Senior, previously pre-dental, now pre-med: Do I stand a chance this upcoming cycle? (DO)

Sortie

2+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2017
15
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Pre-Dental
I am a senior in college that was formerly pre-dental but I decided I want to be pre-med just this semester. I’m considering whether or not I should apply this upcoming admission cycle (And spend all the money that comes with applying) given my stats and background. Would you be able to tell me if I have a realistic shot at a DO school? After I list my stats, I made a tentative plan I’d like to share with you and ask what your thoughts are on it as well. Thank you.

CGPA: 3.56
1 C, 1 D (Retook course and got an A), and… 6 Ws (Yikes, I know)
1 year as a research assistant at my university’s dental school
102 hours of dental shadowing (0 hours shadowing an MD/DO)
6 hours non-clinical volunteering
0 clinical work or clinical volunteering hours
Co-Founder of a medically-related club (It has about 20 members with meetings twice a month so it’s not like we just created a club to put that on an application)
3 years of part-time work experience with leadership experience while in college

Do you think that with these stats, if I do well on the MCAT, I stand a chance at admissions come this next cycle? I still have 3 semesters left so maybe that is enough time to show consistent grades, assuming I achieve that (I switched my major to economics-my first major at the beginning of college- to get my mind off biology and reconsider if medicine is something I really want to do, so going back to bio, I’d graduate next fall, not in the spring).

If I stand a chance, I figured I would do the following:
1. Get EMT certification (I have plenty of time this semester to do so, econ hasn’t been that intensive compared to bio)
2. Shadow 2 doctors, each for roughly 20 hours
3. Start studying for the MCAT now, take it in the spring
4. Work/volunteer as an EMT, gaining clinical and volunteer experience
5. Start applying this upcoming May

If there is something I should change or add in this plan, please let me know. Thank you so much for your advice and input, I will take your replies very seriously.
 

differentiating

tu fui, ego eris.
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Feb 16, 2013
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I am a senior in college that was formerly pre-dental but I decided I want to be pre-med just this semester. I’m considering whether or not I should apply this upcoming admission cycle (And spend all the money that comes with applying) given my stats and background. Would you be able to tell me if I have a realistic shot at a DO school? After I list my stats, I made a tentative plan I’d like to share with you and ask what your thoughts are on it as well. Thank you.

CGPA: 3.56
1 C, 1 D (Retook course and got an A), and… 6 Ws (Yikes, I know)
1 year as a research assistant at my university’s dental school
102 hours of dental shadowing (0 hours shadowing an MD/DO)
6 hours non-clinical volunteering
0 clinical work or clinical volunteering hours
Co-Founder of a medically-related club (It has about 20 members with meetings twice a month so it’s not like we just created a club to put that on an application)
3 years of part-time work experience with leadership experience while in college

Do you think that with these stats, if I do well on the MCAT, I stand a chance at admissions come this next cycle? I still have 3 semesters left so maybe that is enough time to show consistent grades, assuming I achieve that (I switched my major to economics-my first major at the beginning of college- to get my mind off biology and reconsider if medicine is something I really want to do, so going back to bio, I’d graduate next fall, not in the spring).

If I stand a chance, I figured I would do the following:
1. Get EMT certification (I have plenty of time this semester to do so, econ hasn’t been that intensive compared to bio)
2. Shadow 2 doctors, each for roughly 20 hours
3. Start studying for the MCAT now, take it in the spring
4. Work/volunteer as an EMT, gaining clinical and volunteer experience
5. Start applying this upcoming May

If there is something I should change or add in this plan, please let me know. Thank you so much for your advice and input, I will take your replies very seriously.
A few things:
- your cGPA includes all classes, correct? Med schools don’t do grade replacement
- what is your sGPA? Have you taken all the needed prereqs?
- the big ECs you’re missing are shadowing, clinical exposure (volunteer vs job like EMT) and nonclinical volunteering. It’s probably unrealistic to get decent numbers in all 3 by May, especially since you still need to take the MCAT, so you may want to consider a gap year
- obviously, all of the above may be moot depending on how you perform on the MCAT
 
OP
Sortie

Sortie

2+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2017
15
3
Status
Pre-Dental
A few things:
- your cGPA includes all classes, correct? Med schools don’t do grade replacement
- what is your sGPA? Have you taken all the needed prereqs?
- the big ECs you’re missing are shadowing, clinical exposure (volunteer vs job like EMT) and nonclinical volunteering. It’s probably unrealistic to get decent numbers in all 3 by May, especially since you still need to take the MCAT, so you may want to consider a gap year
- obviously, all of the above may be moot depending on how you perform on the MCAT
Thank you for your reply!
1. Yes, all classes.
2. Sorry for forgetting that! My sGPA is 3.62. Classes like art history and "ethics" is what dragged my gpa down unfortunately. All I have left is biochem.
3. I think I could finish the shadowing by the end of this semester, but you're right, I think it's wishful thinking to achieve all 3 of these things by May. I could get EMT cert. as well, but probably not enough clinical time...

