December 23, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
However, no matter how much you plan or prepare, very often things do not work out as planned. Unexpected obstacles may throw you off course and you may find that your GPA is below 3.65, which is the average GPA for applying to medical school. Is there any way to make up for this?
Fortunately, if your GPA is considered not up to par for the schools you plan on applying to, there are a few things you can do to improve your GPA. Post baccalaureate courses offer you an excellent opportunity to take any pre-med classes that are required and convince the admission offices that you are capable of doing well in advanced science classes. If you already completed the mandatory courses but still need to improve your GPA, enrolling in and completing a special master’s degree program is an effective way to improve your GPA and help you get called for that interview.
If additional schooling is the last alternative and only something you would consider if there were no other options, you can choose to take some time off in the form of a gap year. A gap year can help by giving you the time you need to develop a more impressive application. Of course, putting your gap year to good use is absolutely crucial. Spending time shadowing a doctor or enrolling in a medical placement program in a developing countries are two of the best activities you can indulge in during this time. Both of these activities involve getting some first-hand, practical experience into the medical profession and can add much needed weight to your application. Details of your shadowing or placement experience are sure to overshadow your less than stellar GPA.
If you are still an undergraduate and have a low GPA because of a bumpy freshman year, there’s no need to worry. The best thing you can do is focus on doing better. Medical schools will almost always take into account the pattern of your academic performance through the years and would want to see your grades improve in your other years, especially in science courses.
Your last trump card is the personal statement that you need to submit with your applications for medical school. This is your opportunity to promote your candidacy by explaining any circumstances that led to your low GPA or just making yourself stand out with your other activities.