I found my way to this site through SDN and let me first say that I am SO glad to be here…
Anyways, about me…I turned 30 (my god!!!) last month and am planning to take the Apr'04 MCAT for the entering class of 2005…I graduated from the naval academy in 95 and served in the navy for several years before getting totally bored with the whole thing and getting out to pursue medicine…All my prereq's are over 7 yrs old so I am taking those over again which is not a big deal since I never had organic or biology during undergrad…not to mention the fact I have a 2.12 undergrad gpa (doh!)…After reading alot of the SDN threads I am starting to wonder if I should also do some kind of formal post-bacc program or master's degree to offset my low grades…most kids on there seem to have have chess-club gpa's…i have 4.0d all my recent classes but even if I were to ace another four years of school i would just barely raise my gpa above 3.0…hopefully a good mcat score and my life experience will be more important than my performance 10 years ago…
So i guess thats it, I am the typical overly anxious pre-medical dork…If anyone has any advice or recommendations i'd be glad to hear them…also if anyone is considering the military i would be happy to tell you about navy life…nice to meet you all!!!
Cromag, welcome to OPM! Don’t pay too much attention to the SDN tree-pissing contests with GPAs (and MCAT scores). I always wonder how much of it is actually true.
I dunno if a formal post-bacc program is necessary. Like you say, even a whole 'nother degree isn’t going to change your GPA that much. There are advantages to the formal programs - many of them have links to med schools, they have counseling available, you might be able to get a great letter of recommendation out of them. But if there’s not one that’s convenient to you or that suits your current situation, I don’t think it’s worth rearranging your life, moving, or going into serious debt to get into a formal post-bacc.
Your academic background is unusual and HIGHLY desirable. Military academies are not for slackers! And it’s been my impression that a lot of med schools love to get folks who’ve got previous military experience. A lot of med school is just showing up to work hard - military folks have the best work ethic around. So even with that GPA, I think you’ve got a lot going for you. (Of course you’ll want to keep up the great grades in your post-bacc work.)
My 21 y/o son is in NROTC at Virginia Tech, poised for active duty after graduation next year. He leaves shortly for his first-class cruise, going to LeMoore NAS in California to hang around F-18s for a month. (only tell me good things about military life since he’s set on it - and at this point, stuck in it!)
Welcome Cromag! I think that you'll do fine. Keep coming here for thoughtful answers and patrol SDN for comic relief.