Nov 5, 2010
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So a little background on myself I'm 24 and have a BS in biology (cGPA 2.7) and an MBA in health service administration (GPA 3.3). I'm currently enrolled for a second biology bachelor's degree (I'm taking mostly advanced undergrad science courses). I have some experience working in a hospital but only for one semester and I was fired from a volunteer position at a hospital over the summer after only 1 month due to having a violent crime on my background check (I wasn't convicted and I have since had it expunged). My highest and last MCAT score was a 29R. The thing is I've been in school non-stop for quite some time now and am starting to get burned out with the constant school and applying (I've been to 4 schools so far for my undergraduate and that includes the one I'm currently attending. I've also applied for med school every year since my graduation in 2008).

The question is, if I am unable to matriculate into a school this year should I continue on to finish the second biology bachelor's? I was thinking about getting a job next year, possibly as a hospital admin. or admin. assistant, and taking a break from school (I will still continue to apply to med schools of course). Which would be a better course of action?

Summary:
BS in biology w/cGPA of 2.7
MBA in health service admin. w/GPA of 3.3
MCAT 29R
Working on second bachelor's (also biology and hopefully pulling cGPA to 3.0 at least)
 
Mar 31, 2010
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Have you thought about applying to DO schools? If you are getting a second bachelors in the same thing as your first (which is kind've weird imo) most, if not all of your classes could be considered retakes which would increase your gpa by a TON, as DO schools will take the new grade. I also think you should stop applying to med schools altogether until you have improved your application. It is pretty dumb to keep wasting money applying with the same application. Also, how old is your MCAT score? Most schools won't take it if it is more than 3 years old, so I would be aware of that. Also, why have you been to so many schools? It might be a concern that you have switched schools so much. Stay in one place, get some clinical experience, some non-clinical volunteering, some research, and most importantly get your grades up, and stop applying until you have done those things.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
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It might be easier to just retake a semester or 2 of classes and then apply broadly to DO next year. If not your main choice for MD is getting your gpa up to 3.0 and applying to SMP's.
 
OP
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Nov 5, 2010
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My MCAT score was from last September. I'm actually not taking any classes similar to the ones I had taken before. The first time I applied to schools was because I was misinformed on the probabilities of getting in with a low GPA and a somewhat mediocre MCAT score (I guess I was also a bit naive at the time as well). The second time I applied was because I had just finished the MBA and I thought that the GPA from the MBA would be helpful and improve my chances greatly as the GPA from that was much higher. I don't actually plan on finishing this second bachelor's. I found out that they average the undergraduate GPA along w/all post bacc work and thought this would be a good way to boost my GPA. All in all I've probably applied 3 times so far.

The reason I've been to so many schools for my undergraduate was mainly due to financial problems. The first school I went to was really expensive and I was only able to pay for 1 trimester before I ran out of money and ended up at a CC. From there I saved money up and finished my bachelor's at a state university. The second bachelor's is at a different school than the one I got my first one in because it was closer to home and easier on my finances. I have looked into DO schools but when I discussed this with my parents it was something that they frowned upon so from then on I never considered it an option.

If I don't matriculate this year I was planning on getting some clinical volunteer experience because I just got the letter of expungement last month and wasn't able to do anything before that because I would have gotten fired like before when the background check results came back. I have lots of non clinical volunteer experience though because I've been very active within my fraternity as philanthropy chair during my undergrad and currently as an alumni.

I was just wondering if it was a better idea to finish the second bachelor's even if it is in the same major or a different major as I could change it (financially I would have to figure out how to pay for the extra years; I have med school tuition already figured out it's just this period before that is constantly touch and go) or if it would be a better idea to go work in administrative side of the medical field for a bit. My applications are different every year as I always have different grades/degrees/MCAT scores from the previous year. I wasn't sure if taking a break and working would be looked down upon and if they would prefer me to just be in school.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
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Special masters programs. Its for people with high mcats and low gpa's.
 

TriagePreMed

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If you're tired from school, go rest. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking time off. Just do something productive.

Realistically speaking, I don't think you have a chance at US MD schools even if you crack a 3.0. Your MCAT is too low and your experiences are lacking extremely. I think an SMP would be a bad investment for you, but if you want to go that route, you need to crack at least a 32 and get a 3.0-3.2 in both cGPA and sGPA.

I don't think a second bachelors in Biology (when you have a Biology degree) will do much. Maybe switch to another related science like Biochemistry if you're that interested in a second degree.

