fair, but that's the truth. Like one of my med school pathology profs used to say, "You gotta learn how to play the game."


BMW19 said:
I disagree with Dr. Feelgood, as much experience as he/she has. I know plenty of people with your GPA who had average MCAT scores 24-27 who were accepted at DO schools. Now what they did have were:

1) A sincere desire and passion to be DO (not just a way to circumvent allopathic school and the Carribean)

2) Desire to work in underserved or rural areas, things that DO schools want to sincerely see

3) A lot and I mean a lot of wordly/healthcare experience much like yourself.

That being said, like Dr. Feelgood so pleasantly stated it doesn't mean you will get an interview. All i'm saying is that I know people in your situation who have had success entering DO school (for the right reasons). That being said you should rock your MCAT. Hope this helps

BMW-
 
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stevo23

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Hello,


I just wanted to say thanks so much for everyone's thoughts on my situation. I know everyone else is busy with their own schedules, so thank you for taking the time. I realize that the better I do in grad school courses and the better I do on the MCAT, the better chance I have. All the other extracurricular activities such as research, volunteering, and shadowing (have shadowed 2 M.D's and 2 D.O's...current boss is a thoracic surgeon, so I see medicine up close every day) help me to be sure of my desire and committment to embark on a career in medicine. They may help sway an admissions committee, but only after suitable grades and MCAT's exist. I realize that. I just wanted to get a feel for how likely it was that I could still do this given my current situation. Like bth said, anything is possible. Dr. Feelgood, thanks for being honest, and thanks to everyone for their encouragement. Here's hoping.

Steve