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RN applying to med school: low GPA; what are my options??


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Honestly you'd be better off becoming an NP, having autonomy sooner, looking after relatively lower acuity patients fairly independently while making decent money and likely having benefits as well. Medicine isn't worth going into hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, especially not USD in another country away from your social network and then being forced to write the USMLE in addition to Canadian exams.

If you were aggressive it would take you at least 2 years to build your application for a medical school--ex. 2 years at 3.8 minimum, 3.9+ preferable in a second undergrad plus multiple longitudinal extracurriculars, and study/perform well on the MCAT on your first attempt, assuming everything went as planned.

Right now with that GPA I'm not aware of any school that you would be competitive at, though I have never looked into foreign schools.

I would recommend against pursuing medicine. Your quality of life and physical/mental health will likely be better off as well.

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@freewheeler 

I do not want to pursue anything at all related to nursing anymore.  Basically, mindset-wise, I feel MD or nothing at this point so I'll do whatever I have to do to get into a med school.

Regarding your comment on increasing my GPA... excluding doing a second undergrad option, do you have any comment on creating a "DIY post bacc" through the university I went to and taking a full course load as a continuing student to increase my GPA? / regarding applying to other post bacc programs - my search in Canada was inconclusive and for the USA, I need to do more research (not even sure if would meet the admission cut off)

 

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Honestly dude I have no idea. Admissions requirements/prerequisites change on an almost yearly basis at least in Canada. There will be other members on this forum who can give you a better idea of the landscape of foreign MD applications, but honestly I am skeptical of the MD or bust mindset. The path to pursue medicine is long and arduous enough, with your situation you are also digging yourself out of a large hole with a GPA of 2.3 and you would need to perform quite the 180 to increase your GPA to a competitive level. Then most schools tend to look at cumulative GPA for which you would essentially be non-competitive for. Following that there are the LORs, ECs, MCAT and interviews which you would have to do. The financial burden, the training process itself. Medicine is just a job at the end of the day, nothing to be idolized. My 0.02 save your time, money, health, and peace of mind.

You'll probably ignore what I just wrote and that's fine, just try to understand why I'm saying this. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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@freewheeler @YesIcan55 thank you both for your replies (i'm a noob on this site.. not sure if i'm supposed to just reply or tag you each time).  I can obviously see how insane of a process it can be to get accepted.  To say on this post that I will buckle down, get myself extremely in order in whatever plan I decide to do and start pulling A's doesn't do me or the readers justice, because only I know I can improve my situation for the future. 

regarding not doing a second UG - i am not keen currently on doing a second undergrad because of my age, and the time to complete it.  therefore, i am looking into post bacc options. it would not be time efficient to complete a second undergrad if i decided to apply to the Caribbean, as I could most likekly get pre-req's done in a shorter time.  i understand your point about me trying to seriously think rationally and i'm trying to take that to heart because i know this is an extreme jump 

if it comes to it, i would apply to Ross for Sept if I meet the criteria; after starting, i understand I would I would have to accept the various considerations that would come with pursuing this route in my shoes (the possibility of not keeping up and failing, maybe this route isn't for me for a good reason, factoring time and moeny, passing but not matching in canada, etc). 

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Could a post-bac actually bring your GPA up that much? Even at DO schools in the US I feel like Canadians have to have what would still be considered halfway decent stats. I would heavily suggest researching match rates etc before going Caribbean, it's no easy thing to come back after going there. I have friends who went there that had 3.3-3.5 GPAs and barely passed, I would caution not to assume you have the ability to handle super intense science-based courses.

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There is no shortcut to medicine. When you think about it , that is a good thing for all of us patients. 

The alternate paths you propose are full of roadblocks with strong likelihood of failure and very high debt.  I don't think you could get in anywhere with a 2.3 GPA.  If you did, you need to think about why a school would accept someone with no track record of being able excel. 

Your only path to Medicine is to start another undergrad and achieve +2 years  of atleast 3.8  (preferably 3.9) GPA.  You need to be able to prove to yourself you can achieve a high GPA and hone excellent time management skills.  Medical school is much harder again with high volume of content coming at you.   It is like drinking from a fire hose.

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As others have said -  don't discount Nurse Practitioner.  You are already partway down that path.  You would need a few years of practicing as an RN and then attend a school like UofT for equivalent of Masters in Nursing.  There will be high demand for nurse practitioners.

