Goro

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So you want to be a doctor, but your GPA is terrible. Is that the end? Rule #1: Take a deep breath, and stop fussing. The sky is not falling.

But you are going to need to reinvent yourself. This will take both time and money. And always remember that you’re in a marathon now, not a sprint. The following advice holds true for people considering MD and DO. I strongly recommend that you keep both in mind, and the latter is more tolerant of reinvention.

EDIT: An even better summary to the next paragraph is provided by the wise HomeSkool here: Simple rules for retaking courses

Here’s what you need to do :

a) IF you have F/D grades in the pre-reqs, retake them. You need to show that you can master this material, and it will help you for MCAT (assuming that you haven’t taken the MCAT). In addition, many schools require a C or higher grade in pre-reqs. Naturally, this will vary from school to school.

If you got C's, take some upper level science classes and ace them. There is no need to retake a C unless you are very weak on the material and you need it for MCAT. Never, ever retake a B or B-.

If the material was from a long time ago, and you got a B, but you feel you need a refresher for the MCAT, simply audit the course instead.

b) There are MD schools that reward reinvention. All DO schools do. The DO path will be a little easier, but both still require an investment of 1-2 years of not GPA repair, but of transcript repair.

c) The goal is NOT to raise your cGPA to a sky high level (for some people this is mathematically impossible), but rather show that the you of now is not the you of then, and that you can handle a medical school curriculum. So do not worry that your cGPA will be 3.2 upon applying after finishing your post-bac/GPA. Rising GPA trends are always looked highly upon, and many med schools weight the last 2-3 years more than the entire cGPA.

d) Thus, take 1-2 years of a DIY post-bac, or a 1 year SMP, preferably one given at a medical school. Do well in either of these programs. A 3.5+ should suffice for a DO school, while 3.7+ will be needed for an MD school

e) in addition to d), your MCAT score will determine where to aim. I suggest:

513+ : MD schools

510+ : your state MD school and any DO school

505+: any DO school

500+: the newest DO schools

On top of these, get as much patient contact volunteering time in as possible. A trend I am seeing from SDNers who have received interviews from good schools and who also reinvented themselves, is that they have lots of clinical volunteering or employment...some even in the 1000s of hours.

As to the pluses and minuses of post-bac vs SMP:

A formal post-bac program is geared toward career switchers, and mostly provide the pre-reqs, and probably some MCAT advice/prep as well. You get faculty guidance in this and some programs seem to be feeders to med schools for non-trad students. They will cost more though.

Now, you can do the same thing on your own by simply taking continuing education courses at any nearby college. A four year school will be preferable to a community college (CC), but if costs are an issue, then a CC will be OK. This path is what is known here in SDN as the “DIY post-bac.” Costs will be less, but there’s no guidance.

What classes should one take in a DIY post-bac??? Things that mimic a medical school curriculum!

Anatomy
Biochem
Bioinformatics
Biostats
Cell Bio
Developmental Biology or Embryology
Histology
Immunology
Med Micro OR Bacteriology and/or Virology
Molecular Bio or Genetics
Neuroscience or Neurobiology
Parasitology (if offered)
Pathology
Physiology
Tumor or Cancer Biology

An SMP (special master’s program) is one that offers medical school classes, or material that’s taught in medical school. These can be a backdoor into med school, and you get real advice from med school faculty (if given at a med school). Plus, you're a known quantity to the Adcom members, who will frequently be your SMP faculty. The down side is that the tuition will be more considerable. You may also have to relocate in order to attend one.

There are some two year SMPs, but I don’t see any advantage to these over one year programs.

Also, if you do poorly, your SMP degree is worthless, unless the program has an added-value component, like some research venue. Thus, SMPs are more high risk, but also high reward.

One final word of warning: Do NOT take the MCAT while enrolled in an SMP. We’ve seen students do this, and it leads to disaster. Some programs require an MCAT, so that solves the problem (although they may have a minimum score requirement!).

And remember, med schools aren’t going anywhere, and in fact, by the time you apply, several more will have opened their doors.

Good luck!
 
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Goro

Goro

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So you want to be a doctor, but your GPA is terrible. Is that the end? Rule #1: Take a deep breath, and stop fussing. The sky is not falling.

But you are going to need to reinvent yourself. This will take both time and money. And always remember that you’re in a marathon now, not a sprint. The following advice holds true for people considering MD and DO. I strongly recommend that you keep both in mind, and the latter is more tolerant of reinvention.

Here’s what you need to do:

a) IF you have F/D grades in the pre-reqs, retake them. You need to show that you can master this material, and it will help you for MCAT (assuming that you haven’t taken the MCAT). In addition, many schools require a C or higher grade in pre-reqs. Naturally, this will vary from school to school.

If you got C's, take some upper level science classes and ace them. There is no need to retake a C unless you are very weak on the material and you need it for MCAT. Never, ever retake a B or B-.

