Low GPA Success Stories

I thought it might serve as a little motivation for some of the folks about to embark on the journey, or thinking about doing so…

Would the ACCEPTED med students/applicants who had low GPA’s(sub-3.10ish)?, or low MCAT’s (sub-28?), or both, be willing to write a quick note listing their metrics?

1.) cGPA

2.) sGPA

3.) pbGPA

4.) MCAT

5.) Medical School

I know many of you have posted your stories at one point or another, but I thought it might be a bit more striking to see all of them grouped together.

Thanks guys–I appreciate your time.

Here’s a link to a blogger I follow, Dr. Ella (she’s an MS 3, I think).

If you scroll down the blog, almost to the end, on the right hand side she has a role call of people she knows and their stories replete with MCAT, GPA, etc who are now in medical school. It is refreshing, encouraging, and moreover, true.

Dr" title=“http://journeysinm edicine.blogspot.com/]Dr” target="_blank"http://journeysinmedicine .blogspot.com/]Dr Ella


(I’ve tried to click on the link, and the action doesn’t work; however, if you right click and copy the link address, and paste it in your address row in browser, it will bring you to her blog).

thanks for link! She has tons of useful info,

the link for the profiles is

http://journeysinmedicine .blogspot.com/search/labe…

Thanks for the link!

I was hoping to get some of the veteran OPM’ers to participate a little bit.

I’ve been on this site as a registered user (and longer as an anonymous user) for quite a while. I went to an OPM convention, and met some of the faces behind the monikers we see on the boards. There’s something a bit more genuine, and a touch closer to home when I read the stories posted on these forums, by the OPM community. Not at all to say the link (or stories on it), isn’t real, but I guess it’s just not OPM!!

OK, I’ll weigh in. Undergrad was around a 3.2 GPA if I recall. Science GPA was non-existent (art major). DIY post-bacc was around 3.7 and I did well on the MCAT with a 33, which probably made up for the lackluster undergrad performance. I struggled the first two years in med school and then with the standardized shelf exams for the clinical rotations, but I never failed a course or rotation. I think my overall GPA was around 3.2. My med school did not rank students so I have no idea where I was compared to the rest of my class, probably in the middle third if I had to guess. Step exams and boards were not a problem though; passed all on the first try.


Thank you!! I think seeing story after story, similar to yours, may encourage all those on the edge to give it a shot. I know there are others who started from worse spots. Gonnif, was it Dave who had a sub-2.0 at one point in college?

Future posters, it can even be less wordy (a mere list of trending numbers can make a point). Any detail is appreciated though. I feel it’s important that people know that change is possible; and they are capable!

Inspiring link!


Yes, I was hoping to replicate that link here. After hearing some of them at the convention a while ago, I thought the OPM community would have some better stories, and more adverse obstacles. Plus, as I mentioned, there’s a bit of a closer community here. Oh well. Happy New Year!

When I graduated with my history degree my cummulative GPA was 3.05. My postbacc has been 3.88 and I haven’t made a B in my post bacc in a year (Stupid Microbiology). My MCAT is a 29 and I had 5 DO acceptances (to 3 statistically top 5 programs, their data) and am waiting on UofL to see if they will evermake a decision or I will be at Des Moines Univ. in the fall. I never really thought of myself as an underdog though.

This thread is great, and I am sorry if my question gets in the way.

BaileyP., aside from your stats, what is extremely intriguing to me, is how the heck were you able to land 5 acceptances out of your 7ish interviews. I mean this is absolutely crazy. I have read stories of people with crazy stats not even getting close to your success rate.

I think it would be of utmost benefit, not only to me, but to all pre-meds, if you could share your secret(s). There is something about you that makes for impressively successful interviews. So, what is it, what is the secret sauce?

Sorry again to hijack the thread, which is by the way, a very good idea.

Wow Redo, you’re killing me with the flattery. I really don’t think that my acceptances are that much of a feat, and to me my acceptances were more of a nudge from God that I am on the right path rather than me thinking I am some sort of interview ninja.

But I really wanted to lay out my strategy towards this. First off, probably most of what I said or did during my application and interview process will make the professionals on here cringe, so I will attach this disclaimer. “THIS IS WHAT WORKED FOR ME PAUL (ie BAILEYPUP), AND IS NO WAY TO ME CONSTRUED AS PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. ANYONE WHO FOLLOWS THIS LINE DOES SO AT THEIR OWN RISK.” Now that was tougne in cheek, but I don’t thinkthat my process was anymore spectacular than wnyone elses on here and everyone has to temper that with their own needs during the application season.

  1. I applied realistically and strategically. Looking at my interview schedule, y’all can see I applied all over the place. I was willing to live in Erie for 4 years in order to go to med-school or even Harrogate, TN. I also know that wasting my time applying to OOS MD schools would be worthless with my stats. I actually thought aplying to UK and UL would be a waste as well. When I got my MCAT back and looked at my past I knew that I wasn’t a very competitive MD candidate, but that I would be a pretty strong DO candidate, if I got my application out early and hit DO schools hard. I did honestly think there was no way I would hear from DMU or AZCOM either, but as in my other thread “screw FUD”. So I would say a good protions of my acceptences comes fromt he fact that I applied to the right places.

