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What does a Non-SCI GPA even demonstrate???

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Tweetie_bird, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. Tweetie_bird

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    ok, here are my stats--

    BCPM = 3.2
    CUM GPA = 3.35
    Non SCI GPA = 3.8

    I messed up my first two years (when I took all the important intro classes like Bio). But when I went into Orgo and Biochem, I decided to get my act together and aced most of them. My question is this--why do AD COMs even look at the Non-Sci GPA? Obviously, it's so easy for an average student like me to get a 3.8....are these stats even good??? I am having last minute application jitters.

    Tweetie
     
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  3. johnM

    johnM Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Tweetie_bird:
    <strong>My question is this--why do AD COMs even look at the Non-Sci GPA?

    Tweetie</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I don't think they really do. Usually they look at overall gpa, and science gpa. getting a high non-science gpa probably won't really do that much for you. (I also had a MUCH higher non-science gpa, i think that it just shows that i do better in easier classes. :) )
     
  4. Tweetie_bird

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    exactly! see? I knew I was in for trouble when I felt happy about my application process! that can never be! happy? never!
     
  5. UCMonkey

    UCMonkey Senior Member

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    I agree with John. Most people have a higher non-sci GPA than science. Simply put, non-science classes are easier and you don't have all the pre-med gunners in them trying to one-up each other.

    I think the only reason the non-sci GPA would make a difference would be if it was significantly LOWER than the sci GPA. That could demonstrate a lacking ability to write / communicate, since that (I think) is a major part of doing well in those classes.
     
  6. Doctora Foxy

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    Conversely, a high non-science gpa demonstrates a good ability to write and communicate, as well as a well-rounded applicant. :) It may help a little, especially if you are a non-science major. That shows you can excel in several fields.
     
  7. Hercules

    Hercules Son of Zeus

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    I have to agree with Foxy. If you have a great Sci GPA and bomb all of your non-sci classes, it could mean you're one of those scary lab rat freaks who couldn't carry on a conversation with another human being.
     
  8. Ralph Wiggum

    Ralph Wiggum Member

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    I would have to disagree with the assumptions being made that non-science classes are easier. I was a science major, but feel that other majors would have been just as hard or harder. Has anyone tried taking a music theory class? I think that the non-science classes are very important. One needs to know more about life that taught in science classes. Med schools are not just looking for science majors...people with a great variety of degrees do just as well or better. Obviously, I attended a liberal arts college, which I feel is one of the best choices I could have made. :)
     
  9. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Bleeding Gums Murphy:
    <strong>I would have to disagree with the assumptions being made that non-science classes are easier.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I don't know, bro - I've never had to study more than a day or two before each test in a non-science course to pull the A (except for history...#@[email protected]!#$!#@$). Lit courses, I just read the book and took the test. Classes like organic and genetics, though...10 hrs a week minimum, and it was still challenging to get the A. Most people who do well in science courses also can do really well in non-science courses. I've found that the opposite is often not true...

    In any event, if you fall into the category I've described above (you find non-science easier than science), you should use that to bump your GPA. Take LOTS of non-science courses - maybe even do a minor. It'll help your GPA out.
     
  10. Doctora Foxy

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    Tests are fine, but writing papers always scared me, and now it's all I ever do. If someone's not a good writer, it can be difficult to get good grades in humanities classes. I don't remember the last time I took a test......
     
  11. eagle26

    eagle26 Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by rxfudd:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Bleeding Gums Murphy:
    <strong>I would have to disagree with the assumptions being made that non-science classes are easier.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I don't know, bro - I've never had to study more than a day or two before each test in a non-science course to pull the A (except for history...#@[email protected]!#$!#@$). Lit courses, I just read the book and took the test. Classes like organic and genetics, though...10 hrs a week minimum, and it was still challenging to get the A. Most people who do well in science courses also can do really well in non-science courses. I've found that the opposite is often not true...

    In any event, if you fall into the category I've described above (you find non-science easier than science), you should use that to bump your GPA. Take LOTS of non-science courses - maybe even do a minor. It'll help your GPA out.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I disagree. While *some* non-science courses do tend to be easier, I highly doubt any of us has taken an upper-division philosophy or humanities course. It's naive for any of us to assume that non-science courses are easier. My worst grades have been in non-science courses, and my BCPM was much higher than my non-science GPA. To answer the question, however, I think the relevance is to point out that an applicant is well-rounded, and can excel in subjects other than those found in the lab. It demonstrates adapatability to a wide array of circumstances. In fact, it has been demonstrated that non-science majors typically do much better on the MCAT....in ALL sections. My 2 cents.
     
  12. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Doctora Foxy:
    <strong>If someone's not a good writer, it can be difficult to get good grades in humanities classes.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Good point - hadn't thought of that...
     
