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Medical Low grades in a SMP and what do I do next?

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Jun 11, 2010
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I graduated college with a 3.78 overall GPA and a 3.65 sGPA. I decided to take a SMP, not so much for my GPA but mainly for better research opportunities and LOR's. In the first semester of my SMP I made 3 A's and 1 A-, however during the second semester I unfortunately became pretty sick during finals and it significantly brought my grades down. I ended this semester with an A, B+, and 2 B's. I still have the summer semester left which has three classes, and I know I can achieve a 4.0. This will cause me to end with a 3.72 GPA in the SMP.

I am just worried about my second semester grades and admissions committees seeing it as me not being able to handle medical school level courses, when it was just from me being sick and unable to study adequately. Should I take another semester as a non-degree seeking student to bring up my GPA or should I just accept my grades and apply in the 2021 cycle? My advisor seems to think admission committees will be more sympathetic about lower grades this spring semester, but I am not so sure about that. Thanks for the advice!
Taking an SMP for research and LORs simply baffles me. Why not simply get a research masters? Your UG GPAs are very competitive for med school.

Finishing an SMP with a 3.72 merely proves something we already know...that your GPA is competitive for med school. This semester is what, a 3.6? OK, not Columbia or Mayo material, but still good for, say Drexel or Albany. And that's just one semester!

Have you taken the MCAT? If not, that will make or break your app.

And do you have all the right ECs?
 

TheBoneDoctah

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I did not have any research experience, so a research masters was not an option for me. I do agree though that a SMP was not the best decision in my case, but it still has helped me obtain what I needed to help strengthen the missing components of my application.

My fall and spring semester combined so far is a 3.63, but alone this semester comes out to a 3.33 which is what concerns me. I've heard all it takes is one bad semester in an SMP to ruin a students chance of acceptance. But you seem to think that it will be ok as long as I finish strong in the summer and end with a 3.72?

I have not taken the MCAT yet. I'm going to give plenty of time towards studying for it in order to hopefully achieve a competitive score though. Also, I have the right EC's. I have 1000's of hours of clinical experience as a CNA, both clinical and non-clinical volunteering where I have leadership experiences, plenty of shadowing, and time where I have volunteered medically abroad.
Study hard for the MCAT and rock it. If you do this, you are looking good for medical school. Sure, you dropped a little that one semester in SMP, but your overall is still fine at ~3.7. Make sure you finish out strong in the SMP though. Your effort now should be solely on your MCAT. Give yourself ample time to study thoroughly and crush it! Good luck.
 
Oct 14, 2011
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If you haven't taken the MCAT, no bets until an official score is posted. Hopefully you will have a solid score and a solid program director/committee letter to put your second-semester grades into context. But it's no guarantee you'll get any sympathy from admissions committees. It is high-risk, high-reward, and you should know yourself and your program's student handbook well enough to be able to take the test when you are not sick.
 
Jun 11, 2010
66,966
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102,970
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
My program is not very lenient when it comes to exam make-up's, so because I was not hospitalized I had no choice but to take my exams sick.
Do you think it would be beneficial to take another semester after this summer of just electives to help bring my GPA up and show admissions committees that the spring semester does not reflect my capabilities as a student? Or would an additional semester not make much of a difference? I would be able to raise my GPA to at least a 3.8 if I did an extra semester and made all A's. Thank you for your advice by the way!
I agree that you should take a summer semester to continue the streak.
 
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