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What are my chances?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Osteopathic [ DO ]' started by iliveinmyguitar, 09.23.14.

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  1. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    EDIT: 1/8/15

    Retook the MCAT to no avail :( (23: 5V, 9PS, 9BS) I felt like I didn't get enough time to study the second time around because I had a little under a month. All the later dates were taken up so I had to settle for early December. I did everything I could and it hurts so much right now. I finished the EK Verbal book and TPR verbal WB, along with the TPR SWB and all 7 of the TBR CBTs on which I did ok (25-28). Its the verbal that screwed me over I guess and I honestly think that its unfair considering the work that I have put in and how irrelevant it is to becoming a doctor. I might just be saying that because I am pissed but I moved to this country when I was young and critical reading was never a priority until I started studying for the MCAT.

    I'm all about not making excuses but I've never tried so hard and failed this bad before in my life.

    My plan is now to apply next cycle super early and super broadly. I really REALLY don't want to settle for Caribbean, I will be happy to go to any DO US school that will take me.

    Can you guys suggest any schools that I have a chance of an acceptance with?
    I am currently working in the ER as a tech and possibly a scribe in February as well as volunteering. Is there anything else that I should be doing to increase my chances?


    GPA: 3.45
    sGPA: 3.5
    MCAT: 23 (6V,7PS, 10BS), 23(5V,9PS, 9BS)

    Education
    Biology Major and Chemistry Minor
    Dean’s list, September 2012- May 2014
    BLS certified
    Bilingual

    Work Experience

    Clinical Assistant @emergency Department

    § Assist doctors, PAs, and Nurses in patient care. Tasks include: comforting and informing the patients, performing EKG’s, blood draws, and vital sign measurements, teaching crutch walking and splinting, assisting doctors in suturing procedures, restocking supplies in carts and patients’ rooms,

    Waiter/ Busboy @ restaurant Restaurant
    Home security and entertainment company

    § Assisted in pre-wiring houses for security cameras, HD TV’s, and audio appliances at construction sites,
    Chemistry Tutor on campus
    Private Guitar/ Music Tutor in my town
    Extra-Curricular Activities
    Biology Research Experience@ College
    Co-Historian/Co-Vice President of Club
    Member of Phi Delta Epsilon
    Volunteer Work
    EMS in my town
    Senior Center
    Hobbies/Interests


    · Writing and Producing music
    · Self-improvement and reading
    · Exercising and hiking
    · Meditation
    · Cooking
    · Traveling


    I am currently taking a year off to work and gain some more experience, particularly with shadowing physicians. I am also going to be doing a lot of volunteering. During the first 2 year of college my family was going through some rough times financially so I had to spend most of my free time working and giving beginner guitar lessons to help with the situation. You can say I didn't have the luxury of volunteering during that time. However, I do have research, clinical, and other life experiences that I am hoping are enough to get me into school. I am planning on applying when I get my MCAT score which should be sometime within the next 2 weeks. I was averaging 28 on the AAMC practice exams so we'll see what happens there.
     
    Last edited: 01.10.15
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  3. medickdb

    medickdb 5+ Year Member

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    Assuming your MCAT will be >27, no worries. Apply broadly to the right schools in October.
     
    AlteredScale and WhyDoWeFall like this.
  4. WhyDoWeFall

    WhyDoWeFall 5+ Year Member

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    Remember to look at regional biased areas to increase your chances but you should get a bunch of interviews regardless or where you apply providing your MCAT scores are decent.
     
  5. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the reply guys, I was kinda worried that mid October would be too late to apply with my stats. I'm really hoping I did well on the MCAT. When I took it I thought I failed it pretty hard, but than again I thought the same thing with all the practice tests I took only to get 27,28..

    What do you guys think is the lowest MCAT score that I can afford to have with my stats in order for me to get into a school?
     
  6. WayneWilliamsPT

    WayneWilliamsPT 2+ Year Member

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    I would like an opinion on my chances as well. I am new to sdn so I'm not exactly sure if me inquiring about my chances on someone else's thread violates the norm or not.
    These are my stats and info
    Major: Kinesiology
    Ugpa: 3.6
    sgpa: 3.51
    Mcat: 28
    URM: Black Male
    * I have two C's in Physics and Organic Chemistry 1
    180 shadowing hours
    Extracurriculars: Academic tutor for three years, student assistant 2years, habitat for humanity 2 years, Muscle Dystrophy Association camp counselor, Impact Peer Mentor 2 years
    I plan to apply to DO schools
     
  7. JimmyB123

    JimmyB123

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    Your ECs are amazing and go above and beyond most applicants. Get a decent MCAT and you are good to go!
     
