Aug 14, 2014
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I am a Muslim.
I was born in 1987 in a foreign country.
Between the ages 6 to 13 I was homeschooled for religious study and graduated.
I never attended any public school between the ages 1 to 13.
Moved to the US at the age of 11.
I attended public school at the age of 13. I was enrolled in the last quarter of 7th grade. It was the first time I was exposed to a normal school curriculum such as mathematics, science, history, social studies etc…
I graduated middle school at the age of 14 and started high school the same age. Dropped out of high school at the age of 18. Throughout my middle and high school year I was enrolled in ESL courses.
I enrolled in a GED program and got my GED diploma at the age of 21. I also started my college career the same age. I enrolled in a community college.
I attended community college for 3 ½ year as a part and full time student. First semester of my community college I was again enrolled in ESL courses.
I had a 2.8 GPA overall at this community college.
At the age of 25 I enrolled in a four year college. I have attended this college for 2 years now as a full time student and in my 5th semester currently as a part time. I will be graduating next semester with a bachelors in science degree majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. Currently, I have an overall GPA of 3.93 at this four year institute. I have won a scholarship. Currently, I am a Fulbright scholarship applicant. I have voluntarily tutored for past 2 years in many courses. I also volunteered for our small family business before it went bankrupt. I did it for 6 years. I have been accepted into a research and I will be volunteering at a hospital starting next year. I will be applying to medical school in 2016 at the age of 28.
I am currently 27. Since the age of 13 I had to teach myself how to read, write, and speak in English and missed out on public education of any kind from age 1 to 13.
I did face all kinds of racism throughout my middle school, high school, community college, and four year college by students and teachers. In middle school I was molested by the dean while the principal and assistant principal watched in the principal’s office. I never mentioned it to anyone nor did I ever tell my family about it.
I have never tried smoking, alcohol, or any drugs. I never committed a crime. I have a clean record.
Throughout my whole life I have been raised in way below the poverty lines close to homeless status.
3 people in my life died from cancer. 2 family relatives and 1 close family friend. What drove me to pursue a career in medicine was our close family friend who died from cancer in 2012 right before starting my four year college career. So I just gave it my all and right now I have a GPA of 3.93.
I am trying to become a doctor more so a neurosurgeon.
Given the life that I have lived so far and the time I had been given… am I qualified for admissions in top 10 medical school for an MD program or have I ruined my chances?
Assuming that I do volunteer, research, ace the new MCAT, maybe win Fulbright scholarship, and get my bachelors in Summa Cum Laude… What are my chances? Also… Do I qualify as a non-traditional applicant?
I just refuse to give up because my love for medicine conquers all.
What should I mention or not mention in my personal statement when applying to top 10 medical schools?
Thank you for taking your time to read my post.
Please give me your honest opinion…
 
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Sanger Sequence

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May 31, 2014
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Being non-trad isn't something you really need to qualify for, but you would probably be considered a non-tradutional applicant. And those community college grades don't dissapear.

If you have equal units at both CC and the 4-year your looking at around a 3.5 overall GPA. Definitely not top-10 par but not too bad either.

My advice, just focus on your next goal. Your about 4-5 huge steps away from being a physician, let alone a neurosurgeon. Doing well on the MCAT and getting fulbright are monumental. And from the looks of it, you have barely started research, won't start hospital work til next year, and want to apply in about a year and a half. You still have a long road.
 
