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AndyK

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Ok, here goes. Please ignore the pre-dental under my name, that's from a long time ago. I'll just stick to the facts:

-have an "ugly" college career. Rough start and end with a decent middle. Finished with a ~3.3 in both my sGPA and cGPA from a mid-tier uni. Red flags are a few C's and a D my very last semester. I had A's in upper level sciences my junior year.

-was pre-dental, and I took the DAT and got a good score. Not astronomical, but 85th percentile or higher on most sections. This is not indicative of anything but it means I can do well on a standardized test with a similar amount of prep.

-Applied to dental, and didn't cut it. I explored other career options and found that a nearby university associated with a good medical school (UTMB) offered a graduate degree (MS) in clinical laboratory science, a career I seriously considered in the past. I applied and got in. I'm currently through two of the (supposedly) hardest semesters with a 3.92. Also noted is that the program, similar to nursing, OT, etc. culminates with a board certification exam and licensure as an MT(ASCP) as well as the MS.

- I have calculated the best-case scenario in which I obtain an A in every single class I take. If the graduate grades are calculated with the bachelor's grades, the best I can achieve is a cGPA of 3.49 and an sGPA of 3.56. I am also keeping busy by volunteering and working part-time.

TL;DR - will high grades in a clinically-based MS program potentially outshine a lackluster college career assuming a "good" MCAT of 30 to 33 and "standard" extra-curriculars (it's pretty much all I have time for)? I'm just trying for in-state DO and MD schools mind you.
 

Juicec

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Well, without more details I would just say look at the previous years matriculate data. a 33MCAT, 3.5GPA with average EC's get into mid range medical schools all day.

I personally don't think its wise to bank on best case scenarios, shoot for them of course but assuming you miss, even a 30MCAT and 3.3GPA has very strong D.O chances.

The AMCAS does ask for other test results if I don't recall? You will need to be able to explain your choice to leave dentistry.
 

yankeefan18

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All solid advice, particularly the bold...that's going to be extremely important

Well, without more details I would just say look at the previous years matriculate data. a 33MCAT, 3.5GPA with average EC's get into mid range medical schools all day.

I personally don't think its wise to bank on best case scenarios, shoot for them of course but assuming you miss, even a 30MCAT and 3.3GPA has very strong D.O chances.

The AMCAS does ask for other test results if I don't recall? You will need to be able to explain your choice to leave dentistry.
 
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theseeker4

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Ok, here goes. Please ignore the pre-dental under my name, that's from a long time ago. I'll just stick to the facts:

-have an "ugly" college career. Rough start and end with a decent middle. Finished with a ~3.3 in both my sGPA and cGPA from a mid-tier uni. Red flags are a few C's and a D my very last semester. I had A's in upper level sciences my junior year.

-was pre-dental, and I took the DAT and got a good score. Not astronomical, but 85th percentile or higher on most sections. This is not indicative of anything but it means I can do well on a standardized test with a similar amount of prep.

-Applied to dental, and didn't cut it. I explored other career options and found that a nearby university associated with a good medical school (UTMB) offered a graduate degree (MS) in clinical laboratory science, a career I seriously considered in the past. I applied and got in. I'm currently through two of the (supposedly) hardest semesters with a 3.92. Also noted is that the program, similar to nursing, OT, etc. culminates with a board certification exam and licensure as an MT(ASCP) as well as the MS.

- I have calculated the best-case scenario in which I obtain an A in every single class I take. If the graduate grades are calculated with the bachelor's grades, the best I can achieve is a cGPA of 3.49 and an sGPA of 3.56. I am also keeping busy by volunteering and working part-time.

TL;DR - will high grades in a clinically-based MS program potentially outshine a lackluster college career assuming a "good" MCAT of 30 to 33 and "standard" extra-curriculars (it's pretty much all I have time for)? I'm just trying for in-state DO and MD schools mind you.
Generally, they won't combine your graduate with your undergrad grades. You will have a uGPA of 3.3 and a gGPA of 3.9 (or whatever it ends up being). AMCAS doesn't combine the two, and med schools generally only look at the undergraduate GPA while noting whether you did well ( a neutral situation ) or poorly (a red flag) in the grad program. The only way to boost your undergraduate GPA for med schools is to take additional undergraduate-level courses as a post bachelor student or second bachelor's degree-seeking student.

