Dec 29, 2013
15
2
23
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello SDN, this is my first post! I'm currently a high school senior seriously considering pre-med in college (obviously haha).

BACKGROUND
(Btw I'm a Va resident)
So my parents really want me to go to George Mason University for undergrad rather than Virginia Tech and to be honest I think I'd prefer GMU over VT. I've already been accepted early action to GMU and think I will get accepted into their honors college (have 6 AP classes with As in 5 of them, a 33 ACT composite, and a darn good essay)

QUESTION
The thing is, around here (NoVa) GMU doesn't have a very good academic reputation. I don't care about the stigmas or anything but if I were to go to GMU and major in physics (pretty good pre-med major there) or Neuroscience what GPA (science and cumulative), MCAT score, and volunteer/intern/shadowing/research hours would I need to get into UVAs medical school. I'm not too concerned with "school A vs B's reputation" issue just mainly the scores needed for UVA med.

Quick look at the Physics major for GMU, I'd have an emphasis in Medical Physics.

Physics B.S major
http://gmu.m.acalog.com/#programdetails1
Emphasis in medical physics
http://gmu.m.acalog.com/#programdetails5

FYI
GMU is right next to the INOVA Hospital (which is pretty good). And let's assume I can write a pretty decent essay with good LORs. Reason I'm interested in UVAs med school is that it's relatively close to where I live and is somewhat cheaper for ISS.

P.S.
And yes I know the best I can achieve is always better than the minimum, I just want to be prepared for what I'm going to be getting myself into.
 

Ace-Co-A

As & Is
5+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2012
1,121
908
Port-au-Prince
Status
Medical Student
It really depends on what you mean by minimum. The 10th percentile GPA and MCAT numbers are 3.64 and 32, respectively, for UVA SOM. The median numbers, which are probably what you should shoot for, are a cGPA of 3.8 and MCAT of 35. These numbers are taken from the MSAR. The school itself reports a mean GPA of 3.75 and mean MCAT of 34.15. The breakdown of the MCAT is, of course, important as well [i.e., a balanced 34 (11-11-12) is better than a skewed one (11-8-14)].

There are no guarantees, of course, but the mean & median numbers at any institution provide a reasonably good idea of what is competitive there.
 

medickdb

5+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2011
931
717
Status
Medical Student
Hello SDN, this is my first post! I'm currently a high school senior seriously considering pre-med in college (obviously haha).

BACKGROUND
(Btw I'm a Va resident)
So my parents really want me to go to George Mason University for undergrad rather than Virginia Tech and to be honest I think I'd prefer GMU over VT. I've already been accepted early action to GMU and think I will get accepted into their honors college (have 6 AP classes with As in 5 of them, a 33 ACT composite, and a darn good essay)

QUESTION
The thing is, around here (NoVa) GMU doesn't have a very good academic reputation. I don't care about the stigmas or anything but if I were to go to GMU and major in physics (pretty good pre-med major there) or Neuroscience what GPA (science and cumulative), MCAT score, and volunteer/intern/shadowing/research hours would I need to get into UVAs medical school. I'm not too concerned with "school A vs B's reputation" issue just mainly the scores needed for UVA med.

Quick look at the Physics major for GMU, I'd have an emphasis in Medical Physics.

Physics B.S major
http://gmu.m.acalog.com/#programdetails1
Emphasis in medical physics
http://gmu.m.acalog.com/#programdetails5

FYI
GMU is right next to the INOVA Hospital (which is pretty good). And let's assume I can write a pretty decent essay with good LORs. Reason I'm interested in UVAs med school is that it's relatively close to where I live and is somewhat cheaper for ISS.

P.S.
And yes I know the best I can achieve is always better than the minimum, I just want to be prepared for what I'm going to be getting myself into.
I went to both Virginia Tech (VT) and George Mason University (GMU). I also worked at INOVA Fairfax for almost three years during my undergraduate tenure.