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darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
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Pre-Medical
I am a Muslim. I was born in 1987 in a foreign country. Between the ages 6 to 13 I was homeschooled for religious study and graduated. I never attended any public school between the ages 1 to 13. Moved to the US at the age of 11. I attended public school at the age of 13. I was enrolled in the last quarter of 7th grade. It was the first time I was exposed to a normal school curriculum such as mathematics, science, history, social studies etc… I graduated middle school at the age of 14 and started high school the same age. Dropped out of high school at the age of 18. Throughout my middle and high school year I was enrolled in ESL courses. I enrolled in a GED program and got my GED diploma at the age of 21. I also started my college career the same age. I enrolled in a community college. I attended community college for 3 ½ year as a part and full time student. First semester of my community college I was again enrolled in ESL courses. I had a 2.8 GPA overall at this community college. At the age of 25 I enrolled in a four year college. I have attended this college for 2 years now as a full time student and in my 5th semester currently as a part time. I will be graduating next semester with a bachelors in science degree majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. Currently, I have an overall GPA of 3.93 at this four year institute. I have won a scholarship. Currently, I am a Fulbright scholarship applicant. I have voluntarily tutored for past 2 years in many courses. I also volunteered for our small family business before it went bankrupt. I did it for 6 years. I have been accepted into a research and I will be volunteering at a hospital starting next year. I will be applying to medical school in 2016 at the age of 28. I am currently 27. Since the age of 13 I had to teach myself how to read, write, and speak in English and missed out on public education of any kind from age 1 to 13. I did face all kinds of racism throughout my middle school, high school, community college, and four year college by students and teachers. In middle school I was molested by the dean while the principal and assistant principal watched in the principal’s office. I never mentioned it to anyone nor did I ever tell my family about it. I have never tried smoking, alcohol, or any drugs. I never committed a crime. I have a clean record. Throughout my whole life I have been raised in way below the poverty lines close to homeless status. 3 people in my life died from cancer. 2 family relatives and 1 close family friend. What drove me to pursue a career in medicine was our close family friend who died from cancer in 2012 right before starting my four year college career. So I just gave it my all and right now I have a GPA of 3.93. I am trying to become a doctor more so a neurosurgeon. Given the life that I have lived so far and the time I had been given… am I qualified for admissions in top 10 medical school for an MD program or have I ruined my chances? Assuming that I do volunteer, research, ace the new MCAT, maybe win Fulbright scholarship, and get my bachelors in Summa Cum Laude… What are my chances? Also… Do I qualify as a non-traditional applicant? I just refuse to give up because my love for medicine conquers all. What should I mention or not mention in my personal statement when applying to top 10 medical schools?
Judging that I have lived in poverty close to bein homeless all my life, being molested, started school at 13, struggling with English and dropping out of high school, getting GED after failing the exam once, starting community college and still struggled with English and other family issues, losing 3 of my close ones to cancer.... If I keep on track and not give up and keep doing what I am doing... Are they going to reject just based on my community college career or are they going to take my life into account? Should I still have hopes?

[FONT=Lato, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The reason I want admissions in any top 10 medical school is because I want the best education and it will open more doors for me in the future.
Thank you for taking your time to read my post. Please give me your honest and professional opinion.
 

tarheel1408

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I think the first skill you should work on is how to effectively use paragraph breaks.

Admission to a top 10 medical school is extremely difficult - nobody 'deserves' an acceptance to one. You can absolutely achieve your dream of being a neurosurgeon if you go to a school that isn't in the top 10.

You have not ruined your chances at this point. You still have a lot of work to do, though. Good luck.
 

clairephillips

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Aug 24, 2013
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I agree that top 10 is a bit naive, but your story and passion, as well as your gpa should help you get in somewhere. The thing I'm not sure about is that low cc gpa. It will get averaged in with your university gpa, which will cause issues. You might want to consider doing an SMP to show your potential since you had a rough start. Keep going, though, because medical school somewhere is very possible.
 
OP
darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
48
5
Status
Pre-Medical
I think the first skill you should work on is how to effectively use paragraph breaks.

Admission to a top 10 medical school is extremely difficult - nobody 'deserves' an acceptance to one. You can absolutely achieve your dream of being a neurosurgeon if you go to a school that isn't in the top 10.

You have not ruined your chances at this point. You still have a lot of work to do, though. Good luck.
At the end I will have a 3.5 cGPA. I am not saying that I deserve admissions to any medical school. My only question is does my past compensate for the 0.3-0.04 of the cGPA in order to receive admissions to an IVY league school? I feel I have done a lot so far in the little time I have been given and the circumstances I have been living in and it is only getting better. I am not perfect nor did I live a perfect life... I made the best out of the opportunities I had.
 
