Feb 14, 2010
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Greetings,

I've been lurking on these forums for a few months now and I would first like to state that this forum has been such a huge motivator for me and insuring that I keep on track for my goal of making it into medical school.

As it stands right now, I'm a Junior attending BGSU (in Ohio), majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry. After figuring out what my classes will be on a term-by-term basis, I have approximately two more years before I graduate--I switched majors a year ago from Computer Science to Neuroscience.

My part-time position is on-campus, I work at the Center for Teaching and Learning and have been working there for 2 years. My position is a faculty consultant and I assist professors and faculty members of BGSU how to use software supported by the school. I facilitate workshops, get to teach professors (which is awesome to get that perspective), write op-ed articles for our newsletter, and am in general learning a great deal about the inner-workings of a university. I mention this because working here has taught me so much about teaching and learning. I feel confident in my speaking skills as well as my on-the-spot response skills which is mainly because of this job.

My main concern is my GPA, I've never done well in school mainly because I never felt challenged in high school or even in the first few years of college. Since my previous major was Computer Science, some background as to why I did so terrible in school might elucidate what I mean by not feeling "challenged."

The story began when I was about 13 years old and received my first laptop computer for Christmas. The laptop was good enough for web-surfing, documents, basic utility, not good for much anything else--such as video games. To keep a long story short, I got into computer programming in a big way and was in the professional industry before I graduated high school, mainly freelance work, but still making money off my knowledge. High school was pointless for computer programming, I wasn't learning anything that interested me, so I didn't feel the need to try. The same thing applies even to my previous major, Computer Science. I had already learned most of everything that I was being taught and overall felt like the classes were pointless. I eventually came to the sad realization that learning reiterations of different programming languages was a waste of time and wanted to learn more about the universe, thus, my fascination in science was instantiated and that interest and desire led me to want to pursue the medical field.

As it stands, I have a 2.5 cGPA, with two years of classes left.

For my prerequisites for medical school, I have only taken Bio I (B), Chem I (C), Calculus (C) (cannot remember if this is a pre-req), and English (A).

I'm currently taking Chem II and will most likely get an A (pending final two exams, but average is a 90% currently) and if I do well I'm considering retaking Chem I.

I'm sure just from a GPA standpoint, it doesn't look good for me, but I'm confident that if given the chance, I will flourish in medical school, so I'm going to work my ass off and try anyway. My GPA is already on an upward trend, getting a 3.25 my last term and a 3.0 the term proceeding that one. My GPA for this term--with 4 weeks to go--will most likely be a 3.75. I feel as though my passion for science and medicine will prevail over this abysmal GPA and I will eventually become one of the "outliers."

As far as extra-circulars go, I have been in a biology lab conducting research for about a 1.5 years and we are currently attempting to finish a few experiments to hopefully have something to publish before the year is over. I'm also working with a classmate to write two other papers that we have been working on for a few months now with ideas that a few professors feel are publishable.

I was just accepted into SETGO, which is a 10 week, full-time, summer research grant, so I will be doing that over the summer with the end result possibly being a paper or at the very least a fancy poster.

I already have five professors that I have worked closely with over the past 1.5 years who will more than likely stick up for my intelligence and elucidate that my GPA does not accurately reflect my work-ethic, passion, intelligence, etc. They will most likely be writing my LORs (3 science profs, 2 non-science profs).

I'm also volunteering at my local hospital, following Physical Therapists and interacting with rehab patients. I plan on volunteering until I graduate, so I should have more than enough clinical experience. I also plan to work somewhere else and get some more experience, but that is a little further down the road.

I don't have any shadowing experience as of yet, but I plan to work on that in the summer.

I guess what I'm wondering if anyone else thinks I have a shot at getting into MD school if I work my ass off, have an upward trend with my grades before I graduate and presumably end up with a 3.125 cGPA (given an average of 3.75 GPA/semester), and rock the MCATS (I am planning to study after my OChem classes, which I will begin next fall). So I will take the MCAT next year and the year after that as well and hopefully apply to medical school before I graduate.

Also, what else can I do to get an edge on getting into medical school? After lurking around these forums, I feel I have a pretty good handle on what I should be doing until I graduate but any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

The school I want to attend the most is University of Toledo--mainly because it's geographically the closest to my hometown.

If worse comes to worst, I will apply to an SMP program at UToledo, which if I complete their program, I am guaranteed an interview at UT. However, I want SMP to be a last resort because I understand that SMP programs are high-risk.

Also, my end goal after medical school is to become a neurologist and eventually work at a teaching hospital, because teaching is another one of my passions.

Sorry, I know this is long-winded, but I felt that posting everything would give you a better picture of my situation. Thanks for reading and any criticism would be greatly appreciated!

tl;dr I ****ed up with my GPA (2.5), upward trend will happen to lead to a 3.125 GPA, Neuroscience major, 2 years of school left, 1.5 years of research plus 4 potential publishable projects (so far, 3 years before I graduate), summer research grant, 2 years of eventual volunteering (2 months currently), shadowing will happen before I graduate. Do I have a chance?
 
