04-14-09 09:41 PM - Post#59419
Hello everyone this is my first time posting and I am in need of serious advice. I graduated from undergrad with a BA in Biology and approximately a 2.66 GPA. My grades in BCPM
Bio I/Lab C-C
Bio II/Lab D-C retake class B
Chem I/Lab D-C+ retake Class C
Chem II/Lab D-C retake Class C+
Organic I/Lab WP-A retake Class C
Organic II/Lab C-B
Physics I/Lab A-A
Physics II/Lab C-A
Calculus I WF retake C- retake C
Okay I will admit to being a very lazy student with no clearly defined goals and highly questionable priorities. The sad part I continued on into grad school (MPH) with the same mentality and finished with around a 3.00. Point blank I should not have been in school at the time.
Moving on I am now years older and thank GOD years wiser and would like to apply to med school but don’t have a clue as to how I could redeem myself academically enough to prove that I am capable and what if anything can be done to overcome my past extremely mediocre academic performance. Any advice would be appreciated.
Also I am considering emailing somone on the admissions committee at my local school for advice. Is this a wise choice?
04-14-09 09:41 PM - Post#59419
My bet is from reading everyone else’s advice in the past is they will tell you to retake and prove that you can do better. If it is your dream, then go for it!
Retake all the sciences and get nothing less than A!!!
It probably won’t bring your GPA to above 3.00, so most of MD schools will be out of you reach, but osteopathic schools ‘replace’ your old grades with the new ones, so you should have a shot there.
I was given very good advice from a college counselor specializing in pre-med students. Here is what she told me:
- get a REALLY high score on the MCAT’s
- do a lot of volunteer work in medical related field
- get fantastic letters of recommendation from your professors.
I make no claim on this advice, but she was an excellent source of knowledge and this is what I plan to do, along with some other non-traditional things to set me apart from the other traditional applicants. Namaste
These are are all excellent points… and they work in addition to good grades! But they will not make up for poor GPA.
I’m not suggesting that everybody who applies to med school should have 4.0 GPA. But multiple Ds and Cs just won’t be enough.
Med schools want to see that people who get admitted will be able to perform academically and manage the volume of information.
Ds and Cs are not necessary going to prevent someone from getting in, as long as they can prove that they can fix it.
Those are all good points but you MUST also show that you can hack it academically. You will absolutely need to take a bunch more coursework, and as Kasia said, settle for nothing less than A’s. Good luck!
To continue floggin the dead horse, there is no real way to “make up” for poor performance on any aspect of your application other than re-doing it and kicking its ass. Plain and simply, no amount of volunteer work, a 40MCAT or shadowing Schwitzer will make the AdComs ignore crappy grades. The realit is - there will be a large number of applicants with voluteering, strong MCATs, shadowing AND a strong GPA.
You must, absolutely must, unequivocally prove - not simply claim - that you can hack it academically. Your grades are the only method of proving this.
Now, that is not to say that a shitty GPA is a death sentence to your application. I AM the post-boy for shitty grades and getting in. I have 95Ugrad hours and approx a 1.1~1.2 GPa from long ago when I returned to pursue another another undergrad degree.
How did I demonstrate my ability to hack it academically? I kicked major academic ass and pulled off a 3.88 in a damned tough major - Neuroscience - at a very competitive university.
There are no shortcuts. You do not get any breaks for age or pity for mistakes of yesteryear. The bar is clearly defined and it is up to you to do what you need to do to make yourself a competitive applicant.
Sorry…but dat’s da facts!
Let me flog that same dead horse and agree with Mary and OMD.
While I’m sure every respondants intentions are good, perhaps they were concerned that I was going to lead you astray. But here’s something I think you should read each and every time something or someone comes along, as many people did here to your post, trying to tell you why you can’t get into the school of your choice. I got this online, I hope it helps and I hope you never let anyone tell you CAN’T, when you know in your heart God s
(continuation of above post) ‘through God all things are possible’. I for one will not be posting and seeking advice from anyone in the forum again. I let their kind of “CAN’T DO” bullshit eat me up for 20 years and now I have no use for them or this place.