OP
darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
48
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Pre-Medical
I agree that top 10 is a bit naive, but your story and passion, as well as your gpa should help you get in somewhere. The thing I'm not sure about is that low cc gpa. It will get averaged in with your university gpa, which will cause issues. You might want to consider doing an SMP to show your potential since you had a rough start. Keep going, though, because medical school somewhere is very possible.
I am just being ambitious and trying to understand my options... It is thinking the impossible that got me to where I am today and determination of course. I am not looking to do any master program. I just want to straight get into medical school. I guess acing the mcat will really open those IVY league doors in my opinion. I just hope I win the Fulbright scholarship.
 

Baron Samedi

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You literally shared your entire life story with us to basically ask "what are my chances" and then asked us to write your personal statement for you.
 
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darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
48
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You literally shared your entire life story with us to basically ask "what are my chances" and then asked us to write your personal statement for you.
I think you misunderstood my post. If you have an open mind and not be negative....You would know what I am asking. I do not need anyone to write me a personal statement... I just want to know the kind of life I have lived so far... Does it compensate for the 0.3-0.4 GPA I am missing for that IVY league cGPA requirement.
 
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You have to factor in both GPA's for MD. This drives your GPA down. If you're just starting research and have yet to start clinical volunteering, that will also look bad. Your desire to only get into a top 10 school will be your top hindrance, however. It's great to aim for the top, sure, but you need to recognize that schools outside the top ten can still provide a quality education. Applying solely to the top ten will be your downfall.
 
OP
darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
48
5
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Pre-Medical
You have to factor in both GPA's for MD. This drives your GPA down. If you're just starting research and have yet to start clinical volunteering, that will also look bad. Your desire to only get into a top 10 school will be your top hindrance, however. It's great to aim for the top, sure, but you need to recognize that schools outside the top ten can still provide a quality education. Applying solely to the top ten will be your downfall.
So you are saying that if I graduate and both of my gpa is taken into account as they are and I end up with a 3.4-3.5 and not 3.7-3.9... My past would not make up for that even if I do exceptionally well on the MCAT and win fulbright scholarship? I have already been accepted to a research which I will be doing over the summer and I will be volunteering for 1 1/2 year before applying to med school in 2016.
the reason I am just starting out is because if you have read about my past you would come to a conclusion that I just started my academic career late and trying to adapt to it and just recently started doing well since I had to learn, read, and speak english on my own and I was not exposed to the normal school curriculum for first 13 years of my life.

All I am saying is that 0.3-0.4 GPA that I do not have... Does my past compensate for that or have I already ruined my chances for being accepted into ivy league schools?
 
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So you are saying that if I graduate and both of my gpa is taken into account as they are and I end up with a 3.4-3.5 and not 3.7-3.9... My past would not make up for that even if I do exceptionally well on the MCAT and win fulbright scholarship? I have already been accepted to a research which I will be doing over the summer and I will be volunteering for 1 1/2 year before applying to med school in 2016.
the reason I am just starting out is because if you have read about my past you would come to a conclusion that I just started my academic career late and trying to adapt to it and just recently started doing well since I had to learn, read, and speak english on my own and I was not exposed to the normal school curriculum for first 13 years of my life.

All I am saying is that 0.3-0.4 GPA that I do not have... Does my past compensate for that or have I already ruined my chances for being accepted into ivy league schools?
Yes. Your GPA will be lower. If you win Fullbright, great. If you get a great MCAT, great.
Medical schools choose their candidates for a number of reasons. Do not rely solely on your past to make up for the present. People have gone through what you have gone through and excelled because of it. You can do the same.