If the material was from a long time ago, and you got a B, but you feel you need a refresher for the MCAT, simply audit the course instead.

b) There are MD schools that reward reinvention. All DO schools do. The DO path will be a little easier, but both still require an investment of 1-2 years of not GPA repair, but of transcript repair.

c) The goal is NOT to raise your cGPA to a sky high level (for some people this is mathematically impossible), but rather show that the you of now is not the you of then, and that you can handle a medical school curriculum. So do not worry that your cGPA will be 3.2 upon applying after finishing your post-bac/GPA. Rising GPA trends are always looked highly upon, and many med schools weight the last 2-3 years more than the entire cGPA.

d) Thus, take 1-2 years of a DIY post-bac, or a 1 year SMP, preferably one given at a medical school. Do well in either of these programs. A 3.5+ should suffice for a DO school, while 3.7+ will be needed for an MD school

e) in addition to d), your MCAT score will determine where to aim. I suggest:

513+ MD schools

510+ your state MD school and any DO school

505+ any DO school

500+ the newest DO schools

On top of these, get as much patient contact volunteering time in as possible. A trend I am seeing from SDNers who have received interviews from good schools and who also reinvented themselves, is that they have lots of clinical volunteering or employment...some even in the 1000s of hours.

As to the pluses and minuses of post-bac vs SMP:

A formal post-bac program is geared toward career switchers, and mostly provide the pre-reqs, and probably some MCAT advice/prep as well. You get faculty guidance in this and some programs seem to be feeders to med schools for non-trad students. They will cost more though.

Now, you can do the same thing on your own by simply taking continuing education courses at any nearby college. A four year school will be preferable to a community college (CC), but if costs are an issue, then a CC will be OK. This path is what is known here in SDN as the “DIY post-bac.” Costs will be less, but there’s no guidance.

What classes should one take in a DIY post-bac??? Things that mimic a medical school curriculum!

Anatomy
Physiology
Histology
Biostats
Cell Bio
Molecular Bio or Genetics
Biochem
Med Micro OR Bacteriology and/or Virology
Neuroscience
Immunology
Parasitology (if offered)
Pathology

An SMP (special master’s program) is one that offers medical school classes, or material that’s taught in medical school. These can be a backdoor into med school, and you get real advice from med school faculty (if given at a med school). Plus, you're a known quantity to the Adcom members, who will frequently be your SMP faculty. The down side is that the tuition will be more considerable. You may also have to relocate in order to attend one.

There are some two year SMPs, but I don’t see any advantage to these over one year programs.

Also, if you do poorly, your SMP degree is worthless, unless the program has an added-value component, like some research venue. Thus, SMPs are more high risk, but also high reward.

One final word of warning: Do NOT take the MCAT while enrolled in an SMP. We’ve seen students do this, and it leads to disaster. Some programs require an MCAT, so that solves the problem (although they may have a minimum score requirement!).

And remember, med schools aren’t going anywhere, and in fact, by the time you apply, several more will have opened their doors.

Good luck!
This is missing one little thing in my opinion.

Remember, DO is a far better option than Caribbean MD if you plan on practicing in the US. Reinventing yourself is a far better option than going Caribbean.
 
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Goro

Goro

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513+ for MD????
This is what seems to be common for SDNers who share their reinvention details with me.

One of these days I will make a post entitled "Goro's musings on what it takes to get into a a Really Top School"


I noticed that too. I think this is a few things.

1. 510+ also gets MD, state schools and [low tier?].

2. This seems to be directed at individuals reinventing themselves i.e. making up for past poor grades. MD schools tend to not necessarily appreciate reinvention. Thus a 513 may be necessary to make up for the weaker grades in the past.

To clarify, that 513+ I referred to was for people who have gotten into MD schools after reinvention. It is not a recommendation for just anyone aiming for MD schools.

Reinventors get their best chances at their state schools. For them, they seem to get cut a little more slack in the MCAT dep't.

As ibn Sina mentioned, not all MD schools reward reinvention. Plenty of them have so many applicants who didn't need it that I suspect they take a pass on reinventors.
 

alexlex143

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Nov 6, 2009
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I feel like I did everything on the list except with a more mediocre MCAT and a DIY post-bac instead of a SMP. Nonetheless, I have had incredible success! The wisdom on SDN is truly a treasure.


Sent from my [device_name] using SDN mobile
 

mwsapphire

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Jan 5, 2017
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I feel like I did everything on the list except with a more mediocre MCAT and a DIY post-bac instead of a SMP. Nonetheless, I have had incredible success! The wisdom on SDN is truly a treasure.


Sent from my [device_name] using SDN mobile
And you're from California!
 
Aug 2, 2017
22
2
Status
Pre-Medical
So you want to be a doctor, but your GPA is terrible. Is that the end? Rule #1: Take a deep breath, and stop fussing. The sky is not falling.

