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what would you suggest a med hopful who has a overal GPA 2.9 ?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Smooth Operater, May 7, 2007.

  1. Smooth Operater

    Smooth Operater don't bug "operatEr"! 5+ Year Member

    May 22, 2004
    Hello, I have a friend who completed a bachelor degree in biochem and recently consider pursing medicine. But her overall undergrad GPA is crap GPA 2.9.

    Should she just give up?


    is there alternative path she can take to get into med school? If so, how long will it take?

    P.S. she doesn't have much volunteering experience since she just recently consider med.

    Thanks for your help!
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  3. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

    Apr 12, 2007
    Has "your friend" taken the MCAT? If not, that's a step to consider. Additionally, her cumulative GPA will indeed be a serious obstacle. She needs to consider osteopathic medicine (and even there her GPA will be a problem) and a post-bacc or Special Masters Program to help raise her GPA.

    After an entire baccalaureate program with a cumulative GPA of 2.9, even getting to 3.4 will be a long battle. The important thing at this point is to make sure every grade she gets from here on out demonstrates a strong upward trend. Georgetown's SMP ( may be advantageous to her, given its students take courses with actual Georgetown medical students. It would be a good opportunity for her to show medical schools she CAN, in fact, handle the rigors of a medical education.

    She should consult a pre-health advisor at her school to help determine the best course of action.

  4. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004

    It's going to be a long journey for your "friend", several years at least. There are a number of options. I would suggest taking postbac type upper level undergraduate courses for A's until the cumulative GPA comes up above a 3.0, and then consider SMP programs. Good grades in an SMP after bringing the GPA up high enough to get past automatic screens, plus good ECs and a decent MCAT might give your friend a shot. No point even thinking about the MCAT though until the GPA is in the >3.0 range. At the same time as your friend is taking more classes, have her start volunteering and shadowing (basically a prereq for med school). She might not even truly be interested in medicine once she sees what it entails. Also bear in mind that since DO schools allow you to use retakes to replace original grades, your friend can probably up her GPA faster if osteopathy is of interest (AMCAS for MD doesn't work this way). Finally, if grade rehabilitation proves impossible, there's always caribbean options. It's a much harder road with fewer opportunities in terms of specialty, and the attrition is absurdly high at some places, but it does provide a second chance for certain determined individuals.
  5. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

    Apr 12, 2007
    That's better advice. Listen to Law2Doc.

  6. TheGreatHunt

    TheGreatHunt High Performance 7+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    Honestly, it doesn't sound like she shows a very big commitment to medicine. I'd tell her to do a couple of extra semesters, get that GPA up to at least a 3.5, shadow a doctor, and actually SEE what being a doctor is all about.

    Everyone wants to be a doctor, ain't no one want to do the work!
  7. An IP ban.

    Yes, you should.

    How is your credit rating?

    Yeah, after you failed to get into dental school. :laugh:
  8. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned Banned

    Oct 13, 2006
    do you have unfettered access to a time machine?
  9. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    best inquiry yet
  10. twohearted

    twohearted The whistle go . . . 2+ Year Member

    Oct 26, 2006
    They accept it in lieu of the MCAT in the carrib. But it has to be high.

    Seriously though, did you bust your [email protected]# for that 2.9? Because if you did, then I second the time machine. If you just f---ed up big time and slacked through 4 yrs college, then if you really are motivated, you could prob. get that gpa up to a 3.3ish after two years of 4.0 post bacc ugrad courses (sciences please.) And then do an SMP maybe. Plus a kick [email protected]# MCAT and ECs (like doing engineering research developing a time machine.)
  11. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast 5+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    shouldn't you be asking if OP's "friend" has access to a time machine? :confused:
  12. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned Banned

    Oct 13, 2006
  13. Spathi

    Spathi 2+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2007
    Well there is an equation. 10XGPA + MCAT= your score. Then look at the averages of the schools, and your number must be higher.

    You would have 29+MCAT. The lower schools tend to have scores as low as maybe 65 or so. So if you got a 36 or a 37 MCA you would probably get in because that would get you to about a score of 65. If you are a URM, your parent is an alumni or donates big time bucks you can lower the needed number by a few points. This assumes you have good letters, activities, a good personal statement, good interviewing skills, which are all necessary loops to jump through.

    This is just going by the numbers. People have gotten in with less and have been rejected with more.
  14. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist Rocket Scientist Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Answer the following questions for yourself:

    1.) Am I willing to do whatever it takes to become a physician (even if this means devoting years of my life and thousands of dollars before even starting the application process)?

