There is always room for improvement.... but how?

Bibi7365

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Hello all, this is my first time posting a question/ browsing through the threads so please be kind to me.

I have a few questions about what I can possibly do to get into med school. Everything I read on here is so discouraging. So here we go. I graduated from a prestigious university with a very low GPA (2.9) (BA in Biology). I had a hard time adjusting to life away from home, dealing with a depressed roommate, health issues, financial problems and the divorce of my parents (all which is well documented in my school file) which took a toll on me during the first year and a half of my undergrad studies. I managed to graduate in four years (which was a miracle in itself since I ended up taking 8 classes my senior yr). I managed to work 3 out of the 4 years I was in college as a tutor in an elementary school (10-15 hrs a week) and volunteered over 200 hrs at a local community hospital during the last 1.5 yrs of my undergrad studies. Since graduating from college, I have worked non-stop full-time at a local hospital and am currently in the process of obtaining my teacher certification (figure it might help one day). What do you recommend I do to get into med school? I have not taken the MCAT and will be doing so this summer. I am applying to all of the Texas schools (MD and OD).

Must I add a bit more info, I am a Hispanic female who graduated from a large public high school, over 5,000 kids. I felt like my high school education did not prepare me for college AT ALL. On my transcript there is a clear spiral downfall beginning freshman year where I hit rock bottom the first semester of my sophomore year and was placed on probation. After that, I never looked back, my GPA each semester was above a 3.3. Not sure if any of this additional information helps. :oops:
 

froggiepremed

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Hello all, this is my first time posting a question/ browsing through the threads so please be kind to me.

I have a few questions about what I can possibly do to get into med school. Everything I read on here is so discouraging. So here we go. I graduated from a prestigious university with a very low GPA (2.9) (BA in Biology). I had a hard time adjusting to life away from home, dealing with a depressed roommate, health issues, financial problems and the divorce of my parents (all which is well documented in my school file) which took a toll on me during the first year and a half of my undergrad studies. I managed to graduate in four years (which was a miracle in itself since I ended up taking 8 classes my senior yr). I managed to work 3 out of the 4 years I was in college as a tutor in an elementary school (10-15 hrs a week) and volunteered over 200 hrs at a local community hospital during the last 1.5 yrs of my undergrad studies. Since graduating from college, I have worked non-stop full-time at a local hospital and am currently in the process of obtaining my teacher certification (figure it might help one day). What do you recommend I do to get into med school? I have not taken the MCAT and will be doing so this summer. I am applying to all of the Texas schools (MD and OD).

Must I add a bit more info, I am a Hispanic female who graduated from a large public high school, over 5,000 kids. I felt like my high school education did not prepare me for college AT ALL. On my transcript there is a clear spiral downfall beginning freshman year where I hit rock bottom the first semester of my sophomore year and was placed on probation. After that, I never looked back, my GPA each semester was above a 3.3. Not sure if any of this additional information helps. :oops:


I'll be honest with you. Your GPA is low, MCAT is great. It sounds like a pity party for yourself. You make it seem like you had the worst experience you could possibly have, but it seems pretty normal for a college student. You are not the only one to have a depressed roomate, divorcing parents, or the first to work full time. Try a change in attitude first things! Be positive! And second, apply D.O. They will like the high MCAT, low GPA thing
 

Dianyla

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froggiepremed, the OP hasn't take the MCAT yet, btw.

OP, when you do take the MCAT study as hard as you can and get as high a score as possible. Check out the 30+ MCAT study habits thread for an idea of how hard you should be preparing for this test.

If you got less than an A-/B+ in any of the pre-med prerequisites, you might think about retaking to raise your GPA. If you got a C or lower in any of these, then absolutely retake those courses.

Lastly, I'm going to agree with the previous poster about losing the victim/woe-is-me mentality. There are many of us on here who went off to university for the first time and basically fell apart. That's life, and it sucks sometimes. The fact is, it happened, and make sure you turn this around and spin it into a positive story of how you have matured since then. Be careful just trotting out the "but life was really hard for me at the time!" story to explain any/all poor grades.
 
