Mar 26, 2010
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I am currently a pre-med student at a 4-year university in Texas. Unfortunately, my GPA is currently around a 2.0-2.1 which I know is not even in the ball park for getting into med school. Based on calculations, I can bring that GPA to ~2.5 by the end of Fall, but it will only go up to about a 2.6 by next Spring. Based on credits, I should be able to graduate next Spring, but the GPA is definitely not competitive. :(

So the question is: what to do?
I really hate the idea of continuing undergrad into a 6th year as this is already my 4th year. The above reflects finishing at the end of the 5th. Nevertheless, continuing a 6th year does not seem to raise the GPA enough. From what I can tell, i'll only have a 2.7-2.8 if I do an additional year. (this is ALL based on straight A's, mind you =\ )

The first possibility is to continue for a 6th year, despite the minimal gpa raise.

The other possibility that comes to mind is to switch to another local 4-year university (private though) which has the positive aspect of starting my GPA over on a clean slate, but has the negative aspect of requiring an additional 40-45 credits as my current school's core courses would lose their value. (costs 2-3 times as much, but not surprising since its private) <- and thus I'll have to take a 6th year anyways here too, but this time around the GPA would be based around classes from "here on out". However, I think it will be required to raise my GPA to 2.5 before I can use this possibility...
=> I would also like to point out that they only accept transfers for classes that I had made a solid C or higher, so although I'd have to retake any science classes that get "bumped out": my science GPA I assume would benefit from this overall.

I would be delighted to hear comments on these possibilities and any possibilities that I do not know of. If there are any questions or if there is information that I haven't provided and is wanted: please tell be sure to tell me.

-- I have yet to take the MCAT yet as I have not taken all of the necessary classes deemed necessary to be marginally prepared for it. I am currently taking the Organic Chemistry I lecture, but I will most likely W out of it, considering I feel ill-prepared for the exam tonight despite having spent countless weeks preparing for it. I will most likely take it again over the summer, but this time with a tutor =\

Thank you in advance.

EDIT: I would like to point out that I am currently a Biology Major.
 
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justdoit31

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Well the option to go to another school won't really help because AMCAS and the Texas Application both require you to list all courses you have ever taken. My only advice would be to to try to take undergrad classes to get up to a 2.7 or higher and then you will have to do a SMP or post bac and totally rock that and the MCAT.

Is there a good reason for having that low of GPA? Did you not know you wanted to go into medicine and bombed classes early or did you battle illness? I hope there is a reason because if you were at those numbers while being pre-med the whole time then you will have a difficult time getting in.
 

Squeal

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Feb 24, 2010
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Like said above starting over is not an option. If I were you, I would retake classes you did bad in (D's and F's especially) and apply to DO schools, because they will replace the grade. US MD schools only average the grades.

If you could do that and score a 30ish on the MCAT you might have a good shot.



Edit: First you have to really decide if this is what you want to do, and excel from here on out. Medicine is not an easy road, and if you can't handle the pre-reqs, you need to really consider if this is the path for you.
 
Mar 26, 2010
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This post is for justdoit31:

Truthfully, I don't feel I have an adequate reason and I have always wanted to go into medicine: I can't imagine myself doing anything else. However, I don't think stating that school is a second priority to caring for my quadriplegic father would be something a school would want to hear. I've been able to focus more on school, although not as much as I would prefer, as of recently, since my sister is starting to grow old enough to take over some of the responsibilities.

As for the other school: It really won't help? I thought that if I switched and maintained as high of a gpa as possible, the cumm. and science gpa's would reflect this. (I have barely tapped into the biology courses (i did bio 1 and 2. did genetics and currently doing evolutionary bio. however, genetics wont transfer since it was below the solid c) Based on my estimate, I have 22 credits of biology to do still according to the new school. =\

If the other school idea really is flawed, then I'll need to look into that "SMP or post bac" you spoke of. I thank you for that suggestion :)
 
Mar 26, 2010
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Like said above starting over is not an option. If I were you, I would retake classes you did bad in (D's and F's especially) and apply to DO schools, because they will replace the grade. US MD schools only average the grades.

