Where to Apply?

Hey, I was referred here by a poster on SDN. I was wondering if I could get some advice:

I have 2 undergraduate degrees (or rather, I will). The first is in mathematics, my GPA was awful, 1.96 over 120 credits. A year after finishing that degree, I started another one in Biochemistry. By application time, I will have 4.0 in every class taken in that degree, a total of 81 credits. My overall GPA is still well below 3.0.

My MCAT score is 37. I have some unique ECs (coach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA), and I am trying to get some hospital/clinical volunteer experience. I’m also a Canadian applicant. I qualify for very little grade replacement for DO programs as I am not confident retaking high level mathematics courses.

In Canada, I have a very high chance of getting an interview at 3 schools. I have no shot at the rest of them.

Do I apply to USMDs? If so, where? Do I apply to DO programs? If so, where?

If you can explain away the poor grades in the first degree, I’m guessing some ADCOMs will look very favorably at your recent academic success. The trick will be to get passed the initial screening (if the school has one).

I would recommend going to the AAMC site and purchasing the MSAR. The online version will let you search by schools that accept international applicants and shows a lot of good details about every school that uses AMCAS.

The AACOM site has a free online textual version of all of the DO schools and their general information. There’s no easy sort function, but you there aren’t that many schools you’d have to peruse to find ones that accept international students.

I used those two sources as a good start, and then I referenced the website of the schools that interested me to find more info on curriculum, student life, etc. I’m not sure on the process for international students, but I remember seeing a lot of schools that were extra selective with their applications. Good luck!

Hey, thank you for the response.

I don’t have any excuses or good reasons for the poor grades. I simply made bad decisions, partied too much and became unmotivated after a while. I’ll have to figure out a way to write that up so it looks good.

I’m going to spend this summer and the next term really working on my ECs. I figure that I can’t increase my grades by any meaningful margin, but I can try to stand out with my ECs. I’ll take a look at the MSAR and the AACOM version.


The clinical exposure and volunteering will be key - if your GPA is a weak point, make sure the rest of your application is stellar. Showing that you’ve shadowed and tested out your interest in pursuing medicine is really important.

I’ve applied for both clinical and patient care volunteer positions at local hospitals.

I’m working on designing and selling a t-shirt for a fundraiser. Proceeds will most likely go to March For Dimes. There is good support for the T-Shirt right now.

I’ve started contacting people to help me organize a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament (I teach and compete) as a Fundraiser event. There is precedent for these events, I just need a little support.