Medical 3.49 cGPA - Should I do a Post Bacc?

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Mr.Smile12

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    Hello there,


    I am planning on applying next cycle. I was wondering if you could give me some advice what to be more academically competitive. I am ORM and a Pennsylvania resident.

    Academic

    I am a neuro major and have a 3.49 cumulative gpa and a 3.4 science gpa. The trend goes 3.19, 3.65, 3.43, 3.7 (I can explain the junior term dip). I presently have a 512 MCAT that I am planning to retake because I got 124 in CARS. I am scoring around the low 520 mark (I know you don't do hypotheticals and respect it). Since I have a year, I am wondering if you think I should do anything to the gpa. I don't have that much money to pursue a lot of DIY credits at a a four year university, but I will do what you think should be done. I heard from some people a SMP is overkill. I was wondering how it would look if I took some math classes at a local CC (calc 2 & 3, linear algebra, differential eq). I like math a lot and I feel like I will do well. I calculated that 16 credits would bring it to a 3.55 cGPA and a 3.49 sGPA if I do well. I plan to go all out next cycle (good amount of DO and MD, but would really like to go be competitive for MD if you have any suggestions).

    Every year GPA medians go up and I am at or below the 10th percentile for a lot of MD schools right now. With everyone moving online, I feel like I'm going to fall away from the 10th percentile and be less competitive relative to my peers. Any advice would be appreciated. I am really new to this platform , so I am sorry if I post this in the wrong place or not in the right format. I welcome the brutal honesty. I appreciate what you guys do for people on here.


    E.C Stuff to give some more background, maybe not necessary for you thought process

    I expect to have a lot more clinical experience ( biggest weakness- Have Hospice, Hospital positions, getting more shadowing) and nonnlincal volunteering (already have a lot). I am also hoping to snag some sort of clinical research position with the hope of maybe getting a publication if you don't think I need a lot of gpa work. (I have a 400 hrs of research from undergrad already).
    Current SciGPA and BCPM? State residency? I think you could do a DIY postbac but dont know what biomed classes you have left.

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    TheBoneDoctah

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      If you want MD for sure, you would most likely need to do an SMP or DIY post-bac to show you can handle medical school courses. You are saying 16 credits would get you to a 3.55 cGPA and a 3.49 sGPA (I assume you mean if you get straight A's). Although this CAN be done, the chance it will happen is much lower. Students always say "I will get straight A's from here on out..." and then they don't because stuff happens.

      I think your MCAT is fine, and I think retaking would show bad judgment as your score is above the average matriculant into MD schools.

      If you applied MD now, I think your chances are less than 50% you would get in and even with getting straight A's and raising to 3.55/3.49 I would say your chances are still right around 50%.

      You are competitive for DO schools now and you wouldn't have to take the extra year, loss of a year attending salary, plus the money for the extra courses.

      You gotta weigh your options. If you do an SMP and don't do well, you have all this loss, plus you are in a worse position cause you basically prove you couldn't do well in the courses.
      @TheBoneDoctah Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it. I only have 20ish hours of shadowing and 50ish of clincal experience, but have set up myself to get a lot more in a gap year. I can see I messed up and didn't make it clear, so I'm sorry about that. I think I would get slaughtered applying just cause of this glaring weakness. I was just wondering what I could do to be more academically competitive for MD because I have to take another year.

      I was really curious how you guys look at community college courses after someone graduates. It would be a step down obviously but I was thinking about taking just some high level math courses (calc 2 and 3, linear algebra- around a semester's worth), stuff that would also increase both cGPA and sGPA . My trend is 3.19, 3.65, 3.43, 3.7 with my science gpas being around the same (first semester science was a 2.9 tho). For reference, my neuro class gpa is like a 3.8, so I did well in a lot of upper level bio classes. I have C in Biochem (dealing with concussion during the semster) and a C+ in a prereq (which I retook for a A+ but I now know me doing that was pointless) and a lot of Bs in prereqs that are really bringing the sGPA down. I just wanted to be above that 10% for both sGPA and cGPA next cycle. I know the gpas always increase for schools every year, and they probably will increase even more next cycle due to the grade protection last semester and vast implementation of online classes.

      With the MCAT, I actually diddn't really take it serious last time. I know you guys don't do hypotheticals, so me rabbling on right after might waste your time, so I understand if you want to stop reading right now.

      I've took a lot more classes that are covered on it (two terms of physics and psych and socio) and have treated it like a fulltime job since I graduated. I had a 128/124/131/129 split so I think I've set myself up by addressing my weaknesses. I took a FL (only took 1 out of the 4 to prepare last time, so have 2 left- I know taking only one last time was stupid) and got a 522. My date is in August, so I have a lot of time to practice and study even more if me scoring that high was a partial fluke. I will reconsider not retaking it, but I feel like this is one of the cheapest ways to be more competitive (Higher MCAT + A little GPA boost). I realize you guys you know more about the application process more than I ever will, so I heed your words with a lot of respect.

      This was my first post, and I just want to say thank you for willingness to help and being really honest to me @Goro @Mr.Smile12 @TheBoneDoctah .
       

      Mr.Smile12

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        @Mr.Smile12
        A 3.4 sGPA ( semester trend - 2.9 , 3.694, 3.25 (concussion seamster), 3.667). I am also PA resident. I have around a 3.8 in neuro classes, many are the graduate level (have actually graduate students in them). I just have a lot of Bs, a C+ in a prereq, and a C in a biochem. I was wondering how a community college DIY post bacc full of high level math classes (16 credits) would look like. It would pull to a cGPA 3.55 and a sGPA 3.49. Math is something that is something I enjoy, so I think I will do well. The CC doesn't have many other premed classes, barely any upper levels other than the math ones. I can take out more loans to do a post bacc at my four year university but I was wondering if the trend (I assume its still upward?) , a little boost through CC math classes (main thing), and a higher MCAT in a much needed gap year for more ECs can make me much more competitive?
        Your best answers are going to come from admissions recruiters, especially those representing in-state programs where you are because they will be most familiar with the community colleges where you will be taking those classes. Even so, math classes don't carry as much weight positive or negative, so maybe the adcoms you talk to won't care. Maybe the adcoms are more concerned with biomedical science courses taken at CC's (positive or negative). "Intelligence" is a complex thing, and some of us (pointing to me) are stronger quantitatively than qualitatively; others are vice versa. The point is that you can be very strong in math courses and bomb in biology/biochem/organic. Adcoms take it all into account but based on their own preferences may favor one set of courses over the other.

        I don't know how much your math classes will help you with the MCAT. I know just doing it to raise your sGPA/BCPM may help but I point out above that many adcoms can be more stringent.
         
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