  8. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks guys, that's a bit of a load off my chest :)
     
  9. user3

    user3 SDN Bronze Donor Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

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    23

    (assuming you apply to enough schools like LMU, WVSOM, VCOM, ACOM, etc)
     
  10. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    Just got the MCATs back, and a little disappointed to be honest. I averaged 27/28 on the practice exams and ended up with a 23 :/. What are my chances now? I really don't want to retake this beast of a test. Any advise?
     
  11. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    oh yeah my breakdown was 6V, 7PS, 10BS
     
  12. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    Is there a downside to going to those schools other then being far from home. Do you know anything about their match stats? I personally don't care where I go at this point I just want to acquire the skills of a physician. But as always my parents will need some consoling lol
     
  13. user3

    user3 SDN Bronze Donor Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

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    pretty much all schools have ~100% match rate when all is said and done. But really now, your main focus should be blasting out secondaries to all of the lower tier/newer DO schools ASAP. I cannot recomend LUCOM.
     
  14. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    I will consider pretty much all schools in the east coast. What do you guys think about my chances at schools like ROWAN/PCOM/LECOM? Another thing, I came to this country when I was 11 and speak only Russian at home so English is technically my second language. Can I use that to explain the 6 on Verbal?
     
  15. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    LECOM maybe, but not a chance at the other ones, those are top tier schools.

    Dont know about the language thing.
     
  16. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    My premed advise told me that the 6 in verbal is not gonna get me anywhere so I am probably gonna have to take the test again in January and apply to school the next cycle. I really wish that they would consider the language thing too
     
  17. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    A 6 is right on the line... People have definitely gotten in with a 6 on their verbal. But at the same time it definitely limits your school options. A 6 is obviously more detrimental if your overall score is not stellar. So yea the 6 combined with your overall score is definitely not helping you. But again, you might have a shot by applying to the right schools.
     
  18. lessthanjimmy

    lessthanjimmy 2+ Year Member

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    There have been people who have gotten in with 6's in Verbal.
     
  19. F#&$#^&&@theMCAT

    F#&$#^&&@theMCAT

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    I know a handful of people who have gotten in with a 6 in verbal
     
  20. kelminak

    kelminak 2+ Year Member

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    How are you studying for the MCAT to where you didn't improve? What method and timeframe have you been using?
     
  21. radian313

    radian313 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Advisors....ha! Some people have had luck by taking retaking the mcat in jan to gain admission the same cycle....may not be at your "dream" school...but hey it can be done
     
  22. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    I dont get what you mean... But I allotted the whole summer to prepare for the MCAT. I took the princeton review course. During june and july I was pretty much doing content review and doing timed psgs at the end of the day on the content I reviewed. In august, I started taking all the AAMC tests (5-11). I took AAMC#11 3 days before my test date on September 4th and scored a 28. I felt confident.

    Another thing that i think influenced my performance on the actual test is my grandmother getting hit by a car 2 weeks before the test so i was in and out of the hospital translating for her, she doesnt speak a word of english, because both my parents work alot. It was also really scary for the family. I am all about not letting circumstances get in the way of achieving goals but I was really close with her so I was distracted for about a week. I think it did mess with my focus.

    I do want to go to schools like ROWAN, PCOM, LECOM, NYIT, so I determined that I am going to be applying next cycle and will re-take my MCATs in either December or January. In the mean while I am going to keep volunteering, working in the ER as a tech, and I just got offered a job as a scribe with scribe america so I will do that as well. To be honest I am not upset and actually think that I prefer the 2 years off. I have always wanted to travel and do something else that i doubt anybody on here would approve off haha.

    What do you guys think of my whole situation? Am I completely wrong for taking 2 years off?
     