 

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thank you guys for your replies regarding the carib route.  particularly to @canadianguy7 .. I'm halfway through reading https://milliondollarmistake.wordpress.com/ and now I comprehend why I need to change my plans.

does anyone have any comment on BS to MD programs? ... I've acknowledged NP and a few other healthcare professions.  i'm sure readers above have recognized my stubbornness; however, i'm trying to convey that I feel adamant about pursuing medicine ( MD ).

^I'm from Ontario, Canada. does anyone have any insight or comment regarding admissions for Canadian's into those BS to MD/ direct pathway type of programs/ or possibly a post bacc with a lower end GPA requirement schools in the states?  

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29 minutes ago, EmergMed23 said:

thank you guys for your replies regarding the carib route.  particularly to @canadianguy7 .. I'm halfway through reading https://milliondollarmistake.wordpress.com/ and now I comprehend why I need to change my plans.

does anyone have any comment on BS to MD programs? ... I've acknowledged NP and a few other healthcare professions.  i'm sure readers above have recognized my stubbornness; however, i'm trying to convey that I feel adamant about pursuing medicine ( MD ).

^I'm from Ontario, Canada. does anyone have any insight or comment regarding admissions for Canadian's into those BS to MD/ direct pathway type of programs/ or possibly a post bacc with a lower end GPA requirement schools in the states?  

Curious, why do you want to pursue medicine instead of NP?

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If you want to enter a MD school your only chance is some sketch foreign or low end school like the Carib. If you want to take the risk you can go ahead with your plan to go to Ross. However, your life will almost be certainly better if you did anything else other than that (e.g. continue with nursing, become a NP, quit healthcare for another career, etc.)

With your current stats, you have 0% chance at Canadian programs and near 0% chance at American allopathic programs.

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1 hour ago, EmergMed23 said:

does anyone have any comment on BS to MD programs? ... I've acknowledged NP and a few other healthcare professions.  i'm sure readers above have recognized my stubbornness; however, i'm trying to convey that I feel adamant about pursuing medicine ( MD ).

^I'm from Ontario, Canada. does anyone have any insight or comment regarding admissions for Canadian's into those BS to MD/ direct pathway type of programs/ or possibly a post bacc with a lower end GPA requirement schools in the states?  

 

When you say BS to MD I assume you mean combined early entry programs that some USA schools have.  It is for candidates straight out of high school where they essentially get MD school acceptance up front.   It still takes same length of time of 7-8 years.  You do the 3-4 year undergrad first and as long as you meet the GPA (and MCAT) criteria you get med school acceptance at that school.  They are highly competitive, have limited enrollment, and require high marks to get in. Really,  it is competition between the schools to secure the best students.   I'm not sure if they would accept international students.

The only place that is done in Canada is at Queens where they offer early entry to about 10 students a year (Google Quarms).

Post Bacc work wont offset a really low undergrad GPA in either Canada or USA.  It is a path many candidates do take to try to help offset a marginal undergrad GPA. Maybe a candidate has a 3.8 GPA and did not get (m)any interviews.   Doing a Masters can strengthen your position by adding more to your CV  (maybe in research) and gives more time to expand on ECs.   Some schools have a seperate interview stream for grad students.  

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23 hours ago, EmergMed23 said:

SA: explained my situation to an admissions advisor and she said even if I excel in the MEP course and kill the MCAT, I would possibly have to do another 2 years at uni to up my GPA to be able to be slightly competitive to apply to US schools.  Please give your thoughts/ideas on routes for me to get into US schools

Nope. 

IF you kill the MCAT(unlikely) and do 2 full years of full-time and get straight A's, then MAYBE you could be more competitive than you currently are.

But if you are able to pull that off, a Big IF, then you would also be competitive at Queens, and UWO in Canada.  

Trying to get a 4.0 and a Killer MCAT from a 2.3 in nursing is going to be a big jump. But anything is possible?

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There are no shortcuts. Without a competitive GPA at a minimum, you are dead in the water! The long route is the only shortest route for you. Otherwise, forget it. Going to the Caribbean would be a huge waste of time and money. It is a total dead end for you. Your present chances of a Med school acceptance in North America are zero.  You need a second bachelors degree in full time studies carrying a full course load with a competitive GPA. 

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14 hours ago, Bambi said:

There are no shortcuts. Without a competitive GPA at a minimum, you are dead in the water! The long route is the only shortest route for you. Otherwise, forget it. Going to the Caribbean would be a huge waste of time and money. It is a total dead end for you. Your present chances of a Med school acceptance in North America are zero.  You need a second bachelors degree in full time studies carrying a full course load with a competitive GPA. 

