Dr. Scribe

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I am an ORM with a 3.70cGPA and 3.67sgpa. Applying to state schools. Also have 1 semester left to improve by maybe 0.03 on each gpa. 33 MCAT if that matters. Willing to do whatever it takes: post-bacc, SMP, master's. Just not sure what the best route is. Thanks for the help
 
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Hospitalized

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I am an ORM with a 3.70cGPA and 3.67sgpa. Applying to state schools. Also have 1 semester left to improve by maybe 0.03 on each gpa. 33 MCAT if that matters. Willing to do whatever it takes: post-doc, SMP, master's. Just not sure what the best route is. Thanks for the help
Yes, yes it does.
 
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ZedsDed

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I am an ORM with a 3.70cGPA and 3.67sgpa. Applying to state schools. Also have 1 semester left to improve by maybe 0.03 on each gpa. 33 MCAT if that matters. Willing to do whatever it takes: post-doc, SMP, master's. Just not sure what the best route is. Thanks for the help
You have everything to lose and nothing to gain from an SMP.
 

Goro

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Either work on the self-esteem or get a 'scrip for Xanax, because your stats are very competitive.

I am an ORM with a 3.70cGPA and 3.67sgpa. Applying to state schools. Also have 1 semester left to improve by maybe 0.03 on each gpa. 33 MCAT if that matters. Willing to do whatever it takes: post-doc, SMP, master's. Just not sure what the best route is. Thanks for the help
 

GrapesofRath

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You have everything to lose and nothing to gain from an SMP.
This is the key point to emphasize. Whether or not you think your GPA is good enough and whatever your self esteem is what you have to realize is you can make your academic performance "not good enough" by partaking in an SMP which are ruthlessly competitive and not performing as well as you need to. SMPs are meant to be last resort things for a reason; it's very difficult to beat over half of a class of medical students(hard enough half the medical students many of whom were straight A students there whole life couldn't do it).
 
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Dr. Scribe

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I appreciate everyone's input. Assuming my GPA remains around the same after this semester and I do not receive admission to medical school, during my gap year I will focus on beefing up my EC's and taking the new MCAT.
 

ac62994

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I appreciate everyone's input. Assuming my GPA remains around the same after this semester and I do not receive admission to medical school, during my gap year I will focus on beefing up my EC's and taking the new MCAT.
Retaking a 33??

If you don't get an acceptance on your cycle you either didn't apply to the right schools or enough schools.
 
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I appreciate everyone's input. Assuming my GPA remains around the same after this semester and I do not receive admission to medical school, during my gap year I will focus on beefing up my EC's and taking the new MCAT.
It's great to have a back-up plan, but as long as you don't have any red flags, you've covered the bases on ECs, and you applied to schools within your reach, you should be just fine. Have a little confidence!
 

mehc012

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Retaking a 33??

If you don't get an acceptance on your cycle you either didn't apply to the right schools or enough schools.
They may have to retake the MCAT despite the good score...schools are transitioning to the new one, and each year after this one, fewer schools will accept the pre-2015 version.
 

sovereign0

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They may have to retake the MCAT despite the good score...schools are transitioning to the new one, and each year after this one, fewer schools will accept the pre-2015 version.
https://www.aamc.org/students/download/398586/data/mcatexampolicy.pdf

On paper, this won't be much of a problem. As for the practical influence of having an older MCAT, I don't think anyone can say. It is by no means a requirement to take the new MCAT to have a shot, though.

I am an ORM with a 3.70cGPA and 3.67sgpa. Applying to state schools. Also have 1 semester left to improve by maybe 0.03 on each gpa. 33 MCAT if that matters. Willing to do whatever it takes: post-bacc, SMP, master's. Just not sure what the best route is. Thanks for the help
To the OP: Your stats are just fine. Focus on developing your experiences and roundedness, as this will be what really sets you apart. Especially if you are ORM.
 

mehc012

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https://www.aamc.org/students/download/398586/data/mcatexampolicy.pdf

On paper, this won't be much of a problem. As for the practical influence of having an older MCAT, I don't think anyone can say. It is by no means a requirement to take the new MCAT to have a shot, though.
Depends on which state schools. Also, I am unclear as to whether OP is CURRENTLY applying, or since they're still trying to change their GPA, whether their first app would be next cycle. If they're applying right now (2016), with the reapplication next year (2017), you're probably right. If they're talking 2017/2018, they would be looking at over 60 schools taking only the 2015 MCAT for the 2018 cycle, so a retake could be huge for a reapplication.

