• Advice You're Thankful for Contest

    Now that it's getting close to Thanksgiving, we're running a contest to hear advice you've received that you're most thankful for! This can be any type of advice and the advice with the most reactions will win!

    JOIN CONTEST

DIY postbacc advice

premedhelp1256

Full Member
Jun 9, 2016
28
10
  1. Pre-Medical
    Hello everyone! I was hoping to get some advice on my situation/what I should be doing this year.

    I graduated last year (finished my 3 years, because of family financial problems due to my father's illness). Because of the situation when this first came out, I ended up with a very low (about 2.2) GPA in one semester. This included a couple of Cs in prereqs, a C- in intro bio included. I probably should have dropped during this semester but I was too hard headed to do so. My total GPAs now are 3.25 and 3.11 for cumulative and science, respectively. I ended up with a 520 mcat.
    I did apply to some schools this year, but I plan on taking some postbacc classes while working, in the likely case that this does not work out. I've been told that about 15 credits of solid As in upper level biology courses would help solidify my upward trend (there is a pretty significant one). Is that enough credits? Should I be aiming for more? I would rather not do an SMP/formal postbacc program that would require me to leave home, since I am needed here.

    Thank you all!
     

    GreenDuck12

    Full Member
    7+ Year Member
    Mar 30, 2014
    2,141
    2,314
    1. Medical Student
      You have a strong MCAT score but that GPA is not going to do you have favors with allopathic medical schools. At this point, I think you need to think about your long term goals and whether you want to pursue allopathic medical schools, osteopathic medical schools, or both.

      With allopathic schools your GPA needs to be closer to the 3.6 range. With where your GPA is now, it is unlikely that you would it be able to raise it to that level (even with a second bachelors degree). Post bac classes will help you raise your GPA provided you earn A-/A grades but it won't have a huge impact on your overall GPA. If you do take post-bac classes, look at upper division bio and take two or three classes per term. It will likely take more than 2 semesters to do this.

      With osteopathic schools, your GPA and MCAT score can likely earn you an admission this cycle if you have the other components of your application put together (strong background of volunteering/working in a medical setting and shadowing physicians). If you do not apply this cycle, look into retaking a few of your low grade classes (be strategic and take sciences too) because you can replace low grades with higher ones. This will allow you to raise your cGPA and sGPA much more dramatically than for allopathic schools.

      If you are truly gunning for allopathic medical schools, and SMP may (eventually) be your only option. However, I would look at completing a second degree beforehand. The reason being an SMP is like a final audition for medical school where you either nail it and have an improved chance at admission or your don't perform well and signal to medical schools that you can't handle it. At this point, an SMP does not seem like it is worth the risk.

      Long story short: take some upper division bio, make sure you have volunteer/shadowing hours, and learn about allopathic vs osteopathic medicine.
       

      premedhelp1256

      Full Member
      Jun 9, 2016
      28
      10
      1. Pre-Medical
        You have a strong MCAT score but that GPA is not going to do you have favors with allopathic medical schools. At this point, I think you need to think about your long term goals and whether you want to pursue allopathic medical schools, osteopathic medical schools, or both.

        With allopathic schools your GPA needs to be closer to the 3.6 range. With where your GPA is now, it is unlikely that you would it be able to raise it to that level (even with a second bachelors degree). Post bac classes will help you raise your GPA provided you earn A-/A grades but it won't have a huge impact on your overall GPA. If you do take post-bac classes, look at upper division bio and take two or three classes per term. It will likely take more than 2 semesters to do this.

        With osteopathic schools, your GPA and MCAT score can likely earn you an admission this cycle if you have the other components of your application put together (strong background of volunteering/working in a medical setting and shadowing physicians). If you do not apply this cycle, look into retaking a few of your low grade classes (be strategic and take sciences too) because you can replace low grades with higher ones. This will allow you to raise your cGPA and sGPA much more dramatically than for allopathic schools.

        If you are truly gunning for allopathic medical schools, and SMP may (eventually) be your only option. However, I would look at completing a second degree beforehand. The reason being an SMP is like a final audition for medical school where you either nail it and have an improved chance at admission or your don't perform well and signal to medical schools that you can't handle it. At this point, an SMP does not seem like it is worth the risk.

        Long story short: take some upper division bio, make sure you have volunteer/shadowing hours, and learn about allopathic vs osteopathic medicine.

        Thank you! I appreciate the help!

        I've applied this year, to both MD and DOs (though my list of DO was limited due to not having a DO letter when I applied).