^ so I'm contemplating the second undergrad degree as mentioned.  I know there are tons of resources/ pages on the forum about pursuing a second degree particularly for increasing the GPA.  however, do you or any other posters have any comment on a smart bet regarding the program to apply to based on my situation? .. or just something particularly 'easy' then just get all my science/'pre-req' courses completed and ensuring I carry a full course load.  (*moving forwards with a second ug with a competitive GPA.. if i am to apply to US/Canada schools after, I understand I'll have to know how each individual school views transcript/ cGPA for second-degree students)

I just emailed my BScN academic advisor to ask for further information on starting/ enrolling in a second undergrad at the university I just graduated from

 

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1 hour ago, EmergMed23 said:

^ so I'm contemplating the second undergrad degree as mentioned.  I know there are tons of resources/ pages on the forum about pursuing a second degree particularly for increasing the GPA.  however, do you or any other posters have any comment on a smart bet regarding the program to apply to based on my situation? .. or just something particularly 'easy' then just get all my science/'pre-req' courses completed and ensuring I carry a full course load.  (*moving forwards with a second ug with a competitive GPA.. if i am to apply to US/Canada schools after, I understand I'll have to know how each individual school views transcript/ cGPA for second-degree students)

I just emailed my BScN academic advisor to ask for further information on starting/ enrolling in a second undergrad at the university I just graduated from

 

I would suggest something like health science or biomedical science. Science courses are pretty easy to get high marks if you put in the effort, since they're pretty objective. 

 

But take orgo chem in the summer lol 

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37 minutes ago, orthoooo said:

I would suggest something like health science or biomedical science. Science courses are pretty easy to get high marks if you put in the effort, since they're pretty objective. 

 

But take orgo chem in the summer lol 

At McMaster, apparently you can't apply to the second-degree option for those two programs (health sci, biomedical science) as per the guideline below:

Second Degree Applicants

Admission is by selection. If you have a first non-Honours degree, you may apply to take an Honours second degree in the same subject area or a second degree in another discipline. Please note the following exceptions for second degree consideration at McMaster: B.Arts Sc (Arts and Science), B.Com. (Bachelor of Commerce), B.Com. (Honours), B.Com. (Honours) Integrated Business and Humanities, B.H.Sc. (Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)), B.Sc. (Honours) Integrated Science (ISCI), B.Sc. (Honours) Kinesiology, B.F.A. (Honours), any Honours Multimedia program, B. Eng. BME and B.H.Sc. Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences. The programs listed above cannot be pursued as second degrees. This guideline is set out in the General Academic Regulations.

https://future.mcmaster.ca/admission/process/returning/

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I understand there are no shortcuts to getting accepted to a US/Canada school (and for good reason) but I'd be keen on getting the ball rolling like a Sept 2019 second degree start possibly

^ can anyone comment on going to athabasca in my shoes.... increasing gpa/ completing science courses at an acceptable full course load to subsequently apply to US/Canada.  I am researching myself but if you can copy/ paste a particular forum thread that seems relevantly helpful, please do 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, EmergMed23 said:

At McMaster, apparently you can't apply to the second-degree option for those two programs (health sci, biomedical science) as per the guideline below:

Second Degree Applicants

Admission is by selection. If you have a first non-Honours degree, you may apply to take an Honours second degree in the same subject area or a second degree in another discipline. Please note the following exceptions for second degree consideration at McMaster: B.Arts Sc (Arts and Science), B.Com. (Bachelor of Commerce), B.Com. (Honours), B.Com. (Honours) Integrated Business and Humanities, B.H.Sc. (Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)), B.Sc. (Honours) Integrated Science (ISCI), B.Sc. (Honours) Kinesiology, B.F.A. (Honours), any Honours Multimedia program, B. Eng. BME and B.H.Sc. Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences. The programs listed above cannot be pursued as second degrees. This guideline is set out in the General Academic Regulations.

https://future.mcmaster.ca/admission/process/returning/

------

I understand there are no shortcuts to getting accepted to a US/Canada school (and for good reason) but I'd be keen on getting the ball rolling like a Sept 2019 second degree start possibly

^ can anyone comment on going to athabasca in my shoes.... increasing gpa/ completing science courses at an acceptable full course load to subsequently apply to US/Canada.  I am researching myself but if you can copy/ paste a particular forum thread that seems relevantly helpful, please do 

 

 

 

Athabasca degree programs will be just as acceptable as any other degree program. But doing a full course load distance Ed can be a huge amount of work and can require a lot of self discipline. I found it really difficult to time manage just doing one course at a time. But others have done it. 