If you are serious about being a doctor, go the DO route. Take advantage of the grade replacement policy. Is it more important for you to accomplish your dream or for your parents to momentarily feel disappointed? Would they rather you not be a doctor?
 

Catalystik

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Take a break from school and recharge your batteries. You aren't doing yourself any favors if you can't put a 100% academic effort into getting great grades so as to help adcomms overlook your earlier poor efforts. Many schools will give those of nontraditional age a break by giving less weight to early grades, so a few years in the working world may help you in that respect also.

BTW, you are not obliged to complete the second bachelors degree since you already have one. It is nice to be a candate for a degree when one is doing postbac work so as to get preference for class registration, though.

Stop applying to med schools every year until your application is the best it can be. You don't have enough clinical experience for your application to be appealing, even if your GPAs were in the competitive range, which they are not. I'm glad to see that you have plenty of nonmedical community service, but what about research, teaching, and leadership? What about physician shadowing?

What is your GPA so far for your current school?
 
OP
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I haven't finished my first semester at the new school yet but I did just have my midterms and I'm looking at about a 3.5.
 

Catalystik

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To put things into perspective (making some assumptions, like 120 credit hours for the first bachelors, and 16-18 hours per semester load now), if you got a 4.0 for one year while carrying a heavy courseload, you could break the uGPA 3.0 barrier with one year of effort. But if you only get a 3.5, it will take you at least two years.
 
OP
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If I finished the second bachelor's in biology would I be able to just submit that as my undergraduate and not send transcripts from my first undergrad? Say for example I got a 3.5 as a cGPA for my second bachelor's could I just use that GPA (I think the school will use some of my old undergrad classes as pre-reqs for graduation) or would I have to deal with the crap 2.7 I had from before no matter what I do? I mean would I be able to just use my second bachelor's as my one and only BS degree and just kind of ignore the first one as far as applying for schools are concerned?
 
OP
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I was also wondering if the MBA in health service administration (or MHSA whatever you want to call it) was a bad idea. Do schools look at that at all? I've heard of people doing masters in things like medical science or biology and being successful in matriculating. Would the MHSA be looked at the same as the other more specific post bacc masters programs or was that just a huge waste of my time?
 

Catalystik

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If I finished the second bachelor's in biology would I be able to just submit that as my undergraduate and not send transcripts from my first undergrad? Say for example I got a 3.5 as a cGPA for my second bachelor's could I just use that GPA (I think the school will use some of my old undergrad classes as pre-reqs for graduation) or would I have to deal with the crap 2.7 I had from before no matter what I do? I mean would I be able to just use my second bachelor's as my one and only BS degree and just kind of ignore the first one as far as applying for schools are concerned?
You are obliged to submit every transcript from every school attended. The application services have access to a database that can track that information so they know what transcripts to expect. Sorry, but you can't just "forget" the first GPA.

Do you know that the median cGPA for those applying to MD schools is 3.66. And the average for entering DO students is 3.48.
 

Catalystik

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I was also wondering if the MBA in health service administration (or MHSA whatever you want to call it) was a bad idea. Do schools look at that at all? I've heard of people doing masters in things like medical science or biology and being successful in matriculating. Would the MHSA be looked at the same as the other more specific post bacc masters programs or was that just a huge waste of my time?
The MBA will be considered as equal to a nice EC, but won't effect your acceptance to med schools. Even a science-heavy traditional masters degree is only rarely regarded, meaning most schools don't consider it. There are special programs like Masters in Biomedical Science and Special Masters Programs that do have an impact on one's competitiveness for med school. An SMP, for example, if completed with a high GPA, can override a low uGPA. To read more about these, see the Postbaccalaureate Programs Forum.
 
OP
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Nov 5, 2010
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Has anyone matriculated into a medical school with a nursing degree? How would that affect my application in terms of my undergraduate degree? In a sense I would be starting all over from scratch with the nursing degree. I know it may seem like I'm grasping at straws here and but I'm determined to get what I want and am willing to do anything within my power to fix my past mistakes. It just seems like everyone is telling me that I either go DO or I have an snowball's chance in hell. I'm grateful for all the help and everything but the idea that I can't do what I want in America, the land of opportunity, is just plain unacceptable for me.
 

Catalystik

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One can matriculate into med school with a BSN background, provided the prerequisites are completed too, and a competitive MCAT is obtained. All grades earned count.

Everyone is not telling you the only way to succeed is via DO or Caribbean. Your road to MD would be longer and more expensive, but it can be done, as has been alluded to in posts #3, 7, and 14.

