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GPA enhancement programs: SMPs, postbacs et al...June 2009 List

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by DrMidlife, 06.24.09.

  1. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    My main point was that the poster has a 3.4-3.5 and doesn't need a SMP to get into med school. As far as SMP performance, I agree with Dr. Midlife that you have to do well and it's not easy to do so. You won't have any idea how hard med students study until you get into med school, and at a lot of SMPs you need to exceed the med school averages substantially in order to get As.

  2. klmnop

    klmnop SuperSenior Member

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    drizzt3117, did you do a post-bacc or an smp to get into your top 25 midwest school, or did you come straight out
  3. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    I did a formal postbac at Scripps, I was an engineer so didn't have all the prereqs done.
  4. smarty666

    smarty666

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    Pleas forgive me, I think I might not just fully understand all the intricate nooks and crannies of the SMP. I had only mentioned the grade aspect because someone on here who is in the Drexel SMP did not get granted a interview with Drexel Med School and has failed to hear from any other programs they have applied to because he got a B- in one of the med school courses apart of the SMP.

    What I don't understand and you can please correct me on this, when your in a SMP are you being graded on the med school curve (the one that the med students get) or are you graded on a different curve among your fellow students in the SMP? I think that is where my confusion is. I didn't mean to try and knock down SMPs because they most certainly have their purposes and Dr. Midlife is correct, no matter what SMP you are in, you want to strive to get the highest grades possible. I guess what your saying is, if you can't get all A's, a few B's are not going to completely make or break whether you get interviews/acceptances or not.

    Also, there seems to be a tier level when it comes to SMPs as you eluded to. What are considered the top tiers and mid tiers and what are the differences between them. You mention osteopathic SMPs but I thought they were not specific for osteopathic or allopathic and that you take them and then apply to either osteopathic or allopathic?

    Also, thanks for the MCAT advice. SN2ed and various other people seem to be recommending TBR and Exam Krackers for the majority of the review material with plenty of practice tests. I'd still like to know, how long are MCAT scores good for and is it true some med schools only take scores that are 2 years old sometimes?
  5. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    Mcat is good for three years at most places, it's usually not a problem.

    Georgetown, Tufts, BU, Cincinnati, EVMS are among the better ones, there's not as much of a hierarchy as there is in med schools or formal postbacs, Id go to an allo postbac if you want to go to an allo school tho.


  6. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion Gold Donor

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    Stories like that are never about one B-. There's always something you don't know about the candidate or the app.

    That said, the bigger the SMP, the more likely a student is to fall through the cracks. At the EVMS SMP (and probably all small SMPs) the program director is on you like a pitbull if you get an exam score that won't get you into the host med school, long before you get a less-than-adequate final course grade that is below a known threshold.

    For EVMS, the SMP students have their own curve, and it's frequently higher than the M1's curve. There's a HUGE amount of effort that goes into challenging the exam answers and calculating and recalculating the averages after challenges, and every student (SMP or M1) is painfully aware of where the curve is and how many correct answers above or below it they are, exam after exam after exam. Clusters gather after exams and argue about whether it was B or C on the one about the ileum. You fight for every point.

    (elude: avoid. allude: suggest.)

    Do DO "SMP" students get into MD schools? Yes. Do you get to know what's on their med school app? No. I personally would not be looking at a DO school to offer a program that is going to make MD schools overlook my sub-competitive undergrad GPA.

    In the first post in this thread, I listed 14 programs that imho qualify as SMPs. Gtown has the best known name. The programs with the highest immediate MD school acceptance rate are imho the top tier. If you're looking for a high-results SMP that gives you easy A's, you're asking for too much.

    Generally MCAT scores are good for 3 years. (What is the deal with all the MCAT expiration panic around here lately? 70% of MD schools accept scores older than 3 years.)
  7. smarty666

    smarty666

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    I haven't had a chance to read this entire thread yet put thanks for point that out. When it comes down to it, there is a huge disparity between the 14 SMPs and I've got to do a lot more research about each program. You obviously are going to want to apply to a program that has a proven % of their students get acceptances to med school. I'm not looking for easy A's. Any graduate degree program or SMP is going to be challenging and difficult and I would expect that. Doctoral programs are not easy, Ph.D, DO,MD, DrPH, PsyD, etc and these masters programs should prepare you accordingly.

    I did not know this. I am really glad I asked. It is relieving to hear that a large percentage of medical schools except scores older than 3 years. It really comes down to finding out what each individual school you plan on applying to requires. I was originally planning on applying when the time comes to 15 schools but you really think 20-25 is a better number? How much does AMCAS charge for that many schools?
  8. jslo85

    jslo85 OMS-3

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    You and Drizzt are right and they do hurt, my whole point was to tell the OP that those horror stories about receiving only 1 B will not kill every chance you have of entering medical school. That is all.