If you could do that and score a 30ish on the MCAT you might have a good shot.



Edit: First you have to really decide if this is what you want to do, and excel from here on out. Medicine is not an easy road, and if you can't handle the pre-reqs, you need to really consider if this is the path for you.
Does the D/F apply to just science related? The only F I had was Calculus 2 (i think) and I believe I had gotten a B thereafter. However, I have a few D's. One in Physics 2 (D- on first try, D+ on second. Physics 1 clicked, but 2 didn't. I fully planned on self-studying it for the mcat) My other science related D is on Genetics which I believe is a D+. Since repeat attempts are averaged in rather than replace the grade, a better grade on Genetics wouldn't boost the gpa much. I hadn't considered it though because I found the course to be extremely difficult and unlikely to get an A on the second time around.

Upon browsing the forums, I have seen instances of people mentioning these "DO schools" and how there are mixed views on them. Could you explain further on what it is?

As for the MCAT: I have full intent on getting the 30+ that you speak of. Actually, I'm counting on it considering my poor GPA. >.<


EDIT: I have a few D's on stuff like Art History that I would prefer not to repeat if not necessary >.<
 
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TCOM has an SMP-like program. You might check to see what the minimum GPA is to apply there.

You could wait ten years and invoke the Texas "Fresh-Start" program, as Justdoit is right, that changing schools otherwise won't allow you to shed the bad old grades.

Squeal's option is the most practical, but won't apply to TCOM, so you'd be obliged to attend a more-expense OOS DO school. When you apply through AACOMAS, provided the retaken class has the same credit hours or more, the first class won't be included in your application GPA, though it will still show on the transcript the schools receive. You can retake the class at another cheaper school, if it helps.

Use this DO GPA calculation spreadsheet: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=450050

Put in all your current grades, then start substituting the lowest grades with As until you get the GPA to a 3.4 or so. Those are the minimum number of retaken courses you need, provided you can earn As. It will take less time than any other route to make you competitive.

Upon browsing the forums, I have seen instances of people mentioning these "DO schools" and how there are mixed views on them. Could you explain further on what it is?
SDN has a PreMed Osteopathic Forum you can peruse for more information about what DO physicians are all about.
 
Mar 26, 2010
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TCOM has an SMP-like program. You might check to see what the minimum GPA is to apply there.

You could wait ten years and invoke the Texas "Fresh-Start" program, as Justdoit is right, that changing schools otherwise won't allow you to shed the bad old grades.

Squeal's option is the most practical, but won't apply to TCOM, so you'd be obliged to attend a more-expense OOS DO school. When you apply through AACOMAS, provided the retaken class has the same credit hours or more, the first class won't be included in your application GPA, though it will still show on the transcript the schools receive. You can retake the class at another cheaper school, if it helps.

Use this DO GPA calculation spreadsheet: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=450050

Put in all your current grades, then start substituting the lowest grades with As until you get the GPA to a 3.4 or so. Those are the minimum number of retaken courses you need, provided you can earn As. It will take less time than any other route to make you competitive.

SDN has a PreMed Osteopathic Forum you can peruse for more information about what DO physicians are all about.
Thank you. I will enter my grades into that spreadsheet now since you offered it :)
As for the Fresh-Start program, that would probably not be a feasible option. I thank you for pointing it out though!
 
Mar 26, 2010
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Ever think that maybe you're just not cut out for medical school?
Yes. I KNOW I'm not "cut out" for it. However, I would never abandon my goal that I had chosen for myself since childhood. I rather live in another country like Germany or UK, as a doctor, than abandon this goal. It would be nice though to be able to remain in the country though >.> Hopefully that doesn't turn out to be too much to ask for.
 