Do not use your past as a crutch. Use it as a catapult into the future. If you are applying to medical school in 2016, you will have roughly one calendar year to do research. Doing all of your pre-med activities in your last year of education does not shine well upon devotion to the field. It will seem like you are cramming everything and waiting until the last minute possible. Start volunteering now if you can. Start studying now.
 

gyngyn

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Does my past compensate for that or have I already ruined my chances for being accepted into ivy league schools?
Most of those who want to attend such schools (even with the stats you desire so much) do not get accepted. It is a multifactorial process.
 

mvenus929

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Does my past compensate for that or have I already ruined my chances for being accepted into ivy league schools?
You should not focus so much on going to an Ivy League (or top 10) school. If you get into a US MD school, you will most likely be able to become a physician. You say you currently want to be a neurosurgeon, in which case, a higher ranked school will help you more, but you may change your mind, or not be able to get the scores you need to get into such a competitive specialty.

Basically, I'm telling you to ask yourself: do you want to be a physician, or do you only want to be a physician if you can train at an Ivy League school?
 

zzxxzz

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1. If your personal statement reads anything like this, you won't get in anywhere.

2. Depending on your country of origin, you may be ORM. You're absolutely not URM.

3. Most of the "top 10 schools" will look at your 3.5 and not read any further. You don't need to go to an "Ivy" to get a great education.

And, most importantly,
Given the life that I have lived so far and the time I had been given… am I qualified for admissions in top 10 medical school for an MD program?


Nothing about your life story makes you "qualified" for admission into a "top 10" program. Living a hard life doesn't make you a great physician. Also, I hate to break it to you, but there are a lot of applicants with similar stories.

A very strong MCAT will help your chances, but you can get a good education and become a neurosurgeon at a DO school if you're capable enough. Just focus on getting in.

Also, a neurosurgery residency is 7 years. Might wanna consider if you're ok with starting your practice at age 40.
 
OP
darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
48
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Pre-Medical
Yes. Your GPA will be lower. If you win Fullbright, great. If you get a great MCAT, great.
Medical schools choose their candidates for a number of reasons. Do not rely solely on your past to make up for the present. People have gone through what you have gone through and excelled because of it. You can do the same.

Do not use your past as a crutch. Use it as a catapult into the future. If you are applying to medical school in 2016, you will have roughly one calendar year to do research. Doing all of your pre-med activities in your last year of education does not shine well upon devotion to the field. It will seem like you are cramming everything and waiting until the last minute possible. Start volunteering now if you can. Start studying now.
I am not cramming anything to be honest nor am I using my past as a crutch. I am using it as my strength not weakness. I found passion for medicine in 2012 about two years ago when it i lost the 3rd person in my life to cancer and felt so helpless that I could not do anything. I then made it my mission to become a neurosurgeon and focus on oncology. I had a 2.8 in 2012... I transferred to a four year school and I am now one semester away from getting my bachelors in biology with minor in chemistry with a GPA of 3.95 if I get 4.0 this and next semester which I am trying my best too. I used that time from 2012 till now to fix my academic career and now that I have I am focusing on volunteering and researching. I needed to first fix myself in order to help others and I am not doing it to make it look bad or good for application. I am solely doing it because that is the time frame I have been given. yes I am not perfect that I couldn't fit volunteering and research earlier but these opportunities only come by when you have good grades... That is a fact.

Not everyone who is born in a foreign country and molested at a young age get to be where I am today. I will dedicate my whole life to medicine and helping others. As far as ivy league goes... For past two years it has been a dream to attend an ivy league medical school... For past two years it was a dream also to keep a 3.9+ GPA in a four year college and I have made it come true. Who knows what the future may hold. I have faced many failures but I never gave up in what I believe because self-belief is all I have.

However if ivy leagues and other top med schools are all about their numbers then I rather not go there because to me getting my foot into a medical school has been a dream or a wish which I am trying my best to make it come true under the circumstances I have lived in.
 
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darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
48
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Pre-Medical
You should not focus so much on going to an Ivy League (or top 10) school. If you get into a US MD school, you will most likely be able to become a physician. You say you currently want to be a neurosurgeon, in which case, a higher ranked school will help you more, but you may change your mind, or not be able to get the scores you need to get into such a competitive specialty.

Basically, I'm telling you to ask yourself: do you want to be a physician, or do you only want to be a physician if you can train at an Ivy League school?
I want to become a physician but obviously more doors will open if I attend an ivy league medical school...
 
