docintheory

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Hi Everyone,

I am actually reposting this thread from the MD/DO Re-applicant forum because I didnt notice there was a separate "non traditional" applicant forums.

I hope to continue to get help through these forums I was once an applicant right after I got my bachelor's in biology (GPA - 3.30) and needless to say didn't get anywhere with the application process. Afterwards I decided to get a Master's in Science of Journalism specializing in Medical/Science Journalism and almost done (hopefully by December). My English/writing background is just as strong as my science.

I am planning to go back into the mix of applying/reapplying to medical schools in the next application cycle after graduating. My hope is to get back into the hard science by taking some upper-level biology/physiology courses for a year at a near by university. Since being out of the sciences for nearly a year-and-half (a little more than that), I wanna demonstrate my compotency in the sciences for the 2007-2008 application cycle and back-up my older science grades.

I am not sure if anyone else has similar experiences close to mine, I've taken the MCAT long ago (scored a 28Q ) - but the score has long since expired, and plan to take the April 2007 MCAT (hopefully hit high 30's).

Taking this different path - will this help with admissions in any sort of way? And is taking extra classes a good idea? The experiences I gained from this Master's has revealed other facets of medicine and also has given me really interesting opportunities, so I am considering this a "non-traditional" path I suppose. So I am hoping that my extra curriculars and a high MCAT will help supplement my progressing science GPA.

Any help, advice, nuggets of bitter truth helps Sorry for the long post. I wish everyone good luck in their quest.
 

NonTradMed

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docintheory said:
I am not sure if anyone else has similar experiences close to mine, I've taken the MCAT long ago (scored a 28Q ) - but the score has long since expired, and plan to take the April 2007 MCAT (hopefully hit high 30's).
First off, please don't take this the wrong way, but don't expect to hit the 'high 30's' when your previous score was a 28. This type of improvement is possible, just highly unlikely unless your previous score was a huge fluke when you took it.

Second, have you taken any science courses since your graduation? Or did you only take writing courses for your masters? What is your current science GPA? Your current graduate GPA? These are all factors for adcoms to consider.

I was in similar shoes to you. I was an engineering student, my GPA was a 3.4. I did a five year combined BS-MS program, then went to work. I had to retake the MCAT when I decided to apply for med school since my old ones expired. I also took some upper level science classes but I don't know how helpful (couldn't have hurt much since it was mostly all As). Anyway, I think you are going on the right track in taking more science courses to up your GPA since your current GPA is on the low side. You need to really study up on the MCAT since it will make or break your app. What are your plans in acquiring a 'high 30s' score anyway? My personal experience in retaking after a four year hiatus from my science classes was that my BS and PS score didn't deviate too much but my verbal jumped. However, I didn't achieve a huge jump in score. That's why I was skeptical about your intended 10 point increase on the MCAT.

I suggest focusing on the MCAT first and foremost. And take classes around that. Your MCAT can push you into acceptance whereas a few extra science classes may not help that much. Btw, are you planning on DO schools too? If you are, your 27 and 3.3 is competitive for them.

Good luck.
 
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docintheory

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Second, have you taken any science courses since your graduation? Or did you only take writing courses for your masters? What is your current science GPA? Your current graduate GPA? These are all factors for adcoms to consider.


I suggest focusing on the MCAT first and foremost. And take classes around that. Your MCAT can push you into acceptance whereas a few extra science classes may not help that much. Btw, are you planning on DO schools too? If you are, your 27 and 3.3 is competitive for them.

Good luck.[/QUOTE]

Hi NonTradMed,

No offense taken! Thanks for handing me honest truth, I rather not wallow in fluff or pipe-dreams to make my dreams of becoming an MD true. I need straight answers. I guess the way I look at myself and my situation is in the way you see you it as well: The MCAT - this is the one hump I feel I need to get over to even have med schools look at my application - and this will eventually and literally make or break my chances of going to med school.

I guess achieving a +10 increase isn't the exactly the most probable of outcomes and I agree with you... but the higher score it just a limit, anything within 30-35 range would be prove to be a boon. I suppose it just a way to get me to work harder, you know? Just to break the 30 barrier on the MCAT would be pure excitement in itself ;) Psychologically speaking placing a harder goal will make you work harder to achieve it I suppose.

The focus has been my MCAT. With my Master's ending in December (3.95 GPA, which was all writing btw, which why I feel I need to demonstrate my compentency in sciences after being so long out of it - Science GPA: 3.0 :( ).

My intention was to take classes come January 2007 and study for the April 2007 MCAT now (in August 2006) till then. I figure if I study hard (and I mean HARD) now, come April, I hope the exam won't be so daunting. Easier said than done slaying this MCAT Monster, but success stories that I have read and those who have gotten in med schools on SDN has helped motivate me a lot. That too my girlfriend is a third year pharmacy student who is younger than me (by a year) but also way ahead of me career path wise - so that just adds up to more motivation to attempt to catch up.

I agree, the MCAT is a hard exam to break... but more than ever I feel almost as if this is my last shot at it and I might try to go out with a bang of sorts. DO schools is also another option I am definitely considering in addition to MD - but either way, I'd like to achieve a decent MCAT score so I have both options open. The nice aspect of my Master's was that it opened so many opportunities with medicine that I wouldn't have been able to partake or considered if I was a straight science student (ex: starting a hospital newsletter, covering governmental health legislation, etc.)... I hope that swings in my favor as well.

Are you medical school now? If so, Where are you going? Thanks again for the advice - knowing you had similarities to my situation makes me feel not so alone :) . Good luck to you as well! :) :luck:
 

GraC_undr_PrsR

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Why don't you take classes this fall and study for the MCAT in a structured way? For example, take Organic Chemistry and Biology or Physics and Chemistry. Unless you are highly disciplined it might be difficult to seriously approach studying so far in advance. I have to study for the MCAT in the early hours of the morning before going into the lab all day, so this motivates me to utilize all of that time constructively. If I had more time, I might procrastinate and not seriously study (subconsciously of course).
 
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