Goro

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I don't think tat you need an SMP, but rather should try a cycle, but also try to get into an SMP. That way, if you're shut out, you have your Plan B to improve your app.

There are a number of MD schools (and all DO) that reward reinvention. Plus, a 521 MCAT is nothing to sneeze at.

I suggest the following:

BU
Tulane
Drexel
Loyola
Rosy franklin
Your state MD schools
Duke (yes, Duke)
Case
Tufts
Albany
NYMC
Pitt
Gtown
GWU
U Miami
Dartmouth
Vanderbilt (yes, Vandy)
Any DO school.
 

kawi609

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You seriously need to apply TOO all DO schools you will get in with those numbers!
 
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@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. 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)
 
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Goro

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I put Vandy on the list because someone with a 2.9 GPA got accepted there. Yes, it's an n=1 and an outlier, but it says something to me. Plus they're MCAT whores.

Reinventing MD schools want you to have a high post-bac GPA (like 3.7 or higher) and a high MCAT score. Don't bother with Brown because they favor their own.

Do not apply until you have the best possible app. Re-applicants tend to be at a disadvantage because they need to show how they're improved. Sometimes all it takes is simply applying earlier, if the app was sent in too late in cycle one, or to get in more ECs. But you're approaching the limits of what you can achiev; ie, you're done what needs to be done, it seems. Apply once, with the best possible app.

You have a compelling story and great ECs, so it's time to apply.

Oh, and beggars can't be choosy, so have some DO schools on your list. It's a seller's market for MD schools.




@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)
 
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@DrMikeP with where I want to end up and what I want to do, I really think DO might be an uphill climb. I know this is a seller's market, but I'd rather have to re-apply 2-3 cycles and then at that point perhaps revisit the DO possibility.

@Goro Appreciate the insight. 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?
 
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@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?

Curious what you're hoping to specialize in? If MD is your dream go for it just go for it eyes open and know the cost of doing it is more than courses. It's also 2-3 yrs of unrealized earning potential.

Do some reading on Dr Midwife's posts and the under 3.0 thread. Lots of wisdom about SMP's and even some about overcoming challenges to land in an MD program.
 
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@DrMikeP still unsure what I want to specialize in, but I would ideally like to land in academic medicine. In looking at match lists/residency classes/fellows/current faculty at many of the academic centers where I would love to eventually land (in terms of geography/research/resources), MD seems like it would be by far the surer path (although definitely taking note that there are some DO powerhouses scattered across all these lists/institutions). I know this means high chance for re-application, but I'd rather give it a shot first before revisiting DO possibilities.

Gulp. Hearing you loud and clear on the cost/lost earning potential- breaking out into a sweat just thinking of that pre-MS loan. That's why I'm wondering if, or to what extent, an SMP would even improve my application. Not in a financial place to just be setting 80k on fire.

@DrMidlife's posts give me some of the most pause with the SMP. Been browsing through her wisdom (and watching in awe at her own story) for years, and her critiques seem spot on. It seems like a lot of the most "successful" SMP candidates were borderline applicants pre-SMP. Definitely has me wondering to what extent an SMP is really beefing up these applications.
 
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DrMidlife

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I agree that it's very hard to justify $50k+ on an SMP with numbers as good as yours. That said, if I'm reviewing your app and I see epilepsy (which needs to be mentioned somewhere), 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. You're not going to fool the doctors reviewing your app if you try to make it sound like you're completely under control. (I lost a classmate to stress seizures during 2nd year.) 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.

A research job isn't going to make a difference unless you can get pubs. And if you can get pubs, it's worth it, even if you have to postpone applying.

The school list mentioned above doesn't make much sense to me. About a year before you apply, get the MSAR and study it. Apply to every school in your home state, plus maybe 20-30 more that you choose based on your numbers, region, and consensus advice (from SDN and live sources).

Best of luck to you.
 
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y123

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You don't need an SMP. Your GPA is fine for MDs.
 
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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.
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.

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.
Would an MPH be of any value here?

Unfortunately I'm from a bad state in terms of state school prospects. MSAR is purchased and will definitely be used as a guide. Thanks as always for the feedback!
 
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DrMidlife

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