    2.) Do I really care if I become a DO as opposed to a MD?

    I would say your best bet at this point is to become a DO (or go carib, but I wouldn't resort to that personally).

    My advice at this point would be to start a post-bac program and begin re-taking classes with the specific intent of raising your GPA. If you retake a class the DO application service will only count the second attempt at a class when calculating your GPA (the schools will still see your grades for the first, but DO schools do seem to be more forgiving of non-trads and people with prior academic difficulties). If you can raise your GPA then part of the work will be done. While you're doing this, get out and shadow a DO (or multiple DOs). Get LORS and make sure medicine is right for you.

    When you're done and you've taken the MCAT, if you manage some massive GPA bumping (lots of hours and good grades) plus a strong MCAT, maybe you can toss a few apps at MD schools but your primary focus should be DO schools.
  15. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    That's just a rough guideline for folks who don't have to do any grade rehabilitation. Few, if any, schools actually use this exact formulation, and there are significant non-numerical factors that get considered as well. I wouldn't put much weight into that as a measure of actual success, just an attempt by some to create an objective formula for what isn't really an objective process. In fact, the sliding scale notion that a high MCAT will bail out a low GPA is false -- an SDN myth. Someone with a 2.9 will rarely get into an allo med school even with the highest of MCATs. You need to fix the GPA with more schooling as well as do decently on the MCAT.
  16. xucardsfan08

    xucardsfan08 2+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2006
    10xGPA + MCAT score is not an accurate formula. There is a reason they use the MCAT to screen 3.8 vs 3.9 vs 4.0. A GPA of 2.9 is not insurmountable by any means. The MCAT for her is highly important but what brought her GPA down is more important. If if was a lack of effort, then re-evaluating priorities and rocking the MCAT will be beneficial. If she struggled to get a 2.9, then a high MCAT score is very very unlikely and she would struggle in med school anyway.
  17. scgroat

    scgroat New Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2006
    Exactly right, it comes down to what that 2.9 reflects. The GPA, even after rehab, will always be a handicap, but some schools will be interested if the apparent problem was corrected. Then again, if you have two otherwise equal candidates, one who screwed up and another who didn't, the one who didn't gets the nod. Therefore, it requires more than just GPA rehab and MCAT success; it requires something that shows that your friend wants to be a doctor more than anything in the world, something that eats at the heart of your interviewer and makes him/her feel guilty for not wanting to give you a chance.

    By the way, how do you create a link that isn't the actual web address?
  18. voirlesetoiles

    voirlesetoiles Focus. 5+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    If med school is what your friend really wants to do, it can happen. It'll take a lot of hard work and dedication.... and the road is anything but smooth. If this is your friend's dream, the one profession he/she would love to join, then there's absolutely no reason to give up on a dream without putting up a fight.
  19. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    An envelope full of Benjamins?
  20. scgroat

    scgroat New Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2006
    a big asp envelope!
  21. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2006
    She can help people and her GPA will be competitive. God rested on the 7th day and on the 8th day he created nursing school, to provide alternatives to the nutty pre-meds.
  22. littlealex

    littlealex little tiny alex 7+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Dude, you're not funny. In fact, you're a dick. I have no trouble believing in him when he says its his friend. Hell, even if it is him, he's in a tight spot and its pretty pointless to sit here and try to make people feel bad.

    Damn, the anonymity of the internet brings out the ugliest in men.
  23. I wasn't trying to be, but then again whether or not you find me funny tends to be a very good indicator of exactly how far up your ass that stick is lodged. In your case, I think it might be best to check your transverse colon to make sure it hasn't been would be a shame if you died a slow lingering death from peritonitis. I mean, you have contributed so much more to society than anyone else would just be a shame...... :rolleyes:

    Yup, I'm a dick. I admit it. And you seriously think that being pointed out by YOU is going to somehow force me to become a warm and fuzzy individual. The day I bend to the will of candyasses will be the day I have a tag on my me?

    You're also a newbie who apparently has a soft spot for dumbasses.

    Yes, of his own making because of his apparent academic and linguistic shortcomings. Pardon me, whilst I go get my violin. But this isn't the first time this kid has started this same type of thread over the past couple of years. He's a frequent flyer over in the dental side of things and even over there he's a laughing stock because of his deplorable grasp on the English language (which admittedly has improved slightly since the last go around of the trials and tribulations of his "friend").

    Not if you're really bored while on call for the fire department......forcing POS's to face the cold harsh light of reality can be a good way to pass the time between calls.

