Nov 21, 2013
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
So I've been thinking about trying to get into med school, however I have a very low gpa.

Some Background

I have a 2.6, science is about the same as most of my classes were engineering/science.
I was studying mechanical engineering, then switched to bio-medical, and then back to mechanical. I have taken a number of bio-medical electives, as well as bio 1. My degree is from a pretty selective school, but then again... my gpa is a 2.6.

I have experience interning as an engineer at a few medical device companies, and in a robotic surgery lab at Children s Hospital Boston. I also worked briefly at a major medical device company, but realized the position wasn't for me. I won an award for the most outstanding senior design project where I miniaturized and completely re-designed a mechanism to allow an endoscopic surgical tool to be downsized.

Let me mention that my learning style is a very poor fit for an academic environment, and I had a lot of health issues as well during my undergraduate years. Whenever I had a chance to prove myself by working on something hands on and project-based, I pretty much always was the best in my class. It would be an understatement to say that my performance in college was very uneven.

Possible Plan?

From reading and talking to people, it looks like I would have to either take a formal post bacc program for pre-med, take my remaining pre-med requirements (about 7 classes) a-la-carte through a general studies program, and get some experience shadowing and volunteering at a hospital.

Now I'm a bit confused by the med-school tailored SMP's for GPA enhancement. These seem to be for students who have already completed all pre-med requirements and the MCAT, and are really just looking to prove that they have what it takes to get through med school academically? Do any of these gpa-enhancement programs just do pre-med?

I've read some conflicting views on whether getting a great MCAT score along with great grades from a post-bacc or smp program will make up for a low undergraduate gpa. I'm wondering if I will be able to perform some "damage control" by doing well on MCATs and pre-med classes, or if I'm already pretty much a dead candidate.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
52,528
76,099
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Yup, that's what I'd recommend. You need to show AdComs you can handle medical school.

From reading and talking to people, it looks like I would have to either take a formal post bacc program for pre-med, take my remaining pre-med requirements (about 7 classes) a-la-carte through a general studies program, and get some experience shadowing and volunteering at a hospital.


Now I'm a bit confused by the med-school tailored SMP's for GPA enhancement. These seem to be for students who have already completed all pre-med requirements and the MCAT, and are really just looking to prove that they have what it takes to get through med school academically?

Most of the SMPs mimic medical school. You can expect to take anatomy, physiology, micro, pharm, etc.

Do any of these gpa-enhancement programs just do pre-med?

There are some MD schools that reward reinvention with a good performance from an SMP AND a good MCAT score. DO programs are more lenient for good performance in one vs avg in the other.

For GPA repair, re-take all F/D/C grade science coursework and apply to DO programs. AACOMAS's grade replacement policy does wonders for the GPA. You can do this in a post-bac, either an organized one, or a DIY.

So relax, you're not DOA

I've read some conflicting views on whether getting a great MCAT score along with great grades from a post-bacc or smp program will make up for a low undergraduate gpa. I'm wondering if I will be able to perform some "damage control" by doing well on MCATs and pre-med classes, or if I'm already pretty much a dead candidate.[/quote]
 
OP
K
Nov 21, 2013
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
There are some MD schools that reward reinvention with a good performance from an SMP AND a good MCAT score. DO programs are more lenient for good performance in one vs avg in the other.

For GPA repair, re-take all F/D/C grade science coursework and apply to DO programs. AACOMAS's grade replacement policy does wonders for the GPA. You can do this in a post-bac, either an organized one, or a DIY.
[/quote]

Thanks, I have a couple questions about what you mentioned. Would doing very well on a post bacc pre-med program (organized or diy) suffice for re-invention, or would I have to do the type of SMP where you come in having completed pre-med and the GMAT? Would having poor grades in the past still hold me back if I did very well on premed classes? I guess it just doesn't make sense to me why my past academics would hold me back if I proved my academic abilities more recently by doing very well on my most recent 6-8 classes (by doing well on pre-med requirement classes during my post bacc).
 

gyngyn

Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2011
23,814
38,818
Status
Attending Physician
A school's reservation with a low gpa is that the circumstances that led to lack of success are still present or will recur. This is especially problematic since the volume and complexity of the material is increased in med school and the amount of time to process it is compressed. A leisurely post bac will show that you can perform well, given sufficient time. An SMP is more reflective of how you may perform in the medical school environment.

It's the MCAT, not the GMAT!