So do I still have a chance?

Hello guys,

I’m new here and this is my first post. So I have done many many mistakes academically and in my personal life too. I have always wanted to do medicine but I went through a phase in my life that I messed up everything I touched or thought about. Pretty much I was an adult and I didn’t realize how much the stuff I was doing then would affect me now, along with much confusion and personal stuff. I was looking for the shortcut to life, I just wanted to get out and work and make money… I did but I always wanted to be a doctor. I worked in management for many multi million dollar stores, like ALDO shoes and stuff and made decent money, also worked at Bank of America for about a year and was a salesperson there, I made decent money all together but I still want to be a doctor. I am an only child and the first one in my family to go to any college even if I failed miserably. So without further delay, here are my grades… I am so ashamed of posting this… but here it goes.

Wentworth Institute of Technology - Mechanical Engineering Degree:

Spring 2005

English I C+

College Math A-

Mechanical Graphics C+

Mechanical Design B-

Fall 2005

English II C-

College Math II WA

Intro Engi and Tech D

College Physics F

Spring 2006

Manf Processes I F

College Math II F

College Physics F

All in all I came out from there with a 1.325 GPA… Then…

Bunker Hill CC

Fall 2006

I withdrew all my courses Psycho, Precalc, College Writting, and Macroeconomics

Spring 2007

I received and F in all three courses I took, College Writing, Macroeco, and College algebra.

So that’s that… Since then I have started at a four year college, Framingham State College, and majoring in Biology, I am doing well in my classes probably around the B average, this is my first semester here and I am retaking all of my classes. I am doing the whole major from start to finish without transferring any credits in, so what do you guys think? Should I even bother, I feel that I need to be a doctor, after all this crap that I went through I feel that I finally have my head on straight and know for once in my life what I really want to do… sorry for the broken up paragraphs not my best writing but I am in between classes… So hope to hear from you guys…

if this is your only college history you might have a shot if you get As with as few Bs as possible from here on out.

You MUST report all transcripts, so if you do end up doing well and apply to med school, it would behoove you to retake all the courses you got less than a C in. At the very least, AACOMAS allows for grade replacement and with a good MCAT and good marks in repeated courses you might have a shot at DO schools.

I’m not sure how you would fare with MD schools though.

I have been thinking about DO school, I think they’re way of thinking about the patient is more of my way of thinking. Would things like volunteer work help out my situation or from here on it’s just grades?

welcome chunky monkey,

Short answer to your question, do you still have a chance: yes. However, you’ve got yourself quite a canyon from which to pull yourself from if you are seriously going to give this a go. Remember, as meg said, you must report ALL academic transcripts when you apply to med school, so that needs to be a consideration. You need to shoot for solid A’s with as few B’s sprinkled in as possible, as well as investigate a worthwhile volunteer cause that can get you 1 on 1 patient care or staff support.

The D.O. is not a bad idea, but don’t rule out the M.D. until they rule you out. Work hard, very very hard. The decision on where you’re going to end up is on step 14829 and right now you’re on step 219 of this journey. So relax, apply yourself and really see what you have to work this time next year.

Just my 2 cents

Yeah, I know I screwed up really bad, trying my hardest right now. I’m having a kind of hard time with my biology class right now so trying to bring my grade up a little bit. Well you know, I tell myself every night that if I never try and do this, every time I see a TV show with a doctor in it, I’m going to be disappointed in myself for never trying. At least if they refuse me I can say I tried my hardest… kind of hard to stay motivated with such a huge bad history that I’ll never be able to escape no matter what I do. I was also thinking, would something like getting my master in Biology help with acceptance? would I even get accepted into a masters in Biology?

Not to steal Chunky Monkey’s thunder but I have a question along similar lines.