  2. This is the one thing that all of us OPM’s have on the “whipper-snappers”. WE have actually sat across a conference room table from someone and politely begged for something. Most of your “competition” will have never really interviewed for a job before and probably have never interviewed in a suit. I had been on dozens of interviews before medical school, so I had the whole interview posture and manners down pat. My group interview session at LECOM has convinced me that a big reason why OPMers are interviewing well is that some of your “competition” will not make eyecontact, interupt others or even the interviewer, chew gum, slouch, ect. At one point I wanted to say “Act like you been there son!” I do feel that having basic interview skills goes a long way.

  3. Now this is where I am sure the interview gurus will disagree with me but I basically tackled my history from the get go. Almost every interview will start with “So, Paul. tell me a little about yourself.” and I went right into "Well I am a guy who graduated with a BA who really didn’t know what he wanted to do with it. I wasn’t really focused in college and I just got out of there as quickly as possible and I know it shows. After working in accounting a little during school I decided to make a career out of accounting. I was already feeling lost in my career when I lost my job in '08, but I didn’t know where to go. One positive that came from being out of work was that I got to seriously think about what would make me happy. I knew I wanted to do something that mattered, that touch the world in a positive way. I started to dabble in medicine, at first I took some nursing pre-reqs, becuase I felt I was “too old” (used air quotes HA HA). In my first class back I had a professor ask me what I was taking the class for and I told him how I wanted to be in medicine. He asked why not a Dr, and I gave him my “too old line”. He stopped me right there and said, “Don’t let anyone but you tell you what your dreams are.” After that I decided to look into medince and found a group of people like me online. From that point on I knew I had to be a doctor.

    ----Okay so look at that, most would probably say Holy Crap you just pointed out every reason why they shouldn’t accept you. But one thing I have found in interviews is that people appreciate it when you tell it like it is. So thats what I did. I also managed to take care of all of the negative questions within the first 5 mins of the interview. The only place this didn’t work was at UK, but I dind’t know that being married was a negative I honestly feel that being the one willing to talk about my negatives built a connection with my interviewers. The didn’t feel like they had to “get their hands dirty” becuase I gave them an out. They can say “we talked about the neg stuff, now we can talk about this free clinic stuff.” Most interviewers don’t like to crush peoples dreams, I think they try to be realistic, but you really will only get one maybe two soul cruhers in 15 interviewers.

  4. Be able to passionately talk about medicine, your desire to practice medicine and your experinces so far in medicine. One thing I can’t stop talking about is how much I want to be a Dr., and everyone knows it. They can also see how much this process has changed me as a person. I am confident, charming, and joyful. One story I always tell in interviews is how much my wife has seen that this is the path for me. She says I have never been happier with my “career” as I have been since chosing to go to medical school. I’m never more excited as when I am talking about stuff I am learning in school, even OChem (which usually gets a chuckle from the interviewers.) Also it floors her the way I am when I am in the medical setting. She says I am a completely different person (in a good way) when I am at my interviews, it’s like I am meant to be there and no ones going to push me out. While all though my past life I have always been kind of the wallflower. Make sure when you speak about medicine the interviewers can feel the excitement that they felt their first year of medical school.

  5. Lastly, I think I did a really good job of connecting with my interviewers. Like I said, getting my negatives out of the way made the whole process less adversarial. Speaking passionately gives you a connection with them to their past. I also just really turned the whole interview into a good time by all. I was relaxed so they were relaxed. I made some light jokes so we weren’t as stuffy. I really just tried to go about the whole thing as “Hey this is me, I am a pretty good guy, but if you don’t think I am smart enough it’s cool no hard feelings, I understand, I’m Paul the mature guys who knows how to handle himself.” I think it just made the whole vibe of the interview go better.

    I know I have rambled on here, but those are just the thoughts off the top of my head as to what “I did” in my interviews. I hope this helps everyone, although I think most of you reading this will find that interviews won’t be an issue either.

BaileyPup, that is pure wisdom in action!

Thanks for the heads up! You are a role model.

I hope you will continue to guide us who are beginning in this path. You are really going to be (already are) a great doctor.

My stats weren’t that stellar.

Cumulative GPA 3.2

Science GPA 3.5


I was accepted to 4 schools (my #1, #2, #4 and #5 choices)

I’d say you really just have to go for it even when you aren’t sure how it will turn out.

Bailey, I LOVE it. In my current role, I am in charge of interviewing potential candidates, and I had to laugh at your “act like you’ve been there, son” comment. I once interviewed a recent college grad who wore flip-flop sandals to the interview and chewed gum…saying more “likes” and “ums” than she did anything else. I was speechless. All I can say is Bless. Her. Heart.

You really do get one chance to make a first impression. I’m a firm believer in being kind, sincere, and transparent. I’m thinking a lot about interviews these days, and I really want adcoms to understand that I’m passionate about medicine and even more passionate about people. I want to be candid yet concise, and I want to leave them feeling like our time was cut too short. (“Leave 'em wanting to still know more…”) I feel like the right way to do that is to be exactly who I am. If I try to contrive some sort of “ideal” applicant answers, it will show. I refuse to sit in an interview and be a plastic person.

Your insight gives me a good framework with which to pin my own ideas and plans. Thanks for taking the time to spell it out, and congratulations again! You have so much to be proud of, and like Cesar said–definitely a role model for those who are walking behind you!!

Hey Bailey

many thanks for your input. I am going to save your post in the hopes that one day I will get to look at it right before my interviews.

Again, thanks for sharing. It was inspiring and a pleasure to read.

Enjoy the ride.