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why cant i get in? 3.2 gpa/34 mcat

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by neurotik, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. neurotik

    neurotik Member
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    im doing a smp right now, and i havent had ANY interviews this yr to med schools (MD). this is my 2nd time applying.
    my stats are 3.2 cum/3.1 bpcm undergrad, 34 mcat (12 10 12 p), asian-indian, cali resident.

    do you think i have any chance for next yr bc i plan on applying a 3rd (and last) time. im going to apply to both MD and DO (i would have applied to DO this cycle if i had known more about it)

    any advice?
     
  2. pathognomonic

    pathognomonic Member
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    Did you apply broadly? Do you have your ducks in a row EC-wise? I'm asking bc I have your exact stats except with a 3.18 and have gotten five allopathic interviews. I'm not a URM or anything so I'm wondering if there's something else besides GPA holding you back.
     
  3. OP
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    neurotik

    neurotik Member
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    thx for replying. (we must be similar, bc u have the same post count as me, ha)
    there were some factors that might have contributed to my lack of interviews including sending everything late (oct-nov) bc schools wait for my grades from first semester anyways. also, i wrote about my anxiety disorder that i had in undergrad in my PS, and i think that may have not fared too well with some ppl.
    i applied to around 30 schools.
    i have decent ECs, nothing extraordinary, but i did have clinical experience a few yrs ago in another country.
     
  4. lakersbaby

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    Sending your apps in late is a big thing. If you don't get in i say maybe take some classes to boost that GPA and get those apps in the first day next cycle
     
  5. Funky

    Funky This space is for sale
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    I think the late application definitely hurt your chances for this cycle but I've heard of people getting interviews in march so don't give up hope.
     
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  6. I think being an Asian-Indian with low GPA definitely hurts your chance. All Asians are considered to be academic majority by med schools. I know several Asian/Indian classmates with 3.2-3.3 GPA/33-34 MCAT did not get interviewed by any CA schools last year and some ended up going to St. George. I heard the cut for academic majority in-state applicants in CA is a magic score of 68+ (10*gpa + mcat score). Good luck!
     
  7. Tired Pigeon

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    I would probably leave the anxiety disorder stuff out of your PS. Personally I think it's great for someone to overcome this, but this is considered a mental illness according to the DSM, and you just never know how the people reading your app are going to interpret this information.
     
  8. OP
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    neurotik

    neurotik Member
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    well, its not like i made it an excuse for my poor academic status in undergrad, but it did play a role (a big role, in fact). if i dont talk about it, then theres no other way to explain my poor performance in undergrad. also, i only briefly mentioned it, a small paragraph, and focused on the positive aspects and what i learned from it, etc.

    another question: is it okay if i apply this yr and just work in a clinical setting? or do med schools need to see that im in some sort of academic environment while applying?
     
  9. OP
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    neurotik

    neurotik Member
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    yea, i know its more difficult bc im both asian-indian and from california.

    but i would like to get into ANY med school in the US (obviously), and im not even planning on applying to any california schools this cycle, except for maybe irvine and davis.
     
  10. bravotwozero

    bravotwozero Chronically ambitious
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    Once you've gotten a rejection letter or two, call the school and ask why they didn't grant you an interview. I think that would be the best way to get an idea why.
     
  11. hb2998

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    Indian/Asian from cali with a 69.5 based on formula... only instate interview was from Stanford which doesn't give instate preference. Rejected from almost all UCs. I heard magic number for UCLA was 70... I hope that was a rumor. Might have been as I received my rejection from them yesterday.... pre-secondary rejection... I even go to UCLA.. its incredible how hard it is to get into these CA schools.
     
  12. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    You have a couple of things that you need to work on. First, you know that your undergrad GPA is below average for allopathic schools (3.6) so you know that you need to raise this. A SMP won't raise an undergraduate GPA. Graduate GPAs are calculated separately and while your SMP (if you have stellar grades) is great to show that you can handle the medical curriculum, you may need to take some post bacc classes. If you don't have time (or money) for postbacc courses, finish your SMP extremely strong and float your application. Just be sure that your SMP grades are excellent. Graduate GPAs are expected to be well above 3.5 because you are studying something that you love.

    Second, you need to totally revamp and rework your personal statment. Make no mention of your anxiety disorder. If you must discuss this, then call it a medical problem that affected your earlier grades and leave it at that. Also, spend no more than a couple of sentences (actually one is enough) of your personal statement explaining bad grades or your "medical" problem.

    Using your personal statement to explain negative aspects of your application makes those negative aspects "doubly negative". Make a short reference with something like, "I had to overcome a medical disorder that is now totally corrected and thus my academics are now outstanding" (they should be). Make sure that the last paragraphs of your personal statement are nothing except positives about you and your abilities/dedication. The last thing that you want in the minds of the reader of your personal statement has to be something positive.

    Make sure everything else on your application is totally positive and upbeat too. You have to show yourself as a person with an excellent work ethic, total ability to master a medical curriculum and ready to make a positive contribution to their medical class. Couple this with your excellent SMP grades (no grade less than B+),your MCAT score and you should be fine. Also apply broadly and apply early.

