As many of you know, I have swung back and forth on how to best approach the decision to apply to medical school. I have felt so overwhelmed with the various choices that I have at my disposal to attack this. I reached out to my readership and got a lot of feedback in the form of comments and emails. Some of the feedback opened up more options that I hadn’t even considered. Soo…I decided that I needed advise from those that had the years of experience to help guide me. After talking with my med school’s grad advisor, the med school’s admissions advisor, and several other people who play a big role in my decision-making process, about my plan of attack for medical school I think I’ve finally reached a conclusion. Here are my proposed steps, with my rationale should you care, for each point:
The Plan of Attack!
- I will be retaking the MCAT at the end of this summer, studying with a revamped self-study plan or with a Kaplan course.
Rationale: This is a no brainer! All the research I’ve done suggests that my score is not as competitive as it could be. It can be seen as a weak point of my application. Taking the MCAT after studying for the summer is the surest way for me to try to improve my application. However, the risk that lies in sinking all this effort into the MCAT is the fact that you are never guaranteed to do better. A second mediocre score a lower score would be a serious red flag on my application.
- I will be applying to Osteopathic schools and will have a Caribbean school as a backup come this June.
Rationale: My application is one that speaks of both weaknesses and strengths. My MCAT stands out as being mediocre. My GPA speaks loudly of my immaturity during my first two years of college, though it also shows I can handle upper level courses. I was even told that my graduate GPA would play only a little role in helping my application. Since schools look primarily at your undergraduate GPA, the graduate GPA is seen differently by each school. Assuming I do well and pull off a strong graduate GPA, it could be seen as a strong sign of my ability to handle medical school courses in the future at best. It could be seen as a nice extra curricular activity at best in the worst case. I have a background in research and other volunteer and clinical activities that will boost my application a bit, but nothing amazing enough to overcome the lower numerical scores. I have several letters of recommendations that I’ve been told speak high praises of my character and work ethic. So…I’ll be applying to schools that I can hopefully get into: schools that look give more weight to the rest of the application and schools that place more forgiveness in the raw numbers.
But I’m gonna stay positive, and keep trying to work towards my goal of being a doctor. 😀 I realized something profound, to me at least, in the last few days that I want to share with you.
I can’t change what I did in my past, but I can learn from it. I can’t do anything about the competitiveness of the other applicants, but I can use it to push myself to try harder. There’s nothing I can do but give this thing all that I have to offer. I know that I could make a great doctor and given the chance, any chance, I will seize it and take it as far as it will carry me.
No matter what the outcome of this application cycle I think I will be happy with whatever I get. I have accepted the fact that my past records are not perfect and that I have set the bar very high for myself in trying to get into medical school. We’ll see how things unfold from here.
- Decisions On Applying (flusteredgrad.wordpress.com)
- MCAT Recap (flusteredgrad.wordpress.com)
- MCAT Results! (flusteredgrad.wordpress.com)