The path you have chosen is a great, demanding one as I'm sure you are aware. I would encourage you to continue to learn about medicine. The more you involve yourself directly in medicine, volunteering or otherwise, the more you'll begin to realize that medicine is nothing you expect it to be. I don't mean this to deter you rather to challenge you to explore its breadths, depths, history, and imperfections for yourself. Personally, I've always wanted to be a doctor, but I've learned a great deal in between my high school years and now as I prepare to enroll in medical school next Fall. I certainly learned enough to no longer romanticize it the way most people do when they're just starting out.

When I was in your shoes, I was enrolling in an EMT course which I completed nights at the local community college (Northern Virginia Community College's Medical Education Campus in Springfield, Virginia). Now, as a paramedic and EMS educator, I can tell you that a good deal of what you learn in that class is based on anecdotal evidence as is a lot of medicine today, surprisingly. However, by completing the class and its required emergency department rotations and ambulance ride-a-longs, I realized that medicine was far from what I envisioned. That said, the experience also solidified my desire to pursue medicine further.

Anyways, I have some advice for you. Obviously, you can choose to take it or leave it.

My first piece of advice is to take it a semester at a time. Have a plan on what you hope to accomplish such as grades, clubs to join, etc. It will be difficult at times, but try your best not to worry. If you have concerns, be sure to have someone to talk to about them.

It isn't the end of the world if you get a C or two. This does not make you less of a person. Doctors need to be smart, determined people, yes. However, being human is perhaps the biggest prerequisite. That said, try to do well the first time. Dedicate a certain amount of time to studying each day and stick to it. One thing I liked about GMU was the study rooms in the student center. I liked having access to large whiteboards which I could use to write and rewrite information with a classmate or two.

Get involved in extracurricular activities that you can see yourself doing over an extended period of time. GMU has a lot of great clubs. Interested in flying? GMU has a flying club. Interested in mental health issues? There's a club for that. GMU has plenty of clubs from which to choose. Don't limit your choices to medical clubs. One activity I really enjoyed being a part of was the Global Experience Project (http://eli.gmu.edu/GXP/). Through GXP, you spent an hour a week with international students, helping them to polish their English language skills. I had the pleasure of meeting people from all over the world.

I remember being a freshman in college. Most students are nervous about approaching professors. If that turns out to be the case for you, just bite the bullet and attend one of your professors' office hours. I think you'll find that many are quite approachable. It's easier to get to know a few as soon as possible so that when it comes to procuring letters of recommendation, it'll be a breeze.

As for medical exposure, you can choose to volunteer at the Free Clinic in Arlington. You can try to secure a job at any number of the area's emergency departments. Again, there are a lot of options. One thing I will caution you on though is working at INOVA Fairfax. I really enjoyed working with a lot of the people there, but the nature of the beast is that it is a busy, busy (did I mention busy?) hospital, especially the emergency department. It would be much easier to make use of your time at any of the other emergency departments. Sure, they get busy as well, but not as often. This way, you'll get more time to learn from the doctor.

When it comes to the MCAT, prepare well in advance. Like most pre-meds, I took three months to prepare, and I found that amount of time to be adequate. Utilize http://www.mcat-review.org/ as a framework and fill in gaps with videos found within the Kahn Academy website. Also, use the official AAMC material such as the Self-Assessment package. Again, try to do well the first time so you don't have to take it again. Take it early enough (January - April of the year you are applying), so that you can retake it with plenty of time if needed.

Lastly, I just want to add that the premed advisor at GMU is a wonderful lady. She has been more than helpful throughout the process. Seek her guidance if you find yourself lost.

Enjoy your time in college. It is full of great opportunities. Medical school will always be there. If it doesn't happen at UVA or even the first time around elsewhere, don't get discouraged if it's truly what you want to do. Work hard, explore, and grow.

Personally, I'm a non-traditional student, and I'm more than glad it turned out that way. I appreciate the perspectives I've gained in my experiences before, during, and after college. I have no doubt that they will prove invaluable in the future.

