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MD & DO [Recent US Permanent Resident] My current situation and request for advice

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by chocole, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. chocole

    5+ Year Member

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    I am a very long time lurker on SDN and really appreciate the information I've read on this site over the last 4 years! I never thought that I would end up posting anything on this thread myself but am really happy to finally be able to do so!

    I gave up on applying to med school during sophomore year of college because I was an international student and my pre-med advisor told me, in all honesty, that my chances were slim (I think I asked about this on another post I made here). So, I gave up finishing the pre-med requirements half-way through. To be honest, I was also a little half-hearted about medicine up until that point because I was not sure if limiting myself was the correct thing to do.

    Come spring semester of senior year, I am notified that I have been granted US permanent residency. This allows me to be considered on the same level as US citizens. In addition, due to a very sudden death in the family and my mother being diagnosed with late-stage chronic kidney disease (all during senior year), my interest in medicine has been rekindled and I am determined to embark on the med school path. I am looking to apply for both DO and MD.

    I graduated from college this past May and my stats are the following:
    > cGPA: 3.68 (Bio major and chem minor)
    > sGPA: 3.35 (I know this is low. I have a C+ in OChem II and mostly B/B+'s in other Chem classes)
    > Major GPA: 3.6
    > No MCAT score yet
    > 5 months of research experience with an infectious disease specialist
    > No US clinical experience (I have shadowed a neurosurgeon for ~2 years while in high school in Europe, where I am from)
    > Volunteered at a soup kitchen while in college (~2 years)
    > Worked as a biology tutor in college (~2 years)
    > Foreign language tutor (1.5 years)
    > I speak 4 languages fluently

    I have still yet to finish the following pre-reqs:
    - 1 semester of English
    - 1 semester of physics
    - 1 semester of maths

    I am currently planning to take these three missing pre-reqs at Harvard Extension School this year, without being part of the post-bacc program. I am also thinking of re-taking OChem II, because I know I am able to get that A (sophomore year spring semester was not a good time for me, I also have a W in one class during the same semester). I realize that my ECs are lacking like crazy and I will be working on them while studying and (hopefully) will work part-time at a hospital.

    My questions:
    1) I am wondering if it's worth it to apply into a post-bacc program if I only have a few classes to fulfill?
    2) If I take these classes separately, do you add the grades to the uGPA or is it listed separately?
    3) When should I ask for letters of rec, if I will be applying in ~2 years?
    4) If I am interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine, would DO be a better option?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this TL;DR post! Any thoughts and advice are greatly appreciated!
     
    #1 chocole, Aug 16, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  2. GrapesofRath

    2+ Year Member

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    You need clinical experience and you need an MCAT score above all else. And you need more than shadowing for clinical exposure; volunteering in a hospital or hospice or another clinical setting is a great way to do this.

    Your GPA is fine for DO's. The sGPA is low for MD's but with a strong MCAT score you could still generate some interest at a couple lower tiers. You don't need to do a formal post-bacc. A DIY at your school or a local one is fine. Yes you need to take those classes; you will limit your options if you don't finish the physics sequence. If in the process you can take some more upper level science classes and raise your sGPA all the better( even a small bump like 3.45 vs 3.35 sGPA could make a real difference).

    You can ask for rec letters now and have the writers store their letters in interfolio and then use them whenever you apply.
     
  3. chocole

    5+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the reply!

    I also have some additional questions:
    - I didn't take Gen Chem I, because I was able to skip it based on a placement test. Should I still take it now or take another higher level bio/chem course instead?
    - What exactly fulfills the 2 semester of math? Does it have to be calc or could two stats course make up for it?
     
  4. Doug Underhill

    5+ Year Member

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    It depends on the individual schools. Some programs may require calculus, others will not.

    I would go ahead and take Gen Chem 1 for two reasons- first, it should be easier, and second, there's no doubt as to whether or not schools will accept the advanced course in place of it.
     
  5. chocole

    5+ Year Member

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    Sorry to drag this post up again.... after more than a year!
    A lot has happened and I have not managed to find any answers despite going through past posts on SDN.

    - I took my MCATs (Sept 2016) and was surprised with a score of 517.
    - I have taken Gen Chem I, Physics II and an extra English class but received B+ in all of them.
    - I also withdrew from an Immunology class because things got a little out of control at that point.
    - I was going through a really bad time post-college while taking these classes and am just recovering from an eating disorder at home.
    - I have tried applying for research jobs but have not had any luck. Still trying. (I am applying through the Partners website... any tips to boost my app would be appreciated).
    - I volunteered at MGH as a patient escort and have gotten about 150 hours. I am not too sure if this counts as clinical experience or not.

    I don't know what my options are right now and would appreciate any kind advice available!
     
    #5 chocole, Nov 23, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
    Shotapp likes this.
  6. Faha

    Physician 5+ Year Member

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    Your chances for MD school should be good if you apply to at least 20 schools. Where is your state of residence and where are you thinking of applying to?
     
  7. chocole

    5+ Year Member

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    Thanks for your reply!

    I think I count as a Massachusetts resident but I have only lived here for about 5 years (4 years of college + 1 post-college). I think the requirement is 7 years to count as IS?

    My dream school would be UMASS Medical School
    I know that they recently opened up to out of state students but the % accepted is still pretty low.

    So far I am thinking of applying to these MD programs:

    [MD]:
    - Rosy Franklin
    - Drexel
    - UMASS Med
    - BU
    - Temple
    - Quinnipiac

    I am looking into DO programs too.
     
  8. Faha

    Physician 5+ Year Member

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    You have a good choice of schools. Other MD schools where you could receive an interview with your stats include:
    Tufts
    Vermont
    Albany
    New York Medical College
    Einstein
    Jefferson
    GW
    Georgetown
    Penn State
    Eastern Virginia
    Virginia Commonwealth
    Tulane
    Oakland Beaumont
    Western Michigan
    Medical College Wisconsin
    St. Louis
    Creighton
    any new private schools that open for 2018 (Seton Hall, Roseman, etc.)
    Also apply to 10 or more DO schools and include UNECOM.
     

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