        Right now, my plan is to work while improving my application. I feel like I have a pretty good base about the difference between MD and DO, however I will look into it in more detail. The only class I think would be useful to retake would be my intro to bio course, since it is a C-.

        In terms of postbacc classes, do schools care more about the amount of credits taken, or the overall trend? My premed adviser told me that I should aim for 15 credits over two semesters to make my upward trend stronger. However, I wasn't really sure if this would be enough to prove myself since I kinda screwed myself. Do you think it would be better to take more credits/focus on more semesters of work?
         
        About the Ads

        GreenDuck12

        Full Member
        7+ Year Member
        Mar 30, 2014
        2,141
        2,314
        1. Medical Student
          I would run some simulations (read: calculations) to see what the impact of 15 credits would do for your GPA vs 30 vs more. Unfortunately, for MD admission, you are correct in that you shot yourself in the foot with your GPA. For MD schools, 60% of all applicants do not matriculate in any given year for a variety of factors. The reality is that medical school admissions is incredibly competitive with tons more applicants than spaces. The AAMC posts statistics about the admission rates for GPA and MCAT scores. I would take a look at this to give you an idea about what you need to do as an applicant to increase your chances. The unfortunate thing is that recovering for MD admissions is incredibly challenging and will be both time consuming and expensive. If I were in your shoes, I would pursue osteopathic medical schools by taking some post-bac classes when I am best able to earn high grades, volunteer in a medical setting, and shadow several osteopathic doctors in difference specialties. Eventually, when ready, I would apply broadly.
           

          DrMikeP

          Full Member
          5+ Year Member
          Apr 25, 2014
          1,679
          1,065
          Florida
          1. Medical Student
            Hello everyone! I was hoping to get some advice on my situation/what I should be doing this year.

            I graduated last year (finished my 3 years, because of family financial problems due to my father's illness). Because of the situation when this first came out, I ended up with a very low (about 2.2) GPA in one semester. This included a couple of Cs in prereqs, a C- in intro bio included. I probably should have dropped during this semester but I was too hard headed to do so. My total GPAs now are 3.25 and 3.11 for cumulative and science, respectively. I ended up with a 520 mcat.
            I did apply to some schools this year, but I plan on taking some postbacc classes while working, in the likely case that this does not work out. I've been told that about 15 credits of solid As in upper level biology courses would help solidify my upward trend (there is a pretty significant one). Is that enough credits? Should I be aiming for more? I would rather not do an SMP/formal postbacc program that would require me to leave home, since I am needed here.

            Thank you all!

            You applied this current cycle or last cycle, when you say this year?

            You should have a good shot with DO, so if you're applying this cycle this year really consider adding DO schools to your list, but get it out ASAP yesterday. Is that your sgpa straight or with retakes?

            An SMP is dangerous at this moment if you're applying this cycle, as poor grades can cause a school to rescind an offer. So if anything do some retakes to boost your DO chances or study like heck to make A's in other courses.

            If your heart is set on MD then do some reading on gpa repair in the Allo Form and SMP may be your only option.

            Best of Luck
             
            • Like
            Reactions: 1 user

            premedhelp1256

            Full Member
            Jun 9, 2016
            28
            10
            1. Pre-Medical
              You applied this current cycle or last cycle, when you say this year?

              You should have a good shot with DO, so if you're applying this cycle this year really consider adding DO schools to your list, but get it out ASAP yesterday. Is that your sgpa straight or with retakes?

              An SMP is dangerous at this moment if you're applying this cycle, as poor grades can cause a school to rescind an offer. So if anything do some retakes to boost your DO chances or study like heck to make A's in other courses.

              If your heart is set on MD then do some reading on gpa repair in the Allo Form and SMP may be your only option.

              Best of Luck

              When I say I applied this year, I should have said I applied this cycle. My mistake, sorry for the confusion.

              I applied to a good mix of both MD and DO schools, though most of my schools were MD because I don't have the physician letter of rec that is required at many DO schools. I applied to mostly florida schools since that is where I am from, if that matters.

              That is my sGPA straight. I was a biology major, so the majority of my classes were BCMP, however. I have a pretty significant upward trend (though it isn't hard to go up from a 2.2...). The reason I plan on taking upper level science classes, rather than retaking prereqs, is that for the most part my prereq grades weren't "bad", but mostly in the B-B+ range so I'm not sure if it would make that much of a difference. Now that I've matured a bit I'm fairly confident that I could do better in those classes though. Would it be better to retake them?
               