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Bibi7365

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Thank you so much for your help. I will make sure to keep your advise on hand while I study for the MCAT. As far as my GPA, since I already graduated and I live in a completely different city than where I attended school there is no possible way I can possibly change my undegrad GPA; unless, 1) I get a masters or 2) I get into a SMP (which I can't seem to find any in Texas!!!). Thanks :oops:
 

Feli

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Honestly, despite being hispanic, your only real bet is to score 30+ on the MCAT, and then you would still probably need to do a SMP and get good grades. A Biology BA is pretty easy compared to many of the degrees other pre-meds have, and you still got an extremely low GPA.

I'm sure this post will come off as very rude, but you need to use your time productivly if you want to get into MD/DO (or maybe even any health professional grad school). End the pity party already and realize that grad programs have become very competitive and you could've done a lot better in undergrad. Get mad (but use that energy productive ways). Study your butt off for the MCAT and try to prove that your GPA was due to those other factors. GL
 

Dianyla

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As far as my GPA, since I already graduated and I live in a completely different city than where I attended school there is no possible way I can possibly change my undegrad GPA; unless, 1) I get a masters or 2) I get into a SMP (which I can't seem to find any in Texas!!!). Thanks :oops:
Is there no local 4-year school where you can enroll as a postbacc student?
 

Bibi7365

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I know this is going to sound really stupid... but what is the difference between post-bacc and a masters (in some kind of science)? I have an understand that post-bacc programs help raise your undergrad GPA while taking classes that mimic the med school curriculum. Now, if I am not mistaken, after I visited the AAMC and searched post-bacc programs in Texas only one came up (I live in Dallas). Is this my only hope? At this point, I am willing to sell my soul to the devil. I am sure I can get a 30+ on the MCAT... question is whether that will suffice.. which I highly doubt it even if I had tons of ECs and LORs... Some guidance would be helpful... :confused:

PS I want to thank those who have responded to my earlier comments.
 

Instatewaiter

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There are 2 types of programs:

Post-bacs are undergraduate-level classes after you have gotten a bachelor's degree. Some are for people who have never taken the pre-recs (thus take intro bio, chem, orgo, physics) and others are for those who need to improve their grades (take upper level science courses)

SMP's (special masters program) are graduate-level classes where you either take grad classes that are analagous to med school classes (ie physiology 501, biochemistry 610 etc) or actually take the medical school classes with the current medical students.


So since post-bacs are undergrad classes they are factored into your undergrad GPA. SMP grades are not. However, if you do well enough in an SMP it can overcome past poor performance.

No matter how high your MCAT, you most likely will not get into med school without doing some sort of post-bac or SMP. I would apply but be prepared to have a back up if you dont get into med school.
 

firemedictodo

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Study your butt off for the MCAT and knock it out. I was in your same situation. I did a two year masters program and took masters level molecular cell science classes. I had a 3.9 grad gpa. Although this did not help my undergrad gpa, but what it did do was prove to admission committies that i could do the work. Also the fact that you had your bad semester as a freshman will work in you favor. It shows you had a hard time adjusting to college life. Many people go through this. Keep your head up, do what it takes, and if you want to be a physician then you will be. You control your destiny!!:)
 

PathOne

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Post-bac is probably the way to go. The problem with Master's are not only that it wouldn't help your undergrad GPA (which schools screen for) but also that there's notoriously a lot of grade inflation in many Master's programs. Also, you might want to hold off taking the MCAT until you're well into your post-bac program. Getting MCAT +30 sounds easy on paper, but it really isn't. You can try to check yourself by taking a practice test, as low GPA + multiple MCAT tries isn't really what schools are looking for.

Also, you should probably focus on DO schools, as admitting thresholds are lower, and they're generally more willing to look at other things than hard numbers.
 

Abobo

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I had the same science gpa as you, and I took undergraduate science classes at a local university and boosted it. If you do well on the MCAT, you have a very good chance of getting into a DO school (also try applying to DO schools outside of your state) and a decent chance at an MD school. And being hispanic will help a lot if you look for schools that desire a greater number of hispanics.

The most important things to do in your situation:

Take the MCAT
Take more science classes
Make sure that you can look back at all your extenuating circumstances as learning experiences (not excuses) that you can explain to admissions committees.


And remember, everyone's situation is different when applying to medical schools- admissions committees recognize this, so don't get discouraged!
 
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