But you are going to need to reinvent yourself. This will take both time and money. And always remember that you’re in a marathon now, not a sprint. The following advice holds true for people considering MD and DO. I strongly recommend that you keep both in mind, and the latter is more tolerant of reinvention.

EDIT: An even better summary to the next paragraph is provided by the wise HomeSkool here: Simple rules for retaking courses

Here’s what you need to do :

a) IF you have F/D grades in the pre-reqs, retake them. You need to show that you can master this material, and it will help you for MCAT (assuming that you haven’t taken the MCAT). In addition, many schools require a C or higher grade in pre-reqs. Naturally, this will vary from school to school.

If you got C's, take some upper level science classes and ace them. There is no need to retake a C unless you are very weak on the material and you need it for MCAT. Never, ever retake a B or B-.

If the material was from a long time ago, and you got a B, but you feel you need a refresher for the MCAT, simply audit the course instead.

b) There are MD schools that reward reinvention. All DO schools do. The DO path will be a little easier, but both still require an investment of 1-2 years of not GPA repair, but of transcript repair.

c) The goal is NOT to raise your cGPA to a sky high level (for some people this is mathematically impossible), but rather show that the you of now is not the you of then, and that you can handle a medical school curriculum. So do not worry that your cGPA will be 3.2 upon applying after finishing your post-bac/GPA. Rising GPA trends are always looked highly upon, and many med schools weight the last 2-3 years more than the entire cGPA.

d) Thus, take 1-2 years of a DIY post-bac, or a 1 year SMP, preferably one given at a medical school. Do well in either of these programs. A 3.5+ should suffice for a DO school, while 3.7+ will be needed for an MD school

e) in addition to d), your MCAT score will determine where to aim. I suggest:

513+ MD schools

510+ your state MD school and any DO school

505+ any DO school

500+ the newest DO schools

On top of these, get as much patient contact volunteering time in as possible. A trend I am seeing from SDNers who have received interviews from good schools and who also reinvented themselves, is that they have lots of clinical volunteering or employment...some even in the 1000s of hours.

As to the pluses and minuses of post-bac vs SMP:

A formal post-bac program is geared toward career switchers, and mostly provide the pre-reqs, and probably some MCAT advice/prep as well. You get faculty guidance in this and some programs seem to be feeders to med schools for non-trad students. They will cost more though.

Now, you can do the same thing on your own by simply taking continuing education courses at any nearby college. A four year school will be preferable to a community college (CC), but if costs are an issue, then a CC will be OK. This path is what is known here in SDN as the “DIY post-bac.” Costs will be less, but there’s no guidance.

What classes should one take in a DIY post-bac??? Things that mimic a medical school curriculum!

Anatomy
Physiology
Histology
Biostats
Cell Bio
Molecular Bio or Genetics
Biochem
Med Micro OR Bacteriology and/or Virology
Neuroscience
Immunology
Parasitology (if offered)
Pathology

An SMP (special master’s program) is one that offers medical school classes, or material that’s taught in medical school. These can be a backdoor into med school, and you get real advice from med school faculty (if given at a med school). Plus, you're a known quantity to the Adcom members, who will frequently be your SMP faculty. The down side is that the tuition will be more considerable. You may also have to relocate in order to attend one.

There are some two year SMPs, but I don’t see any advantage to these over one year programs.

Also, if you do poorly, your SMP degree is worthless, unless the program has an added-value component, like some research venue. Thus, SMPs are more high risk, but also high reward.

One final word of warning: Do NOT take the MCAT while enrolled in an SMP. We’ve seen students do this, and it leads to disaster. Some programs require an MCAT, so that solves the problem (although they may have a minimum score requirement!).

And remember, med schools aren’t going anywhere, and in fact, by the time you apply, several more will have opened their doors.

Good luck!
I’m the DIY postbacc from cc, are you suppose to take all those classes or at least few since the program is gonna be1 year. Because the classes you’ve listed is a lot to complete all
 

holdthemayo

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This is a solid guide and more or less lays out the path I took to get accepted. It does work, but it takes time, money, and is not particularly forgiving if you mess up.

Another slightly more dated post with solid reinvention advice: The Low Gpa--What Do I Do Thread. Or read plenty of other things that DrMidilife has posted.


513+ for MD????
Your MCAT score is the punctuation at the end of your reinvention statement. You need it to be an exclamation point, not a question mark.
 
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Goro

Goro

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I’m the DIY postbacc from cc, are you suppose to take all those classes or at least few since the program is gonna be1 year. Because the classes you’ve listed is a lot to complete all
You don't have to take all of them! Just some 30 credits worth.
 
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@Goro For someone that works full-time, do you and other ADCOMs look at how many credits one takes per semester if they are taking classes part-time? For my situation, I started out doing one class a semester (3-4 credits worth) for a handful of semesters and beginning this spring, will be doing two classes at a time. I plan to do this going forward and still have two years of pre-reqs to take before I apply.
 
