Direction or advice for next steps

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infatuatedfate98

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Hello, I'm pretty new here but I'm really feeling a bit lost right now.
I was planning on applying this upcoming cycle but the MCAT is really really holding me back. Outside of this my main concern currently is that with my gpa I will be screened from all of the schools I apply to thus wasting thousands of dollars. Any advice/insight is greatly appreciated.

URM AA male and LGBT

Undergraduate: Biomedical Science 3.26cgpa and 2.9sgpa

Graduate: Did a non-smp masters of medical science ending with a 3.56gpa (LOR from program director)

Research: 2500+ hours with two poster presentations; currently working in a lab pending publication but for now lets assume I have none

Shadowing: Gastroenterologist, Pediatric oncologist, plastic surgeon, and orthopedic surgeon, pediatrician

Organizations/clinical/volunteering: 4 years in acapella group (3 years as board member and one as sitting president) which included volunteering at nursing homes and care centers multiple times a month; LGBT pre-health alliance, minority pre-professional science society, PAMSA, diversity global ambassador for the university abroad office and a representative for my concentration in medical graduate student society. Currently participating in clinical volunteering opportunity processing blood samples at a family practice working with mothers in their third trimester.

Lots of potential LORs including one from my current boss who is the associate dean of my department, one from the program director from my masters program, and one from my PI from grad school.

My questions:
1) Should I take more undergraduate courses this upcoming fall to boost my sGPA? If so what types of classes are best as I have a degree in Biomedical Sciences so many of them I have already taken/covered?

2) What recommendations do you have, if any, for someone really struggling with the mcat and seemingly not making any progress? What score should I realistically be aiming for to even potentially get attention at MD schools?

I know this was long but any feedback or advice is greatly appreciated.

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Hello friend, I don't feel qualified to give you a meaningful answer but I can suggest trying to obfuscate your numbers some for anonymity reasons.
 
Have you tried one of the in-person Princeton Review courses? I tried the self study approach with no improvement. I then took the Princeton class 4 nights a week and improved by 9 points. My school’s premed advising offered a discount for the course. Would also recommend taking more undergrad science courses to boost your GPA. Genetics, neuroscience, anatomy, etc.
 
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My questions:
1) Should I take more undergraduate courses this upcoming fall to boost my sGPA? If so what types of classes are best as I have a degree in Biomedical Sciences so many of them I have already taken/covered?
You've already taken graduate science classes, so you need to network with more diversity officers at the schools you may be interested in. It's hard to say without looking at a transcript, but your SMP already would take care of this.

2) What recommendations do you have, if any, for someone really struggling with the mcat and seemingly not making any progress? What score should I realistically be aiming for to even potentially get attention at MD schools?

Have you networked with any affinity groups such as SNMA, MSPA, etc.? Some of these organizations may be able to find opportunities to get you MCAT assistance or scholarships.

 
You've already taken graduate science classes, so you need to network with more diversity officers at the schools you may be interested in. It's hard to say without looking at a transcript, but your SMP already would take care of this.



Have you networked with any affinity groups such as SNMA, MSPA, etc.? Some of these organizations may be able to find opportunities to get you MCAT assistance or scholarships.

Thanks for the feedback! You mentioned that my "SMP already would take care of this" but the masters I completed was not an SMP and had no affect on my undergraduate gpa. I currently have a sGPA of 2.9 which will likely get me screened that's why I was inquiring about taking a few extra undergrad courses.
 
Thanks for the feedback! You mentioned that my "SMP already would take care of this" but the masters I completed was not an SMP and had no affect on my undergraduate gpa. I currently have a sGPA of 2.9 which will likely get me screened that's why I was inquiring about taking a few extra undergrad courses.
You are really well-informed overall, but yes tragically the 3.0 screening is commonplace at many schools. Have you ever thought of taking science courses only and attempting to raise that sGPA? If you raise it past a 3.0 and do well on the MCAT, you will be on-target for DO schools 100%.

Could you break down your shadowing hours for me and do you have any community service experiences targeting specific populations (rural, underserved, etc.)?
 
You are really well-informed overall, but yes tragically the 3.0 screening is commonplace at many schools. Have you ever thought of taking science courses only and attempting to raise that sGPA? If you raise it past a 3.0 and do well on the MCAT, you will be on-target for DO schools 100%.

Could you break down your shadowing hours for me and do you have any community service experiences targeting specific populations (rural, underserved, etc.)?
Thanks for the feedback! Im trying desperately to overcome the mcat hurdle currently. Community service was mostly with aging populations including those with Alzheimer's and dementia diagnoses. I know highschool shadowing w/ the gastroenterologist doesn't count so I doubt I will put it on my app but the only reason I'm on the fence is because it was my senior year of high school and was twice a week for an entire semester through an externship program (45+ hours). Oncology was 16hrs. Plastics was around 16hrs. Ortho was 27-30hrs and peds was 8hrs.
 
I would shadow more FM/IM/Pediatrics to get primary care as your main source of your shadowing hours.

For aging populations, was it just general aging populations with Alzheimer’s and dementia, or was it a specific group such as rural or underserved? DO schools place great emphasis on the two populations I mentioned, especially depending on where you apply, and I think you should get some community service experience that serves these populations as it will greatly boost your commitment to your community.

Once you manage to get over that MCAT hurdle and community service as well as more primary care shadowing experiences, I would then recommend applying. It may take another year, as unfortunate as that sounds, unless you apply a bit later than everyone and start addressing these shortcomings within this month onward.
 
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