Jul 13, 2009
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Aloha! New to the site and wondering if I could get some advice. I live in Hawaii (am not 'Hawaiian', but have lived here for years). I really want to go to med-school, as I have always wanted to do it. I have an ADN in Nursing and a Bachelors in Social Work. My GPA overall is 3.1, but my MCAT rocked at 42P. Of course I have thousands on thousands of hours worked as a full time RN in the ER, CVICU and Recovery Room. I just wondered what I need to do next? Should I take classes to increase my GPA? Should I apply to the local school here? I just need to know where to start. By the way..I guess I'm considered old in my early 30's. Any advice is appreciated.

Mahalo!
 
Jun 6, 2009
52
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Wow your MCAT is excellent! I'm not the most knowledgeable here, and I'm sure either Camaras or Stratego will come in and give their good advice. From what I know I truly think your 42 MCAT just can't make up for a 3.1 GPA for a MD school. Best bet is maybe a Masters or Past-Bacc to raise your gpa, or you might have a shot at a DO.

As far as EC's go. You have quite a bit of clinical experience from nursing, but do you have any volunteering or physician shadowing?
 

Mobius1985

10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
3,484
1
Congrats on the great score.

As you are a nontraditional student, the "rules" will be a little different for you as far as extracurriculars go. The redemptive power of a 42 MCAT can be amazing. It would help you a lot if you have recent excellent coursework; I'd presume you completed the prerequisites for med school recently. If you have an upward trend in your grades year-by-year, that is another helpful factor.

Did you do any research in your past life? Any leadership or teaching? Any community service (even volunteering for your children's activities, if relevant)?

Are you willing to apply widely, as in all over the US, to get in somewhere?
 

camaras2480

Wrapping things up
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Aug 21, 2007
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Wow your MCAT is excellent! I'm not the most knowledgeable here, and I'm sure either Camaras or Stratego will come in and give their good advice. From what I know I truly think your 42 MCAT just can't make up for a 3.1 GPA for a MD school. Best bet is maybe a Masters or Past-Bacc to raise your gpa, or you might have a shot at a DO.

As far as EC's go. You have quite a bit of clinical experience from nursing, but do you have any volunteering or physician shadowing?
You are catching on quick! :D

To Hawaii:

Before I say anything, I'm assuming your extensive hospital exposure has given you the opportunity to "shadow" to some extent.

You are a non-trad applicant, but I honestly don't think the 42 (wow, congrats!) will "compensate" for the 3.1 Even if you have recent good grades, can't possibly be enough to exemplify the ability to handle a full, hard science courseload.

That being said, you could still try your luck through the 'low' tier MD schools in the US, and apply to Hawaii. You actually have a good shot at DO schools; note that some DO schools require a DO letter.

However, your safest plan is to enroll in an SMP - you are an ideal SMP candidate. Such a program (check out Georgetown and Boston University to start) will provide you a new GPA in addition to your undergrad GPA. A strong performance in SMP (3.5+) with your 42 will secure a seat in a US MD school, even without research and clinical volunteering. If you do have time though, try to build up a history of clinical volunteering. You really don't need research if you go the SMP route.

Alternative: do a postbac and pull that GPA to 3.3-3.4, and do in depth research - hopefully pull out a publication. This, in addition to clinical volunteering (you will need a lot if considering this alternative route) will make you a great candidate for US MD.
 

danny317

10+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2007
133
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Aloha! New to the site and wondering if I could get some advice. I live in Hawaii (am not 'Hawaiian', but have lived here for years). I really want to go to med-school, as I have always wanted to do it. I have an ADN in Nursing and a Bachelors in Social Work. My GPA overall is 3.1, but my MCAT rocked at 42P. Of course I have thousands on thousands of hours worked as a full time RN in the ER, CVICU and Recovery Room. I just wondered what I need to do next? Should I take classes to increase my GPA? Should I apply to the local school here? I just need to know where to start. By the way..I guess I'm considered old in my early 30's. Any advice is appreciated.

