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Melchizedek

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How am I doing? What should I improve on?

I am currently a junior who switched to premed at the beginning of this school year. I have 3.4 cGPA and a very low (<3.0) sGPA but I still have 12 science courses (including this semester’s) to complete, which I plan to use to bring up my sGPA.

I am taking the in Spring 2023.

I have ~150 non-clinical volunteering hours but was recently accepted as a crisis hotline operator.

I have 0 clinical volunteering hours but will start volunteering at a clinic this month. I am also waiting to hear back from a medical scribe position.

I have 0 research experience and am unsure how/when to get any at my college.

I have <100 hours of physician shadowing

I am URM.

I plan to apply in the 2023 cycle to matriculate in August 2024 but feel that I am so behind. Is this enough time to complete my checklist and be able to matriculate by August 2024?
How many credits do you have now and how many are the 12 courses? If you did the math, whats the max cGPA/sGPA you could end up with?
Even if you do well on the MCAT (a measure of how you can process information in a short-term, acute situation) you still need to show that you can handle courses (a measure of how you can process information long-term).

I don't recommend an SMP unless you've applied at least once, and to both MD and DO schools. On top of being expensive, they are do-or-die scenarios because if you don't do well, you've signaled to medical schools that you will not handle the medical school curriculum.

If you're not adverse to taking a gap year for an SMP anyway, another option is a grade-repair DIY post-bacc for which, see Goro's reinvention guide.

For research, start by talking to BCMP course professors at your school, ask if they or any of their colleagues will take you on for a project. If they themselves aren't they'll know someone. If that's a non-starter, then you'll have to cold-email some professors of the next university over. This is usually hit-or-miss.

Instead of focusing on number of hours, try to shadow in different settings (office, clinic, hospital, private practice, etc.) so you start to understand how you want to your practice as a physician to look like, and understand the different workstyles and physician roles. After ~50-60 hours in any one or two settings, shadowing kinda becomes pointless anyway.
 
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Dr Meow

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Try this:
1. Apply to NIH Postbac IRTA to get research
2. Do decent on the MCAT (Get 508+)
3. Do some volunteering (Idk about that....I got into DO with 0 volunteering both clinical and nonclinical but this isn't typical since I'm superr nontrad and oldish). Do some Scribing or hospital volunteering I think.
4. Apply to only DO, ALL of them (there's not many)

So this may take you 1-2 years to accomplish this I estimate. And you'll still be young when you get in.

No point in going for MD I think. You can add some to try your luck.

African Americans are under-represented in medicine so that should also help
 

Zeldaspikes

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Try this:
1. Apply to NIH Postbac IRTA to get research
2. Do decent on the MCAT (Get 508+)
3. Do some volunteering (Idk about that....I got into DO with 0 volunteering both clinical and nonclinical but this isn't typical since I'm superr nontrad and oldish). Do some Scribing or hospital volunteering I think.
4. Apply to only DO, ALL of them (there's not many)

So this may take you 1-2 years to accomplish this I estimate. And you'll still be young when you get in.

No point in going for MD I think. You can add some to try your luck.

African Americans are under-represented in medicine so that should also help
That’s bunk advice about not applying M.D. You miss 100% of shots you don’t take. Listen get your clinical/research up during your gap year, ace mcat, and apply both M.D/D.O. We need more African American doctors. If you want M.D make a well curated list once you have concreate numbers and valuable experiences. Peace, don’t let anybody destroy your dream.
 
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Dr Meow

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That’s bunk advice about not applying M.D. You miss 100% of shots you don’t take. Listen get your clinical/research up during your gap year, ace mcat, and apply both M.D/D.O. We need more African American doctors. If you want M.D make a well curated list once you have concreate numbers and valuable experiences. Peace, don’t let anybody destroy your dream.
I did say he could "You can add some to try your luck."
I also said "African Americans are under-represented in medicine so that should also help"

And since when did not becoming a MD equate to "destroying his dream"?
 
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Faha

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Florida. And no, African american. I am conversational in Spanish though
Your main focus should be on increasing your sGPA to greater than 3.0 . You should also take the MCAT after you have completed all the science prerequisites (including biochemistry) but do not take until your practice scores are consistently 505 or higher. More clinical and non clinical volunteering hours will also improve your chances for interviews. Post your stats here a year from now including your MCAT score and we can suggest schools you can apply to .
 

Mr.Smile12

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I have a few questions:

Why do you want to be a doctor? What is your journey? Why did you decide in your sophomore/junior year to go premed? What have people said in discouraging you from considering medicine as a career?

What areas of medicine are represented in your shadowing? Have you shadowed a DO?

What community service experiences were you immersed in (>3 hours a week consistently ideally for a year =150 hours minimum) that served other underserved communities?

What degree are you getting? Who is your academic advisor? Who is your prehealth advisor? Who are the professors writing you letters of recommendation?

Do you have an MSAR? Do you qualify for the AAMC FAP? Have you networked with schools either virtually or in person?

Are you part of any minority focused mentoring clubs or groups?
 

homunculusus

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You do not need an SMP and I do not advise doing one. It's a $50k sink hole. My own SMP told a friend of mine that if they took similar classes at the undergrad level at the same institution it would be viewed EQUALLY by the SMP MD school FWIW.

