Best route to take for D.O. for a non-traditional???

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tresker101

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I am a non-traditional future applicant for Osteopathic schools and I need some advice as to what I should do in the fall. First, my background:

Graduated May 2012 with major in Economics.
Undergrad cumulative gpa: 3.009
Undergrad Science gpa: 2.868
Undergrad upper division gpa: 3.02

Decent ECs, very good letters of recommendation, compelling personal statement, no mcat, and I haven’t applied to medical school before.

I have the following options for fall 2013:

1) Masters in Medical Science degree at state university. 1 year of courses equivalent to first year of medical school curriculum.
2) Engineering program at a state school which would allow for a back-up career if medicine doesn’t work out. I can do undergraduate science retakes while taking engineering coursework.
3) Simply do a self-guided DIY retake post-bacc at state university.

Each path has its own risks, positives, and negatives. I understand that my gpa’s are incredibly low. I have learned from my mistakes and I am in a much better frame of mind now. I posted something similar in the pre-DO forum but I was told to post here as well for better insight into my situation. I have been working full-time and volunteering since undergrad. I will also be taking a few retakes at my local community college this summer. Thank you for any help/advice you can give me.

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If you're truly committed to a career in Medicine, I recommend #1.

I understand the rationale for #2, but I don't think you'll get as much benefit from an AdCom in seeing a whole bunch of engineering coursework. Medicine and Engineering are two very different subjects. I've had several Engineering students in our program get into trouble because the way they were trained (compared to the typical Biology or Life Science major).

#3 is the best option for those with cash flow or time limitation problems...ie, those of you with extant careers right now who can't afford to stop completely for option #1.

I personally like #1 because they're a back door into medical school. The faculty will get to know you and your good performance will show us you can handle medical school.
Hope this helps, and good luck!

1) Masters in Medical Science degree at state university. 1 year of courses equivalent to first year of medical school curriculum.
2) Engineering program at a state school which would allow for a back-up career if medicine doesn’t work out. I can do undergraduate science retakes while taking engineering coursework.
3) Simply do a self-guided DIY retake post-bacc at state university.

Each path has its own risks, positives, and negatives. I understand that my gpa’s are incredibly low. I have learned from my mistakes and I am in a much better frame of mind now. I posted something similar in the pre-DO forum but I was told to post here as well for better insight into my situation. I have been working full-time and volunteering since undergrad. I will also be taking a few retakes at my local community college this summer. Thank you for any help/advice you can give me.[/QUOTE]
 
My advice would depend on what your grade distribution/credit hours situation was like. If you have tons of credit hours and almost all your classes were B's (thus the 3.0) then retakes wouldn't necessarily repair your gpa quickly and you might want to look at #1 or 2. However, if your grades are more polar- some As and some very low grades, Ds, Fs- then I'd recommend option #3.

For example, if you had 120 credit hours to your name and 8 classes (at 3 hours per) with Ds, retaking those courses and getting A's would raise your cgpa over 3.2. Given fewer science credits, the improvement potential for a science gpa is even bigger. Repairing the gpa, completing the necessary coursework and a solid score on the mcat should position you well.

Good luck regardless.
 
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If you're truly committed to a career in Medicine, I recommend #1.

I understand the rationale for #2, but I don't think you'll get as much benefit from an AdCom in seeing a whole bunch of engineering coursework. Medicine and Engineering are two very different subjects. I've had several Engineering students in our program get into trouble because the way they were trained (compared to the typical Biology or Life Science major).

#3 is the best option for those with cash flow or time limitation problems...ie, those of you with extant careers right now who can't afford to stop completely for option #1.

I personally like #1 because they're a back door into medical school. The faculty will get to know you and your good performance will show us you can handle medical school.
Hope this helps, and good luck!

1) Masters in Medical Science degree at state university. 1 year of courses equivalent to first year of medical school curriculum.
2) Engineering program at a state school which would allow for a back-up career if medicine doesn’t work out. I can do undergraduate science retakes while taking engineering coursework.
3) Simply do a self-guided DIY retake post-bacc at state university.

Each path has its own risks, positives, and negatives. I understand that my gpa’s are incredibly low. I have learned from my mistakes and I am in a much better frame of mind now. I posted something similar in the pre-DO forum but I was told to post here as well for better insight into my situation. I have been working full-time and volunteering since undergrad. I will also be taking a few retakes at my local community college this summer. Thank you for any help/advice you can give me.
[/QUOTE]

Excellent advice. I am intrigued as to what you mean by "trained." Did the engineers have different perspectives on healthcare than the life science majors? Or did they have a different approach to medical school? The medical science masters is not a true SMP per se, the courses are separate from the medical students and there are no linkages. I am in a very tight position academically. Would it be wiser to seek DO masters programs with linkage/bridge to medical school policies? Will the masters in medical science program gpa be factored in with undergraduate science gpa (either for DO or MD?)