Mar 11, 2010
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Ever think that maybe you're just not cut out for medical school?
+1.

OP, medical school will be many times harder than college. If you theoretically got in, and then flunked out, that would be money borrowed and still to be repaid... now gone.

Did you at least enjoy your science classes? Or do you see all this as just hoops to jump through painfully on the way to becoming an MD?
 
Mar 26, 2010
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+1.

OP, medical school will be many times harder than college. If you theoretically got in, and then flunked out, that would be money borrowed and still to repaid... now gone.

Did you at least enjoy your science classes? Or do you see all this as just hoops to jump through painfully on the way to becoming an MD?
I believe I have mixed feelings on enjoyment.
I find classes like genetics and organic chemistry as the latter but find classes like physics and general/evolutionary bio quite entertaining.

Getting in would be of the most importance: I won't allow myself to flunk even if it means studying 24/7. I would like to be a general practitioner/physician end-result ^_^
 

hippocraticoath

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Yes. I KNOW I'm not "cut out" for it. However, I would never abandon my goal that I had chosen for myself since childhood. I rather live in another country like Germany or UK, as a doctor, than abandon this goal. It would be nice though to be able to remain in the country though >.> Hopefully that doesn't turn out to be too much to ask for.
You will not get into a medical school (or graduate from one) in Germany or the UK with your current grades - that's just not going to happen.
 

Squeal

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Feb 24, 2010
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I believe I have mixed feelings on enjoyment.
I find classes like genetics and organic chemistry as the latter but find classes like physics and general/evolutionary bio quite entertaining.

Getting in would be of the most importance: I won't allow myself to flunk even if it means studying 24/7. I would like to be a general practitioner/physician end-result ^_^
Another thing, have you shadowed Doctors to see if this is a profession you're really interested in? How about clinical experience and volunteering?

I would recommend that you shadow many healthcare providers, including NPs, PAs, MDs, etc. There are more routes to becoming a healthcare provider than just MD, and I think it would be beneficial to check these out (if you already haven't.)
 

Drexon

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kutsuki:
don't mind what people say about not being cut out for med school. only you can really decide for yourself whether you're cut out or not... not anyone else. so don't let anyone else tell you otherwise!
"no one can make you feel inferior without your consent"
- E. Roosevelt

to be honest.. med school is certainly a numbers game. mcat & gpa but there's certainly other factors to consider. Schools publish the matriculants gpa range for each year. It's always the same story.. between 2.8 and 4.0 That means someone had below a 3.0 but that also means they must have done something special. You could be that person in a sense.. if you've scored really well on the mcat and if you have stellar EC and letters of rec.
Ultimately that's the bottom line.

it also depends how much you truly want to become a doctor and what you want to sacrifice to obtain that goal. every person getting into med school has sacrificed in some sense to get in.

best of luck
 
Mar 11, 2010
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Unless you're showing a very clear uptrend throughout college, I'm not sure an additional year is going to do anything.

You'd be surprised how following a different path may open other doors, or lead you back to the original one. If I were you, I'd get out of school, get some good work experience, pay off the loans. If you find out you badly want it, you'll figure out a way to improve your study habits and find a way back.
 
Mar 26, 2010
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Another thing, have you shadowed Doctors to see if this is a profession you're really interested in? How about clinical experience and volunteering?

I would recommend that you shadow many healthcare providers, including NPs, PAs, MDs, etc. There are more routes to becoming a healthcare provider than just MD, and I think it would be beneficial to check these out (if you already haven't.)

I know for a fact that this is what I have wanted to do :)
As for clinical experience...I had spent two years in high school doing clinical rotations. Does that count?
Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to volunteer since: I'm either at school or helping dad in a healthcare...way.
 

justdoit31

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The only reason I would switch schools would be if you are 100% sure that your grades would go up. I think taking care of your father is obviously important but I would imagine an adcom would question you on if you could do medical school and not have to continue taking care of him.

