Reality Check Needed

Hi everyone,

I need some advice and reassurance. Of course, I am a non-traditional applicant. I am in the midst of this application cycle. I had my AAMCAS application in by late June and verified by mid-July. AACOMAS was in by mid-July and verified in August. I applied to 30 schools (24 allopathic, 6 osteopathic). I have been steadily working on secondaries since July and finally finished on November 24th. Whew!

So, after all that effort (and the incredible amount of work to even get ready for the application cycle) what do I have to show for it? I have received 8 rejections, did not qualify for one school, two schools have put me on hold for an interview, two have put me on hold for a secondary, and I am waiting for responses from the remaining 17. I know that waiting is the hard part, but it has been anywhere from one week to 19 weeks since the last contact point (I programmed a spreadsheet to keep track for me). No interview invitations yet and I was hoping to know where I would be going by now. Now, I know that was unrealistic. Ugh!

Honestly, this is my fourth and last time I am applying. I applied 20 years ago right out of college, another time after graduate school, and the third time three years ago, which helped me to realize I had a lot more work to do to prepare myself for the application cycle. So, here I am another Masters degree later (GPA 3.93), MCAT: 31, age: 41, working full time at a hospital, teaching part time at a University, and keeping my fingers crossed that my application will get someone’s attention.

I guess the biggest problem with my application is my undergraduate GPA. I never thought my undergraduate GPA would haunt me 20 years later. Even though I finished two Masters with high marks, my overall GPA is still 3.12 and BPCM is 2.92. Yikes! I tell all of my students (and children) to take their education seriously so they can keep doors open for themselves.

Will any of the AdComs be able to see past my GPA woes? Is there hope? When do Old Pre Meds typically get invited for interviews? Should I be sending letters of interest? Should I be calling to ask what else I can do? Should I be standing on my head holding my breath?

Anyway, any advice, encouragement, success stories, hope, etc. would be appreciated.



I think your perseverance is awesome - what about contacting some of the remaining schools with a letter or call of interest and just say something like “I’m very interested in your program, and I was hoping you could give consideration to my application.” The worst that can happen is they ignore you.

My advisor, who sits on an adcom, seems to think highly of applicants who do this, if they’re truly qualified for the school and concerned their application is getting lost in the shuffle.

How old is your BCPM? Is that a recent 2.92?

I would not worry about the cGPA from 20 years ago, however, I would worry if the 2.92 is the pre-reqs for med school and those are recent.

Is there a chance to retake the MCAT to increase the score? A 31 is not deficient by any means - it is a score my traditional students aim for…

As TP said, I applaud your perseverance in getting this done… and agree with her tactics on asking the schools remaining if there is something you need to provide for them as you are very interested in their school.

Keep us posted!!

Hi Tallulah,

Thank you for the advice. I started calling schools today. Some schools, I am finding, do not want or allow additional information, but I know that some schools do. So, I will begin making contact.


Hi Adoc2be,

Thanks for your response. My most recent BCPM GPA is 3.93 (Spring 2014 Masters in Biological Science). It’s the undergraduate GPA which is dragging me down.

I will not be able to take the MCAT again, nor do I think I would do much better. Since the beginning of my application adventures over the last 20 years, I have taken the MCAT six times. My scores have been fairly consistent. My highest official MCAT score is 32. My most recent score (31) is from August 2012. Besides, I think it would really be too late for this application cycle.

Thanks for your advice and encouragement!


Hi Linda,

What about your science courses for the pre-reqs:

gen bio

gen chem



When were those taken and what were those grades?

Stick with it … I think of the struggles I’ve gone through to get to where I am and, selfishly, I’m SO glad to see someone else has run into similar road blocks, struggles, etc.


Hi Adoc2be,

Many of my prerequisite courses were taken in college (20 years ago).

Gen Chem: undergrad average 2.67

Physics: undergrad average 2.90

O-chem: 2.5 Two quarters at a C during undergrad and one semester at a B post-bac (2010)

Gen Bio: Using coursework from my recent Masters, including upper division undergraduate courses, I had a 4.0.

Of course, I will not be able to retake any of this coursework for this application cycle. I really hope that the AdComs will focus more on my more recent academic accomplishments.

I spoke with the Director of Admissions at a top public university in California following my last application cycle. He was very gracious and we spoke for over an hour. He told me about a former applicant who had graduated from UC Berkeley with poor undergraduate scores. She pursued a PhD in Biochemistry from Berkeley and did very well. She also scored 34 on the MCAT. She then applied for medical school again. She was invited to an interview and had a mediocre interview. When the admission committee reviewed her overall application, her poor undergraduate performance was brought up and she was not offered admission. The Director did say that if she had a stronger interview, the outcome very well may have been different. A PhD later and undergrad scores still affected her outcome.

Well, it’s time to make contact with more schools to see if there is anything else I can do. Wish me luck!


I wish you TONS of luck!!!

It sounds to me like you have done everything you can until you retake the MCAT or retake the pre-reqs to make them current, and get a higher GPA.

I hope the best for you!!