Get Into Medical School V – Joey, My Friend, I Have Special Circumstances!

Get Into Medical School V – Low GPA, No Money, Non-traditional Students?  No Problem!

In this last installment of pre-med advising blogs. I will discuss two things:

a) How to make you applications “POP”

b) How to overcome special circumstances

How to make your application “POP”:

Ok, so what to do, what to do to make you stand out? According to an article in the online magazine “”: The number of total med school applicants (including those who have applied in previous years) increased by 2.8% to 43,919 people applying for just over 19,000 open slots. Whoa! that’s crazy, and this was written in 2011! So, how do you compete with that? This means a 2.36% chance of getting in! I’ll tell you how – you must make your application packet “POP!” Far too many people dwell on making their negatives appear more positive, and they understandably do this to emit a vapor of well-roundedness. While this is good in theory, it makes everyone blend in the same. Instead, try this approach: accentuate your positives even more, and improve on these areas even more. A good people person, are you? Well, instead of trying to get a job in analytics or trying to take more math classes to prove to the admissions board that you are all “objective, analytical, and scientific,” why don’t you get a job in customer service somewhere for the summer. Although it is not med school related, it will show the board how well you are in dealing with other humans. And, hey, while you’re at it – get you a customer service certificate or rise up the ranks or something. Really accentuate your high points!

Special Circumstances:

Low GPA: This does not mean the end of the world. In fact, many MD schools will next look at your MCAT if you have a low GPA. If your MCAT is high, they figure that you can’t fake knowing the testing material, so you might have just had some hard professors for certain courses. Be sure to do well on your MCAT though if you’re in this situation! Also check this chart to see where you fall in line and evaluate your best method of attack: GPA and MCAT medical school stats

Low MCAT: This does not mean the end of the world either. In fact, if you’re GPA is high, then they may think you are not the world’s greatest test-taker. Be sure to check this chart to see where you fall in line and evaluate your best method of attack: GPA and MCAT medical school stats

Non-traditional Students: You have stability and are of sound mind at this point in your life. Your marriage(s), child or children, or age has shaped and molded you to become a mature adult student who is now focused and knows what you want. Use this to your advantage. Hey, the average accepted age for medical school students is rising! The proof is there that they want you.

Second time around Students: Remember this, it is not how you start off, but your trend towards the end. In other words, admission committees will forgive you making all D’s and F’s your first semester, but don’t let it be your last semester. Have a good reason as to why you didn’t do so hot in the beginning, but be sure that you have proof of your grades trending in an increasing manner towards the end of your undergraduate academic career. Trust me, everyone can relate to a poor first year of school or a terrible semester at some point in their undergraduate careers!

Low-income Students: There are tons of scholarships out there for those of “us” in this boat. Also, remember this one thing…you have had to work with very little to get to where you are. No mommy and daddy paying for MCAT review courses of $2,000 or more, no push in the back for college success if you are a first-generation college student…you have gotten here by what you have put in. So tell YOUR STORY!

Non-science majors: Spin this in your favor by telling the admissions committee “WHY” you chose your particular major over a science major. There is no shame in this, and statistically, non-science majors have performed just as well in medical school as non-science majors. Check out to see how non-science majors did on the MCAT in the past: non-science majors on the MCAT

Well, I have had fun writing this five-part blog and hope that it has been of assistance to you all. Please remember to be yourself at all times and feel free to send me an email if you have further questions or need help with your personal statements!

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