Regardless, they likely won't need a reapplication with those stats unless they have a huge flaw elsewhere in their app, as many here have pointed out.
 

sovereign0

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Depends on which state schools. Also, I am unclear as to whether OP is CURRENTLY applying, or since they're still trying to change their GPA, whether their first app would be next cycle. If they're applying right now (2016), with the reapplication next year (2017), you're probably right. If they're talking 2017/2018, they would be looking at over 60 schools taking only the 2015 MCAT for the 2018 cycle, so a retake could be huge for a reapplication.

Regardless, they likely won't need a reapplication with those stats unless they have a huge flaw elsewhere in their app, as many here have pointed out.
By the 2018 cycle his score would have expired already (assuming he took it in 2014), so he would be retaking it anyway.
 
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mehc012

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By the 2018 cycle his score would have expired already (assuming he took it in 2014), so he would be retaking it anyway.
Could have taken it in January. Also, the 2018 cycle takes place in 2017, so depending on what they measure the 3yrs from (application or matriculation) a 2014 MCAT could be fine. :shrug:

At any rate, this is unimportant...I was merely pointing out one motivation someone could have for retaking a 33 MCAT. Whether by timeline or MCAT 2015 policy, that 33 is only going to last so long!
 
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ZedsDed

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This is the key point to emphasize. Whether or not you think your GPA is good enough and whatever your self esteem is what you have to realize is you can make your academic performance "not good enough" by partaking in an SMP which are ruthlessly competitive and not performing as well as you need to. SMPs are meant to be last resort things for a reason; it's very difficult to beat over half of a class of medical students(hard enough half the medical students many of whom were straight A students there whole life couldn't do it).
While we're on the subject, I want to throw a post up here from DrMidlife. Her advice is always sobering.
The second thing you should do is slow down. With your grades, you're not ready to move on to grad work. Not even if you get a 4.0 this coming year. The work in an SMP requires you to have mastered the content from undergrad. Kids who have 3.5's in undergrad routinely get crushed in an SMP. Kids who have 4.0's in undergrad routinely get crushed in med school. It should be important to you to not get crushed, because getting crushed means failing out with $100k+ in student debt, or it means not getting to choose your specialty, and/or it means not getting through med school in 4 years which means not being able to match well. It's better to take some years off school after undergrad, and come back later for another try, than it is to get into med school and not do well.

In any further schooling, including the coming year, without question you need to get almost all A's. If that's not possible, then med school doesn't make sense for you. It doesn't matter how great a doctor you'd be if you aren't a top student.

Look for a longer, more comprehensive postbac, so that you're well prepared to succeed in med school (which is more important than getting in). Possibilities:
1. Add a major to your current program. Negotiate so that you can retake any prereqs below a B.
2. Do a 2nd bachelors, such as in biochem or microbio.
3. Look into Gtown GEMS or similar programs, as part of a solution.

Wait on the MCAT until you have a more solid foundation. Don't take the MCAT until you're ready to take it once and get your best imaginably possible score.

tl;dr: getting into an SMP or med school is no gift if you're not prepared to succeed.

Best of luck to you.
 
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Dr. Scribe

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Depends on which state schools. Also, I am unclear as to whether OP is CURRENTLY applying, or since they're still trying to change their GPA, whether their first app would be next cycle. If they're applying right now (2016), with the reapplication next year (2017), you're probably right. If they're talking 2017/2018, they would be looking at over 60 schools taking only the 2015 MCAT for the 2018 cycle, so a retake could be huge for a reapplication.

Regardless, they likely won't need a reapplication with those stats unless they have a huge flaw elsewhere in their app, as many here have pointed out.
I have already applied for the 2016 cycle.
 
