Weak GPA, But Will Strong MCAT Score Get Me Into Osteopathic Medical School

My gpa is a little weak and I have had to repeat a couple classes. However my volunteer experiences, leadership experiences, and recommendations are to a great extent and I was planning to take the MCAT in January. If my MCAT score is above average, would my chances of getting into an osteopathic medical still be good or would my gpa and repeated classes because of a personal struggle I have overcome hender me?

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Jason's Response:

Medical schools understand that life happens and there are personal struggles that may prevent a person from doing well academically. Obviously I do not know the extent of your struggles but a key point would be whether the struggles were self-inflicted (not taking school seriously, etc) or significant hardships (death, illness, etc). This is a key factor and medical schools will want to know exactly what it is that prevented you from having the success you needed as an undergrad.

Additionally: How well did you do in the classes after repeating them? If there was minimal improvement that will be a red flag for admission to medical school. On the second time around it is practically expected that your grade improve dramatically because you have already seen the material before.

Unfortunately, having great volunteer experiences, leadership, and recommendations is only half the battle for admission to medical school. You have to remember the perspective of the doctors and staff which sits on the admission committee. They are going to review your application and everyone is going to ask themselves, "Can this applicant handle the rigors of medical school?" No matter what you are going to need to perform once in medical school, so the extracurriculars are more of a way for each applicant to distinguish himself after doing well academically.

Having an above average MCAT score will do a lot to help you gain admission to medical school and become a competitive applicant. You must ensure that you are doing the practice MCAT exams and being realistic about the scores you are getting because the practice tests are indicative of how you will perform on test day.

If you are where you want to be then that is great, if not then I would suggest you take time to reflect on what is working and not working in your academic preparation. You still have a lot of time before you sit from the MCAT so things can definitely improve if they need to.

Osteopathic medical schools are more accepting of applicants than allopathic medical schools and consider all aspects of your application. They consider your struggles, what you've overcome, and how you can contribute to the field of medicine. But again, I do not know what numbers you have currently, but you still need to meet minimum standards to perform in a rigorous environment of medical school whether allopathic or osteopathic medical school.

Since there are a number of variables in regards to your situation, your best avenue would be to speak with your advisors (a number of them) to get their assessment on how they think you will fare in the process of getting into medical school. I say this because you do not just want to run with one person's opinion and have a diversity of opinions will make you a better informed applicant about what you can do in the future.

Overall, if medicine is what you want and you're committed to the process continue at it and work hard; ultimately you will get where you want and need to be.

Good Luck,

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