Opinions on my chances of getting into Med School?

Hi All,

I have really enjoyed reading posts and have learned a great deal from this website. I was hoping for some opinions as to my fitness in applying to med schools this summer for the entering class of 2012. Any words of wisdom or feedback would be very appreciated.

I graduated with a BS in Radiologic Science in 2005. My GPA was only a 3.2 : ( I have since worked on an online MBA from my alma mater (brick and mortar state university) and will complete that before matriculation to med school (Grad GPA about a 3.7). I have also taken my pre req courses as well as some additional Bio courses to bolster my GPA and sort of prove I am a good student now. I have maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout all of these pre-med courses. Most of the courses have been taken in a traditional classroom setting at good state universities, with the exception of Org Chem 1 and 2 with labs taken online through the University of New England.

I also have several years of clinical experience as a Sonographer and some experience as a Radiographer. I am volunteering now at a homeless shelter medical clinic once a week and a Planned Parenthood twice a week. I also have years of volunteer experience with military groups as my husband is in the military. I am also going to be shadowing radiology residents for several days at the hospital where I work part-time. Additionally, I will be involved in clinical research very soon with the end goal of the research study being published upon completion.

I am going to take a Kaplan MCAT course that runs Feb- May 2011 and plan to take the MCAT in May or possibly April if I feel ready.

Do my experiences and pre-med coursework/ extra-curriculars seem competitive enough?

I worry somewhat about the online Org Chem coursework. Has anyone encountered a problem with completing a pre-req or two online?

Thanks for reading and please feel free to offer honest opinions and feedback.

  • Hawaii_Liz Said:

I was hoping for some opinions as to my fitness in applying to med schools this summer for the entering class of 2012. Any words of wisdom or feedback would be very appreciated.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to offer honest opinions and feedback.

Here is the most accurate evaluation of your chances.

If you don't apply, your chances are: zero, nada, zilch.

If you do apply, your chances are greater than zero.

If anyone were to tell you chances were low, would you not apply? There is a fine line between seeking some comforting encouragement and falling into FUD (fear, uncertainy, and doubt). Whether or not say, taking Ochem online from UNECOM will impact you is a moot point; you've taken already. Focus your energy on what you can impact.

From your brief background, you appear to be on the right track. Prep for MCAT and do well, write a excellent application to submit, and knock'em dead at the interview and you might get in

Anyone who tells you different is blowing up your...

Sorry. I've been staring at computer all day, it's late, its cold, and we have had like 5 feet of snow already here in New York and my back is sore from digging out cars. You know whats that like. Wait a minute, you're in Hawaii....

There are many positives in your application including medical related experience and demonstrated volunteer committment.

Definately concentrate on MCAT prep - sounds like you are on-track in all areas. You might start collecting LOR’s now (using a letter service like Interfolio) to avoid application delays later.


I’d be exceedingly leary of using online course work to fulfill pre-med course requirements. Most med schools still want to see work in a traditional style classroom situation.



Thanks for the advice.

  • jcolwell Said:
I'd be exceedingly leary of using online course work to fulfill pre-med course requirements. Most med schools still want to see work in a traditional style classroom situation.

Judy (or others who may know),

I'm wondering about the limitations on the above statement. I have taken genetics and organic chemistry online, but from a brick and mortar state school. The courses are taught by the same instructors as the on-campus courses, and I found that they actually required me to be more disciplined in my study and in my questions to the professor than "brick and mortar" courses ever did. I intend to take biochem online as well (which has pod-cast lectures from the on-campus course), but will take physics with lab on campus. I also have a (14 year old) bachelor of science degree from a good school. Of note, I have a colleauge who was just accepted to med school who took these same courses from the same school I am.

What are the real risks associated with taking a few courses online from a good school? I'm assuming that if I do well on the MCAT, any negative perceptions from the online courses (which I think are misplace anyway) will be dismissed.

Am I setting myself up for failure here?


I would pay attention to advice that Judy provides on the forum–she has an incredible knowledge of the process and has insight that others do not have given her past work.

While we may not like or agree with the reality of why schools do things the way they do, we cannot be blind to the fact that they do it this way. Whether we agree or not that online courses should be accepted is moot–the only thing that matters is whether they do. While you make some good arguments, if you don’t get the interview you will not be able to make the arguments.

As we all know, getting into medical school is difficult. As much as is possible, the only things you want to stand out in your application are things that set you apart from others in a positive light AS PERCEIVED BY MED SCHOOL ADMISSIONS COMMITTEES. Each person’s situation is different, but, in my opinion, online courses (like community college courses) should be a matter of last resort.

Best wishes in your preparation!

  • MD2B2010 Said:

Here! here! Perceptions are the key to success in all this. For example, say something is standardized and known across all the medical schools, such as an MCAT score, then we make certain assumptions on how most adcoms will perceive them. Over time this becomes proven and accepted Seems obvious but it important to note that is how this assumption/perception process operates. It should also be noted that the medicine and the medical educational community operate conservatively, slow to change, and with skepticism.

Online courses are still in flux. How they are taught, if they are effective, who teaches them, how do they prepare students. Some med schools, such UNECOM run an online post-bacc yet have no data to show how it has been used successfully by premeds. Some schools run online as a separate "branch" of campus. Others, like Purdue, I think do not make any notations on transcripts if a course is online or regular classroom. Some adcoms may be more inclined to accept them, other against, and more are just in the middle with no standard pattern to follow.

In sum, it is hard to make assumptions about how med schools adcoms in general will perceive them. That is the risk within these courses.

Now that you have been likely scared out of your socks by these all these postings what can you do to mitigate risk.

Remember that a medical school application is a coherent, concise and compelling narrative showing a pattern of commitment, motivation and achievement. The academic achievement that you have in these courses must fit both your other brick and mortar courses, MCAT scores, etc.

First, find out how your institution lists these course on your transcript? are they as online course? Or does the school simply have them exactly as the brick and mortar classes? If it is the latter and the school considers them the same, it seems perfectly reasonable to me that it is a non-issue.

Second, you can contact the 4 to 6 medical schools that you most want to attend with a brief summary of your issue and ask if they accept these online classes.

Third, you consider taking one or two upper level classes with labs in a real classroom to bolster your application.

Thanks to all for your replies to my side-thread. I have to check with my university, but the course numbers for my online classes are identical to those on-campus. Now, for my 10 yo son, I’m inserting the “spinny guy”


I just received clarification from the university I am taking online courses from - they do not show any differently on the transcript than the on-campus courses do…phew! I also got a reply from one of the med schools I queried about the age of a couple of my prereqs (chem & bio, 14year old degree) - they stated that they use the MCAT to tell how solid an applicant’s science knowledge is, so the age isn’t an issue, but that it was also good that I have some fresh coursework with good grades, too.

This may differ from school to school, but I’m relieved!