I wish you the best of luck.
 
Last edited:

sonofva

7+ Year Member
Aug 31, 2009
1,066
384
Status
Attending Physician
Dude if you go to gmu, don't tell anyone that you're a premed unless you want some know it all, mammas boys telling you you'll never make it and looking for ways to screw you over. Just keep your head down.

Gmu does have some great research opportunities and if you can get into Inova to work, that'd be awesome.
 

sonofva

7+ Year Member
Aug 31, 2009
1,066
384
Status
Attending Physician
Why don't you look at w+m? Now there's a school (unless you'd like to attend a school with winning sports teams, haha)!
 
OP
rualai
Dec 29, 2013
15
2
23
Status
Pre-Medical
It really depends on what you mean by minimum. The 10th percentile GPA and MCAT numbers are 3.64 and 32, respectively, for UVA SOM. The median numbers, which are probably what you should shoot for, are a cGPA of 3.8 and MCAT of 35. These numbers are taken from the MSAR. The school itself reports a mean GPA of 3.75 and mean MCAT of 34.15. The breakdown of the MCAT is, of course, important as well [i.e., a balanced 34 (11-11-12) is better than a skewed one (11-8-14)].

There are no guarantees, of course, but the mean & median numbers at any institution provide a reasonably good idea of what is competitive there.
Thanks for the response! I found the GPA/MCAT scores on their website but I was just asking what I would need to get in coming from GMU. I've had a lot of friends with GPAs and test scores higher than the average and still get denied from those colleges. I just needed an outside opinion on what I should shoot for. Mainly it would be to tell myself if my grades start to slip that I have to at least get a X MCAT score and a X GPA to probably get in. I know it doesn't guarantee me a spot but hopefully if I get those scores or a little higher it'll improve my chances of getting in. Thanks.
 
OP
rualai
Dec 29, 2013
15
2
23
Status
Pre-Medical
I went to both Virginia Tech (VT) and George Mason University (GMU). I also worked at INOVA Fairfax for almost three years during my undergraduate tenure.

The path you have chosen is a great, demanding one as I'm sure you are aware. I would encourage you to continue to learn about medicine. The more you involve yourself directly in medicine, volunteering or otherwise, the more you'll begin to realize that medicine is nothing you expect it to be. I don't mean this to deter you rather to challenge you to explore its breadths, depths, history, and imperfections for yourself. Personally, I've always wanted to be a doctor, but I've learned a great deal in between my high school years and now as I prepare to enroll in medical school next Fall. I certainly learned enough to no longer romanticize it the way most people do when they're just starting out.

When I was in your shoes, I was enrolling in an EMT course which I completed nights at the local community college (Northern Virginia Community College's Medical Education Campus in Springfield, Virginia). Now, as a paramedic and EMS educator, I can tell you that a good deal of what you learn in that class is based on anecdotal evidence as is a lot of medicine today, surprisingly. However, by completing the class and its required emergency department rotations and ambulance ride-a-longs, I realized that medicine was far from what I envisioned. That said, the experience also solidified my desire to pursue medicine further.

Anyways, I have some advice for you. Obviously, you can choose to take it or leave it.

My first piece of advice is to take it a semester at a time. Have a plan on what you hope to accomplish such as grades, clubs to join, etc. It will be difficult at times, but try your best not to worry. If you have concerns, be sure to have someone to talk to about them.

It isn't the end of the world if you get a C or two. This does not make you less of a person. Doctors need to be smart, determined people, yes. However, being human is perhaps the biggest prerequisite. That said, try to do well the first time. Dedicate a certain amount of time to studying each day and stick to it. One thing I liked about GMU was the study rooms in the student center. I liked having access to large whiteboards which I could use to write and rewrite information with a classmate or two.

