Apply SMP while applying to medical school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Virgil, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Virgil

    Virgil Hi hi!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I don't know if this has been asked before, so please forgive me if it has.

    Basically, there is a really high possibility I might not get in this year. It's looking like I will have borderline stats and a late, rushed application.

    Because I'm graduating in Spring of 2009, I'm thinking I should apply for SMP programs (in case I don't get in) along with a broad application to medical schools this year. After all, I'll have absolutely nothing to do from Summer 2009 to August 2010 if I don't get in (about 15 months...over a year!) so it might be the best use of my time. Is this even possible? If not, would you guys mind advising me on my situation? Thank you for reading.
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Sonnet43

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    If you're borderline and you already have doubts, then why not just take the extra year off? Doing the SMP on your year off is a good idea, as well as beefing up your clinical experiences. I knew I wasn't going to be competitive applying as a junior with borderline stats so I waited until this year instead of wasting my money. (You spend enough as it is for one round...why do you want to do it two times? Unless you have money to just throw away...then donate it to SDN). Anyway, I'm graduating this year, applied this year. While I'm finishing up secondaries and doing interviews, I'll be doing my one year SMP. Hope that helps.
     
  4. Virgil

    Virgil Hi hi!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I don't know...I'm thinking as long as I have a chance, I should take it. The payoff is so big. In my circumstances, saving a year would be huge. I have a 3.5 cumulative, 3.3 science, (probably) a 30 MCAT, good EC's and a great relationship with my state school (which is not on rolling admissions). I'm really banking on my state school--I'm right at their averages (more or less) and have done all the right things to get them to notice me.

    This really gets me thinking...I really need to put my heart and soul into my application, don't I? Rushing it could be a nail in the coffin for me. It will undoubtedly be late, but it doesn't have to be rushed. Even being late doesn't seem like a deal killer. So I have to put in all my efforts into getting in this year, because the alternative is bleak. Even though I'm rushing my MCAT, I need to put some time into my AMCAS. Hell, I don't think I can study more than 8 out of the 15 hours I'm awake anyway.

    Haha, I'm thinking out loud. So, given that I will put my best foot forward with a late but strong application with average stats (3.5, 30 MCAT), should I also apply SMP just in case?
     
  5. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    6
    Prayer might help...

    But seriously, why not apply to SMP? It's not like it costs as much as med school application. Should probably apply just in case. Also, 3.5 is just average, meaning that half the matriculants have GPAs below what you have. Somehow people always miss this part. Applying late and doing a crappy job on the application might not be the best idea, so one option would be to look in MSAR and choose maybe 2-6 schools that have lower GPA acceptances and do a great job on those application (while you apply to SMP). If you think you have weak ECs, LORs, etc, then it might be a good idea to not apply this year just so that you don't become a reapplicant, which apparently some schools view as a negative.
     
  6. Virgil

    Virgil Hi hi!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Haha, nice one. :) What do you guys think about SMPs in particular? Are they worth it? I want to do well in medical school and have all paths open especially if I decide on a competitive specialty, and having taken the same classes before will undoubtedly give me a leg up on the competition. Honestly, I really don't know much about SMPs. But from what I hear these programs are pretty expensive...thoughts?
     
  7. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    6
    SMP is a special masters program. To find one, go http://services.aamc.org/postbac/. Also, your question will be better answered in the post-bacc forum: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=71.

    Here is the consensus on SDN: if you can do something other than SMP, like a post-bacc, you absolutely should. SMP can give high yields, but, it is very risky because you will be taking an entire year of medical school courses. If you don't do well there (I think above 3.5), your chances at med school will be done for. SMP is a last chance.

    Frankly, your GPA is not bad enough to risk an SMP or to have it benefit you much. I think the advice that you'll get is to take post-bacc courses or undergraduate courses and bring up your BCPM. Look at it this way: you have average numbers for med school now. If you take SMP and you bomb it, you might destroy your chances of ever getting in. Think carefully. How could you decide to do an SMP if you don't even know much about SMPs? Never make rushed decisions like that. At least talk to your adviser.

    SMPs are usually recommended for people who have GPAs at around 3.0 or below. There are some people who got into an allopathic US school with a GPA close to 3.0, right here on SDN. If you can bring your BCPM up a little and really concentrate on your MCAT and ECs, you should be fine. Pre-meds tend to panic way too much!
     
  8. Virgil

    Virgil Hi hi!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Cool, I see. I didn't know it was such a huge risk to take an SMP. It looked really appealing to me because taking the same classes with actual medical students seems like the absolute way to prepare for medical school, especially since I have nothing better to do during my year off. I know that SMP will help my app. during my year off but that's not my reason for doing one...I think I'd have a really good chance (or much better, at least) of getting in as a reapplicant with a higher GPA, generally stronger and early application. Can anyone else confirm that doing bad in an SMP is a deal breaker for a reapplicant with a 3.5-3.6 GPA and a ~30 MCAT?

    In a nutshell, I guess what I'm asking is this: is undertaking an SMP during your year off (reapplicant year) in order to prepare for medical school a dumb and/or risky idea? If so, I'll save my money and time by not applying SMP along with my AMCAS.
     
  9. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist
    Physician

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    6,437
    Likes Received:
    4,439
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Another thing to consider for the real SMPs... They're expensive. They're *really* expensive. I think the formal SMP cost something like $50k for the year. You'd be a lot better served just doing an informal post-bac somewhere (your undergrad institution? your local state college?) and picking up a bunch of upper division science classes. Post-bac classes count for your undergrade GPA, so thats an easy way to raise it. Really, unless you're really desperate, a SMP isn't worth it.
     

Share This Page