Medical School

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Touch of Grey, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    focus on pre-med & biology. Don't sweat the extra-cirrcular stuff. Find a good mentor & stink on ****.
     
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  2. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

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    Undergrad GPA is the most important thing. Like ollinger said, there is no proof that you need to play musical instruments or know how to dance to be a good doctor. If your GPA is good but you don't have great MCAT scores you can always rewrite. If your GPA is good but your extracurriculars may be lacking you can legitimize the extracurriculars that you do have with sincere reasons why you pursued them, what they meant for you and how they have improved your qualities and skills. But if your GPA is sub-par you have no chance. One person mentioned 3.2+, that's not competitive enough unless it is for an osteopathic school.

    edit: I think the more important reason to be "organized" would be so that you can still live and be happy while you pursue your goals. Not so that you can play a musical instrument. You know, spending time with the people close to you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
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  3. CoachingMastery

    CoachingMastery Professional

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    Sureshs, I think you misinterpreted my post. (Or maybe I didn't write it very well!)

    When I said 'if you feel you can't do these things,' I meant more in terms of being dedicated to your goal, being able to sacrifice.

    I never inferred that you had to be a social butterfly or had to specifically be good at a lot of things. I said you needed to be organized. I also said that "being profiecent in other things is very COMMON..." I never said it was an absolute criteria. The fact that many med school students are good at other things is a result of this trait. It isn't that they said, "Oh, I'll go to med school so I should learn the piano."

    I agree 100% that there are many different paths. However, having been around hundreds of doctors (now), I see many common traits...not just observing my wife during med school and her classmates.

    However, I will say that if you hope to be a good doctor who works with patients, (not necessarily surgeons, radiologists, etc. who don't specifically work with patients as much as family practice docs, pediatricians and other physicians who deal directly with patients), most doctors will want to have some level of "bed side manner"...but I will say there are many doctors who are horrible with the personal side of medicine. They might still be considered successful, but they are not as successful as others who communicate well. (or certainly are not viewed by some as being 'good docters' because they don't communicate well.)

    GPA is essential. (A given, which is why I didn't mention it).

    There are exceptions to every individual, but certainly having the study habits to get a good GPA, (and the value for education), will translate into many of the necessary traits to become a doctor.
     
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  4. coyfish

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    GPA... Important . . . sure... essential . . . not at all

    3.2 is competitive enough as my GPA isn't much higher and I have recently been accepted to several MD's. There are MD schools in every state which accept kids with GPA's near 3.0.

    Research / MCAT > GPA for more and more schools. That is a growing trend. Many schools value research so highly. There is an economic reason for that which drives everything...

    "you can always retake the MCAT" sure you can but that doesn't mean you will get a good score. So many people with very high GPA's can't get over a 30 on the MCAT. Getting a 24-28 3X with a GPA of 4.0 says a lot about the applicant. It says yes I can do well in biology I but no I don't have what it takes to think critically and apply what I know to new scenario's . . . . which just happens to be the whole essence of becoming a doctor. I would much rather have a low GPA and a killer MCAT than visa versa.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is the trend. Just send the patient for tests. It is more automated now. Also, doctors are under too much pressure from HMOs and insurance plans on payment issues and personal touch gets lost.
     
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  6. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

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    Just because some people get in with 3.0 doesn't make that a competitive GPA. What if say for example 5000 out of 10000 people with 3.5+ get in but 1000 out of 20000 people with around 3.0 get in. Look at what the average GPA for accepted people is and aim for that, not something 2 standard deviations or so lower.

    Also, I think you need to be able to critically think/apply if you want to do well at university level biology (not to mention chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and many other courses one is taking).
     
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  7. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Suresh, study up a bit more on Newton's life!
     
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  8. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

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    University science is completely different from the MCAT. That is why many people with great GPA's can't do well on the MCAT. It isn't simply regurgitating info. Some people can study study study but it takes something extra to do well on the MCAT. Not saying a GPA is not important but the MCAT is a completely different animal. Many schools have varying difficulty amongst professors but the MCAT is the MCAT. An A in anatomy can be easy or be one of the most difficult things ever...

    Competitive can mean different things... Of course the better your GPA the better your chances. That isn't what im saying. Competitive means getting to the interview stage. That means the schools are really looking at your application. With a 3.2GPA and 30+ MCAT you have a good shot at multiple US MD schools. Will someone with a 4.0 GPA be better off ... of course. But having like a 2.8 GPA or a 22 MCAT won't even get you looked at. That is not competitive.
     
