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Do I practice law for a year or do an SMP --> Dilemma!!!

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by kidthor, May 4, 2007.

  1. kidthor

    kidthor meep 10+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    So I have a huge dilemma regarding what to do next year, and I figure that my fellow non-trads could give me some good feedback!

    My story in brief is that I've always wanted to go to med school, but had underwhelming grades in undergrad and got diverted; also I didn't finish all the prereqs while in undergrad. I got a BS in Bioengineering from one of the UC's, and now I've just finished up law school at Duke. During law school I finished up my last few prereqs, took the mcat, shadowed, and volunteered at the hospital. My stats are as follows: 3.38 overall, 3.18 BCPM, 35Q. I applied really broadly this year and got 3 interviews resulting in 2 waitlists and 1 rejection.

    Here's my dilemma. I really want to become a doctor, and I am pretty sure my GPA is what's holding me back. My options for next year are to do the Georgetown SMP or be an IP attorney in NYC while I reapply. Either way, I'll take the bar exam...

    I feel like Georgetown would really help me get in if I do well, but it'd be yet another year of school with no guarantees. On the other hand, working in NYC would be pretty cool since I'd be having fun in a new place with a fair amount of income; though I'll no doubt be working long hours and of course law isn't totally my thing. The other thing I'm worrying about is my MCAT, since it will expire in 2 years. I took it right after I finished organic chem and immunology, so the sciences were fresh in my head - so I'm worried that if I were to have to take it again, I might not do quite as well.

    In sum, the dilemma is:
    Do I work for a year and risk another cycle of not getting in, or do I do the SMP to fix what I believe is my core admissions problem (the GPA)?
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  3. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection Physician Faculty SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Inside the tesseract
    What is your law school GPA?
  4. viostorm

    viostorm Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    I think you will get in, especially with a 35 and a law degree from Duke without doing the SMP program. I suspect you didn't apply broadly enough or didn't interview well.

    It might be easier just to take a couple of health related classes at a community college (often they offer anatomy for allied health) and get A's in those while you are working.

    There are many ways to boost your GPA without doing a SMP program.

    You do realize if how tempting it will be to give up being a doctor if you go work in NYC. I can see that being the end of your pursuit of medicine.
  5. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion 10+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    10 years from now, won't you regret not having played lawyer at all? If you're under 30, what's your hurry? Go practice law for a couple of years. Maybe get some exposure to malpractice horror stories. Pass the bar. Med school will still be there. Take the MCAT again if your scores get old. Keep a volunteer gig going. Why not? It could make you a more well-rounded doctor.

    I'll be in a similar situation a year from now when I finish my 2nd BS. I'm applying to med school next month, but I'm not assuming I'll get in this application year, nor next application year (3.0ish GPAs, unknown MCAT). I'm really tired of being broke and already having loan debt before even STARTING med school, and I'm very tempted to work for a year before doing an SMP (and taking on more loan debt).

    Best of luck to you.
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Your numbers aren't that horrible, so it's possible the "why medicine" portion of the application, after completing law school rang hollow with schools. A string of A's in an SMP probably would help, as would more clinical experience and advice from advisors of such programs as to where you may have faltered. Will you really have time to do an SMP and study for the bar? You might be taking on more than you can chew with that, unless they are staggered.

    As for your other option, how sure are you that you don't like law? If you think it wouldn't be that bad, then why not give it a try, and bank a bit of money which you can ultimately use for your medicine journey. Who knows, it might be fun (I certainly know former colleagues who think so).
  7. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Trotting out the usual non-trad sdn advice -- have you asked any of the schools you've applied which would look better? If your ugrad grades really aren't a big issue, then the SMP will just be a big waste of money. My thought is that it's good to not be in school for a while just for your sanity and to give you an idea of how the working world works, so I'd suggest taking the job in NYC, seeing how you like it and making a lot of money. :)
  8. FemalesCANTDriv

    FemalesCANTDriv LMAO 5+ Year Member

    Aug 23, 2006
    Where I go to school
    hey kidthor, i saw this thread and i knew it was you... i just wanted to say hi and you're a baller... hope it all works out for you :)

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