Mar 16, 2010
4
0
0
pittsburgh
Status
Pre-Medical
Help!

I have been certain that I want to be a doctor for at least 10 years now. There are no doctors in my family and I came to the conclusion of pursuing this career path on my own after becoming close friends with a classmate (and her sister) who have spinal muscular atrophy type II.

I was not the smartest high school senior and deposited at the first school that accepted me. I was later accepted to a school that was affiliated with a medical school but did not bother to change my mind. I have resented my spontaneous decision since the first week of class my freshman year. The school did not have a well established pre-medical committee and besides taking the pre-requisites and (kind of) joining a biology honors fraternity and pre-medical student organization, I did not get much experience while in college.

However, I was a NCAA Division I rower in college, worked part-time for 7 of the 9 semesters I was enrolled, was in a sorority for one academic year (resigned because they were disappointed that I chose homework over frat parties), and completed my BS Biology in three years (august 2006 to august 2009) but my grades suffered. A combination of too many things on my plate, the death of a family member, and an injury from my sport that left it almost impossible to write (aka take notes and tests), caused my cumulative GPA to barely be a 3.0. Side note, I have not attempted to calculate my science GPA yet simply because I fear for the number.

I am currently nannying for two D.O. doctors, I am applying to volunteer in hospitals nearby, I know the department chair of family medicine at the local medical school (I would soon like to approach her and ask if i can shadow), and I have been a lifeguard for the last 7 years. I have not taken a real MCAT and my practice MCAT scores have been average (if the ACT in high school is any indication of my science processing ability, I got a 35/36).

Although I would not mind retaking the classes that have tarnished my GPA, I work 56 hours a week (I work for doctors therefore I work doctor's hours) and cannot find local classes that fit into my schedule.

Please, please, PLEASE give me any and all advice as to:
  • how might my situation might come off to admission committees
  • what to do to better improve my appeal
  • how to stress less because grey hair at 22 (i've actually had grey hairs since 17 because of AP and honors classes in high school) is not working for me!
 

hobbes23

10+ Year Member
Dec 11, 2007
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Summary of above:
Academic:
BS Biology in 3 years - GPA = ~ 3.0 (with a death in the family and personal injury)
MCAT = not yet done (what are you getting on the practice ones?)

EC's:
lifeguard for 7 years
NCAA Division I Athlete
shadowing leads

PS stuff:
friends with spinal muscular atrophy type II patient (did you learn anything from this?)

Get your grades up. Take more class. Cut back on your job's hours. Find clinical experience. Do really well on the MCAT. Consider applying DO.

Read up on general pre-med stuff and self-assess:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=625097
 
OP
jaylee125
Mar 16, 2010
4
0
0
pittsburgh
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you greatly for the help! It is much appreciated :)

I tried to find my old score sheets but do not believe they are at my apartment; however, I am taking a practice MCAT Saturday morning so I will have a fresh score.

My friends with SMA taught me so much. They are they reason I want to be a doctor and taught me altruism at a young age. Not that I didn't know how to act selflessly before befriending them but I lived it daily helping them. (I was going to write about them/their impact on my life for my application; not sure if it is a good idea but the drafts are well under way.)

Does anyone know if I took a class at a 4 year institution for my degree credit, will the retake grade only count if I take it at a 4 year institution? My community college offers four classes online (anthropology, ethics, calculus 2 and english composition) and I know I can better the grades.
 

robflanker

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Feb 17, 2009
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hobbes23

10+ Year Member
Dec 11, 2007
585
65
271
Status
Resident [Any Field]
...friends with SMA taught me so much. They are they reason I want to be a doctor and taught me altruism at a young age. Not that I didn't know how to act selflessly before befriending them but I lived it daily helping them. (I was going to write about them/their impact on my life for my application; not sure if it is a good idea but the drafts are well under way.)
Awesome do that. But also talk about things *you* have done in your PS. Get professors and professional writers to read it over. You should visit your school's writing center.

Does anyone know if I took a class at a 4 year institution for my degree credit, will the retake grade only count if I take it at a 4 year institution? My community college offers four classes online (anthropology, ethics, calculus 2 and english composition) and I know I can better the grades.
Only DO schools do grade replacement. You'll have to look up the details. MD schools average the two grades.

Use a larger font in the future. Good luck.