    I am on an admissions committee and I can tell you that mentioning depression/anxiety disorder is not a good idea. The clinicians won't have a problem but the non-clinicians just do not understand that your problem can be completely controlled. If you had "brittle" diabetes and difficulty with blood sugar management, you might have had the same academic problems earlier on. The fact that your problem was anxiety disorder does not need to be the business of an admissions committee. Call it a now completely-controlled medical problem and write about how you appreciate the fine points of medical management now that you have been through this experience.

    Good luck and keep doing well in your SMP.
     
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  13. OP
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    neurotik

    neurotik Member
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    thx for the advice njbmd.
    its great to hear from someone that is actually on an admissions committee.
     
  14. CatsandCradles

    CatsandCradles SDN Donor
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    What schools did you apply too?

    If it was the UCs, then there is very stiff competition for those spots. Look to the East Coast programs and apply broadly. I would think with your stats that you'd get in somewhere.

    Apply to the Philadelphia and NJ schools for example. I know this is greatly oversimplyfying things, but ....less applicants = more chance for you.
     
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  15. Critical Mass

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    Agree with the others. The best thing that you could have done in place of the SMP was to simply move to a different state and acquire a job/residency. Cali is unfriendly to med school applicants. Too much competition in a land that doesn't have to homegrow its own docs if it doesn't want to.
     
  16. Dr.Detroit

    Dr.Detroit Boogie Member
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    neurotik,

    Make sure you learn a thing or two about D.O. schools, shadow some D.O. doctors and get LORs from D.O.s. I interviewed at some D.O. schools and invariably was asked why I wanted to become an osteopath. The administrators at these schools seem to be keenly aware that M.D. hopefuls are using their institutions as back-up plans.

    If you do the things that I recommend, I think you'll gain a lot of respect for osteopaths.
     
  17. AtreyuRocks

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    hey... just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one in the "asian (indian) CA resident with scores on the lower end of the spectrum" boat. im asian with 3.48 (3.51 BCPM)/29 MCAT AND i applied late hehe.

    anyways i know you mentioned that you applied to 30 schools but the sheer number itself doesn't necessarily mean you applied broadly. your MCAT is MUCH better than mine so i am guessing that you could potentially get a good number of interviews, and agree that your PS might be holding you back...

    this was my first cycle applying (verified in early november) and i have received four interviews. from what i hear it seems that my personal statements (i applied MD/PhD) and my secondaries (which supported my statements) really did the trick to win me an interview with some schools. i know that shaping up your gpa is an option, but i am guessing that you may not want to do this (i just couldnt because it would mean mostly getting A's to raise the GPA appropriately, something i just didn't have time for while working 60 hours a week).

    well, i wish you the best of luck and if you have any questions about my process ie: where i got interviews at just send me a message! so far, i agree with all the advice posted ahead of me!
     
  18. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    I agree that being Asian-Indian + low GPA hurts in this case, however I disagree that that the cut is based on the above score system. University of California uses an initial screening process based on GPA and MCAT. If you get screened out then no secondary application. They also read your personal statement too, which can give a little leeway in terms of overcoming the screening process or totally torpedoing your chances even without the screen. For the most part, if you fall below a 3.0-3.2 GPA and below a 26 on the MCAT, then you're out.

    On a side note, if you have an undergrad GPA of 3.7 and above, then you get an "extra point" on your application. The funny thing is, at least at UCD, if you have a graduate GPA of 3.8+ then you also get an "extra point". Ultimately, both MCAT and GPA are treated EQUALLY, per my discussion with the deans of admissions at UCSF, UCSD, UCLA, and UCD when they came to our area for an pre-AMSA conference late 2006.

    Anyway in regards to the OP, clearly as many others have stated, its due to (1) applying late, (2) being Asian-Indian, (3) low undergrad GPA, and (4) being a CA resident. DO programs may be more kind, however I think the applying late and low GPA component hurt you outside of CA. Nationally, I think your MCAT score is great. In CA, its average for those that get admitted. Ultimately the key to getting an interview is to sell yourself with hard evidence. Which as njbmd said is to show good grades, and write a good personal statement. Currently, one of my undergrads who is also Asian-Indian is applying. He had a 3.3-3.4 GPA, took the MCAT the 3rd time and got a 34 and applied late since he took the August MCAT from last year. Finally got an interview for a school in NY and OHSU up north. Great! But interviews in march, although still a good thing, isn't that great. My other friend already interviewed at numerous schools back in November, so a lot of slots have been taken up already. Therefore as shown here, GPA and the time you apply plays a big role. Good luck!
     
  19. Nasrudin

    Nasrudin Apropos of Nothing
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    :thumbup: Great post relentless. I gained a lot of insights reading that as far as what i need to do. Seems like you've done some good research about this subject. I'm impressed with your resolve to find out from the deans of california schools. I think you earn your name--"Relentless."
    Carry on then my man.
     

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