    No, it brings out the worst in women too. But then again, I'm just about this blunt in real life when someone asks what their chances are and they are beyond ****ed.
  24. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2006
    The Big Easy
    To the OP
    Click on my signature that links to special masters program. Another poster mentioned about programs such as Georgetown's SMP, but some of these high-yield programs (GT, University of Cincinnati, etc..) are fairly difficult in itself to get into and have acceptance rates comparable to med schools. You will want to look into SMP programs (again click on my signature link) that have slightly lower admissions requirements. Of course there's still many issues needed to be resolved- MCAT, relevant clinical & volunteer experience, and namely, why did your friend get a low GPA in the first place? Jobs? Personal issues? Or is your grasp on the sciences simply not strong enough? If it is the latter issue, there needs to be a revamp in studying issues and revisiting the fundamental sciences and how/why the material isnt understood better. Those are pertinent issues that you will need to address way before you take any steps forward.
  25. Does English count as a science? :smuggrin:
  26. Ultra7

    Ultra7 Member 5+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Actually, I think he is funny.
  27. Re3iRtH

    Re3iRtH Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2006
    Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder, don't no one wanna
    lift no heavy a$$ weight.
  28. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned Banned

    Oct 13, 2006
    ha. anonymity. that's a quaint idea. Ask the SDN admins what they think about anonymity and how it applies to this site's privacy policy when deans of admissions come calling. :idea:
  29. Oculus Sinistra

    Oculus Sinistra Finish it. 5+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    This is brilliant. This should be the scrolling text on the front page of SDN.


    not only is DKM funny but he tells it like it is. Get used to it.
  30. gary5

    gary5 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 24, 2003
    Buy her a computer and teach her how to use sdn.
  31. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this 10+ Year Member

    May 31, 2006
    lol 1000+ posts and suddenly you decide to become a troll.
    Seriously, wouldn't anybody who had made more than 25 posts already have seen an identical thread about 9000 times?
  32. scgroat

    scgroat New Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2006
    Very good point. When you're one of the lucky few who have come back from the dead, it's nice to bask in your glory. Then again, these threads do get old, and they are abundant. Maybe Dr. Cox is right to offer a small taste of the grim but likely reality. Nonetheless, good luck to the OP or friend.
  33. christian15213

    christian15213 Banned Banned

    Jul 28, 2006
    3.4 is not that bad of a struggle depending on MCAT... but yea it isn't that great... what would you say about a 3.6?
  34. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Wild west of Mistytown

    Please take the OP's question at value and quit from degrading users to trolls and the like. Some users have valid questions and to answer them with off-hand comments doesn't help the professional value of this forum. So please stay on topic when answering a thread. If you haven't anything on topic to state, then find a place where you do.

    please see our reminder at the bottom of each page: Our membership encourages open discussion and debate as long as it relates to the topic of the thread at hand. Posts which do not relate to the original purpose or topic of the thread may be moved to a more appropriate location. : )

  35. TheGreatHunt

    TheGreatHunt High Performance 7+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    HAHAH! You know it!
    Good ole Ronnie...

    I wonder if there are any big Pre-meds out there?
  36. sendwich

    sendwich you rock! 10+ Year Member

    May 2, 2002
    1) take the MCAT. if you're hitting high 20's (aka 26 and above) you're in a good place.

    2) take a year's worth of upper div science courses at the local university. preferablly a competitive ones. GET ALL A's!!! if you don't, you're setting yourself back.

    3) do a SMP program. WORK YOUR ASS OFF and pull nothing lower than a 3.7+. bombing in this type of program-->think of alternative career choices.

    pm me if you have further questiosn as i have been in your shoes 2 years ago. :thumbup:
  37. avery2007

    avery2007 New Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    my two cents...

    don't rush to decide if you have some time. make sure that each step taken (lots of good advice given so far) is sure and focused and deliberate.

    ...and that your confidence is where it should be.

    in the end--you want to become a physician which means thinking like one--eager to learn--one who instills confidence in your patients--one who is humble and yet assertive when necessary (the list is different for each person and you decide what qualities you want to develop)

    personally--i had to brutally assess my strengths/weaknesses before tackling the MCAT and my graduate program.

    i didn't rush into anything--and then, when i was ready, i truly attacked that test/program and beat it...
  38. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2006

    I guess he must have been dissatisfied with the 40+ responses he got when he created the exact same thread a month ago.
  39. CTtarheel

    CTtarheel Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    yeah, but to even get to that point you have to clear the basic screens. The truth is that at many schools (though not at all schools) your application will simply not get read if you have less than a 2.9. It's not worth it for them to waste time on those apps looking for the one possible diamond in the rough they might be able to admit.

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