in a flat panic

I am so happy to have found this forum - this whole process makes me feel bipolar! I’ll try to be concise here, but I have a zillion questions.


  • BA psyche, 3.31 (minimal sciences, and a disappointing science GPA of 2.7 thanks to calculus)

  • been living in Australia for last 2 years, and am about to finish orgo II this semester

  • took the MCATs once and was disappointed (PS7, VR8, BS11, T)

  • I’m a journalist, so I have publications but none in science

  • have some research experience and teaching/tutoring experience

    Problems and questions:

  1. AMCAS won’t use my science grades to calculate my GPA because they’re overseas - I’m frustrated because I’ve worked so hard and gotten H1s (first honors = As) in almost everything!! How is this going to affect me? Also, I’m not going to receive any degree for completing these courses, does it matter?

  2. I’m taking an online Kaplan course - has anyone else done this? Was it successful?

  3. When entering your “experience” into the AMCAS application, you have to fill in a reference. I have one job that I really want to include…however, I do NOT want to list the reference as he made sexually inappropriate comments to me, so I gave him an earful and quit. Will it look bad to not include a reference?

  4. Any good resources for the application process?

    There aren’t any at my uni…

    Thanks so much for your help.

    Ok, I’ll start with those…

Hey I feel bad that you haven’t gotten any answers but I’m afraid that even listed in a concise way, your questions are a little intimidating!

Before you waste a lot of money on AMCAS you need to talk to individual schools where you’re considering applying to find out how they will deal with those overseas grades. There are ways to do it but I do not know them and I’m not sure anyone else on here has dealt with it either.

There is the possibility that you’ll need a U.S. degree in order to make this process work for you but I hope not.

Hopefully my reply, meager though it is, will bump your questions back to the top of the list and we’ll get some more traffic. Good luck!


On Number 3, list another colleague-- not that particular supervisor. Your job experience is your own. There is no reason you should be penalized for being harassed!

Most med schools require a certain amount of time studying in the U.S. Some schools just require that it be in an English-speaking country (Australia would meet that qualification…I think. )

Schools don’t know how to evaluate foreign coursework, which is why they want usually a year (or more) work in the U.S. system.

Call a number of schools and see what they say.



thanks for your responses -

I hadn’t thought of contacting the individual schools, even though that’s such an obvious answer! I’m almost wondering whether I should wait til 2009 to apply (because I’ll be back living in the US)…I just don’t want to put it off for another year! My undergrad degree is from the US - and I’ve been overseas because my husband’s finishing his degree/working over here. A few of my profs have gotten their PhDs and taught in the US - do you thing that getting them to write recs for me would be advantageous? Also, would it be good to get the committee at my undergrad institution to write me a letter instead of having individuals write my recs? I’m hesitant because a 3.31 overall GPA is not outstanding by any means…

On a side note, I think it’s so inspiring to see so many people uprooting their lives to follow their hearts! Everyone acts like I’m so old to be doing this, and I’m not even quite 30! And at 18 and 22, I was defintely no where near mature enough to be making such a decision. So hats off to everyone gutsy enough to do this, and best of luck

About your GPA, while not horrible, it may be in your benefit to take either some advanced science classes once you are back in the states or possibly a SMP (special masters program). You might also want to retake the MCAT…a 26T MCAT and a 3.31 GPA might narrow your choices for an allopathic school.

Medical school isn’t going anywhere so if you don’t make it in by 2009, you can always try for 2010.