WAMC: 2.97 cGPA, 2.58 sGPA, 3.7 postbaccGPA, 510 MCAT

unclecarrot

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May 28, 2020
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Hey y’all, this is my first post, so apologies if there are any mistakes! Low gpa, doing a DIY post bacc, unsure about my school list, but want to stay in CA. I have a valid reason for my low GPA, I became the main caretaker for a dying family member, causing a drop in grades and extra curricular. Finishing my DIY post bacc with 24 units and 3.7. I believe that my activities, background + motivation, and MCAT score will help and cover the low GPA. Applying this cycle, only UC Med schools, want to stay in CA (but if y'all have any recommendations, hmu. I’m I being realistic, what are my chances?

Latina, Female, CA resident
First gen, immigrant, disadvantaged
  • Year in school: (DIY) Post bacc
  • Country/state of residence: California
  • Undergrad Institution: small private liberal arts university
    • Major: Chemistry
  • Schools to which you are applying: UCs Med Schools
  • AMCAS GPA: 2.97c, 2.58s
    • doest not include post bacc
  • MCAT Score: 510
  • Research:
    • 300 hours cancer research
    • 200 hours research teaching assistant
  • Clinical Experience:
    • 1000+ hours caretaker for stage four cancer family member
  • Physician shadowing – include hours/specialties:
    • 100hrs Family Medicine
    • 20hrs Neurology
    • 20hrs Cardiology
    • Online shadowing (new, don’t know if it will be accepted)
  • Clinical volunteering:
    • 270 hours Community clinic translator @ underserved community
    • 80 hours Polyclinic volunteer in Spanish & Quechua (outside of U.S.) @ underserved community
    • 10 hours Community clinic volunteer ( covid affected my site :/)
  • Non-clinical volunteering:
    • 144 hours HS science + math tutor
    • 60 English Learner Tutor @ underserved community
    • 70 Computer Literacy tutor @ underserved community
    • 128 hours Event coordinator volunteer on campus
    • 100 hours Mentor first year college students
  • Extracurricular activities:
    • Baking
    • Photography
    • Coding
  • Immediate family members in medicine? (y/n): No
  • Skills:
    • Trilingual: English, Spanish, Quechua (Amerind language from Bolivia)
  • Honors:
    • half tuition merit scholarship
    • Community Volunteer award
 
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AdductorMagnus

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The positive trend in your GPA is a great thing, but even then, your final GPA's will still be very low, well below average. I know that schools will consider the positive trend, but when looking at a ton of applicants with way higher GPA's, you still may not be able to compete. Your MCAT is also below average for accepted students (511-512 last cycle). Your EC's are good, but in order to make up for the below-average stats, they are not where they need to be. 1000+ hours as a caretaker is great, but I have heard here on SDN and from other pre-med resources that being a caretaker for a family member isn't viewed as favorably as a more traditional clinical position. Unfortunately, many people have taken advantage of that in the past and ruined it for those who were actually providing a real clinical service.

In light of those comments, I don't think that only applying to the UC schools is enough to be confident in your app cycle. The UC schools are very competitive because there are so many CA applicants. A lot of CA residents with great stats and EC's still have to go out of state because they don't hear back from their state schools. I have a friend who had a strong GPA, a 95th percentile MCAT, and is URM and he didn't get in to any of his state schools, but interviewed at about 20 out of state schools and ended up getting accepted by Columbia, Northwestern, Mayi clinic, and a bunch of other great schools. My point is, you should be applying more broadly in order to have a chance. This means applying heavily to schools that you are more competitive at. This includes DO, mid-lower tier private schools, as well as your state schools.
 
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unclecarrot

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May 28, 2020
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The positive trend in your GPA is a great thing, but even then, your final GPA's will still be very low, well below average. I know that schools will consider the positive trend, but when looking at a ton of applicants with way higher GPA's, you still may not be able to compete. Your MCAT is also below average for accepted students (511-512 last cycle). Your EC's are good, but in order to make up for the below-average stats, they are not where they need to be. 1000+ hours as a caretaker is great, but I have heard here on SDN and from other pre-med resources that being a caretaker for a family member isn't viewed as favorably as a more traditional clinical position. Unfortunately, many people have taken advantage of that in the past and ruined it for those who were actually providing a real clinical service.

In light of those comments, I don't think that only applying to the UC schools is enough to be confident in your app cycle. The UC schools are very competitive because there are so many CA applicants. A lot of CA residents with great stats and EC's still have to go out of state because they don't hear back from their state schools. I have a friend who had a strong GPA, a 95th percentile MCAT, and is URM and he didn't get in to any of his state schools, but interviewed at about 20 out of state schools and ended up getting accepted by Columbia, Northwestern, Mayi clinic, and a bunch of other great schools. My point is, you should be applying more broadly in order to have a chance. This means applying heavily to schools that you are more competitive at. This includes DO, mid-lower tier private schools, as well as your state schools.

wow thank you so much! Will add more reach schools to my list. The only question I have is why caretaker isn't favorable? I will be describing my day-to-day tasks such as; administering medications, food, bathing, transportation, and hospital visits. How would med schools not view this as favorable if I had hands on experience that are similar to other clinical roles?
 

AdductorMagnus

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wow thank you so much! Will add more reach schools to my list. The only question I have is why caretaker isn't favorable? I will be describing my day-to-day tasks such as; administering medications, food, bathing, transportation, and hospital visits. How would med schools not view this as favorable if I had hands on experience that are similar to other clinical roles?
I don't think they look negatively at caretaking, but because it is a family member. It may be looked at as a little bit less valid than a formal job or service role. I think you should definitely include it, I'm just saying it may not be considered as highly by schools as you might think, at least not highly enough to make up for the other shortcomings in your app. Just make sure to apply very broadly!

EDIT: Here is another post talking about this:
 
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Shotapp

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24 credits, sorry I am unsure how to properly calculate it
Go this thread and click on the reddit link to use the GPA excel spread sheet. Enter all you grades from your bachelors and post-bac to figure out your GPAs. Assuming you took 120 credit hrs in your BS degree your cGPA is not going to be a 3.4. How many science credit hrs did you take in your BS degree?
 
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Faha

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24 credits, sorry I am unsure how to properly calculate it
It appears your cGPA would be between 3.1 and 3.2 . You will need to apply to DO schools also. I suggest these MD schools:
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UC Riverside (if you are from that region)
UCLA Drew
California University
Kaiser
Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson)
TCU-UNT
NOVA MD
Florida Atlantic
Florida International (1/3 of class Hispanic last year)
Central Florida
George Washington
Georgetown
Drexel
Temple
Seton Hall
New York Medical College
Einstein
Vermont
Quinnipiac
Oakland Beaumont
Wayne State
Loyola
Rosalind Franklin
Medical College Wisconsin
Creighton
For DO schools I suggest these
WESTERN
TUCOM-CA
TUNCOM
AZCOM
ATSU-SOMA
UIWSOM
ACOM
ARCOM
KCU-COM
LECOM (all schools)
MU-COM
 
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