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Is there a chance my brother can get into medical school?

FlyingFeatherzFlyingFeatherz Registered User Posts: 358 Member
edited January 2013 in Pre-Med Topics
My brother just graduated as a Biology major from University of San Diego (USD) with a 2.9 GPA, which is low for US medical schools. He is planning on taking the MCAT in September, but even if he had a high score, is it possible for him to get into the Caribbean or D.O. schools? Or should he just quit and look for a job with his bio degree? What other alternatives are there now that he graduated from college?
Post edited by FlyingFeatherz on

Replies to: Is there a chance my brother can get into medical school?

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,674 Senior Member
    His chances for acceptance into a US allopathic medical school are poor, but not impossible, assuming the rest of his application is very strong.

    https://www.aamc.org/download/157450/data/table24-mcatgpagridall2008-10.pdf.pdf
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,082 Forum Champion
    Since he's planning on taking the MCAT, what does HE think about his chances for getting accepted?

    What is his science GPA?

    Is he an Underrepresented Minority?
  • FlyingFeatherzFlyingFeatherz Registered User Posts: 358 Member
    He is not a URM, he is Asian. The rest of his application is not very strong.. maybe average. He's shadowed some doctors and done some volunteer work. His scores on the MCAT practice tests have ranged from 27-29. If he can't do medical school, I don't think he has good enough grades to get into grad school. What other alternatives does he have?? What are his chances at Caribbean and D.O. schools?

    Any input would be great! My parents are very worried and I'm trying to help out my brother.. Please help!
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,082 Forum Champion
    I'm curious as to why this question is being raised now. I would have thought that by about sophomore year, your brother would have realized that he doesn't have the grades for med school....and at that point, either improve his grades....or choose another career path.


    hopefully others can post the typical stats needed for acceptance into DO and Caribbean schools. I would think that an Asian male would need more than a GPA 2.9 to get accepted to a DO school, but...maybe not.
  • XelbMSXelbMS Registered User Posts: 424 Member
    Tell him to take a Post-Bacc or an SMP. In my opinion, his best bet would be an SMP. You can read about what it is here: [url=http://****/showthread.php?t=346106]**The Official Guide to Special Masters Programs** | Postbaccalaureate Programs | Student Doctor Network[/url]
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,674 Senior Member
    He could try a GPA raising Masters. But with a 2.9 GPA and a sub 30 MCAT, he won't be in the range to get accepted ay any SMPs. (They usually want a strong MCAT score if your GPA is low.)

    I don't think his GPA & projected MCAT would make him a viable candidate for DO schools either. The average GPA for osteopathic schools is only slightly lower than allopathic schools. (Last year it was around 3.45)

    Don't know anything about FMPs except the Jaggelonian in Poland where he would not be a viable candidate for that program either.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,082 Forum Champion
    I think the elephant in the living room is....

    Why are his grades so low? If that GPA is the result of 4 years of "so so" grades, then the question is....why does he think he "has what it takes" to become a physician?

    Something just doesn't seem right with me. It's one thing to take a GPA hit because one year a person had some odd issue...but when someone wants to be a doctor and spends 4 years at a good college and emerges with a 2.9 GPA, then the question a person should be asking himself is....Am I smart enough or dedicated enough for this career choice?


    Is his goal to become a doctor something that your family expects of him regardless of his abilities and real desire?

    He is not a URM, he is Asian. The rest of his application is not very strong.. maybe average.

    My parents are very worried
  • FlyingFeatherzFlyingFeatherz Registered User Posts: 358 Member
    @mom2collegekids

    Yes, we are all disappointed in him. I'm his younger brother (going to UCLA this fall) and I'm wondering why after all of his 4 years, he still thinks he'd have a chance of getting in. According to what I have heard in our family discussions, my brother really wants to become a doctor but he obviously hasn't exerted enough effort.

    So if he can't get into SMP, what MCAT score would he need to get to stand a chance at Caribbean and D.O. schools?? Or what exactly should he do as an alternative!?!? My parents are severely depressed from all of this.. We don't want him to be a bum with no job, especially since he's coming from a 4-year private school $.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,674 Senior Member
    I'm not sure with his GPA he would be considered by DO schools even if he could get his MCAT in the 30-33 range. His GPA is simply too low.

    Here are the stats for the last 3 years for DO schools:

    http://www.aacom.org/resources/bookstore/cib/Documents/2012cib/2012cib-p12-13.pdf

    Average GPA is 3.47 and average MCAT is 29.