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  9. goober

    goober Legend

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    getting over 30 on the MCAT is not really a high score. Rather 24-28 is a very low score. There are PLENTY of applicants that have over 30 on the MCAT and GPA 3.6+. Really- that is pretty much run of the mill applicant unless scores and gpas have fallen these days.
     
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  10. coyfish

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    Well im just being interviewed / accepted so what would I know. . .
     
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  11. goober

    goober Legend

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  12. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

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    Who said anything about a 30 being high or low? All im saying is that GPA isn't the most important end all be all thing. Research / MCAT is weighted more heavily than purely GPA in more and more schools.
     
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  13. goober

    goober Legend

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    well you did of course. You certainly implied it.

    As for the second part of your statement- if it were true than the GPAs should be going down (or at least remain flat) and MCAT scores should be going up as a general trend. On the contrary over the last 11 years average GPAs have gone up pretty much every year for matriculants.

    https://www.aamc.org/download/161690/data/table17-facts2010mcatgpa99-10-web.pdf.pdf

    Of course MCAT scores have been going up every year as well. This likely reflects the fact that more are more applicants every year for the last 10 years. That is why we rely on data, not individual anecdotal experiences.

    Is it possible that at some schools MCAT/research is weighted much more heavily than GPA? OF course. But there has also been a trend at many schools to value nonacademic traits that show humanistic qualities. If 2 applicants had the exact same gpa/mcat from the same college and one spent a year in lab and the other spent a year overseas in 3rd world country providing medical assistance to undeserved populations, who do you think would stand out more to an admissions committee? Unless the research was something significant (which is hard to do at the undergraduate level) I would say most likely the latter.
     
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  14. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

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    I didn't imply that a 30 was high at all . . . If anything I implied it was decent considering I said a 24-28 was low.

    Anyway you have to take the trends with a grain of salt. While im sure it isn't far off there is a lot of skewing and reasons that go beyond simple changes in applicants.

    You are right regarding research. It is hard to find those opportunities which is why it is so respected. If you publish good research . . . that is HUGE on your transcripts. Some schools told me that they rarely consider applicants without research and most matriculants have multiple publications. Other schools told me that they weigh the MCAT as much as 60-70% over the raw GPA.

    MCAT score has gone up 3 points which is more significant than GPA going up .1... As you said more applicants = higher and higher averages across the board.
     
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  15. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    .... This is incorrect information. You want at least a 3.5 gpa and a 30 MCAT to have a good chance at a MD school if you want to be safe. Lowest gpa I've heard of and MCAT that I know of that got into MD schools is probably a 3.3-3.4 and a 29. However, that person had a really good resume and frankly, IMO, got very lucky. For DO medical schools, a 3.2 and a 30 MCAT would give you a great shot at most of them. However, realistically, I would say you want at least a 3.4 by graduation if you're trying to apply to medical school. A strong MCAT can off balance a low gpa (3.0-3.5). A 22 MCAT score can get you into a DO school but very unlikely. A 2.8 gpa, I would recommend anyone with those statistics to do a SMP program and retake courses.
    Realistically, I would say you want to aim for a 3.6 gpa 32 MCAT to be on the safe side for MD and DO schools. If you want to get into top medical schools, I would recommend something like 3.7 gpa 35 MCAT.
     
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  16. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    I do agree with this, research is the main reason one of my friends who had a 3.4/29 (taken twice) got into 4 MD schools (along with 7-8 interview invites from MD/DO schools). Also the main reason why I'm trying to have a few publications by graduation.
     
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  17. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    SDN Network for Allopathic and Osteopathic are two great websites with pre med students/medical students/interns/doctors who give great advice. I would refer to those if you have questions about pre-med and medical school. Obviously, if you have pre med advisors or family/friends in medical school or are physicians, they can always give you sound advice since htey have been their already.
     
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  18. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    I agree with this. I would definitely recommend psychology.
     
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  19. Seth

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    Coming out of the woodwork, I see.
     
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  20. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, just stressing a lot as as pre med student. Didn't realize how uncompetitive my 3.45-3.50 gpa is at the moment.
     
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  21. 813wilson

    813wilson Rookie

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    It would be nice to know what happened to the OP. Thread start should put him at graduation and a school selection....
     
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  22. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    Hm true, honestly I feel that many people overhype the difficulty to get into medical school saying if you don't have a 3.5 + gpa, 30 + MCAT, don't apply. I know a few kids who gotten into medical schools (granted DO not MDs) with a low 2.9.
     
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  23. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    Im struggling a lot this term and i'm expecting my gpa to drop to a high 3.3 or a low 3.4. Or stay where it is at which is about a 3.5
     
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  24. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    :roll: Yeah that's why my friend with a 3.4 got into 4 MD and 2 DO schools.
     
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