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darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
48
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1. If your personal statement reads anything like this, you won't get in anywhere.

2. Depending on your country of origin, you may be ORM. You're absolutely not URM.

3. Most of the "top 10 schools" will look at your 3.5 and not read any further. You don't need to go to an "Ivy" to get a great education.

And, most importantly,


Nothing about your life story makes you "qualified" for admission into a "top 10" program. Living a hard life doesn't make you a great physician. Also, I hate to break it to you, but there are a lot of applicants with similar stories.

A very strong MCAT will help your chances, but you can get a good education and become a neurosurgeon at a DO school if you're capable enough. Just focus on getting in.

Also, a neurosurgery residency is 7 years. Might wanna consider if you're ok with starting your practice at age 40.
.

wow.... You have answered all my questions. Thank you. By the way are you on the admissions committee for medical schools?
 

gyngyn

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wow.... You have answered all my questions. Thank you. By the way are you on the admissions committee for medical schools?
I am.

The previous poster( @zzxxzz) is saying that the diversity you may bring to the school (by virtue of your hardships) will be evaluated in the context of the rest of your application.
The best schools in the country are looking for excellence, as a clinician, scholar and citizen. This is rare. Even excellent candidates will not make it. It is an honor to be a physician, from any accredited school.
 
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I am not entirely sure how you managed to go from a 2.8 to a 3.95. Mathematically speaking you would have to dilute that GPA with an awful lot of courses, not the number that could be done in 2 years, but who knows, you may be correct. Many of the top medical schools care about these numbers as they are fairly standardized indicators of academic performance. Superb academic skill will heavily aim a doctor in their studies. It is not that they solely care about the numbers, but they weigh them heavily. I wish you the best with your future endeavors, but I do highly recommend you look at other medical schools alongside the ivies. The ivies will open doors, but it is on you to walk through them.
 
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darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
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I am.

The previous poster @zzxxzz is trying to say that the diversity you may bring to the school (by virtue of your hardships) will be evaluated in the context of the rest of your application.
The best schools in the country are looking for excellence, as a clinician, scholar and citizen. This is rare.
I see. I will note that and focus on those four things. It makes a lot of sense. I am not looking for DO program. I am only going to MD program. Personal choice.

If life was as easy as student doctor network making my future decisions. I would not be where I am today. I just have to keep and open mind and be realistic like I have been for past two years. I do believe that I will do great things in life.. It is just a matter of time when I get the opportunity to be a part of it.
 

ciestar

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I see. I will note that and focus on those four things. It makes a lot of sense. I am not looking for DO program. I am only going to MD program. Personal choice.

If life was as easy as student doctor network making my future decisions. I would not be where I am today. I just have to keep and open mind and be realistic like I have been for past two years. I do believe that I will do great things in life.. It is just a matter of time when I get the opportunity to be a part of it.
Don't let anyone make your choices for you. But keep an open mind about it too. Odds are, you won't get into an Ivy/top 10 program (plenty of GREAT schools out there that aren't ivy that afford just as many opportunities), since the odds are against everyone who applies to these programs. But if you continue to work hard and apply in a strategic/realistic manner, you will likely end up somewhere. Just be realistic.
 
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darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
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I am not entirely sure how you managed to go from a 2.8 to a 3.95. Mathematically speaking you would have to dilute that GPA with an awful lot of courses, not the number that could be done in 2 years, but who knows, you may be correct. Many of the top medical schools care about these numbers as they are fairly standardized indicators of academic performance. Superb academic skill will heavily aim a doctor in their studies. It is not that they solely care about the numbers, but they weigh them heavily. I wish you the best with your future endeavors, but I do highly recommend you look at other medical schools alongside the ivies. The ivies will open doors, but it is on you to walk through them.
You are right and I will give it my all to one day make it true.

By the way I didn't quite understand
"I am not entirely sure how you managed to go from a 2.8 to a 3.95. Mathematically speaking you would have to dilute that GPA with an awful lot of courses, not the number that could be done in 2 years, but who knows, you may be correct."

Can you explain that please?

