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science gpa

Andrew07

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Jun 9, 2000
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    I am beginning my senior year next fall and will be taking the MCATS next april. My overall gpa is a 3.48; however, my science gpa is about a 3.2 (3.178). My science gpa is somewhat low because I got a C+ in botany my sophomore year. I am planning on my gpa to increase, but i do not think it will be much above a 3.3 (still have to take O-chem and physics -- I have an A- in O-chem so far). How much do you think this may hurt my competitiveness? To further my application credentials, I have volunteered 50 hours in an osteopathic ER. Do I need more or is this sufficient?
     

    AMS-007

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      There are still some a significant number of grades which have not been decided and you need to make sure that they are as high as possible. Make sure your grade in O-Chem stays where it is (or goes up to an "A"). You need to just as well in Physics. Although your grade in Botany is a little disconcerting, it seems to only involve plant sciences. That is, it does not sound like a Biology course. You may need to take Biology in order to be considered for admission to any medical school. Make sure you clear this matter up with your college advisor before you apply to any school.

      Your GPA seems good (for an osteopathic school. You should be aware that some medical school will not consider any grade below a "C" in any course (especially a science course) to be an acceptable grade and therefore may force you take the course over. For example at my medical school, NYCOM, applicants are not permitted to have a grade below a "C" in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and english.

      It is possible that your grade in Botany may become a topic of discussion. Therefore make sure you have a legitimate explanation in mind before you attend an interview.

      Let me know what happens by posting here.

      Amit
      NYCOM, Class of 2002
       

      EJS

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      Jul 7, 1999
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        I agree with the above, it's just a botany course. I got a C- in a comparative anatomy course and thought it was going to be a big deal because it was an anatomy course! I believe only 2 out of the 4 interviewers I had asked about it, and I still got accepted into 3 DO schools. My science GPA was a 3.2 something I think. As long as your other science classes are good grades and you can prove you can handle the difficulty with some upper level biology classes you should be fine. One interviewer seemed satisfied with my explanation of a bad teacher and said, "well, you got a good grade in Biochem, so you should be o.k."
         

        AMS-007

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          Andrew,

          I forgot to mention anything about the volunteering that you asked about. As far as I know, you can never volunteer too much. The more the better. However, as always, quality is better than quantity. If you volunteered at a hospital and also spent some time shadowing a doctor it would be even better. Sometimes the best way to start shadowing a doctor, it to simply ask! Find a doctor at the hospital at which you volunteer (may be in the Emergency Dept)and introduce yourself. Tell them about your plans to attend medical school and I'm sure someone will be willing to lend you a hand. If you plan to apply to an Osteopathic Medical School and there is D.O. on staff, all the better! If you show enough interest and enthusiasm you might even get the doctor to write you a letter of recommendation. Remember, some osteopathic medical schools want a letter from a D.O. Try not to choose a resident or an intern. Concentrate your time more on an attending physicians. Although, both interns, residents and attendings have the same two letters after their name, the interns and residents are still technically students. Since attendings are more experienced and sometimes are teachers as well, they carry much more weight in recommendation letters than interns and residents. While you're working with the physicians, don't forget the nurses and techs who may be working there. They can teach you a couple of things too! As strange as it may seem, these people often know a lot more about medicine and patient care than the physicians. Try to make this into a volunteering as well as a learning experience. After all, you're trying to find out whether or not you would like this profession as a career.
           
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