I was just told by the admissions advisor at the university I am applying to that my GPA from my former school (a community college) does not transfer with the credits. I realize that medical schools will still be eyeing that horrid, horrid GPA with even more contempt than I am at the moment (ha) but my last class was taken in 2004. Consider this: I am starting GVSU with a clean slate majoring in biomedical sciences. Provided I post solid grades (let’s not talk abou the MCAT just yet) would med schools take into consideration that the past is past considering that I have rehabed my GPA adequately (provided that I do)? The only credits that would transfer from the CC, by the way, would be gen. eds. such as English and poly sci. My science and math have to be retaken completely.

I’m just wondering. I still have to sit down with an advisor at my school. I don’t know how well they will be able to answer these questions since there is no medical school at my university.


The application services (AMCAS and AACOMAS) come up with gpas to report to the schools you want to apply to based upon all coursework you’ve ever done. Including any poor coursework from years ago.

So even if you’re starting with a “clean slate” at one school, your grades from previous schools will affect your overall GPA. Fortunately, DO schools replace grades if you’ve retaken the same course, so if you DID do poorly years ago, you can redeem yourself by stepping it up now.

I’m gathering as I read more and more of this forum that nontraditional students have slim to no chance of getting into an MD school. Is that the case? Should I be focusing my attention only on DO schools? Luckily, the school I am looking into, Michigan State, has both. But I know that I can’t put all of my eggs in the proverbial one basket so I’m wondering where my efforts should be directed instead.

Never assume that not so many OPMers are getting into MD schools. We have a lot of successful candidates at schools such as Mayo, Harvard, Ohio, George Washington, Maryland, Wisconsin, Kansas , and on and on and on. And we do have a lot of people who have chosen to go the DO route, including myself and OldManDave.

People need to stop differentiating so much between MD and DO and begin focusing on presenting an exemplary application, even if it means overcoming previous difficulties. Which route you end up pursuing depends more on what you do now, how your MCAT is, how wide a net you spread, and how you present yourself.

Good luck on whichever path you choose, but, please, do not limit yourself if you truly want to be a physician.


I’m not quite sure where your are gathering that nontrads have slim/no chance at allo schools. As stated above, there are several of us on here who are at allo schools. Also, the fact that there are many people who are at osteo schools or who are only applying to osteo schools doesn’t mean anything, either. Several of them chose to go osteo because they liked the osteo philosophy. Others chose osteo because they like the osteo schools or because of location. There might be some who chose to apply only at osteo because they felt they wouldn’t be competitive at an allo school, but I doubt that’s the only consideration.

Being a non-traditional in and of itself does not make a person less competitive at a medical school. In fact, many schools welcome non-trads. What generally makes non-trads less competitive is that they often have poor/mediocre academic backgrounds to overcome for a variety of reasons.

Amy (who applied at, and was accepted at, five allo schools with an overall GPA of 3.1 and an original undergrad GPA of 2.78)

When someone has a subpar GPA, or an MCAT that’s a few points lower than the average MCAT for matriculating students, people almost reflexively say “Go D.O.” Based on numbers alone, D.O. schools do have slightly lower average GPAs and MCATs, but it’s not a big difference.

Back when I was immersed in admissions statistics, mean MCAT scores, etc., I found a stat showing that people over age 32 did worse on the MCAT by a couple of points. I’ve always wondered about that, but could only speculate as to why. Based on many more years of talking to people about this, I think my original theories were as good as any explanation: 1, there are people out there who take the MCAT without a lot of preparation - there was a gap between the original coursework and the application for some reason, and they just jumped in with both feet; 2, there are people over 32 who are pushing, with a sense of urgency, and they take it before they’re ready; 3, folks over 32 haven’t been taking as many standardized tests in the few years leading up to the MCAT as folks in college; 4, people over 32 are already losing brain cells and competence and maybe they shouldn’t be getting into med school anyway.

Okay I made that last one up to see if anyone was reading!

Seriously, it is - or at least was - just a fact that the oldest demographic for the MCAT was also the poorest-performing, and it’s also a fact that D.O. schools have slightly lower average MCAT scores for matriculants, so you do hear DO schools mentioned quite a bit here.