The reason grad grades are not counted highly is many masters programs are grade-inflated, making a near 4.0 gpa at some of them say nothing about your academic abilities, and because most applicants have no graduate work on their record, making an apples-to-apples comparison between student A with a 3.4 uGPA and no masters work vs. student B with a 3.3 uGPA and a 3.9 gGPA impossible. It sucks for a student who had a lack of focus in college and then shaped up in grad school, but you need to boost your undergraduate performance with additional undergrad classes, not a grad program.

There are special masters programs (SMP's) that are basically trial runs for med school. At one of these, you would take med school courses for a year, and a high GPA in this would prove you have overcome your low undergraduate performance and are able to handle the course work. Med schools will then give you a chance and look at your application more favorably than they would with good performance in a SMP. The down side is they are expensive, there is no guarantee that you will be accepted after completing it, and if you do poorly, you have proven to any med school you apply to that you can't handle it, decreasing your chances at admission.

DO is another option, of course, which would let you boost your undergraduate GPA much more quickly by re-taking the lower grades to have them wiped off your record. MD schools don't recognize grade replacement.

TL,DR: your grad grades won't make up for your undergradute grades. Getting a very high GPA in your masters may look good, but it cannot be added to your uGPA to boost the GPA med schools look at when reviewing your application. An SMP or looking into DO school for their grade replacement may be your best bet.
 

Jamie561

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Sep 2, 2011
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Ok, here goes. Please ignore the pre-dental under my name, that's from a long time ago. I'll just stick to the facts:

-have an "ugly" college career. Rough start and end with a decent middle. Finished with a ~3.3 in both my sGPA and cGPA from a mid-tier uni. Red flags are a few C's and a D my very last semester. I had A's in upper level sciences my junior year.

-was pre-dental, and I took the DAT and got a good score. Not astronomical, but 85th percentile or higher on most sections. This is not indicative of anything but it means I can do well on a standardized test with a similar amount of prep.

-Applied to dental, and didn't cut it. I explored other career options and found that a nearby university associated with a good medical school (UTMB) offered a graduate degree (MS) in clinical laboratory science, a career I seriously considered in the past. I applied and got in. I'm currently through two of the (supposedly) hardest semesters with a 3.92. Also noted is that the program, similar to nursing, OT, etc. culminates with a board certification exam and licensure as an MT(ASCP) as well as the MS.

- I have calculated the best-case scenario in which I obtain an A in every single class I take. If the graduate grades are calculated with the bachelor's grades, the best I can achieve is a cGPA of 3.49 and an sGPA of 3.56. I am also keeping busy by volunteering and working part-time.

TL;DR - will high grades in a clinically-based MS program potentially outshine a lackluster college career assuming a "good" MCAT of 30 to 33 and "standard" extra-curriculars (it's pretty much all I have time for)? I'm just trying for in-state DO and MD schools mind you.

3.3 uGPA without an upward trend will be tough for you. Your graduate programs won't mean much, unfortunately. If you enrolled for GPA repair, it is not worth it. Work experience as a clinical lab tech may add something extra to your app, though. Can you do an SMP?

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TheMightySmiter

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With a 3.3 and 30-32 MCAT score, your chances of MD acceptance are 40%. With a 36+, that number only goes up to 60%. As the posters above me have said, unfortunately a high grad GPA does not make up for a low undergrad GPA. If you get a 30+ MCAT, you have a good shot at DO schools. With a 35+ MCAT, your state MD schools would be in range. You mention getting your MS at UTMB, are you a Texas resident? If so, you are in better shape because Texas schools heavily favor their residents.
 

AndyK

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Here's the thing: the classes I'm taking now are basically upper-level undergraduate classes with undergrad students. They have traditional undegrad things such as 3 midterms, a final, lab assignments, etc. However, there are additional things that graduate students must do in these same classes, such as write graduate-level papers and do presentations. The MS and BS students diverge in the 2nd year, which is when we start doing more grad-level work and completing a project.

The classes I take now have titles such as "Clinical Chemistry", "Hematology and coagulation" "advanced pathogenic microbiology" - in other words it should be obvious they're not your standard grad-level seminar-type classes. My hope is that adcoms see this.

As far as leaving pre-dental, that was around my junior year of undergrad around two years ago. I'm not jumping ship, rather I find the allopathic side of medicine much more interesting now that I've taken classes that actually focus on patient care and pathophysiology. I'll probably have a harder time explaining why I'm leaving medical technology, since that was my initial career change (pre-dental -> MT -> pre-med)

An SMP is not feasible right now because I'm already in this program and I need to finish it so that I can at least have a career to support myself. Maybe down the line when I've paid off some of my debt and still can't get in, I will consider it.

Thanks for your advice everyone!
 
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