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Given a scenario where you had a low GPA, say 2.9, what would you do to get in med school?

  • Apply to US MD programs regardless, just give it a shot

  • Apply to US DO programs

  • Wait, take post bacc courses and reapply the following year

  • Apply to a Caribbean school

  • Give up :(


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aquariusangel

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Hello :)
I am a senior graduating this December. I anticipate on taking the MCAT latest by March. Unfortunately, I goofed off a lot in college and did not take it seriously, and am at a 2.92 GPA (it should be a 3.0 by the end of this semester). I know this is a very low number and the possibility of being rejected at all schools is the only thing I see. The problem is that I do not want to wait a whole year to reapply, and am considering going to the Caribbean. I had looked into DO programs as well but given my GPA, even that seems blurry. I would like some advice on what I should do; its all so hard to consider because of my terrible decisions. Any words of support/advice would be so appreciated. Thank you all :)
 

AspiringDoc955

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Take a deep breath and realize that becoming a physician is a marathon and not a sprint. That being said, I would advise you to take some time and complete a post-bacc to improve your GPA in order to have a shot at US MD/DO schools.
 
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Ayahuasca

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Have you put any thought into SMP?
You realize that you goofed off in college, but are you ready to sit down and do the work?
From my understanding the purpose of an SMP is to show medical schools that you can handle the coursework so doing well can help negate the low GPA. Of course, you'll also need to score well on the MCAT.

I have no input on Caribbean, but the saying is to avoid that option at all costs.
 

BigBoss

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A post-bacc won’t do anything to save your GPA and you’ll be committing suicide if you go to a Caribbean school. I would suggest completing a Master’s program; it’s not guaranteed to get you in anywhere, but it may increase your odds. Otherwise, look into other careers.


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chemdoctor

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Relax. A 3.0 isn't going to get you into an MD school. Do a post bacc and maybe retake some prerequisite courses that you prob failed or barely passed. Start getting involved in some extracurriculars and apply in a few years
 
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aquariusangel

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Have you put any thought into SMP?
You realize that you goofed off in college, but are you ready to sit down and do the work?
From my understanding the purpose of an SMP is to show medical schools that you can handle the coursework so doing well can help negate the low GPA. Of course, you'll also need to score well on the MCAT.

I have no input on Caribbean, but the saying is to avoid that option at all costs.

This last semester, I have actually opened my textbooks and put in time and dedication to studying, and so far have made A's on everything. The courseload wouldnt bother me, thats expected from any med school. I actually havent looked into SMP. But i take it that would also require at least an additional year.
 

aquariusangel

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A post-bacc won’t do anything to save your GPA and you’ll be committing suicide if you go to a Caribbean school. I would suggest completing a Master’s program; it’s not guaranteed to get you in anywhere, but it may increase your odds. Otherwise, look into other careers.


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When you say that about Caribbean schools, have you been a student there or know someone personally with bad experience? The only reason I ask is that people have so much to say about them just by reading over peoples comments about them- people that have never been to one or know anyone there. I hear otherwise from people that actually have attended/currently are attending a Caribbean med school, and all I hear is good.
 

Goro

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When you say that about Caribbean schools, have you been a student there or know someone personally with bad experience? The only reason I ask is that people have so much to say about them just by reading over peoples comments about them- people that have never been to one or know anyone there. I hear otherwise from people that actually have attended/currently are attending a Caribbean med school, and all I hear is good.

Ahhh, I can just hear the salivating from the Carib schools, over the prospect of another impatient, gullible and unready mark.

The point here isn't that there are successful Carib grads. The point is how many additional obstacles to success you face by going to a Carib school.

From the wise gyngyn: The pool of US applicants from the Caribbean is viewed differently by Program Directors. The DDx for a Caribbean grad is pretty off-putting: bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification, IA's, legal problems, weak research skills, high risk behavior. This is not to say that all of them still have the quality that drew them into this situation. There is just no way to know which ones they are. Some PD's are in a position where they need to, or can afford to take risks too! So, some do get interviews.



Bad grades and scores are the least of the deficits from a PD's standpoint. A strong academic showing in a Caribbean medical school does not erase this stigma. It fact it increases the perception that the reason for the choice was on the above-mentioned list!

Just about everyone from a Caribbean school has one or more of these problems and PDs know it. That's why their grads are the last choice even with a high Step 1 score.

There was a time when folks whose only flaw was being a late bloomer went Carib, but those days are gone. There are a number of US med schools that will reward reinvention.

It's likely you'll be in the bottom half or two thirds of the class that gets dismissed before Step 1. The business plan of a Carib school depends on the majority of the class not needing to be supported in clinical rotations. They literally can't place all 250+ of the starting class at clinical sites (educational malpractice, really. If this happened at a US school, they be shut down by LCME or COCA, and sued.

The Carib (and other offshore) schools have very tenuous, very expensive, very controversial relationships with a very small number of US clinical sites. You may think you can just ask to do your clinical rotations at a site near home. Nope. You may think you don't have to worry about this stuff. Wrong.

