I have a 2.9 ugrad (Kinesiology) ... a 3.3 grad (Exercise Physiology) (MS)... some a's, b's and c's in a post-bacc (there's a good reason behind this). Now I think my Cum is 2.8 or 2.9 still... not sure.
My BS and MS suffered due to familial problems with my dad's serious cardiac complications including a mitral valve prolapse (followed with an emergency open heart mitral repair)... congestive heart failure and a myriad of serious health complications... followed with pericarditis in 2012 (followed by an emergency pericardectomy in 2012) that impacted both my UGRAD and GRAD GPA.
Because my dad was in and out of the hospital through my ugrad and grad career (with my kind of disappearing in the final semester of my grad career - impacting my grad GPA), I didn't have financial guidance and ended up taking out loans per advice of financial officers in my alma mater. I wish I knew then what I know now. :/
Because of this, I work insane hours @ >70 / week, impacting my post-bacc grades... and I cannot stop working or I'll be drowning financially. I wish I could. That's the #1 piece of advice.. stop working so much. Simple answer, unless I get a better paying job (and I get paid decently)... I can't.
my GRE right now? 151 in verbal... 148 math (I need to get this up)... 5.5 in writing. I am planning on retaking the GRE, I only studied a few days - not happy with these scores... but it's enough to scrape by.
The rest of my application? ...
Since 2012.. I was a Starbucks Barista @ 35 hours /week.
Since 2013 - 2014, I worked in Research Data Management in a Pediatric Hospital's Emergency Department. @ 20 hours / week
Since September 2013 - Present, I am the lead Exercise Physiologist running a pulmonary rehabilitation program with direct patient care, overseeing patient care, patient outcomes, exercise programs, etc... in addition I do pulmonary function testing, I am the lead on both adult and pediatric exercise challenges, I oversee and educate the complex cardiopulmonary exercise stress tests (level 1, 2, and 3 - 3 being with a right-heart cath in a potential PHT patients)... I am also on the inpatient and outpatient tobacco treatment team - all direct patient care and bedside... @ 40 hours/ week
Since March 2015 - Present I have been a research coordinator at the medical school for the hospital i work in overseeing clinical research with direct patient care/contact in a COPD population; while maintaining data integrity, and contributed to the research protocol etc... @ 15 hours / week
From November 2013 - Present Day.. I have also served as a research associate, lab manager, data research coordinator, ... I could go into more detail, but I'm still a research collaborator @ 20 hours / week
I also have been a medical volunteer for the Boston Athletic Association since 2012 as a member of their sweep team at the boston marathon and a number of small races
I also run races for the hospital team and raise money for them... since last year.
I also volunteer non-medical > 100 hours for the Salvation Army (cooking for the homeless)
I have accumulated > 4500 direct health care experience hours
I have accumulated > 5000 indirect patient / research hours
I have 9 peer reviewed publications / contributions including papers, abstracts/posters .. 2 are first author
My 4 recommendations are STRONG. All directors of their respective programs, or the chief surgical PA.. and 1 was a professor of mine (director of pathology @ hospital) <~ I have been told this.
I have had frequent communication with some admissions coordinators - some tell me b/c of my GPA there are programs who will over look me. That's inevitable. There are some who are interested in my backstory and how hard I've worked to overcome my GPA flaw. It's a big flaw.
...Anyone have any advice for me? I know I have some serious flaws, and I don't think taking MORE classes and working my ass off can help me much now... Retaking the GRE, yes.
Where have I applied?
So far I've applied to MGH and Northeastern, both state they do look at entire applications, and do consider non-traditional candidates with strong backstories if the GPA or GRE are lacking.
Where am I applying?
Yale - told me to apply with an appeal for consideration for my backstory
Temple - told me to apply with an appeal for consideration for my backstory.
EVMS - They take the highest > 3.0 GPA (my Masters)
Touro - with an appeal
Quinnipiac - with an appeal
Methodist - someone on admissions told me to apply, she was very impressed after speaking with me by accident!
Rosalind Franklin - with an appeal
Not sure where else I'll apply yet...
PS - I was a medical first responder at the Boston Marathon, that is in my personal essay
Help :( I think I'm a lost cause. This is my SECOND year applying.