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Goro

Goro

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30 credit is gonna be like 7 classes depending on the DIY postbacc program that could be 2 Years
More like 10 @ 3 semester hrs /class. Lab classes will obviousy be more.
 

DameJulie

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A lovely guide for us who need to show re-invention! This needs to be a stickie!

For CA applicants, is 513+ enough for any love for CA schools?
 
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Goro

Goro

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@Goro For someone that works full-time, do you and other ADCOMs look at how many credits one takes per semester if they are taking classes part-time? For my situation, I started out doing one class a semester (3-4 credits worth) for a handful of semesters and beginning this spring, will be doing two classes at a time. I plan to do this going forward and still have two years of pre-reqs to take before I apply.
We do look at how many classes you take in post-bac, because we need to be convinced that you can handle a heavy course load.

I recommend taking a minimum of two classes/semester. We do understand the needs of people who have full time jobs, but we're not going to do you any favors by admitting you to med school, if you can't handle the curriculum.
 
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Goro

Goro

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A lovely guide for us who need to show re-invention! This needs to be a stickie!

For CA applicants, is 513+ enough for any love for CA schools?
I don't know of any CA schools that reward reinvention other than UCSF, and you're going to need a higher MCAT for them, like 516+. Keck might, based upon input from gyngyn, and a 513 might work for them.
 

DameJulie

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I don't know of any CA schools that reward reinvention other than UCSF, and you're going to need a higher MCAT for them, like 516+. Keck might, based upon input from gyngyn, and a 513 might work for them.
Thank you, Goro. It's encouraging to know that at least 1 CA school that reward reinvention :) Although the one being the highest-ranking one.
 
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operaman

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And Goro demonstrates yet again why he is such a valued member of the forums here. I frequently send people to his other guides and will surely send more to this one too.

The theme that comes through for me now that probably wouldn’t have been obvious when I was pre Med is this: schools really really really don’t want to admit students who won’t finish. I don’t think I got this early on. But now after some years and seeing how much failing out of medical school can hurt someone and how heart wrenching it is for faculty who have done everything possible to help them only to watch them fail. It gave me a newfound appreciation for WHY they are so careful about reinvention and ensuring it’s real and lasting change that will carry over to success in medical school.
 
D

deleted421268

So you want to be a doctor, but your GPA is terrible. Is that the end? Rule #1: Take a deep breath, and stop fussing. The sky is not falling.

But you are going to need to reinvent yourself. This will take both time and money. And always remember that you’re in a marathon now, not a sprint. The following advice holds true for people considering MD and DO. I strongly recommend that you keep both in mind, and the latter is more tolerant of reinvention.

EDIT: An even better summary to the next paragraph is provided by the wise HomeSkool here: Simple rules for retaking courses

Here’s what you need to do :

a) IF you have F/D grades in the pre-reqs, retake them. You need to show that you can master this material, and it will help you for MCAT (assuming that you haven’t taken the MCAT). In addition, many schools require a C or higher grade in pre-reqs. Naturally, this will vary from school to school.

If you got C's, take some upper level science classes and ace them. There is no need to retake a C unless you are very weak on the material and you need it for MCAT. Never, ever retake a B or B-.

If the material was from a long time ago, and you got a B, but you feel you need a refresher for the MCAT, simply audit the course instead.

b) There are MD schools that reward reinvention. All DO schools do. The DO path will be a little easier, but both still require an investment of 1-2 years of not GPA repair, but of transcript repair.

c) The goal is NOT to raise your cGPA to a sky high level (for some people this is mathematically impossible), but rather show that the you of now is not the you of then, and that you can handle a medical school curriculum. So do not worry that your cGPA will be 3.2 upon applying after finishing your post-bac/GPA. Rising GPA trends are always looked highly upon, and many med schools weight the last 2-3 years more than the entire cGPA.

d) Thus, take 1-2 years of a DIY post-bac, or a 1 year SMP, preferably one given at a medical school. Do well in either of these programs. A 3.5+ should suffice for a DO school, while 3.7+ will be needed for an MD school

e) in addition to d), your MCAT score will determine where to aim. I suggest:

513+ : MD schools

510+ : your state MD school and any DO school

505+: any DO school

500+: the newest DO schools

On top of these, get as much patient contact volunteering time in as possible. A trend I am seeing from SDNers who have received interviews from good schools and who also reinvented themselves, is that they have lots of clinical volunteering or employment...some even in the 1000s of hours.

As to the pluses and minuses of post-bac vs SMP:

A formal post-bac program is geared toward career switchers, and mostly provide the pre-reqs, and probably some MCAT advice/prep as well. You get faculty guidance in this and some programs seem to be feeders to med schools for non-trad students. They will cost more though.

Now, you can do the same thing on your own by simply taking continuing education courses at any nearby college. A four year school will be preferable to a community college (CC), but if costs are an issue, then a CC will be OK. This path is what is known here in SDN as the “DIY post-bac.” Costs will be less, but there’s no guidance.

