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warwagon

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This was my second year applying to med and my first interview, following which I got a rejection letter. When I began thinking about med school I knew my chances were slim as my GPA is quite low (3.4) and MCAT is 509. I figured what would strengthen my application was my work experience in the trades, in which I had leadership roles over 7 years working for the same company. However I only received 5/17 on my ECs (I also had volunteering, some research experience, athletics ect.). 

As I am a bit older I do not want to do a second undergrad just to increase my GPA, I would prefer to do a masters degree (I am also very interested is research my med is my first choice, and I have a PI willing to take me on) so I further myself and open more opportunities, but I realize that it won't do much for my GPA. 

Is my best bet to do a masters then apply again, while still having a PhD as a possible back up plan, will having a master degree make much difference? Or is it most likely that getting an interview this year was a fluke and I should not expect to get another giving my stats are so low, and I should focus on the MSc/PhD route?

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no disrespect but I know of several applicants with a much higher GPA and the same if not higher MCAT and EC score not get an interview to UofA....I'm really perplexed how you even got the interview since your GPA is extremely below average (3.4 compared to 3.8), your EC score is below average (5/17 compared to 6/17), and your MCAT is also below average (509 compared to 512) from IP people who got an interview....

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I think I only got an interview because I qualified as a rural applicant, but I'm not sure. 

Anyways looking at my scores I'm equally surprised, which is why I'm wondering in the future if a master's degree would help compensate for a lower GPA.

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I respectively disagree with the above comments about low GPA and MCAT score. There are many IP applicants that get interviews and are accepted to the U of A with lower scores. Med schools are moving away from prioritizing these scores in an application because it doesn’t reflect on whether someone will be a good clinician. 

If you want to go back for a masters that’s awesome! Maybe also try focusing on improving your ECs over the summer? Ultimately they are looking for well rounded people. And definitely apply again next year!  

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14 minutes ago, ESaunders said:

I respectively disagree with the above comments about low GPA and MCAT score. There are many IP applicants that get interviews and are accepted to the U of A with lower scores. Med schools are moving away from prioritizing these scores in an application because it doesn’t reflect on whether someone will be a good clinician. 

If you want to go back for a masters that’s awesome! Maybe also try focusing on improving your ECs over the summer? Ultimately they are looking for well rounded people. And definitely apply again next year!  

@ESaunders As much as I agree with you, the comment re: masters is a fair one... it won't help to boost GPA but if you wanted to do it for your professional development otherwise then it is fair. 

If you look at YesICan's post history (as I have recalled over the years) you'll know the poster has a way of posting ... non-diplomatically to borderline inflammatory to say the least. @warwagon try not to let those comments discourage you.  

- G

 

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49 minutes ago, GH0ST said:

@ESaunders As much as I agree with you, the comment re: masters is a fair one... it won't help to boost GPA but if you wanted to do it for your professional development otherwise then it is fair. 

If you look at YesICan's post history (as I have recalled over the years) you'll know the poster has a way of posting ... non-diplomatically to borderline inflammatory to say the least. @warwagon try not to let those comments discourage you.  

- G

 

I said nothing that was "inflammatory" in my post...I just said facts based on the interview stats but ok ...

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For fear of this thread getting derailed this will be my last post on the matter but see below...

7 minutes ago, YesIcan55 said:

I said nothing that was "inflammatory" in my post...I just said facts based on the interview stats but ok ...

On 5/15/2019 at 8:34 PM, YesIcan55 said:

no disrespect but I know of several applicants with a much higher GPA and the same if not higher MCAT and EC score not get an interview to UofA....I'm really perplexed how you even got the interview since your GPA is extremely below average (3.4 compared to 3.8), your EC score is below average (5/17 compared to 6/17), and your MCAT is also below average (509 compared to 512) from IP people who got an interview....

The OP was asking about whether or not he should focus on the graduate route... no need to take the jab at the poster being "shocked" at "how [they] even got the interview"

You do this a lot in many different contexts so I doubt you'll change. 

Back on track I hope this answers your question @warwagon. Best wishes and hope that whatever path you decide works out. 

- G

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Hi OP,

Obviously a masters/PhD won't do anything for your raw gpa but it will help with the subjective academic merit portion (can't tell if u of A cares, u of c is 10% i believe of pre interview). Given your stats it is more than likely that you got an interview based on your rural designation but don't worry about that. You still got an interview with that and may get another interview based on that next year. So what I would suggest is make sure you absolutely rock your interview. Prepare like crazy and work on those skills. Obviously you can't guarantee you will get another interview but I don't see the rural quota going away any time soon. 
Since the scoring is a bit of a mystery it may be difficult for you to overcome the scoring deficit and thus I would also suggest going down the road of Masters/PhD so you at least are getting towards your backup plan if Med doesn't work out. Trying to get your MCAT up to a 512 or 513 i think would pay real dividends to overcoming what is lacking in GPA

Best of Luck

J  

Edited by jp123

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