Medical Is it okay to do an online masters during COVID-19?

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Goro

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Hi guys,

So I ended college this year, graduating with a double major in Biology and Psychology, chemistry minor. However, my GPA is low, cGPA: 3.1 and sGPA: 3.0. I have ~500 volunteering hours, ~100 shadowing hours, ~500 hours of research, ~1000 hours+ of clinical experience (been working as a medical assistant since practically my sophomore year, I graduated as a fifth year). Reflecting back on it, I took on a lot more than what I should have (2 clubs, multiple leadership positions within those clubs, general TA for organic chemistry one year -> summer TA for organic chem -> head TA for organic chemistry past year). My weekends didn't provide me ample time to study and I see how much that pushed me back. My pre-med prereqs are all A's in chemistry, biology A's with one B, and physics B's. My issue actually was with the upper division biology's I took, I didn't take them as serious because of the stigma in my school that the pre-med bio's require more time and the upper divisions are a cake walk. Then I went through something with an ex that offset my gpa for a year and made it hard to pick it back up (lots of C's...).

Now, I have too many credit hours to be able to fix it with a post-bacc. I've been looking into Masters programs in Medical Sciences, etc. I decided to retake two upperdivision bios I did bad in at another school (I'm out-of-state for my undergrad college, and graduation = no scholarship) to see if I am ready to start excelling like I was with my pre-med classes, and I currently have 99.26 average in one and a 94.3 average in the other. As a result, I really wanted to do the Masters but all of these programs are deciding to go online.

My fear with doing a program that's gone online is this:
Most of them included a linkage aspect (either with an interview or direct admission). 1) I feel like this benefit will no longer be applicable, even if I excel in the courses. The purpose is to make connections and prove to the school I am as capable as their medical students but how do I show that online? 2) Will an online masters be frowned upon for medical school? If I do well in the masters but the school still doesn't admit me into their med school, will I be doing myself a disservice for a masters online? I really want to take it in person but it looks like every school is just deciding to make the ENTIRE masters online... not for one semester, but completely. How do I take the advantage of making connections and proving myself to medical school admissions?

What do you guys recommend? Should I do the masters? How badly do you think a online masters would look to admissions when it's my only choice, granted I do well in the masters?? I really don't want to wait.. but I know there may be some schools with January admissions for masters, perhaps I could also see if those have the possibility of being in person. The deadline for fall for starting a masters is coming up for most programs (July, although some extended because they're going online) so I'm trying to prioritize now. But with lack of much support and advice (my pre-med center at my school really doesn't seem to care about graduates), I'm at a loss.

Thank you for any advice you can give on this. I'm just trying to figure out my life. My parents were supportive until they saw my GPA, and are now pushing Caribbean on me. I have not applied once (don't even have an MCAT due to COVID-19, my MCAT is in Sept. which is why I thought I would do a masters this year). My practice exams have been goodish (AAMC fl1: 511, AAMC fl2: 515) so I'm hoping to really keep bringing it up as my actual MCAT comes by. I understand it's hard to give advice about med school without an actual score, but my question is more on masters since I want to have a stellar GPA to prove to admissions (and more so myself) that this field is something I can excel in. I'm really determined to be a doctor, so I don't want to give up like my parents are trying to make me do.

And another thing is: I am mainly looking at DO. I've looked into the differences between DO and MD and I primarily enjoy the DO field more. I don't know if that makes much a difference in your answer. I will apply to MD programs as well but a successful DO program is where I'm more interested in.

Again, thank you for any advice! I hope you all are doing well given the circumstances with COVID-19. Remember to stay safe and healthy!
Read my post on reinvention for pre-meds.

It's no longer about raising the GPA, it's about showing the you of now is not the you of then. Therefore you can do a do-it-yourself post bac.

In the age of covid-19, everything is going online and no one will hold it against you. Even my own special master's program, is going online at least for the fall
Hi, thank you for replying! I will look into that form of a post-bacc, just thought that maybe post-bacc wouldn't be the best route because I have too many credit hours. But I would love to read your post! I'm new to SDN (well, member-wise new. I've been reading posts from SDN for years, just became a member yesterday). Would you mind redirecting me to the post or how I may navigate myself to find it? Thank you again!
 

TheBoneDoctah

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You do have a ton of credit hours and as @Goro said, it's not about raising your GPA. Your GPA is basically stuck where it is. Now it is a matter of demonstrating to admissions that you can hang with medical students and succeed in medical school level courses.

If you can take courses in a DIY-post bac, ace them, and then do well on your MCAT (practice scores looking good, but not guaranteed on test day), I think you will have a good shot at DO (and some MD depending on your MCAT score). Remember, you NEED to ace your courses in the post-bac.

If you decide to do the SMP, schools know everyone is doing online and won't hold it against you.
 
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