What classes should one take in a DIY post-bac??? Things that mimic a medical school curriculum!

Anatomy
Physiology
Histology
Biostats
Cell Bio
Molecular Bio or Genetics
Biochem
Med Micro OR Bacteriology and/or Virology
Neuroscience
Immunology
Parasitology (if offered)
Pathology

An SMP (special master’s program) is one that offers medical school classes, or material that’s taught in medical school. These can be a backdoor into med school, and you get real advice from med school faculty (if given at a med school). Plus, you're a known quantity to the Adcom members, who will frequently be your SMP faculty. The down side is that the tuition will be more considerable. You may also have to relocate in order to attend one.

There are some two year SMPs, but I don’t see any advantage to these over one year programs.

Also, if you do poorly, your SMP degree is worthless, unless the program has an added-value component, like some research venue. Thus, SMPs are more high risk, but also high reward.

One final word o !
What about reinvention tips for those have have withdrawals in their pre reqs as in my case W in ochem 1 and W ochem 1 LAb, W bio 1 W bio 1 W bio 1 lab W bio 1 lab, but took ochem 1 Got A, ochem 1 lab A, Ochem 2 A, Ochem 2 LAb A, Bio 1 B, Bio 1 lab A, and successfully pass BIO 2 and bio 2 lab with B and better. Also plan to take a semester where I take Human Anatomy & Physiology 1, Human A & P Lab, Biochemistry, and other elective classes.
 
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Thanks for this post! Quick question:

Still finalizing my school list, was wondering which of the top 20s are okay with reinvention? Started off with F's and C's, as well as a few Bs. Gonna end undergrad with ~3.55 sGPA and ~3.6 cGPA, (strong upward trend for junior and senior year), and I got a 519 on the MCAT (130/130/132/127). Average ECs.

(Already made a WAMC post but just looking for some more advice)

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DBC03

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Thanks for this post! Quick question:

Still finalizing my school list, was wondering which of the top 20s are okay with reinvention? Started off with F's and C's, as well as a few Bs. Gonna end undergrad with ~3.55 sGPA and ~3.6 cGPA, (strong upward trend for junior and senior year), and I got a 519 on the MCAT (130/130/132/127). Average ECs.

(Already made a WAMC post but just looking for some more advice)

Sent from my [device_name] using SDN mobile
Goro has a great list that I hope he will share, but I had luck (so far) with NYU (could be considered top 20) - also Hofstra and Wake Forest (along with my state schools including USF, which likes high MCATs). Rejected at Keck, UCSF, Pitt, Mayo (many others as well, but the ones listed tend to reward reinvention). Higher MCAT, but lower GPA. Extensive work experience. I’m waiting on a few others, but it’s looking like a lost cause with most. I think Columbia, UPenn, Duke, northwestern, and Emory are good bets and worth the application fee. I will let you know if I ever hear from them. Just having your GPA over the magical 3.5 will help - I’m very satisfied with my cycle, but getting to a 3.5 might have been better for me.

Schools that seem to like my application have a focus on humanism and patient care.


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operaman

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Goro- how much of this perception about schools rewarding or not rewarding reinvention stems from the schools own agenda with regard to things like climbing the USNWR rankings and the like? Are there other behind the scenes things that drive this? I know there was a curriculum change for the students at my current institution a few years back and with it a definite push to bring in younger 4.0/40 types while non trad reinvents basically vanished from the class. Along with the curriculum they also got a new dean who was tasked with climbing the rankings as well.
 
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Goro has a great list that I hope he will share, but I had luck (so far) with NYU (could be considered top 20) - also Hofstra and Wake Forest (along with my state schools including USF, which likes high MCATs). Rejected at Keck, UCSF, Pitt, Mayo (many others as well, but the ones listed tend to reward reinvention). Higher MCAT, but lower GPA. Extensive work experience. I’m waiting on a few others, but it’s looking like a lost cause with most. I think Columbia, UPenn, Duke, northwestern, and Emory are good bets and worth the application fee. I will let you know if I ever hear from them. Just having your GPA over the magical 3.5 will help - I’m very satisfied with my cycle, but getting to a 3.5 might have been better for me.

Schools that seem to like my application have a focus on humanism and patient care.