Maybe take a step back and think about what you might want to do if you don’t get into medical school. Or if you don’t get in on the first try and need to continue taking a second degree for more than just the best next two years. Ideally, if you’re going to spend all this time on a second degree it would be beneficial for it to be something you’re interested in that may also provide you with back up career options that you’ll be happy with if you don’t get into medicine. That may help you narrow your focus onto some particular programs.

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2 minutes ago, frenchpress said:

Athabasca degree programs will be just as acceptable as any other degree program. But doing a full course load distance Ed can be a huge amount of work and can require a lot of self discipline. I found it really difficult to time manage just doing one course at a time. But others have done it. 

Maybe take a step back and think about what you might want to do if you don’t get into medical school. Or if you don’t get in on the first try and need to continue taking a second degree for more than just the best next two years. Ideally, if you’re going to spend all this time on a second degree it would be beneficial for it to be something you’re interested in that may also provide you with back up career options that you’ll be happy with if you don’t get into medicine. That may help you narrow your focus onto some particular programs.

i'm most likely passing my nclex-rn on the first try coming up shortly.... and i have an RPN job currently --> to transition into an RN position isn't a very stressful concern for me.  RPN or RN money will be sustainable; obviously more so a full-time RN hospital position. 

 

in regards to the second degree (Mac or Athabasca), for my situation, any comment on the likeliness that I can apply to schools as a second-degree applicant and only have to do the first 2 or 3 years, instead of a full 4 year?  

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19 minutes ago, EmergMed23 said:

i'm most likely passing my nclex-rn on the first try coming up shortly.... and i have an RPN job currently --> to transition into an RN position isn't a very stressful concern for me.  RPN or RN money will be sustainable; obviously more so a full-time RN hospital position. 

 

in regards to the second degree (Mac or Athabasca), for my situation, any comment on the likeliness that I can apply to schools as a second-degree applicant and only have to do the first 2 or 3 years, instead of a full 4 year?  

Even if you see yourself doing nursing as a back up career now, after doing another degree full time for several years, will you find it easy or likely that you’ll want to return to nursing? It can be difficult to go back to an area when you haven’t done it for multiple years. (I feel like I’ve forgotten everything practical about my old career after only a year and a half away). Why not study something new you could see yourself sticking with?

Your ability to to get in to medical school after only 2 or 3 years in a second degree will really depend on how you perform. Just going in and getting spectacular grades first semester can be really tough — if you did poorly in the past, it may take a semester or two to learn better study habits, figure out good time management, etc, even if you do ultimately have what it takes to excel. So at this point it’s hard to say what your chances are — realistically I think you should be prepared for the likelihood that you’ll need to apply more than once, and even then, you may not get in. It’s the unfortunate path a lot of people on this forum take.

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20 hours ago, EmergMed23 said:

 do you or any other posters have any comment on a smart bet regarding the program to apply to based on my situation? .. or just something particularly 'easy' then just get all my science/'pre-req' courses completed and ensuring I carry a full course load.  (*moving forwards with a second ug with a competitive GPA.. if i am to apply to US/Canada schools after, I understand I'll have to know how each individual school views transcript/ cGPA for second-degree students)

 

Follow your interests, you will likely do better. I am not advising this but I notice many acceptées have studied geography. Remember, what is easy for one student may be difficult or tedious for another. Take a look at kin or exercise science, the material is voluminous and therefore, requires hard work, but it is not particularly difficult, and could be helpful. Good luck! :P

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For those suggesting NP, you will be extremely hard pressed to find a NP program who will admit a 2.3 nursing gpa, I don’t know of any in Canada honestly  (I’m a RN who is debating between NP and MD). Most programs require a 3.0-3.5 minimum. And usually the minimum won’t get you accepted. I don’t actually think that’s an option for OP anyways.

OP in my opinion if you want to pursue med in Canada or US you will need a second undergrad or enough full time credits in a 2nd undergrad to improve your gpa to an acceptable level. Even overseas/carrib schools will be hard to get accepted with a 2.3.

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OP I would think long and hard about pursuing this pathway. Be 100% sure that this is what you actually want and not some idealized view.

The pathway in front of you is no simple feat. As someone who took this path and was successful, I can tell you my approach was calculated. I did my research and went all in to the point that I had nothing extra I could've possibly given. Looking at the current state of where CaRMS is going and the sacrifices you will have to make, I caution you to think of the weight and cost of such a journey.

Not to discourage but to be realistic.

I wish you all the best

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