Quit Investment Banking?

Hi Everyone,

Looking for some advice. I started undergrad premed, but got three C’s my sophomore year (orgo I & II, and a C+ in intro to cell bio). Feeling my chances were ruined, I changed my major and got a job in healthcare banking at a prestigious bank. I graduated with a 3.5 gpa and 3.1 sgpa. A year after working, I realized medicine was the path for me so I started volunteering at a hospital on the weekends shadowing, and taking courses at night at a community college. This raised my gpa to a about a 3.64 and sgpa 3.55. I’ve taken all the science courses the community college offers and am now at the point where I’m not sure what to do next. I’m considering quitting my job and going to a four year full time to raise the gpa even more and show I truly do have what it takes to succeed in a rigorous course load while perhaps working full time and doing more clinical work. However, I am also up for promotion soon, so part of me wants to be promoted so I have that to show while studying for the MCAT and doing really well on that. How will medical schools view this upward trend since my post bacc was at a community college? Should I quit my job?

Your GPA is not an issue, as long as the trends are ^, ^, ^. Some schools have an issue with: ^, v, ^, ^, v, ^, v, etc., even if you end with a decent GPA, because it shows that you may be running out of gas. 3.4 average GPA for DO, 3.7 for MD - and that’s just the 50% mark. SO many people have much lower, like, <3.2, but many recommend not having <3.4 for MD. sGPA is around the same mark, slightly lower (0.05-.1 lower). CC classes do not mean anything, just as long as it doesn’t look like you were taking them to avoid “more difficult” classes at a 4-year university - if you can explain that you needed them because of work/financial/etc., then you’re just fine. Some schools have issue with upper-div classes like ochem/biochem at a CC, but these are far and few in between.

You need to crush, sorry, obliterate the MCAT. 505 average DO, 511 MD - <505 probably retake. A 500 is dead average 50%, which means all of the “easy” questions that everyone knows gets you a 500. You need to be able to answer the, “oh god, what is this?” questions for a 510+.

Promotions are cool, because leadership experience, but not end-all-be-all. What is mandatory is shadowing hours, volunteer hours, clinical hours (lots of clinical hours), other forms of leadership, letters of recommendation (gleaming), hobbies, and research (not mandatory, but a fantastic boost - mandatory for some schools). It is so important that you also apply to the ‘right’ schools, that fit your niche and story. Don’t waste $1000’s of dollars on applications for schools that 100% will not accept you. They call this an “oblivious tax”, and will send you secondaries knowing full well they will reject you - talk about burning cash (and time you could’ve spent on a real app!!) at $150+ an app.

Work if you have to, but if you think it will in any way affect your MCAT score, seriously reconsider or go half time. MCAT = GPA, so your MCAT score may very well make or break your application. only 40% of applicants are accepted each year (yikes!), so you can’t give a committee any reason to reject you. Out of 5000 applicants and only 200 seats, they are looking for that one blemish that Jimmy doesn’t have.

GPA/MCAT get you an interview. Volunteering, clinical hours, shadowing, etc., get you in.

You’ve got This!