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Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2020
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I need advice on what do for my gap year(s). I have recently graduated and ended with a 3.47cGPA/3.3 sGPA with an upward trend (especially my last year - had 3.8 or higher) and am planning to apply for 2022 cycle (so would apply next year in 2021). I am URM and currently studying to take the MCAT in September 2020. I worked as an MA for almost two years in my undergrad, volunteered with an organization that provides free medical services to underserved populations for 2.5 years (did various roles, one of them was being a scribe), did research with two different labs (each one year) but nothing too serious, and volunteered at a hospital for a year. I am a California resident and would prefer to stay in California for medical school.

I applied to 2-year MPH programs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and was accepted but I am not sure if this is the right option for me. I have always had an interest in public health and feel like it would be extremely valuable for me in the future as a physician especially since I want to work with underserved populations, but I am not sure if my GPA is too low and I would need to do a DIY post-bacc (probably at UCLA extension) instead -- plus these MPH programs are pretty pricey. I want to do some shadowing, more volunteering, possibly find a leadership role, and work as an ER scribe during my gap years, although I am not sure how easy that will be because of COVID-19. Through my MPH program(s) I would be able to get a significant amount of research and volunteering since it is required through the program. I am worried that if I choose to do a DIY post-bacc that my experiences aren't enough to be a strong candidate, and because of COVID-19 I am not sure how easy it will be for me to find more experiences to do (such as a leadership role, research, etc). I need advice as to whether doing a DIY post-bacc or MPH (maybe with some post-bacc classes too) would be a better option with my stats. Any advice is much appreciated! :)

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