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Old 02-05-05, 11:58 PM   #1
flipspeed
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Default What does it take to get into medical school?

I've heard or read somewhere than you have to have at least a 3.5 or 3.6 overall gpa and no grade below a B to be considered for admission. Let's say you get a C in organic chem and your overall gpa is 3.3, would you still have a chance of getting into any medical school? Would the reputation of the school supercede that 3.3? Which are the easiest ones to get into? i knew this volunteer at the hospital with a 4.0 and a decent MCAT score. She was wait listed and never accepted to any of the schools she applied to. Is competition for medical school that brutal?! I was once told by a chem major that if you were to apply for medical school, it helps that you have a competitive major like chemistry or physics. I was once told by my professor who's an MD that English is a good major to apply with. Then there is clinical experience. Would professional experience (PCA, RN, PA) help out a guy with one or two D's or C's and a 3.3 get accepted?
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Old 02-06-05, 01:20 AM   #2
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I think you need a foreign language there too. Spanish, German or Hindi (india, believe it or not) will probably be most widely used.
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Old 02-06-05, 01:45 AM   #3
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What does it take to get into medical school?

Accessible money or loans.
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Old 02-06-05, 02:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ArmyofOne
I think you need a foreign language there too. Spanish, German or Hindi (india, believe it or not) will probably be most widely used.
I contend that Mandarin will be the next international language.
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Old 02-06-05, 07:19 AM   #5
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I am currently in medical school and you do not need a foreign language to get in.
The premed requirements are listed at www.amcas.org

Medical schools are looking for a well rounded student. Not only do they want someone who has good grades, but they want someone has volunteered, knows what the medical industry is like, life experience etc.

It isn't really hard to get into a medical school. It's hard getting into a good one. However, at the end, it doesn't matter what school you went to, you are still a doctor.
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Old 02-06-05, 07:50 AM   #6
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FLiP, that's a bit of a hard question to answer. Most folks who get into med school will have a fairly high gradepoint (3.6 or greater) esp in the physical sciences and good MCAT scores (the test and its scoring has changed twice since I took it many years ago, so can't give you numbers here). The interview process varies from school to school but carries as much weight as grades and MCAT numbers.

It could be argued that the interview committees might look more favorably on an applicant with a non-science major, the idea being that since we ALL had to have the requisite science courses, those who were, say, English or History majors had more broad-ranging interests than those of us who were mostly science wonks to begin with. Traditionally, most med school acceptances came from the various science disciplines since, obviously, medicine is a scientific discipline as well as an art. In the late 80s and early 90s, criticism began to come for this approach. The contention was, to put it very broadly, that medical schools were increasingly producing doctors well schooled in the rapidly advancing science arena but with little compassion for the human patient. Like so many generalizations, this one overstated matters but nonetheless found some acceptance in the medical education community, if for no other reason, due to public perception that we (doctors) have become increasingly technocratic at the expense of human relations.

Professional experience may indeed help but I would not be overly optimistic that a 3.3 gpa would make it simply because of the number of qualified, equally experienced individuals with much higher ones. But all such things are taken individually; let's say that you also have gone on to a masters degree and performed at a much higher academic level, plus excellent MCAT numbers. This would tend to lessen the effect of your undergrad gradepoint importance.

Easiest? None. But the more prestigious private schools will have long lists of very highly qualified applicants which would, in turn, tend to render the chances for a marginal applicant to somewhere around zero. In-state public medical universities always favor in-state applicants over non-residents, however. There are also programs affiliated or allied with some schools that move "alternates" up the alternate list if they agree to enter a primary care specialty and serve in medically underserved areas for 4 years. (You might wonder why there is an alternate list. Typically, many students apply to more than one medical school. In turn, the schools send out acceptance letters to the applicants in several (usually 3) mailings that are seperated by at least a month. This is done to determine how many students will turn down their acceptance at a given school, in order to offer that slot to another applicant in the next mailing. Once ALL the slots for the freshman class are filled, the next 10 or 20 applicants in the school's rank order are placed on the alternate list, just in case some acceptant has a last minute change of heart.. Those alternates who don't make it in any given year are usually given some preference if they reapply in the following year.)

That's a bit of the overview. I should add that I'm not in academic medicine and so have never been part of an interview committee as a result. PM me if I can answer other questions or if I need to clear up any of the above info.)