Why not check out the Non-Trad Forum where you'll see posts from nurses wanting to transition into medicine. Read these forums widely and see how other students with low GPAs have eventually gotten MD acceptances.
 

TriagePreMed

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Everyone is not telling you the only way to succeed is via DO or Caribbean. Your road to MD would be longer and more expensive, but it can be done, as has been alluded to in posts #3, 7, and 14.
Agreed.

OP - I'm sorry if it sounded like I'm saying you have no chance for US MD. The thing is that the road to that is extremely steep. We are talking about 60 or so units with a 3.7 to get to that 3.0 range, getting a 32 MCAT, and an SMP. You have a better chance to go the DO route. 1 year of retakes could be enough to get you in the door, even with a 28 MCAT. You'll be a physician much sooner and for cheaper than attempting US MD. But if US MD is your dream, pursue it by all means.
 

HawaiiHereICome

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Has anyone matriculated into a medical school with a nursing degree? How would that affect my application in terms of my undergraduate degree? In a sense I would be starting all over from scratch with the nursing degree. I know it may seem like I'm grasping at straws here and but I'm determined to get what I want and am willing to do anything within my power to fix my past mistakes. It just seems like everyone is telling me that I either go DO or I have an snowball's chance in hell. I'm grateful for all the help and everything but the idea that I can't do what I want in America, the land of opportunity, is just plain unacceptable for me.
Not a snowball's chance. Here's some statistics regarding GPA,MCAT and corresponding acceptance rate just so you know what to expect:

https://www.aamc.org/data/facts/applicantmatriculant/157998/mcat-gpa-grid-by-selected-race-ethnicity.html

Regarding the BSN, will the majority of the courses be counted as part of his BCPM? Maybe a nursing major premed can chime in.
 
OP
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Nov 5, 2010
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Does anyone know if it's possible to go back to a school and retake say 1 class? It's really only one class from my first bachelor's that made my first cGPA so low. It was during a very bad semester for me and I guess I probably should have dropped more classes that semester than I did. But anyways would that be a somewhat more viable and shorter work around for the problem? It's just that I don't think I have the money to pay for another 60+ hrs of undergraduate studies to make up for that 1 F on my transcript.
 

Catalystik

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Does anyone know if it's possible to go back to a school and retake say 1 class? It's really only one class from my first bachelor's that made my first cGPA so low.
If you retake the class, for MD applications both grades are calculated into your application GPA. Even if the school "forgives" a grade when you retake, AMCAS still includes it according to their own rules.

It is only the DO application service that has a grade forgiveness policy when you retake. To invoke this policy, the retake need not be at the original school.
 

Catalystik

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Agreed.

OP - I'm sorry if it sounded like I'm saying you have no chance for US MD. The thing is that the road to that is extremely steep. We are talking about 60 or so units with a 3.7 to get to that 3.0 range, getting a 32 MCAT, and an SMP. You have a better chance to go the DO route. 1 year of retakes could be enough to get you in the door, even with a 28 MCAT. You'll be a physician much sooner and for cheaper than attempting US MD. But if US MD is your dream, pursue it by all means.
I doubt a year of retakes would help much. Adcoms wont be impressed by a 3.2 or 3.3 if you had to take most of the classes twice. A couple of retakes and as many upper division science classes as you can handle might show that you can handle med school. Carrib is a bad choice. It was a bad choice 5 years ago, its worse now. And its getting much worse for reasons that i'm too tired to go into now. If you want to be a physician go DO. As far pursuing your dream, thats great if time and money arent an issue. But honestly there are just way too many qualified applicants. Why dont you want to go DO? Have you researched this option?
 

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I doubt a year of retakes would help much. Adcoms wont be impressed by a 3.2 or 3.3 if you had to take most of the classes twice. A couple of retakes and as many upper division science classes as you can handle might show that you can handle med school. Carrib is a bad choice. It was a bad choice 5 years ago, its worse now. And its getting much worse for reasons that i'm too tired to go into now. If you want to be a physician go DO. As far pursuing your dream, thats great if time and money arent an issue. But honestly there are just way too many qualified applicants. Why dont you want to go DO? Have you researched this option?
I have to disagree with you on this case. Normally I agree a bunch of re-takes is bad because there's nothing impressive with doing a class twice. In his case, he has an MBA and probably some life experience. Those retakes can show that he's serious about his application, and with the 29 MCAT, he could be a decent contender for most DO schools.
 
