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This is rather a question of what can I do? Will it be possible?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by guri1121, Nov 13, 2011.

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  1. guri1121

    guri1121 5+ Year Member

    May 25, 2009
    I graduated with a very very low GPA.
    I have thought about whether I can go to a med school for the past two years. I just ended up finding out it is my true passion and I am seriously eager to pursue this path. So, I am trying to figure out the way to boost my GPA up. May I ask for you advice about my future plans for applying to med school? Here is what I have on my resume so far...
    I have not taken MCAT, yet.

    -GPA 2.9 (suffering from depression wrecked havoc in my 2nd term of Sophomore and 1st term of Junior year, I had to drop all the classes in my Junior year to focus on curing this condition)
    -misc. school activities which involve common volunteer works; was an officer "Webmaster" (4 yrs)
    -a medical volunteering trip to Costa Rica & Panama (10 days)
    -Volunteering at a hospital front desk (40 hrs)
    -part time research assistant (2 yrs)
    -one undergrad research grant ($1,000)
    -part time lab prep member(something like a research asst) (4 yrs)
    -biked across 2 countries (~4,000 miles) for cancer research, raising $4,300 (about 10 months prep & actual biking)
    -2 publications from one of the best cancer institution (not first or second author)
    -Research Assistant I, where I did 2 publications (1 yr)
    -Peace Corps 2012-2014 as a Community Health Educator (I am leaving in March 2012); my original plan was to leave in 2010 but this was involuntarily postponed due to the recent history of depression.

    I am planning on studying for MCAT while I'm serving as a PC volunteer abroad. I forgot almost everything I learned in pre-med classes... and being a PC Volunteer, you have to be able to deal with boredom. So I think the two years will serve as a great opportunity to study for the MCAT.

    The problem is when I come back. I thought about this realistically, and my GPA is just unrealistic for getting into a medical school. I am thinking about taking GRE before I leave for the Peace Corps, so when I come back, I can at least apply to a public health, tropical disease or a international health master's program as a back-up plan. But I really do want to avoid another 2 years in school if I can. I am already 27, and when I think about it, I'll be over 40 when I can practice for real. Yikes! That's why I want to hear from you guys if it would even be possible to skip getting a master's (or post bac).

    If you think I have to go to grad school, which would be a wiser or a better plan? Post Bac or Public Health? (My passion is in serving under-served population, whether it is in US or abroad..)

    Thank you for your time.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
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  3. sector9

    sector9 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    SDN Author
    hSDN Alumni
    If you want to fix your GPA for the purposes of medical school, then definitely don't do the masters in public health. A masters program would only change your graduate GPA, which isn't really regarded much in medical school admissions.

    A postbacc would be much more useful for you because your grades would help bump up your cumulative undergraduate GPA. I should warn you that you will probably want 1-2 years of full time coursework in the post-bacc program to bring your GPA even close to being acceptable.

    Any possibility of getting a retroactive withdrawal for some of those classes you failed when you were dealing with depression?

    Also, why have you ruled out DO programs? (I'm assuming you ruled them out since you only tagged MD in your thread title) DO schools would be much much more realistic at this point, especially since you can use the grade replacement feature of their GPA calculation to quickly raise your GPA
  4. guri1121

    guri1121 5+ Year Member

    May 25, 2009
    I think the condition was still going on even before I noticed and decided to withdraw from all my classes during one of the semesters. So my grades were generally going down starting later sophomore year.

    This might be a myth, but when I did a little bit of research, DO had some restrictions compared to MD's. My ultimate goal is to work in poor areas, especially in developing countries. I don't think DO will be as free as an MD in regards to where you can practice. I shall look into more details to this, though.

  5. sector9

    sector9 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    SDN Author
    hSDN Alumni
    Some countries don't give practice rights to DO's. Keep your mind open though because you do need to look at the reality of the situation: you have a 2.9 at this point
  6. 374018

    374018 Filet Mignon 2+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    There are plenty of poor countries that will recognize DO. As time goes on, more will probably recognize it as well.

    DO grade replacement will definately help a lot. That + good MCAT and you are good.
  7. Goro

    Goro 7+ Year Member

    Do the post-bac, score well on the MCAT. Re-take the poor science classes for higher grades and utilize the AACOMAS repair. That should get you into a DO school just fine.

    I've had students start medical school in their 40s and 50s, so quit worrying about how old you'll be. You're probably going to live well into your 80s if you don't smoke.


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