Alternative Acceptance into Medical School
In the video above, I’ll be sharing my story of triumph after having a low MCAT score and succeeding in getting into medical school by means of a special Master’s Program. Prior to this Master’s Program, I really didn’t want to retake the MCAT. I spent hours on ends on online forums like student doctor network, quora and Reddit searching for alternatives. My research revealed that there were some schools that accepted students with low MCAT scores but my score was well below those cutoffs. Realistically, looking at the AAMC released data showing the acceptance rates of applicants based on GPA and MCAT, I had considered my options. . I considered going to a Caribbean Medical School like St. George’s, Medical School, Trinity, or Ross University. Many times, Caribbean Schools can be the easiest medical schools to get into if your stats are not as competitive. I had to be honest with myself and the truth was, I did not want to leave the country. My goal was to attend medical schools in the US, but specifically, medical schools in NYC. So, I found another option in how to get into medical school.
The Special Master’s Program
For those of you who feel you’ve hit a roadblock in your pre-med courses or MCAT journey, this is another avenue to consider in how to get into medical school despite the odds.
This Master’s Program has the same requirements as the classic prerequisites for medical school. The gateway Master’s program is a biomedical curriculum which grants you a Masters in Biological and Physical Sciences. The premise of the Master’s program is that it allows you to take the same exact courses and exams alongside first-year medical students for one school year, 10 months to be exact. At the end of the program, you are required to pass a comprehensive cumulative exam of all of the coursework completed throughout the year. If these requirements are completed, along with maintaining a cumulative 3.5 GPA, you will be granted matriculation into the incoming Medical school class.
The first year medical courses taken in this Master’s Program include:
Fall Semester Courses
Clinical Anatomy and Embryology I
Histology / Cell Biology
Law and Ethics in Medicine
Spring Semester Courses
Clinical Anatomy and Embryology II
Immunology and Microbiology
Health and Human Behavior
What challenged me the most
This master’s program challenged me in so many ways. When I looked at the syllabus during the first week of classes, I was SHOOK. One exam covered 20 lectures on the anatomy of the upper limb and back. I considered dropping out because I was only confident that I would at least pass the Anatomy course, but I didn’t think I’d be able to ace Anatomy in order to get the 3.5 minimum GPA. Anatomy is a 7 credit course, so this grade held a lot of weight on my cumulative GPA.
How I overcame my self-doubt
After speaking with my friends and family, I mustered up the confidence and courage to continue on. I found an upperclassman Mr. C who had gone through the Master’s program and was practically an Anatomy genius. He told me simply, “The person that does it, will do it”. Mr. C shared with me that everyone feels overwhelmed by anatomy and will complain. But, where does complaining get you? Nowhere. His tutoring technique managed to streamline the way I processed anatomy of every muscle, nerve, and action in the body. I began to see that it was my study technique that needed to be reprogrammed.
I needed this Master’s Program to show me that, I was more than just an MCAT score. There are even some doctors who feel the MCAT should be abolished or optional for this very reason. It showed me that I was ready and qualified to be in medical school although my MCAT score told me and the admissions’ committee that I wasn’t.
Takeaway: Please don’t allow low MCAT scores redirect your motivation of becoming a doctor. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Reinvent Yourself in ways to show that you belong where you want to be.
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