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Thanks for the response @DBC03, would love to see the list by @Goro! I'm especially glad to hear that about NYU and Hofstra, since I'd honestly prefer to stay in NY. Gonna add most of the rest you mentioned as well, and I hope to hear good news from you soon regarding those other top 20's :)





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More like 10 @ 3 semester hrs /class. Lab classes will obviousy be more.
What if you have taken the general sceiences like bio,chemistry,psychology,sociology,physics, organic 1 but haven’t taken organic 2 yet and biochemistry and also had c’s in my bio 1&2 classes. My question is how many upper level science classes should I take if I knock down organic 2
 

Violagirl

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Goro has a great list that I hope he will share, but I had luck (so far) with NYU (could be considered top 20) - also Hofstra and Wake Forest (along with my state schools including USF, which likes high MCATs). Rejected at Keck, UCSF, Pitt, Mayo (many others as well, but the ones listed tend to reward reinvention). Higher MCAT, but lower GPA. Extensive work experience. I’m waiting on a few others, but it’s looking like a lost cause with most. I think Columbia, UPenn, Duke, northwestern, and Emory are good bets and worth the application fee. I will let you know if I ever hear from them. Just having your GPA over the magical 3.5 will help - I’m very satisfied with my cycle, but getting to a 3.5 might have been better for me.

Schools that seem to like my application have a focus on humanism and patient care.


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Thanks for the response @DBC03, would love to see the list by @Goro! I'm especially glad to hear that about NYU and Hofstra, since I'd honestly prefer to stay in NY. Gonna add most of the rest you mentioned as well, and I hope to hear good news from you soon regarding those other top 20's :)





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This is the list of MD schools that Goro has previously listed that reward reinvention:

Your state school

Tulane

NYMC

Albany

Drexel

Gtown

GWU

U Miami

BU

Duke

Columbia

UCSF

Case

Vandy

Rosy Franklin

New MD schools (Not CNU)
 
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What if you have taken the general sceiences like bio,chemistry,psychology,sociology,physics, organic 1 but haven’t taken organic 2 yet and biochemistry and also had c’s in my bio 1&2 classes. My question is how many upper level science classes should I take if I knock down organic 2
If one is a career changer, and makes As in all the pre-reqs, AND has a great MCAT score, then med school is doable. The Cs int he Bio 1 and 2 do not inspire confidence and my advice is to take two-three more heavy duty Bio classes.

Remember, marathon, not sprint?
 
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What about reinvention tips for those have have withdrawals in their pre reqs as in my case W in ochem 1 and W ochem 1 LAb, W bio 1 W bio 1 W bio 1 lab W bio 1 lab, but took ochem 1 Got A, ochem 1 lab A, Ochem 2 A, Ochem 2 LAb A, Bio 1 B, Bio 1 lab A, and successfully pass BIO 2 and bio 2 lab with B and better. Also plan to take a semester where I take Human Anatomy & Physiology 1, Human A & P Lab, Biochemistry, and other elective classes.
SDN has created an unrealistic bias against Ws. If you had to withdraw due to illness or a life event, that what the Ws are for!

However, IF the Ws are scattered about, it will appear as if you were trying to salvage your GPA. This makes up worry and it should worry you as well. After all, how do you know that you can handle med school if you're always ducking out of a course to save your GPA? You get to pull Ws in med school.

A consistent run of good grades will allay Adcom fears.


Goro- how much of this perception about schools rewarding or not rewarding reinvention stems from the schools own agenda with regard to things like climbing the USNWR rankings and the like? Are there other behind the scenes things that drive this? I know there was a curriculum change for the students at my current institution a few years back and with it a definite push to bring in younger 4.0/40 types while non trad reinvents basically vanished from the class. Along with the curriculum they also got a new dean who was tasked with climbing the rankings as well.

As I have said previously, the only people who care about USNWR ranking are pre-meds and med school Deans. Different schools have different agendas, and there are schools that are stats whores. However, some schools seem to care more about their mission than merely having a classful of WashU stats clones.

I have since learned that a reinventor made it into NYU (although with a sky high MCAT score) !
 
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This is the list of MD schools that Goro has previously listed that reward reinvention:

Your state school

Tulane

NYMC

Albany

Drexel

Gtown

GWU

U Miami

BU

Duke

Columbia

UCSF

Case

Vandy

Rosy Franklin

New MD schools (Not CNU)
To this list, one can add: Pitt, Mayo, Hofstra, EVMS, Wake, Tufts, Dartmouth, the Philly Triplets, Loyola
 
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deleted421268

What about reinvention tips for those have have withdrawals in their pre reqs as in my case W in ochem 1 and W ochem 1 LAb, W bio 1 W bio 1 W bio 1 lab W bio 1 lab, but took ochem 1 Got A, ochem 1 lab A, Ochem 2 A, Ochem 2 LAb A, Bio 1 B, Bio 1 lab A, and successfully pass BIO 2 and bio 2 lab with B and better
SDN has created an unrealistic bias against Ws. If you had to withdraw due to illness or a life event, that what the Ws are for!

However, IF the Ws are scattered about, it will appear as if you were trying to salvage your GPA. This makes up worry and it should worry you as well. After all, how do you know that you can handle med school if you're always ducking out of a course to save your GPA? You get to pull Ws in med school.

A consistent run of good grades will allay Adcom fears.!
What specifically can I do to overcome this? Do I need to get something on the mcat?
 
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What specifically can I do to overcome this? Do I need to get something on the mcat?
What did I write above??????
 
