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What to do in my year off

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by baldrick15, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. baldrick15

    2+ Year Member

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    Thanks in advance for any input:

    Basically i am taking a year off from when i graduate to strengthen my application but i want to know what options I have and what I should be doing in that time. I have a very low gpa in bio engineering from UCIrvine and am going to retake the mcats in march to hopefully get closer to the upper range of my practice tests. I should be graduating at the end of the summer and was thinking of studying abroad in the summer because all i'll need by then is 3 breadth classes. Here are my numbers:

    -3.2 gpa (2.7 in breadth, 3.2 in physical science, and 3.5 in engineering)
    -29 MCAT (retaking in march, practice tests so far range from 29-34)
    -Published in geophysical journal after 2 years of payed research (nothing to do with medicine but it's a 15 hour a week commitment)
    -Shadowed gastroenterologist over a winter break, adolescent immunologist in Ankara, Turkey for 2 weeks
    -Worked part time at Target, Veterinary testing lab (Antech), and as a middle school tutor (needed money)

    not really much else i've done worth mentioning, i do play club soccer (10 hours/week) but as i don't play on the mens national team or even division 1 i don't think that's worth talking about.

    I'm sure there are others in my situation with competetive mcat but poor gpas who are taking a year off to strenghten their apps and i was wondering what they did. I've looked into post bacc programs and was wondering if that or an smp would be a good idea. Many of my grades are C's so would taking an extra quarter or two to retake them be a better option. Also I'm very deficient in clinical and volunteering hours so should i focus on that?

    Thanks again, and happy new year
     
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  3. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
    Rocket Scientist Physician Pharmacist Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    You need to raise your GPA and volunteer more.

    Work on the MCAT. I say you got a busy year ahead....to be competitive.
     
  4. Mobius1985

    7+ Year Member

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    If you want to attend a US allopathic (MD) medical school, you'll need more than an extra year to get your application into shape. Even with two more full-time years of undergrad or post-bac classes getting a straight 4.0, you won't pull your GPA up into the competitive range. If you don't get a repeat MCAT score of 35+ to balance your low GPA, then an SMP might be your best bet.

    If you are planning to attend a osteopathic (DO) school, your MCAT is good enough to balance the low GPA, but your GPA is below their mean for acceptees also. Try to take some upper-level bio courses before you graduate and get straight As to show you are capable of the required work, and to raise your GPA some more. If you retake a course, the DO application service will replace the lower grade, helping you to improve your GPA faster.

    The typical applicant for any medical school has 1.5 years of clinical volunteering or experience. It might be good to get that started. Community service and leadership are highly regarded also.
     
  5. baldrick15

    2+ Year Member

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    Yes i want to do an MD program in the states so right now i'm leaning toward an SMP program from UCinc, BU, or Georgetown. All three medical schools seem to be pretty similarly ranked, but aside from the price differance is one program better than another?
     

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