imabitlost

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Well, a few years ago I started to get everything together. Prior to this however I really had no direction, I would just take any science course that was available, and my grades show. I now have 163 credits and have worked my way up to a 2.5GPA. (technically I have graduated, twice, but never applied for a diploma for fear of not being admitted back) Raising my GPA, with this many credits is incredibly frustrating. I can however attain a 36 in my practice books. I know my actual score will be lower, and I do not want to take the MCAT or a class yet because Ive been trying to bring my grades up first. Perhaps all this work is futile and I should just take my diplomas and go home. I dont know what to do and any advice would be appreciated.
 

brianmartin

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Options for people with sub 3.0 GPA are to either retake classes you did bad in and apply to DO schools (because they look at the newer grade), or apply to a special master's program. Sub 3.0 GPA is not high enough for MD schools. Provided you have a good MCAT, you could easily get into a SMP though.
 

MilkmanAl

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With so many credits, retaking classes you got poor grades in and applying to DO schools is your best bet. That GPA won't budge enough to make a difference if you just keep taking classes, and a SMP won't make up for it.
 

scottyT

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DO with a 2.5? Good luck with that one.
I think the poster meant copious retakes, then maybe DO.


OP, this may be a gargantuan task. You need to put all your grades into a spreadsheet and figure out exactly how much work it's going to take to get to 3.0, which is only marginally competitive. If you replace, say, 18 hours of D's and 18 hours of C's with all A's, then your GPA will rise to 3.0. It's possible to bring it up to 3.0 with grade replacement, but only with a ton of work. It's nearly impossible to bring it up without grade replacement, that would take nearly a whole new degree.

Do you think you have the funds and time to continue taking class after class with the nebulous hope of becoming a US-trained physician? What about your stamina and drive? Do you think you can take full courseloads and do well now? Your good practice MCAT scores will unfortunately not overcome a poor GPA. The average entering GPA for a DO was about 3.5 last year.

:luck:
 

dragonfly99

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You can try
a) DO after retaking the main science classes where you got less than a B
b) or go to the Caribbean
I don't see potential for a US MD here because your grades are just too low, regardless of how you do from now on. I also think getting in to a DO school will be quite hard, but perhaps not impossible. They won't take you until the GPA is >3.0 I would think, and even then it might be tough.
Staying in undergrad for so long with poor grades and without getting a degree is also a warning flag in your application. What else do you want to do with your life besides medicine, and what are you good at? You need to get yourself an undergraduate degree...not doing so doesn't make your GPA magically better. Also, med schools don't just want someone directionless. What fired you up besides medicine, and/or the idea of being a doctor? I had worked in a science research lab x 3 years prior to starting med school, been an athlete, written for the college newspaper, etc.

What else have you done to make sure a health care career is for you? Other work or volunteer experience related to health care?

How are you getting the money to pay for 6 years of school? Are you already in big time student debt?

Do you think you could stomach the rigors of med school if you can't keep a 3.5 in undergrad?

These are all important questions.
 

fiznat

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Dont get discouraged before you start. These things are never impossible, they just become increasingly difficult. You are going to have to weigh your desire to go to medical school (and that includes against the rest of your life) with the sacrifice required to get in and finish. How old are you? Are you in a position in your life where the benefit will justify the cost? How badly do you really want this?

Looking at what you've said thus far, I don't think I'd waste any more time or money on this undergrad stuff. Graduate and start working towards the next thing. Set up barriers of time and accomplishment between your undergraduate work and "what you are really capable of." Right now you are muddling in your old work. Move on and up, and think real hard about what you want while you're doing it.
 
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imabitlost

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I really have no Fs and only two Ds, and thats where I feel lost. A lot of people it seems have a smattering of As and Fs that bring down their GPA so they can just retake the class, and the replacement grades help. I just have a lot of Cs, and then an upward trend for the last semesters. The best thing I have going for me is that half my time here I have also done work/research in the physiology lab.

It seems some people think that I should bring my GPA up before graduation, because despite what I accomplish in graduate/postbac/SMP nothing will make up for it. While others think that I should forget about it, move on and get stellar grades in grad school and match the MCAT and Ill be in. I know I can handle the grad school work because thats what I have been doing the last few semesters. My grades have been on a sharp upward trend while taking higher level (300-500 only) courses. I understand both views on this, but I dont know which one to run with, and thats really what Im looking for.