Get involved in extracurricular activities that you can see yourself doing over an extended period of time. GMU has a lot of great clubs. Interested in flying? GMU has a flying club. Interested in mental health issues? There's a club for that. GMU has plenty of clubs from which to choose. Don't limit your choices to medical clubs. One activity I really enjoyed being a part of was the Global Experience Project (http://eli.gmu.edu/GXP/). Through GXP, you spent an hour a week with international students, helping them to polish their English language skills. I had the pleasure of meeting people from all over the world.

I remember being a freshman in college. Most students are nervous about approaching professors. If that turns out to be the case for you, just bite the bullet and attend one of your professors' office hours. I think you'll find that many are quite approachable. It's easier to get to know a few as soon as possible so that when it comes to procuring letters of recommendation, it'll be a breeze.

As for medical exposure, you can choose to volunteer at the Free Clinic in Arlington. You can try to secure a job at any number of the area's emergency departments. Again, there are a lot of options. One thing I will caution you on though is working at INOVA Fairfax. I really enjoyed working with a lot of the people there, but the nature of the beast is that it is a busy, busy (did I mention busy?) hospital, especially the emergency department. It would be much easier to make use of your time at any of the other emergency departments. Sure, they get busy as well, but not as often. This way, you'll get more time to learn from the doctor.

When it comes to the MCAT, prepare well in advance. Like most pre-meds, I took three months to prepare, and I found that amount of time to be adequate. Utilize http://www.mcat-review.org/ as a framework and fill in gaps with videos found within the Kahn Academy website. Also, use the official AAMC material such as the Self-Assessment package. Again, try to do well the first time so you don't have to take it again. Take it early enough (January - April of the year you are applying), so that you can retake it with plenty of time if needed.

Lastly, I just want to add that the premed advisor at GMU is a wonderful lady. She has been more than helpful throughout the process. Seek her guidance if you find yourself lost.

Enjoy your time in college. It is full of great opportunities. Medical school will always be there. If it doesn't happen at UVA or even the first time around elsewhere, don't get discouraged if it's truly what you want to do. Work hard, explore, and grow.

Personally, I'm a non-traditional student, and I'm more than glad it turned out that way. I appreciate the perspectives I've gained in my experiences before, during, and after college. I have no doubt that they will prove invaluable in the future.

I wish you the best of luck.
Holy crap.... Your post is more than anything I could have hoped for! You're kinda in the same situation as me and can easily relate (GMU and VT).

I think I'm definitely going to attend GMU now, especially if I get the honors acceptance. I know it's going to be a long road and an extremely hard one at that, but you know what? I'm excited to go to college to study and prepare for the MCAT and develop my own study habits etc!

I'm definitely going to join a few clubs, probably the pre-med one, a running one (I'm a pretty avid runner) and maybe a random one like you mentioned or one that some of my friends who are there now are in.

I've never actually been to the fair fax INOVA so I had no idea it was so busy haha, I'll have to check it out myself. I'll try to see about the Arlington one you mentioned as well.

In all, thanks so much for your reply! I was kinda worried about my pre-med possibilities if I were to go to GMU but thanks to you and all of SDN I'm starting to think it'll be ok. I'll still have to work my but off but it'll be fun. And I hope all goes well for you in medical school next fall!
 
OP
rualai
Dec 29, 2013
15
2
23
Status
Pre-Medical
Dude if you go to gmu, don't tell anyone that you're a premed unless you want some know it all, mammas boys telling you you'll never make it and looking for ways to screw you over. Just keep your head down.

Gmu does have some great research opportunities and if you can get into Inova to work, that'd be awesome.
Thanks for your response as well! This is a more social aspect rather than academic which is still important.

Well I'm certainly not going to go boasting around that I'm a pre-med and.i honestly feel that that would happen at any school. Hopefully not everyone is like that; two of my friends who go there now are very supportive of me doing pre-med.

If that is the case (and I'll ask both of my friends about that as well) then I'll just tell people I'm a physics or neuroscience or bioengineering (which is another Q I need to ask) major instead of pre-med.

I'm going to try to get into the loudoun county INOVA hospital this summer and maybe they could put in avoid word for me at the fair fax one (if I'm lucky)?

