In today’s episode, Ryan takes some questions posted on Google Voice caller line and Facebook Hangout and shed light on some topics where you may also be experiencing the same and can learn from.
How High Does Your Undergraduate GPA Need to Be for Medical School?
Q: From Ashley: An active duty midwife for the US Air Force and 1 year out from applying to USUHS (military medical school); with clinical experience, graduate GPA of 3.6, undergrad GPA 3.2, Science GPA of 2.9; no time to take additional coursework – would this be detrimental in her application to medical school? Would an exceptional MCAT score make up for poor undergraduate GPA?
A: Your undergrad GPA is probably not strong enough for medical school at this point while your graduate GPA might not help a lot because it’s not really related to your ultimate goal of becoming a physician. Ryan recommends looking at separating from the Air Force and taking some time off to take the courses that you need.
Does It Matter Which College You Attend as a Premed?
Q: From Lung: Got accepted to UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Riverside. Does your undergraduate school make a difference? Is it worth going to a reputable college and risking getting a good GPA because it’s more challenging versus focusing on UC Riverside which is a much less rigorous college although less reputable than UC Berkeley?
A: No. Except if, for example, you graduate from a small Liberal Arts school in the middle of Montana (no offense) which graduates one premed student every couple of years, then that would make a difference. When applying to medical school, the admissions committee is going to look at your GPA as well as your undergraduate institution and balance those out. Based on these three schools, go to whichever fits you the best. Be a great student. As Ryan always points it out, don’t go to a great school, go to a school that will make you great.
Does It Mean Anything If You Receive a Secondary Application from a Medical School?
Q: Graduating senior from a small liberal arts school in Orange County and only graduate applying to medical school from the university with no premed advisor. Received secondaries from almost every school applied to but has been receiving rejections before even being interviewed. Why didn’t he get an interview?
A: Most schools send a secondary as a big money-making scheme for the schools. Students fill out secondary applications and pay the money. So just because you get secondaries doesn’t mean that you have a chance at that school. Ryan recommends asking the schools that didn’t give you an interview and ask them for an application review and what it was in your application that they didn’t like. Don’t reapply immediately. Figure out why you didn’t get in this time and take time to fix it for next time.
Is It Okay to Push Back Your MCAT Test Date?
Q: Signed up for MCAT in June and hasn’t started yet (mid-April); retaking the test. Should I push back my MCAT to a later date in June or July and apply this cycle or next cycle?
A: If you’re retaking the test, you’re not going to get it back until the beginning of July which means that the medical schools aren’t going to review your application until the beginning of July. That’s not bad. Only take the test when you’re prepared. Don’t push back your MCAT later, either. If you need to push back your MCAT test date to an even later date, apply next year.
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