I had a 2.8 overall in a community college.
then I transferred to a four year college and in 4 semesters I got an overall 3.93. I will be graduating with a 3.95 if I get a 4.0 this and next semester which is highly likely. Then I will have an overall gpa of between 3.4-3.5 including the 2.8.
 
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I am not cramming anything to be honest nor am I using my past as a crutch. I am using it as my strength not weakness. I found passion for medicine in 2012 about two years ago when it i lost the 3rd person in my life to cancer and felt so helpless that I could not do anything. I then made it my mission to become a neurosurgeon and focus on oncology. I had a 2.8 in 2012... I transferred to a four year school and I am now one semester away from getting my bachelors in biology with minor in chemistry with a GPA of 3.95 if I get 4.0 this and next semester which I am trying my best too.
In regards to above, you will actually be graduating with a GPA of 3.4, no? I was under the impression that universities account for previous grades in the GPA they report. Perhaps my university is weird. Who knows.
 
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darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
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Don't let anyone make your choices for you. But keep an open mind about it too. Odds are, you won't get into an Ivy/top 10 program (plenty of GREAT schools out there that aren't ivy that afford just as many opportunities), since the odds are against everyone who applies to these programs. But if you continue to work hard and apply in a strategic/realistic manner, you will likely end up somewhere. Just be realistic.
Thank you. I appreciate your honesty. Odds have always been against me ever since I made a choice to becoming a physician yet I never gave up. I am sure if I keep working hard and not give up... Who knows what the future may hold. I am realistic by saying that I did not ruin my chances in being accepted to an ivy or non-ivy league medical schools. Yes numbers are great but there are many factors that come into play not just number even if they have standards. If I believe in it... It will happen regardless of what the world thinks. I have realized throughout my past 2 academic years that even if the universe prefers disorders... If you work hard it finds ways to move mountains for you and bring order into your life.
 

ciestar

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In regards to above, you will actually be graduating with a GPA of 3.4, no? I was under the impression that universities account for previous grades in the GPA they report. Perhaps my university is weird. Who knows.
At my university, credits transfer, grades don't. I was under the impression that most schools do it that way, don't report GPAs earned at other schools.
 
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darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
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In regards to above, you will actually be graduating with a GPA of 3.4, no? I was under the impression that universities account for previous grades in the GPA they report. Perhaps my university is weird. Who knows.
No I will not graduate with a 3.4. I will have cGPA of 3.4. I will graduate from this four year school with a 3.95
 

ciestar

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Thank you. I appreciate your honesty. Odds have always been against me ever since I made a choice to becoming a physician yet I never gave up. I am sure if I keep working hard and not give up... Who knows what the future may hold. I am realistic by saying that I did not ruin my chances in being accepted to an ivy or non-ivy league medical schools. Yes numbers are great but there are many factors that come into play not just number even if they have standards. If I believe in it... It will happen regardless of what the world thinks. I have realized throughout my past 2 academic years that even if the universe prefers disorders... If you work hard it finds ways to move mountains for you and bring order into your life.
Giving up only guarantees one thing…
Anyway, when you do apply, just do as I suggested, apply in a strategic manner. Apply to your dream schools, but throw in so many more realistic choices that might match a lower GPA. It's not going to go away, story or not. Some might look past that, some won't. Just be prepared as possible with your applications to overcome that.
 
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darkpassengerMD
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Giving up only guarantees one thing…
Anyway, when you do apply, just do as I suggested, apply in a strategic manner. Apply to your dream schools, but throw in so many more realistic choices that might match a lower GPA. It's not going to go away, story or not. Some might look past that, some won't. Just be prepared as possible with your applications to overcome that.
Well I will have to create a reason for my dream schools to accept me... I need to ace the MCAT and start earlier... I just have to keep doing what I am doing. I am going to try to get W in community college in some classes to bring my GPA up to 3.6-3.7.
 

ciestar

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Best of luck to you, OP.
 
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You basically are asking for some advice about applying to a Top 10 US MD school and some thoughts about a personal statement.

