Getting discouraged again... :(

Hi all, I’m not one to share my grief, but I value this community for its objectivity and encouragement. That being said:

Thanks to the lovely GPA estimator, I just found out the best I could have possibly done at the BU SMP I’m in will be 3.42. Couple that to my 3.1 from undergrad (and a BCMP lower), and I don’t know if I’ve bid my last adieu to getting in. I’m retaking the MCAT in August, but even if I rock it, I can’t believe I did so mediocre at my “last chance to prove myself” (the SMP). Thoughts? I don’t even know what specific advice I’m looking for at this point, since I’ve been doing everything I need to… just not as succesfully as I needed to. So I guess any suggestions would be appreciated!

Not knowing the details of your grades or previous MCAT, all I can suggest is to apply broadly (read - as many schools as you can afford to apply to). Consider DO and private schools. I know you expressed concern about the cost in another post, bur if this is what you really want, you can finance a private school education as long as your credit is good. Kick butt on your next MCAT, and that will help considerably.

If you aren’t sure you want to spend the money and then end up getting rejected, consider having someone objective give you an honest opinion (for example - it may be worth it to pay for Judy Colwell’s services). Some med school admissions counselors will sit down with you and be pretty honest. Others will not be much help at all. But, you could consider meeting with some admissions officers before submitting your application to get some more feedback.

Good luck!

Well, some old posts mentioned that I got two F’s my freshman year (about 9 years ago), and since my school didn’t drop them they’ve basically crippled my GPA. I’ve worked as a biomed research tech for many years, taken a few additional bio courses (A,A,C), and remained active in volunteering (etc). My previous MCAT was 27, which I’ve been told needs to be improved to at least a 33.

Thanks for the advice. I do agree that after spending all that money for BU another $2,000 to “apply broadly” would be acceptable. I’ve spent the past few years talking myself out of applying when I didn’t have a decent shot, and I don’t want to prejudge myself anymore. I’m just disappointed by those recent B’s (hey, I felt I learned a lot! :P) I’ll even apply again if I don’t get in this round - I really enjoyed my SMP, and I’m more confident than ever that medicine is the career for me - I just fear I’m running out of chances.

Any suggestions on how to break through the “Talk to your premed advisor. click” to actually speak to an admissions officer?

don’t forget that AACOMAS will substitute new good grades for old bad grades, so you have an opportunity to erase your F’s from your GPA if you choose to go the osteopathic route. SMP is a tough program; to come through it with a 3.3 is not that bad. Maybe you might not get into BU but there are lots of other schools out there. As Emergency says, apply broadly.

I think you’re listening to the wrong kind of premed advisors, the ones who love to go on about how high the standards are and how your numbers are just not good enough and you should give it up. Talk with Judy Colwell and with some people who have made it through medical school and get some perspective on the situation. Getting into medical school isn’t a cakewalk but it’s not impossible either; it does require a lot of hard work, though. 27 MCAT is competitive in DO schools and it’s not too low for many MD schools either. If you can raise it 3 points I’d put money on your getting in. Don’t give up!

Thanks for the backpat, I needed it!

I spoke with an advisor at school, and she strongly recommended waiting a year to apply. Not in a discouraging manner, just that I “didn’t have enough pending grades in yet for this cycle” (since i have an 8-credit thesis, the MCAT, and 3 other potential BCMPs that I was planning to take in the fall). I understand her logic - I’ll be a much stronger candidate next summer when all of my grades are in, and it won’t be “a waste of money” then, but it’s still… well, discouraging.

I’m not sure if I will take her advice to wait… I’m considering a DO more strongly now, so perhaps I will apply to those schools this cycle. My SMP has really made me eager to study medicine, and I’m reluctant to back-shelf it for two more years. Also, as I’ve gotten older, my desire for a med education that will respect me (and my patients) as an adult has grown stronger, and it seems more attainable at a DO school. From my current experience, allopathic seems to be full of 22-yos vying for the snazziest Porsche… :J

There are a lot of misconceptions about both DO schools and MD schools and it sounds like you have some of them. This doesn’t matter in itself–except that if you choose a DO because you think you’ll like the students better and you’ll have an easier time getting in, you’ll shortchange yourself and the discipline of osteopathy. I strongly recommend getting yourself into the best possible position to apply, and I can not emphasize this enough, so I’m going to put it in crazy-guy all-caps:


In other words, don’t let your ideas about what choices you will and won’t have in the future make your choices in advance. Put yourself in a position to have the most possible choices and power to determine your own future.

My two cents.

Either way good luck.


What Joe said.

Both he and I are allopathic humanist non-trad physicians. There are lots of us out here. There are almost certainly some spoiled 22 y/o’s who’ve never worked a day in their lives in osteo schools as well.

I know you’re in a hurry but like Joe said, what you want to do now is make sure that youa re in the best possible position to have the most possible choices. Don’t settle for less, don’t sell yourself short. Taking your time now is absolutely, positively, the better way to go.


Thanks for the additional input…

I agree that it’s critical to submit the best application to any school, but I’m a little puzzled as to why choosing to apply to DO schools this year would be “settling” or “short-changing”? From what I’ve heard, osteo grads aren’t significantly challenged in obtaining residencies anymore.

Perhaps the way I described osteo in my previous post seemed pejorative, but I meant that the DOs I’ve met over the past few years have been very positive about their education and are happy practicing in primary care (in marked contrast to the allo students I’ve met lately). I have no misconceptions about the difficulty of getting into osteo schools, but I am concerned that my SMP is focusing too narrowly on allopathic acceptances.

{BTW, any tips on seeking out the more humanist medical schools (of either training)? ;)}

How do you define the term “humanist” in this context?