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WAMC - 3.34 sGPA, 508 MCAT, Disadvantaged Background


Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2016
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi Everyone,

I hope all is well and safe during this time! I am having last minute doubts whether or not to apply this cycle and need advice regarding WAMC. My advisors said that I am ready but when I asked her a couple questions about my undergrad school's SOM program they provided the wrong information, so I am not sure what to think.

  • California Resident
  • Undergrad (w/time spent): Community college transfer (2 years) to California state university (2 years)
  • Major: Bioengineering, B.S
  • Disadvantaged background in terms of SES
    • Lived with 13 family members in a 3 bedroom rental house (5 adults, 7 children, 1 grandmother) up until I transferred to university
  • First Generation American. Both parents are from North Africa
    • Speak 2 languages (Arabic and English)
  • cGPA: 3.49
  • sGPA: 3.34 - upward trend (2.7 < 3.1 < 3.6 < 3.5)
  • All other GPA: 3.76
  • DIY Post-Bacc GPA(@ community college): 4.0 (both BCPM and non BCPM)
    • Took Anatomy, Physiology, Biology of Aging, Ecology, Astronomy
  • MCAT
    • 1st attempt: 500 (126/124/127/123)
    • 2nd attempt: 508 (128/127/127/126)

Undergrad Extracurriculars
  • Research Experience
    • 2 poster presentations: 1 from summer research (full time over 3 months), 1 from year long senior Bioengineering capstone project (300+ hrs)
    • Two Engineering Projects (50+ hrs each)
  • Clinical Experience
    • Clinical Hospital Volunteer: 600 hrs over 3 years
    • Medical Free clinic volunteer (80+ hrs)
  • Non Clinical Experience
    • Student Government - Advocacy committee (60+ hrs)
    • Shadowing: 30 hrs (Cardiac surgeon and ICU Pulmonary Doctor)
    • Project Lead for Homeless Health Project (100+ hrs over 2 years)
    • Intercollegiate Boxing Team Member - Team made championships!
    • Biomedical Engineering Internship (200 hrs)
    • Data Lead/canvasser for a state proposition
    • Trombone Jazz Band member
  • Paid Work Experience (Only during community college)
    • I was a handyman, Gardner, house cleaner, and sandblaster for industrial machinery. 15 hrs/week during school, full time over summer
  • Awards
    • Several Community Service Awards for service and dedication
    • Graduated Magna Cum Laude
Post Grad Extracurriculars
  • Engineering Internship and private tutor (120 hrs)
  • Full time Medical Device Engineer & Project Manager (1 year and 4 months)
  • Board Secretary of an international non-profit medical organization (5hrs/week for 1 year)
LORs (w/ strength)
  • Medical Sociology Professor (medium)
  • Engineering Professor (strong)
  • Anatomy Professor who is also a doctor (strong)
  • Research PI (medium) - I had to remind him a lot so I am not sure what to think
  • Engineering Manager from Work (Strong)
  • My 500 MCAT and dip in Senior year sGPA was because midterms, the MCAT, job interviews, and my senior bioengineering capstone project due date all fell into the same week. I caused me to get a C+ in Anatomy and a 500 MCAT. Totally unplanned, but it happened, and I learned a lot about my limits from that situation. To make up for this I took anatomy and physiology after I graduated and got A's
  • My post-bacc only increased by sGPA by 0.13. Unfortunately I have so many units since Bioengineering is so unit heavy and because i took a ton of neuroscience classes, so I am not sure how taking additional classes will help my GPA/

Medical Schools on My List - Preliminary
  • UC Riverside
  • UCLA
  • UC Davis
  • Wake Forest
  • VCU
  • Central Michigan
  • Penn State
  • Kaiser
  • UofA
  • UNLV
  • Drexel
  • Rutgers
  • Military Medical School
  • Loyola - Stritch SOM
  • Saint Louis
  • Tulane
  • Albany
I don't have any DO's on my list because I don't have a LOR from a DO nor do I have any experience with DOs. Frankly, I just won't know how to answer "Why DO" and I don't want to lie on my application.

I believe the true strength of my application comes from my story (growing up/my path to medicine) and activities. I recognize that my MCAT and gpa decreases my changes, especially since I fall <10% of matriculates in basically every school on my list, so I am taking huge risk of becoming a re-applicant. I would like to take a formalized post bacc and retake the MCAT but I can't afford to quit work since I am the sole provider of income for my family because they lost their jobs due to COVID-19. With all this said, I definitely believe I demonstrated I have the ability to succeed in Med School. During undergrad I took 18 sometimes 24 units per semester with the vast majority of the courses being BCPM (engineering and neuroscience) along side everything else I had going on. Unfortunately I just had a slow start but the learning and development I had along the way definitely built me into a stronger person.

Thank you!
Last edited:


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2012
  1. Attending Physician
The reality is that the GPA-MCAT grid shows you have only a 50% chance for a MD acceptance. For CA applicants it would be lower. So you need to apply to DO schools if you do not wish to be a reapplicant. Most DO schools do not require a DO LOR. You have several state public schools on your list that accept very few non residents with your stats and no connection to the state. I suggest these MD schools:
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UC Riverside (only if you are from that region or attended school there)
California University
California Northstate
New York Medical College
Seton Hall
Penn State
George Washington
Eastern Virginia
Wake Forest
Rosalind Franklin
Medical College Wisconsin
Oakland Beaumont
Wayne State
Also apply to DO schools and I suggest these:
ATSU (both schools)
LECOM (all schools)
PCOM (all schools)
VCOM (all schools)
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