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Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by stayclassy, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. stayclassy

    stayclassy nice shoes, wanna palpate
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    so here's my deal:

    I'm a decent applicant = 28P, 3.5 gpa, 3.4 science gpa - As and Bs in all the core classes. I have a huge assortment of ECs (not an understatement), my letters are decent, not AMAZING though (committee letter, + 1 bio, 1 non-sci, 2 DRs). very charismatic person and i feel that if I got an interview anywhere that I would get into the school (excuse my lack of humility :p )

    here's why im a slacker:
    i submitted my AMCAS late, sometime in late Aug/early Sept. I got secondaries from every school I listed on my AMCAS (like 12 schools) in early/mid-October. I submitted a few secondaries (jefferson/vermont/nymc) in late Oct and submitted some others during the Thanksgiving break. I still have secondaries I havent completed (UF, UM, Morehouse). Should I even bother at this point and waste the money? I realize that I waited wayyy too long to do my AMCAS, and even longer to do my secondaries.

    My idea now is to plan to apply for the class of 2010. I would take a MCAT class next semester and try to get my score up (didnt take a class first time, kinda winged it), start a Masters in Public Health (didnt know what else to do), possibly get a teaching job on campus (teaching Speech or TAing a lab), and turn in my AMCAS/secondaries at the earliest dates.

    Could anyone give me some feedback?

    Thanks so much

    ps please dont judge me haha. im actually just really, really involved on campus and haven't had the motivation/made the time for my applications.
     
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  3. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
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    Well, at least you're honest and realistic :)

    Isn't it past the due date for the remainder of your secondaries anyways? I thought 12/1 was the deadline for most of the latest schools. If it's actually still before their deadline, I figure you might as well send them off since you've already committed your primary fee. But I think you are wise to start thinking about your plan B... no offense, but you'd be much more competitive with a higher MCAT and a June/July submission. If your ECs are as extensive as you say, then I think you stand a reasonable shot for next cycle, especially if you can knock your grades out of the park these last couple of semesters to bring them up a bit.
     
  4. mp1106

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    Wait and see what happen. Don't stress yourself out at this point in the game. Follow through with your back up plans and relax. Hey you never know what will happen.

    Good luck
     
  5. stayclassy

    stayclassy nice shoes, wanna palpate
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    thanks for the advice, cheers
     
  6. stayclassy

    stayclassy nice shoes, wanna palpate
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    USF has a 1-year masters in a couple various medical science fields that I'm looking at - will probably take that route
     
  7. speedyk

    speedyk Junior Member
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    With respect, you are not a "decent" applicant. Your GPA and MCAT are both below average for students admitted to MD programs and you are submitting materials very late in the game. I wouldn't bother submitting anymore secondaries unless you are a resident of a state (such as GA) which has state schools with lower admissions standards.

    I wouldn't do an MPH simply because you have "nothing to do." You should definitely focus on the MCAT. Take it in April, and submit in your AMCAS in June. If you can get a 31-32 MCAT score, a 3.5 will be okay. Since you will be judged as a reapplicant, you should add a couple new ECs. Get a job (preferably something in research) and study for the MCAT instead of wasting your time with an MPH.

    And make sure this is really what you want to do. If you can't even find the motivation to do paperwork to get into med school, you might be in big trouble down the road. Maybe you are subconsciously delaying getting your applications done because you are unsure about med school? Good luck.
     
  8. GoSpursGo

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    :thumbdown: on the psychoanalysis. Your opinion that he shouldn't bother sending in the secondaries at this point is a valid one (that I don't happen to agree with, but still reasonable), but you should have left it at that.

    I do agree that starting an MPH without the intention of finishing it seems like a bad idea; do it if you actually want the degree, but not just for the point of doing something. Get a job and put away some money to help fund med school when you finally get there; if you can get a research job at a med school to get your foot in the door, even better.
     
  9. stayclassy

    stayclassy nice shoes, wanna palpate
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    i do agree with some of your sentiments. after talking to a close advisor of mine today, she suggested that i also subconsciously might not have wanted to go to medical school. in reality, i just had a lot of others things going on and put the applications aside, which probably means that right now isnt the right time for me.

    As far as what im doing now, i plan on taking an MCAT course from Jan to March and re-taking the MCAT in April. I am also going to finish my bachelors next semester (only have to take one class) with some meaningful electives, and i am applying to a hospital internship.

    In regards to the MPH, i have decided against that route and am seriously looking into both USF and Tulane's accelerated masters programs. I think a masters would be a meaningful choice, esp. these programs where I could actually apply again next year and do something in the meantime.

    The only concern I have now would be funding medical school and the masters. I dont have a job currently and have no idea how I could go about getting a job in research.

    Thats pretty much where I stand now.