If I can't apply/don't get accepted, do you think a gap year would be better than a masters in my case? I would much prefer doing a gap year over a masters, and just working as an EMT and maybe taking a couple extra post-bacc classes in the meantime. One other question, do you think the Ws are a big problem? Thank you again for your reply.
 

Detective SnowBucket

2+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2017
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Pre-Medical
the rule of thumb for run-o'-the mill MD schools is 50hrs shadowing (to include some FM shadowing), 150 hrs of clinical and non-clinical volunteering each (better if service is to the less fortunate). Your GPA I believe is fine for DO, I don't know how they'll look on those W's though. DO schools also like DO shadowing (you need to be able to tell them why DO and not MD, don't just say because my stats couldn't cut MD admissions).

If I were you, I would graduate and find somewhere to get a clinical job for this year, EMT would be amazing but the cert takes a year I believe. This also gives you another year after this one to get that volunteering in. Then, start studying for the MCAT during the last 'semester' of this gap year to sit for the MCAT in May and apply in June of 2020. This also gives you one more gap year to continue working and volunteering. Cheers!

In the meantime, I would just work on maintaining/improving your GPA and secure yourself a clinical job for after you graduate. Depending on where you are, that could be very competitive (I wasn't counting on this; I live in a large city on the eastern seaboard and I am having a hell of a time finding a clinical job for my gap year). Before this year is up, I would make sure sure you've got all the prerec's down, it would be easier to push graduation back than to re-enroll if you forgot something.

If you're looking to go to DO school, I think your GPA is fine enough to not need a post-bac. Others can confirm this.
PS, love your profile pic, did you take it yourself?
 

candbgirl

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Jul 14, 2005
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the rule of thumb for run-o'-the mill MD schools is 50hrs shadowing (to include some FM shadowing), 150 hrs of clinical and non-clinical volunteering each (better if service is to the less fortunate). Your GPA I believe is fine for DO, I don't know how they'll look on those W's though. DO schools also like DO shadowing (you need to be able to tell them why DO and not MD, don't just say because my stats couldn't cut MD admissions).

If I were you, I would graduate and find somewhere to get a clinical job for this year, EMT would be amazing but the cert takes a year I believe. This also gives you another year after this one to get that volunteering in. Then, start studying for the MCAT during the last 'semester' of this gap year to sit for the MCAT in May and apply in June of 2020. This also gives you one more gap year to continue working and volunteering. Cheers!

In the meantime, I would just work on maintaining/improving your GPA and secure yourself a clinical job for after you graduate. Depending on where you are, that could be very competitive (I wasn't counting on this; I live in a large city on the eastern seaboard and I am having a hell of a time finding a clinical job for my gap year). Before this year is up, I would make sure sure you've got all the prerec's down, it would be easier to push graduation back than to re-enroll if you forgot something.

If you're looking to go to DO school, I think your GPA is fine enough to not need a post-bac. Others can confirm this.
PS, love your profile pic, did you take it yourself?

You will not be ready to apply in June 2020. More likely June 2021. But even that depends on your ECs and MCAT.
What would you get a Masters in? DO schools do consider graduate degrees in your GPA but your current GPAs are fine for DO. Don’t worry about the Ws. Were they all in one semester or here and there throughout your college semesters.
@differentiating gave you good advice about ECs and the number of hours you need. And I agree with @Dr panda about EMT. Just get a job/volunteer in a hospital or clinic. Why go through all of that training ?
You need to Put a little space between you and dental school. ADCOMS will want to see that you are sure you want medicine now and you won’t jump ship again in a couple of years.
 
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You should probably shadow a MD/DO and get a letter of rec from them. You'll obviously need volunteering hours on your resume. I don't think any DO medical school will take you with that resume. Once you do the things on your list, you will probably have a good shot. What's your sgpa ?
 
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Sortie

Sortie

2+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2017
15
3
Status
Pre-Dental
You should probably shadow a MD/DO and get a letter of rec from them. You'll obviously need volunteering hours on your resume. I don't think any DO medical school will take you with that resume. Once you do the things on your list, you will probably have a good shot. What's your sgpa ?
Thank you for your reply. My sGPA is 3.62. My current physician is a DO is I think I'll ask him if it's alright to shadow.
 
