I will try to keep this long story as short and sweet as possible! I was pre med in my original undergrad (BS in molecular genetics) which I completed at a rather prestigious university but suffered in silence with anxiety and undiagnosed ADD through all four years and lost focus doing every EC I could fit in my schedule. I finally got help and was diagnosed my senior year of university but unfortunately my grades reflected my struggles as I have bad downward trend over the four years and graduated with an overall GPA of 2.5 and a science GPA of 2.3. I have known since I was young that I wanted to apply my love for science, math and nurturing into a career in medicine which was only confirmed more when I became an EMT during university. I knew medicine was the only career that would make me happy, and knowing med school was out of the question with my GPA, I applied to an accelerated nursing program with the goal of becoming a provider as an NP. I graduated with my BS in nursing a year later and did good in the program graduating cum laude with a 3.67 GPA and finally feel like I know myself and academic needs better. I started as an RN in the NICU and thought I would be happy and fully satisfied starting on my NP in the spring but found myself still thinking about becoming a physician constantly. I realized I wouldn’t be fully satisfied if I didn’t at least try to go on to med school, I want every bit of experience and knowledge I can have to better help my patients and their families. I understand how challenging, time consuming and expensive the process can be and just want to make the best choices I can. I am currently studying for the MCAT (hoping to take it in January) and hope to take and retake some science classes at my university this spring and during the first summer session (totaling 4 upper level science classes by the beginning of the 2021 application cycle which will be about 18-20 credits) if I do well on the MCAT and get A’s in those courses is that enough? My cumulative (including both degrees) and science GPA will still be under a 3.0 which really scares me when thinking about applying but I would have upward trend between nursing and the classes I will start soon and tons of clinical experience between being an EMT, PCT during nursing school and an RN. I am also worried about my minimal experience with research but don’t feel like I can do much about it before this upcoming application cycle considering I am working full time, will be going to school part time and working on my application. My question is should I bother applying this upcoming cycle in 2021? Or should I wait and take more upper level science classes (and maybe get some more research experience) over the next year and apply in 2022? I am so excited to start my journey to becoming a physician and hate to think about waiting another year but also don’t want to waste my time and money to apply in 2021 if I don’t have much of a chance yet.
Firstly, I recommend that you read some of my responses to a similar post about GPA/ECs: Confused and Torn Pre-Health Student
I am in a very similar boat as you, as I will be graduating with my RN this upcoming spring, and plan on applying the following cycle. I can’t stress enough how important everything apart from GPA/MCAT really is (proper shadowing- not just working with docs, volunteering both clinical and nonclinical, research, glowing reference letters, leadership experience, weekend hobbies, etc.).
If you haven’t seen in other posts, or have yet to read my replies in the above topic, GPA/MCAT get you in the door - everything else gets you into medical school. Unfortunately, or fortunately, this means that if you do not make the GPA/MCAT cut, then it doesn’t really matter how stellar the rest of you is. For effectively all MD/DO schools, the minimum cutoff GPA is 3.0, meaning that anything less isn’t filtered out manually, it’s filtered out before it reaches any human hands. What this means is that if you will be applying to medical schools with a GPA below a 3.0, both MD or DO, then you have a ton of work cut out for you in sending letters of intent to each school, asking (begging sounds too demeaning) that they look at your application before it gets filtered.
Find out how many classes it would take to raise your GPA above a 3.0, and consider doing a post-bacc to fix some of your past mistakes. Medical schools don’t want to accept somebody who can’t prove that they can handle rigorous coursework. Take upper level science courses, and crush all of them.
If you want it badly enough, it will happen. Don’t set an arbitrary timeline based on somebody else’s life. Medicine is far too long of a path to take without truly appreciating every aspect of the journey. One year means nothing, hell, four years really means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Eventually, it will happen if you want it to.
I too am in a similar boat.
I completed my MSN which gives me a cumulative gpa of 3.1.
I agree with the above post. Figure out how many classEd you need to take to get to a 3.0. You will have a fresh science gpa as well.
I really appreciate your response and input! I am taking classes part time because of working full time so it would take a full year of part time classes to bring my overall to a 3.0 which would put me applying in 2022 and another full year of part time classes to bring my math/science GPA to a 3.0 which would put me applying in 2023. This is also contingent on me getting a 4.0 every semester for these classes. I start to get worried about how old I will be as I plan to push back my applications though.