    Agreed then and still agree now.

    Pretty much sums it up. Again, my intention during that time was not to suggest maintaining Bs across the board is an ideal situation for a student with a subpar GPA in an SMP to be in. I tried to suggest several times that you should aim to do the best that you can and get all As but in response to the particular comment by the OP about having a single B destroy all dreams of entering medical school was unfounded imho. You pretty much summed it up. All the stats that people display here on the boards never tell the whole story where sometimes people with a lower GPA get in over another member who has a higher GPA. Maybe he had publications, great LOR (or poor ones for the other guy), his/her dad or letter writer was an alumni from that medical school and had great connects, etc. Who knows.

    As a gross broad generalization (yes i'm a hypocrite), osteopathic SMPs are simply a term that I use for SMP type programs at osteopathic schools and tend to be very small (student size) in comparison to programs such as Gtown and Tufts. For example, NSU MBS accepts only 8-10 people or KCOM MBS only accepts 10 people. Small programs have their advantages as Dr. Midlife had stated which are usually close guidance, great interaction with faculty and advisers, and most of all (for me at least), if they do guarantee and interview or acceptance (which some/most do), you probably know the 2-3 interviewers by name and they of you and it becomes a very casual informal interview instead of trying to feel out who you are. That said, there are huge advantages of the larger programs too like reputation and how your performance if very successful reflects on you (*insert name here* ranked 5th of 85 students in the program, reflected against MS1 curve etc. etc.) but as Midlife said, you have a tendency to "fall through the cracks" since there are so many of you.
  9. Big Moishe

    Big Moishe

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    I have scanned and read many of the posts on this thread. I have mainly 2 questions.

    1. I have applied to Drexel's IMS and DPMS programs. I have a phone interview tomorrow with IMS. I have also applied to Loyola's MAMS which I am waiting to hear back. I live in Los Angeles, Cali and have been trying to figure out whether such a program is worth it for me. The goal is to get into med school the following yr. My stats on AMCAS are 3.56 oGPA, 3.51 sGPA, 27Q (9, 9, 9) 2nd sitting. Not planning on taking it 3rd time. Which school/program would be better for me ultimately getting into U.S. med school? What other things should I be concerned about with these SMP's?

    2. For anyone who lives in Los Angeles, or knows Cal State Northridge University, would doing advanced level courses in sciences be better than an SMP? These courses would be through the graduate school, but would act more like a post-bacc program. No guarantees for interview. If anyone can relate this option to another school, then plz feel free to give advice.

    Basically, staying in LA is better and cheaper for me, but I have come to terms with moving. Let me know of your thoughts.

    Thanks
  10. Xcited392

    Xcited392

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    First of all, your GPA (cum and sci) is absolutely fine. Your MCAT, however, doesn't complement your GPA that well. Since your GPA is fine, I would not do an SMP. I would, however, consider taking the MCAT for a third time. If you can get it in the 30s, I think you'd be alright. Don't get me wrong: taking the MCAT three times isn't ideal, but it's a lot better than doing average in an SMP, IMO.
  11. jslo85

    jslo85 OMS-3

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    :thumbup:
  12. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc

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    Posted the same thing in the Gtown thread to this guy or girl who you are responding too. I agree that MCATing is the only way to change your chances unless it is a linkage SMP, and even so if you can improve then its better to do the MCAT again.
  13. soneymed

    soneymed

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    RFU: Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences
    Location: Chicago, IL
    Hosted by: Interprofessional Healthcare Studies Department
    Year started: <= 2004
    Med school integration: Grad school courses taught by med school faculty
    Program duration: 3 quarters
    Program starts: mid-August
    Program ends: mid-May
    Thesis requirement: none
    Tuition: 36297 IS/OOS '08
    Min GPA: ?
    Min MCAT: ?
    Class size: 100
    App cost:
    App opens: ?
    App closes: Jun 15
    MCAT prep: no

    1. does this program allow you to earn the master of science in biomedical science within 1 year?

    2. I am currently a freshman with a major in Biomedical Engineering (BME), and a minor in Philosophy of science, the requirements for my degree require mostly engineering, physics and math classes which is almost 19 credit hours per semester. So I am not able to get all of my premed requisites done during four years. ( no summer school, because of research internships for my BME degree).
    Will this program help me cover the prereq's?

    3. I also took Chem 1 and Chem 2 the summer after high school and would like to retake them, I got B's in both of them. will this program help me bring up my GPA before applying to Med school?