But I do have a friend whose dad is a podiatrist and if I can't get the INOVA Loudoun thing to work maybe I could shadow him and ask him to put in a good word for me at the Loudoun or fairfax INOVA hospitals?? Only problem I think is that he has a private practice with 6 other doctors and I don't know about the hospital doctors and private practice doctors relationship...
 

medickdb

5+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2011
931
717
Status
Medical Student
Pre-med competition happens at every school. There will always be those kinds of people. I managed to avoid them for the most part.

There are people who talk and people who do. Many others will try to act smarter and put you down, but they're no closer to medical school than you are.
 
OP
rualai
Dec 29, 2013
15
2
23
Status
Pre-Medical
I am a Virginia native and did undergrad and med school in Va before moving elsewhere for residency and fellowship.

I agree that GMUs academic reputation is not great in Va compared to the larger schools (UVA, William and Mary, W&L, JMU, UofR, VCU, VT) but that shouldn't preclude you from getting in to med school if you do exceptionally well... So to be competitive in Va at any of the med schools, you need to shoot for above their respective median scores. If you want to be competitive at UVA medical school, going to UVA for undergrad is probably your best option. From GMU you probably need a 3.8/35, though.
Your list of other schools is pretty good (UVA, William and Mary, W&L, JMU, UofR, VCU, VT). But I'm going to shave off a couple schools. My parents don't want me to go to a private school since they think it would be needlessly more expensive especially considering that I'm going to do med school afterwards (I think the net price of a private is 3x more per year than public) so no W&Lor UofR).

JMU: they haven't had a lot of pre med get accepted to med schools besides VCU or Caribbean from other forums, friends who go there, and the schools data itself. I'd link to all of these but I don't like JMU very much regardless.

VCU is pretty much nova for premeds and is in central Richmond.... I don't think my parents would even let me go there haha plus I haven't even applied there.

Between UVA and WM, WM is much better for premed since they have people go to Hopkins, Harvard, or Stanford like every year. Of course UVA has some go to the lesser top 20 med schools, but just pointing out in terms of the best premed for va it's WM.

VT pre med is pretty good I guess (http://www.career.vt.edu/HealthProfessionsAdvising/App_Matri_Allo.pdf) but most go to schools below UVA med which is ranked 22-26ish. There are a few who go to better ones here and there like Vanderbilt and Washington but only 1 or 2 which you could probably find at any school.

I'm pretty confident I can get around a 35MCAT if not higher (before we disagree/argue let's just go off the assumption that I can get a 35+ MCAT). Also a 3.8 would be at the least 60% A- (3.67) and 40% As (4.0) which I'm confident I can pull off.

Also I'd be majoring in physics or possibly bioengineering which are probably two of the strongest majors there.
Physics with an emphasis in medical physics is basically every physics, math, and orgo/regular chem class and the other science electives that I'd take would probably be bio classes.

Bioengineering is a maybe since it's mainly engineering courses and I'd have to ask.

Overall I think now (not just my opinion but that of many others) GMU>VCU/JMU and is at least on par with VT for test scores (VT has an inflated avg GPA because of the engineering applicants but still probably a little better for academics overall).
UVAs acceptance rate into med school is barely over the national average and I honestly didn't like it very much. WM idk if I'll get in since my grades during freshmen year and half of sophomore were pretty bad and I'm white. (Not trying to be racist that's just how it is. My neighbor had a 3.4 on a weighted scale A+ 4.3, A 4.0 A- 3.7 B+ 3.3 B 3.0 B- 2.7 etc honors courses give a .5 bump and APs give a 1.0 bump.... She had a 26 ACT 1780 SAT and a 3.4 GPA but she was from South Africa and got into WM, so you can see the connection).

Regardless, thanks for your thoughts.
 
OP
rualai
Dec 29, 2013
15
2
23
Status
Pre-Medical
First- it should read "considering that I want to do med school afterwards." Realistically about 80% of people who come in as pre-meds never make it into med school.