My advice would depend on what your grade distribution/credit hours situation was like. If you have tons of credit hours and almost all your classes were B's (thus the 3.0) then retakes wouldn't necessarily repair your gpa quickly and you might want to look at #1 or 2. However, if your grades are more polar- some As and some very low grades, Ds, Fs- then I'd recommend option #3.

For example, if you had 120 credit hours to your name and 8 classes (at 3 hours per) with Ds, retaking those courses and getting A's would raise your cgpa over 3.2. Given fewer science credits, the improvement potential for a science gpa is even bigger. Repairing the gpa, completing the necessary coursework and a solid score on the mcat should position you well.

Good luck regardless.

Thank you for the good luck wishes. I have about 70 some odd credits of science courses. 50 or so if you remove mathematics grades for AACOMAS. My grades are definitely bi-polar. Several As, Several Ds with average performance in the rest of the coursework. If DO schools look at spontaneous retakes at a higher grade so favorably, a masters program is a bit excessive, no?

I have so much anxiety right now. I know for sure that medicine is my calling and I have dreamed and worked toward the goal since childhood; however, I know the dire situation I am in. I can't even look at my lousy transcript without disgust....let alone an adcom.
 
Try and find a postbach that is "linked" with a med school if you can handle moving. Apparently lmu-debusk and lecom are both strongly linked.
 
A DO-related SMP would be great, as Goro/others have stated. If you don't want to do that, then I would recommend to retake any science courses that would help your sGPA. You would become much more competitive if, for instance, you bumped up your sGPA to 3.4 simply by retaking 3-5 science courses if possible. A 3.0-1 cGPA with a 3.3-5 sGPA along with a 26+ MCAT can be competitive applicant for DO schools. This is especially true for older/non-trads who have had unique life experiences. From doing some research, osteopathic adcoms really appreciate those with passionate stories in regard to their prospective careers to medicine.
 
Meaning they had very different learning styles in having to deal with biology-based systems (in avery short period of time (they don't call it "drinking from the fire hose" for nothing), compared to learning engineering.

I assume you'll still have courswork in your MS program like anatomy, physiology, biochem, etc? That will still go a long way. Now, if it were limnology, ecology, botany, then you'd have a problem!


Excellent advice. I am intrigued as to what you mean by "trained." Did the engineers have different perspectives on healthcare than the life science majors? Or did they have a different approach to medical school? The medical science masters is not a true SMP per se, the courses are separate from the medical students and there are no linkages.


There are progams out there like that...We have one; TUCOM-NV another...PCOM I think as well.

"Would it be wiser to seek DO masters programs with linkage/bridge to medical school policies?

Yes, this goes into your cGPA (cumulative GPA)

Will the masters in medical science program gpa be factored in with undergraduate science gpa (either for DO or MD?)


You're correct, retaking low-grade coursework on your own can do wonders for your GPA. An SMP is simply the best designed because it shows you can handle all the stuff at once. But we accept plenty of people who the the DIY route.


"If DO schools look at spontaneous retakes at a higher grade so favorably, a masters program is a bit excessive, no?"

That's OK, we know that the you of not is not the same of you from then. We LIKE people who reinvent themselves!

I have so much anxiety right now. I know for sure that medicine is my calling and I have dreamed and worked toward the goal since childhood; however, I know the dire situation I am in. I can't even look at my lousy transcript without disgust....let alone an adcom.[/QUOTE]
 
Meaning they had very different learning styles in having to deal with biology-based systems (in avery short period of time (they don't call it "drinking from the fire hose" for nothing), compared to learning engineering.

I assume you'll still have courswork in your MS program like anatomy, physiology, biochem, etc? That will still go a long way. Now, if it were limnology, ecology, botany, then you'd have a problem!


Excellent advice. I am intrigued as to what you mean by "trained." Did the engineers have different perspectives on healthcare than the life science majors? Or did they have a different approach to medical school? The medical science masters is not a true SMP per se, the courses are separate from the medical students and there are no linkages.


There are progams out there like that...We have one; TUCOM-NV another...PCOM I think as well.

"Would it be wiser to seek DO masters programs with linkage/bridge to medical school policies?

Yes, this goes into your cGPA (cumulative GPA)

Will the masters in medical science program gpa be factored in with undergraduate science gpa (either for DO or MD?)


You're correct, retaking low-grade coursework on your own can do wonders for your GPA. An SMP is simply the best designed because it shows you can handle all the stuff at once. But we accept plenty of people who the the DIY route.