    4.I have emailed the office , however they have not replied with any useful information. my questions were not answered, if there is anyone who has been to the RFU Post Bac or med school, would you mind answering question I have about the school?

    Thank you very much in advance, any advice would be appreciated.

    Soney

  14. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc

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    Yes can be done in a year, but NO WILL NOT provide prerequisites. It is a grad program and SMP. You can take the prereqs at your own school after finishing your degree requirements and graduate a year later. Don't need a professional postbac. Likelihood is you will only need to do the biology prereqs cuz physics, chemistry, math, and english is covered in an engineering major. And infact BME usually requires basic biology 1 and 2. So you should have prereqs covered. I'm confused as to how you wouldn't? I thought prereqs for biomed engineering and premed overlap.
  15. soneymed

    soneymed

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    I received AP Biology and AP chemistry credit, it transfers only for the BME, but is not covered to take the MCAT. BME requires the coursework but no labs for the class. would there be no benefit for the SMP after BME ?
  16. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion Gold Donor

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    Good god.

    SMPs are for low-GPA candidates. Don't get a low GPA if you want to go to med school.

    The MCAT has nothing to do with whether AP classes are acceptable. Some med schools will not accept AP coursework. If you're taking a boatload of additional science, you're likely to bypass this problem completely.

    You may want to talk to your fellow students and your professors etc. You are not the first bme major with AP credits who wants to go to med school.

    If your school's premed adviser gave you this misinformation, then get a better adviser.

    Best of luck to you.
  17. soneymed

    soneymed

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    Thanks Dr.midlife

    I don't have a Premed adviser, my BME research supervisor is helping me for now, but he is not familiar with the medical school application. I mostly talk with admissions counselors at med schools.
  18. Fishulous

    Fishulous

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    Hey everyone, great thread.
    I just applied to the Tulane Anatomy Certification Program. I am currently waitlisted at three schools: the University of Maryland, SUNY Downstate, and SUNY Stony Brook. I am a Maryland resident btw. Also, it may help to note that their application deadline is actually June 4th this year and they promise a reply by June 24th. They also do have a minimal MCAT of 26.
    My stats: 3.63 GPA, BA and BS in English Literature and Neurobiology respectively. Science GPA about 3.5 Whomp. Also of note is that I've had rather extensive ECs in the medical field and am currently an MA. This all being said, Tulane seems to accept everyone from the ACP into Tulane Medical School the following year. Does anyone know if there are still opportunities to get into other schools if I so choose? Does anyone with experience with the program think that I might have a chance at acceptance?
  19. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc

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    What is your MCAT?

    If your MCAT isn't bad there is always the chance of getting in somewhere else as long as you explain what the program is. Seems like GPA isn't an issue and its just a back up cuz some reason prevented you from getting in.
  20. Fishulous

    Fishulous

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    My MCAT was a 32S (B12 P9 V11).
    I think I really want go to the Anatomy Certification Program in particular. Several reasons for this: they only accept waitlisted students, have a great percentage of students that get accepted somewhere the following year (90% with 97% going to Tulane), and students take classes with the current medschool class and are compared along side them. I'm not really looking to apply to any other SMPs.
    The question I was asking was more or less if anyone knows how likely it is that I can finish the SMP and then matriculate at a medical school other than Tulane. I think Tulane is a fantastic school and I would really love to go there, i just also want the opportunity to try to matriculate at my state school upon completion.
  21. jslo85

    jslo85 OMS-3

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    Tulane ACP is a great program and from what I've read, to be "successful" involves you doing better than the T1 average in Anatomy.

    That said, I don't think you need a program with your stats but to apply very early and broadly. Your MCAT isn't strong enough to get you into the upper echelon of medical schools imho but it should get you some looks and interviews at certain schools. If you really want to improve something, I'd retake the MCAT and aim for a 35+.
  22. klmnop

    klmnop SuperSenior Member

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    FYI: the Tulane ACP accepts about 15 students per year, so I would still apply to others (if you are planning this route). You can imagine with the great linkage that very stellar candidates will be applying here.
  23. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc

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    I don't know. I'm sure you CAN but obviously the stats point that most schools probably have never heard of Tulane's programs so chances are if you go to a high linkage SMP then you'll more then likely end up there for med school.

    Why do you want to do a SMP again? You have a strong GPA and MCAT and SMPs are high risk. 3.63 and 32 is good enough to get in somewhere.
  24. Love2Cut

    Love2Cut

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    Hi Everyone! I am new to this site and so happy I have found it and all the amazing information. I am currently graduating from the University of Florida this May with a degree in Psychology. Unfortunately I am only approximately 12 credits away from graduating with a Bio degree as well, however I transferred to UF and they say my time is up...so they're kicking me out.

