I was happy to find this site while going through the process of seriously considering medical school. The first thing I’ve discovered, however, is that I could use some advice. I went to college directly from high school in the mid 80’s. I didn’t want to be there and ended up with a gpa of 1.49 after two years of courses. I left college to take a job as an orderly in an emergency room. I later went on to work for the next ten years as an anesthesia technician at a major teaching hospital. I loved working in anesthesia and helping the anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists. I felt that I was very good at this job and was well liked by my superiors. Somewhere and somehow during that ten years I got the crazy idea that I could do what the folks I worked for were doing. I enrolled at the local community college and started college all over again. I took some courses and did very well. I transferred to a major, well respected university and completed my biology degree with an overall gpa of 3.5 and a science gpa of 3.4. I took the MCAT… got a 33R and here I am. I think I am a competitive candidate for DO school, but I’ve discovered that ALL college transcripts are required for application, including the 20 year old grades from my first abysmal performance . When these grades are calculated in my gpa drops to below a 3.0. along with my hopes of going to medical school. Is this an albatross around my neck? Can these grades be petitioned to be expunged… does that happen? Will my application be tossed out when the schools get it from AACOMAS based on the numbers alone? Any input would be helpful and greatly appreciated.
Now this is just information I have garnered from more seasoned members on here, but most have said that your older grades mean less than current grades showing drastic improvement. Also your MCAT score is pretty darn good so that can help. I am sure one of the folks on here with more knowledge will chime in, but I thought I would give you what I have heard.
hello and welcome to old pre meds. You are among kindred spirits here.
To answer your first question, no. Grades cannot and will not be expunged. However, as mentioned before, those grades are so old that they are pretty much just there and will have no bearing on your current abilities. But…
they must be reported and as such they need to be added to your GPA which can bring your total GPA down. But…
Since rarely does a school screen because secondary fees are such cash cows, your entire application will be seen as well as the age of the grades.
Make sure that you have the proper pre-reqs and that your MCAT is <3years old.
Again welcome and good luck.
Would you have to report the old grades? Really? Maybe not.
yes. you have to report ALL grades taken in college at any time.
- In reply to:
I saw this and cringed a little. I don't know if you meant it this way, so if you didn't sorry for the rant.
1) Like most applications for work, or resume posting sites, I am sure the application has a signature line at the bottom that says something like "Under the threat of perjury, I attest that everything in this application is truthful", I am also sure the app. states that you should put ALL of your course work in. While you could probably lie and may never get caught, I think it would be a bad idea to risk it. How many folks have you heard on the news that get busted for bogus resumes.
2) In a profession that relies heavily on ethics, omiting this info. would kind of be an affront to those ethics.
3) From horror stories I have heard about Med school and Law school (could be urban legend), there are always a few folks in your class who rather than spend all of their time and energy being the best student they can, they waste it on trying to destroy others. Those folks probably don't see any problem spending $40 on one of those websites that looks up public info, to show the dean of the school. Do you really want to risk that?
4) this one is more personal.... I spent the past 15 years of my life in accounting, where 90% of the time I felt that I was doing something that was either slightly unethical to borderline illegal. I didn't change my path to start down the dishonorable road again.
Thanks for your answers. Yes, it is my intention to disclose all of my grades. I was mostly concerned with getting weeded out based on a number reported by AACOMAS rather than having the opportunity to have a human at a DO school see the chronological progression of my academic history. If I understand Gabelerman correctly, I can hope for the latter. I have called AACOMAS to ask them, but have not heard back. I hope your individual journeys are going well and thank you for your input.
- JoyOfLex Said:
What information did you request from AACOMAS? I am unclear as to your question to them. They act solely as a clearing house for the application that is then passed on to the schools. The GPA that is reported is the the one that ACCOMAS calculates. The better grades from repeated course will be used in this calculation. So while ALL grades/course/transcripts must be reported, GPA calculation will include the better of two grades.
My other confusion here is your expectation of an answer BEFORE you apply. Neither AACOMAS nor any school can give you anything but brief guidance. If you get negative opinions, will you give up your quest? You appear to be looking to them for encouragement or to get better odds. I will give them to you in the most basic form. These odds apply to EVERYONE
If you apply, you MIGHT get in. Your chances are greater than zero
If you don't apply, you ABSOLUTELY in. Your chances are zero, nada, zilch.
Anyone who tells you anything else, is just an odds maker, even admissions staff. Until you actually apply, it doesn't mean a thing.
What information did you request from AACOMAS? I am unclear as to your question to them.
My question for AACOMAS, though not explicitly stated from my above post, sought to determine how the GPA on my centralized application is ultimately seen by my chosen medical schools. As I see it, there are two relevant possibilities. The first is that some preliminary screening process of the medical school separates out applicants by some minimum gpa and MCAT score. That is, they see only the numbers involved and discharge those applicants below the cut-off and give further examination to those above the cut-off. The second possibility is that my application is not seen by any preliminary screening process as just a number, but is also seen as the chronological development of a gpa over time along with the list of courses which were taken. It is this second possibility which allows, I think, a more fleshed-out and accurate examination of me as a candidate. At any rate, this is the question I proposed to AACOMAS over the phone. They responded by saying that the schools will have a summary picture of my academic record which will show the development of that record over time as well as the cumulative gpa, science gpa, etc. They also suggested that I contact the medical schools I am interested in and ask them the specifics of how they review applications received from AACOMAS. I did just that. The eight schools I talked to told me that applications are reviewed in not so cursory a fashion as I had feared. Whether I had been given this information or not, I would have still applied; sans any "you can do it kid" affirmations (although, I must admit, sometimes those are nice to hear). Well, perhaps I've answered not only my own question, but someone else's as well. Again thanks for the input.
Angus - You’ve got a good recent academic record, gobs of relevant experience, and a very competitive MCAT score to further your AACOMAS application. If you expend good effort to obtain letters of recommendation (including from a D.O. - essential!), to show some shadowing of a D.O.(due to your extensive clinical experience this need not be as large a number of hours as someone without a clinical background), etc, you should be a competetive applicant.
Best wishes in your medical pursuits!