Chances with mediocre MCAT but low GPA (upward trend)?

Discussion in 'Caribbean' started by spacechanger, Apr 21, 2017.

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  1. spacechanger

    spacechanger

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    Mar 23, 2017
    So I'm in the process of applying to Carib schools and wanted to know if I had any chance going in. I went to an elite/top tier undergrad school and frankly was immature and didn't study as hard as I should've. It landed me with a low sGPA (~2.6 with recent retakes/much---much lower without).

    I matured and became serious later on and did mediocre on my MCAT: 505 (70th percentile overall). I also retook a few classes at another 4-year institution after graduating and did well there. My interview with Ross was superb I'm currently awaiting a decision. I saw their average MCAT was a 496 (with AUC being near that average also).

    My recent grades in science courses are no lower than "B"s and I even have an "A" in an Ochem II lab class. Do I have a chance at direct admission to Ross (Jan term)? Do I even have a chance at admission or will I just get rejected? I'm anxiously waiting for a call.

    Also, Ross' old MCAT average was a 24 while their new MCAT average is a 496. Shouldn't the new MCAT be closer to a 498/499 vs. 496? Or are they adjusting for the difficulty of the new exam?
     
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  3. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    You're a shoo in.
     
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  4. aformerstudent

    aformerstudent Account on Hold Account on Hold

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    Mar 7, 2017
    It's possible based on the MCAT. 2.6 GPA is kinda low but these schools look at the upward trend over the last 1.5 - 2 years. Worst case you get MERPED.

    The bigger question is are you ready? Take it from me dude, those schools will chew you up and spit you out. Be ready for it if you choose to go there.
     
    Clarus likes this.
  5. Goro

    Goro 7+ Year Member

    As long as you're breathing and can write a tuition check, you're in.

    But don't attend unless you really like the idea of being deeply in debt and driving for Uber, or stocking shelves at Walmart.

     
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  6. PossibleDOC?

    PossibleDOC?

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    Mar 30, 2016

    With a 505 and this elite undergrad education, why don't you just spend a year or two doing some DIY post bacc classes, increase the GPA and then apply. The standardized testing isn't the problem considering the MCAT tests science knowledge and test taking skills and since (judging from the 2.6) you clearly didn't have all of the science knowledge going in but you obviously rest well which is a good skill to have, it may be wise to try and bump that gpa up it would serve you better
     
    Goro likes this.
  7. ^=w6bF_

    ^=w6bF_

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    Mar 18, 2017
    I don't know much about Carib schools. Is it really hard to get into an internship after you've graduated?
     
  8. Goro

    Goro 7+ Year Member

    Odd are no better than 25% from matriculation. 50/50 at best if you make it through the thresher. Their business model is dependent upon uniformed marks like you.

    The point here isn't that there are successful Carib grads. The point is how many additional obstacles to success you face by going to a Carib school.
    Do not be swayed by anecdotes, which is the best that Carib lotto winners can give you to justify thier now risky decisions. I'm giving data.

    Quoting the wise gyngyn:

    "The pool of US applicants from the Caribbean is viewed differently by Program Directors. The DDx for a Caribbean grad is pretty off-putting: bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification, IA's, legal problems, weak research skills, high risk behavior. This is not to say that all of them still have the quality that drew them into this situation. There is just no way to know which ones they are. Some PD's are in a position where they need to, or can afford to take risks too! So, some do get interviews.


    Bad grades and scores are the least of the deficits from a PD's standpoint. A strong academic showing in a Caribbean medical school does not erase this stigma. It fact it increases the perception that the reason for the choice was on the above-mentioned list!

    Just about everyone from a Caribbean school has one or more of these problems and PDs know it. That's why their grads are the last choice even with a high Step 1 score.

    There was a time when folks whose only flaw was being a late bloomer went Carib, but those days are gone. There are a number of spots at US schools with grade replacement for these candidates."


    It's likely you'll be in the bottom half or two thirds of the class that gets dismissed before Step 1. The business plan of a Carib school depends on the majority of the class not needing to be supported in clinical rotations. They literally can't place all 250+ of the starting class at clinical sites (educational malpractice, really. If this happened at a US school, they be shut down by LCME or COCA, and sued.