Thomas C. Moore, M.D. (class of 1985, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences) aka mooretorque
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Old 02-06-05, 08:19 AM   #7
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Also check out www.studentdoctor.net

However, take their advice with a grain of salt. SD.net has some of the most **** and over sensitive pre meds I have ever seen.
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Old 02-06-05, 08:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLiP Sp33d
I've heard or read somewhere than you have to have at least a 3.5 or 3.6 overall gpa and no grade below a B to be considered for admission. Let's say you get a C in organic chem and your overall gpa is 3.3, would you still have a chance of getting into any medical school? Would the reputation of the school supercede that 3.3? Which are the easiest ones to get into? i knew this volunteer at the hospital with a 4.0 and a decent MCAT score. She was wait listed and never accepted to any of the schools she applied to. Is competition for medical school that brutal?! I was once told by a chem major that if you were to apply for medical school, it helps that you have a competitive major like chemistry or physics. I was once told by my professor who's an MD that English is a good major to apply with. Then there is clinical experience. Would professional experience (PCA, RN, PA) help out a guy with one or two D's or C's and a 3.3 get accepted?
you need straight 10's on the MCAT....before i switched to business..i was applying for med-school..

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Old 02-06-05, 09:05 AM   #9
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Thank you mooretorque and everyone else who provided insight and links.
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Old 02-06-05, 09:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE_CEO
you need straight 10's on the MCAT....before i switched to business..i was applying for med-school..

CEO
You do not need straight 10's to get into medical school.

Flip,

I am going to assume you are from NY. Your chances of getting into a school are decent since we have a decent amount of state schools. We also have a ton of private schools also.

If you're grades are not up to par, you have a ton of options to improve in that area. There are numerous post bac options. Another option is to get a masters in biology. I believe Geogertown has such a program. I also believe Georgetown accepts the top 10% of that class into their own medical school.

However, make sure you have some medical experience (volunteering, family members who are in the profession, etc). Otherwise, you will get nailed to the wall at interviews. Medicine is a long, long road. It is something you are committing the rest of your life to.
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Old 02-06-05, 10:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verylost
You do not need straight 10's to get into medical school.

Flip,

I am going to assume you are from NY. Your chances of getting into a school are decent since we have a decent amount of state schools. We also have a ton of private schools also.

If you're grades are not up to par, you have a ton of options to improve in that area. There are numerous post bac options. Another option is to get a masters in biology. I believe Geogertown has such a program. I also believe Georgetown accepts the top 10% of that class into their own medical school.

However, make sure you have some medical experience (volunteering, family members who are in the profession, etc). Otherwise, you will get nailed to the wall at interviews. Medicine is a long, long road. It is something you are committing the rest of your life to.
huh? what med school were you applying for...and what was your GPA....if you have a 3.3 gpa and want to go to med-school here in michigan you will need straight 10's...

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Old 02-06-05, 11:07 AM   #12
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huh? what med school were you applying for...and what was your GPA....if you have a 3.3 gpa and want to go to med-school here in michigan you will need straight 10's...

CEO
I know of many medical students who did not get straight 10's that got into medical school. 10's are about average, but if someone were to get a 9 and then 11's on the rest of the section, there is no reason to deny them. As for myself, I got a 9 in one of the sections, but I had a 3.6 gpa in a highly competitve program at a prestigious school. I got into a medical school. My girlfriend got a 9 somewhere also and had a 3.3 gpa. She also got into medical school. Now it wasn't purely our scores that got us into medical school. It was our other activiities.

In hindsight, I think I impressed the admissions committee with my research (as of now, I have 2 research papers and 2 patents in my name). I also mentioned that one of my hobbies was drag racing and car modding. My engineering background may have given me the edge.

Applying to medical school is about the total package.

Considering that Flip is from NY, he has alot of options. He has access to 4 state schools and a ton of private schools. Off the top of my head, I think there are 11 medical schools in the state of New York.

I am unsure of how many medical schools are in Michigan, but I think MI has less schools.

Now if Flip wants to become a doctor, I don't want him to be upset he doesn't have an ideal score. If he has the will to become a doctor, he will become one. Medicine is one of those things that people can actually work hard and achieve. It isn't really a matter of who you know or how much money you have (of course it helps), but anyone can work their *** off and get into a medical school.

P.S Flip, while writing your personal statement, don't write about why you will be a good doctor. Admissions committees hate it. Write about what made you choose medicine. You got to make yourself stand out. You need to sell yourself.

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Old 02-06-05, 11:26 AM   #13
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FLiP, I didn't touch on some of the more practical issues but unless you already have a close family member in the profession, there are things you should consider.