First of all, no applicant ever has any guarantee that they will be accepted at a top tier US medical school. No matter what they have achieved. You may not be able to get into a Top 10 school. Will you be ok with being a medical student at a lower tier MD school in the US? If the answer is yes, pursue your dream.

With regards to your personal statement. Don't mention being molested (IMO). Unless you can somehow tie that into medicine/being a doctor (no idea how you would do this). It would be good to mention the qualities of self-motivation and determination that allowed you to succeed even though you had no formal education until 13 years of age and were an immigrant. More importantly, no one gives a **** about how poor you were and how bad you had it. If an adcom member thinks you're trying to sell them a sob story to get an admission --> app goes in the trash. Talk about how the hardships you faced make you a superior applicant.

I am a 4th year med student at a US MD school for what its worth. My advice is not golden, and some other med students may disagree with my approach. Take it how you will.

Also, out of curiosity, and becuase it might help your app i have a few questions:

1. madrassa educated?
2. hafiz?
3. any alim/mufti degree?

The above may actually benefit you.
 
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Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
54,111
80,094
Somewhere west of St. Louis
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First, get into medical school, and then think about specialty.


I then made it my mission to become a neurosurgeon and focus on oncology.

You have what I call a compelling story. This counts for something.
Not everyone who is born in a foreign country and molested at a young age get to be where I am today. I will dedicate my whole life to medicine and helping others.



ALL medical schools care about numbers. With so many applicants (it's a seller's market) one has to start somewhere, and so they usually start at the top of the food chain. However, ECs, research and biography do count, and help differentiate all these academically excellent clones from one another.

However if ivy leagues and other top med schools are all about their numbers then I rather not go there because to me getting my foot into a medical school has been a dream or a wish which I am trying my best to make it come true under the circumstances I have lived in.

When it comes time to applying, apply strategically, be willing to relocate and be humble. You don't need to go to Harvard. Drexel is fine, and is I your state school.
 
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OP
darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
48
5
Status
Pre-Medical
You basically are asking for some advice about applying to a Top 10 US MD school and some thoughts about a personal statement.

First of all, no applicant ever has any guarantee that they will be accepted at a top tier US medical school. No matter what they have achieved. You may not be able to get into a Top 10 school. Will you be ok with being a medical student at a lower tier MD school in the US? If the answer is yes, pursue your dream.

With regards to your personal statement. Don't mention being molested (IMO). Unless you can somehow tie that into medicine/being a doctor (no idea how you would do this). It would be good to mention the qualities of self-motivation and determination that allowed you to succeed even though you had no formal education until 13 years of age and were an immigrant. More importantly, no one gives a **** about how poor you were and how bad you had it. If an adcom member thinks you're trying to sell them a sob story to get an admission --> app goes in the trash. Talk about how the hardships you faced make you a superior applicant.

I am a 4th year med student at a US MD school for what its worth. My advice is not golden, and some other med students may disagree with my approach. Take it how you will.

Also, out of curiosity, and becuase it might help your app i have a few questions:

1. madrassa educated?
2. hafiz?
3. any alim/mufti degree?

The above may actually benefit you.
I am a hafiz
 
Mar 29, 2012
41
88
Status
Might be worth mentioning that somewhere on your app, although you would have to explain to someone what that entails. Imagine explaining what it takes to become hafiz to a White Republican sitting on an adcom whose only exposure to that culture is from CNN/Fox News. Tricky but probably worth it.
 
OP
darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
48
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Might be worth mentioning that somewhere on your app, although you would have to explain to someone what that entails. Imagine explaining what it takes to become hafiz to a White Republican sitting on an adcom whose only exposure to that culture is from CNN/Fox News. Tricky but probably worth it.
So you are saying I should mention that? You are saying that it might benefit my chances?

Only 0.005% of Muslims have became hafiz in islamic history. I don't think it will be to my benefits since there is no value for that in a white republican community that has been exposed to islam only thru CNN/Fox.
 
Mar 29, 2012
41
88
Status
Probably worth mentioning in your application/PS. If an interviewer is interested, they'll ask you about it. Have a concise and informative answer ready beforehand, that explains what it is and what it entails.
 