I honestly dont know very much about an SMP. Its something I just heard of here. I know its not total redemption, and that with my grades it will still be difficult (impossible?) to be accepted into an SMP, but would it be a better choice than grad school?

I have no issue accepting a DO or overseas school.

As far as finances and obligations are concerned. Im 25, I have zero debt and a substantial amount of savings. I do not have any child or SO or any real career path at the moment so I am able to up and leave at a moments notice without a problem.

Thank you, I really appreciate all your advice and direction.
 

aliDO

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with a 36 MCAT you could probably get right into a Carib school. I don't really know much about them though. Anyway, I graduated in 2006 with a 2.5. I did a year and a half of informal post bacc work with a 3.8 (with about five retakes and upper level courses) and raised my gpa to a 3.16. I didn't have as many hours as you (around 126). I did not do well on the MCAT (23) and have been accepted to multiple DO schools. So, basically, it is possible. Retakes, retakes, retakes! My interviewers didn't even notice them. They don't have enough time to look at everything so just get those numbers up there!
 

sylvanthus

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Op- I had a 2.6 after about 80 credits and managed to pull it up to a 3.45 with retakes and got in to both schools that I interviewed at (I had 6 interviews set up). I also had 14 withdrawls....So, if you put in the time and are really dedicated I think you can do it.

But, I think you will need to do real well on the MCAT (I had a 36 and think that helped my cause).

Best of luck.
 
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meeneh

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I have cliche advice for you, but I think it's important that you hear it. Yes, med schools expect wonderful grades and MCAT scores. But, if you made mistakes in the past and overcame them by having a solid few years of upper division science classes, did well on MCAT and show that you are truly dedicated and medicine is what you want to do, why wouldn't you have a chance? It's not necessarily going to be easy, but you will be promising. Show them who you are through your letter and make sure you have a few years of astonishing grades (as i previously stated) and you did all you could at this point.

There are also other options like caribbean schools and Osteopathic medicine. Although, I don't think that one should go into osteopathic medicine because allopathic medicine didn't work out. Osteopathic medicine has a great medical philosophy and you should truly appreciate it if you chose to pursue a DO.

GOOD LUCK and don't put yourself down. Keep your head high and do your best. Then you'll know if you have a chance or not.
 

aunt ethel

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I was admitted to a US MD program with a cumulative GPA of 2.9. with a BCPM of 2.8 (Granted, my post-bacc was about 3.9) and I had a lot of experience, but it is possible with less than a 3.0.
 

Excelsius

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I was admitted to a US MD program with a cumulative GPA of 2.9. with a BCPM of 2.8 (Granted, my post-bacc was about 3.9) and I had a lot of experience, but it is possible with less than a 3.0.
Wow. That's probably the lowest MD stats I have seen (usually either cGPA or BCPM are above 3.0). Could you elaborate on your MCAT, number of post-bacc units completed, ~rank of undergrad, and whether you are Caucasian/Asian? Also, did you have exceptional ECs (like saving a baby in Africa)? To how many schools did you apply and how many acceptances did you get? You definitely need an mdapps profile.
 
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fahimaz7

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The difference between 80 credits and 160 is a lifetime of effort. Retakes are great... but AAMC is still going to calculate your D in Organic Chemistry and the A that you were able to replace it with as two separate classes.

Even with 120 hours taken, you can't get a 2.6 to a 3.1 (40 hours of a 4.0 would yield an AAMC GPA of a 3.06).

Bringing grades up is a bitch and with 160 hours he's in a for a heap of trouble.



Op- I had a 2.6 after about 80 credits and managed to pull it up to a 3.45 with retakes and got in to both schools that I interviewed at (I had 6 interviews set up). I also had 14 withdrawls....So, if you put in the time and are really dedicated I think you can do it.

But, I think you will need to do real well on the MCAT (I had a 36 and think that helped my cause).

Best of luck.
 

notdeadyet

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It seems some people think that I should bring my GPA up before graduation, because despite what I accomplish in graduate/postbac/SMP nothing will make up for it.
True. If your undergrad GPA is too low to make a first screen, you're dead in the water and they'll never see the rest of your app.
While others think that I should forget about it, move on and get stellar grades in grad school and match the MCAT and Ill be in.
Bad advice. Think of a strong grad school record as a great EC. That's it. It will make a good applicant look better, but it does not compensate for a bad undergrad performance. It is very rare to get someone with a low grad GPA, so the grades don't carry much weight. That is why your application is automatically broken down into UG and Grad GPA.

