Another Postbacc vs SMP opinion post?

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sloppypapi

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The decision seems to be made case by case, so here's my situation:

cGPA: 3.24 ( upward trend, my transcript shows that I really busted my ass during senior year)
sGPA: 3.0

My biggest concern is to meet the general prerequisites. I've got consistent B/B+ in the chemistries/ physics, and As in English, but I've got a C and D in first year Biology. Now here's the kicker: I majored in Bio, and have proved my competence by getting As in my upper division Biology courses. However, I don't want to let technicalities prevent me from an admission, so I'd rather retake General Bio, knowing I could quite easily get As. (I also got a C in a calculus class, which I figure I'd retake as well)

-Is it best to enroll in a formally-structured post-bacc program and retake all pre reqs, even the ones I received Bs?
-Or should I DIY and only retake the classes in which I received a C or lower? (Yes, I'm punching myself in the face for not retaking as an undergrad, I was ill-informed)
-Is an SMP worth considering in my case? Even if I do well in an SMP, will it address my major concern and patch up the existing weaknesses in my transcript?

Y'all... I spent like 2 months thinking that applying for a 2-year Master's in a science was the answer, but apparently many adcoms don't consider graduate GPA as strongly. I'm done with juggling different options. I want a plan that I can confidently stick to!

BTW: I'm URM female, non-trad with a fairly solid application apart from GPA and scores. I've been told I could probably get into a medical school straight away, but I don't want to sell myself short or tarnish my chances by applying with Cs and a D in my prereq courses.

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What community do you represent first off? Not all URMS are considered under represented in medicine.

If in fact you are a URM, I don't think you really need GPA repair or an SMP with a 3.25/3.55 with an upward trend. If you aren't considered a URM, I still personally wouldn't opt for an SMP. Your sGPA in general definitely isn't subpar as is. A lot will come down to the MCAT.

Re-taking pre-reqs you got B's in is a complete waste of time and poor judgment. I wouldn't retake C's either. Now the key is to check if schools will accept a D in a pre-req; my guess is a number won't. But it's just a guess; I haven't consulted school policies on this. So for that first year Bio course, it might be worthwhile to re-take. Now of course, re-taking an intro bio class when you are a bio major who's taken tons of bio classes might be problematic due to school policies not letting you do so. But again, that's worth looking more into and check school policies.
 
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What community do you represent first off? Not all URMS are considered under represented in medicine.
Blick-blick-blackity-black. I'm also a California resident, if that matters.

Now of course, re-taking an intro bio class when you are a bio major who's taken tons of bio classes might be problematic due to school policies not letting you do so. But again, that's worth looking more into and check school policies.
Whoa, I hadn't even considered that. Thanks, I'll look into it.
 
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Ahaha thanks for your input as well. Now I don't know whether to feel relieved or more anxious. :unsure:
 
.... Any additional opinions out there?
 
WedgeDawg is right. At this point, crushing the MCAT is your best bet.
 
Do an SMP, even if it doesn't boost your chances that much, it would better prepare you for the material.
 
Do an SMP, even if it doesn't boost your chances that much, it would better prepare you for the material.

Except doing poorly one or even merely ok but not great can easily potentially screw your chances. You don't just do an SMP to "learn material", you do it because there is no other alternative for you to get into an MD school and you've made up your mind DO is not what you want to consider. The risks of an SMP are far too real to just casually stroll into one, not to even mention the price of them.
 
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Except doing poorly one or even merely ok but not great can easily potentially screw your chances. You don't just do an SMP to "learn material", you do it because there is no other alternative for you to get into an MD school. The risks of an SMP are far too real to just casually stroll into one.

Well, there are a plethora of backup options : DO, carribean, PA, etc. etc.
 
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Ahem, I love the outting of URMs on SDN. If OP says she's URM, I'm pretty sure she knows her own damn ethnicity and if it's considered URM status by med schools. That being said, DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT. If you have the money, crazy-ness, or financial help from AAMCAS, I'd still apply this cycle, but I'd apply to super impossible Ivy-league schools knowing I'd probably get 86-ed from them all - but on the off-chance I got in somewhere, I'd be like the cow that jumped over the moon.

And then, assuming I did NOT get in anywhere, I'd do a post-bacc or a diy post-bacc to bump up the GPA.

As a CA resident and a URM, you have the wonderful option of probably getting into lots of low-cost or free post-bacc programs sponsored by the UCs. However, if I do recall, for some of them you have to have been rejected from med school the first time applying.

Also, kill that MCAT. Yup. Just my two cents.

(Seriously, on this site, being an URM is a liability, many people tend to think URMs aren't capable, intelligent, or deserving of a solid medical education whether they realize their posts are intentionally coming across that way or not. I had a well-meaning well-respected member automatically assume I was a single parent though nothing in any of my posts said this AND I DON'T HAVE KIDS. I've been very grateful for at least the past few weeks there have not been any anti-URM flame war threads.)
 
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Ahem, I love the outting of URMs on SDN. If OP says she's URM, I'm pretty sure she knows her own damn ethnicity and if it's considered URM status by med schools. That being said, DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT. If you have the money, crazy-ness, or financial help from AAMCAS, I'd still apply this cycle, but I'd apply to super impossible Ivy-league schools knowing I'd probably get 86-ed from them all - but on the off-chance I got in somewhere, I'd be like the cow that jumped over the moon.

