General Advice - Appreciated!

Hi - and thanks to those members that have offered to read my PS. I appreciate it incredibly!

As I get closer to my MCAT date (April 26th), and see the date that AMCAS opens on my calendar (May 1st), I’m starting to wonder “what have I missed…?”, and hoped that by putting it in front of all of you I may get some sage (relatively last-minute) advice.

I mentioned in my first post that I’m a bit over 30 and that my first career was as a management consultant in healthcare. To fill out my background…


-Became a paramedic because of a love of alpinism. I’d been a part of one too many technical mountain rescues and decided that I needed to know more, thus EMT->Paramedic. I’ve never worked as paramedic in the field. During my ~300 hours of inpatient paramedic training, however, I saw in physicians SO MUCH of what I felt was missing in my consulting career: opportunity/obligation to be a lifelong learner, real day-to-day relevance and purpose (ie extrinsic reasons - beyond money - to be your best), and the opportunity to lead a team towards a shared and noble goal.

-After that realization left the consulting world to start a full-time Extension/University postbacc. I am finishing this semester with Biochemistry as I prep for the MCAT.


-Undergrad: My 128 undergraduate credits come with a GPA of about 2.8. I was an economics major and this unfortunately includes a whole bunch of math credits littered with C’s and worse.

-Post-Bacc: 72 credit hours with a GPA of 3.9, science GPA 3.95. This includes all of the prerequisites (thankfully I’d not taken any before) plus biochemistry and anatomy.

-Total: Even with this monster post-bacc change, my cumulatives only get to 3.18 and 3.25 for overall and science, respectively.

-I’m trending just above 30 on my practice full-length MCATs.


-One year in a very substantial role at our (large) city’s only clinic that serves monolingual Spanish-speaking patients. I shadowed a physician here and was hooked - I had to get involved. Currently work to build clinical capacity to treat HCV/HIV co-infected patients and sit on the clinic’s QI committee.


What can I do to maximize my chances of success (beyond going back over to my MCAT review materials and quit typing here)?

While the point of this post is not to have a “what are my chances” discussion as they do on SDN, I would appreciate direct feedback on anything I might do to improve my odds in the upcoming cycle. I realize that my undergraduate GPA puts me in a place where I am likely to be screened quantitatively at some/many schools.

I am happy to apply to 40 schools if that’s what it takes, but would love to hear of schools that have any fondness for people who got their act together AFTER undergrad and have demonstrated their capacity since. I am completely open to going to any school that will train me well, Allopathic or Osteopathic. Fortunately, my wife and I are willing to go anywhere but the deep South or SE for school. We have a sincere preference for Ohio, as that is where her family is.

Again, any thoughts, advice, jokes, or really…anything, is appreciated.

PS - I do know: APPLY EARLY. I’ll be complete by the first day possible to submit.


I can tell you that you are in good shape. I am a current nt OMS1 with a similar history. 3.0 ug with a 3.9 pb. Get a good MCAT score and you will pass the “Litmus”. Then the real fun starts. I can tell you that everyone in my class passed the litmus, but what separated them from those who received rejections (and I have friends who applied with better #'s that were rejected) is the story. Everyone in my class has an awesome story. When I was applying, I felt that I had this incredible story that had to be told and celebrated within my ps I was sure that was far beyond the “avg” student. Come to find out, there are a lot of great stories. The key for you is to celebrate the passion that drove you to become a physician and make sure the adcoms hear it in your ps and during your interviews. Additionally, celebrate that passion by continuing with volunteering and research that fuels your passion. adcoms can tell when you are volunteering to “volunteer” and when you are passionate about what you are doing. In all of my interviews the “what else is new” type question came up, simply, what have you done since the app to fuel your passion. Make sure you are fueling it. Sorry for the rant, I am excited for you and the others starting their journey, the best is yet to come. Best of Luck, Cheers.

Huge thank you, Celtic -

It is a great encouragement to hear from people who have walked this road before. As to your encouragement to let the committee see the passion, I got similarly great advice from Doc Gray yesterday, and have taken it to heart: Where the numbers are dull, the story must shine.

Thanks, and if you wouldn’t mind PMming me where you are at school, I’d love to hear about your experiences and opinions on it.