Reasonable though to consider only public schools since the schools in Virginia are better than the private ones. That said, UofR and W&L dwarf GMU.




Reasonable but still a better school than GMU. Also, don't discount the fact that you are part of a university with a medical school. I suspect when you go to apply for medical school, this hubris will disappear and you will hope to get into a school like VCU for medical school... time will tell.
Okay.... I don't know if you're just trying to give me the harsh reality of med school or being a little condescending.

Honestly I think UofR and W&L trump all other Va schools for pre med haha.

And yes UVA,WM,UofR, and W&L are all probably better than GMU for pre med.

By the way I'd also be in GMUs honors college which kinda separates you from everyone else (can't find info for its scores, but remember at the tour the guy said the middle 50% was 30-33 for ACT at the honors).

But in terms of academics you could ask anyone (counselors, college coaches, or anyone else) and they'll tell you GMU is by far better than VCU. I don't know if you're going off of what GMU was like when you were in college (at least 8 years ago), but it's definitely better now. It's SAT/ACT scores are higher than JMUs(the same on some websites) and VCUs(higher than VCU on all websites), and a little under VTs (75% for VT is 29ACT 1960SAT GMU 75% is 28ACT 1840SAT).

As for VCU being a part of a medical school goes, there's the Fair Oaks INOVA hospital about 10 mins away from GMU, the fairfax INOVA hospital 15 mins away, and even the VA hospital center 20 mins away. I'm sure I can get some experience from any if those three places and if not I could shadow my friends dad who's a podiatrist.

I feel like you're saying that I would need to get higher than average scores if I go to GMU rather than (VT, VCU, or UVA).

I can understand that with UVA or WM (W&L and UofR as well but especially considering that I want to do med school afterwards my parents don't want to shell out that kind of money), but then would a 3.8 GPA 35 MCAT from GMU =/= a 3.8 GPA 35 MCAT from VCU, JMU, or VT?

GMU isn't a CC... If the above is correct then youd be saying UVA would let people with lower than average scores in (i.e. Less than a 34MCAT and less than a 3.75GPA).

I'm sorry if I'm coming across as though I think I know everything about med school admissions and such (I definitely don't haha), I just want to be sure that if I go to GMU I could get into a med school like UVA.

I understand VCU does have the perk of being part med school. I just think that the three hospitals around GMU should be able to compensate for this fact. And if GMU is so much easier then shouldn't it be easier for me to get a 3.8?

Lastly the bio, (orgo)chem, physics, and math I learn at GMU won't be a different kind of bio or math compared to another school. So if I could get a 3.8+ GPA and a 35+MCAT to prove that I really learned the concepts I was taught wouldn't that be enough.

You're really making me think this thing all the way through! And for that seriously, thanks.
 

BioBeaver

Rah Virginia Mil.
May 21, 2013
402
40
IN -> VA
Status
Pre-Medical
VMI anyone? Small classes, Biology major with concentrations in Molecular or Ecology.
 
OP
rualai
Dec 29, 2013
15
2
23
Status
Pre-Medical
For someone who hasn't stepped into a college class yet and doesn't know what the MCAT entails, those are pretty strong assumptions. A 35 on the MCAT is 96th percentile... and that's from a cohort that did well enough on the SAT/ACT to get into college and did well enough in their classes to think they had a shot of doing well on the MCAT.
If going to GMU would make my academics seem of a lesser quality than other schools then wouldn't I focus much more strongly on the MCAT realizing that that will hugely compensate for the apparent lesser quality and therefore maybe do well on it, say a 35?

If you can't get into William and Mary, you probably can't get into UVA.
Okay maybe i need to put in a little more of a background here....

