robo

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Hey, guys. I wanted to thank you for your help and support - I posted once before about switching physics classes, and you guys really helped me deal with the stressful situation. :love::thumbup:

So about halfway through this semester, I decided to bite the bullet and do what I could to end up in an MSTP somewhere. Unfortunately, I think at that point, my GPA was well bumbled. If my GPA stays stable (and I hope, hope it doesn't go down - some of my finals were downright mournful) - it'll be hovering at about a 2.8 this year. :rolleyes:

Ruh-roh. And I know it's my freshman year, and plenty of people bumble their freshman year...but the problem is, this year, I took biology, chemistry, physics, and math. My major's microbiology and so it's not like I'll have a shortage of science courses to take, but still, the fact that I ended up fudging the core classes is a little disconcerting.

Next year, I anticipate getting my grades up because I'll actually get to start my major, and that's something I'm really looking forward to. There's orgo :)scared:), but I think that I can handle that one last prerequisite because I'll be surrounded with interesting courses, if that makes sense.

Beyond the obvious areas for improvement such as more efficient studying, is there anything else I can do to offset this, such as ECs or something like that?

Thanks!

-robo
 

ohhowiwish

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Did you ever consider spacing out your core science courses so you actually had a chance to do well in them? Your GPA is very important if you're still considering an MSTP, and there are already plenty of people with superb GPAs and MCATs that are rejected every year. Your GPA and MCAT are absolutely crucial for the MSTP program and you have the wrong mindset if you're thinking about taking up ECs to offset a bad GPA. I think you need to take a step back. It's your first year and you're trying to cram all your core courses and right now it's not working so space out your science classes and study hard. You still have time but you need to start getting serious. Also, the most important "EC" if you're thinking about the MSTP program is research. If you start doing meaningful research early this could help you understand the concepts in your courses as well.
 
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robo

robo

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If I knew what I know now, I would definitely space out my core courses more. It was kind of stupid to take them all at once, especially while adjusting to college. It's too late to change that now, though. :\

Regarding research, I'm actually going to begin to shadow a lab this summer, and I'll probably work there for credit this summer and I hope to continue into the school year.

It must sound monumentally inane to suggest that ECs can offset a bad GPA, but I was just asking, aside from more efficient studying and research, if there was anything else I could do to strengthen my app.

Thanks for your response, though!
 

Neuronix

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I hate to be rude but sometimes you have to be... We had a discussion a few months ago:

http://drslounge.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=504816

Remember what I said:

Protect your GPA. If you flubbed the first exam, get out of the course if possible (W or not) and look for another option. Above all else protect your GPA. Adcoms will never know or care what "level" or difficulty of a course you took. They rarely even look at your transcripts, and if they do in minimal detail. They will almost entirely care about that number. A W or 2 on your transcript, especially this early in college, will NOT hurt you at all.

How many credits are you taking? Consider taking a lighter courseload in the future. Keep your GPA as close to a 4.0 as possible. Adcoms won't care how many credit hours you took per semester, unless in some extreme case you weren't full time and took a long time to graduate.

DO NOT feel like a wimp, let foolish pride, or bad advice get involved in this. If you want to go MD or MD/PhD someday if you take the course of action I'm telling you, this will not hurt you. If you get 2 Cs this semester and continue to take hard courses for no good reason, you will dig yourself a hole that you will fight to get out of the rest of undergrad.

BTW, you're a microbiology major. Yeah, I'm sure hardcore math and physics interests you or something, but if you don't need them for your major. DITCH! If anyone ever asks you just tell them it turned out you wanted to focus more on Biology. High level physics and math are NOT required for MD/PhD or medical school and again because adcoms never really look at your transcripts anyways, nobody will ever care even if you did get As in them.
Did you take my advice? It doesn't sound like it. Now it's too late. What are you thinking? This is somehow not a big deal and you can just do something to make up for it? Your GPA is the #1 most important thing in applying to medical school. There is nothing that offsets it. The average GPA for an accepted MD/PhD student is ~3.8. What are you doing that causes you to get such low grades? People don't just go from Cs to As overnight. You need to make serious changes to your life and your coursework if you want to get straight As next year, which you're pretty much going to have to do at this point.

Like I said, I hate to be harsh, but if you keep that up forget about medical school.

Edit: In case you don't believe me, see this very recent post: http://drslounge.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=6675996&postcount=11. This person had a 4.0 Master's GPA, lots of research, a decent MCAT score, a 3.0 undergrad GPA. You can't just make up for a bad GPA.
 

xanthines

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The answer is no.

You still have three years of college left, right? That's plenty of time to raise your GPA if you get your butt in gear. If you really want MD/PhD I'd say just concentrate like heck on school and get a good GPA. You can always take a year or two to get some research experience and study for the MCAT (if necessary).

Your GPA is the only thing you're setting in stone right now. You can ostensibly fix everything else later.

-X

Beyond the obvious areas for improvement such as more efficient studying, is there anything else I can do to offset this, such as ECs or something like that?

-robo
 
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robo

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I hate to be rude but sometimes you have to be... We had a discussion a few months ago:

http://drslounge.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=504816

Remember what I said:



Did you take my advice? It doesn't sound like it. Now it's too late. What are you thinking? This is somehow not a big deal and you can just do something to make up for it? Your GPA is the #1 most important thing in applying to medical school. There is nothing that offsets it. The average GPA for an accepted MD/PhD student is ~3.8. What are you doing that causes you to get such low grades? People don't just go from Cs to As overnight. You need to make serious changes to your life and your coursework if you want to get straight As next year, which you're pretty much going to have to do at this point.

Like I said, I hate to be harsh, but if you keep that up forget about medical school.

Edit: In case you don't believe me, see this very recent post: http://drslounge.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=6675996&postcount=11. This person had a 4.0 Master's GPA, lots of research, a decent MCAT score, a 3.0 undergrad GPA. You can't just make up for a bad GPA.
I actually did end up dropping that physics course and taking on an easier course. By the time I worked it out, I think that was the only option for a passing withdrawal (we had a very late first exam). I also withdrew (W) from the calc-based statistics course, so I tried to follow your and other people's advice as best I could. I felt like I was doing better this semester, and I did improve my grades in several subjects, especially chemistry. I guess I freaked out after the physics and math finals - I have no idea how I did on them, but I guess we'll see. :(

Thanks for the reality check, though. I guess I needed it.
 

gstrub

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My 1st year GPA was a 2.7, I graduated with a 3.4, did a masters degree, and presto.

It can be done. I hope you got a lot of partying out of the way your first year (that was my downfall).
Good luck.
 

linuxizer

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You're not totally sunk. Just nail the rest of college and your MCATs. I realize it's not an easy thing to do, but you just have to do it. I found my first semester (3.2) to be a huge motivating factor for the rest of college. They'll get your grades by year, so if it really is limited to freshman year you can do very well if you have a 3.6+ overall GPA and a killer MCAT.

--Ari