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Unique Situation

DPMrick

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    Need some advice on what to do...

    I am a North Carolina resident and graduated from NC State University with biomedical engineering. My science GPA is ~3.2 and overall ~3.6. I took April and August MCAT in 2004 and got 23 both times. Have some extracurricular activities including some service projects and a christian organization. Worked as a research assistant at NIEHS and currenlty working in a Ergonomic research lab as an assistant. I applied to med school for the fall of 2005...got one interview but was ultimately rejected on all of them. Here is the list of schools:

    Duke University
    UNC-CH
    Wake Forest
    East Carolina University
    UC San Fran
    UCLA
    UC Irvine
    UC San Diego
    UC Davis
    Stanford
    NYU
    New York Medical College

    I then applied to Podiatry school and was accepted with scholarships. My delima is whether to re-apply while attending podiatry school or take a 1-2 years off then re-apply. I've heard mixed things about a career in podiatry and I am wondering if podiatry school is a good stepping stone...or I should just take time off and beef up my profile. I know that I need to bring my MCAT score up as well as having more healthcare related experiences. I also know that most (if not all) the schools I applied were out of my league. Any advice on what I should do and what schools I should be looking at? MD or DO schools are good with me.
     

    tacrum43

    Behold the mighty echidna
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    Oct 19, 2004
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      DPMrick said:
      Need some advice on what to do...

      I am a North Carolina resident and graduated from NC State University with biomedical engineering. My science GPA is ~3.2 and overall ~3.6. I took April and August MCAT in 2004 and got 23 both times. Have some extracurricular activities including some service projects and a christian organization. Worked as a research assistant at NIEHS and currenlty working in a Ergonomic research lab as an assistant. I applied to med school for the fall of 2005...got one interview but was ultimately rejected on all of them. Here is the list of schools:

      Duke University
      UNC-CH
      Wake Forest
      East Carolina University
      UC San Fran
      UCLA
      UC Irvine
      UC San Diego
      UC Davis
      Stanford
      NYU
      New York Medical College

      I then applied to Podiatry school and was accepted with scholarships. My delima is whether to re-apply while attending podiatry school or take a 1-2 years off then re-apply. I've heard mixed things about a career in podiatry and I am wondering if podiatry school is a good stepping stone...or I should just take time off and beef up my profile. I know that I need to bring my MCAT score up as well as having more healthcare related experiences. I also know that most (if not all) the schools I applied were out of my league. Any advice on what I should do and what schools I should be looking at? MD or DO schools are good with me.

      I think you should make up your mind. Do you really want to be a physician, or are you okay with podiatry? I don't think medical schools would look favorably on switching out of podiatry school, because it would be taking away a person from another medical profession. At least, I have heard this is true with nursing. I think that with your GPA and MCAT, a D.O. school is possible, but not M.D., at least not without retaking the MCAT and getting at least a 28.

      By the way, what were you thinking applying to all the UCs as an out of stater with less than a 4.0/40? Especially Irvine, which took like 1 out of state student last year. No offense, but you're really wasting your money on the CA public schools unless you're in state, and even then it's not such a good situation (I would know).
       

      DPMrick

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        tacrum43 said:
        I think you should make up your mind. Do you really want to be a physician, or are you okay with podiatry? I don't think medical schools would look favorably on switching out of podiatry school, because it would be taking away a person from another medical profession. At least, I have heard this is true with nursing. I think that with your GPA and MCAT, a D.O. school is possible, but not M.D., at least not without retaking the MCAT and getting at least a 28.

        By the way, what were you thinking applying to all the UCs as an out of stater with less than a 4.0/40? Especially Irvine, which took like 1 out of state student last year. No offense, but you're really wasting your money on the CA public schools unless you're in state, and even then it's not such a good situation (I would know).

        Thanks for the advice. Yeah I definitely will retake MCAT and get it to around 30-34 range. I also plan to do shadowing as well as work as a nurse assistant or EMT to beef up my profile. As for the UC school.....yeah I didn't even know what I was thinking....I guess I didn't do enough research about it. If I do succeed in brining the MCAT up as well as gaining more experiences....what are some of the schools in which I will be competitive(not just have a chance) in getting into?
         