    I have been agonizing about if I should go to a different school to finish my degree or just jump into a post bacc programs (only with the psych degree) to increase my undergrad GPA for med school. I haven't taken my MCATs yet my stats are:

    nonscience GPA: 3.0
    GPA in my prereqs for med school: 2.49

    I have been searching for Post Bacc programs for awhile now, and I am still not able to find a program that would be a good fit for me, since most programs require an MCAT score.

    I have completed all of my premed prereqs except orgo 2, and didn't do that well in all my other prereqs (I have retaken 3 of them).

    I thought the best possible scenario for me would be to apply to another 4 year college and finish my second undergrad science degree and take my MCATs, however I saw an academic advisor last week and they told me a second degree would neither hurt nor help me....and that I should apply for a post bac program to improve my science GPA.

    evenually I would like to try for an allopathic school...but I'm kind of lost. I don't want to make another mistake and make the wrong decision, but I have no idea what I should do!

    If anyone has any advice or been in my position, please help! thanks! :)
  25. Xcited392

    Xcited392

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    I think you might've calculated your GPAs incorrectly. There are two GPAs relevant to medical school admissions: cumulative GPA (which is for every undergrad class you've taken, from all colleges) and the science GPA (all courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math). The reason I say this is because you gave us your pre-req GPA, which leads to the conclusion that you've only taken the pre-reqs, yet you're almost close to getting a biology degree (not possible if you've only taken the pre-reqs). Anyways, please clear that up for us.
  26. Fishulous

    Fishulous

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    Yeah, you would think. But I applied to 22 schools this year and got waitlisted at three but didn't get in anywhere. At this point (all points really) I just really want to get into medical school...I think the route I take to get there isn't that important at this point. SMP seems like the best way to get there because I'm confident that I can do well in medical school.
  27. klmnop

    klmnop SuperSenior Member

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    Sounds like you need EC/essay/interview help.
  28. chillywilly35

    chillywilly35

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    Hey everyone,

    So I am deciding between the Georgetown SMP, Tulane's Masters in Pharmacology Program, and Georgetowns Masters in Pharmacology program (different than the SMP, one year M.S. program). I have a 3.4 cGPA, 3.0 sGPA and a 29R MCAT score. I am a published researcher who has worked in two different labs, have volunteer experience and extra-currics as well. Obviously the sGPA is where I need improvement.

    Any advice on what route I should take? I am a hard-worker who suffered from enjoying college too much as a freshman/sophomore, and I feel that I will succeed at any of these programs. I am open to advice from anyone, just wanted to talk to someone about it.

    Thanks
  29. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion Gold Donor

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    Gtown SMP & retake the MCAT to get above the average (32).

    Best of luck to you.
  30. Xcited392

    Xcited392

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    I'm curious to know your reasoning. Is it because of the 3.0 sciGPA?

    I just think a 3.4 + MCAT retake + strong/early/broad application might get an acceptance somewhere. . .
  31. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion Gold Donor

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    A 3.4 is a little high for an SMP, so if the science GPA was 3.4 or higher I'd agree. Against a 3.0 in science, that 3.4 isn't above the bar, imho. With a 3.4/3.0/32+ I'd be willing to apply during an SMP, but not before one.

    2nd opinions on anything I say: recommended.
  32. robflanker

    robflanker

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    I'd agree with DrMidlife - the current GPA is 0.26 below average for cGPA (3.66) and a massive 0.6 below the sGPA avg (3.6). The other thing to note is that the OP is at 1 standard dev below for cGPA but almost 2 standard dev below for sGPA (meaning approx 84.2% of successful applicants have higher cGPA and 97.8% have higher sGPA)

    Also the MCAT is below by a point 29 vs avg of 30.8 for successful applicants. Whilst an improved MCAT will def help, chillywilly would have to blow out the MCAT in order to make up for the GPA deficits - and I dont think anyone should assume they are going to get 34+

    An SMP will help demonstrate chillywilly can do upper level sciences and thus improve their app for med school
  33. Love2Cut

    Love2Cut

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    I haven't actually starting filling out the huge one med school application so i'm not sure what my overall science GPA is, however I'm pretty sure it's not a 3.0. the GPAs I stated before are the ones from my transcript from UF...sorry this was confusing before

    overall i'm just don't want to make the wrong decision and my prehealth advisor told me i should be applying to post bacc programs to improve my undergrad science GPA and I shouldn't pursue finishing my second degree...however all those programs require that you take your MCAT (which I haven't)...initially i thought i should pursue my 2nd degree since it is science-based (biochemistry) and it will contribute to my overall GPA while studying for my MCATs but I was told not to

    any advice would be extremely appreciated :)
  34. jslo85

    jslo85 OMS-3

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    Well it does make somewhat of a difference to what your sGPA is because like medical school cutoffs, many SMPs have both a cGPA and sGPA minimum cutoffs as well.

