ce0000

5+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2009
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Medical Student
So I'm a recent graduate with a biology degree from UT-austin.....I'm currently back in school doing pre-reqs to get a Masters in computer science. I started out alright my first 2 years with an overall gpa of a 3.34 but during my last 2 years in my undergrad it dropped significantly down to a 2.7, due to a semester of 4 F's and mostly C's in my upper division Bio's. My EC's arent to terrible, because I did work in a hospital on and off throughout my undergrad and also did a summer of research and volunteered at hospitals during my first 2 years. I never devoted enough time to studying and always was either working or hanging out with friends. I switched over to computer science because it has always been a hobby of mine to program, but now I find myself regretting giving up going to med school. So in the end I've decided to go for it and do anything I can to get in....my question is what should i do now? I've read over some helpful topics in the "non-trad" forums and have a broad idea of what I should do, but don't really know if its the right choice. Ideally I want to get into a Texas med school so I looked into applying for a masters program that will help me get into med shcool and settled upon getting a Masters in medical sciences at UNTHSC. So right now I'm continuing with the comp sci pre-reqs to help boost my undergrad gpa, and bringing it to at least a 3.0. I plan on retaking genetics and biochem, and studying for my MCATs next summer '11. So i can apply for Spring'12 at UNTHSC. I know this is a relatively long road, but I dont see any other way to offset my terrible undergrad GPA and also not being an URM only makes things even harder for me.

Do you guys have any other ideas of what I should do? Thanks in advance for your help.
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Inside the tesseract
For an allopathic acceptance, the plan you've outlined is the way to go, assuming you don't want to wait a few years and invoke the Texas "Fresh Start" plan.

Another path would be to consider training to become a DO physician in a school outside of Texas, as TCOM is the only osteopathic med school that doesn't use AACOMAS, the application service that only includes the most recent retake of a class. To get your GPA higher, you would retake your lowest grades until the As you get raise your GPA to the 3.4+ arena. You would need to takes classes over with the same or greater credit hours, but it would not have to be at the same institution (some schools are open to one going to a community college). Both the old and new grade would appear on your application transcript, but only the newest one would be included in the GPA calculation. This is the fastest way to raise a poor GPA.

With this DO GPA calculation spreadsheet: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=450050
you could list all your current classes and grades, then start substituting bad grades with As to see how many classes would need repeating. Then calculate the cost of following each potential pathway. Either way, you could become a practicing physician in Texas. It might be cheaper and less time consuming this way to get into med school, but then more expensive to pay for a OOS medical school.
 

ce0000

5+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2009
7
0
1
Status
Medical Student
For an allopathic acceptance, the plan you've outlined is the way to go, assuming you don't want to wait a few years and invoke the Texas "Fresh Start" plan.

Another path would be to consider training to become a DO physician in a school outside of Texas, as TCOM is the only osteopathic med school that doesn't use AACOMAS, the application service that only includes the most recent retake of a class. To get your GPA higher, you would retake your lowest grades until the As you get raise your GPA to the 3.4+ arena. You would need to takes classes over with the same or greater credit hours, but it would not have to be at the same institution (some schools are open to one going to a community college). Both the old and new grade would appear on your application transcript, but only the newest one would be included in the GPA calculation. This is the fastest way to raise a poor GPA.

With this DO GPA calculation spreadsheet: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=450050
you could list all your current classes and grades, then start substituting bad grades with As to see how many classes would need repeating. Then calculate the cost of following each potential pathway. Either way, you could become a practicing physician in Texas. It might be cheaper and less time consuming this way to get into med school, but then more expensive to pay for a OOS medical school.

Yea, I was looking into DO schools as well. But a question I had about getting into a MD school is that, how much would a graduate gpa really offset my poor undergrad gpa? I know the AMCAS records everything, but with a cGPA of 3.0 and BCPM of 2.8 and say a grad gpa of 3.6 with an avg mcat score of 30, how would the ADCOMS look at this? Do they take notice that you did significantly better in grad school even though your undergrad is poor? I know a lot of this is subjective and dependent on my EC's, personal statements, and interviews. But when considering costs and time, I want to kno realistically if it would give me a good shot at getting into med school if I took the grad school route.

Thanks again for your help
 
Sep 4, 2006
30,634
10,442
281
Inside the tesseract
You said you were applying for "a masters program that will help me get into med school." I'm not familiar with the program you specified but assumed it was in the category of an SMP (Special Masters Program). You're right that a traditional masters program doesn't offset a low uGPA, but an SMP is in a special category. It is not a degree granting program. It is a high-risk, high-reward, expensive audition to med school, where you compete with med students in their linked med school. If you perform well, typically a GPA of 3.5 or more, this program completely overrides the low uGPA and gives you a chance at an allopathic acceptance (but not a guarantee). I'm under the impression that TCOM may have a program something like this.

I won't pretend to know the ins and outs of every SMP, but there is a complete list and a load of additional information in SDN's Postbaccalaureate Programs Forum. Medical Masters Programs are also listed at that site. I don't know what statistical chances a successful completion carries in terms of med school acceptance with those. Do more research. A note: many folks who don't perform superbly in these still get acceptances at osteopathic med schools even if their work wasn't up to the standard of MD programs.
 

ce0000

5+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2009
7
0
1
Status
Medical Student
You said you were applying for "a masters program that will help me get into med school." I'm not familiar with the program you specified but assumed it was in the category of an SMP (Special Masters Program). You're right that a traditional masters program doesn't offset a low uGPA, but an SMP is in a special category. It is not a degree granting program. It is a high-risk, high-reward, expensive audition to med school, where you compete with med students in their linked med school. If you perform well, typically a GPA of 3.5 or more, this program completely overrides the low uGPA and gives you a chance at an allopathic acceptance (but not a guarantee). I'm under the impression that TCOM may have a program something like this.

I won't pretend to know the ins and outs of every SMP, but there is a complete list and a load of additional information in SDN's Postbaccalaureate Programs Forum. Medical Masters Programs are also listed at that site. I don't know what statistical chances a successful completion carries in terms of med school acceptance with those. Do more research. A note: many folks who don't perform superbly in these still get acceptances at osteopathic med schools even if their work wasn't up to the standard of MD programs.

TCOM was listed under "graduate work that can help you get into medical school," so it's not a true SMP, so you aren't taking medical school classes. I will look around on the forums for more information, thanks again for your help.
 
Jan 30, 2010
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Status
Pre-Medical
how long has it been since you obtained those wonderful Fs and Cs?

Fresh start program can be a good solution to your problem if you haven't explored it yet you might want to.
 

ce0000

5+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2009
7
0
1
Status
Medical Student
Well, I only finished up my bachelors summer of 09. I'm currently in pursuit of getting a masters in computer science by taking some pre-req courses, which is also help bringing up my cum. undergrad GPA to a 3.0. I was thinking instead of getting a masters in comp sci, I would go into that masters of medical science SMP program and help increase my chances. Do you guys think it's a lost hope to even do this? Waiting enough time for a "fresh start", from what I've read takes 10 years, or at least in Texas. Are my chances slim to none even if I do well in the master's program? From what I've read of the program, it doesn't have students take medical classes, but rather just offers a rigorous science heavy courseload. It is listed under "Special master's degree-granting programs" on the amcas.org website.