Snowball's Chance in Heck?

I admit I am filled with a lot of doubt.

I am at a crossroads. I am nearly 40 and have just applied to 8 US medical schools over the past month and 1 Caribbean Medical School. I am looking at a few DO schools as well, but being a non-traditional it was an act of congress getting the required letters so to do that again is daunting.

I am not sure what will happen with me. My undergrad years were very turbulent because my father died unexpectedly and the resulting firestorm of events(I had to work one full time job and two part time jobs after his death) left my grades all over the place. I ended up teaching for the past 14 years and then going back to get my M.S in Biology in 2009. I graduated from that program in 2011 with a 3.9 GPA while working full time. I etched out a 30 on the MCAT but not sure how much my graduate GPA will help to cancel out my undergraduate nightmare.

I want to be a family physician and just not sure if I have now wasted almost $1400 on application fees or not.

I believe you can have the AMCAS letter service send your letter packet to the AACOMAS server --so it would be there for DO schools to download. May be wrong but I think that’s correct.


I will check on that. Thank you Kate!

  • LucyTraci Said:
I etched out a 30 on the MCAT but not sure how much my graduate GPA will help to cancel out my undergraduate nightmare.

I want to be a family physician and just not sure if I have now wasted almost $1400 on application fees or not.

You're probably worring too early, people get accepted to med school up until the day classes start.

Unfortunately, grad GPA's never "cancel" out poor undergrad performance. However, in my experience if you went to a top school recently and have outstanding EC's, it shouldn't prevent you from getting admitted somewhere.

That said, what I just said really only applies if you've also applied to DO schools too since they seem to be more forgiven of past poor grades. So if I were you, I would have applied to a few DO schools (assuming you didn't have any regional limitations) as soon as the application period opened in 2013.

I personally don't believe in applying late (more than 2 months past when apps are open) especially as an oldpremed. And if a person really isn't "into" DO being the letters behind their name, I wouldn't apply DO at all.

If the schools don’t auto screen based on GPA, they’ll at least take a look at your application. “They” say they look holistically at candidates, and several schools throw in the “is there anything else you want to tell us that isn’t in your application” or even “do you feel your grades/MCAT reflect your potential.” I’m not a fan of SDN, but their school-specific section has all of the secondary essay prompts if that would help you. Admissions folks are people too, so hopefully they truly do look at the whole person and consider the bigger picture and not just the numbers.

As far as applying late, I clicked submit in Aug, was verified in late Sep, and submitted secondaries between the end of Sep up to yesterday. Sure it can hurt your chances since schools fill slots as the season progresses, but some of the schools I was looking at made note that applying/interviewing late doesn’t necessarily hurt your odds of getting in. I’ve gotten 2 interview invites thus far… DO schools tend to have later application deadlines, so I wouldn’t say it’s too late there either.

Last thing (sorry long post), email the admissions office at schools you’re interested in. I applied to 15 MD schools that accept non-faculty letters or made exceptions based on my situation. The one DO school I’ve applied to thus far also was willing to take employer/physician letters in lieu of their faculty letter requirement. Doesn’t hurt to ask if you’re interested.

Thank you all for your responses. I am getting secondary apps from schools that only send them to screened applicants so that is a good sign I suppose. We will see what happens and I will take it from there.

I was able to explain the bad grades that I had in my essay. You can see the nosedive that my otherwise decent grades took after his death. Very stark comparison

I was able to secure letters of recommendation from my grad professors- 3 so far. I also did an internship in a molecular bio lab and the professor submitted a letter. Then I decided to ask my boss and she supplied one as well. I also have my two character references for universities that require them. Hopefully those will help as well.