    Are you aiming for allopathic or osteopathic school?

    If osteopathic you could retake some of those classes and aim for NSU MBS in Ft. Lauderdale since you're from Florida or PCOM-GA's MBS program. Another one I'd suggest is Barry Univ. MBS to a lesser extent.

    If allopathic I'd suggest USF IMS but they only accept a relatively small number of students so I would think you need to bring up that sGPA and cGPA by a substantial amount.

    Also know that SMP coursework will go on your graduate GPA and not your uGPA.

    Not all programs will require MCAT but many of them do. GRE will substitute for applying in for a few but you will need your MCAT by a set date or before completion of the program in others.

    You should calculate out the number of units you have in your sGPA and see how many classes you would need to take before you reach a 3.0 or come close. Establishing an upward trend in upper division sciences would help your cause out tremendously.
  35. pritomd

    pritomd

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    Hello

    I actually made a post in the SMP thread, but after doing some more reading, I am not 100% sure whether SMP is for me.

    Anyways, the current situation is as follows: I am a junior at a top 20 school. I definitely can't apply to med schools this year (class entering fall 2011) since I have not taken my MCAT nor prepared for it yet. On top of that, I have not done biology, but will be doing biology + labs this summer. All other prereqs (chem, o-chem, physics, english, math) are done.

    I am currently in engineering, and my currently GPA is a 2.85, but with an upward trend. If this continues, by the time I graduate my GPA should be ~3.1, 3.2 if it goes best case scenario. This low GPA, coupled with the fact that I still need MCAT and bio, are why I am considering a post bacc program. By the time I apply to these programs, though, I will have the MCAT with a good score done and biology courses, and thus all med school prereqs, all completed.

    I am just having a hard time with what direction to go. There seem to be so many possibilities. I read the stickies, and it seems my options are an SMP or a post bacc program. With the Post bacc, what I see are taking upper division undergrad science classes (biochem, cell bio, etc), retaking the med-school prereq clases (O-chem..etc), or doing a masters program in a health science field. Is this all correct? There seem to be so many things so I'm not sure what to start researching more into..I've heard stuff like SMPs are more risky since you pretty much need to be near the top of the class..will post bacc be a better alternative? Is my GPA not cut out for SMP and I'd have to do post bacc anyway? I just would like some thought and input on what I should continue on.
  36. jslo85

    jslo85 OMS-3

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    I don't know what you heard in the other thread but you first need to decide whether you are aiming for allopathic or osteopathic medicine.

    If allopathic:

    - You need to do an SMP. Your theoretical 3.1-3.2 isn't going to cut it. Not even with a decent (32+) MCAT score.
    - You said you're not ready for the MCAT. Take the next best thing which is the other test that some SMP programs require as an alternate for the test requirement, the GRE. Start studying from now till whenever you take it. Latest would be February.
    - Start obtaining LOR and clinical experience from now till February.
    - Do some research on programs that you would have a chance to get into and are within your price/time/location range and accept GRE instead of MCAT.
    - Apply to them in February when you have your winter grades and hopefully that will be enough to gain you admission.

    The reason why you should do an SMP over a post-bacc program for allopathic schools is because it is not time efficient for you to try and boost your GPA (3.1-3.2) to a competitive range (3.6ish). It is also low enough that a high MCAT (37+) would be gambling on whether schools would take a chance on you. You can do the calculations yourself on how many units of As it would take for you to get to a 3.6 off your current GPA/unit count. An SMP allows whatever courses taken in the program to be placed on a separate coursework sheet and are taken into higher consideration (usually) based on the difficulty of the courses (medical school level usually) as well as the competitiveness (taken with medical students usually).

    If osteopathic, you have two options.

    A) Spend a good portion of your senior year retaking classes while finishing up whatever requirements you need for your major before graduation. Fit in shadowing/volunteering and obtain LOR from professors. Go start and submit your AACOMAS app in June or July. At the beginning of summer go buy an EK MCAT prep and hopefully you can take it at the end of summer or during winter vacation. During your "glide year" you schedule to take upper division courses every quarter or semester and update schools as you get your final grades back.