And then, assuming I did NOT get in anywhere, I'd do a post-bacc or a diy post-bacc to bump up the GPA.

As a CA resident and a URM, you have the wonderful option of probably getting into lots of low-cost or free post-bacc programs sponsored by the UCs. However, if I do recall, for some of them you have to have been rejected from med school the first time applying.

Also, kill that MCAT. Yup. Just my two cents.

(Seriously, on this site, being an URM is a liability, many people tend to think URMs aren't capable, intelligent, or deserving of a solid medical education whether they realize their posts are intentionally coming across that way or not. I had a well-meaning well-respected member automatically assume I was a single parent though nothing in any of my posts said this AND I DON'T HAVE KIDS. I've been very grateful for at least the past few weeks there have not been any anti-URM flame war threads.)
Plenty of people come on SDN stating that they are a URM when they are not. It's not an unreasonable question.

I agree that the UC postbaccs are the way to go for OP, if s/he needs to do anything at all.
 
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Plenty of people come on SDN stating that they are a URM when they are not. It's not an unreasonable question.

I agree that the UC postbaccs are the way to go for OP, if s/he needs to do anything at all.

It's a weekly occurrence(at least). Somebody comes on here proclaiming URM status only to come to the shock they actually aren't.
 
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Oh wow, I literally had no clue there were more replies to this post after Oct. 19th.

I took the MCAT last Friday and am hoping I got over a 510 (as that is supposed to fit into the range of the 80+% of black applicants who got accepted ~somewhere). I've begun filling out the AMCAS and I have LORs lined up, but if my MCAT isn't up to my goal, I guess I'll retract and consider taking some UC online courses.

I plan to consult with a health professions advisor within the week, but since I'm already here: any more thoughts on whether its worth retaking General Bio so I can "turn" the C and D into As, as a person who already has a bachelors degree in Biology?
 
Oh wow, I literally had no clue there were more replies to this post after Oct. 19th.

I took the MCAT last Friday and am hoping I got over a 510 (as that is supposed to fit into the range of the 80+% of black applicants who got accepted ~somewhere). I've begun filling out the AMCAS and I have LORs lined up, but if my MCAT isn't up to my goal, I guess I'll retract and consider taking some UC online courses.

I plan to consult with a health professions advisor within the week, but since I'm already here: any more thoughts on whether its worth retaking General Bio so I can "turn" the C and D into As, as a person who already has a bachelors degree in Biology?

Turning the D into an A would be worth it as, again, many schools won't accept a D in a pre-requisite course. The C? Not worth it. Just keep in mind that schools will see both grades regardless.
 
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Turning the D into an A would be worth it as, again, many schools won't accept a D in a pre-requisite course. The C? Not worth it. Just keep in mind that schools will see both grades regardless.
True.

The D is in second semester General Biology, and on quite a few med school's prereq list, they claim to accept other Biology courses, like Genetics or Cell Biology, as a part of the prereq fulfillment. I have Bs in those, which is why I still question whether it would be necessary to retake what is essentially an introductory course. If I could have a preference, I'd rather raise my sGPA with courses like Biochem or Stats. But of course, if I absolutely need to retake General Bio, then I guess I better hope I can find a slot in an online program.
 
True.

The D is in second semester General Biology, and on quite a few med school's prereq list, they claim to accept other Biology courses, like Genetics or Cell Biology, as a part of the prereq fulfillment. I have Bs in those, which is why I still question whether it would be necessary to retake what is essentially an introductory course. If I could have a preference, I'd rather raise my sGPA with courses like Biochem or Stats. But of course, if I absolutely need to retake General Bio, then I guess I better hope I can find a slot in an online program.


Large dogs

It's debatable, but I will see that most people who replace lower level for upper level are using AP courses as pre-requisite substitutions and not simply failing (or the equivalent, a D) a pre-requisite.
 
I got a C in both Calc courses and I have done some research on this matter. Its not red flag on you app, provided you do well on your science classes (which you did) and I dont recommend SMP, they are way too expensive and your GPA isnt that bad. Just make sure to score 90% on your MCAT and you should have a solid chance at MD schools
 
So, I've spoken to a family friend who is pretty well-connected within biomed/medical academia, and with all things considered, she said it's probably best to continue with applications and then ultimately decide whether to submit them when I receive my MCAT score. While I trust her advice, I'm also considering what's been said in here and am having second thoughts.

I'm confident that if I were to take a few post-bacc courses, I could show a continuation of my upward trend. I live about 30 minutes from a state university that has an open enrollment system. I'm thinking I'll get a few more opinions on what to do about that D in Bio, but maybe take Biochem and Stats as well. If I were to do all that, I'd probably have to quit my job, because I want to continue volunteering (and maybe even pursue more research).
._.
 
Update: So I'm about to enroll into the open university system and hopefully I can get a few science (and maybe ethics/humanities class) under my belt, to not only raise my science GPA by a hair, but more importantly, show a continued coursework after graduating about 3 years ago.

Sadly, Biostats is full this semester (which I really wanted to take), but I might have a chance at:
Biochem
Immunology
Neuroscience
Ethics in Science

They're all 100 level courses, which I hope is okay.
 
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