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        tacrum43

        Behold the mighty echidna
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          DPMrick said:
          Thanks for the advice. Yeah I definitely will retake MCAT and get it to around 30-34 range. I also plan to do shadowing as well as work as a nurse assistant or EMT to beef up my profile. As for the UC school.....yeah I didn't even know what I was thinking....I guess I didn't do enough research about it. If I do succeed in brining the MCAT up as well as gaining more experiences....what are some of the schools in which I will be competitive(not just have a chance) in getting into?

          Well, the 3.2 science GPA is going to hurt you, but if you can get your MCAT up to a 30 (34 is a lot to shoot for from a 23, I mean that's 11 points!), then you should be competitive at many schools. You picked out many top schools though last time.

          I would apply to the NC schools again, except Duke. NYMC is a good choice too. I think some other good choices would be Tulane, Drexel, Rosalind Franklin. Any place you have a "legacy" at (where your parents or grandparents went to for undergrad, grad or med school) is good too, especially if it's a private school. You should pick up a copy of the MSAR for 2006-2007 (it just came out). It lists practically every schools' average GPA, science GPA and MCAT scores.

          I have to say again that a leap from 23 to 30-34 is a huge jump, especially since you've already gotten a 23 twice, so it's not like you were just sick that day (or were you?). You would need to seriously study differently and hit the practice tests hard to improve that much. Even then, it's very unlikely. Still, I think you should retake it again, but be very prepared.
           

          TheFish005

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            If you really want to attend school in CA (as indicated by your UC applications), you should consider WesternU/COMP. As a private DO school, we don't have the same residency requirements as the public schools. Your stats as they stand now would probably get you an interview, and very likely a spot in the class.
             

            C8H10N4O2Junkie

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              Hi there. I'd say you would have a good shot at at least getting interviews at several D.O. schools. You would still be better off having a little bit of a higher MCAT score, but I know people who have gotten in with much lower stats. You just need to decide what is really important to you. I wouldn't use podiatry as a "stepping stone" if you really have interests in specializing in another area. I had a year off between undergrad and my acceptance, and it was nice sometimes to be able to take a breather, regroup, and really dedicate yourself to what you are about to do. As it stands, I think your odds would have been better if you had applied D.O. I have to say, I really like the atmosphere of the D.O. schools I looked at, and I would encourage you to at least consider going that route. Best of luck! :thumbup:
               

              LizzyM

              the evil queen of numbers
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                I've been thinking about your post this morning and I want to make a case for podiatry.

                Basically, you would be entering a surgical subspecialty (foot and ankle) with some non-surgical patients as well. Any service in demand by the elderly is going to be booming for the 40 years. The prevalence of diabetes is also on the rise :( but every one of those folks needs foot care from a podiatrist as well. And given some of the shoes I see ... there will be no shortage of younger patients who need care, too.

                And if my mother-in-law is any indication, people love their podiatrists and are so grateful.

                What's not to love?
                 
                To the original poster:
                Do not re-take the MCAT unless you are totally ready. This means figuring out why you scored so low and correcting the situation. You have two low scores and a third low to mediocre score could be the "kiss of death" for your application.

                Second, if your ultimate goal is not podiatric medicine, you probably not going to find podiatry a satisfying career. If you constantly feel that you have "settled" for something short of your true goal, you may find that you constantly have this "what if" mentality. No matter how wonderful podiatry is for others, it may not hold the satisfaction that you seek.

                Good luck!
                njbmd :)
                 

                gtb

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                  I was in a similar situation with GPA as an electrical engineering major. I was so paranoid that my age might kill me when applying to medical school that I studied for the MCAT like my life depended on it. I took the Kaplan course (just buy the books online instead), went through my organic notes until I actually understood organic chemistry. Worked through gen chem, physics, and biology. And worked through thousands of MCAT type questions and answers. I prepped for an entire year, before I took the MCAT. Scored 10V/10P/12B which got me interviews and acceptances. Med schools love engineering experience, you definitely need to improve the MCAT and then you'll get in to an allopathic program quite easily. I just graduated from med school, beginning my internship next week. I'm very glad I opted for the allopathic route vs. other options.
                   
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