OP
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Nov 5, 2010
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OK so I've gone ahead and taken some of the advice here and changed my major to Environmental Studies. Some more recent data.

My most recent MCAT was a 28T (I've been averaging 29-28 R/T)
My current cumulative GPA as calculated by the DO school application website is: 2.93 (my science GPA is pretty low 2.39; I know the reason for this I had failed a class a couple of years back during my first bachelors and am not currently enrolled at that university as my second one is from a different school so I don't really have plans to retake that one class because there are no equivalent courses that I know of)

I have pretty much decided that DO would be the most logical route at this point but don't want to waste the money on the application if the calculated GPA is too low. I still have 2-3 semesters left in the new major. I'm pretty sure it's possible for the last few semester to push the cumulative up past 3.0.

My main question: "Is the GPA too low and should I wait for the degree to be finished before re-applying?"

Additionally a question on the SMP: "Do they take a cumulative GPA like the medical schools do or just the last undergraduate GPA?" My GPA at the second school is much higher and definitely breaks the 3.0 barrier if it is not averaged with my GPA from the first school. If they do not take a cumulative GPA would it be beneficial to look into an SMP?
 

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So your MCAT actually went down on a second take? That's not good, although not completely destructive since it was just one point. If you're serious about the better schools, you'll need about a 3.4/3.3 to get decent consideration. I would recommend you apply to newer schools where the 28 will bring some attention. As it stands now, even the 2.9 might land you into one of the 3 new ones, if you're not screened out by the automatic cutoffs.

OK so I've gone ahead and taken some of the advice here and changed my major to Environmental Studies. Some more recent data.

My most recent MCAT was a 28T (I've been averaging 29-28 R/T)
My current cumulative GPA as calculated by the DO school application website is: 2.93 (my science GPA is pretty low 2.39; I know the reason for this I had failed a class a couple of years back during my first bachelors and am not currently enrolled at that university as my second one is from a different school so I don't really have plans to retake that one class because there are no equivalent courses that I know of)

I have pretty much decided that DO would be the most logical route at this point but don't want to waste the money on the application if the calculated GPA is too low. I still have 2-3 semesters left in the new major. I'm pretty sure it's possible for the last few semester to push the cumulative up past 3.0.

My main question: "Is the GPA too low and should I wait for the degree to be finished before re-applying?"

Additionally a question on the SMP: "Do they take a cumulative GPA like the medical schools do or just the last undergraduate GPA?" My GPA at the second school is much higher and definitely breaks the 3.0 barrier if it is not averaged with my GPA from the first school. If they do not take a cumulative GPA would it be beneficial to look into an SMP?
 

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So a little background on myself I'm 24 and have a BS in biology (cGPA 2.7) and an MBA in health service administration (GPA 3.3). I'm currently enrolled for a second biology bachelor's degree (I'm taking mostly advanced undergrad science courses). I have some experience working in a hospital but only for one semester and I was fired from a volunteer position at a hospital over the summer after only 1 month due to having a violent crime on my background check (I wasn't convicted and I have since had it expunged). My highest and last MCAT score was a 29R. The thing is I've been in school non-stop for quite some time now and am starting to get burned out with the constant school and applying (I've been to 4 schools so far for my undergraduate and that includes the one I'm currently attending. I've also applied for med school every year since my graduation in 2008).

The question is, if I am unable to matriculate into a school this year should I continue on to finish the second biology bachelor's? I was thinking about getting a job next year, possibly as a hospital admin. or admin. assistant, and taking a break from school (I will still continue to apply to med schools of course). Which would be a better course of action?

Summary:
BS in biology w/cGPA of 2.7
MBA in health service admin. w/GPA of 3.3
MCAT 29R
Working on second bachelor's (also biology and hopefully pulling cGPA to 3.0 at least)

It's hard to give advice without knowing your home situation but I'd definitely take the advice of a DO route, but, your mcat's are pretty high. Find a good guidance counseler, and perhaps a local community college could transfer some credits towards your second bachelors to help boost your GPA? Not sure....sometimes local community colleges are excellent resources and I'm not sure a second bachelors is necessary. I'd apply through whatever application program you need to for your schools, and see how they calculate your GPA. It may turn out higher than you think.

Don't sweat it man. As long as you weren't convicted, in the end it's all good. I was convicted for a class C misdemeanor on a motorcycle violation that's been following me around like a bitch. Stay straight and peace in the middle east.