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Dr. Scribe

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Just to clear some things up: I have applied this cycle (verified 6/8, secondaries submitted around 7/7), I took my MCAT last summer and the breakdown was 13P/9V/11B. I'm not afraid of retaking; I think I could improve my verbal score at least. Also, I live in Fl.
 

GrapesofRath

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While we're on the subject, I want to throw a post up here from DrMidlife. Her advice is always sobering.
SMP's are just so so so difficult. You'll hear Goro and other ADCOMs on here say SMPs dont cover anywhere close to the amount of material in medical school but those who actually do SMPs and those in charge of SMP programs tend to disagree. There are some people with administrative roles in medical schools that have SMPs that will tell you an SMP is harder than a first year medical student workload. People just don't realize how hard it is to do better than at least say 3/5 of medical students in their classes. There are clearly current medical students who if you made them do an SMP would not perform quite at the level ADCOMs would want to see(3.65+ GPA).

There are tons and tons of current physicians, ones who crushed STEP 1 and matched into top specialties who had problems their first year in medical school, had exams where they were in the bottom 30% of the class etc. Guess what? If they had to do an SMP they would have been screwed. Completely. ADCOMs have such high standards for what they consider success in SMPs. It really is an absolute last resort option for those who just would rather not be a doctor than be a DO. You see people with 3.5's talking of doing SMPs; in reality I'm not even sure your typical 3.2-3.3 applicant should do an SMP. It is just so much easier to do well in a post-bac DIY or formal where you can take specific classes at an undergrad level and in DIY format's where you compete with undergrads who are often far less motivated and many of whom will drop out of pre-med before even taking the MCAT for grades. On top of that you get to pick your upper level classes. There a a terrible microbiology lab professor who loves giving out C's? Simple solution; avoid taking his class. At an SMP if you get stuck with an old school nasty professor guess what? Your stuck with him.

Patience is such a virtue. As is the need to not just go for the glamour. People see how SMPs trout the fact about how many of their graduates get into medical school and how they do soon quick and immediately get attached to that instead of realizing how competitive SMPs are and how much easier it is to do well in a post-bacc even if it involves a longer period of time and where a strong post bacc performance doesn't provide quite the same boost as a top SMP performance. We all love to take gambles by only considering the positives and their allure; SMPs really highlight the danger of not considering the negatives.
 
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ZedsDed

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SMP's are just so so so difficult. You'll hear Goro and other ADCOMs on here say SMPs dont cover anywhere close to the amount of material in medical school but those who actually do SMPs and those in charge of SMP programs tend to disagree. There are some people with administrative roles in medical schools that have SMPs that will tell you an SMP is harder than a first year medical student workload.
I agree with your post, and I get that the above isn't really the point of your post. I just want to point out that I have only heard one guy, in one post, who was trying to prove that his 3.3 SMP GPA was excellent, claim that he heard an advisor tell him something along those lines. I call BS. GT, for example, has the course load for both MS1s and SMP students on their website. The math isn't that difficult to do. So, if the courseloads are lighter, it's a scary thing that they are still so difficult. I have spoken with over a dozen administrators in SMP programs. I never once heard one claim that the SMP students have it harder than MS1s.
 

GrapesofRath

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I agree with your post, and I get that the above isn't really the point of your post. I just want to point out that I have only heard one guy, in one post, who was trying to prove that his 3.3 SMP GPA was excellent, claim that he heard an advisor tell him something along those lines. I call BS. GT, for example, has the course load for both MS1s and SMP students on their website. The math isn't that difficult to do. So, if the courseloads are lighter, it's a scary thing that they are still so difficult. I have spoken with over a dozen administrators in SMP programs. I never once heard one claim that the SMP students have it harder than MS1s.
That's fair and what you said in bold basically shows you are more qualified to talk about this than me. I'm going off anecdotes basically but what I will say is the notion that SMPs are FAR FAR easier than 1st year medical student loads as I've heard often isn't a generalization I particularly agree with. I've heard Goro on here say SMP's cover 25-30% of what 1st year medical students learn; there is alot I've read that makes me believe I should disagree with that. Whether the exact number is closer to 60% or 50% or whatever etc it is still a huge workload. And the point of this isn't to argue with Goro's claim; its to show that that is the perception of an ADCOM and his idea as an ADCOM that SMPs are far easier and lighter. Who knows if other ADCOMs think like this but it is absolutely worth noting.

