@Goro been sleuthing through these forums for years and collecting your various low GPA/reinvention friendly school lists, so I really appreciate this response!
Really only looking for an MD at this point, especially since I'm still okay with sitting for another 2-3years (my 30s are knocking at the door, so hopefully not too much longer than this).
Regarding applying now- does applying and getting shut out and reapplying put me at a disadvantage for these schools the 2nd, 3rd time around? I've thought a lot about just applying and seeing where I land, as I think even just seeing where I'm getting IIs (if I'm getting IIs), getting feedback from rejections, etc., would be helpful. My concern would be whether being a re-applicant would put me at a (even if only slight) disadvantage in subsequent app cycles when I'm a stronger candidate (and thus could've just waited?).
Regarding schools- I'd ultimately be happy with any school on that list and to be an MD, but if I was trying to position myself to maybe have a shot at some of the more competitive and reinvention friendly schools (thinking Dartmouth, BU, Pitt, Gtown, Tufts, Case, Brown, (Duke?)), is applying to only more competitive schools I'd be extremely happy at and seeing how that shakes out (with the understanding there is huge chance that I'll need to re-apply), ever a good first round strategy?
I'm unfortunately not from a great state (only one competitive public med school). Any specific reason for Vandy? I had read in other threads that sticking with schools closer to your LizzyM is the best strategy with lowGPA/high MCAT reinvention splitters. (Vandy=75.4, Duke=72.3, Me=72.6)
@DrMikeP with where I want to end up and what I want to do, I really think DO might be an uphill climb. Would definitely revisit the DO possibility, but I really want to give the MD dream everything I have at this point. I definitely know this is a seller's market and I'm trying to dress up a small little cottage with some painfully obvious structural defects (apologizing in advance for this metaphor), but I'd rather have to re-apply 2-3 cycles to get MD (and then of course at that point perhaps realize I can't & add in some DO schools).
@Goro Really appreciate the insight. Added to my ever growing compilation of Goro wisdom. Will put Vandy on the list.
Last question about the SMP- If I found a way to make peace with risking 80k, and waited to apply post-SMP (which would also give me 2 more years research due to timing), does adding a killer SMP gpa + 2 more yrs Research, padding my volunteer/shadow/clinic hrs to the above stats make me a substantially better applicant? Slightly better?
This is exactly my concern. Feel like even though the health issues make a convincing case for overlooking a subpar uGPA, I still have not made a convincing enough case that yes, I can in fact handle the rigors of medical school. I did well in my postbacc classes, but haven't really ventured into upper level sci courses, so I share the concern that there might still be lingering doubts over what in my record speaks to my ability to handle and crush a full load of academically challenging courses.That said, if I'm reviewing your app and I'll be more confident that med school won't crush you like a grape if you've made it through a hard legit SMP.
Would an MPH be of any value here?Maybe look at SMP-alternative one-year programs like the UCSD postbac or similar, that are less expensive and are at your home state's publics.