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What are my chances of getting in?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by FutureDrB, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. FutureDrB

    7+ Year Member

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    Ok, so here's my story...

    I started college about 8 years ago with plans of pursuing a career in medicine. Right after I began school my wife was killed in a car accident, leaving me to raise our newborn daughter by myself. I struggled through undergraduate school and finally graduated in 2006 with a poor GPA of 2.1

    I was working full-time, going to school full-time, and raising our daughter alone. School was not always my top priority as you can tell by my GPA.

    Anyway, I finally met someone else and 2 years ago I started working on a Master's degree in Education. I also began taking my medical pre-requisites again. I am about to finish graduate school now with a 4.0. Needless to say being older (I'm 29 now) has proven to help when it comes to handling multiple responsibilities.

    As a graduate student I also served as the President of a student organization, volunteered in the community, and shadowed a doctor. I have also worked in a hospital in the past.

    My question is... will my extremely poor undergraduate GPA hurt me taking into consideration all that I have accomplished as a graduate student?

    Any ideas?
     
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  3. WeAreNotRobots

    WeAreNotRobots doctor of medicine
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    sorry to hear about your situation.

    i know undergrad gpa and graduate work are considered separately. that means, even if you have a 4.0 in a master's program, this won't mask your undergrad work.

    you may have trouble getting any attention from top tier schools, as they do a good amount of automated pre-secondary screening based merely on your numbers. does anyone know how to get around this?

    other than that, if you do well in the pre-req's and mcat, i think you should have a pretty fair shot at mid/lower tier or DO schools. non-traditional and older applicants seem to have a slight advantage over applicants straight out of college.

    thoughts from anyone else?
     
  4. shaggybill

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    Wow, tough situation. What is your cumulative GPA?

    If you could get it into the 2.8 range and kill the MCAT, you might have a shot at DO. 2.8 is low for DO, but they also tend to forgive easier than MD's. With your story, you might find a school willing to give you a shot. The hardest part will be getting that cGPA to a respectable number after having taken 4 years worth of UG classes.

    Edit: I just saw that your 4.0 grades were grad classes. I don't know if they count in your cGPA.
     
  5. Mobius1985

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    Your recent excellent graduate GPA helps show you are a different person with a new-found work ethic, but will not help convince adcomms that you can succeed in a science-intense med school environment unless you took a lot of upper-level science classes. Since you are retaking the prerequisites, I'll assume that's not the case. The good news is this: if you apply to DO medical schools, they will refigure your application GPA by replacing poor grades with the retaken grade. So your GPA for application purposes may be higher than you think. (See DO GPA calculation spreadsheet: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=450050

    As I recall, the lowest GPA some DO schools consider is 2.75. Many are at 3.0. Maybe your non-traditional status and compelling story will get you some wiggle room, but only calling admissions offices will find this out. A better place to ask would be in the pre-osteopathic forum of SDN.

    Even if you get a great MCAT score, I think you'll probably need at least an additional year of undergrad science classes with great grades. Since you're older, you won't have to completely repair your undergrad GPA to a competitive range (3.4 for DO schools), you just have to demonstrate an ability to succeed in a med school environment. You could also consider doing a SMP (Special Masters Program). See, for details: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=71 which is another path to GPA redemption.
     
    #4 Mobius1985, Dec 14, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  6. FutureDrB

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    First off, thanks for the replies so far...

    So let me get this straight...

    Are you telling me that the medical schools average all of your cumulative GPA's together?

    I went to 5 different undergraduate schools... I just had a 2.1 cumulative from the school I graduated from.

    But if what you are saying is that the med schools average ALL of your grades together from all of your schools, then my OVERALL cumulative GPA will be higher.

    Also if you are saying that if I replaced some F's from one school with better grades from another. Do those F's still average in if I have better grades in the same class at another school?

    For example = I took English 1301 in 2001 and got an F (forgot to withdraw - not my real grade) but then I took English 1301 again 3 years later at another school and got a B, does the B replace the F at the other school when calculating cumulative GPA?

    If so I would have a 2.5 cumulative not counting my additional 4.0 grad school grades (if that was counted in it would go up to 3.0 GPA). It also does not count my grades for science pre-requisites I am working on now.

    Hopefully all that made sense...
     
  7. psy

    psy Lazy Bum Extraordinaire
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    You should apply to DO schools from what you have said so far. You are older and DOs often admit more non-traditional students. You said you are retaking pre-reqs while doing your masters. If you do well in those they may replace the grade you got in undergrad. Also, you should briefly explain your situation in your personal statement. Mention you have had family hardship and that is why your earlier grades were low, but your recent achievements have shown that you did improve.
     
  8. FutureDrB

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    I should note that I didn't mean I was "retaking" my science prerequisites, I am completing them for the first time while finishing my master's degree.

    So I am not replacing any science grades.
     
  9. Mobius1985

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    Transcripts from all post-high school classes must be submitted. Only AACOMAS, the DO med school application service, will replace a grade with the most recent retake (the F will be listed also, but not be figured in mathmatically. Only the B in your example would be). AMCAS, the MD med school application service, will average all the grades together (so an F and a retake producing an A would average to a C). Classes taken for a graduate degree are listed separately. It's my understanding that undergrad courses taken while pursuing a grad degree (not required for the grad degree) are still counted as undergrad courses by AMCAS, but I'm not sure what AACOMAS will do (and I've never seen what I'm telling you written in the AMCAS rules, just read it on SDN).
     
    #8 Mobius1985, Dec 14, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008

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