Is a full year of bio needed or just 12 units + GPA question + SMP chances

DrMidlife

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First of all, I am on the quarter system and as a Human Biology major I am only required to take 2 quarters of Intro Biology (5 units each=10 units total) and 1 quarter of lab (2 units) for a total of 12 units. For many, many medical schools (Both MD+DO) and many SMP's the language regarding prereq classes is either 12 units of General Biology or 1 year of General Biology and a lot show both. So should I take the 3rd quarter of Biology (Ecology and Evolution) or not? I do not want to be rejected by SMP or medical school or be told to take the 3rd quarter after graduating. I'm specifically worried about RFU since they require to fill out a form for your science coursework.
Two separate unrelated things:
1. What your school requires of you to give you a degree in your major
2. What med schools require of you

You need to take care of both. So yes, you should take that 3rd quarter of Biology. If you want to be a good citizen and a responsible premed, get a public conversation going with your school's premed adviser and with your school's premed club about this issue. At the very least, the advising pages for your major and department need to include language about med school requirements.

Second of all, I failed 3 science my sophomore year due to a lot of immaturity. No excuse at all, I socialized way too much and in my first 2 years of college I got by with a 3.1 GPA studying maybe 3-5 hours a week. Obviously now I've realize that is practically nothing. I know MD schools do not have grade forgiveness and DO schools do but what about SMP programs?
Pay no attention to what SMPs require. Focus on what med schools require. A good SMP is evaluating you on your fitness for its host med school.

Don't think of an SMP as a healed scar over an old wound. It's a bandaid, and it'll be ripped off to look at what's under there when you apply to med school. Also don't think of an SMP as an eraser.
How do they look at 3 failed class 1 year ago if they are followed by 3 quarters of great performance?
They worry that the same thing will happen under the stress of med school. Nothing you can do is going to make a respectable med school ignore those F's. You will need to more than demonstrate that there is much more to you than those F's.

I propose a new yardstick for F's in science on a GPA comeback: you have to get an A on the retake and at least one more A in a harder science class to redeem yourself, per F.
I have had a good upward trend the past 2 quarters and I have 1-2 more quarters of hopefully upward trend so my GPA could be around 3.3 by next Fall when I apply for SMP (G-town, Tufts, RFU, Toledo, Cincinnati, Tufts, USF, BU, EVMS, Tulane) My goal is to get into Cincinnati, Toledo, or RFU since they have high linkages (Did not include EVMS because of their recent increased enrollment which could lower their linkage) but realistically RFU is my best bet since Toledo and Cincinnati are much harder to get into. Due to my subpar undergrad GPA and 3 failed classes RFU's "all in" method of deciding primarily based on performance in the SMP seems like my best chance for a MD. (Am I wrong?)
Nobody has an actual linkage to the host med school except Temple, and their minimum GPA is 3.4. The rest of the SMPs are all gambling with various likelihoods.

Regardless, which SMPs is a question that can wait for a year. Focus on the present.
In summary by next Fall:
Without grade forgiveness: 3.0-3.1 overall, 2.7-2.8 science
With grade forgiveness: 3.2-3.3 overall, 3.0-3.1 science
You should consider adding a year of undergrad so that you have no GPA's that start with a 2. SMPs do not give you grade forgiveness for MD schools, and you are sunk for MD if you try to apply with a 2.7-2.8 in science.
I will also have completed 5 quarters of Spanish including one quarter of Medical Spanish. Does this help me stand out for SMP or Medical School?
Spanish is a convenient EC, nothing more. You will succeed or fail on your science GPA and MCAT, not by your EC's. Your EC's are fine. Worry about academics and only academics.
As for the MCAT, I am taking a summer course with Berkeley Review from Mid June-Mid August and taking the MCAT on September 18th, 2014. I know I need at least a 32 (or do I need higher?) to get into a SMP and to offset my GPA .
You should get the highest MCAT score you can squeeze out. If you're in California, 32 would be the minimum for UC's. Minimums are a thing to not be close to.

If "slug" refers to UC Santa Cruz, you will also want to consider moving out of state to work and get residency someplace that has less competitive admissions.

