True or false?

I have heard that DO schools are some what easier to get into because they put less (but not significantly less) emphasis on grades and scores and more emphasis on other aspects of life. Is this true? Am I completely off my rocker to think that I can even be competitive with C’s in both organic I and II. I have 180 hours (love school but couldn’t decide on what I DIDN’T want to do, so I did a little of it all) of under grad ed, only need biochem for a minor (ironically) in chemistry, 3-4 more classes for a second BS in either Bio or Micro, have a 3.8 GPA, have taken through Calc II, and will be doing volunteer work (I have some in the past but no accounting for hours) with my teen and the Red Cross this summer.

Should I pursue the second BS and minor in Chem or go for my masters in clinical laboratory science? My BS is in CLS and I work in a lab that supports a stand-alone ER and same day surgery center. I have a couple years before I start applying.

I love this statement from “The Lost Art of Healing”, “No book knowledge equals what one may glean from patients…” That gives me hope that my desire to care for people, hear their stories, and help them will ultimately over come my less than stellar organic chem grades.

Essentially it is true but let me me explain how it works (and someone correct me if I have it wrong). For allopathic (MD) applications, every class you ever took, even if they are repeated, count towards your AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service)GPA. For Osteopathic (DO) schools,if you repeat a course, the highest grade counts towards your AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service) grade point average

I happen to disagree about DO schools being easier to get into. Yes, the GPA requirements and the MCAT requirements tend to be lower, however this trend is changing. The DO schools want to make sure that you are not applying just as a back up to an MD school. They want to ensure that if you are given an acceptance, you will choose the school that is best for you, and not because of the letters behind your name.

This is why many schools have the questions “Why Osteopathic Medicine?” or “What do you know about Osteopathic Medicine?”

The trend for MCAT scores is going up. The average MCAT score for people applying to UMDNJ-SOM is almost at 30.

Do not simply take the easiest route to get to medical school. You want to wake up every day WANTING to go to work and perform. Do things right the first time. Apply to the schools that you want to and not the ones that you think you can get in. A 42 MCAT with a 4.0 GPA does not guarantee an acceptance.

I’m sure this question has been answered, but even if you repeat a class more than… once? twice? three… even ten times - they’ll still count the “highest” grade???

AMCAS - the American Medical College Application Service, for almost all MD schools in the United States - will count every grade, whether it’s a repeat or not. That means that my C in first semester of gen-chem in 1973 counted along with my A in first semester of gen-chem in 1997.

AACOMAS - and I always mangle the acronym so won’t try, but it’s the equivalent application service for DO schools - replaces the old grade with the new grade in a class as long as it is obviously the same class. If I’d applied through AACOMAS, that 1973 C would have been wiped out by the 1997 A.

Those grades are what is used to calculate your BCPM GPA for the applications. Now, schools can then look carefully at your grades and see what is behind the GPA. For example, if I’d done all my prereqs in 1973-1975 and gotten Cs in every blessed class, and then I did them again in 1997-1999 and got As in every class, my BCPM GPA on AMCAS would be a 3.0, not so good. But if an AdCom looked at my application, and saw a crummy old GPA but then a nice shiny 4.0 GPA, they would have the opportunity to choose to be more impressed by that.

So the calculations with hard numbers are one part of the application story, but there’s more to it than that. Of course if you are repeating a class, you want to do VERY WELL the second time around; less than an “A” is really not OK on a do-over.


Thanks Mary… your words of wisdom in these forums are both informative and encouraging! I’ve been going back and forth between DO/MD/PA & one thing I realized is that I can’t sell my “doctor” dream short just because of some potential GPA deficiencies. God willing, I will get to medical school one day!