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Background in Business. How are lab grades integrated and is a post-bacc worth it with a 3.4gpa.

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Allopathic2016

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Hey guys. Newer to SDN. Firstly, my background is in business finance. Looking to do a post-bacc to get my prerequisites under my belt. Excuse my ignorance but how exactly are labs graded? Are they graded completely separate from the lecture? For example, if I take chem I with its accompanying lab, is there one grade for the lecture independent of the lab and vice versa or are they both somehow integrated? I know the lecture is 3 credits and the lab is 1. How do schools view success in a lecture but sub-par performance in a lab, say an A in lecture but a C in a lab course?

My undergrad gpa is a 3.4. I am STRICTLY looking to get into allopathic schools. Do you guys think that with a 3.4 gpa it is even worth spending the money on a post bacc and applying VERY broadly to as many M.D schools that my budget can dictate? I am playing hypothetical here but if I were to do well in a post-bacc say a 3.8-4.0 gpa mixed with some good EC's, would I have a chance at allopathic?

I should also mention that I had severe health issues (Crohn's disease) in my early undergraduate years hence the mediocre gpa of 3.4. My Junior year I found a good treatment regime and came into remission. My Junior and Senior year I received nothing less than an A in 16 classes (which were my hardest courses taken). I am the type of person who will study 24/7 and work their absolute ass off. Do you guys believe in trends? If I can demonstrate extreme success in a post-bacc along with my recent 2 years in undergrad of A's, that will be a pretty lovely upward trend. Do you guys think I have a chance here? (I believe on Amcas there is a section to mark "disadvantaged" does this help (increase the chance of acceptance such as a URM) an individual like me who has suffered from health issues and would it be justifiable to declare myself disadvantaged due to health concerns?)
 

WhittyPsyche

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This differs from school to school and even class to class. At my uni, I had bio graded centrally on the work although lab was a separate course and the grade just gets copied for both classes. Chem had separate courses and separate grades. Physics is one course for both levels and lab and lab is a percent of the grade.
 

enchantediris

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Nice job on your upward GPA trend! A 3.4 isn't amazing, but it's not an application sinker either. What's your sGPA (only includes biology, chemistry, physics, and math courses)? If it's much lower, then that is a bigger issue and you would definitely want to look into a post bacc.

As for the post bacc – do you have pre-reqs that you still need to take, or will you be strictly taking upper level classes? In either case, bringing your cGPA and sGPA over 3.6 (about the average GPA for matriculating MD students) will be great for your application. In addition, there are some medical schools like Vanderbilt that reward reinvention and improvement so your upward trend would be great for those schools. As for the lab, I'm not an adcom but I've always thought that people who do well in lecture but badly in lab as a little lazy. Writing lab reports can be finicky but generally as long as you put in the effort to follow the guidelines, you should do well.

Along with good ECs (Do you have any clinically-related volunteering/employment or shadowing?), you'll also want to score well on the MCAT. The MCAT is so important to your application that no one can predict your chances of acceptance anywhere without it. Also, I am under the impression that the "disadvantaged" status has more to do with being (severly) socionomically disadvantaged rather than having medical issues. However, writing about your experience with Crohn's and how that shaped your interest in medicine would make for a good personal statement.
 
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