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Medical Will life experiences outweigh low MCAT scores?

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Oct 14, 2011
  1. Academic Administration
I am a first generation immigrant from Honduras. My family and I moved to the US in 2013 when I was eighteen.
(underrepresented minority and low socioeconomic status)
Graduated in 2017
B.S. Biology
GPA 3.92
MCAT: 497,496, (498) most recent 02/2020
-First time I did not study for it (overconfident), second time I was going through my divorce (I just went through the motions). Third time I studied properly doing practice exams and reviewing but only for a month and a half. Studying meant not working and therefore not making money (I work three jobs as a Teacher's Assistant for The University I graduated from, Substitute teacher at local high schools and as a server at a restaurant during nights and weekends).
Obviously my MCAT is not good, I just run out of time. I'm not a fast reader (but I have been reading a lot more in the past two years) and English is my second language. I am afraid of retaking it as I have already failed at it three times. Part of me believes I could still get in with such a low MCAT but I know it puts me at a disadvantage.

Volunteer: Over 300hrs at local hospital
Research: None
Shadowing: Over 100 hrs I have shadowed two PCP, the Ortho clinic at hospital and have shadowed a hand surgeon during during surgery. Unfortunately I did not maintain those relationships but hopefully I will be able to get a letter from one of the PCPs.

After graduating I went through a divorce and it basically led to a pause in my pursuit of medical school. I started partying a lot, traveling and just had fun. I stopped volunteering, shadowing and thinking about my future. After almost two years I began getting ready for this application cycle I picked up the books again and studied for the MCAT. Unfortunately the results were not as I hoped.

I guess I hope that my MCAT score will be outweighed by my life experiences and my good GPA but I don't know if that is realistic.
It unfortunately doesn't really work that way. However, given your background, networking will help you find some advocates to help you, but you've pinned yourself as a 500 MCAT (or below) so no more MCAT retakes. Now, there may be some medical schools that would take a chance given your disadvantaged background, so do your homework by reaching out to AMSA, SNMA, and LMSA chapters at schools located closest to you. This should also include HBCU schools like Howard, Drew, Morehouse, and Meharry. Go through the DO schools in your region as well as they would likely be the best chance for acceptance, but you must pick a school that can give you the support you need with your reading and your low SED background.
Jun 11, 2010
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
Those scores are lethal for MD and circling the drain at most DO schools. In addition, you have a track record of making bad choices where a high stakes , career deciding exam is concerned.

Your scores put you in a risk zone for failing out of med school and or failing Boards.

So either retake the exam and score 510+, or work on Plan B. Do NOT take the exam until you are 100% ready for it.

OR, consider a SMP with good linkage.
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