Feeling pretty silly

Hello everyone. I am hoping for some sage advice. I graduated with a 2.1 science and 2.5 overall GPA in Bio and Premed (mixture of immaturity, ignorance and death of father). I knew I could handle the material though (excellent high school GPA and test scores), so I dared to continue pursuing medicine vowing to do what it takes to become a physician. Advice given then considering monetary and locale factors was to complete an informal post-bacc of retakes at my local community college. I have 2 children and must work, so I’ve been doing this part-time to ensure A’s. Including my summer calc class, I have retaken 26 credit hours with a 3.9 post-bacc GPA. My current AACOMAS is 2.6 science, 2.92 overall; AMCAS 2.42, overall 2.73. If I continue with my current plan, I will have retaken 43 credit hours by next spring (the full Gen Bio year, gen chem year, organic year, micro, and physics 2) to get an AACOMAS 2.99 science, 3.12 overall; AMCAS 2.65, 2.85 overall. I made the mistake of retaking the MCAT before redoing my prereqs (12 years outside of these classes), but studied a month and ended up with a 24N. I think I could really nail it this time, but since I didn’t know there was a limit and have already taken it 3 times (twice back in the day) I need a rejection letter to petition to take it again. I basically thought I should apply so I could get that rejection and retake the MCAT, though I would like to get accepted–just pretty sure I’m not competitive yet, but then some kind people convinced me I might have a chance. The more I read, the more I think the following:

  1. My part-time comm. college work is probably not going to be respected at all, even if it is a 3.9.

  2. After looking at the entrance requirements, I’m not sure I could even get into an SMP with this GPA, let alone the med school.

    I’ve already applied to 11 allopathic and 4 osteopathic this cycle though. So I’m wondering, should I finish my planned retakes, then try for an SMP or would I have no chance getting into one yet? How about going back to a 4-year: my major was bio., so would I have to pick chemistry or physics and just fight my way through upper level science classes in those majors? Or can I pick a nonscience second major and then take science classes? Should I go 4-year full-time or is part-time okay? I really am frightened I am doing needless work at the CC when I should be at a 4-year full-time to even remotely be taken seriously. I so desperately wanted to attend that DC conference because I need to make some plans to keep moving towards the final goal, but feel completely confused about what to do. I know some schools have no problem with CC coursework, but since I’m coming back from such a low GPA, I’m worried maybe it’s not enough. I have the LORs and volunteer experience, just no research or fabulous EC. I’m a med transcriptionist and former CNA, and worked throughout college, but that’s about it. I really could use some expert guidance because I don’t want to even be remotely hopeful about this cycle if I seriously have no chance, and it’s feeling that way. I’m thinking best case scenario, I get a rejection letter and retake the MCAT in April. Then where after I’ve taken pretty much all the CC has to offer? Would, say, Loyola SMP (with their 3.0 cutoff) make an exception with the above numbers? Sorry if I rambled…just trying to give all the info I have because I’m feeling the door closing on this cycle before it has even really started and I’m trying to figure out what my next move is. Thanks!

Hey Godknows,

Just a thought - have you thought about taking a masters? For several reasons…not least of which would be that you’d be ‘proving’ something at the unversity level (assuming you continue good grades), AND getting research experience at the same time? Swimming back uphill from where you started it quite a chore - perhaps it would help you to have a tangible goal in sight.

Kudos to you for hanging in there - I don’t think its impossible, just thinking you might want to go talk with a premed advisor at a university and get some real tangible advice. Plus I do think its vitally important to do whatever it takes to take the MCAT again and REALLY ace it. You really do have something to prove with that, and its one way to put your cc credits in perspective for the adcoms.

You don’t say how old you are etc., but while you’re battling the discouragement, hang on to your dreams. If you’ve done all that repeat work, it should be reflected in a stellar MCAT and you should be able to ‘tell the story’ so an med school will take you seriously

Yes, my original plan was a masters in bio that can be taken in part locally, and then completed at the state U about an hour away (to hopefully begin fall 2007 if no bites this app cycle). Then I heard that graduate GPA doesn’t matter as much as undergrad, and that a traditional masters is less respected than an SMP, so I was thinking I should do the special masters with exposure to med school classes, but now the dilemma is how to get into one of those I guess(?)…a few grad school classes, then apply SMP, or continue work at a 4-year on a second BA, then apply SMP? Or could I shoot for applying to med school after the second BA or after a few grad classes? I would ask my former premed advisor…we had been communicating on-and-off, but then she never returned my email after I sent her a breakdown of my GPA (basically as above), even though I hope I can’t be that big of a lost cause considering the recent improvement. I’m 30 by the way. Thanks for the reply. I’m sitting here searching the web for a ray of hope as we speak (more research into masters, SMPs, etc.). I truly appreciate any help anyone can offer!

Hey there. You do not need a rejection letter if you do not have one. You can also get a letter from your premed advisor stating that you plan on applying. This limit only prevents test preps from sending in the same people all the time to memorize questions. I hope you did not apply just to get the letters.

You have a lot of work ahead of you getting that GPA up, trust me I know. I am finishing on a Masters in Biology with a much better GPA than when I was younger. Keep up your focus, this is the most important and continue to do well. Retake the MCAT only when you feel that you are ready.

Thanks for the replies! I see these outstanding stats of some who haven’t been accepted and start to get really concerned. I’m just going to press on and see what happens. I did apply in the hopes I’d be accepted, it just looks pretty bleak right now. It’s still very early though. I tried to go back to my alma mater (a block away so that would be nice!), but can’t get the financial aid for a second major. That would have been nice to know prior to filing an intent to graduate. Hindsight is 20/20. I’ve since discovered that I can probably get into an SMP with my recent improvement (backup plan to this app cycle), so I’ve found my next step beyond CC (that I can fund).

please don’t give up! i also have 2 kids, am a single mom w/no child support, lacking approx 36 credit hours till my bs, out of loans and pells due to circumstances…made some stupid choices… not all of us are perfect…main reason most of us are on this site! give yourself a break and keep pluggin’ away. its people like you who’ve been through life, that have the most compassion and can see the whole person that make the best doctors!

Hey, certifiable !

I’m in the same boat - one kid, no child support, out of aid, only a few classes left for my ba. I applied for a private scholarship and am awaiting word. I have been out of school struggling for the past year, but definitely have not given up !

Thank you everyone for your encouragement! I actually received a few secondaries from screeners, so I am pleased with that. I’m complete almost everywhere so it is really just a matter of time now. I beefed up my fall semester courseload and am planning on taking the Jan. MCAT because most schools I’ve applied to said they would consider it for this cycle. At least I am still moving forward in the process for now. So far only Loyola and CCOM didn’t send secondaries. I’ve also researched SMPs and narrowed my choices to a few schools I will apply to. I’m still going to apply to my local Masters in Biology program, too. Good luck to everyone!!!

Congrats on the secondaries! That’s great to hear.

A bit of advice from regarding the MCAT: nail it. Yeah, easy for me to say, especially from the peanut gallery; it just seems that, given past MCAT indiscretions, you don’t have a lot of leeway on this one.