  23. kelminak

    kelminak 2+ Year Member

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    I'm not a big fan of those prep courses as a lot of the people that take them give very strong negative feedback. If you read through the 30+ thread, most of those people say they did self-study programs similar to a modified sn2ed schedule. A retake is clearly your best option (I wouldn't sell that GPA short w/ a bad MCAT), but how you approach it clearly needs to be different. Your verbal is your obvious weak point, and I might be able to give advise on that section as I got a 12 in it. I'll copy what I just told someone else and if you have questions, you're welcome to ask.

    "Honestly, I think Verbal may be really easy or difficult to raise your score depending on your circumstances. For starters, I'm a native English speaker that always excels at reading comprehension, which is essentially what this test is about. When I was taking practice exams, I started to realize that every single VR question has a specific detail to it that tells you what they're looking for. Questions with something like "explicitly" are usually looking for things in the passage that the author said, not something that *sounds* like what the author said, which they'll try to trick you with one answer that looks like something the author would say. The nice part about VR is that the answer is literally in the passage every time and you don't need prior knowledge to be able to answer it. Referring to the previous example, you can look back to the passage and see which things the author explicitly stated in the passage and realize one of them was never actually said despite going with the idea of the passage. I think looking for keywords in each question helps identify exactly what they're looking for. The only challenging questions are the ones that ask you to figure out which statement the author would most likely agree with, which requires you to understand the content of the passage. Did you do practice tests before taking the exam? I think practice exams really ironed out what I should be looking for in problems and corrected my bad thought processes when trying to answer VR questions."

    Honestly, I would try to get a test date right before they switch the format and study your ass off like none other to iron things out. You have the time to do it and if you're not doing school, then there isn't a reason you shouldn't be able to get it done. I'm sorry to hear about your personal situation around the test time and that could have been a definite factor, but hopefully if everything has cleared up, then you can put your full effort into getting an even higher practice test average so you can knock the test out of the way. Start looking for the passages that you bomb and learn the entire concept so that you know it by heart the next time you see it. There's honestly so much you can get tested on for the MCAT and it's luck of the draw on what you get, so if you minimize the number of concepts you aren't familiar with, then your odds of getting a bad passage is additionally minimized.

    By the way, I really liked this method toward the last month of studying, you might take a look at it since you're in a limited timeframe:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/thr...ints-in-2-months-—-the-spinach-method.988678/
     
  24. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks alot for the thorough reply!
    I just registered for the latest date available which is December 6th at a location 2 hours away. The test is at 1pm so i dont think the distance is going to be a problem. What would you suggest be a good way to study at this point? I used up all the aamc tests in august. According to Spinach method those are vital. I also only have the Princeton Review books. Are those fine to keep using for content review? I also have the TPR Science Workbook which I didnt complete so i am planning to use those passages also. Are there anyother books or material that I should get to prepare me for the 6th of December? Thanks
     
  25. hallowmann

    hallowmann 2+ Year Member

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    A little misleading. Its not "match rate" that you're talking about, its placement rate. Match rate for all DO schools (the only data we really have) is somewhere around 80-90% (big range). That said, if OP want's to go to med school, those are going to be their options, so I don't think "match rate" at those schools is really important at this point.

    OP, apply broadly to the lower tier/newer DO schools like user3 said.

    I'd be really surprised if they got into LECOM. Probably easily into the post-bac program, but not LECOM outright.

    Its not the 6 VS that's hurting you. People, especially people who aren't native speakers, get in to many schools with a 6 VS. The thing that's hurting you is the 7 in PS and 23 overall score. If you had a 10-6-10, you'd be fine.

    I think you could get in to some school as is (see user3's suggestions), but if you really want a good chance at an established school, you need to retake and get at least a 25.
     
  26. kelminak

    kelminak 2+ Year Member

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    You want this book: http://www.amazon.com/Princeton-Review-Hyperlearning-Verbal-Workbook/dp/B0071ALPB0

    It's insanely expensive there, but I'll pm you a place you might be able to get it cheaper.
     
  27. 100111

    100111

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    I honestly thought sdn exaggerated the importance of being early. My experience now says otherwise. From the schools I'm tracking, they are just now going through mid-august applications and sending out interview invites for late november dates. I'm pretty sure even septmeber applications are now hugeeeeely disadvantaged. A 23mcat on top of that is kinda game over.
     