Last edited:

robflanker

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As it stands, I have a 2.5 cGPA, with two years of classes left.

For my prerequisites for medical school, I have only taken Bio I (B), Chem I (C), Calculus (C) (cannot remember if this is a pre-req), and English (A).

I'm currently taking Chem II and will most likely get an A (pending final two exams, but average is a 90% currently) and if I do well I'm considering retaking Chem I.

I'm sure just from a GPA standpoint, it doesn't look good for me, but I'm confident that if given the chance, I will flourish in medical school, so I'm going to work my ass off and try anyway. My GPA is already on an upward trend, getting a 3.25 my last term and a 3.0 the term proceeding that one. My GPA for this term--with 4 weeks to go--will most likely be a 3.75. I feel as though my passion for science and medicine will prevail over this abysmal GPA and I will eventually become one of the "outliers."
I guess what I'm wondering if anyone else thinks I have a shot at getting into MD school if I work my ass off, have an upward trend with my grades before I graduate and presumably end up with a 3.125 cGPA (given an average of 3.75 GPA/semester), and rock the MCATS (I am planning to study after my OChem classes, which I will begin next fall).

If worse comes to worst, I will apply to an SMP program at UToledo, which if I complete their program, I am guaranteed an interview at UT. However, I want SMP to be a last resort because I understand that SMP programs are high-risk.
A 3.125 cGPA will not get you into a US MD medical school - you are off to an SMP, or DO, or the Carib. This is assuming you do infinitely better than you have demonstrated so far.

Plus, flourish in medical school with a 2.5 cGPA? Right now, very little indicates this. Not saying you can't, but nothing points to that direction considering your best semster so far is 3.25.
 

ziggydoc

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I am not sure if Rob read your whole post, but from your trend, it seems that you are very capable of making it to medical school. However, I do think that you will have to complete a masters or special masters program because a 3.15 unfortunately means your file won't even be looked at a lot of the time. It is sad but with applicants increasing every year, admission committees simply don't have the time/energy/spots to say well this kid only has a 3.15 but lets take a closer look/invite him/her in for an interview. If you continue with your strong upward trend, and do a post-bac, you will do very well. And I think you do have a very interesting story to tell, so that will help if you get to the interviewing stage.
 

robflanker

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Rob did read the whole post - the OP has gone from a 2.5 (roughly) to a 3.0 to a 3.25 in his last few semesters.... not really a giant upswing here to wow adcoms.

Going from a C+/B- student to a B/B+ isn't really earth-shattering

Everything he said about 3.75 was theoretical
 
Feb 14, 2010
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Bowling Green
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Pre-Medical
Rob did read the whole post - the OP has gone from a 2.5 (roughly) to a 3.0 to a 3.25 in his last few semesters.... not really a giant upswing here to wow adcoms.

Going from a C+/B- student to a B/B+ isn't really earth-shattering

Everything he said about 3.75 was theoretical
Spot on, I appreciate your criticism, really, it means a lot that you at least read my story. I understand this post is a little premature, but I strongly believe my upward trend will continue. Thanks.
 

robflanker

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To be honest, I don't care about your story. As an adcom, the first screening tool will be your cGPA and your MCAT. Then they will read your story. Your cGPA doesn't get you through a screen to be read. It might get you in a "maybe we'll look at later" pile.

I'm trying to approach this as if I were an adcom (i appreciate I dont know how they think...).

Thus, if you continue your upswing (which I do hope you do) to a 3.75; and then go rock an SMP, and rock an MCAT then you will be in much better position to leave the 2.5 cGPA life behind.

Several semesters of 3.75 + a good SMP performance + a good MCAT + good ECs = will be your receipe to success. Then they'll read your story...
 

ziggydoc

Growing a Heart
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Rob did read the whole post - the OP has gone from a 2.5 (roughly) to a 3.0 to a 3.25 in his last few semesters.... not really a giant upswing here to wow adcoms.

Going from a C+/B- student to a B/B+ isn't really earth-shattering

Everything he said about 3.75 was theoretical
Hahaha gotcha, sorry Rob. :laugh:

To the OP, you will prob need a SMP or post-bac, like I said, your story is interesting but only if you get over the screens. So you will need to have a much better GPA and good MCAT.
 
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Every B you get sets you back from redeeming your dismal academic past. Aim for straight As. Adcomms love a good redemption story, but you have no further room for another glitch. There needs to be a clear demarcation in time between the old under-performing you, and the new dedicated over-achiever you.

Plan on the SMP, then if your GPA is higher and you get a super-high MCAT score, it will be a nice surprise not to have to spend all that money.