  13. Tweetie_bird

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    ok well, so here's my situation....
    I am a Bio major...but I have also fulfilled all the requirements for a Psych degree. Hence, I have TONS of psych classes (esp. physio psych.) The reason I chose not to do a double major, is b/c they wanted me to "sing and dance" for another year's worth of electives. Instead, I just took that money and became an EMT. Money worth invested!!

    Anyway, so...the AD COMS will hopefully look at my diverse background in both bio and psych, and look favorably....I hope...right?
    Your replies are good, keep them coming.

    tweetie
     
  14. moo

    moo 1K Member

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    Regardless of whether science courses are "harder" or "easier" is kind of irrelevant. While I do think people should major in whatever they want (I myself was not a biology or "life" sciences major), the science GPA is supposed to measure how you perform in courses relevant to the study of medicine. That's why adcoms place so much emphasis on it.
     
  15. UCMonkey

    UCMonkey Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by eagle26:
    I highly doubt any of us has taken an upper-division philosophy or humanities course. [/QB]</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Been there dude. I took an upper div philosophy course. I still found it easier than the likes of o-chem or biochem. I think what makes these classes easier (again, in my opinion) is that many times there ISN'T a "right" answer. This is opposed to science exams where its get the fact right or no points. As long as you can argue soundly and effectively for your point, you get the good grade. Now for some people that may be a problem, but it doesn't really seem to be the case for those of us here.
     
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  17. UCMonkey

    UCMonkey Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Tweetie_bird:
    <strong>ok well, so here's my situation....
    I am a Bio major...but I have also fulfilled all the requirements for a Psych degree. Hence, I have TONS of psych classes (esp. physio psych.) The reason I chose not to do a double major, is b/c they wanted me to "sing and dance" for another year's worth of electives. Instead, I just took that money and became an EMT. Money worth invested!!

    Anyway, so...the AD COMS will hopefully look at my diverse background in both bio and psych, and look favorably....I hope...right?
    Your replies are good, keep them coming.

    tweetie</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">In a word, absolutely. Definitely be prepared to talk about it at your interviews (of which I'm sure you'll have many).

    Just out of curiosity, and not that it matters too much, but could you get a minor for the stuff you have taken? At least your transcript would say SOMETHING.
     
  18. Tweetie_bird

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    I should call the dept and find out if they can re-arrange my transcript and make it look like I have a minor. Although, I doubt they will let me do anything like that 2 years after graduation.
     
  19. johnM

    johnM Senior Member

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    I have also taken "upper division" philosophy and lit classes and actaully have a minor in 'Lit & Civilization.' The reason I did this minor? because i enjoy philosophy and because **the classes were an easy way to boost my gpa**.

    sorry Foxy, i have to disagree with this one:
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> Conversely, a high non-science gpa demonstrates a good ability to write and communicate, as well as a well-rounded applicant. It may help a little, especially if you are a non-science major. That shows you can excel in several fields. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Sure, it may show that you can write, but having a higher non-science gps doesn't making you more rounded, it makes you look like a better humanities student. If you do well in science AND non-science, then you can claim your roundedness.

    Bottom line: Science classes are simply more important than non-science to the majority of ADCOMs, that's why AMCAS splits up those categories.
     
  20. UCMonkey

    UCMonkey Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Tweetie_bird:
    <strong>I should call the dept and find out if they can re-arrange my transcript and make it look like I have a minor. Although, I doubt they will let me do anything like that 2 years after graduation.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Oh, for some reason it sounded to me like you're still in school. Unless you REALLY want something on your transcript, I wouldn't worry about it. Assuming you have good EC's LOR's, PS, and MCAT's (did I get enough abbreviations in there?), you should be fine.
     
  21. idiot

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    It's true that science classes are more important in this process - but NOT because they are "harder" or require more studying.

    They're more important because they more accurately reflect your ability to perform well the first two years of med school.

    I have a degree in Spanish and Biology - no comparison in terms of difficulty, learning a second language (writing term papers and giving presentations in that language) is the most academically challenging thing I've ever done. I have a 4.0 science GPA - made many B's in humanities.
     
  22. Doctora Foxy

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    idiot, I love you <img border="0" alt="[Lovey]" title="" src="graemlins/lovey.gif" />

    and with that I leave SDN for a little to write 8 pages en espanol para manana...... <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  23. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    i think some of my engineering courses went into the non-science category, so they can be just as tough as those basic science courses. :)
     
  24. johnM

    johnM Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by oldman:
    <strong>i think some of my engineering courses went into the non-science category, so they can be just as tough as those basic science courses. :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">umm, why did that happen? usually, if a class is 'borderline science' like neuropsych or something, then you can justify putting in in either category, i would think that engineering classes would definitely go in to science.
     