Best of luck to you.
 
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SlugMD

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Two separate unrelated things:
1. What your school requires of you to give you a degree in your major
2. What med schools require of you

You need to take care of both. So yes, you should take that 3rd quarter of Biology. If you want to be a good citizen and a responsible premed, get a public conversation going with your school's premed adviser and with your school's premed club about this issue. At the very least, the advising pages for your major and department need to include language about med school requirements.


Pay no attention to what SMPs require. Focus on what med schools require. A good SMP is evaluating you on your fitness for its host med school.

Don't think of an SMP as a healed scar over an old wound. It's a bandaid, and it'll be ripped off to look at what's under there when you apply to med school. Also don't think of an SMP as an eraser.

They worry that the same thing will happen under the stress of med school. Nothing you can do is going to make a respectable med school ignore those F's. You will need to more than demonstrate that there is much more to you than those F's.

I propose a new yardstick for F's in science on a GPA comeback: you have to get an A on the retake and at least one more A in a harder science class to redeem yourself, per F.

Nobody has an actual linkage to the host med school except Temple, and their minimum GPA is 3.4. The rest of the SMPs are all gambling with various likelihoods.

Regardless, which SMPs is a question that can wait for a year. Focus on the present.

You should consider adding a year of undergrad so that you have no GPA's that start with a 2. SMPs do not give you grade forgiveness for MD schools, and you are sunk for MD if you try to apply with a 2.7-2.8 in science.

Spanish is a convenient EC, nothing more. You will succeed or fail on your science GPA and MCAT, not by your EC's. Your EC's are fine. Worry about academics and only academics.

You should get the highest MCAT score you can squeeze out. If you're in California, 32 would be the minimum for UC's. Minimums are a thing to not be close to.

If "slug" refers to UC Santa Cruz, you will also want to consider moving out of state to work and get residency someplace that has less competitive admissions.

Best of luck to you.
Understood, I will fit in that 3rd quarter of Biology before I graduate just so that I won't take any chances. It will also give me the opportunity to get an A in science class.

I do plan on going to an out of state medical school. I've read all the threads and done my research and I realize that I can't get into a California medical school.

As for your proposed yardstick, I already retook all 3 classes last year with 2 C's and 1 A the 2nd time around which obviously isn't great. Looking into the rest of my schedule, I will be taking 2 upper division lectures, 2 quarters of physics, and 1 quarter of biostatistics before SMP applications and 2 upper divisions plus the 3rd quarter of biology after but before I graduate. So in total 8 sciences classes. I also have the option to take an upper division lab worth 5 units which my friends told me is an easy A. This gives me a total of 40-45 science units. Unfortunately, staying an extra year is out of the question.

Your post only motivates me more to do well on the MCAT, but in your opinion can a great MCAT along with my EC's, LOR's, PS, off set my science GPA?

Like I said before I wouldn't mind DO schools. How do my chances look for DO schools and what about St. George? I'm not superficial and at the end of the day I just want to be a doctor, even if worst case it means go to the Caribbean and go into Family Practice/IM. We do need more doctors to go into primary care anyways.

Thanks for your help.
 

DrMidlife

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This gives me a total of 40-45 science units.
Find a way to take more. You'll need more to show a science GPA over 3.

Your post only motivates me more to do well on the MCAT, but in your opinion can a great MCAT along with my EC's, LOR's, PS, off set my science GPA?
If the real question here is "can I possibly get into an MD school on the other side of all this anguish?" the answer is yes, and the higher your MCAT score, the more likely that is.

If the real question is "will a super high MCAT score undo the damage?" the answer is no. Make peace with the simple fact that you are on GPA redemption and your story will be difficult to sell.

Like I said before I wouldn't mind DO schools. How do my chances look for DO schools and what about St. George? I'm not superficial and at the end of the day I just want to be a doctor, even if worst case it means go to the Caribbean and go into Family Practice/IM. We do need more doctors to go into primary care anyways.
Just stop talking about Carib. That's a joke.

You can get into a DO school if your future grades are A's. Read the Gevitz book.

Best of luck to you.