So my freshman year I had some "difficulty" adjusting from moving, new friends (or enemies), and my parents. All of that caused my grades to suffer. Call it an excuse or whatever, but thats what happened. Sophomore year is where everything started to get better: my family was a family again, i had more friends and less enemies, and had finally "gotten" the whole highschool thing. I'm confident in my abilities and making rather strong assumptions since during my junior year and still in my senior year, people are coming to me for help with everything from AP Chemistry or Physics to AP Calculus BC. In the beginning of my high school year i was the one who was having difficulty, but now I'm the one thats actually helping others succeed in school. I have more APs than anyone else in my grade and have maybe the 5th highest current semester GPA right now? I've come a long way and just because my freshman year put me off to a bad start and is forcing me to look at schools like JMU, GMU, and VT doesn't mean that I wont be able to handle these college courses or the MCAT. To put it bluntly, I'm very confident in my abilities now.

So one question: if I get a 3.8GPA in physics and at least a 35MCAT with great LORs, EC, volunteer, shadowing, and any other clinical experience from GMU the UVA Med AdCom wouldn't even give me an interview??

I'd put GMU below VCU and JMU as well.
Lastly what would make you put GMU below both of those schools?

You're honestly making GMU seem like a community college right now. If its really that bad (and you thoroughly convince me its a bad idea haha), then ill probably go to VT or just transfer to UVA. And this is about what I need to do, not what you condescendingly think I can or can't do.
 

Instatewaiter

But... there's a troponin
10+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2006
6,066
2,116
Washington
Status
Attending Physician
Rualai said:
You're really making me think this thing all the way through! And for that seriously, thanks.
That's the goal of this board.

In the end, can you make it from GMU... probably yes. You seem like you have a very good ACT score so I imagine you are bright. Is the difference from VCU or JMU vs GMU going to be appreciable... probably not.

Is the difference from UVA or WM going to be appreciable... most definitely.

Given the marginal cost of living away from your folks, I would recommend jumping ship if you get into UVA or W&M. As much flack as I give W&M, it is a very solid school and arguably more rigorous than UVA. Either of these schools will help you in the long run. Don't underestimate the benefit of a pedigree. Believe it or not, the fact that I went to UVA came up on the fellowship interview trail.

If you're choosing between VCU/JMU and GMU it seems like you probably have made up your mind... and that's probably fine.

VT vs GMU- I think VT will serve you better.

In the end though, if you're not happy with a school you probably won't perform well so trust your gut. I'm, just some schmuck on the internet.
 
OP
rualai
Dec 29, 2013
15
2
23
Status
Pre-Medical
That's the goal of this board.

In the end, can you make it from GMU... probably yes. You seem like you have a very good ACT score so I imagine you are bright. Is the difference from VCU or JMU vs GMU going to be appreciable... probably not.

Is the difference from UVA or WM going to be appreciable... most definitely.

Given the marginal cost of living away from your folks, I would recommend jumping ship if you get into UVA or W&M. As much flack as I give W&M, it is a very solid school and arguably more rigorous than UVA. Either of these schools will help you in the long run. Don't underestimate the benefit of a pedigree. Believe it or not, the fact that I went to UVA came up on the fellowship interview trail.

If you're choosing between VCU/JMU and GMU it seems like you probably have made up your mind... and that's probably fine.

VT vs GMU- I think VT will serve you better.

In the end though, if you're not happy with a school you probably won't perform well so trust your gut. I'm, just some schmuck on the internet.

"A podiatrist isn't even an M.D." Learn something everyday haha.

So my original question was simply can I get into UVA med from GMU? But you brought up another point with the respect or academic reputation of the school. I'm in complete agreement that UVA and WM are better schools, it's just that I want to be prepared should I have to go to GMU. The answer to CAN I get in to UVA med seems to be a yes, but it would probably be a very difficult uphill battle.

If I do actually get into UVA I'll probably go there but on the chance I don't get in and have to go to GMU/VT or wherever I mainly want to know (assume I don't get into UVA or WM) would it be looked down upon in any way if I were to transfer to UVA from either VT or GMU (heck from any school)?

