Hey all. I found this site when someone recommended it to me, and it looks like I might’ve finally found the informal resource I’ve been looking for- a sounding board as I try to figure out how the heck to get into med school. So I thought I’d post an introduction.
My undergraduate years kinda sucked. I had some issues (death of a friend, coming out, etc) that distracted from academics, nevermind the fact that it took me two schools, five majors, and six academic advisors to find where I belonged. Add in a dose of not being mature enough to handle college from ages 18-22, and the result isn’t particularly pretty: I graduated with a 2.92 overall GPA, which is reduced to a 2.70 when you incorporate the GPA from the school I started my undergrad work at. Oh, and for extra fun, I don’t have my prerequisites done. Whoopee.
Went out, got a job in education, hated it. Went back to graduate school, got into a traditional academic MS program (Biomedical Science). I’m approaching halfway through that. Current GPA is a 3.58, when I graduate it’ll likely be around a 3.8 to 3.9. Or as I like to call it, the accurate reflection of my intelligence and abilities. Aside: I don’t get what this crap I always hear about “grade inflation” in graduate school is. My classes are way harder than my undergrad classes were. I’m just working a hell of a lot harder and managing my responsibilities better.
So the current plan looks something like this:
Crappy GPA/Unfinished Pre-reqs => ??? => US-based Allopathic Program
With a whole lotta unknowns in the middle.
I have some prerequisites, so most post-bac programs I’ve contacted say they can’t help me. I don’t have all my pre-reqs, so special Master’s programs say they can’t help me.
I’ve considered getting a PhD after my MS (I’ll have a foot in the door at my current school), and I’ve heard that a PhD can go a good way to demonstrating competency gained since undergraduate years. Furthermore, I’m in the graduate division of a major medical school (as would be the PhD), so I’d be doing work that’s extermely relevant to a career in medicine. I could also accumulate four to five years of shadowing in that time. But it’s also an additional 5 years between now any my goal, so I’m unsure how good a strategic move that is.
Also, as per my understanding, even the prerequisites I DO have completed wouldn’t be worth the paper my transcripts are printed on, as they’d be 10 years or more out of date. My undergraduate years were 2003 - 2008.
I do have some things going for me. I’ve been accumulating clinical shadowing in my free time. I volunteer in a few settings with patient interaction: phone banking for a crisis intervention hotline, EMT, AIDS clinic, few others. I’m not too worried about the MCATs as well. I’ve never taken a standardized exam and tested below the 99th percentile- SATs, ACTs, MATs, GREs (subject and general). So I reasonably expect to be able to score a minimum of 35 with proper preparation.
I found acceptance rate data sorted by MCAT scores and GPA published by the AAMC for all US-based MD programs from 2007 to 2009, and at my current GPA and getting mid-30 MCAT scores, I have a 15-20% chance of acceptance; 90 out of 469 students. So it can be done. I just want to figure out how. There can’t be THAT many applicants with uncles on ADCOMs who didn’t recuse themselves. It’s just a huge question of:
- How do I finish my requirements?
- How do I remediate my GPA?
- If I'm not doing a PhD after my MS, what AM I going to do?
Hooboy, I think that's enough for my first post. Thanks in advance for any feedback, and take care!