Kofi Darko

EverywhereIgoI
Dec 29, 2013
27
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
How strong will my application be if I have a low gpa say about a 3.4 a 32 MCAT, and great letters of recommendations from surgeons, anesthesiologists and professors, tons of shadowing experience (>200 hrs) and volunteering experience. Would that be a Solid Med School app? Also how much shadowing hours,volunteering hours would help me stand out if I had a low gpa and low Mcat (32) ? I love shadowing but I feel like I have no choice , and medicine is something that I would love to do. I know its not easy to stand out but will these even give me a chance?
 

Pose

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2004
1,124
173
Status
Medical Student
Do you have a good story for wanting to go into medicine? Can you write about it in your personal statement?

Go over to the MDApps site and read some successful profiles. Look at medical school websites, and check out their class profile page if they have one.

A 32 is not a low MCAT score. Is that what you scored? What is your score breakdown? What is your cumulative GPA? And your science GPA? Either way, a 3.4 is low, but I'm guessing won't get you auto-screened out.

There is no formula for getting into school, just some boxes that are expected to be checked. And yes, I'd say you've checked a lot of them, along with most applicants. Gotta be unique.
 
OP
K

Kofi Darko

EverywhereIgoI
Dec 29, 2013
27
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Yeah its a real complicated story so im going to make it brief, i got dismissed from undergrad due to grades i got during finals from having to take care of my mother and they would not let me reschedule it was a real roller coaster year I had surgery too basically my freshman year was my worst nightmare. But I pulled through. IS this something i should put in my personal statement? Medicine has always been my goal all because of my mother and grandmother. Is it permitted to put like personal reasons on the essay do they help? I just dont want the people reviewing application to think im a loser due to my crazy undergrand yr. Will they understand?
 
Dec 26, 2013
31
10
Status
Attending Physician
Yeah its a real complicated story so im going to make it brief, i got dismissed from undergrad due to grades i got during finals from having to take care of my mother and they would not let me reschedule it was a real roller coaster year I had surgery too basically my freshman year was my worst nightmare. But I pulled through. IS this something i should put in my personal statement? Medicine has always been my goal all because of my mother and grandmother. Is it permitted to put like personal reasons on the essay do they help? I just dont want the people reviewing application to think im a loser due to my crazy undergrand yr. Will they understand?
Medical schools are looking for 2 things (IMHO) -- people who can pass their curriculum and who have the right personality to be a doctor. More volunteering, strong letters, more shadowing, etc., can't help with the first requirement -- demonstrating you can pass their curriculum.

If your lower grades were early in college, then you can easily show that you've overcome these academic issues. But if the lower grades were more recently, you made need some help. You might need to take additional post-bacc courses while your application is being processed. This way, if you don't get in and you have to reapply, you'll be able to "demonstrate" that these lower grades were in the past and your more recent work is representative of your abilities. See what you're premed advisor or a trusted faculty member has to say about this.

Regarding your question about what to put in your personal statement, here's my suggestion. For any issue, you should take 2 or 3 sentences (keep it brief). State the issue (low grades), state why they happened (illness in the family and surgery for yourself), and show that you finished strong academically (which demonstrates that this issue is in the past). Be careful not to say anything that might sound like you're making excuses (eg, they would not let me reschedule my finals after my mother got sick). Please understand that I'm not suggesting you are making excuses. I'm just cautioning you to not say anything that could be misunderstood as someone making excuses. Just keep the focus on you -- "I got some low grades, family illnesses took precedence, look at my grades now".

Best of luck with this.
 
OP
K

Kofi Darko

EverywhereIgoI
Dec 29, 2013
27
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Medical schools are looking for 2 things (IMHO) -- people who can pass their curriculum and who have the right personality to be a doctor. More volunteering, strong letters, more shadowing, etc., can't help with the first requirement -- demonstrating you can pass their curriculum.

If your lower grades were early in college, then you can easily show that you've overcome these academic issues. But if the lower grades were more recently, you made need some help. You might need to take additional post-bacc courses while your application is being processed. This way, if you don't get in and you have to reapply, you'll be able to "demonstrate" that these lower grades were in the past and your more recent work is representative of your abilities. See what you're premed advisor or a trusted faculty member has to say about this.

Regarding your question about what to put in your personal statement, here's my suggestion. For any issue, you should take 2 or 3 sentences (keep it brief). State the issue (low grades), state why they happened (illness in the family and surgery for yourself), and show that you finished strong academically (which demonstrates that this issue is in the past). Be careful not to say anything that might sound like you're making excuses (eg, they would not let me reschedule my finals after my mother got sick). Please understand that I'm not suggesting you are making excuses. I'm just cautioning you to not say anything that could be misunderstood as someone making excuses. Just keep the focus on you -- "I got some low grades, family illnesses took precedence, look at my grades now".

Best of luck with this.
Okay ! Thanks, since my bad grades were during my undergrad freshman year instead of recent, is it still possible to do a post bacc to increase my gpa ? My gpa is pretty much the only thing holding me back.
 
OP
K

Kofi Darko

EverywhereIgoI
Dec 29, 2013
27
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Also, someone told me that URM have better chances of getting into med school? Why is that?
 
Dec 26, 2013
31
10
Status
Attending Physician
Okay ! Thanks, since my bad grades were during my undergrad freshman year instead of recent, is it still possible to do a post bacc to increase my gpa ? My gpa is pretty much the only thing holding me back.
I think a 3.4 GPA, where the lower grades were in your freshman year (and combined with a good MCAT score) will make you a reasonably competitive applicant.

There will be some schools that focus solely on the 3.4 GPA. Other schools will look at the details, and see that your lower grades with in the past. If you apply, I'd apply to a larger number of schools, to hedge against those schools that focus solely on your undergraduate GPA.

Alternatively, as you suggested, you can take some post-bacc courses, to improve your academic standing before applying.

Another suggestion (which I mentioned above) is to apply now, and take additional courses during the 15-month application period (in case you need to reapply).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kofi Darko
OP
K

Kofi Darko

EverywhereIgoI
Dec 29, 2013
27
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Thanks! I really appreciate your help. Do you know any good post bacc programs around the Delaware,Maryland, Virginia Area? I've heard about Goucher but im not sure If I can be accepted into that program :/
 
Dec 26, 2013
31
10
Status
Attending Physician
Goucher is a good problem. Several of my classmates went through that program.

But let me clarify that by "post-bacc", I didn't necessarily mean a formal post-bacc program. You could, of course, try a post-bacc program. Or you could just take additional science courses after graduating as a non-degree-seeking student.
 
OP
K

Kofi Darko

EverywhereIgoI
Dec 29, 2013
27
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Oh okay, and How hard is it to get into Goucher isn't it highly competitive ? Do you know like the average gpa for the matriculants?
 
Oct 15, 2013
26
6
Status
Pre-Medical
If you raised your GPA from freshmen year to senior year, then that is a good sign. Your MCAT score is not low! I think it all depends on your interview now and how your personality is like. Med schools like applicants who are resilient and have overcome obstacles. Your stats are not that bad! Good luck!
 

Pose

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2004
1,124
173
Status
Medical Student
Oh okay, and How hard is it to get into Goucher isn't it highly competitive ? Do you know like the average gpa for the matriculants?
You need to start looking for your own answers, and doing some research.
 
OP
K

Kofi Darko

EverywhereIgoI
Dec 29, 2013
27
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
You need to start looking for your own answers, and doing some research.
Im sorry im just a little anxious I wanted to know from someone first hand ya know?
Thanks for the info guys I appreciate it you guys were a big help! Ill be sure to follow the advice!