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MD URM female, 3.12cGPA, 3.3 sGPA, 516

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by softballgirl490, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. softballgirl490

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    Hey everyone!

    I am new to SDN, and I'm looking for some advice.

    A little bit about me:

    I am currently in a PhD program for Neuroscience at a top 20 program, but I am leaving with my Masters at the end of this upcoming year and applying to Medical Schools Summer 2016. I have 5 years of research experience. I am a Florida resident, went to a top liberal arts college OOS. Grad program is also OOS.

    My GPAs are all from undergrad. Currently my GPA in my PhD program is 3.6. I had to take last year off because I was in a major car accident that left me with a concussion, a broken back, and I had spinal fusion surgery in March.

    I have always wanted to go to medical school, but due to the fact that I have a chronic illness (prior to the accident), I didn't have the confidence to apply. After the car accident, I had a lot of time to think, and I've spoken to a lot of people with other chronic illnesses who have overcome them and gotten into medical school. The time away from the program gave me perspective and made me realize that the PhD just isn't enough for me. I crave the clinical side, there is a voice in my head telling me to go for it, and I don't want to always be wondering "What if?"

    I think my record of overcoming obstacles and achieving my goals makes me a good candidate, and I have ~1500 hours of shadowing/volunteering experience with direct patient contact.

    What do you guys think? Do I have a shot at allopathic MD? I am not opposed to DO, and will mostly likely apply to a few, but I was hoping to gain some insight from this forum.

    Any and all advice and input is welcome, good or bad!

    Thanks everyone!
     
    #1 softballgirl490, Jul 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
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  3. softballgirl490

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    Oh, in addition, I am not sure how to approach this on my statement/if I should...

    My sophomore year, I missed 5 weeks of school because I had Mono and Strep, was hospitalized for a couple of weeks. Dip in my grades as a results.

    Junior year, I was sexually assaulted. I ended up dropping a class as a result, and grades suffered slightly. Tried to hold it together as best I could. A

    Any advice on how to address this/if I should address this would also be appreciated.
     
  4. Banco

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    You get to explain any additional circumstances on the AMCAS (and on some secondaries), so you can explain the situations you want to. Do you have shadowing/clinical exposure? This is important to solidify your story of switching to medicine! Your story overall seems cohesive.

    Your MCAT is excellent, but your GPA is on the low side. I think you can make MD work with those numbers though.

    What is your race?
     
    #3 Banco, Jul 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  5. bengirlxD

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    You definitely have a chance even with a GPA on the low side in my opinion. Don't give up. Apply broadly and some DO's.
     
  6. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    Which community do you represent?
    Evidence of commitment to service?
    Language skills?
     
  7. Gandyy

    2+ Year Member

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    I believe if you are the "right kind of URM" those numbers should land you into a MD school.

    Good job on the MCAT.

    Man lots of people are killing this new one.
     
  8. softballgirl490

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    I am of mixed race, Black and Dominican. Fluent Spanish speaker, intermediate French. Grew up in the DR for 5 years (born in the US and then transferred to live with my grandparents when my Mom couldn't take care of me).

    (Shadowing spread over 4 years)
    I have 320 hours of shadowing the Medical Director of a Psychiatric Rehab Center
    Another 320 hours shadowing a Neonatologist
    120 hours shadowing a cardiology fellow

    I volunteered in Hospice for 3 hours a week for 9 months.
    Volunteer SAT tutor for low-income, minority student for 3 summers.
    Volunteer mentor scientist for Science club for girls for one semester (3 hours/week)

    In addition, I have worked consistently to make extra cash (Content developer for start up, Coaching, Neuroscience tutor through the school, and I am also a teaching assistant for a molecular biology class to freshman and sophomore in college).

    Any ideas as to how to address the issues of grades? A lot of crap went down, and I don't want to be making excuses. Is it necessary to put it? Helpful? Not-helpful?

    Thank you!
     
  9. meerkat1024

    meerkat1024 I'm diene

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    I think you have a great chance. Everything is great other than GPA, but you have good explanations for that so I don't think that will hurt you too much. Even if you were not URM I think your app sounds great. Still apply broadly, but don't panic too much...IMO pre-med culture is really anxious and people freak out about it a bit much (I'm just as guilty of this though). I bet you will have multiple acceptances, because after reading your posts you sound like someone I would like to befriend and work with, which is exactly what admissions is looking for.
     
  10. softballgirl490

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    Thank you so much everyone! I really appreciate your input!