    B) Applying to SMPs and study for the MCAT at the beginning of summer and take it at the end of summer before entering the program
    - Start obtaining LOR and clinical experience from now till February.
    - Do some research on programs that you would have a chance to get into and are within your price/time/location range.
    - Apply to them in February when you have your winter grades and hopefully that will be enough to gain you admission.
    - Look for 1 year Masters programs or 1 year biomed programs at DO programs (Mississippi Masters, LECOM or PCOM certificate)
  37. PopeJoja

    PopeJoja

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    Which schools are top tier which would allow me to skip the glide year? I have some reasonably good stats, but I have reason to believe I will be wait listed. therefore, I believe a post bacc is probably the best bet for me at the moment. Thank you very much in advance. :)
    Last edited: 04.24.10
  38. pritomd

    pritomd

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    jslo85 thank you very much! That was a very informative post that had a lot of info I was looking for.

    Yeah I figured I'd need to do SOME sort of post-graduation plan since a 3.1/3.2 is not good enough at all. I did some reading and it looked like SMP or Postbacc were my options.

    When I said I was not ready for the MCAT it was because I have still yet to take biology (which I'll be doing this summer). Should I still focus on GRE studying if I plan on taking the GRE/MCAT way later in the year, possibly in January/Feb? Won't I have to take the MCAT eventaully anyway, so might as well do that versus a GRE? Or is the GRE considered "easier" such that it'd be easier to get a better score and thus, better chance at an SMP?

    I have spoken with many professors and PI's and will def have some LOR's lined up for next year. I need to work on my clinical experience, since most of my volunteer work has been habitat for humanity/lacrosse coaching and not hospital volunteering. I do plan on doing shadowing in the summer/next fall though.

    I def planned to apply once my winter grades were in, I know they will boost my GPA that last bit I need.

    As far as SMP vs Post bacc..so what it seems like you're saying is that a post bacc is for raising ones GPA versus an SMP where you prove yourself by taking med-school level classes with med school students? I am not sure, cause the first post makes it seem like there's a post-bacc option that is not about undergraduate GPA raising, but taking masters-level science classes (Category 2?). Could someone elaborate on that?

    But yeah I'm shooting for a SMP hopefully. Wasn't sure if I was too low for one though.
  39. jslo85

    jslo85 OMS-3

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  40. pritomd

    pritomd

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    Good stuff, thanks again. Yes I may consider the GRE with that information at hand, and given the time table would definitely make it easier on myself.

    As far as SMP vs AET, it would seem that a SMP/graduate biomedical post bacc programs would be more beneficial since it would take a while to raise a 3.1 to a 3.5/3.6, as you stated. I was just confused about the "true" SMPs like Gtown, Cinci, BU vs the graduate biomedical post-baccs like Harvard, JHU, Mississippi college, wake forest, etc.

    How do medical schools view these graduate biomedical postbaccs vs an SMP? which one typically yields a higher acceptance of medical students? Assuming the same performance in each program..
  41. jslo85

    jslo85 OMS-3

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    Okay I think you need to backtrack and get your facts straight for the moment.

    Graduate biomedical post-bacc programs are not Harvard and JHU. They are certificate granting programs whose general curriculum consists of medical school equivalent courses. Mississippi College is a 1 year Masters program.

    "True SMPs" as they are defined by Dr. Midlife and broadly accepted on these forums are programs that grant a Masters degree and allow you to take medical school courses with the medical students and grade you against the medical school students. These include Gtown SMP, BU MAMS, Tufts MBS, UCinn, etc

    Graduate biomedical programs are usually medical school level courses taught by the medical school faculty at the medical school but graded on a straight scale and not taken with medical students.

    You are going to need to call into the admissions office of medical schools you are interested in and ask about whether they know of SMPs and the specific SMPs/programs you are looking into attending. I mentioned it before in some other post, but a large portion of medical schools don't drink the SMP koolaid but there are many that do.

    It really depends on which program you attend if you want to compare the two types of programs. Different programs have different strengths and reputations as well as advantages such as linkages. It's all situational based.
  42. robflanker

    robflanker

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    Do some reading and you'll figure it out. Very few places force you to take a glide year but a lot of people chose to so that they have a whole years worth of grades on the resume with which to apply. If you don't take a glide year, then there will be nothing diff (essentially) on your resume till you finish classes first semester

    I am personally pro-glide yr
  43. pritomd

    pritomd

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    Yeah, I guess I do still have some confusion on the diffs between the options/programs.

    So it seems like for someone who has a low GPA (~3.1) who will be taking either the MCAT or the GRE (and make sure the GRE is accepted at schools I'm looking at), I can shoot for SMP like Gtown, BU MAMS, Tufts, UCinci (take same classes as med students with med students) or grad biomedical programs like Mississippi College (where I take courses at the same level as med school courses).

    So basically, I can apply to both "types" of programs right, and go from there to determine which would have the best chance of getting into medical school after I find out which programs I get into? Its not like SMPs are ONLY for X situation and Grad biomedical programs are ONLY for Y situations?

