I'm in the first semester of my junior year here at OU. Although it's my '3rd' year, i will be completing my undergradute in 5 years rather than 4 since I changed my degree to letters and decided to persue medicine.
Right now, I have a 3.72 gpa, but I'm almost positive I'll get a B in Ochem 1, physics 2, and my 1 hour zoology lab, bringing my overall GPA down to 3.6. (I can get it 'up' to around a 3.7 again if i take summer school, and make all A's next semester.) My science gpa would drop to 3.58.
I work 20 hours a week at a gastroenterologist's office (most likely why I have b's in these three classes, from working all the time) to pay for college and living. I'm so discouraged with this drop in my grades.
I'm involved with campus, and have not yet taken the MCAT...
But this is why I write-- (1) I know GPA isn't everything, but lets be honest... it's very important. What are my chances with where I am now? (2) what else can I do to pump up my resume with beneficial experiences? (3) I know research is important, should I persue this?
(4) I work quite a bit durring the week (which includes interaction with pts, observing procedures, working in the office, shadowing the drs @ endoscopy unit and hospital, etc...) Should I be volunteering as well?
So many questions. Any advice???
Thank you for this advice. More balance is exactly what I need!
I just feel disheartened though... Like I've somehow screwed myself over. I know this is not true however. But if I'm making grades like this now (not awful) will I be able to perform well in med school?
It's encouraging to hear others advice about this.
1) It's important, sure, but your GPA is far from "bad." It's at or just below the average for most schools, and certainly isn't in the "unacceptable" range for any of them. It will always help to bump it up a bit, but you're far from needing to worry yet.
2) It sounds as if you've got the clinical experience mostly covered. Some sort of leadership experience (becoming an officer in a club, for example) would look nice.
3) Research is good and will certainly always help your app, but it's only necessary if you've got your sights set on a top 20 school or somewhere that emphasizes research heavily. If you're genuinely interested, go for it; if not, it sounds like your ECs are strong as is.
4) I think some sort of volunteerism/altruism would certainly look good on any app; seeing as you have the clinical side covered, you could also always try volunteering somewhere outside of medicine like Habitat for Humanity or feeding the homeless or something like that. Or you could try to make some of that time you work volunteer hours too. Again, your ECs sound solid as is, but if you wanted to buff them up, this would be an option.
Agree totally with this. Definately try to do some volunteer - maybe in the summer when school is done. And don't sweat your GPA - its very good. Maybe tell the GI clinic you need to cut back for you grades.?.?
I would HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend taking the KAPLAN MCAT prep class prior to your MCAT. It's a thousand bucks or so and about a month long, but it if you consider that people who take that test do better on their MCAT and are more likely to get accepted to medical school (i.e. a future doctor, where you will likely make 200K+/year), the cost is a bargain. The MCAT is by far the #1 thing med schools look at when evaluating allicants. I had a 3.9 undergrad GPA, volunteer, research, and worked as a nurse assistant in college, and got "ok" MCATs (27 - didn't take the Kaplan class). I ended up choosing a DO/osteopathic school over my home MD/allopathic school (accepted to both) because they had a great structure and acted like they at least wanted me to be there, which is more than I can say for my home school. But anyways, my point is that if I would have had a 30+ score on my MCAT I would have probably got in anywhere. And I imagine if you got a 30+ MCAT you could probably get in anywhere as well
Good luck. Take the KAPLAN class and ace the MCAT. Take it twice if your not happy with your scores. One test has never meant so much to your future. Just remember - once you get into med school, your golden. It's getting there that's the hard part.
So untrue. If this were true, I wouldn't be thinking about a reapp right now.
If you did all those things and had a 30+ I imagine the only thing you didn't do was apply to more programs. Or there was something during the interview that they didn't like. Did you apply to very competitive schools?
Put another way, it might not be enough to get a 30+ on the MCAT. There are also politics involved in who gets accepted to med school. A disproportionate number have family/parents who are docs.
I would appreciate more of your opinion and/or experience.
An addendum to this, having read your stats on the attached link, is that you are a very good applicant. Did you do any research, do any international/overseas medicine, volunteer, medical field work? If you are applying only to such competitive schools, you need probably all of those or more. And the truth is, a lot of applicants don't get in straight out of college and have to get a master's or PhD. That might be somewhat of the reality at the programs you are applying to. And again, with a lot of things, it's who you know. Do you know anyone who can call the med school / dean of admissions on your behalf? But good stats. I imagine you will be a great colleague someday.
I perhaps should have applied more broadly and I may have found more more success; it is impossible to say. I've done 3+ years of research and I have a 2nd author on a publication. I've done some, not a lot, of shadowing, and I've done some emergency department volunteering. I also instructed an MCAT class for underrepresented students (~90hrs, paid) I go to a low/middle tier state undergrad and there are no doctors in my (entire) family, both of which are surely hurting me right now. I have never gone abroad, however I've always held the opinion that one doesn't need to go half way across the world to make a difference and help people.
Sadly, I do not have anyone who can pull strings for me. Such is life I just have to keep my head up and hoping for the best, just like everyone else. Thanks for the supportive comments.