    For discussion of Caribbean schools, try SDN or valuemed.com

    But you and your parents should know that the odds of him a) graduating from Caribbean med school are low (most have very poor graduation rates); b) of passing his USMLE are low (only about 40% pass the USMLE Step2 clinical); and c) finding a US residency with a Caribbean degree are low (less than 40% of those who do pass the USMLE)

    His best option might be to find a job, work for a few years and if he's still interest in medicine to try a "academic record enhancing" master degree program.
  • XelbMSXelbMS Registered User Posts: 424 Member
    a) graduating from Caribbean med school are low (most have very poor graduation rates);
    -This
    b) of passing his USMLE are low (only about 40% pass the USMLE Step2 clinical);
    -This
    c) finding a US residency with a Caribbean degree are low (less than 40% of those who do pass the USMLE)
    -This x1000

    Whatever he does, make sure he STAYS AWAY from Caribbean schools. That is the ABSOLUTE LAST option he should take if he plans to practice in the U.S.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,082 Forum Champion
    I'm wondering why after all of his 4 years, he still thinks he'd have a chance of getting in. According to what I have heard in our family discussions, my brother really wants to become a doctor but he obviously hasn't exerted enough effort.


    Obviously, we don't know your brother, but some people have a "disconnect" between what they want and what they needed to do to get that want. He can "want" to be a doctor till hell freezes over, but if he didn't do what it takes, then his actions have spoken louder than his wants.

    Have you ever heard the expression..."He talks the talk, but he can't walk the walk"? It essentially means: talk is cheap.....and it means nothing if you can't follow through with action. Not only has your brother under-performed in college, but he hasn't bothered to do much in the EC or research area.


    My parents are severely depressed from all of this..We don't want him to be a bum with no job, especially since he's coming from a 4-year private school $.


    Ok...harshness alert....it's not like your brother had great grades and then last year his grades dipped and he ended up with a 2.9. Your parents have had many opportunities to pull the "checkbook penalty flag" on your brother over the last few years. At this point, your parents only have themselves to blame for paying for a pricey private year... after year...knowing his grades...and knowing that the goal was med school. If they're fine with him pursuing some other career, then no problem...if they're laser-beam focused on him becoming a doctor, then...well...they should have stipulated a 3.5 GPA minimum each semester for the checks to keep on coming.

    Frankly, I don't think anyone here would want a loved one being doctored by someone who obviously really doesn't have his heart and dedication focused on doing his best and becoming a doctor. He's not going to be able to just "wish" his patients well.

    It's very kind of you that you care so much for your brother...but why isn't he on here seeking this info?
  • FlyingFeatherzFlyingFeatherz Registered User Posts: 358 Member
    @mom2collegekids

    I agree 100% with everything you said! We don't know why he ended up this way... He really should be the one looking for this information. Sorry for all the trouble though, my parents asked me to do some researching and CC is where I came to. He's currently still in San Diego and doesn't like answering our phone calls cuz he's ashamed... it's stupid I know. My parents pushed him to do his best and have the mindset of going to med school, but they never set strict standards of keeping a steady GPA i.e. 3.5. That's where they messed up. Maybe he got lazy or partied too much? We thought he studied well.. we're clueless as to what might have been the case. The only extracurriculars he has done is Relay for Life this year and shadowing a physician every summer. I don't think that's enough even for Caribbean and D.O. schools... He has no excuse to why his GPA is so low either.

    It really seems like his chances are low from what I've been reading.. anyways, thanks everybody once again. My parents and I REALLLY appreciate the input.
  • DwalkerDwalker Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    Well he will not get into any medical or DO school..period...but he has a college degree!!! That means he will not be a bum lol...not becoming a doctor does not equal bum. He could become a nurse. He will only have to go back to school for about a half a year to do so, maybe less. He can get a biotech job or find work in a research lab (HE HAS A BIOLOGY DEGREE!) He could become a teacher even. He can be an ecologist, study environmental hazards such as pollution, the opportunities are endless. Just because he can be a doctor doesn't mean he can't do anything. Having a college degree is a lot to stand on. I suggest he find what he enjoyed the most in biology and pursue a research career in it. If all else fails, he can get another degree in a short 2 years since he already completed his generals.
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 10,894 Senior Member
    My parents pushed him to do his best and have the mindset of going to med school, but they never set strict standards of keeping a steady GPA i.e. 3.5. That's where they messed up.

    No, they did not mess up, your brother messed up, not your parents. If I were sitting in a coffee shop discussing this with your Mom and she was my friend, I would tell her NOT to fund any part of this, no MCAT, no extra degree, no application fees, no anything. But not to make him feel badly, not out of anger, just out of a reality check.


    It's time to grow up, they supported him, I assume, for 4 years of college, HE chose not to research the guidelines for med school. It is time for him to take responsibility for his choices.

    They can and should encourage him and emotionally support him, they should not fund him.

    The rule of thumb is 30 MCAT and 3.5 GPA MINIMUM, preferable higher on at least one. And that is for an average school, in CA, think 33 & 3.7 to get in. Yes, someone with a lower score and/or a lower GPA might get in somewhere, but it does not sound like your brother has set himself up to be that person. No amazing research, no incredible ECs. I am assuming those are consistent grades, not a bad freshman year, it might be possible for some one with a bad freshman year who shows a strong and consistent recovery to get it somewhere.

    He can still work in the medical field, he can pursue nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    Closing old thread.
This discussion has been closed.