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I had posted something that pertains to this and was linked to it. My questions is that most post bacc's are for non science majors and aren't they retakes of the pre reqs? I mostly scored B+s on them but according to this post shouldn't retake any courses. According to the feedback I'm receiving from my post people advise a post bacc. Also the GPA that's being stated for MD/DO is that overall or just the SMP/Post bacc? I live in the NYC area so I know Mt Sinai and Rutgers has a SMP. So they would like reinvention, but everyone to a certain degree. I wanted to know if a post bacc would be okay in my case. Thank you.
 
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I had posted something that pertains to this and was linked to it. My questions is that most post bacc's are for non science majors and aren't they retakes of the pre reqs? I mostly scored B+s on them but according to this post shouldn't retake any courses. According to the feedback I'm receiving from my post people advise a post bacc. Also the GPA that's being stated for MD/DO is that overall or just the SMP/Post bacc? I live in the NYC area so I know Mt Sinai and Rutgers has a SMP. So they would like reinvention, but everyone to a certain degree. I wanted to know if a post bacc would be okay in my case. Thank you.
There are formal post-bacs that are for non-science majors or career changers. generally, we we refer to post-bac here, we are talking about a DIY one you take any any local university.

The GPA numbers I thorw out are for your performance in the post-bac or SMP. Usually, people have done so much damage to their cGPA early on that even aceing post-bac work won't raise it very much. But that's not the point at this stage.
 
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There are formal post-bacs that are for non-science majors or career changers. generally, we we refer to post-bac here, we are talking about a DIY one you take any any local university.

The GPA numbers I thorw out are for your performance in the post-bac or SMP. Usually, people have done so much damage to their cGPA early on that even aceing post-bac work won't raise it very much. But that's not the point at this stage.
So I'm assuming that going through an SMP in my case would be the way to go since post bacc work is basically pre reqs over again. My pre reqs again are B average. My GPA suffered due to lack of trying in other classes and somewhat in my prereqs that prevented me from getting an A. I would need to take the MCAT do decent and aim for an SMP. Because wouldn't a post bacc be a waste of time and money if I already have the pre reqs as a science major?
 

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So I'm assuming that going through an SMP in my case would be the way to go since post bacc work is basically pre reqs over again. My pre reqs again are B average. My GPA suffered due to lack of trying in other classes and somewhat in my prereqs that prevented me from getting an A. I would need to take the MCAT do decent and aim for an SMP. Because wouldn't a post bacc be a waste of time and money if I already have the pre reqs as a science major?
In a post bacc plan of this type, you won't retake prereqs that you have already done well in. You should choose upper division (300 or 400 level classes) in subjects (mostly Bio) that you will see in a medical school, like Genetics, Physiology, Anatomy. Goro has listed more such classes in the first post of this thread. Doing well in these will demonstrate that you are ready to handle the subject matter in med school.
An SMP will probably be more expensive, and have a heavier course load, but has other advantages like MCAT study support and sometimes a guaranteed interview with a linked med school.
 
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In a post bacc plan of this type, you won't retake prereqs that you have already done well in. You should choose upper division (300 or 400 level classes) in subjects (mostly Bio) that you will see in a medical school, like Genetics, Physiology, Anatomy. Goro has listed more such classes in the first post of this thread. Doing well in these will demonstrate that you are ready to handle the subject matter in med school.
An SMP will probably be more expensive, and have a heavier course load, but has other advantages like MCAT study support and sometimes a guaranteed interview with a linked med school.
This. I personally prefer SMPs, even though they're higher risk, they're also higher reward.
 
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In a post bacc plan of this type, you won't retake prereqs that you have already done well in. You should choose upper division (300 or 400 level classes) in subjects (mostly Bio) that you will see in a medical school, like Genetics, Physiology, Anatomy. Goro has listed more such classes in the first post of this thread. Doing well in these will demonstrate that you are ready to handle the subject matter in med school.
An SMP will probably be more expensive, and have a heavier course load, but has other advantages like MCAT study support and sometimes a guaranteed interview with a linked med school.
Okay so in that case then that's a DIY post bacc at a 4 year school. These can't be done at a CC due to lack of upper level courses. I'm curious, aren't adcoms against pre reqs especially science classes from CCs. Some Medical school websites even stated that they don't want pre reqs from CCs.
 

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I don't know of any CA schools that reward reinvention other than UCSF, and you're going to need a higher MCAT for them, like 516+. Keck might, based upon input from gyngyn, and a 513 might work for them.
N = 1: I did a DIY postbac with >3.8 over about 70 all-science units, 512 MCAT, 3.7 sGPA, LM 66-71 depending on which GPA you use. Rejected from Keck faster than I could file my "you're complete" email. Very late secondary from UCSF (yay!) but ultimately rejected there. Not yet rejected from UCLA, UC Davis or UC Irvine, but no IIs at any of those, and am on pre-II hold at UCSD. California has been tough!!
 