              DrMikeP

              Full Member
              5+ Year Member
              Apr 25, 2014
              1,679
              1,065
              Florida
              1. Medical Student
                When I say I applied this year, I should have said I applied this cycle. My mistake, sorry for the confusion.

                I applied to a good mix of both MD and DO schools, though most of my schools were MD because I don't have the physician letter of rec that is required at many DO schools. I applied to mostly florida schools since that is where I am from, if that matters.

                That is my sGPA straight. I was a biology major, so the majority of my classes were BCMP, however. I have a pretty significant upward trend (though it isn't hard to go up from a 2.2...). The reason I plan on taking upper level science classes, rather than retaking prereqs, is that for the most part my prereq grades weren't "bad", but mostly in the B-B+ range so I'm not sure if it would make that much of a difference. Now that I've matured a bit I'm fairly confident that I could do better in those classes though. Would it be better to retake them?

                Retakes will help some with DO, but not at all with MD. With MD you're better off taking upper level classes that improve your app. With DO it's about getting the sgpa up as the priority (do some math to see how much either retake or new will help) and taking some extra ud classes like biochem....

                Most Florida MD schools are not that accepting of that low of a gpa, even with the awesome MCAT. But you might get lucky with the upward trend. The only guaranteed way of not getting an acceptance is to not apply at all. So why not shoot for some MD programs, as you have nothing to lose.

                However, you still have time for a DO letter!!! Many don't "require" it until interviews (some not until matriculation) and you can get one with a month of shadowing. So go start/get one and widen your DO net if you can afford it. That's probably the one thing that directly pays out significantly with just effort. I'd bet that quite a few DO schools would be interested and if you get accepted to a good program you can always turn down others.

                Best of Luck
                 
                • Like
                Reactions: 1 user

                premedhelp1256

                Full Member
                Jun 9, 2016
                28
                10
                1. Pre-Medical
                  Thank you both for your help! I truly appreciate it.

                  So as of right now, I've decided to go a sort of mixed route. I'll be retaking some of my low science classes, while also taking upper level sciences. If I am able to maintain around a 3.8 GPA (which would be very doable, in my opinion and looking at recent history) I should be able get my science GPA up to a 3.25. Further I will probably seek out a DO physician to get a letter of rec. If this cycle doesn't work out, I will be applying again next year, to both MD and DO programs.

                  If you don't mind me asking, DrMikeP, will you be attending a Florida medical school? This is just out of curiosity and the fact that I like knowing that other people from my state have succeeded.


                  Retakes will help some with DO, but not at all with MD. With MD you're better off taking upper level classes that improve your app. With DO it's about getting the sgpa up as the priority (do some math to see how much either retake or new will help) and taking some extra ud classes like biochem....

                  Most Florida MD schools are not that accepting of that low of a gpa, even with the awesome MCAT. But you might get lucky with the upward trend. The only guaranteed way of not getting an acceptance is to not apply at all. So why not shoot for some MD programs, as you have nothing to lose.

                  However, you still have time for a DO letter!!! Many don't "require" it until interviews (some not until matriculation) and you can get one with a month of shadowing. So go start/get one and widen your DO net if you can afford it. That's probably the one thing that directly pays out significantly with just effort. I'd bet that quite a few DO schools would be interested and if you get accepted to a good program you can always turn down others.

                  Best of Luck
                   

                  DrMikeP

                  Full Member
                  5+ Year Member
                  Apr 25, 2014
                  1,679
                  1,065
                  Florida
                  1. Medical Student
                    Thank you both for your help! I truly appreciate it.

                    So as of right now, I've decided to go a sort of mixed route. I'll be retaking some of my low science classes, while also taking upper level sciences. If I am able to maintain around a 3.8 GPA (which would be very doable, in my opinion and looking at recent history) I should be able get my science GPA up to a 3.25. Further I will probably seek out a DO physician to get a letter of rec. If this cycle doesn't work out, I will be applying again next year, to both MD and DO programs.

                    If you don't mind me asking, DrMikeP, will you be attending a Florida medical school? This is just out of curiosity and the fact that I like knowing that other people from my state have succeeded.
                    Not a FL one but nearby. It's possible.

                    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
                     
                    • Like
                    Reactions: 1 user
                    About the Ads
                    This thread is more than 5 years old.

                    Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

                    1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
                    2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                    3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                    4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
                    5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
                    6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                    7. This thread is locked.