Nov 24, 2013
5
0
Hello all,

I'd like some advice on how I should pursue my nearly life-long dream of becoming a physician.

I graduated university in 2012 with a BA in Philosophy and minors in Politics, and Chemistry. I had a 3.4 overall gpa. (My major gpa was a 4.0). My pre-medical science courses were as follows:

BIO 1 = C
BIO 2 = B
BIO labs = C+, both
PHY 1 = B
PHY 2 = B+
PHY labs = B+, both
Orgo 1 = C+
Orgo 2 = C
Orgo lab = B
Chem 1 = C
Chem 2 = A
Chem lab 1 = B-
Chem lab 2 = B

I now have a Master's degree in Bioethics from Columbia university. I maintained very good grades overall in the program.

Some other "highlights":
-Community service award at my university
-Studied abroad in Europe 6 months
-Honors society for philosophy
-Research project in Sociology department
-Published paper in sociology
-Volunteered at clinic for economically disadvantaged folks in my town
-Shadowing experience
-Research ethics experience through current job
-High quality letters of recommendation

I have not taken the MCAT yet, as I am not sure if I should pursue some type of program to retake the sciences that I did not do so well in.

Any advice that you are kindly able to offer will be greatly appreciated.

-MP
 

Starry

Wish on a different star
May 24, 2013
487
84
Status
Medical Student
Your life experiences/ec's aren't bad. But what med schools need to see is that you will succeed in a rigorous science curriculum. And your current transcript does not reflect this. I would suggest looking into a special master's program, a post-bacc, or retaking the sciences you didn't do well in.

Pros of SMP/post-bacc: higher level courses, some programs may offer guaranteed acceptance, better chance for MD schools if you do well (3.5+gpa)
Cons of SMP/post-bacc: expensive, if you don't do well you are wayyyyy out of luck.

Pros of retaking: cheaper, easier than SMP/post-bacc, will cover MCAT material
Cons of retaking: need to get all A's. Even a B is unfortunate since it's a retake. MD schools don't do grade replacement, so you will have much more luck at DO schools. I'm going DO myself so I'm not saying this out of prejudice, but some people might view this as a con.

I think any of those options would be fine as long as you do well. Don't take the MCAT until you are ready.
 

PreMedOrDead

I'm sure you'll get in...
5+ Year Member
May 19, 2012
2,377
240
A dark, dark cave
Status
This should be moved to WAMC, or the Non-trad forums.

Pretty difficult to say without an MCAT and some skeptical science grades. I'd suggest retaking your sciences in prep for your MCAT, study and kill the MCAT. Your GPA should boost from that and if you do well on the MCAT the world is your oyster.

I'd also suggest getting some hospital work in there, looking pretty dry on clinical experience.
 
OP
M
Nov 24, 2013
5
0
Thank you both for your input. I am leaning towards retaking. I am just still wondering that if I don't retake and just do well on the MCAT, will I have a shot... at DO schools specifically?
 

Longshot6

5+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2013
347
401
Library
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you both for your input. I am leaning towards retaking. I am just still wondering that if I don't retake and just do well on the MCAT, will I have a shot... at DO schools specifically?
I would think VERY little chance since you need to show improvement in the sciences, and MCAT is, to an extent, a test for that.
 

CarlosDanger

5+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2013
624
310
Status
Medical Student
I think you would have a shot, but not a great one - assuming you do very well on the MCAT. A graduate degree would give you a couple bonus points, and it sounds like you've done a lot of service and have good ECs, but the most important things are really MCAT and GPA (particularly science GPA).

I assume you're already in some debt for your bioethics masters, so I don't think if I would do a post bacc if I were in your shoes. I think retaking might be your best bet.

Why did you do so well in your other classes and so poorly in science? Do you think you would enjoy a different career? You opted for a grad degree in a different field even though a hard science masters or post-bacc was the obvious choice, and you were also a non-science major. It seems like you may have other interests that you could be happy pursuing instead?
 
OP
M
Nov 24, 2013
5
0
Why did you do so well in your other classes and so poorly in science? Do you think you would enjoy a different career? You opted for a grad degree in a different field even though a hard science masters or post-bacc was the obvious choice, and you were also a non-science major. It seems like you may have other interests that you could be happy pursuing instead?
I think I was really unfocused during undergrad. I chose to pursue something close to my undergraduate major, yes, but it did come with formal science education. (I have an MS not an MA). I am profoundly interested in the ethical side of medicine, but I also desire to have a career in the medical field. (An ultimate goal for me would be a DO, on the board of a hospital ethics committee.) Thank you for your response though!
 

SpartanWolverine

I like dark rooms.
Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2012
2,579
2,146
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I think you definitely have a chance... Especially for DO. I am sitting at just above 3.1 cgpa/sgpa (AACOMAS gpa) and just got in to MSU-COM (my top DO choice).

Is your sgpa above 3.0? It looks close. A couple of retakes could do wonders for your DO gpa. Imo, with a solid MCAT you could get in to almost any DO school with a sgpa 3.0+ and a MCAT 32+.

To make sure, retake a few classes, get that sgpa over ~3.2, and kill the MCAT.

That's my opinion from my experiences, at least.:D
 
Last edited:
OP
M
Nov 24, 2013
5
0
I think you definitely have a chance... Especially for DO. I am sitting at just above 3.1 cgpa/sgpa (AACOMAS gpa) and just got in to MSU-COM (my top DO choice).

Is your sgpa above 3.0? It looks close. A couple of retakes could do wonders for your DO gpa. Imo, with a solid MCAT you could get in to almost any DO school with a sgpa 3.0+ and a MCAT 32+.

To make sure, retake a few classes, get that sgpa over ~3.2, and kill the MCAT.

That's my opinion from my experiences, at least.:D
Thank you! Although I cringe at the thought of taking Organic Chem again, I think my best option is to retake. Best of luck to you!