SMP's would not be difficult if the goal was merely to pass. Like I said above being in the 30th percentile in a class for an MS1 doesn't affect their chances of practicing medicine. Hell with a strong STEP1 and good clinical rotations its impact really isn't as big as many would think at all; and many schools of course are on a P/F basis. Not to go on a tangent but people have to realize someone has to finish in the bottom 30% of a medical class. Doesn't mean they can't practice medicine and can't live an enjoyable life; it just means someone has to finish at the bottom of the class be it at Howard or Harvard. That's just how it works and what's important to realize when considering DrMidLife's post.

But anyway, as opposed to a MS1 being in the 30th percentile of a class as an SMP student is not a good thing at all. that's where the difference really comes down to. The pressure for SMP students is just enormous. It's just brutal. The standard of what constitutes success to ADCOMs is such that like I said above many medical students do not perform at. Many highly successful physicians who had some rough patches their first year in medical school would have been completely screwed if their learning experiences of that MS1 material came through an SMP not as a medical student.
 
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piii

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That's fair and what you said in bold basically shows you are more qualified to talk about this than me. I'm going off anecdotes basically but what I will say is the notion that SMPs are FAR FAR easier than 1st year medical student loads as I've heard often isn't a generalization I particularly agree with. I've heard Goro on here say SMP's cover 25-30% of what 1st year medical students learn; there is alot I've read that makes me believe I should disagree with that. Whether the exact number is closer to 60% or 50% or whatever etc it is still a huge workload. And the point of this isn't to argue with Goro's claim; its to show that that is the perception of an ADCOM and his idea as an ADCOM that SMPs are far easier and lighter. Who knows if other ADCOMs think like this but it is absolutely worth noting.

SMP's would not be difficult if the goal was merely to pass. Like I said above being in the 30th percentile in a class for an MS1 doesn't affect their chances of practicing medicine. Hell with a strong STEP1 and good clinical rotations its impact really isn't as big as many would think at all; and many schools of course are on a P/F basis. Not to go on a tangent but people have to realize someone has to finish in the bottom 30% of a medical class. Doesn't mean they can't practice medicine and can't live an enjoyable life; it just means someone has to finish at the bottom of the class be it at Howard or Harvard. That's just how it works and what's important to realize when considering DrMidLife's post.

But anyway, as opposed to a MS1 being in the 30th percentile of a class as an SMP student is not a good thing at all. that's where the difference really comes down to. The pressure for SMP students is just enormous. It's just brutal. The standard of what constitutes success to ADCOMs is such that like I said above many medical students do not perform at. Many highly successful physicians who had some rough patches their first year in medical school would have been completely screwed if their learning experiences of that MS1 material came through an SMP not as a medical student.
I agree with this. I did pretty well in an SMP at a top program with MS1/MS2 classes (>3.7). I met a lot of MS1 students and the SMP curriculum was about 60-70% of theirs. They essentially have additional physical diagnosis/clinical medicine classes + clinical anatomy lab (we didn't have dissections in our clinical anatomy class). In all the conversations I had though, the MS1 students couldn't even fathom competing to get as close to a 4.o as possible, given the depth and pace of these classes. It is almost impossible to compare the two curriculums, but the added emotional and psychological toll of trying to not simply pass but excel cannot be understated.
 
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When should I start worrying about not receiving an II?

Also, BUMP.
 

ugagrad1116

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Just wanted to shed some light/provide an additional opinion on this. I am in an SMP now, but we do not compete with the med students for our grades in mine. I agree that the pressure is very high because we are only taking 7 courses all year, 6 of those being 5 credit hours. You really have to do exceptionally well in order to keep your GPA up to a respectable standard when you are only counting 7 courses toward that GPA. Regarding the amount of material, it's A LOT. My boyfriend is an M1 at the same school, and we are learning a lot of the same material; we are even discussing the same clinical cases. There are some differences of course: he learns more pathogens while we go more in-depth for the ones we're learning, he reads more clinical cases while we read more research articles for the cases we are discussing. We both read a tremendous amount every single night (several of the med students have commented that we have more reading to do), but, in the end, I believe it will better prepare me for medical school because it will teach the importance of keeping up with the readings and teach the medical school material more in-depth than my undergrad did. If you are considering an SMP, you really need to think about the way you will approach it and dedicate yourself to nothing short of excellence in the program. There are certainly both benefits and costs to taking an SMP. It all comes down to whether you think the benefits will outweigh the costs or vice versa and what is best for you.
 