“You say: It’s impossible God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27) You say: I’m too tired God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30) You say: Nobody really loves me God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 3:34) You say: I cant go on God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthains 12:9 & Psalm 91:15) You say: I cant figure things out God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6) You say: I cant do it God says: You can do all things (Phillippians 4:13) You say: Im not able God says: I am able (II Corinthains 9:8) You say: Its not worth it God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28) You say: I cant forgive myself God says: I forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1) You say: I cant manage God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19) You say: Im afraid God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7) You say: Im always worried and frustrated God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7) You say: Im not smart enough God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthains 1:30) You say: I feel alone God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)” And would add Matthew 21:22.
Someone needs to get a grip. . .of course medicine buddha will never post here again, so I am wasting my breath. However: It isn’t that easy to get a “really high score” on the mcat.
The median and average MCAT score for all allo med schools is 31. (based on a calculator spreadsheet I have, which someone made with amcas data, not sure what year).
The median MCAT score for the exam itself is 24. If you score 30, you are in the top 16%, and if you score 36, you are in the top 2% (by std dev). You have to be better than 84% of the people taking the MCAT to even hit the median score for acceptance to the sum of all med schools. 30 is not the kind of score that would cause the adcom to overlook Cs and Ds (and Cs in retakes!), and you have to be good to get that.
That said, to the OP:
I believe people can change and people can learn. I believe most people sell themselves short and most people have much greater capabilities than they realize. But, at some point, you actually have to do it. You have to go be awesome. You can’t just say, “I have the potential to be awesome.” Like everyone else has said, show some academic chops. You can’t shortcut it. . .the rest of us on the is forum are out there taking courses and proving we can do it. You should too. Maybe not a full post-bacc, but something.
Even buddha’s post had THREE items that needed to be done to overcome a poor GPA. #3 was to get fantastic LORs from profs. Profs from X years ago aren’t going to be writing fabulous LORs for C students. Sorry. I am not planning to ask my ugrad profs for LORs, even though I have some reasons to believe I could get some good ones. I think you would look like an idiot if you didn’t have someone who knows you NOW writing your LORs. . .trying to prove you’re changed and then getting LORs from the past doesn’t mesh. That means you have to take some classes to get #3, and that will help you overall.
. . .Point is, you are not out of the game, but you are not likely to be competitive right now. Do what the rest of us are doing and put out some effort to prove you desrve to be in med school, and then apply.
Who on this forum has a “CAN’T DO” attitude anyway??? I wish Medicine Buddha stuck around long enough to 'splain that statement!! Going back to school and bring up a 2.37 gpa which is what yours truly is or OMD which was a 1.1 or 1.2 and getting a 3.88 in neuroscience is not something that one accomplishes with a CANT DO attitude!!!
It never hurts to try. I’m a big believer in researching one’s options. And while I’m also a big believer in “if it ain’t fun, don’t do it” if I were you, I’d just keep an open mind and see what is possible. Ask questions, seek solutions, find your niche. And when all else fails, I apply Occam’s Razor: all things being equal, the simplest solution is most often the correct one!
3 words to the op: go for it.
Im actually in the same boat as far as academic redemption. If the desire is truly there, the only thing it comes down to is making a HUGE come back academically with the classes that you have to retake or have left to take - based on the few bits of advice that I’ve already received on this very similar topic, its the only fix essentially. Not only do I have a few D’s and C’s, there are even a few F’s on my transcript and while those are certainly hard to ignore, my only choice is to kick ass when I retake my pre-reqs. My other option is to give up completely - which is out of the question.
I really like what oldmandave said too: “There are no shortcuts. You do not get any breaks for age or pity for mistakes of yesteryear. The bar is clearly defined and it is up to you to do what you need to do to make yourself a competitive applicant.”
You can’t change the past. It’s what you do going forward that is going to matter.
Or so I keep telling myself (or have my partner tell me) when I get worried.
Asking for help is one of the hardest things for me to do, but I’ve been talking to individual professors and administrative people more in the past few weeks than I did when I was an actual student.
So, no, if this is what you want, go for it.