Try and do well in your next 12 credits. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES. If that means ordering doordash daily, laundry service, cleaning service, etc and just dedicate 100% of ur time to school. That extra $1k you spend will repay you dividends. Then score >500 on the MCAT.

There are many schools that are more flexible with URM (stats-wise) and especially seeing an upward trend. There are also many URM focused SMPs (some are even free or provide a stipend). If you end up doing well >3.5 then continue taking more classes as DIY-postbacc (no more than 2 at a time and make sure you 4.0 them)
 

Goro

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That’s bunk advice about not applying M.D. You miss 100% of shots you don’t take. Listen get your clinical/research up during your gap year, ace mcat, and apply both M.D/D.O. We need more African American doctors. If you want M.D make a well curated list once you have concreate numbers and valuable experiences. Peace, don’t let anybody destroy your dream.
Applying to medical school is not basketball. One gets into med school by having a good applications, and one part of this is demonstrating that one can handle the rigors of a medical school curriculum. Med schools won't do the OP any favors by admitting them if they are at risk for failing out.

1000% agree with the bolded, but OP would rejected at my school and many others.
 

homunculusus

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Try this:
1. Apply to NIH Postbac IRTA to get research
2. Do decent on the MCAT (Get 508+)
3. Do some volunteering (Idk about that....I got into DO with 0 volunteering both clinical and nonclinical but this isn't typical since I'm superr nontrad and oldish). Do some Scribing or hospital volunteering I think.
4. Apply to only DO, ALL of them (there's not many)

So this may take you 1-2 years to accomplish this I estimate. And you'll still be young when you get in.

No point in going for MD I think. You can add some to try your luck.

African Americans are under-represented in medicine so that should also help
I just noticed this. Lol bro this is soooo untrue. I'm ORM but I found MD schools more rewarding and willing to give me a chance (similar stats to OP and an SMP). OP should still apply DO but also include many MD (state schools, HBCU, etc) My current MD school has tons of URMs with lower stats and they're all thriving. Many state schools with a mission to recruit from within the community just want to see some upward trend/500-ish which indicates safely passing step.
 
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Dr Meow

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I just noticed this. Lol bro this is soooo untrue. I'm ORM but I found MD schools more rewarding and willing to give me a chance (similar stats to OP and an SMP). OP should still apply DO but also include many MD (state schools, HBCU, etc) My current MD school has tons of URMs with lower stats and they're all thriving. Many state schools with a mission to recruit from within the community just want to see some upward trend/500-ish which indicates safely passing step.
1647307488298.png

Sure everything's possible.
But my idea was that he should overshoot his mcat a bit to help his horrible GPA.

There's always some guy who got into MD with sub 500. Or a DO in neurosurgery.
Is that advice you should give to people? "Hey a buddy of mine, got into X with the lowest score possible. You can tooo!!!"
No I prefer to overshoot a bit.

But yes, there's some historically African American MD schools that'll increase acceptance rate. Like Howard
 
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Osminog

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Take post-bacc classes until sGPA is 3.0+, aim for MCAT 500+, apply very broadly to DO schools and HBCUs.
 
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homunculusus

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View attachment 351791
Sure everything's possible.
But my idea was that he should overshoot his mcat a bit to help his horrible GPA.

There's always some guy who got into MD with sub 500. Or a DO in neurosurgery.
Is that advice you should give to people? "Hey a buddy of mine, got into X with the lowest score possible. You can tooo!!!"
No I prefer to overshoot a bit.

But yes, there's some historically African American MD schools that'll increase acceptance rate. Like Howard
Stats 101. You can't just look at this chart as is. This chart mostly applies to those with a consistent average over 4-5 years of college

Someone who graduated with a 2.5sGPA, took time off (or not) and goes back and completes 30 credits @3.7-4.0 is viewed EQUALLY to someone with a 3.7+ by many state schools. However, that person will appear as 2.7sGPA or whatever on this chart. These individuals make up a sizeable proportion of some schools (at least 10% in my MD class had such a background)

In the same sense, a few schools do not just chunk all asians into one category (japanese, korean, chinese tend to have higher stats while viet/filipino much lower). Some schools also consider middle easterners as URM while others view them as white, and some as ORM. There is also a large discrepancy between stats-wise between black students with US ancestry vs african immigrants (who tend to make up a large proportion of AAs in medicine)

In the same sense, if a school advertises "average graduating debt $200k" but their tuition is $70k + $30k/yr COL, and you have no scholarships/no parental help then you will owe $400k. Just because they have 30% of the class with $0 debt and another 30% with partial-outside help (parents/spouse/scholarship) it will skew down the average - the average doesn't mean much in such situations

One school I applied to reported the number with 0 debt, the number with undergrad debt (and averages) and average med school debt. Some schools might have more/less students with previous degrees which can also skew averages. I have some classmates with 2 masters and a post-bacc, already $250k in debt PRIOR to med school. This is why schools need to be more transparent when reporting averages - then again premeds should be smart enough to look at COA and their scholarship package and go from there - but we know not all of them can do simple math
 
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