"If DO schools look at spontaneous retakes at a higher grade so favorably, a masters program is a bit excessive, no?"

That's OK, we know that the you of not is not the same of you from then. We LIKE people who reinvent themselves!

I have so much anxiety right now. I know for sure that medicine is my calling and I have dreamed and worked toward the goal since childhood; however, I know the dire situation I am in. I can't even look at my lousy transcript without disgust....let alone an adcom.
[/QUOTE]

Yes, all the courses in the masters program are typical first-year medical school coursework. Anatomy, Genetics, Microbiology, Histology, Biochemistry etc etc....I'm a little apprehensive to go this route due to the great difficulty of the masters with very little overall effect on sGPA.

If it is true that retakes alone are good for DO schools, wouldn't it make more sense to just retake the prereqs. Are retakes really that substantial. anyway? If a person got nothing but Fs the first time they took pre-reqs then got nothing but As on his or her retakes, then their sGPA is 4.00 no questions asked? It seems very hard to believe.

The best thing that the masters program has over retakes is that it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can handle med school coursework. But that is only if I do well.
 
LECOM post bacc.

Cheapest one out there ($13k for the year). I doubt you will find a more solid linkage. Have a 23 MCAT, 3.0 or higher in program and you're in.

Apply now and do well you will be in class of 2018 for a medical school. Sounds pretty sweet.
 
LECOM post bacc.

Cheapest one out there ($13k for the year). I doubt you will find a more solid linkage. Have a 23 MCAT, 3.0 or higher in program and you're in.

Apply now and do well you will be in class of 2018 for a medical school. Sounds pretty sweet.

I've heard about it. Only 1 problem: I don't have an MCAT score to speak of. Is this program in Florida or Pennsylvania? When is the deadline?
 
I've heard about it. Only 1 problem: I don't have an MCAT score to speak of. Is this program in Florida or Pennsylvania? When is the deadline?

You don't really need an MCAT to start the program. Deadline is pretty much the day classes start. My buddy was accepted 2 days prior.

Post bac is in PA.

Contact Jamie Murphy, he is very helpful.
 
Do engineering courses count as science for AACOMAS? The program is for chemical engineering...
 
DIY Post-bacc for repeats > any other option. It is not only cheaper, but it leaves wiggle room for a mistake or two; not failing but having to drop a course. An MS is unnecessarily expensive and one bad class means no more medicine in your future.
 
Hello,
I am new to this site and am seriously exploring being a doctor. I have an undergrad degree in education ( but I'm not a certified teacher) I graduated with honors 3.6 gpa. I am currently enrolled in a masters program for public health. I am early in my studies and thought to finish my masters and then apply to medical school. I just read your post and don't understand it entirely, but would like to know what school you are referring to and any other info. I do not have calculus, physics, or organic chem taken . I am working on my masters on line. Any suggestions on a path to medical school( finish the masters first then apply or does it look bad if i take some graduate level science courses then try to fill out apps for med school) Is it necessarily that I finish my masters at all ? Does it look bad that I started and have not completed it? I have a strong interest in preventing disease and health disparities. I currently work as a prevention specialist.My plans where to initially be able to head organizations and agencies that focused not only on preventing disease, but also intervention and research. I'm finding that I would certainly like to have the ability to help someone who is sick. I began then to entertain the idea of actually being a doctor. I did work for 15 years as a cna/certified medication aide and enjoyed it and continue to work and volunteer with at risk populations.
 
Isn't that a little too easy, though? Let's say a person took all their prereqs and got F's then retook all the courses again through a post-bacc and got A's then that means their GPA is 4.00 no questions asked for AACOMAS??

DIY Post-bacc for repeats > any other option. It is not only cheaper, but it leaves wiggle room for a mistake or two; not failing but having to drop a course. An MS is unnecessarily expensive and one bad class means no more medicine in your future.
 
Go to community college for 1 or 2 semesters. Retake the chem/bio stuff until you get a B or higher. Move back in with mom and dad. Dedicate 1 year to sharpening your re su me. Then apply.
 
Isn't that a little too easy, though? Let's say a person took all their prereqs and got F's then retook all the courses again through a post-bacc and got A's then that means their GPA is 4.00 no questions asked for AACOMAS??
Yes, it would be 4.0 with no questions asked. However, since they can see the original grade, most people take about 1 upper division for every 2 or 3 retakes to show that the grade trend is not a product of simply repeating a course.
 
You don't really need an MCAT to start the program. Deadline is pretty much the day classes start. My buddy was accepted 2 days prior.

Post bac is in PA.

Contact Jamie Murphy, he is very helpful.

Contacted him...he said an MCAT score is required to evaluate application.
 
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