Hello everyone! I wanted to get some advice about my stats for applying to medical school. I am a 32-year-old working in a virology lab in Boston. I received a BA in General Biology in 2008 and earned less than stellar grades. I ended up graduating with a 2.7 GPA, with no real upward trend in grades. I was working and taking too many classes, and generally clueless about how to properly study/manage time, etc. I was lucky enough to get into a Master’s program immediately after graduation in Molecular and Cell Biology (thanks to good research experience). I moved away from my family, cut out distractions, quit work and did very well in the program (all graduate science courses, 3.8 sGPA, 44 credits total). The master’s program is listed as a post-bacc in the AAMC directory, but has no linkages to it’s medical school. I always had the intention to pursue medicine and kept up with volunteering and shadowing while in school.
I was very discouraged after completing the program to find out after hearing from a pre-med advisor at my undergrad institution and reading many forum posts online that my master’s would not help me at all for applying to med school i.e. “well, everyone does well in grad school”, “it is just a glorified extracurricular activity”. I was shocked and this shook my confidence in regards to my med school dream. I decided to take some extra classes at the undergrad level that following Fall, but struggled to find courses that I had not taken previously since I had taken many classes between my undergrad and grad career. I took 11 science credits, so my post bacc undergrad sGPA is a 3.9, and 17 total credits, cumulative post bacc undergrad GPA of 3.8. This, of course, did nothing to help with my total undergrad GPA, it sits now at a 2.55 sGPA and 2.82 cumulative undergrad GPA total.
After all that, I had to put my med school dream on hold and work to pay my bills. I have been working in the same lab for several years as researcher. I have published multiple first-author manuscripts and travelled to various conferences. I enjoy bench research on some level but in my heart have always wanted to be a physician. I kept up my clinical volunteering, even though I wasn’t sure if I would even stand a chance in the application process. I feel that now is the time to apply and just bite the bullet.
My question is, will my undergrad performance haunt me forever? Do I have to earn another bachelors degree? (I have been told that by an advisor before!) or do an SMP with a linkage? I am not sure how feasible that all is since I have to support myself.
Like so many others, I feel the grades I earned at 18 should not dictate the rest of my life. I worked very hard in graduate school and feel this should count for something. I know this is a major challenge and I cannot change how medical school view grad work versus undergrad work. I have colleagues who have struggled to get into medical school with multiple “hard science” graduate degrees due to a bad undergrad standing from over ten years back. I have been working on practicing for the MCAT and earned a 515 on my last practice test, so I am in good standing with that. What else can I do?