    I think my one (of many) is how personal to go into explaining my GPA dips... Car accident aside, the assault piece is tricky and personal. If I put it in, I'm sure I will be asked about it, and I am at a point now where I can talk about it confidently and explain how it made me realize that I am capable of overcoming obstacles with the right support and attitude. Has anyone been in that situation? Hesitating to place something in, out of fear, but also because... I don't want a pity party or to seem like I'm using it for any advantage (that makes me shudder to think that someone would use it like that)
     
  11. meerkat1024

    meerkat1024 I'm diene

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    I have unfortunately also had an experience with sexual assault...and I thought about mentioning it because it could havehelped explain a few grade/behavior things that happened, mine happened junior year in HS though, so didn't affect college as much as your situation. However I didn't because I don't think I could talk about it...I get shaky and anxious just thinking about it. It is a very personal thing, and I too was worried about sounding like a "pity party" or that I was trying to make myself "victimized" or something...hard to put into words exactly, but I guess I'm afraid of not being taken seriously, or like I would just be using it as an excuse? Maybe you understand since you went through the same thing. I would say the choice of talking about it is up to you, and I should hope nobody would think you are trying to use it as an excuse, because it is a very serious , stressful, and challenging thing that happened to you.

    Just know you aren't alone in having those feelings of doubt on mentioning that. Those feelings are probably the same reason most sexual assaults go unreported.

    Going through that and moving on DEFINITELY makes you a strong person!
     
  12. Goro

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    Aim high
     
  13. softballgirl490

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    @meerkat1024 Thank you so much for those words of encouragement. It means a lot that you were willing to share your experience and your story, and it gives me hope :) I know there are a ton of people who have gone through similar experiences, and it definitely scares me to think that someone who isn't quite as understanding would take it as some kind of sick angle to gain sympathy points. Ultimately, as you said, it will come down to trusting the process and being honest. It's a part of my history, and I shouldn't be afraid to talk about it (even though it scares the wits out of me!)

    You all have been immensely helpful, thank you! If anyone has anymore input, I would love to hear it (again, the good and the bad!)


     
  14. meerkat1024

    meerkat1024 I'm diene

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    Absolutely, I am glad I could help. If you want to discuss further you can always PM me too :) also, know that you speaking out about it actually helped me, too.
     
  15. GrapesofRath

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    It's an MCAT basically tailor made for those who have been involved in PhD training and have that kind of interest in research.
     
  16. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    You are golden.
     
  17. softballgirl490

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    I'm love love loving all the positive feedback, truly. But my uGPA is a real concern for me. For those of you saying "aim high" and "you're golden" do you mean, I should apply to top tier schools and DOs? I want to be very realistic, I know my GPA will hurt me. What sorts of schools do you think I should put onto my list? Here is what I have been thinking about... Would you guys agree this is an OK list, or should I remove any or add any?

    Again, I cannot thank you all enough for your advice and input!


    Allopathic Schools
    Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine
    Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University
    University of Connectict College of Medicine
    University of Florida College of Medicine
    University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
    Florida State University College of Medicine
    Florida Atlantic University Colleg of Medicine
    Florida International University School of Medicine
    Georgetown University School of Medicine
    George Washington University
    Albany Medical College
    Tulane University School of Medicine
    University of Illinois College of Medicine
    Frank Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University
    Drexel University College of Medicine
    University of Minnesota Medical School
    University of Arizona College of Medicine

    Osteopathic Schools
    University of New England Osteopathic School of Medicine
    Michigan State University School of Osteopathic Medicine
    Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Pacific Northwest University of Health Services
    Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
    NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
    TUCOM - CA School of Osteopathic Medicine
    Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
     
  18. Banco

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    You should replace the OOS state schools with better options.

    Consider removing UConn, Minnesota, Illinois, OHSU. Replace with private schools such as: Miami, Temple, Jeff, Einstein, BU, and a couple of reaches
     
  19. softballgirl490

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    Thanks @Banco! What would you consider reaches for someone in my position?
     
  20. Banco

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    It's hard to say.

    3.1 GPA is low; but a URM with a 516 is rare, so it perhaps balances out. I would say reaches would roughly be the top 25 schools (schools with median at 3.8 and MCAT at 35+).

    You should look at MSAR; the lower the 10%ile GPA of a school, the more likely they are to forgive your GPA.
     
  21. GrapesofRath

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    URM status changes the picture entirely. When people ask who are the types of people who get into schools with GPA's below the 10th percentile, it's applications like yours.

    There are a lot of OOS public schools but URM admission works differently so I'm not ready to necessairly say pull the plug on those(Goro can give you a good specific school list). What I will say is play up to your strengths. You have top research experience. Your MCAT is well within range of the big research powerhouses. That's where you should focus your time on. MT Sinai, NYU, Vanderbilt, Duke, Northwestern types. Those are places that I'm guessing Goro and gyngyn mean when they say "aim high" and they are what fit your application. Being a Fl resident provides you tons of good lower tier safety type schools. You have a solid list, get some good input from those like Goro who know better than me on more specific schools and you should be good to go.
     
  22. softballgirl490

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    Thank you @Banco! You've been really helpful. @Goro do you think you might be able to add or remove from the list?

    I can't thank you all enough, this forum has been awesome :)
     

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