The thing that would be good is if you do take the 20+ hours of science and keep a very high GPA in those courses. (if your sciGPA is 3.2+ it improves your chances- over 3.5 would be desirable)

But I still think the SMP/post-bac is the best option... but you still need to work hard because even those are challenging to get into.
 
Mar 26, 2010
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kutsuki:
don't mind what people say about not being cut out for med school. only you can really decide for yourself whether you're cut out or not... not anyone else. so don't let anyone else tell you otherwise!
"no one can make you feel inferior without your consent"
- E. Roosevelt

to be honest.. med school is certainly a numbers game. mcat & gpa but there's certainly other factors to consider. Schools publish the matriculants gpa range for each year. It's always the same story.. between 2.8 and 4.0 That means someone had below a 3.0 but that also means they must have done something special. You could be that person in a sense.. if you've scored really well on the mcat and if you have stellar EC and letters of rec.
Ultimately that's the bottom line.

it also depends how much you truly want to become a doctor and what you want to sacrifice to obtain that goal. every person getting into med school has sacrificed in some sense to get in.

best of luck
Thank you very much. :)
 
Mar 26, 2010
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The only reason I would switch schools would be if you are 100% sure that your grades would go up. I think taking care of your father is obviously important but I would imagine an adcom would question you on if you could do medical school and not have to continue taking care of him.

The thing that would be good is if you do take the 20+ hours of science and keep a very high GPA in those courses. (if your sciGPA is 3.2+ it improves your chances- over 3.5 would be desirable)

But I still think the SMP/post-bac is the best option... but you still need to work hard because even those are challenging to get into.
Excluding Organic, which I will likely drop and redo when I have a tutor since I find it difficult: I feel that I have improved now in comparison to the past. As for adcom...I know what you mean. However if I attend a med school that isn't even in the same city as my present location: I would think that it be assumed that I would have passed the 'caring' to my sister.
 

justdoit31

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However if I attend a med school that isn't even in the same city as my present location: I would think that it be assumed that I would have passed the 'caring' to my sister.
Many of my classmates travel home on a regular basis (1-2x a month) and because at Tech we have audio lectures (should have video next year) it is feasible to just show up for test, clinic, and required small groups. I have only flown home twice this year (I am OOS and it is expensive) but when I go I usually stay almost a week and just do school from out of town. So it is still something you could encounter- and passing caring to your sister would be a solid option for why you could handle school.
 
Mar 26, 2010
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TCOM has an SMP-like program. You might check to see what the minimum GPA is to apply there.

You could wait ten years and invoke the Texas "Fresh-Start" program, as Justdoit is right, that changing schools otherwise won't allow you to shed the bad old grades.

Squeal's option is the most practical, but won't apply to TCOM, so you'd be obliged to attend a more-expense OOS DO school. When you apply through AACOMAS, provided the retaken class has the same credit hours or more, the first class won't be included in your application GPA, though it will still show on the transcript the schools receive. You can retake the class at another cheaper school, if it helps.

Use this DO GPA calculation spreadsheet: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=450050

Put in all your current grades, then start substituting the lowest grades with As until you get the GPA to a 3.4 or so. Those are the minimum number of retaken courses you need, provided you can earn As. It will take less time than any other route to make you competitive.

SDN has a PreMed Osteopathic Forum you can peruse for more information about what DO physicians are all about.
I put my grades into that calculator as you said and I now have a 2.382 overall with a 1.861 science. ouch.
On the other hand, I noticed that the calculator has the option for an A+. I don't recall that being a possible letter grade at my school...hmmm...


EDIT: Okay so it doesn't look like there is a diff between A and A+. I thank everyone for their help and would be delighted to hear more responses or advice. I'm going to go take my miserable orgo exam now @[email protected] I might be getting a W in it, but at least I'll have a copy of the test on-hand afterward to study during the summer.
 
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