    The Carib (and other offshore) schools have very tenuous, very expensive, very controversial relationships with a very small number of US clinical sites. You may think you can just ask to do your clinical rotations at a site near home. Nope. You may think you don't have to worry about this stuff. Wrong.

    And let's say you get through med school in the Carib and get what you need out of the various clinical rotation scenarios. Then you are in the match gamble. I don't need to say a word about this - you can find everything you need to know at nrmp.org.

    You really need to talk to people who made it through Carib into residency, and hear the story from them. How many people were in their class at the start, how many are in it now? How long did it take to get a residency, and how did they handle the gap year(s) and their student loans? How many residencies did they apply to, how many interviews did they get, and were any of the programs on their match list anything like what they wanted?

    A little light reading:

    Million $ Mistake

    Medical School at SGU





     
    ^=w6bF_ and osMOLARity like this.
  9. the argus

    the argus 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 3, 2015
    Goro has been copying and pasting some version of this same diatribe for years in any thread that has anything to do with Caribbean medical schools. 2 very important points to remember,

    1. Most of what he writes is just complete nonsense. He literally says "Do not be swayed by anecdotes ... I'm giving data," and then proceeds to rattle off a bunch of anecdotes with almost no data. And the few percentages and numbers he does mention are just patently made up.

    2. He is a non-physician PhD who teaches basic science at an osteopathic medical school. He has absolutely zero experience or expertise that would qualify him to make the assertions that he does above. This has been pointed out numerous times, and even he must now realize it, because recently he's started qualifying this diatribe as "Quoting the wise gyngyn."

    Maybe this all originated from gyngyn, I don't know. But I do know that gyngyn had already replied to this thread, so you would think he would be able to write this himself if he wanted. And also, when it comes to this topic, I have never found gyngyn to be all that wise. He repeatedly brags that the hospital he's affiliated with doesn't hire US-IMGs and that the residency program he's affiliated with doesn't consider US-IMGs. So if he doesn't work with US-IMGs, and doesn't train US-IMGs, how would he possibly know so much about them? Curious really...

    EDIT: an example of what I'm talking about from a 9/7/16 post in another thread,
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  10. aformerstudent

    aformerstudent Account on Hold Account on Hold

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    Mar 7, 2017
    I agree with this. I want to add one more thing. Focus on only SGU or Ross. There is absolutely no reason someone can't get into either one of those schools at some point. Any other school in the Caribbean is not worth it. I still say the Caribbean is a gamble based on what I experienced but if you put in the work required and go in with the right attitude, I think you can successfully make it out of SGU or Ross because I have seen it with my own eyes.

    Before going the Caribbean route you really have to be educated about these schools and how they work. I think there is plenty of information on these boards to figure that out but be careful of asking people who never attended a Caribbean school. It's really easy to say "don't go to the Caribbean" when you're not the one in that position.

    Just know that the Caribbean is an option but it's not a decision to take lightly at all. I believe that to survive a Caribbean medical school you need two types of education. You need scientific knowledge and you also need Caribbean medical school business model knowledge.
     
  11. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    Expertise is acquired through study and practice. One need not personally experience something to become an expert.
    By your logic, a man could not be an expert obstetrician or gynecologist.

    Bragging implies proud or boastful talk about achievements. I have done neither. I have reported facts at my school.

    I have learned both by study and the unfortunate experiences of my former students how the Caribbean schools work. My posts are intended to inform and dissuade the vulnerable, not disparage those who were fortunate enough to have matched from there.

    Though it is true that my own program does not consider Caribbean grads, I do have a broad experience of Program Directors who generously share their views on these matters. We meet annually for at least a week every year.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
    The Wobblie, Goro and bankaix808 like this.
  12. the argus

    the argus 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 3, 2015
    If we're gonna worry about semantics, I'd encourage you and Goro to discuss the word disparage,

    "The pool of US applicants from the Caribbean is viewed differently by Program Directors. The DDx for a Caribbean grad is pretty off-putting: bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification, IA's, legal problems, weak research skills, high risk behavior"

    "A strong academic showing in a Caribbean medical school does not erase this stigma. It fact it increases the perception that the reason for the choice was on the above-mentioned list!"