  25. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Monkeyrunner:
    <strong> Been there dude. I took an upper div philosophy course. I still found it easier than the likes of o-chem or biochem. I think what makes these classes easier (again, in my opinion) is that many times there ISN'T a "right" answer. This is opposed to science exams where its get the fact right or no points. As long as you can argue soundly and effectively for your point, you get the good grade. Now for some people that may be a problem, but it doesn't really seem to be the case for those of us here.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">from my own personal experience, i disagree with this. science and non-science courses require different types of intelligence, in my opinion. my science courses have simply involved a ton of memorization--the conceptual understanding, for me, comes after i've memorized everything in the book, as that's when it all pulls together. as a result, it is very easy to study for my science classes. actually pulling a high grade was a different story, due to the disproportionate number of pre-med gunners in my undergrad bio classes (i was a bio major).

    but i minored in english poetry and took plenty of philosophy courses as well (my one academic regret about college is that i didn't finish off a philosophy minor) and the academic focus there was much different. i agree that to do well in these courses, one must be able to argue a point convincingly. but because of the subjective nature of these types of subjects and the fact that there is no right or wrong answer, it can be harder to sway a professor toward your point of view as a result. there's no arguing with science, and that is a distinct difference between humanities and hard sciences. there is a great deal of analytical in-depth thinking that went on in these classes--i had to work hard to do well in these courses--whereas i got a lot less of that in my science courses, which were more 'just learn the facts'. i'd been told before that adcoms like english and philosophy students specifically because of the analytical nature of these subjects.
     
  26. Raist

    Raist Member

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    I have a significantly higher science gpa over non-science due to the fact that engineering classes are counted towards non-science (which is a good thing) and lower my non-science gpa by quite a bit. My question is would adcoms think I'm a science freak who can't read or write just because my non-science gpa is low, or would they actually look on my transcript to see that the low grades actually came from engineering courses?
     
  27. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    i think science classes they counted as: bio, math, physics, chem

    basically all the pre-med requirements.

    i'd have to look at my amcas app to double check.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by johnM:
    <strong>umm, why did that happen? usually, if a class is 'borderline science' like neuropsych or something, then you can justify putting in in either category, i would think that engineering classes would definitely go in to science.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  28. Asclepius

    Asclepius 1K Member

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    It's interesting that math and philosophy majors are the two most successful majors of students taking the MCAT--they have historically outperformed people who have degrees in two of the three subjects being tested (atleast as of 1998, the last time I saw this statistic...has anyone seen sores categorized by individual majors since?).
     
  29. moo

    moo 1K Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Asclepius:
    <strong>It's interesting that math and philosophy majors are the two most successful majors of students taking the MCAT--they have historically outperformed people who have degrees in two of the three subjects being tested (atleast as of 1998, the last time I saw this statistic...has anyone seen sores categorized by individual majors since?).</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I can attest to this since I am a math major and have taken my share of philosophy courses.

    In math, you're taught to think outside the box, much like the humanities, but you're also maintaining a scientific mindset. If you've ever set foot in an abstract algebra, real analysis, or topology course, you'll know what I'm talking about. I think this has prepared me immensely in taking the MCAT, as the MCAT is mostly this type of problem solving. Even in the bio section, it's not so much, write down everything you know about the nervous system, but more like reasoning and logic.
     
  30. TechMan

    TechMan Dreams Stuff are Made of.

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    real analysis, combinatorics.... oh don't remind me of the hell.
     
  31. stevevilicious

    stevevilicious Junior Member

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    Interesting discussion. In general, I heard adcoms weigh your science GPA at 75% and your non-science GPA at 25% (as they should since your science GPA is more accurate in predicting medical school success for the first 2 years).
     
  32. darkdude

    darkdude Junior Member

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    Well, I sure hope adcoms weigh your science GPA more. Mine is a lot higher than my overall GPA. :D
     
  33. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios

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    The sample size is much smaller for these majors and the people in there who fulfill premed requirements are usually the upper eschelon of math/phil majors. So its an unrepresentative cross-section of the major, while EVERY science major applies, bringing down the average.

    I have taken several math and philosophy courses and they do involve different kinds of thinking involving logic, but so have my upper division bio and chem classes, as well as polisci and english classes. There is a degree of creativity, logic, and reason in each of them.So I dont think it has anything to do with the content of the major itself, but rather the disproportionate sample of upper-division math/phil majors that apply to med school that keeps their avgs. up.
     
  34. DarkChild

    DarkChild Senior Member

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    wow this thread is OLD!!! :eek:
     
  35. Penguin Poptart

    Penguin Poptart Senior Member

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    I guess it depends on your school, but non-science classes can be much harder to do well in than science classes.

    In science classes, if you know or grasp the material you can get a good grade. In some non-science classes, eg. good philosophy classes, it's much harder to achieve a perfect score.

    AS a sidenote: in my opinion, the premed attitude that the science people are the smartest is so irritating and naive, it makes my skin crawl.
     