  28. radian313

    radian313 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    A 23 mcat even in June may put an app on hold. What I'm seeing in this cycle is the high mcats. Lots of people have the credentials for acceptance so they can be much more selective. I think what needs to be agreed on is one simply needs a higher mcat now....26+....late is if you apply in December then by then one must have 3.4+ and a 27+ mcat.

    Point Is its not game over...it's only over if ones numbers aren't up to standards. Standards which are being raised every cycle.
     
  29. radian313

    radian313 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Point to note. I applied 3 days ago and I got secondaries already after screening. Just saying.
     
  30. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Chances are very poor. I suggest a retake, but only after fixing your deficits, and you're scoring in the high 20s on AAMC (not Kaplan) practice tests.

     
  31. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    lol I was scoring in the high 20s on all the AAMC practice exams. But like i said i am re-taking it in december. Btw, other than clearly improving my MCAT score, what do you mean by "fixing my deficits"?
     
  32. Omppu27

    Omppu27 El Tiburon 5+ Year Member

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    I'm assuming he's referring to filling the holes in your content review or fixing/revamping your test taking strategies. Scoring in the low 20s shows that there's considerable issues in both these areas. This is especially true if you're scoring a 7 in PS.

    PS is arguably the easiest score to bring up. Honestly, if you just put in the time, you should be able to get that score up to something respectable.

    With regards to verbal, make sure you're doing at least 5 passages in one sitting. I went up from a 6 to an 8 solely from increasing my endurance by doing tons of passages. Good luck!
     
  33. user3

    user3 SDN Bronze Donor Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

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    sadly, I disagree. many of the newer schools are surprisingly (or rather, excessively) forgiving.
     
  34. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Bingo!

    And user3, I didn't say chances were "zero".

     
  35. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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  36. ananasmed

    ananasmed 2+ Year Member

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    I'm sorry about your MCAT woes :( Unfortunately the double 23s don't look great. As you may already know, schools have different policies in terms of how to interpret MCAT retakes, so it's hard to say if your 6VR from the first test would prevent you from getting screened as compared to your newer 5VR (although, even the 6 and/or the 23 overall could get your app screened out at some schools).

    If you are dead set on going to medical school, I would plan to apply to the newest DO schools and ones with lowest MCAT averages on the first day of the 2015-2016 cycle. As painful as it sounds, I'd also try to plan a retake with the new MCAT, after giving yourself PLENTY OF TIME to study. You might need a prep course, a tutor, or both to figure out how you can improve in verbal.

    In your shoes, I would also consider applying concurrently to podiatry school next year. From my research and experience, podiatry seems like a wonderful career and you would probably find it fulfilling in that the schooling and practice share many similarities with medicine. Your grades and scores would be competitive for pod school. Perhaps in the coming months, you could try to shadow a podiatrist and see if you'd enjoy it (you need podiatry shadowing and a LOR in order to apply to pod school).
     
  37. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you for the reply ananasmed. Yeah the double 23 is pretty bad, I think its pretty ridiculous that they didn't have enough spots open for the later date in January. I would have had so much more time to prepare.

    I need some time to think about my options here. There's absolutely no way I am studying for this test again. I am going to definitely consider podiatry.

    Any thoughts on podiatry vs. Caribbean?
     
  38. ananasmed

    ananasmed 2+ Year Member

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    Podiatry for sure. The Caribbean is way too risky - the odds that you won't even make it to the match are too great to make it worthwhile, in my opinion. You'll have less debt going to podiatry school and a much more certain career path. I understand it's not the "same" as medicine, but if you don't like the idea of podiatry then there are probably lots of aspects of medicine you wouldn't like either...

    (edit: Podiatry is definitely not easy, and there's certainly no guarantee of success or graduation from pod schools. The schools tend to have easier admissions criteria, but then the curriculum is no cakewalk. But I think you should be able to succeed with hard work and determination.)
     
    GypsyHummus likes this.
  39. user3

    user3 SDN Bronze Donor Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

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    If he is willing to go to ANY school (including LUCOM), I'd say his chances are decent. There is also a new for-profit school (Burrell COM) opening 2016, with a large class size.
     
  40. ananasmed

    ananasmed 2+ Year Member

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    I agree that there is a chance, which is why I'd definitely recommend for him to apply - perhaps concurrently with podiatry programs. Didn't know that Burrell would be taking apps for this upcoming cycle but that's great for OP/other underdogs.
     
