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If you needed an extra 4-5 years of classes to get above a 3.0 GPA, what would you do? That’s what our nontrad premed student is asking on today’s episode.
[02:30] OldPreMeds Question of the Week:
As usual, we take our question this week from our Nontraditional Premed Forum:
“I graduated college with a 2.25 cumulative GPA and a 1.76 science GPA. This is an accumulation of both university and college of ten years together. I stayed way too long and failed way too often at community college. I was immature, directionless, and depressed throughout my 20’s.
I came back to do a do-it-yourself postbac with clear, clean conscience two years later. And I was motivated to do very well. After taking 90 quarter units, I was able to sustain a 4.0 GPA after four years of taking both lower- and upper-level division science and math courses.
I have already fulfilled the prereqs for medical school. I took some upper-level biology and many more. I was able to do very well. I have research experience with a PI. I have 900 volunteer clinical hours. I worked as an ER tech at a hospital and have experience working in administration in health care.
I have completed my shadowing with a physician and even got a letter of recommendation from them. I took the MCAT and was able to score 514. After calculating my GPA with my postbac, I could only get up to a 2.5 cumulative GPA and a 2.24 science GPA. That was very depressing.
After further calculation, I would need to sustain an additional 330 semester hours or units to get to a 3.0 GPA in both categories; which would take another 4-5 years. I thought about applying to an SMP and talking to a couple schools. But they said they’re afraid the computer is going to screen me out and wouldn’t look at my upper trend for consideration.
I feel so hopeless sometimes because of that stupid GPA hindering my passion to be a physician. What else can I do from here?”
[click_to_tweet tweet=”I feel so hopeless sometimes because of that stupid GPA hindering my passion to be a physician. What else can I do?” quote=”I feel so hopeless sometimes because of that stupid GPA hindering my passion to be a physician. What else can I do?”]
[04:38] It’s Not Too Late
This is a very common question that comes up in the premed world: How do I fix my premed mess-up? It’s the worst thing possible when you have this terrible GPA and now all of a sudden, you’ve found your passion to become a physician. You look and do research and realize you need good grades to become a doctor. But the journey is not over.
[Related episode: My Initial GPA Was 1.8. Can I Still Get Into Medical School?]
[click_to_tweet tweet=”This is a very common question in the premed world: How do I fix my premed mess-up?” quote=”This is a very common question in the premed world: How do I fix my premed mess-up?”]
[05:23] Advocate for Yourself
There are several things to do here, and they all involve a little bit of time. It would be silly to go back for those extra four to five years taking more classes.
You’ve already proven yourself with 90 units of classes with a 4.0 GPA after four years. You’ve proven that you could handle it.
Now, you need to go and talk to medical schools. Talk to them. Reach out to them. Talk to the Dean of Admissions. Say this is who you are. This is how you screwed up. This is what you’ve done over the past four years, and this is your GPA. Ask them to look at you and whether they would consider you.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Go and talk to medical schools. Reach out to them. Talk to the Dean of Admissions. Say this is who you are. This is how you screwed up. And this is what you’ve done over the past four years to fix it.” quote=”Go and talk to medical schools. Reach out to them. Talk to the Dean of Admissions. Say this is who you are. This is how you screwed up. And this is what you’ve done over the past four years to fix it.”]
Yes, the computer is going to screen you out. But that’s why there are humans there to reach back into the digital shredder, pull your application out, and review manually.
They’re all reviewed manually. But the digital filter is going to filter out the low GPA in this case.
So tell them that you need them to look at your application. They need to pull it out because their computer is not going to pull it because your GPA is not good enough. But tell them to look at what you’ve done over the past four years. Look at your MCAT score. Look at what you’ve done to prove that this is what you want to do.
[Related episode: Can I Recover From a Bad GPA to Get Into Medical School?]
[06:55] Find the Right Schools
Find the right schools. Find the schools that fit who you are, what your mission is. Do lots of research. Just research four or five schools a day.
I’ve talked with the Dean of Admissions of University of Central Florida College of Medicine. He said they screen students by looking at the student’s last 20 hours of sciences. So you would do very well in that screen. You need to find those schools that have different filtering techniques for GPA. That way, your initial mistakes will not hurt you.
[08:05] Last Resort: Look at Carribean Medical Schools
If you go through this process over the next year and you find no schools to look at your application, there are always Caribbean medical schools. It’s the last resort, but if this is what you want to do, you’ve proven yourself academically. You’ve proven yourself with your MCAT score.
I’m not worried about a student like you going into the Caribbean, doing well, getting a great score on Step 1 and 2, and getting a residency. A student like you will probably do very well. You’ll do fine. You’ll do great. So keep going. There’s nothing in your way except some time, some advocating, and some phone calls. The worst case scenario is a Caribbean medical school, which is still a decent option in this case.
[Related episode: The Journey to a Carribean Medical School]
Links and Other Resources:
- Related episode: From a 2.7 Undergrad GPA to First Year Medical Student
- Related episode: Carribean Medical Schools: What You Need to Know
- Related episode: What MCAT Score Do I Need If I Have a Low GPA?
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!