My Brick Wall-Advice Please!

I graduated this May from NYU’s Stern School of Business with a 3.0 GPA, major Economic Policy, minor in Physics (for fun!). I began working FT as a research economist months before graduating, but for reasons many can understand, decided to change course towards becoming a doctor.

I did not specifically take a pre-med curriculum undergrad. However, between my minor and biz school requirements, all I have left are Bio, Chem, and Org Chem. Also, to complete my minor, I did a reasearch project in the physics department that was healthcare oriented instead of taking an elective.

Today, I spoke with my school’s pre-med advisor, who told me point blank that I would never get into med school unless I worked in the real world for many years to pull attention away from my GPA (“Our successful students have a 3.6”). I was excited to begin coursework this spring and finish by the spring of 2011. I am confident I can finish all 6 classes! I am not positive I can get an A in all of them. Am I running into a $40k brick wall?

Hi, RHouston. It is true that GPA does matter in this process. Sometimes one can get by with a lower if GPA if they’ve got some great life experiences or if they show very strong trend in upper division science/math courses (as in A’s). Of course, a top MCAT score will also help (but not completely override the lower GPA). You will also find a range of GPA’s being accepted into schools, with DO schools generally being more accepting of lower GPA’s. That being said, however, they are becoming more competitive I believe and are no longer the shoe-in once thought. You will also need great letters of recommendation and strong volunteer and healthcare experiences.

I think you need to contact medical schools directly rather than simply relying on your pre-med advisor. Perhaps they will be able to suggest different paths for you. One you may want to consider is a formalized post-bacc with a medical school affiliation. I’m not real familiar with these myself, but I believe in order to secure a position at the medical school you still need to do extraordinarily well in the post-bacc program.

Best of luck!