OP
Sortie

Sortie

2+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2017
15
3
Status
Pre-Dental
You will not be ready to apply in June 2020. More likely June 2021. But even that depends on your ECs and MCAT.
What would you get a Masters in? DO schools do consider graduate degrees in your GPA but your current GPAs are fine for DO. Don’t worry about the Ws. Were they all in one semester or here and there throughout your college semesters.
@differentiating gave you good advice about ECs and the number of hours you need. And I agree with @Dr panda about EMT. Just get a job/volunteer in a hospital or clinic. Why go through all of that training ?
You need to Put a little space between you and dental school. ADCOMS will want to see that you are sure you want medicine now and you won’t jump ship again in a couple of years.
Thank you for your reply. I was considering one of those health sciences masters that are meant for medical school, but I think you're right- I'll just focus on keeping my current GPA up. The majority of them were in 2 semesters, so they weren't all spread out throughout my college career. I'll look more into hospital jobs that don't require much certifications as well now.
 
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Sortie

Sortie

2+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2017
15
3
Status
Pre-Dental
the rule of thumb for run-o'-the mill MD schools is 50hrs shadowing (to include some FM shadowing), 150 hrs of clinical and non-clinical volunteering each (better if service is to the less fortunate). Your GPA I believe is fine for DO, I don't know how they'll look on those W's though. DO schools also like DO shadowing (you need to be able to tell them why DO and not MD, don't just say because my stats couldn't cut MD admissions).

If I were you, I would graduate and find somewhere to get a clinical job for this year, EMT would be amazing but the cert takes a year I believe. This also gives you another year after this one to get that volunteering in. Then, start studying for the MCAT during the last 'semester' of this gap year to sit for the MCAT in May and apply in June of 2020. This also gives you one more gap year to continue working and volunteering. Cheers!

In the meantime, I would just work on maintaining/improving your GPA and secure yourself a clinical job for after you graduate. Depending on where you are, that could be very competitive (I wasn't counting on this; I live in a large city on the eastern seaboard and I am having a hell of a time finding a clinical job for my gap year). Before this year is up, I would make sure sure you've got all the prerec's down, it would be easier to push graduation back than to re-enroll if you forgot something.

If you're looking to go to DO school, I think your GPA is fine enough to not need a post-bac. Others can confirm this.
PS, love your profile pic, did you take it yourself?
Thank you so much for laying out this plan. I will heed this advice and take a gap year for sure. I think @candbgirl made a good point about needing to put some space in between me and dental school as well.

Thank you! I wish I did take it... I just remember seeing those exit signs posted all around the Paris subway, and thought it would make for a unique username/profile picture haha I'm glad you like it!
 
Jun 24, 2019
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Medical Student
Hey man,

I too was pre-dent till about my second semester of senior year of college. I had applied to 3 dental programs (because they are expensive af) and knew if I didn't get into my state school or a cheap school, I would just reapply again next cycle to my state dental school (because it was cheaper to take a gap year and skip 1 year of early dental salary and attend my state DS than attend most out of state schools), but I thought to myself, why do that, when I can just take the MCAT and take a gap year and apply to medical schools. Funnily, the OOS DO school I go to now, is cheaper than my in-state tuition of Dental school lmao. (Plus, being a medical doctor is way cooler anyways, and once you shadow both dentists and actual doctors, it's hard to not get over the fact that what a MD/DO does is just way more impactful- but I digress).

I too was in a similar position as you were; that is not having any clinical shadowing experience at all. My recommendation to you is to try to get shadowing ASAP, and try to land a scribe position for your gap year. EMT is unnecessary. CRNA'ing is unecessary. Being a scribe is the best job, because you work closely with the docs, and it's pretty lax once you're good! I actually did not even shadow a DO family doc, I just worked in the ER as a scribe, accumulated enough hours before applying and applied late to the DO cycle only (because of my MCAT score below).

For your MCAT scenario, definitely don't half ass studying it during school, because I did that my second semester of senior year of college, took 6 weeks in the summer after graduation and did poorly (507), but managed to get into a DO school. I was wait listed by many though, and got in at the last second, and ended up having to retake it incase I didn't get in and did way better (515), because I gave myself more serious study time (not just 6 weeks of cramming most information). I would recommend taking it as early as possible whenever that is for you to get the score you want; ie good enough for MD (because you should shoot for MD over DO so 513+ - that score is based on your gpa not knowing whether you are urm and your 6 W history)

So, if I were you, I would just focus solely first on the MCAT, and start studying during spring semester of college, try to take it in May sometime, start having a plan to get involved in some sort of work after graduation that will help you for med school applications that you can work on after taking your MCAT. That is easier said than done, because it is pretty easy to not study for the MCAT seriously during university. Your GPA was better than mine (3.5, 2 W's, massive upward trend), but I think 6 W's might be cumbersome (but not so if it's early on freshman-sophmore year of uni).