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TheBoneDoctah

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Hi there SDN friends,

I've read Goro's guide to reinvention, but I'm wondering how much reinventing I need to do to get into medical school - preferably MD if things are salvageable, but very receptive to DO. Mostly worried about GPA, the rest of my app is pretty well rounded.

I received a B.S. in spring '19 with a major in neuroscience/minor in philosophy.

This is my cumulative grade trend, beginning in CC for the first three semesters and all following coursework completed at my university:

FR 4.0
SO 3.74
JR 3.54
SR 3.15

cGPA: 3.63
sGPA: 3.41


as you can imagine, science courses follow the cumulative trend as well. I know this isn't much of an excuse because lots of people work while in school, but during undergrad I was working 33+ hours per week, doing volunteer research work, but most importantly had personal life issues to overcome my first semester of senior year (separated from my spouse and experienced a separate concurrent trauma) - overall just a very stressful time in and out of academia. I received a c2.6 that first semester of senior year, but had a comeback (i.e. probably just dissociated from my emotions long enough to get through my last 4.5 months of school:shrug:) and bounced back up to a 3.7 in my last semester. However, to my understanding adcoms don't see semesters, just yearly stats.

I'm beginning a DIY postbacc, hopefully during summer if I can still get into the late start date classes, but definitely signed up for classes in the fall. What I would like to know is if I'm planning to apply for the 2022 cycle/submit my app next spring:
-how much coursework should I do before I apply to adequately show an upward trend for schools to know I can handle the material? I can only attend school part time, I work full time weekly with a schedule less flexible than I had in college.
-Would taking classes part time be viewed negatively because I'm not taking many at the same time?
-I plan on taking classes at my local 4 year university until I (hopefully) matriculate, but would I even have a chance in next year's cycle if I applied after only a year of part time classes?

I know downward trends can be lethal to apps and am really looking for some constructive advice on what I should do. I've been scoring 514-516 on practice MCATs if that helps, was going to take it fall of this year but now waiting until 2021 because I'm not up for the shortened exam. Thanks to anyone who took the time to read all of this and sorry for all the questions!!
You need an MCAT score for us to give you really good advice.

You are good for DO as is. If you applied DO, and scored like you are on the practice MCAT you would most likely get in.

If you want MD, you need to do the classes like you are saying and ideally show a year of courses getting As. Not sure how high a part time year of courses will get your GPA.

Also, just because you are scoring high on practice MCAT doesn’t mean you will score that on real deal. Real deal is a different beast. Not saying you can’t or won’t, just saying you gotta know that it isn’t in the bag.


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tantacles

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I think I agree mostly with @TheBoneDoctah , with some caveats. It extremely hard to stratify your chances without an MCAT score. With an excellent MCAT score, you could still have a shot at a great many MD schools. Without an MCAT score, your GPA can not speak for itself. But again, with an excellent MCAT score and a cGPA of 3.6, I think you might not need to do much reinvention at all. DO schools are well within reach, and MD schools are perhaps within reach, so I would apply to both. Your chances decrease as your MCAT score decreases, but your MCAT score can speak to your ability to do well in medical school despite a downward trend, so I would attempt to take it and destroy it. Then come back and tell us your score, and we can then advise you further.
 

Goro

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This is one of those rare times that I disagree with my wise colleagues. That downward GPA telegraphs three things:
1) poor choice making in trying to bulldoze your way through when you weren't at your best.
2) An inability to handle more rigorous coursework
3) A single good semester is not enough data points to show who is the real Vibes. The CC student, or the one who was in the 4 year school?

Hence, I recommend a DIY post-bac or an SMP. My school has rejected people with GPA trends like the OP's.
 

Goro

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@TheBoneDoctah @tantacles @Goro thank you all so so much for the advice! I had some very poor decision making in undergrad but have grown a lot and come out stronger in the last few years. Lovin' this prefrontal cortex development ;) I understand the actual MCAT score is very necessary for advising, and sorry I don't have it yet.

@Goro and @TheBoneDoctah if I were to do a DIY postbacc, do you think I should wait until the 2023 cycle to apply (giving me 2 full years of the PT postbacc classes at app time, classes probably continuing into the application cycle)? I would accumulate ~30 credit hours by the time I apply that way. Or, if I tried applying next app cycle (for 2022), would 14 postbacc hours at the time I apply, plus coursework continuing into the application cycle (to come out to ~30 hours by Fall 2022) be sufficient for adcoms?

@Goro I have looked into SMPs, and I've seen mixed things about them. If I were to invest in an SMP, do you think a 1 year program would be enough in my case to show adcoms I can handle the med school curriculum? I'm concerned about taking out lots of money that would be very hard to begin paying back right away in that year off between the end of the SMP and med school. On top of the tuition for an SMP I'm a self supporter, so I'd have to take out more loans for that year to cover cost of living; money is killer in my situation. I would really like to know if you think the DIY route or SMP is better in my case.
Yes, one year of reinvention in a post-bac (DIY) or SMP will be fine. Just do NOT take the MCAT during the reinvention period...do it either before or after.

If you start the process this fall, then you would be fine to apply next year.

Since money is a concern, do the DIY route.

30 hours of reinvention should suffice.

You will need DO schools on your eventual list; beggars can't be choosy.
 
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@Mr.Smile12 @Goro

I've been crunching numbers all day for different DIY postbacc scenarios and how I could pay for school and living expenses through savings/financial aid/loans. For the next year while working, I want to attend a local university (not my UG institution) part time because it offers some science classes I can take in the evening around my work schedule. However, I also live close to and have strong ties with a high ranked university (also not my UG institution), a state school where I am a resident, where I want to take a year of full time courses between fall 2021 - spring 2022 that the local U doesn't offer; this institution doesn't offer night classes, so cannot take classes there for at least 1 year. I'd most likely stop working FT just before fall 2021.

1. If classes are taken at different 4-year institutions is that a negative thing to adcoms? Mostly wondering because the scenario described above would give me grades from 4 schools on my transcript - my CC, UG institution, and the two postbacc unis.
2. also, does it affect me negatively that I'd have a ~2 year gap between when I'm taking classes full time?
3. if I do this and perform well in my postbacc classes, and assuming I have an adequate MCAT score, would it put me where I need to be academically for a good shot at DO/MD programs in the 2023 cycle?
1) No
2) If you were working, no
3) No guarantees and no bets without an official MCAT score. Network with DO/MD programs before you apply.
 
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