    I just wanna make sure I'm looking for the right programs..since I've already taken bio/chem/physics/ochem/labs, I want to avoid those "premed" post bacc programs and other uGPA programs (since it would take too much time to beef up my GPA I think)

    Also, 2 quick questions:

    If I do end up doing an SMP, are the courses able to transfer to a medical school given that I get into one, or must I retake the course?

    And:

    With these two quotes, I am wondering why Harvard and JHU are not graduate post-bacc programs? You state that those programs consist of med school equivalent courses, and in the second quote, you say that these programs such as that are graduate biomedical programs..I think I might be misinterpreting something but wouldn't that make Harvard and JHU such a program? Maybe I still have my definitions screwed.

    Despite all that, thanks again for walking me through this, and I really appreciate the input.
  44. jslo85

    jslo85 OMS-3

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    SMP and Grad biomedical programs are essentially the same type of program and in my personal opinion, you are close to splitting hairs between the two. Maybe adcoms will place more emphasis on SMPs as they are graded against the medical school curve and more of a "predictor" by taking the classes with the actual medical students but for the purpose of demonstrating academic competence in medical school level courses, both serve the same purpose as they are taught by the same medical school faculty, material taught, exams, etc. Alot of this has to do with what school you wish to attend too. For instance RFU has a linkage as well as LECOM or some of the osteopathic programs. The whole purpose is to say yes, you had a poor showing in the undergrad basic pre-req sciences but you show that you can excel in the harder medical school courses allowing adcoms to make a valid comparison and probably place more emphasis in the recent hard courses/program and possibly overlook your past troubled performances.

    As for credits transferring, it depends on the program. Some will allow it, some will not. This is especially true of SMP programs that require you to take classes with the medical students/graded against the curve but this is not always the case. If this is the case, it will only be true if you end up matriculating to that same medical school.

    Maybe I am misunderstanding but I was under the impression that you are referring to the Harvard Extention and JHU pre-med post-bacc program. To my knowledge, Harvard and JHU do not offer SMP programs. They do have traditional Masters programs but these are not considered "SMP" because the coursework they offer are more research related and not of the sort that is required in medical school. SMP programs do give you a Masters degree but it is often regarded as "useless" in that they are unable to serve any real functional purpose past displaying academic competence for professional school. MBS degrees are usually more research oriented and can be used as a halfway point towards gaining a PhD or conducting research.
  45. klmnop

    klmnop SuperSenior Member

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    your advice is sound, however with all due respect jslo...just a clarification. from my own personal research, most grad biomedical programs are composed of graduate school (MSc/Phd) courses, which differ greatly in terms of purpose and intensity than actual med school courses. they are sometimes (not always) taught by med school professors, although the content may be dissimilar and/or severely truncated. in fact, most grad biomedical programs don't take actual courses with the med students or likewise have the same exams.

    on the other hand, true smp's do have medical school courses, though not all of them are. also, only some of the programs offer courses taken simultaneously with the actual medical students. even those that do do not always share exams or grad you against them. it is highly variable. the reason smp's are favored in the eyes of more adcoms (as individual schools may like grad biomedicals better) is that most mimic a portion of M1 and thus can be compared to M1 students. on the other hand, biomed grad programs do not mimic the M courses (as they are similar courses, but not the same ones), thus they are not looking to judge your potential success in med school, but they are evaluating your actual success in a slightly less challenging program.

    if you guys want, ive uploaded a spreadsheet i made of some of the programs i was looking at, they are divided accordingly to smp and grad biomed programs. some of the info may be disputed but i only filled in things i confirmed either via contacting the institution or from their official publications

    use at your own risk and enjoy.

    Attached Files:

  46. jslo85

    jslo85 OMS-3

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    No offense taken and I do agree though I feel like I should probably explain my reasoning behind why I made that comparison and that line of thinking. I think the reclarification that you made is on point, but that we are looking to different programs for our definition.

    My experience in applying to programs/schools this cycle has primarily targeting osteopathic programs/schools. The graduate biomedical programs that I instinctively referred to were programs that are officially falls under that category but do not abide by the definition that you are explaining above.

    Examples:
    ATSU-KCOM MBS:
    A 2 year program granting a Masters of Biomedical Science who's curriculum for the first year revolves around a core medical science course (medical biochemistry or human gross anatomy and development) and 2 medical school electives. All 3 of these courses are taken with the medical students, graded on the same scale, and are allowed to be transferred as credit should you matriculate into the Fall MS1 class. If you are in the anatomy track, count it as 4 medical school courses because Neuroanatomy is also included as part of the track dependent curriculum. Second year you do research and take 2 other medical school electives with the MS1s.