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N = 1: I did a DIY postbac with >3.8 over about 70 all-science units, 512 MCAT, 3.7 sGPA, LM 66-71 depending on which GPA you use. Rejected from Keck faster than I could file my "you're complete" email. Very late secondary from UCSF (yay!) but ultimately rejected there. Not yet rejected from UCLA, UC Davis or UC Irvine, but no IIs at any of those, and am on pre-II hold at UCSD. California has been tough!!
I would not have recommended an app to Keck with a 512 MCAT. 515? Yes. Keck also seems to like lots of service work.
 
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I would not have recommended an app to Keck with a 512 MCAT. 515? Yes. Keck also seems to like lots of service work.
Yes, I do have lots (10,000+ hours) of service in a community very similar to Watts/Southcentral LA, so I thought that might get me looked at anyway. I suspect my "surface" LM got me screened out though.

One of my advisors had suggested I write to all my schools asking them to use my postbac gpa in their screens, since my original undergrad grades were from sooo long ago. Have you heard of applicants doing that? If so, does it work? Are some schools' initial screens really that cursory that they wouldn't notice a big jump in postbac grades unless the applicant pointed it out?
 
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Yes, I do have lots (10,000+ hours) of service in a community very similar to Watts/Southcentral LA, so I thought that might get me looked at anyway. I suspect my "surface" LM got me screened out though.

One of my advisors had suggested I write to all my schools asking them to use my postbac gpa in their screens, since my original undergrad grades were from sooo long ago. Have you heard of applicants doing that? If so, does it work? Are some schools' initial screens really that cursory that they wouldn't notice a big jump in postbac grades unless the applicant pointed it out?
They're not idiots...they can see your post-bac GPA. Some schools simply have so many qualified applicants that they can afford to ignore reinventors. But others do beleive in reinvention.
 
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They're not idiots...they can see your post-bac GPA. Some schools simply have so many qualified applicants that they can afford to ignore reinventors. But others do beleive in reinvention.
Haha, ok - so it sounds like I made the right call in not writing to them to point out the big gap in time. :)
 
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Goro, I know you had mentioned somewhere that research is overrated but here on the East Coast they love it. I've had little bit of research experience but no Publication. I'm assuming it will take over 6 months to get on a faculty members' team and get his/her trust to allow an undergrad to dwell deeper into a project so I can be on a team which will eventually lead to a publication. Getting into the lab and working isn't the hard part. The difficulty is how to get on a team for leading towards a publication. I'm interested in what the professor is doing but also wanted to know if research is really that important in East Coast Schools. Thanks.
 
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Goro, I know you had mentioned somewhere that research is overrated but here on the East Coast they love it. I've had little bit of research experience but no Publication. I'm assuming it will take over 6 months to get on a faculty members' team and get his/her trust to allow an undergrad to dwell deeper into a project so I can be on a team which will eventually lead to a publication. Getting into the lab and working isn't the hard part. The difficulty is how to get on a team for leading towards a publication. I'm interested in what the professor is doing but also wanted to know if research is really that important in East Coast Schools. Thanks.
East Coast as in Wake, Gtown and Harvard/Yale? Or only the latter??? The Powerhouses like research, but not everybody can get into the Powerhouses.
 
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I know two people with very similar stats that had applied to Upitt but one had gotten rejected. Both had over 200 hours of clinical/volunteering. One had a 97th percentile MCAT and another had 99th. both had 2 publications. While the 97th percentile got rejected. Even though he tutors students every week and a neurosurgeon's kid in biology as well. Other difference is that one went to a slightly better undergrad school (Susquehanna) for science. The one that got rejected goes to Seton Hall. They both are white. So what would the difference maker even be? How down to the bone do they get. Upitt isn't like Harvard or Yale, but it is top 15 in research MD's.
. I know of an SDNer who got into UCSF with zero research experience.
Your turn.
 
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. I know of an SDNer who got into UCSF with zero research experience.
Your turn.
I understand that each individual is looked at differently, it could be the interview process or something else. I wouldn't know. So my question is, would research be a good idea for reinvention given the time frame and the possibility of reaching a publication, Especially here on the East Coast, because it was stated by many people applying around here. Thanks.
 
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I understand that each individual is looked at differently, it could be the interview process or something else. I wouldn't know. So my question is, would research be a good idea for reinvention given the time frame and the possibility of reaching a publication, Especially here on the East Coast, because it was stated by many people applying around here. Thanks.
I think it's always good to have some understanding of the scientific principle. To quote two SDNers:

The wise DrMidlife on research: “you've preferably had some exposure to research so you can be convinced that Wakefield used malicious dirtbag methods and is not the savior of the world's children.”

The wise Crayola227 on research: So tired about the whining over the foundation of knowledge that is expected in a physician. We're applied scientists ffs. Own that. If you can't own it and take pride in it, gtfo.
 
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