And let's say you get through med school in the Carib and get what you need out of the various clinical rotation scenarios. Then you are in the match gamble. I don't need to say a word about this - you can find everything you need to know at nrmp.org.

You really need to talk to people who made it through Carib threshing machine (like Skip Intro or mikkus) into residency, and hear the story from them. How many people were in their class at the start, how many are in it now? How long did it take to get a residency, and how did they handle the gap year(s) and their student loans? How many residencies did they apply to, how many interviews did they get, and were any of the programs on their match list anything like what they wanted?

A little light reading:

https://milliondollarmistake.wordpress.com/

http://www.tameersiddiqui.com/medical-school-at-sgu
 
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BigBoss

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When you say that about Caribbean schools, have you been a student there or know someone personally with bad experience? The only reason I ask is that people have so much to say about them just by reading over peoples comments about them- people that have never been to one or know anyone there. I hear otherwise from people that actually have attended/currently are attending a Caribbean med school, and all I hear is good.
I know three people who took that route. Two of them graduated and didn't match. The third one is still in school and cries on the phone when he calls his parents.
 
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Goro

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Hello :)
I am a senior graduating this December. I anticipate on taking the MCAT latest by March. Unfortunately, I goofed off a lot in college and did not take it seriously, and am at a 2.92 GPA (it should be a 3.0 by the end of this semester). I know this is a very low number and the possibility of being rejected at all schools is the only thing I see. The problem is that I do not want to wait a whole year to reapply, and am considering going to the Caribbean. I had looked into DO programs as well but given my GPA, even that seems blurry. I would like some advice on what I should do; its all so hard to consider because of my terrible decisions. Any words of support/advice would be so appreciated. Thank you all :)
Did you dislike the answers you received in your post of two weeks ago, and are you now fishing for what you want to hear? If so, that's not healthy.

Go re-read the answers you received previously:
Carribbean Medical Schools
 
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chemdoctor

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I know three people who took that route. Two of them graduated and didn't match. The third one is still in school and cries on the phone when he calls his parents.

I know someone that went foreign. Didn't do well on the boards, couldn't match and is honestly stuck in limbo at this point. They questioned their career choices, their motivation and went to a similar other career in the healthcare field.
 
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Kingsmen2018

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Just give up. Don't waste ur time or ur money. If you weren't serious enough to put in the work to get good grades that means u didn't want to be a physician enough.
 
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ihadahamsandwich

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If I was to go "fishing" for answers, I could've simply done it by googling my answers. Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Your reply on my other thread makes me think so. Please dont reply if all you want to do is be rude and ignorant to the fact that people are trying to figure out whats best for them and your ****ty remarks dont help.
In case you did not know, Goro is an adcom with intimate knowledge of the process of getting to med school. Please respect Goro's advice, however blunt it may be.
 
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Goro

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If I was to go "fishing" for answers, I could've simply done it by googling my answers. Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Your reply on my other thread makes me think so. Please dont reply if all you want to do is be rude and ignorant to the fact that people are trying to figure out whats best for them and your ****ty remarks dont help.

I'm not here to give hugs and kisses, but to give realistic advice.
 
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begoood95

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Here's the thing: no respectable or informed member of SDN is going to tell you that the Caribbean route is one to pursue. Simply put, it is virtually never the answer to the problems you've mentioned.

Low GPA? Post-bacc.
Low MCAT? Retake.
Not enough EC's? Gap year.

This process is long; do not rush. You will not be rewarded.

If you want to become a physician, follow these posters' advice. Pursue an SMP, and beef-up your application. Otherwise, you're DOA. @Goro's advice is realistic, sound, and you should follow it.
 
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Lawpy

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If I was to go "fishing" for answers, I could've simply done it by googling my answers. Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Your reply on my other thread makes me think so. Please dont reply if all you want to do is be rude and ignorant to the fact that people are trying to figure out whats best for them and your ****ty remarks dont help.

Wow the arrogance and sheer disrespect seen here is simply astounding. Sorry, but SDN gets its most value through its honest and thorough advice, even if delivered bluntly.

Hello :)
I am a senior graduating this December. I anticipate on taking the MCAT latest by March. Unfortunately, I goofed off a lot in college and did not take it seriously, and am at a 2.92 GPA (it should be a 3.0 by the end of this semester). I know this is a very low number and the possibility of being rejected at all schools is the only thing I see. The problem is that I do not want to wait a whole year to reapply, and am considering going to the Caribbean. I had looked into DO programs as well but given my GPA, even that seems blurry. I would like some advice on what I should do; its all so hard to consider because of my terrible decisions. Any words of support/advice would be so appreciated. Thank you all :)

You need to realize that the entire process is a marathon, and it may take a few years to get into a US medical school. If you can't wait for that long, you should consider a different career.

A low GPA can be salvaged through post bacc and SMP. A good MCAT can be acquired through hard work and efficient study plans. In any case, this isn't easy and you need to determine whether you are willing to spend the time and energy for grade repair and have a strong enough application to get into a US medical school.

Definitely don't go the Caribbean if you want to practice in US.
 
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