Yet another WAMC.......

Okay folks. I am a LONG way from applying to med school, but to confront some FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt for newbies like me), I would like some honest feedback if I have shot in hell for MD. My stats are as follows;

3.3 cGPA

3.73 sGPA

3.83 MBA GPA (I know it’s just an EC, but still)

3.8 GPA in final two years of undergrad

Assuming all A’s in pre-reqs and extra upper level science courses

I work full-time, so my EC’s will not be abundant, especially considering my first-born should be here sometime over the next week. I plan on getting at least 200 hours of hospital volunteering over the next two years and 20-40 hours of shadowing and that’s pretty much it. I have sporadic volunteering going back to first year of college, but nothing significant because I worked full-time throughout college to support myself and help out parents after a job loss (dad in textiles).

Long shot for MD? Good chance for DO? Be brutally honest, but not as snarky as those SDN’ers please :).

Also, forgot to mention, I attended a mid-tier state school with a major in Finance and minor in Psychology.

Finally, I am cautiously optimistic that I will be able to study and get a 31 or better on the MCAT. (I know that’s asking alot but I’ve always aced standardized tests)

For allopathic (MD) medical schools, your stats are below average. See this PDF from the AAMC website ( table17.pdf). For medical school matriculants in 2011, the average MCAT is 31.1, average total GPA is 3.67, and science GPA is 3.61.

With that said, I think your science GPA of 3.73 is solid. I’ve heard from others that adcom members don’t consider graduate GPA too strongly. So your 3.3 cumulative GPA may still weigh pretty heavily.

Are you going to take any more classes? What state do you live in?

Personally, I think your chances of going to an allopathic (MD) are OK if you can get over a 31 on your MCAT and have strong letters of recommendation as well as good EC activities. I’m crossing my fingers that you live in a state with more than 1 state medical schools that would look favorably on an in-state applicant. According to this chart from AAMC ( table24-mcatgpagridall200 8-10.pdf.pdf), people with same stats as you have an acceptance rate of 38.7%

Hope this helps.

Your MCAT will determine your competitiveness. Bust out the MCAT and you’ll get in somewhere in the US.

Stay off SDN! Everyone there is a 3.9/44 with 1,000,000 hours of EC who started their own free clinic and are on the verge of curing cancer…and those are the humble ones…

Thanks Crooz. I guess my main point in writing was to try to alleviate some fear I have regarding EC’s. I know that I can ace the science courses (I was always great at science, I just never had the drive to pursue it) and I’m confident that with enough preparation, I can do well on the MCAT. I’m just terrified that if I do all that, I still might not get in because I didn’t have time to do any research or to collect any more EC’s other than shadowing and emergency department volunteering. Of course, I know this whole thing’s a crap shoot. My in-state school has a summer program for future docs that I might try if I don’t get in the first time around. No direct linkage but they do mention that if you do well it will improve your chances with them on their website.

  • croooz Said:
Your MCAT will determine your competitiveness. Bust out the MCAT and you'll get in somewhere in the US.

Stay off SDN! Everyone there is a 3.9/44 with 1,000,000 hours of EC who started their own free clinic and are on the verge of curing cancer...and those are the humble ones...


Given your stats, especially your sciences, you should have little problem getting into an allopathic medical school . . . assuming you:

  1. Do well on the MCAT

  2. Be able to explain the “why doctor, why now” questions.

  3. Be able to show some ECs that demonstrate serious interest/intent on medicine and health care.

As far as EC’s that show serious intent/interest in medicine, would volunteering in ER 4 hours a week and shadowing whenever possible for 1-2 years before applying show serious interest? This is all happening while working full time and taking care of a newborn baby and attending two classes per semester. That’s one of the things that terrifies me, that the ADCOM wouldn’t consider that from a total number standpoint, my EC’s aren’t spectacular, but considering that proportional to everything else on my plate, the EC’s were a lot to undertake.

You have a life. Those would be fine extracurriculars in my opinion. I think you have been intimidated by SDN - I agree with crooz --don’t go back there except for

  1. MAYBE the study plan for the MCAT as I’ve heard there is a pretty good one there

    2)when you are prepping to go to interviews at med schools to find out what the format at that school is.

    Seriously, if you can show a good GPA in your prerequisites and hit your aim of 31 in the MCAT’s, and APPLY EARLY, from what you have shared thus far you look to have a good shot at allopathic and an even better one at osteopathic medical school.

    To keep your options open, you’ll want to shadow with an osteopathic physician as most of the DO schools require this, and if not require it, strongly recommend it. Doesn’t have to be a lot but it has to be there, hopefully with someone who is willing to write you a LOR afterwards.


Thanks everyone for taking the time to pull me back off the SDN ledge. I agree with Kate, there is a lot of useful information regarding MCAT study plans and school specific interview info, but man those people can make you think the only way to ever get in to med school is to be a superhero.

The areas that Kate mentioned are it for SDN. Perhaps once I’m in school I might venture back but I doubt it. Even as attendings they don’t know, what they don’t know and salaries is a big one. They all post as though it is a given that an IM doc will make $150-200k and have to kill themselves and perhaps even their patients to make ~$500k. I know of primary care physicians(IM) making more than the “primary care range” and some are at the $500k. I also know of people who’ve made it into med school with less than stellar stats. I know some who’ve made it in with better-than-average stats and zero EC’s.

It’s not that much of a crapshoot, don’t let them kid you. Stats are a given but after that it depends on what your app looks like and how your PS is worded. After that it’s your interview. So essentially there are three variables; stats, PS, and then interview. Get all three right and you’re in.

So it comes down to the application you present to the adcoms. Pursue some EC’s you are really interested in. Free health? Go for that. EM, then go for that. I would say though that you look for something different that will not only make your app stand out but also make you an interesting interviewee. EMT and free clinic are givens, look for something different, something that’ll set you apart. Once you do…let me know so I can do the same.

I, too, agree with Kate429 that those ER time and shadowing would be fine ECs given your study schedule, and family and work obligations.

However, you should realize that ER (and hospital) volunteering and doctor shadowing are very common, very typical ECs that lots of premeds do. Other common ones are working or volunteering as an EMT, working in a research lab, etc. And because so many other applicants do these same things, if you do these things, they will add to your experiences greatly. But, they may not help you stand out much against the tens of thousands of other premeds applying to medical school. While being an older applicant does make you somewhat unique and standout, it, too, is becoming more commonplace.

So, you may need to do more to set yourself apart from other applicants. Or choose an EC that is uncommon, unusual, that will both show AdComms your serious intent and make them remember you.