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- November 19th, 2008, 07:00 AM #1
- Member Since
- Nov 2008
- State College, Pennsylvania, USA
- 0 times
Considering both Medical School and PA school...help.
Alright, so I'm going to be blunt here....I was a pretty bad student for my first two years of college. I'm currently in my junior year now working on a degree in Liberal Arts (officially). I suppose I could change my major whenever I want...but that's not really what this is about.
My current GPA is under 3.0. When I graduate, it MIGHT barely be at or above 3.0. this, of course, will make it difficult to be accepted into most medical schools from what I understand.
Now, the thing is, my grades over the summer and this semester have been impeccable...also, all my grades in health-related fields have been A's (granted, its only Developmental Psychology and Biology 201 w/ lab). I am interested in the health field and already scheduled two classes that are considered prerequisites at most schools for next semester (Microbiology and Genetics).
My main issue is, I don't really know how things are going to play out. I am a poor college student...and Medical school is EXTREMELY expensive. PA school is less expensive, but also less appealing to me. While I wouldn't mind working under the supervision of a licensed physician, I would especially enjoy the more challenging cases associated with an MD or a DO.
I currently attend Penn State University. I am looking for guidance both on the application process:
Who should I get to write letters of recommendation?
For PA school, it normally lists 200-500 hours of patient-contact health care experience as a prerequisite for applying. How do you get that kind of experience?
What sorts of things are schools looking for in the essay? Like I'm assuming they don't want to just read another well-written "I want to be a doctor to help people" essay.
...and on my abilities to get into a medical school or PA program. I'm looking for recommendations in or close to Pennsylvania of schools that would be reasonable for me to consider.
In addition, I've had the following questions:
How likely is it that a hard-working individual with a GPA <3.0 would even get an interview at a decent Medical School?
How difficult are the MCATs? What about the GREs? Some PA schools require the GRE.
Thanks for any help in advance!November 19th, 2008, 06:25 PM #2
- Member Since
- Apr 2006
- 20 times
Since I have no idea about PA, I can only assist you with medical school related issue. I can tell you that if you are a US citizen, expensive tuition will not be an issue. You will be eligible for government funding (federal loans) which will cover your tuition and most of your other expenses. Worry not, you will make enough as a physician to pay back those loans. The real issue I see with you is your sub-par GPA, however, if you continue to get high grades, you can be successful in getting an acceptance. Actually, an upward trend in the GPA is looked favorable because it portrays maturity, hard work, and persistence. If you can get your GPA above 3.0, you'll be in business, at least for DO schools. You will have to do better on the MCAT than an average applicant to compensate for your GPA but it's doable. MCAT definitely the hardest exam I have taken in my life. It doesn't just test your knowledge of the subject matter, but it is more of an analytical exam with strict time limit.
As far as letters of recommendation are concerned, you will have to get at least 2 from your science faculty and 1 from a non-science faculty. Or you can substitute these for a pre-med committee letter (i.e if you have one). You can ask for these letters from Professors who know you personally, and you have done well in their classes. It's not really a big issue. Personal statement is also not a big deal, in fact, you should do some soul searching as to why you want to be a doctor for you own purposes as well.
Pennsylvania has a lot of medical schools but with your GPA, you may only be competitive for certain schools. Granted you do well on the MCAT, you can apply to PCOM and LECOM, both DO schools. LECOM is less selective but PCOM might be the best DO school. MD schools will probably be out of question unless you really murder the MCAT. And then you'll only be competitive for Drexel and Temple. There;s a new MD school that is opening next year in Scranton, PA called commonwealth medical college. You might apply there as well. UPenn and Jefferson are definitely out of question, Hershey might still be in play since you are at Penn State. Good luck to you in your endeavors!October 26th, 2010, 05:09 AM #3
- Member Since
- Jan 2010
- New York/Pakistan
- 38 times
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