Jun 1, 2019
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Hi everyone. So really gonna lay out all the skeletons in my closet but hoping this is the first step to moving forward. I'm done being stuck.

  • Had a family emergency during undergrad junior year. Ended up taking a 5th year to finish but then started dealing with some mental health stuff. I've essentially not officially graduated since Fall 2017 b/c I have 1 remaining unit from a class that I got an incomplete from and I've been avoiding my problems 🙃 (I'm going to be emailing this professor soon about how to deal with it). I know... I ****ed up and I'm so ashamed.
  • In the meantime, scribed under ScribeAmerica at an urgent care for a 1.5 yrs and became one of the trainers. Moved on to a different scribe job at a general surgeon's office and have had some OR shadowing too (have been with him for past 2 yrs).
  • Took the MCAT twice so far (three, but voided one). First score was in Summer 2015 -- 495 (124/124/124/123). Second was on 9/4/2020 -- 508 (126/128/127/127). Planning to retake in June 2021.
  • cGPA: 3.33, sGPA: ~3.0 in Physiological Sciences major (so have done all the pre-reqs).
  • No research, but tons of clinical from scribing and volunteering/clubs during college. No outside volunteering since college though.
  • 25 y/o F. CA-resident, ORM, living with family in single parent household. (On my own, I'm poor af and feel like such a burden lulz).
So now... my deepest shame is that 1 unit left at incomplete for years. I don't really have academic LoRs due to how long it's been and also didn't make any connection (I'm confident in my LoR from scribing though).

Just because of being out of school so long, no academic LoRs, and low GPA, I've been trying to decide between doing a formal post bacc vs. DIY post bacc vs. SMP. After contemplating for so long, I thought I was just going to take some community college classes to just get my LoRs (and to save money) and just applying with my GPA as is. But looking around online again, I'm not sure anymore.

With my situation and stats, should I be looking into a formal post bacc or SMP? Or would community college classes suffice? Any advice is very much appreciated.
 

Med Ed

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I have seen situations like yours. To get out of this you will need to be systematic.

1. Cancel your June 2021 MCAT. Don't plan on a retake until you have a clearer picture of which cycle you will target.
2. Finish that 1 unit and graduate.
3. Work full time for 1-2 years and save some money. This process is tough, and almost impossible when you're poor AF.
4. Pick up some recent volunteering during this period.
5. THEN decide on post bacc vs. SMP and plot to retake the MCAT.

I understand that at 25 you're eager to push this forward (I can sympathize). But taking a third MCAT with an unfinished degree, middling GPA, and little money is a recipe for disaster. You will only win by slowing down and being deliberate.
 
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Jun 1, 2019
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I have seen situations like yours. To get out of this you will need to be systematic.

1. Cancel your June 2021 MCAT. Don't plan on a retake until you have a clearer picture of which cycle you will target.
2. Finish that 1 unit and graduate.
3. Work full time for 1-2 years and save some money. This process is tough, and almost impossible when you're poor AF.
4. Pick up some recent volunteering during this period.
5. THEN decide on post bacc vs. SMP and plot to retake the MCAT.

I understand that at 25 you're eager to push this forward (I can sympathize). But taking a third MCAT with an unfinished degree, middling GPA, and little money is a recipe for disaster. You will only win by slowing down and being deliberate.
Thank you so, so much for your reply. This has been the first piece of advice I've received so far with a conceivable timeline. Other replies I got online gave me the impression that I had to solve all my problems simultaneously and it gave me so much anxiety. And to be honest, my overall perception of the premed life has always been being able to juggle several commitments (i.e. working full-time with night classes, volunteering, studying for MCAT, research, etc), which I'm sure is the case for many people. But for me, this has manifested as years of only part-time scribe jobs, part-time MCAT studying, and going back and forth between post bac vs SMP, without any real commitment to a plan. Not much :( So your suggested plan does seem to be the next best thing for me.

I currently still work at the general surgeon's office as a scribe/front office employee (while working there, I naturally began to help out with front office stuff) at $16/hr. My hours are flexible depending on whether we see patients or not. Would you have any insight on how working as a full-time scribe/front office employee for 1-2 more years would look to ad coms? Or would a different job be better? (I would be able to do basic data entry for the general surgeon as well if I wanted to).

(P.S. I recalculated my sGPA again and it was actually 3.197, if that makes a difference in my chances of just applying.)
 
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drducky.

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Apply DO and you should get plenty of interviews.
 
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Med Ed

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Thank you so, so much for your reply. This has been the first piece of advice I've received so far with a conceivable timeline. Other replies I got online gave me the impression that I had to solve all my problems simultaneously and it gave me so much anxiety. And to be honest, my overall perception of the premed life has always been being able to juggle several commitments (i.e. working full-time with night classes, volunteering, studying for MCAT, research, etc), which I'm sure is the case for many people. But for me, this has manifested as years of only part-time scribe jobs, part-time MCAT studying, and going back and forth between post bac vs SMP, without any real commitment to a plan. Not much :( So your suggested plan does seem to be the next best thing for me.

I currently still work at the general surgeon's office as a scribe/front office employee (while working there, I naturally began to help out with front office stuff) at $16/hr. My hours are flexible depending on whether we see patients or not. Would you have any insight on how working as a full-time scribe/front office employee for 1-2 more years would look to ad coms? Or would a different job be better? (I would be able to do basic data entry for the general surgeon as well if I wanted to).

(P.S. I recalculated my sGPA again and it was actually 3.197, if that makes a difference in my chances of just applying.)
We've all gone through phases in life where we are trying to do too much, and it typically doesn't go very well. I have also noticed that a lot of so-called multitaskers who exude confidence and capability are, in fact, barely holding on for dear life. Organize, prioritize, and over time you'll get ahead.

The best job for you is the one that pays the most. If you have scribed for a while then more scribing does not really advance your application.
 
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