  41. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    Do you guys know, is it too late to apply to pod schools this cycle to start in the fall?
     
  42. ananasmed

    ananasmed 2+ Year Member

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    I think it's actually not too late - pod schools have a longer/different cycle - but people in the Pre-Pod forum will probably be able to more accurately assess what your chances are at this time based on your grades/scores/how full the classes are at each school. Remember that you will need podiatry shadowing a LOR from a podiatrist... as far as I know, this is not a "soft" requirement.
     
  43. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    What do you guys think about my chances at the MS Program at TouroNYC? http://tourocom.touro.edu/admissions--aid/ms-applicants/

    MS – Masters of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies.
    This is a full-time, one-year program offered at the
    TouroCOM of Harlem. The curriculum is a lecturebased
    format which focuses on core basic medical
    sciences. Courses include Physiology, Histology,
    Biochemistry, Anatomy and Microbiology, as well
    as lectures on clinical medicine. Students finishing
    this Masters Program with a 3.5 average or
    above, and passing administered shelf exams, will be
    granted admission into Touro College of Osteopathic
    Medicine and will be eligible for a DO degree
     
  44. MetricSystem

    MetricSystem

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    So I don't think it's too wise to write such a detailed list of ECs and etc on SDN.
     
  45. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

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    thanks
     
  46. GypsyHummus

    GypsyHummus 5+ Year Member

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    Just to add in my 2 cents because hey, why not? Im gonna be kind of harsh here, but you didn't come for hugs and love.

    23 and lower is essentially failing the MCAT. You did it twice. Unless something radically different changes, you need to find another path. It seems tho that you have come to terms with the monster test tho. Your GPAs are solid for DO schools, but the MCAT shows that you can handle the absurd amount of standardization of education hurled at you. Is it a good indicator that you will be a good doctor? Nope, but thats the world we live in.

    I would advise applying to the lowest of the low tier DO programs next year and suggest at the very least looking into Podiatry. Your GPA shows that you can conceptually handle coursework, but the MCAT is a predictor of having to jump through all the hoops associated with the testing. While podiatry is NOT easy, and it is not an easy coursework load, it is very easy to get into. It is staying in that is the problem with pod schools. They seem to have sorted all of the residency shortages out, and they make really good money!!!
     
  47. GypsyHummus

    GypsyHummus 5+ Year Member

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    Podiatry is an excellent alternative for people who, for whatever reason, could not get into a MD or DO program in the states. It is no question to choose Pod over the Carrabean 100% of the time, especially since Pod has seemed to fix the residency shortage that was plaguing them in 2010-2012.
     
  48. user3

    user3 SDN Bronze Donor Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

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    07.10.10
    Messages:
    3,296
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Just took a quick look at the underdog 24 or less MCAT thread. FWIW, there is someone (@ItsTime619) who has received 3 ii's with a 3.5/22.
     
  49. iliveinmyguitar

    iliveinmyguitar 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    04.02.14
    Messages:
    55
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thank you for your reply. The thing that messed me up is the Verbal section, not standardized testing. I can do fine on material for which I have some context. The sciences on the MCAT weren't too bad for me and I know I could have done better if I didn't have only 1 month to study for the 2nd retake. The verbal on the other hand, is either I do well, or I do horrible. The topics with which I was familiar I only ever got as much as 1 wrong. The other ones, with topics like law or philosophy, I could maybe get the gist of it but most of the time I remember reading through a paragraph very attentively and then still not knowing what it talked about. Plus, the fact that I am foreign didn't help.

    Looking through the USMLE content, I don't see anything that even closely resembles MCAT's verbal. But I dont know I might be wrong. I know that making this argument is exercise in futility but deep inside I know that I will make an amazing doctor. And the fact that the MCAT's verbal is what is holding me back is just like ugh.....

    Imma go checkout this underdog thread! Thank you!
     
  50. cdistel

    cdistel 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    08.10.08
    Messages:
    201
    Location:
    Asheville
    Status:
    Medical Student (Accepted)
    If verbal is the issue I recommend Leonardo radomile, Cambridge learning center. He will cost an arm, leg, and a thigh but he can help. It takes about 8 months of solid dedicated daily work but he is immensely helpful

    Best of luck! Verbal was my hurdle as well so I know what you are going through
     
    Last edited: 01.15.15

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