As for the campus feel/vibe I'd be perfectly fine at UVA, really nice place, has well rounded classes (I.e. Almost all of them are highly ranked), and I haven't heard of any who has gone there and hated it haha.

I know the main difficulty with this would be adjusting to the differing rigor of each school and of course the social life (I have a few friends at each school so that's not as important).
 

MedWonk

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"A podiatrist isn't even an M.D." Learn something everyday haha.

So my original question was simply can I get into UVA med from GMU? But you brought up another point with the respect or academic reputation of the school. I'm in complete agreement that UVA and WM are better schools, it's just that I want to be prepared should I have to go to GMU. The answer to CAN I get in to UVA med seems to be a yes, but it would probably be a very difficult uphill battle.

If I do actually get into UVA I'll probably go there but on the chance I don't get in and have to go to GMU/VT or wherever I mainly want to know (assume I don't get into UVA or WM) would it be looked down upon in any way if I were to transfer to UVA from either VT or GMU (heck from any school)?

As for the campus feel/vibe I'd be perfectly fine at UVA, really nice place, has well rounded classes (I.e. Almost all of them are highly ranked), and I haven't heard of any who has gone there and hated it haha.

I know the main difficulty with this would be adjusting to the differing rigor of each school and of course the social life (I have a few friends at each school so that's not as important).

You can get into UVA from just about any four-year institution in this country. You need to put in the work to do so, though. This holds true for any medical school. If want to get their attention get a 3.7+ GPA, a 33+ MCAT, and sprinkle in some good, quality ECs that show commitment and I'd say you have a good shot. No guarantees, though.
 
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rualai
Dec 29, 2013
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If you are hell-bent on transferring into UVA and refuse to go to VT, I would go the community college route (which has guaranteed transfer to UVA) vs. GMU. Transferring to UVA would be a lot easier from VT than GMU. Heck, even transferring to VT is exceedingly difficult. Just getting into VT these days is a pretty significant accomplishment.

Edit: another thing you may want to think about: Med school is not all roses. A major part of college is growing up and exploring and figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life. It's great that you think you might like being a doctor, but you should definitely explore some other career paths and fields of study as well. You may find that you really like agricultural science or something just from taking one elective class. Stuff like this happens ALL THE TIME in college. I wanted to be a computer programmer when I came into college. Now I couldn't be doing anything more different. If you're at a place like VT, you can direct your career virtually anywhere should you change your mind on the medical profession, which you should think about very, very carefully.
About GMU. So far that's the only school I've heard back from (most notification dates have been pushed back this year) and I wanted to know should I get denied from the other places and end up going to GMU if I can get into somewhere like UVA med.

I don't know if I could to the CC route regardless of the guaranteed admission. I'm not refusing to go to VT, I was just trying to see if I would have a chance going to GMU (and in the process I defended it a bit haha).

My test scores and GPA are both within the range of acceptance for VT so I should get in there. If anything I'll probably end up attending VT since my GPA isn't high enough for UVA (my test scores are haha) and might just transfer to UVA or go to VT all four years.

I do realize that my current desire to become a doctor might COMPLETELY change into something else, but I want to be completely prepared for the future that, as of right now, I know I want.

My upperclassmen friend was my (almost) die hard future physician buddy, but now he's doing business and might do an intern at google!!

Thanks for the response!
 

Don15

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Jan 10, 2010
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I went to gmu and now am in a va med school. People in my graduating class got into all the diff programs, uva vcu and evms. Go to GMU. Youll be fine. You dont need a higher gpa or mcat just because you went to GMU. It is a well recognized school.
 

histidine

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Feb 2, 2013
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I have a 39MCAT, 3.9 gpa. MD resident. Interviewed and waitlisted at UVA. I have acceptances+scholarships at higher ranked med schools. There are no guarantees.

Don't pick your college based on predicting your chances of getting into one school. Don't focus too much on trying to get into one med school - most people don't get into any med school. Do the best you can, study hard, have fun, and take it one step at a time.