5th year senior with low GPA interested in medical school

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Rajpal
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:04 am

5th year senior with low GPA interested in medical school

Post by Rajpal » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:57 am

DrDave,

My name is Rajpal and I'm hoping to get into med school soon and fulfill my dream of becoming a doctor. I am about to be a 5th year senior in college, and am taking the mcat next month.

I have one major flaw in my application: my GPA. It's only a 3.0. Although I'm definitely at the bottom of the GPA pool, there is a reason why my GPA is so low. Starting my senior year of high school, my family became proud owners of a pizza shop. Business was great to start and although I helped my parents out with the store, I managed a 4.0 that year and graduated with a 3.6 GPA. During my freshman year of college, business was still good and I didn't work much, finishing with a 3.7 after two semesters.

During that summer before my second year, business had gone down drastically (we were noticing a slow decline in sales through the year) and in order to help my family I decided to get two other jobs along with working with my parents. My mother had been working a night shift for the past 7 years, and the work was getting to her as she had developed severe swelling in her knees. My dad also had swelling from working so much, along with arthritis in his hands. With me getting two extra jobs and helping out at our store, I hoped to give them a break and help with money.

That is when things went downhill. That year I started my premed courses while also working above full time to support my family. I ended up doing horrible that semester, failing gen chem and pre calc while getting a C- in bio 1. The next semester I had a long talk with my family and I dropped one of the jobs and continued working two jobs. I retook precalc and got a B, while getting a C in gen chem 1 and bio 2. The following semester, which was the beginning of my junior year, I quit the 2nd job and decided to completely take over the pizza store, giving my parents a rest as much as I could, while trying to develop better study habits and ways to better myself. The semester ended average, with me getting a C in both genetics and ecology. The following semester was a turning point. I took 22 credit hours and some 300 level biology courses. All of my studying up to this point was done in a tiny pizza shop, while I helped my parents when things got busy, along with me doing all the heavy labor. I managed an A in both cell and molecular biology and evolutionary biology, along with an A in qualitative analysis. I finished with a total 3.4 GPA for the semester, and while still not perfect I had finally figured out a way to adjust working nearly full time and studying while helping out my family.

My senior year was pretty much the same, with me running our pIzza shop working nearly full time and getting grades that we're much better than my second year. However, a few more C's have stopped me from reaching my true GPA potential.

I apologize for writing a novel of my life, but I'm really at a crossroads here. I have volunteer work, getting letters of recommendation, have done research with a professor (during my 4th year), and have extra curriculars such as me being part of my college choir since my freshman year. I also believe I have the leadership and maturity that excells that of others; being a leader to my employees at our store and helping my family, giving my parents the rest and happiness they deserve. One of the reasons why I want to become a doctor is that I can't stand seeing people in pain, and I wanted to make sure my parents, after everything they've been through, were as happy and pain free as I could make them.

I was wondering if you had any advice for me. I hope to do well on the mcat as I've been studying hard for it the past three months (not working either). Many members of my family are doctors and after all I've been through I know without a doubt it's what I want to become.


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DrDave
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Re: 5th year senior with low GPA interested in medical schoo

Post by DrDave » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:26 pm

Rajpal,

I have no major advice to give you. It seems like you are already aware that with your GPA it will be difficult to get into medical school, even if you do exceptionally well on your MCAT exam. I would think that you would also want to consider DO schools as they typically have lower requirements for acceptance.

Best of luck.

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