    LECOM Biomedical Program: 1 year graduate program where all courses are taught by the medical school faculty with the same ppts, exams, etc. Courses are abbreviated as they teach roughly half of the material that the MS1s learn but compact the coursework of the MS1 and MS2 years to test the students so Biomedical students are exposed to all 13 medical school courses. Osteopathic MS1 students who do not perform up to standards their first semester are required to enter the biomedical program to demonstrate their competence in the 2nd semester. No research.

    PCOM MBS: 2 Year program. Can be taken as a 1 year certificate where the first year is virtually identical to LECOM's 1 year Biomedical program. 2nd year revolves around research/thesis.

    NSU MBS: 2 Year program. Same deal except with the medical student class taking roughly 2/3 of their curriculum but expected to perform at an 80% minimum.

    etc. etc.

    These are just examples but they were the type of graduate biomedical programs I was referring to. They are graduate biomedical programs and both the faculty and admissions department call them thus. I believe (I could be wrong as I did not apply here) RFU's MSBS is also termed as a graduate biomedical program that offers medical school level courses. I'll say it like that because there are some classes that are taken with the medical students and some that are not.

    This is an excerpt from the KCOM MBS handbook

    "Since the majority of applicants aspire to move from the Masters program to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program (or another professional program, such as dental), it is important to discern your potential to move into such programs at the conclusion of the Masters program.....Graduate students who are interested in applying for admission to either the DO program or another post-graduate program, are encouraged to submit their application at the conclusion of the spring quarter. At this time, the student’s DO courses and most of the Graduate Program courses have been completed, which helps ensure that the Admissions Committee will have a good sense of the student’s academic ability, as well as their personal and professional characteristics."

    That said, I do agree with you Klmnop and ask that those who read these posts defer to his for the "right definition" for a large portion of the programs but that it does not encompass many other programs as quite a few do not apply.
  47. klmnop

    klmnop SuperSenior Member

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    Ah, a simple misunderstanding.
    I was not aware of the differences in these osteopathic programs, which of course deserve their own definition. For the record, despite their official degree names ("biomedical science"), based on your description of them I would lump them into SMPs because they offer Med school courses, albeit possibly their own subcategory.

    Anyway, you are correct that RFU's (and many others) are technically called some form of "Masters in Biomedical Science" (ex: Tufts, EVMS, Toledo, UMDNJ) because not all of the courses are medical school courses, but are grad-level... despite this they are considered SMP's because of the Med school integration.

    Anyway, for those of you reading.. the definitions of the types of programs are very loose to say the least, thus it is advised to read stickies at the top of the post-bacc page and get a feel for what kind of program you need... and then investigate each individual program to see if A) it suits your needs, and B) you qualify. Its important to note that two programs that offer the same degree name may be in fact very different (ex: Loyola MAMS & BU MAMS), so do your homework.
  48. pritomd

    pritomd

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    In any case, thanks a ton for the help. I have a better sense of direction of where I wanna go now. The excel spreadsheet was great, I think I will create a similar document later on in the year once I start applying to programs. Right now, I need to make sure I can get my GPA up to that ~3.1 I am shooting for, start studying for the MCATs or GRES, and start building up my clinical experience. Thanks again.
  49. pritomd

    pritomd

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    okay so I'm getting a grip on what I'm looking for. I now just have a quick time-line question:

    I want to make sure any SMP or masters post bacc sees my fall grades since those will maximize my GPA, but want to still have a good application turn in-date for the rolling admissions..is ~January-February still competitive in the cycle, or do many consider that "late"? i foresee me submitting applications around the middle of January ideally, ~jan 15th, since my school also has a "january term", a week long class that I can easily get an A in to boost my GPA that much... apps typically close in the spring, correct? but then again, I gotta think about the MCAT...I should aim to take my MCAT in December or so, but I think there are dates in September and none till January, right? so I'd have to probably actually apply in February or so..is that really late? considering I will hopefully have a 3.1 or so rather than what some people have (3.3+).....although I may be able to apply earlier if I use my GRE score since they have test dates in November/December I think...basically, I'm just trying to make the time I submit my application work in my favor since I have a lower GPA than a lot of SMP applicants, and wanna see what my best option would be...
  50. jslo85

    jslo85 OMS-3

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    Well it won't be considered late but the earlier the better especially considering you have lower GPA than the average applicant to these programs. It's like the medical school application cycle. People emphasize submitting early if you have low stats as opposed to submitting midway into the cycle with slightly higher stats, you can always update them throughout anyway.

    Also SMPs won't reject you once they initially look at your application. If they feel you don't have what it takes, they'll put you on the waiting list or on hold indefinitely which they will go back and review if you update them with scores/new grades.

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