Sep 5, 2016
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Community college transfer student. I went to one of these schools. I got bad grades in chemistry (excuses: I switched majors from English to biology with no science background, was in an abusive relationship, had some problems at home with severely depressed grandparent).

Last year I transferred to UCSD. At UCSD, my cGPA is 3.81 and my sGPA is 3.88 - with one exception, all my coursework is UD.

The best cGPA I can get as an undergraduate is 3.47 and the best sGPA I can get is 3.26 (cumulative, from UCSD and my community college). Projection is based on continuing my past performance/course load at UCSD.

I have a few options:

* UCSD offers a contiguous BS/MS program, for which I meet the requirements and can graduate after 6 consecutive quarters of research enrolled in a course called BISP 199. I have a research position and my PI is on-board.
* Postbac or SMP programs.
* Get an amazing MCAT score and apply to DO school.

I haven't taken the MCAT yet (I want to do a postbac/graduate program before I apply to medical school). I also really need a gap year and am stressed out about my chances. :p

I will be working in a lab for my senior year (>1 year at least; >2 years if I do the BS/MS program). I have volunteer experience with a hospital ED, not a ton of hours. My senior year I need to focus on improving my ECs (getting volunteer/shadowing/research experience), prepare for the MCAT, and get a high GPA (my goal is a 4.0 sGPA for the remainder of my time at UCSD).

What MCAT score do I need to aim for? Has anyone done the BS/MS program at UCSD and will it help me or should I look for a postbac/SMP program instead?

I don't prefer MD or DO, I want to be a forensic pathologist, but I want to stay in SoCal or go to the East coast. MD gives me more options, and to get into an MD school I need higher stats.

Suggestions?
 

AnatomyGrey12

2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2015
9,280
18,754
Midwest
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Medical Student
For MD you will need a good MCAT score 512+ and then ace an SMP ideally.

For DO I would just retake some of your lowest science grades and get the sGPA to above a 3.3. A MCAT 505+ should be great for DO.

If you want to look at it this way the MCAT could be used as your deciding factor. You obviously have the ability to do well in an SMP if you work hard, evidenced by your high GPA at UCSD. I say study hard for the MCAT and see what kind of score you get. If you score 512+ then I say think about an SMP, if you score less than that then retake your two or three lowest science grades and go DO.
 
OP
P
Sep 5, 2016
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
For MD you will need a good MCAT score 512+ and then ace an SMP ideally.

For DO I would just retake some of your lowest science grades and get the sGPA to above a 3.3. A MCAT 505+ should be great for DO.

If you want to look at it this way the MCAT could be used as your deciding factor. You obviously have the ability to do well in an SMP if you work hard, evidenced by your high GPA at UCSD. I say study hard for the MCAT and see what kind of score you get. If you score 512+ then I say think about an SMP, if you score less than that then retake your two or three lowest science grades and go DO.
Retaking organic chemistry alone boosts my sGPA to 3.5, retaking both general and organic chemistry to 3.67. My logic is that a good MCAT score shows I mastered the basic science material dragging my GPA, but doing a SMP is more challenging and a better use of time than actually retaking the classes. I want to get advising from resources at school, but it's good to hear that I should focus my energy on the MCAT.

One more thing - please let me know if I should ask this question elsewhere. I have a few A+ grades in my transcript (including one for UD science) that don't significantly affect my GPA, do medical schools care whatsoever? Assuming I get a 4.0 anyways.
 

AnatomyGrey12

2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2015
9,280
18,754
Midwest
Status
Medical Student
but doing a SMP is more challenging and a better use of time than actually retaking the classes
This actually isn't true if you are fine with DO. SMPs are much riskier and I would only do one if you have a 512+ MCAT and are set on pursuing the MD.

With those GPAs just retake OChem and you will be just fine for DO.

Edit: an A+ is viewed the same as an A by medical schools. They both equal 4.0
 
OP
P
Sep 5, 2016
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
This actually isn't true if you are fine with DO. SMPs are much riskier and I would only do one if you have a 512+ MCAT and are set on pursuing the MD.

With those GPAs just retake OChem and you will be just fine for DO.

Edit: an A+ is viewed the same as an A by medical schools. They both equal 4.0
Remaining in state is my goal, but OOS location is extremely important to me. I'll be honest, my ideal locations are Los Angeles, New York City, Sacramento (Davis), or the San Francisco Bay Area. I don't have the numbers for MD schools in these areas. My worry is that because there are fewer DO schools, I will end up choosing one based on proximity to these locations and ignore other factors. I may have to compromise either way, SMP or DO - but I'd rather spend 1 year somewhere I'm okay with and 4 years somewhere I love.

With these priorities are you comfortable making a recommendation one way or another?

Also, are there resources for students who want to retake classes? I'm confused about this process.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,634
78,872
Somewhere west of St. Louis
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Non-Student
If you continue to do well at UCSD, and ace MCAT, you won't need SMP or a DO school (although mine will be happy to take you).

Lots of MD schools reward reinvention and pay more attention to the last two years of schooling.
 
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