Mahalo!
i dont think you really have to worry about padding your app with ec's. youre already an RN so you shouldnt really have to worry about shadowing/volunteering/clubs/etc...

your gpa raises red flags but i think your mcat score helps to alleviate some of those concerns. as long as you can explain your low gpa i think youll be fine in that respect.

i would contact a couple of admissions offices and seek their opinion first bc theyre the ones that make the decisions. but in my opinion, i think you have a shot. just apply broadly.

if you have your heart set on hawaii, then definately contact the admissions office and ask them whether or not you should wait a year to try and bump of the gpa.

good luck!
 
OP
H
Jul 13, 2009
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
First of all, Mahalo for all of the great responses! I really appreciate the help! I did take my pre-req's recently, actually went back post bachelor's to do the few I had left from previous years and have a 3.8 from those classes alone. I just don't know whether I want to go the DO route or the MD route. I know the Hawaii's program is supposed to be one of the 'easier' to get into, especially for residents of the islands, but I'm not stuck on staying here.

I do not have any research background, but I do have plenty of leadership and community healthcare service, as well as following a physician. I actually worked directly for an ortho guy and not only was his right hand in his office, I assisted him in his surgeries, which often included closing. I also pioneered a pediatric program for Synagis administration to high risk infants. I hope that would count, but I'm not sure. I have physicians galore that have offered to write me letters and make phone calls, but those things only go so far and I really want this. I've even thought about retaking the MCAT, but I don't really think that will do much. Uuugghh! So many things to consider!

My other fear is my age..I'm afraid it will be a negative factor when applying. I'm not sure if they look at non-trad. student's in a different light in a good way or a bad way.

Anyway, Mahalo again! Any other thoughts are appreciated!

Aloha!
 

WannaBePreMed

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2008
534
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
First of all, Mahalo for all of the great responses! I really appreciate the help! I did take my pre-req's recently, actually went back post bachelor's to do the few I had left from previous years and have a 3.8 from those classes alone. I just don't know whether I want to go the DO route or the MD route. I know the Hawaii's program is supposed to be one of the 'easier' to get into, especially for residents of the islands, but I'm not stuck on staying here.

I do not have any research background, but I do have plenty of leadership and community healthcare service, as well as following a physician. I actually worked directly for an ortho guy and not only was his right hand in his office, I assisted him in his surgeries, which often included closing. I also pioneered a pediatric program for Synagis administration to high risk infants. I hope that would count, but I'm not sure. I have physicians galore that have offered to write me letters and make phone calls, but those things only go so far and I really want this. I've even thought about retaking the MCAT, but I don't really think that will do much. Uuugghh! So many things to consider!

My other fear is my age..I'm afraid it will be a negative factor when applying. I'm not sure if they look at non-trad. student's in a different light in a good way or a bad way.

Anyway, Mahalo again! Any other thoughts are appreciated!

Aloha!
There are many non-trad students who are older so I don't see your age being a huge problem. Besides your gpa everything else is stellar. From reading your posts it seems like you yourself are the biggest obstacle. You are the only person holding yourself back. Give yourself a chance :)
 

Stratego

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Mar 24, 2009
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You are definitely not old compared to others on the Non-Trad Forum. With an MCAT of 42, recent excellent coursework, a plethora of ECs (advantage of your non-trad status) I think you have a good chance applying as you stand at MD (54.1%) and DO programs, and I would apply to both to enhance your chances of success in one cycle. For inspiration see this thread about the admission process of a guy with a cGPA of 2.92 and an MCAT of 43/accepted to UConn for med school: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=544011

Do NOT retake the MCAT. I would keep taking some upper-level science classes so you can continue to reassure adcomms through the application process that you have what is takes to succeed in a science-heavy curriculum (you send in update letters to tell them about this). You didn't say how many hours your recent coursework consists of, and if it wasn't much, I'd lean more toward waiting until next cycle and taking more classes first. If you are applying this cycle, get moving, as it takes several weeks for transcript verification at this time of year. You need to get your letters of recommendation lined up too.
 
Last edited:
Jun 5, 2009
167
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Status
Pre-Medical
Its hilarious when posters get sidetracked giving props for the MCAT score and ignore the reason for the OP's post :rofl:
 

camaras2480

Wrapping things up
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Aug 21, 2007
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If you had the idea of retaking the MCAT, I'm not sure you have the sanity level to be a doctor. :)