As verylost pointed out, it is indeed a long (at least 7 years from entry into medical school until completion of residency training; many require several years longer) road. And, I might add, a very expensive one even if going to a state school. There IS plenty of money available (and, as I mentioned in a peripheral way in my first post, programs that will basically cover the costs of medical school if you agree to serve in a)one of the branches of the armed services, b)rural/underserved areas both at the state and federal level, and c) other) to borrow but you'll be looking at a mountain of debt by the time you begin to earn enough to start repayments. Residency pay scales aren't enough to do so, so the loan programs will allow you to defer debt but that unpaid interest is capitalized so that your eventual principal will be on the order of several hundred thousand dollars (no exaggeration at all!). At the same time, physician incomes are NOT what you might think they are. Managed care insurance has led to drastic decreases in reimbursement. Medicaid and Medicare programs are, in general, basically "break even" propositions for those of us in primary care (iow, what you are paid for seeing a patient is only sufficient to cover the actual cost of seeing the patient). I realize that all this talk of money in a service-oriented profession sounds a bit callous. The REALITY is that you will somehow have to pay back those hundreds of thousands of dollars AND provide for yourself and your family AND provide for your own retirement. So it must be considered.

Medicine is still a wonderful thing to do from the standpoint of personal satisfaction and I still enjoy practice 19 years after my graduation. But these same managed care entities have eroded the autonomy of medicine and burdened it with a tremendous amount of redundant paperwork. I'm typing this post on Sunday from my office where I'm engaged in doing several hours of insurance busywork that have absolutely nothing to do with taking care of patient's medical needs. This is a weekly occurence (on top of the extra time I spend during the week on a daily basis).

I'm not attempting to discourage you from medicine and you may already know all of this if you have that previously mentioned close relative in the profession. If not, then these are practical realities that you need to factor in to your desire to serve. Medicine still requires all the sacrifices one traditionally had to make in order to properly care for the sick. There are just some additional ones that have nothing to do with the art or science of medicine but rather the business of it.

Good luck in your decision.

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Old 02-06-05, 11:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verylost
I know of many medical students who did not get straight 10's that got into medical school. 10's are about average, but if someone were to get a 9 and then 11's on the rest of the section, there is no reason to deny them. As for myself, I got a 9 in one of the sections, but I had a 3.6 gpa in a highly competitve program at a prestigious school. I got into a medical school. My girlfriend got a 9 somewhere also and had a 3.3 gpa. She also got into medical school. Now it wasn't purely our scores that got us into medical school. It was our other activiities.

In hindsight, I think I impressed the admissions committee with my research (as of now, I have 2 research papers and 2 patents in my name). I also mentioned that one of my hobbies was drag racing and car modding. My engineering background may have given me the edge.

Applying to medical school is about the total package.

Considering that Flip is from NY, he has alot of options. He has access to 4 state schools and a ton of private schools. Off the top of my head, I think there are 11 medical schools in the state of New York.

I am unsure of how many medical schools are in Michigan, but I think MI has less schools.

Now if Flip wants to become a doctor, I don't want him to be upset he doesn't have an ideal score. If he has the will to become a doctor, he will become one. Medicine is one of those things that people can actually work hard and achieve. It isn't really a matter of who you know or how much money you have (of course it helps), but anyone can work their *** off and get into a medical school.

P.S Flip, while writing your personal statement, don't write about why you will be a good doctor. Admissions committees hate it. Write about what made you choose medicine. You got to make yourself stand out. You need to sell yourself.
im not sure about the exact number of schools here in michigan, i do know that they are very competitve..if you want to become an M.D...as for a D.O...its a little different...but i understand your point about the 10 average...which would be the same as the straight 10's...hehe...your outside activities are a huge factor...alot of the schools dont like brainiac's..

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Old 02-06-05, 11:40 AM   #15
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At this point, I'm only entertaining the possibility of getting into medical school. I'm actually a physician assistant major and I just got accepted into a program which will be starting this summer. My overall gpa right now is 3.35 so i have plenty of time and opportunities to raise that. My goal in life is to practice medicine and treat patients. I like the PA profession in that there's so much cost effectiveness about it; from the way the bachelor's degree program is designed to be affordable to how PA's can provide affordable healthcare. I have a partial academic scholarship so that is partly why I am a PA major. I intend to practice medicine as a PA for some time but if i ever felt that I needed to move on, it's nice to know that I can still have a chance at being a doctor.
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