As of no surprise having a strong GPA and a good MCAT score is very important when applying to medical school, but what do you do when your GPA or MCAT score is not as strong as some other medical school applicants? If your GPA is not strong with at least a 3.5 or have a low MCAT score here are three things that you can do after college to still become a physician.
If you already have the prerequisites for medical school then this option maybe good for you. The list below is the most common requirements for medical schools, but you should check with the medical school you are wanting to apply to for an exact list.
- two semesters of biology with laboratory (up to four semesters at some schools)
- two semesters of inorganic chemistry with laboratory
- two semesters of organic chemistry with laboratory
- two semesters of math, at least one in calculus (for some schools)
- two semesters of physics with laboratory
- two semesters of English and/or writing
If you choose this option you should make sure the masters program is designed to help you prepare for admission to medical school. Often times these schools will work with you in securing an interview for the medical school you are wanting to apply to.
This option can be great if you need to take the required science classes or want to show medical schools that you can perform well in higher level science classes. This is a path that many students take before entering medical school.
DO and Caribbean Medical Schools
These schools can be great for students who want to practice medicine. If you are not familiar with a DO degree, it stands for doctor of osteopathic medicine and is very similar to a MD degree or allopathic degree. DO medical students take the same classes (except for an additional class for DO students) and use the same textbooks. DO students can also apply to the same residencies as MD students. The main difference and really the only difference between the two is that DO students are trained to use a muscular skeletal approach to treating patients in addition to providing the same care as a MD student.
There are three main Caribbean medical schools that are famous for taking US and CAN students and successfully placing them in a US residency. These schools are Ross, AUC, and St. George. Attending a school in the caribbean will make it more difficult to get a competitive residency spot, but it can still be done and is done every year. Residencies that are not competitive or have a mid range competitiveness include things like Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and OBGYN. There are also fellowships that you can do after you complete a residency and a fellowship that you get depends more on where you do your residency instead of the medical school you graduated from. Internal Medicine has some of the most fellowships and can include things like ICU, Cardiology, and Endocrinology.
These schools are not necessarily easy to get into, the average GPA and MCAT scores for a DO school and a Caribbean school is about a 3.4 and a 26 respectably.