    I appreciate the replies from everyone who has, and welcome any criticism
     
  10. Handy388

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    just a word of caution, even if you are extrmeley charismatic, you may still fail some interviews simply due to the person across you not liking what you have to offer on paper.
     
  11. stayclassy

    stayclassy nice shoes, wanna palpate
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    touche' - i had mentioned that because I simply wanted to touch on the fact that I don't think I would have a problem with the environment or stress of the interview.
     
  12. Mobius1985

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    Getting a masters degree will not improve your undergrad GPA, by which you'd be primarily judged during med school application screening. Why not take another year of undergrad, upper-level science classes to raise your GPA and prove to adcomms you have what it takes to do well in their curriculum? A science-intense masters degree would be a second choice. An MPH would not help you in any way, so I'm glad you decided against it.

    Maybe you can get some more enthusiastic Letters of Recomendation from one of these routes.
     
  13. stayclassy

    stayclassy nice shoes, wanna palpate
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    I know what you're saying but as far as undergrad degree goes, I cant imagine many more classes to take at this most that would improve my science GPA (the only classes I haven't taken off the top of my head would be epidemiology, endocrin, and infectious diseases)

    I have been looking at SMPs now, specifically USF's, Tulane's and Georgetown's. I am leaning toward Tulane's above all. I think doing the SMP at Tulane and maintaining a good GPA in the program whilst getting my MCAT score up would be the best route of travel.

    My main concern is that I'd really like to reapply in 2009 for the 2009-2010 app cycle. I don't know how the best way to do that would be other than going to a meaningful medically-directed masters program.

    Off topic: Does Speech count as a humanities course? What are some meaningful humanities courses?
     
  14. MeatTornado

    MeatTornado On Sabbatical
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    I don't know why but you seem to have this inherent bias against getting an MPH. You've even equated it with an EC in other threads. Do you have any evidence to back up any of this??
     
  15. Mobius1985

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    My bias isn't against getting an MPH, it's against using an MPH to redeem a poor undergrad GPA.

    I am passing on information read in other parts of SDN, like the Mentor Forum, where participating adcomm members say low uGPAs need science-oriented masters programs to prove they can do med school-type academics: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=410718 is one example at #476.

    Here is a non-trad thread on the topic. njbmd in post #3 is an adcomm member: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=545283

    In pre-Allo, LizzyM, another adcomm member often posts. See #15 of http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=566498
     
    #14 Mobius1985, Dec 5, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  16. Mobius1985

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    Medical Ethics
     
  17. MeatTornado

    MeatTornado On Sabbatical
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    post 476 in the first thread says nothing about an MPH degree at all

    as for the next two...i completely agree that for applicants with a very low gpa (<3.0 these cases) MPH is definitely not the way to go

    but OP has a 3.5 GPA and isn't in desperate need of a GPA boost only an MCAT boost. It's just that i've noticed you taking this anti MPH stance to a fanatical degree in some of the other threads and whatever you're showing me here in no way reflects the advice you've been giving.

    As far as master's programs go the MPH is by far one of the most relevant to the medical profession. I think people on this board are completely blinded by GPA and think that if academic coursework isn't improving your GPA then it isn't worth it. This notion is completely flawed....people can take classes out of interest and admissions committees can recognize someone who is showing a genuine interest in medicine rather than just an interest in getting into med school.
     
  18. Mobius1985

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    I feel my opinion reflects that of adcomm members who post on SDN.

    I feel that one should get an MPH if one is interested in it, and not to buff up a lackluster application, or to fill in empty time. The OP stated he considered an MPH because (s)he "didn't know what else to do". From your comments, I doubt you'd have agreed with that motivation either. I'm glad that a passion for the subject was your reason for entering that field of study.
     
  19. stayclassy

    stayclassy nice shoes, wanna palpate
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    mobius is right - i name-dropped MPH because I hadnt known about other programs yet and it was just an idea I had heard thrown around. I haven't been on these forums more than a week when I made this post, so after a little research I realized that maybe a SMP would be more beneficial to me at this point as far as placement into a better medical school goes. I think the main downfall to my application would be my LORs and obviously MCAT score. I plan on taking a course next semester to bring up the MCAT and taking some humanities courses to get a LOR from humanities
     
  20. MeatTornado

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    I agree with you here, i don't think OP should pursue an MPH. He also wants to apply this coming cycle and an MPH is 2 years.

    I also don't think OP should do an SMP or any graduate work for that matter. At a SMP you'll be competing against cut throat premeds who are desperately trying to make up for their terrible GPAs and you'll either have to work your ass off to do decently or you'll just end up with ~3.5 there too. It's also expensive and doesn't give you any extra credentials at all later in life. Your best bet is to find a healthcare related job.
     