Retake as many classes as you can stomach and apply to DO schools. If you aren't fussy, there are many DO schools that you have a shot at with a sub-3.0 GPA and strong MCAT.

Go Carrib as a very last resort. DO >>>> foreign MD for the sake of getting into a residency.
 

craniopage

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I was admitted to a US MD program with a cumulative GPA of 2.9. with a BCPM of 2.8 (Granted, my post-bacc was about 3.9) and I had a lot of experience, but it is possible with less than a 3.0.
Aunt Ethel, how did you do it?? Inquiring minds need to know your story! Just knowing you got into U of W -- and huge congratulations to you, BTW -- is so, so encouraging to me (3.05/2.92 before post-bacc).
 

Perrotfish

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Your options as I see them:

1) Get your GPA up to at least a 2.75, get your 36, apply to an (ideally high linkage) SMP, do spectacularly well, go to medical school

2) Retake your Fs, Ds, and Cs until you a have at least a 3.2 (with grade replacement), get your 36, show a strong interest in the DO philosophy, apply DO, go to medical school

3) Get your 36, go to the Carribean, and I mean right now (you might be able to start this fall, spring at the latest). A big chunk of their classes either fail out or fail to get residencies, though, so I hope you corrected whatever your problem was.

4) Find another career. Seriously Really, this is a good job but is it really worth the hassle?

I was in more or less the exact same situation but with a somewhat higher GPA. I went with option 1. In your case... I'd say option 3. It's expensive and risky but you'd need to take so much Undergrad to get in any other way it might work out to be your cheapest option, not even counting in potential lost income as a physician. If you work hard and don't fail anything you could be a real US liscenced physician in less than 4 years (make sure you go to one of the big 4 schools, the other ones don't get you the right to practice in the US). The question is, have you really corrected your origional problem?
 

aunt ethel

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Aunt Ethel, how did you do it?? Inquiring minds need to know your story! Just knowing you got into U of W -- and huge congratulations to you, BTW -- is so, so encouraging to me (3.05/2.92 before post-bacc).
First, let me tell you that I was accepted 3 weeks ago and my feet are still not touching the ground. :love: Since I'm still waiting to hear from other schools, I'd rather not post all my specifics, but I will give some vague details...(and I do have an MDapps profile...you could probably figure it out with a search)

I have about 10 years of work/volunteer experience in health care, much of that was direct patient care, but I'm not a nurse...started out as a nursing aide/bedpan cleaner like many others in college and worked up to some other things. Some of my experience has been in developing countries and I've had some cool opportunities, but nothing crazy.

My MCAT is very slightly above the national average, nothing to swoon about, but solid.

My undergrad cumulative GPA at graduation was 2.75 (from a highly ranked school but slightly obscure school...not sure if that helped me or not), but my post-bacc GPA (about 30 credits) is close to 3.9.

I thought I was a pretty good candidate for med school but I knew that the GPA would be a hurdle. Then again, as an older applicant (>30), I have confidence and professional experience that I didn't have at 22.

I think the main thing was that I didn't rush it. I decided to go for it in early 2006, starting taking classes in 2007, realized very quickly it wasn't a good idea to cut corners (waited until after finishing my prereqs to take the MCAT, etc), and worked my butt off. And it is totally worth it. I was prepared to not get in this year, and to take more classes to boost my GPA a bit more, but I am so relieved that I don't have to do that.

I also changed premed advisors halfway through because my first one was a negative nancy and I needed someone who would root for me. Find good advisors (official and informal) and seek practical, realistic advice about your application profile, and don't compare yourself to the typical SDNers. :p Because some of them are insane. And don't be afraid to call up admissions directors and ask what you need to get in...many people I spoke with before applying were amazingly transparent about the process they used.

Figure out what you have to do, do it, and do it well. And keep your acceptance letter so you can check it periodically to remind yourself that you're not dreaming.

Feel free to PM me with personal questions.
 

aunt ethel

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Wow. That's probably the lowest MD stats I have seen (usually either cGPA or BCPM are above 3.0). Could you elaborate on your MCAT, number of post-bacc units completed, ~rank of undergrad, and whether you are Caucasian/Asian? Also, did you have exceptional ECs (like saving a baby in Africa)? To how many schools did you apply and how many acceptances did you get? You definitely need an mdapps profile.
Oh yeah...I'm white, never saved a baby (in Africa or otherwise).

I applied to about 10, 1 acceptance, only a few rejections so far, and still "under consideration" for an interview at the rest....