    "Just about everyone from a Caribbean school has one or more of these problems and PDs know it. That's why their grads are the last choice even with a high Step 1 score."


    Besides the fact that it's just complete nonsense, I'm not sure you could be more disparaging when talking about "those who were fortunate enough to have matched from there."

    But my main problem isn't even all this insults, I don't get offended by things written on an anonymous website. My main problem is just the falsehoods and complete lack of reality instead of actually discussing the pros and cons of going to the Caribbean for medical school.
     
  13. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    If it is your assertion that this list is not accurate (it was compiled from PD's that consider Caribbean grads), I would welcome your observations to explain Caribbean matriculation.
    Warning applicants that they may be viewed this way is not disparaging. It is a reflection of reality and a counterpoint to relentless advertising put out by these places.
    Those who have been able to overcome these perceptions deserve their Match. I congratulate you.
    I do not recommend the Caribbean for anyone who stands a remote chance of US matriculation. I am profoundly concerned by the predatory recruitment practices that have duped thousands.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  14. the argus

    the argus 2+ Year Member

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    So just to be clear then, what Goro is posting is hearsay of hearsay (he is saying what you say other people say).

    What do I think drives Caribbean matriculation? People wanting to go to medical school that can't get into US schools. I'm not bold (or foolish) enough to presume what drives individual choices, and I certainly wouldn't attribute a long list of horrible characteristics to a group of thousands of people per year that I've never met.

    As I've stated before, I would have no problem with you or anyone else presenting these things as your opinion. But presenting them as some universal truth is laughable.

    And if you were really serious about the plight of students at these schools, then your concern should be directed toward the US medical education system. It's this system that completely fails to meet the needs of the US residency system, even though there's obviously a capable pool of US citizen applicants available.

    The only reason Caribbean schools exist is the deficiencies of the US medical education system run by people of your and Goro's generation.
     
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  15. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    My opinion is based on my observations, the reasons given to me directly by applicants and the opinions shared with me by PD's who actually consider Caribbean grads.
    Applicants to these places deserve to know how they will be affected by this decision.
    No one has a monopoly on the truth.
    I am serious. I have dedicated my life to medical education.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  16. Skip Intro

    Skip Intro Registered User 10+ Year Member

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    Okay, I'll bite.

    I've talked about this a lot on this forum. There were people who de-boarded from plane, turned around, and flew out on the next flight. There were ones who got to Gross Anatomy and sum, "Umm. No thanks!" There were ones who failed out. There were others who dropped out, "decelled", and others who just couldn't hack it. Overall, I'd estimate the attrition/decel rate to be around 40% of my class. I do remember a couple of "oddballs" who, frankly, should never have been there in the first place.

    One guy specifically stands out, and it was actually quite sad. He clearly had a major personality and/or Asperger's type problem. He was a nice guy, but he just was never going to make it. I would like to say that I fault the school for not weeding him out before he got to the island, but then again he got his chance. (If I recall correctly, he'd already failed out or been dismissed from Nova/Southeastern.)

    When I graduated, there were about 465 students at graduation. At the time, it was the largest class. I personally did not have friends, or know of anyone directly, who graduated who didn't get a residency spot. (You can look at the 2005 graduating list on their website and see how many placements there were.)

    I can only speak for myself and several of my friends, but we got into residency through the Match on the first attempt. One of my classmates is now a pediatric oncologist. Another is an assistant professor of surgery and critical care at a major (and internationally known) midwestern medical school. Many of the graduates in my class have faculty appointments at U.S. universities and are actively teaching U.S. medical students and residents.

    I don't personally know anyone who had a "gap" year. I had a friend who struggled on the Steps because of poor English skills mostly (second language). He actually failed Step 3 twice while in residency. He is now in private practice in the Chicago area in psychiatry.

    Again, I've talked about this before. Most of my classmates went on 6-8 interviews. Most of them match in their top 3. Most were in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. I matched at my #2 in Anesthesiology. I had ample interviews.

    -Skip
     

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