  21. stayclassy

    stayclassy nice shoes, wanna palpate
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    Do you have any suggestions as far as those types of jobs go?
     
  22. Handy388

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    of course that statement merely suggest that you are comfortable at interviews.
     
  23. Mobius1985

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    If you already have tons of clinical experience (not counting the upcoming hospital internship), you might be better off aiming for a research position, as previously suggested, if you don't have that experience yet. You didn't really comment much on the rest of your application for us to have a feel of where you're lacking. If you have minimal clinical experience, consider a job as an ER scribe, where you'd be shadowing a doc, writing down their words, and getting an up-close-and-personal view of medicine while being paid.

    I would echo that you don't need a masters program considering your GPA is 3.5, but I feel you would benefit by taking more upper-level science next semester (epidemiology, endocrine, or infectious disease are fine) to boost your science GPA of 3.4 (must get an A), before graduating, and consider taking an additional undergrad class each semester (while working or doing research, wherever you live) to continue demonstrating you have a strong ability with science-intense classes (only getting As).

    What will the upcoming hospital internship entail? How many hours/week?
     
  24. stayclassy

    stayclassy nice shoes, wanna palpate
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    My concern is I don't see how taking additional science courses will help my cause - if I took endocrin, epidem, etc. would these affect my BCPM GPA (3.4)?

    As far as weak points in my application go, I have very little research experience. My clinical experience is lackluster, it basically consists of 4 doctors I've shadowed but no hospital volunteering or anything like that (which is why I'm applying to this hospital internship program). To touch on the hospital internship, there are 2 routes. The first consists of shadowing a family practice physician/resident in the hospital, one morning a week from 8-1p from jan. to apr. The other is a private medical practitioner internship which is 4-5 hours a week with a specialist physician. I was leaning toward the family practice internship because I know admissions boards like to see that sort of involvement.

    Maybe the most useful thing to do would be to strengthen my research, but to be completely honest, i despise doing research. I dont know how to alleviate this problem either (other than suck it up and sit in a lab for 20+ hours a week).

    If I had to go from strongest to weakest points of my application, i suppose it would roughly be:

    ECs
    GPA
    LOR/clinical exp.
    MCAT
    Research
     
  25. Mobius1985

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    1) You could check on the AMCAS website (I think you have to create a password and sign in to have access to what courses fall under the BCPM umbrella) to assure that those classes would count as bio. Maybe epidemiology won't depending on what the course is about, but I'm pretty sure the other two do. Refresh yourself on the course description before checking. If in doubt, call AMCAS and ask. Additional science courses will help you because your BCPM GPA is only 3.4.

    2) Your clinical experience needs to be strong, whether by job, classroom requirement, or volunteerism. It is an essential ingredient of your application. The internship sounds great. Try to get some hands on involvement while you are with the resident: take notes, run things to the lab or other errands, provide hands to grip during an uncomfortable procedure, etc. It would be good if you could turn it into more than another shadowing experience, but the resident will need to get to know you before you can do these things. Let the doc know your goals for being in the program. Interacting with sick people is more important than shadowing.

    3) Research is elective, but need not be bench research, or even science, as long as it increases human knowledge in a scholarly manner. Clinical research in an ER where you interact with patients to get data might be something you could tolerate, and it would double count as clinical interaction, too. Maybe the internship will get you some contacts with folks who are doing this sort of thing.
     
  26. MeatTornado

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    epidemiology does not count as BCPM...it is categorized as "Health"

    the internship sounds great but you need something that fills alot more time than that! you really need to find a healthcare related job and work on your MCAT score.
     
  27. stayclassy

    stayclassy nice shoes, wanna palpate
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    mobius and skinMD thanks for the words. I am just really confused as to what to do right now - I guess my main motivation for doing a SMP was the feeling that if I did one, I would be in a good position to matriculate into a higher tier medical school. If there are other ways to do that, I would definitely be open to exploring those avenues. The other advantage of an SMP is a lot of interaction with other students/professors who could be useful to me.

    As far as the jobs you mentioned, it's really competitive where I live to obtain jobs like that. I guess the best way to go about doing that would be through the internship maybe? Ideally, I'd love to secure a medically-related job for next semester so I dont even have to bother with the internship.

    Lastly, could you expand a little on the clinical research thing? Although my school offers a lot of research opportunities, they are heavily science/lab research focused so I dont know too much about this avenue.
     
  28. stayclassy

    stayclassy nice shoes, wanna palpate
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    Just for all the haters in this thread, i re-applied with a 29, 3.5/3.4, and 6 months full-time of a paid ER job and have received 3 interviews. I just applied a lot earlier this time. Don't let other people bring you down! Thanks for the advice people gave me on this thread also, although i dont took any of it
     
    #27 stayclassy, Sep 24, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  29. Baller MD

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    Cool. Good job.
     

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