You’ll also hear that they have a more personalized application process, that they look more at the whole person, that their philosophy is more individual and attractive to non-trads. To be honest, I’m not sure I buy much (if any) of that. I went to GWU, which gets something like 10,000 applications a year. Each application is read and about 1500+ people (my data may not be current) get invited to interview. Then after the interview, the applications are again carefully read by more people. There are LOTS of points in the process where the “whole person” gets considered.

And as an undergrad med student, I got lots and lots of coursework on communication skills, biopsychosocial medicine, etc. There are obviously some aspects of DO education that you can’t get at an allopathic school but you can certainly find MD schools emphasizing holistic medicine, “caring for the whole person,” etc. etc. A lot of the verbiage spread around about this is just PR by various schools.

When the time comes for you to apply, you should first make sure you’ve got the best possible application that puts you in a stellar light, and then apply to all MD and DO schools that appeal to you for whatever reason. Good luck!


Cool yourself down and re-read my post.

Now go to the part where I am specific about this particular poster and chances at allo schools and NOT about non-trads overall.

I did not write that non-trads have less of a shot at allo schools, but in this particular poster, who has a lot of BAD grades to overcome, DO might be a better option b/c of grade replacement on AACOMAS. I didn’t say they shouldn’t apply to MD schools either, just that it will be more difficult with MD schools. I don’t think that’s out of left field for me to say, either.

What bugs me more than DO vs. MD discrimination is people who don’t read my damn posts correctly.

Meg (who is accepted at an osteo school and interivewing at her #1 allo choice in Dec.)

Uh oh. I didn’t mean to start anything… ;o)

This isn’t the only place that I have heard this information so I don’t think Meg was trying to mislead anyone. I’m glad that it’s been cleared up though, thanks everyone.


I simply hit “reply” to the last post on the thread which was your “x2” post and not the post you are referencing. Additionally, my comments were not directed towards you but towards Alicia’s comment that she was gathering that nontrads were not competitive at allo schools.

Then you need to reference whom you are referring to. When you replied to my message and didn’t say you were actually responding to someone else’s post, I am right to assume you were responding to me.

It is your responsibility in posting to make sure you indicate your target audience.

Time out or I’m closing this thread, I’m not kidding. Anyone spending any time on these forums knows that we often just hit “reply” to the previous post even if that’s not what we meant to do. Simmer down, everyone. Nothing was meant and nothing should’ve been taken from the exchanges over the past few days. Cool it.


I don’t really understand this whole battle between DO’s and MD’s to me it’s all the same, you are both out there saving lives and making a difference in the world and helping people. Maybe because I am not a seasoned poster here or new in the pre-med field. But DO’s and MD’s have been given the opportunity to be doctors and they should be happy about that. And for that matter anyone accepted into any med school should be happy, it does matter where you go you are all out there on the same mission, no matter what way you go about it.

Generally, you won’t find too many DO/MD battles on here and I don’t really feel that this thread is one either. The DO/MD discussion that has cropped up on this thread is really more about the differences in accepting students between the two. As previously mentioned, DO schools tend to be more accepting of nontrads for various reasons.

I don’t think anyone on here meant to imply that one route was better than the other - I know I certainly was not implying anything about the quality of education. There are good and bad MD schools, and good and bad DO schools. My decision not to apply to any DO schools had more to do with location than any other factor - I had five allo schools located closer to where I wanted to be than the nearest DO school.

I think that, in certain areas of the country, osteopathy is not well known or understood. This is largely a function of where most DO schools are located, and, by extension, where the majority of DO grads end up practicing. I personally had NO idea of what a DO was prior to applying to medical school and it was my experience that many of my classmates in my pre-reqs also had no idea.

I had a quick question, my parents have a few friends that know me well that are M.D’s, they are in AIDS research, Psychiatry, Oncology and primary care. I was wondering how much would a good recommendation from these people help my application? would it be as important as a faculty member, or would too many hurt my application?