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Goro

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Jun 11, 2010
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I had a horrendous first 2.5 years of college (out of 5) due to a lot of personal issues. I can explain my initial ineptitude very well if need be. I am a recent graduate and will be taking the MCAT in January. I am currently looking into the Duke MBS program and I am wondering if I would be wasting my time doing this program or any similar program? I am worried about doing poorly in an SMP if that's the route I go down. I want to get into a US MD school and I am worried about having a failed application cycle in 2020 purely based on my GPA.

I did two years of biochemistry research, and two years of clinical research in which I will have one publication from by the time I apply next year. I also worked part-time throughout my entire undergrad. I was an upper-division genetics tutor, I worked in a free health clinic for 4 years and served as part of the undergraduate board that ran the clinic. I served as a board member of the Minority Association of Pre-medical students for 3 years and was vice-president for one of those years. During this glide year, I will also be starting a college-preparedness after-school program for the students at my old high-school as I attribute a great deal of my initial academic failures to my high school, and I would like to bring change in my community. I created a project in which I provide resources to struggling students by capturing the stories of medical students and undergraduates who overcame academic adversities. I also have specialists in the major pre-requisite classes do a step-by-step guide on how to succeed in those courses. It is still work in progress and I am currently working on getting more resources up and creating a mentorship program. In the first two months that it's been up, it has had 1250 hits.


In an ideal world, I would like to have the MCAT done before the next application cycle and be applying while doing the program. My GPA breakdown per year is listed below.

My main question is as followed. Given my GPA and extracurriculars, Do I absolutely need a post-bac or SMP to get into an MD medical school? Should I be applying to these program in the fall? I know that a lot hinges on my MCAT score, but how well do I have to do to get over my poor GPA?



My overall GPA is 3.478 and my sGPA is a 3.3.

1st-year cGPA 2.891 sGPA-2.295
2nd-year cGPA 3.304 sGPA-2.968
3rd-year cGPA 3.250 sGPA- 3.143
4th-year cGPA 4.00 sGPA- 4.0
5th-year cGPA 3.960 sGPA- 3.940
1) You're fine for DO schools right now. Score a 505+
2) For MD, there are schools that reward upward GPA trends, especially your state school(s). Shoot for 510+. Wayne State should be on your list as well.

Everything will depend upon your MCAT score. But I suggest that it will be prudent to apply to post-bac or SMP in the same cycle you apply to med schools, for insurance's sake.
 
Oct 14, 2011
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I'm not sure you "need" an SMP. I usually would suggest SMP if your undergraduate GPA finishes below 3.25 for sure. You're close to a 3.5 overall with a pretty reasonable shot to get above 3.50. You also have a compelling story about community service which will appeal to DO and MD. If your upward GPA years continue and given that you have at least a stake in supporting underserved patients and community members, you will do pretty well if you network with students and admissions staff now. Yes, nail that MCAT if you can. And yes, network with both MD and DO programs (SNMA and AMSA too).
 
Oct 14, 2011
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Sorry just to follow up on that. I was in a Medical School Enhancement Program which is set up to be a pipeline program for URM's at the UC Davis SOM. I got to network with UC Davis staff through that however I don't know how I would be able to network with admissions staff past my alma mater. I do have contacts at SNMA that I will definitely reach out to.

I did graduate this past spring and do you think it would be worthwhile to do a DIY post-bac after I take my MCAT in January at my local JC before applying next June? Would it be okay to do those classes at the JC, as I cannot afford to do open enrollment at UC Davis? Should I do that post-bac to get over a 3.5 overall GPA?

I was looking at the Duke MBS program and I was wondering if you had any thoughts on that program specifically?
Networking with other admissions staff: sometimes it's just easy to send an email either to their office or the diversity office counterpart at other medical schools. Again SNMA should help you there for sure. Just say hello and be friendly. Also many admissions folks travel to UC Davis for the big AMSA prehealth fair every year in October, and the prehealth advising office often will host or connect you. (I recruited at UCD many times and met dozens of prospective applicants.)

California is an odd circumstance in that you may have to take your DIY postbac courses at a CC/JC due to financial constraints on the state university system. People in your state know this. This is why networking is crucial.

Most SMP programs like Duke's and Georgetown's are going to be good academically. You just need to find out how solid they are with student support and application support. What's wrong with UCSF's postbac programs, by the way? Expense?
 
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