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OP, I regret to inform you that you will not be competitive for any United States medical schools (DO or MD, to be clear). Based upon the provided information you will most certainly NOT qualify for any of the aforementioned national institutions and should therefore be prepared for the repercussions which therein follow.

I suggest stocking up on sunscreen and getting some color because you're going to the Caribbean. There are forums here on SDN which specialize in special cases like yours. I recommend brushing up on that literature - better yet, memorizing it because you will, rest assured, need it.

Best regards and good luck on your journey,

-Captain Ahab.

PS here is some dermatologist recommended sunscreen you can buy in bulk, for a relatively cheap price. This brand can be found at most merchants, nation wide.


The good thing about Banana boat is that it's SPF 50 and utilizes patented "spray on technology."

Once again, good luck, God bless, and God speed.
 
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Dr. Scribe

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OP, I regret to inform you that you will not be competitive for any United States medical schools (DO or MD, to be clear). Based upon the provided information you will most certainly NOT qualify for any of the aforementioned national institutions and should therefore be prepared for the repercussions which therein follow.

I suggest stocking up on sunscreen and getting some color because you're going to the Caribbean. There are forums here on SDN which specialize in special cases like yours. I recommend brushing up on that literature - better yet, memorizing it because you will, rest assured, need it.

Best regards and good luck on your journey,

-Captain Ahab.

PS here is some dermatologist recommended sunscreen you can buy in bulk, for a relatively cheap price. This brand can be found at most merchants, nation wide.


The good thing about Banana boat is that it's SPF 50 and utilizes patented "spray on technology."

Once again, good luck, God bless, and God speed.
I'm Indian and have plenty of color already; I really wouldn't want to get any darker by going to the islands haha thanks for your input (I guess...) do you have any ADVICE for me though?
 
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Dr. Scribe

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Considering I haven't heard back yet from MD schools, should I go ahead and apply to DO now? When would you expect someone with my stats (and average ECs) to start getting IIs? Sorry, I realize its hard to guestimate this without knowing my app more thoroughly but do me a solid, please.
 

Stagg737

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Just to clear some things up: I have applied this cycle (verified 6/8, secondaries submitted around 7/7), I took my MCAT last summer and the breakdown was 13P/9V/11B. I'm not afraid of retaking; I think I could improve my verbal score at least. Also, I live in Fl.
Considering I haven't heard back yet from MD schools, should I go ahead and apply to DO now? When would you expect someone with my stats (and average ECs) to start getting IIs? Sorry, I realize its hard to guestimate this without knowing my app more thoroughly but do me a solid, please.
As long as you applied broadly and wisely (12-15 schools minimum including your state schools and some low and mid-tiers) you should be okay for this cycle. Knowing how many and which schools you applied to would help us give better advice.

It's starting to get late to start a DO application. If you started it immediately, it would probably be verified and submitted by November, and you wouldn't get secondaries in until end of November/early December. That's not too late for some schools, especially with your stats, but for some of the better schools you'd be interviewing for the waitlist.

As for what to do now, I'd assuming you applied wisely, I'd stick with what you've got and focus on what you would do next summer/next year IF you didn't get accepted. Start talking to some researchers/labs or do some clinical volunteering. Put yourself in a position where you can have some connections that will make getting a job or research position easy. If you don't get in and have to take a gap year then you need to be productive in your year off. It could involve a medical job, research, or just a non-medical job (preferably one which helps the community) with volunteer work on the side. The important thing would be to stay busy and add something to your app just in case. I don't think that will be necessary, but that would be my backup if I had your stats.
 