  36. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member

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    I agree that it just depends on the school. My non-science classes were not very challenging at all. OChem, pchem, pochem, quantitative analysis, and Instrum. Analysis were much more difficult and required some actual work.

    I think a lot of this difference can be accounted for by the cmpetitiveness of the school. At Stanford, for example, there will be great students in Art History and Physical Chemistry classes. So academic standards can be set high by the prof is he/she chooses. At a small state college, however, there are not enough decent students to go around and so class/major stratification is more apparent.
     
  37. neofight

    neofight Senior Member

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    I agree that the premed attitude is irritating but the engineering "toughest major on earth" attitude is worse. :eek:
     
  38. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    BOTH the science and non-science GPAs are important. Do you know what sub-test on the MCAT is the best predictor of high scores on the USMLE?




    VERBAL
     
  39. bosco

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    Engineering Classes fall under the "non-science" classification. I think that it is unarguably true that they are at least as hard, if not harder, than a BCMP class. Fluid Mechanics made organic chemistry seem like a cakewalk!
     
  40. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    Nice to see Reedies on this board!

    I just have to add one more contribution to this discussion. Good doctors are well rounded. Non-science grades help to show that you're also good at other things other than just sciences.
     
  41. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member

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    My boss is the dean of admission at UCSF school of Med, and he said that all he really cares about is science courses and MCATs. He told me that the idea that humanities and english majors have better chances at getting in is just not true.
     
  42. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    That's UCSF. At Hopkins, it's very diverse. I would have to say that my 1993 class consisted of 1/3 to 1/2 non-science majors. We had a French Lit/History major too. The non-science majors did very well in the sciences too.
     
  43. neofight

    neofight Senior Member

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    Wow, interesting to hear. I always thought that the whole "it doesn't matter what you major in" was BS. Yeah, percentage wise bio majors have the lowest percentage of medical school acceptance but at the same time most matriculants to medical school are bio majors.
     
  44. ironey

    ironey Senior Member

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    Well, a smart person is a smart person, but it depends on the school that you talk to on how they view non-science majors (and the corresponding non-science GPA). Frankly, I think the reason I got into one of my top-choice schools is that I had a 15 minute discussion in my interview about how I'd never met a pre-med student that I actually liked. The reason? Complete submersion in a "gunner" culture that valued grades and scientific prowess over understanding the human value of the medical field.

    As a music major, I practiced 30 hours a week - that's almost a full-time job. Besides that, I had orchestra and band rehearsals 10 hours a week - each course showing on my transcript as 2 credits - and taught. On top of that, I had only two quarters during my undergrad where I had less than 16 credits - on average I took 18. I believe that my non-science GPA shows that I know how to work long hours and to perform under stress. Those two traits are the ones I know I'll rely on during my medical career. I would be wary of any school that wouldn't give my non-science GPA the weight it deserves. Like any statistic, the GPA is an indicator of what someone is cabable of.
     
  45. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member

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    My boss also does research, he perfers to admit bio students, so I don't know if his research affects his opinions.
     
  46. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member

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    "I believe that my non-science GPA shows that I know how to work long hours and to perform under stress. Those two traits are the ones I know I'll rely on during my medical career. "

    I don't think that performing in a orchestra is equivalent to the stress u would experience performing a surgery. If I were a dying patient I would want the doctor with the most bio knowledge and experience, not someone who is a nicer guy and played in a orchestra.
     
  47. ironey

    ironey Senior Member

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    Well, we all take the same course load in medical school.

    By the way, why do you assume that I've taken less biology than any other pre-med student? You missed the point: along with my very competitive science GPA, I believe that my non-science GPA said something positive about my ability to be trained as a doctor. I don't know of any pre-med that has experienced the stress of being a surgeon. But I also don't know many pre-meds that have experienced much more stress than taking OChem finals or the MCAT.

    By the way, if you PM me, I'll tell you where I'm starting med school in the fall and you can keep tabs so you'll be sure not to end up in my care when you get sick!

    Cheers!
     
  48. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Word of advice... science learned in undergrad is not that useful in medical school and clinical medicine. What you need to know for medicine is taught to you in medical school.

    The first year of med school will get everyone on the same footing. The second year is a foreign language to most of the medical school class. Same goes for the third and fourth years. Thus, prior science knowledge does not really help that much. On the other hand, dedication, comittment, and perseverance counts a lot in medicine.
     
  49. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat

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    according to pba, the stuff you learn in medical school isn't even used in medicine...haha. Of course you can't find that thread because PBA deletes all of his threads.
     
  50. dreaminOfMD>.<

    dreaminOfMD>.< Addicted Member...;)

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    If med schools really did look at non-science gpa, I'd be a step in the door already!:laugh: If only, if only...
     
  51. ironey

    ironey Senior Member

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    Amen! Much more succinct than my post!
     

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