Oct 14, 2013
1,428
1,295
Only 0.005% of Muslims have became hafiz in islamic history. I don't think it will be to my benefits since there is no value for that in a white republican community that has been exposed to islam only thru CNN/Fox.
Read your first sentence. That's quite a big accomplishment, and I think that would be a very interesting and worthwhile mention. It also attests to your ability to memorize, something crucial to have in medicine.
 

CharlieKelly

I enjoy a good Milksteak, boiled over hard
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2008
247
349
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So you are saying that if I graduate and both of my gpa is taken into account as they are and I end up with a 3.4-3.5 and not 3.7-3.9... My past would not make up for that even if I do exceptionally well on the MCAT and win fulbright scholarship? I have already been accepted to a research which I will be doing over the summer and I will be volunteering for 1 1/2 year before applying to med school in 2016.
the reason I am just starting out is because if you have read about my past you would come to a conclusion that I just started my academic career late and trying to adapt to it and just recently started doing well since I had to learn, read, and speak english on my own and I was not exposed to the normal school curriculum for first 13 years of my life.

All I am saying is that 0.3-0.4 GPA that I do not have... Does my past compensate for that or have I already ruined my chances for being accepted into ivy league schools?
I think you may be foolishly grossly underestimating how many thousands of very impressive applicants there are out there. As fantastic as your story might be, I guarantee there will be a similar one, if not multiples. If you really want to become a physician (and I don't know why neurosurgery is the first thing you think of when it comes to oncology, unless you're also thinking $$$), I'd recommend not selling yourself short and casting a wider net. Really work on building your resume. There are tons of scholarship winners, tons of poor applicants with tougher backgrounds who do amazing research out there, or have amazing clinical work, or start incredible companies. Believe me. I've run into several myself.
 
OP
darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
48
5
Status
Pre-Medical
I think you may be foolishly grossly underestimating how many thousands of very impressive applicants there are out there. As fantastic as your story might be, I guarantee there will be a similar one, if not multiples. If you really want to become a physician (and I don't know why neurosurgery is the first thing you think of when it comes to oncology, unless you're also thinking $$$), I'd recommend not selling yourself short and casting a wider net. Really work on building your resume. There are tons of scholarship winners, tons of poor applicants with tougher backgrounds who do amazing research out there, or have amazing clinical work, or start incredible companies. Believe me. I've run into several myself.
You see when you come into a foreign country as a muslim and 911 happens and then you get called to the principal's office in middle school where you just started public education for the first time of your life and while the dean grabs your penis and smacks your face and asks if you know about osama bin ladin while the assistant principal and principal is watching as this occurs. Its hard to come out of that knowing that you do not know one word of english and that you have to learn how to read, write, and speak on your own. It is hard to really come out of that. I am not selling a sob story nor am I doing it for money. There is something in me that is keeping me on my feet to think big and as I am thinking this way... Big things are already happening. I am in love with the brain. I am fascinated by it. I never tried drugs, smoking, or alcohol regardless of what I have been thru in my life.
 

mariambaby3

7+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2009
218
30
Status
Medical Student
I wish you the best in your endeavor. If everything goes well, I would suggest, of course, expanding your hopes beyond just the Top 10. For most purposes schools within the Top 25-30 are considered "top tier" and there only marginal differences between them.

Please don't get fixated on matriculating at an Ivy League medical schools. Ivy League is mainly a distinction of prestige for undergraduate education. When it comes to medical schools, certainly there are very good Ivy med schools, but there are other non-Ivies that are just as good and if not better than some Ivies.
 
OP
darkpassengerMD
Aug 14, 2014
48
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Everyone has personal traumas and issues but please don't say anything about penis grabbing in your personal statement, I'm kind of already cringing just reading it right now. Some things should be kept private..

I am just clarifying what happened. I am not gonna mention any of that in my personal statement. I am just saying that people go thru a lot and turn to drugs and I chose not to and stuck to hoping for a better future. I just recently found my reason for becoming a doctor not too long ago (2 years).
 
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