Gandyy

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SMP's are just so so so difficult. You'll hear Goro and other ADCOMs on here say SMPs dont cover anywhere close to the amount of material in medical school but those who actually do SMPs and those in charge of SMP programs tend to disagree. There are some people with administrative roles in medical schools that have SMPs that will tell you an SMP is harder than a first year medical student workload. People just don't realize how hard it is to do better than at least say 3/5 of medical students in their classes. There are clearly current medical students who if you made them do an SMP would not perform quite at the level ADCOMs would want to see(3.65+ GPA).

There are tons and tons of current physicians, ones who crushed STEP 1 and matched into top specialties who had problems their first year in medical school, had exams where they were in the bottom 30% of the class etc. Guess what? If they had to do an SMP they would have been screwed. Completely. ADCOMs have such high standards for what they consider success in SMPs. It really is an absolute last resort option for those who just would rather not be a doctor than be a DO. You see people with 3.5's talking of doing SMPs; in reality I'm not even sure your typical 3.2-3.3 applicant should do an SMP. It is just so much easier to do well in a post-bac DIY or formal where you can take specific classes at an undergrad level and in DIY format's where you compete with undergrads who are often far less motivated and many of whom will drop out of pre-med before even taking the MCAT for grades. On top of that you get to pick your upper level classes. There a a terrible microbiology lab professor who loves giving out C's? Simple solution; avoid taking his class. At an SMP if you get stuck with an old school nasty professor guess what? Your stuck with him.

Patience is such a virtue. As is the need to not just go for the glamour. People see how SMPs trout the fact about how many of their graduates get into medical school and how they do soon quick and immediately get attached to that instead of realizing how competitive SMPs are and how much easier it is to do well in a post-bacc even if it involves a longer period of time and where a strong post bacc performance doesn't provide quite the same boost as a top SMP performance. We all love to take gambles by only considering the positives and their allure; SMPs really highlight the danger of not considering the negatives.
I really think it depends on what school you are doing the SMP for and if it is a DO SMP vs MD SMP.

Because my 5 friends who all did DO SMPs at their schools (they all got in as they did well) said its a total joke compared to their OMS-1 right now.

It depends on how your SMP is structured. MD SMPs usually have you compete with MD medical students, whereas many DO SMPS have you compete within the specific SMP class only so its much easier to compete in the latter environment.
 

GrapesofRath

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I really think it depends on what school you are doing the SMP for and if it is a DO SMP vs MD SMP.

Because my 5 friends who all did DO SMPs at their schools (they all got in as they did well) said its a total joke compared to their OMS-1 right now.

It depends on how your SMP is structured. MD SMPs usually have you compete with MD medical students, whereas many DO SMPS have you compete within the specific SMP class only so its much easier to compete in the latter environment.
DO SMPs often times are designed so that you can go to that school if you pass the "audition". From my understanding a large number of people do; ie you hit a certain GPA threshold, get that in the SMP and you are in. The linkage is rather strong and you do the DO SMP to try to get into that specific school.

For MD's the only two schools that really do that are Tulane(and you need a waitlist from an MD school in a previous cycle to even apply) and Temple(and they only take like 13 students and likewise you have to be a pretty competitive applicant). Most MD SMP's you aren't specifically aiming for that school; it is a general booster for your chances. And yes, when you compete with MD students to get above their average who on average have 3.7/32's vs DO's who have grade replacement on average have 3.5's/27's, you can guess where the competition will be fierce to be in the top 30-40% of the med school class.
 

Gandyy

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Medical Student
DO SMPs often times are designed so that you can go to that school if you pass the "audition". From my understanding a large number of people do; ie you hit a certain GPA threshold, get that in the SMP and you are in. The linkage is rather strong and you do the DO SMP to try to get into that specific school.

For MD's the only two schools that really do that are Tulane(and you need a waitlist from an MD school in a previous cycle to even apply) and Temple(and they only take like 13 students and likewise you have to be a pretty competitive applicant). Most MD SMP's you aren't specifically aiming for that school; it is a general booster for your chances. And yes, when you compete with MD students to get above their average who on average have 3.7/32's vs DO's who have grade replacement on average have 3.5's/27's, you can guess where the competition will be fierce to be in the top 30-40% of the med school class.
Fairly accurate. Yes, as I was implying, DO SMPs are generally much easier than their MD counterparts.