Medical Give up on MD? Try post-bacc program? Low stats but strong ECs (I think)

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I have been out of undergraduate (Stanford University) and working for the past 3 years. I think I have strong extra curricular activities and a strong personal statement, but my GPA and MCAT are really low. I applied last cycle but did not receive any interviews. I submitted primaries in July, and secondaries throughout August - November (majority towards Nov). I believe I submitted my secondaries way too late. I hope by submitting apps ASAP this cycle, I can increase my chances, but I am still afraid that my numbers are really low. Do I have a chance at an MD program this cycle, or should I try to boost my GPA with a post-bacc program? I am scheduled to take the MCAT for a third time on July 18, 2020 — still debating whether I should retest.

Since my last application, I have continued to work full time at my healthcare administrative position and worked on more medical projects for the community at this company. Additionally, I have done more healthcare consulting on the side for small physician practices and picked up more skills such as medical billing. I have done more non-medical volunteering. Nothing too drastic, so I am worried this is not enough.

CA Resident

Cumulative GPAs
BCPM: 3.26
AO: 3.59
Total 3.46

5/18/19 510: 127/125/128/130
6/1/17 508: 125/128/127/127

Work Experience in Healthcare
Founder of small consulting firm working with small physician practices (part time; ~840 hours)
Administrator / Manager for small healthcare practice for the past 3 years (full time job; over 7,500 hours)
Medical Biller (part time)
Medical Assistant / Care Coordinator for geriatric patients (part time job; ~200 hours)
Healthcare Consultant that works with provider enterprises at big firm (full time 2 months)
Summer Intern at Health technology company (~360 hours)

Clinical Shadowing/Observation ~ 160 hours
50 hours: Psychiatry shadowing (inpatient and outpatient clinic)
30 hours: Intensive Care Unit; shadowed critical care pulmonologist
80 hours: Internal Medicine shadowing (skilled nursing facility, hospital inpatient)

Medical mission in Vietnam summer 2018
(non-medical) Provide meals to homebound seniors (help fundraise & coordinate)
Volunteer at free health fairs (few times a year for the past couple of years)

Research Experience
Health Policy Research (~320 hours)
Interdisciplinary brain sciences research (~430 hours)
Patient interaction and satisfaction research at Stanford Hospital (~96 hours)

Other Endeavors / Leadership
Help my mom with the cafe she owns in spare time; de facto ‘manager’
Student residential staff during college (~120 hours)
Performing arts group in college with leadership positions (~ 1400 hours)
Social entrepreneurship club in college w/ leadership positions (~120 hours)

As for LORs, I am requesting from:
  1. physician I have worked closely with for the past 3 years and shadowed
  2. faculty advisor in music department who knows me really well
  3. 2 science faculty (one knows me relatively well; the other not so much)
  4. research advisor in health policy
  5. professor in health policy course
You probably already know, but your BCPM/cGPA and California residency are the problems here. Your MCAT is not that low (average matriculants is 511.5). I am from California as well and went to UCLA. I was basically in the exact same boat as you with a 31 MCAT (about the same as the matriculants) and a GPA similar to yours. I got zero love from California programs, which is horrible because usually, your home state is where you have the best shot. As it stands now, with your GPA and MCAT, you have roughly a ~40-50% chance of getting accepted according to the data. If you get your GPA up to 3.6, you have about a 64% chance. Keep in mind these are hard estimates based only off cGPA and MCAT and your situation is very specific.

In my opinion, I would not retake the MCAT. As I said, your MCAT is in range for the M.D. schools and I wouldn't risk scoring lower. If you feel like you can complete a post-bac program and do well (meaning really well to show you can handle med school level courses), then I think this is the best option for you if you are dead set on only M.D. schools. You need to get that GPA up and I feel that's the only thing really holding you back here. Keep in mind, you doing a post-bac is MORE money added to your student debt, another lost year of income, and potentially not doing well/not getting into M.D. schools, again.

The second option would be to apply again without a post-bac to both MD/DO schools. Your GPA/MCAT are great for D.O. schools. I feel that if you go into D.O. school, you can get into many different specialties (I am at a D.O. school and matched orthopedic surgery this year). Will it be tougher to get into these specialties as a D.O., sure. But it is very possible and gives you an alternative to the M.D. route. Something to think about.

Good luck with your decision.


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I recommend:

Pitt (maybe)
Nova MD (510+)
UCR )IF ypu're form the Inland Empire)
George Washington
Rosy Franklin
Wayne State
Wake Forest
Uniformed Services University/Hebert (just be aware of the military service commitment)
Seton Hall

Any DO program. I can't recommend Nova, Wm Carey, BCOM, ICOM and LUCOM, for different reasons. MSUCOM? Read up on Larry Nasser and you decide. LMU has an accreditation warning, which concerns me. CalHS is too new and appears to be too limited in rotations sites. UIW refuses to post their Boards scores, which is fishy.
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