Next Move to get into DO school?

CardiacStimulant

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Hello All,

Hoping I get some some good suggestions and feedback on what my next steps might be given I am a non-traditional student that is quite a bit off the typical non-trad beaten path. I graduated from Life University with a dual bachelors in Biopsychology and Biology (a large Chiropractic college and yes it is regionally accredited). I attended there because I thought I wanted to do the Doctor of Chiropractic program only to discover after fully immersing myself in the profession that it wasn't for me. I ended up declining my acceptance about 6 months before I was going to graduate with my UG degrees and begin the DC program and due to the cost of transferring schools 6 months before graduating with my bachelors decided to stay and finish. The upside to going there was at the time the undergrad programs were so small that I was able to take a majority of my upper-level science classes (Histology, Embryology, Neurophys, Immunology, Biochem, Endocrinology, etc.) with the DC students and although graded slightly differently did very well in them.

Before going to Life University I had several years of terrible grades: from 2006-2010 I had about a 2.3 GPA. After graduating at the end of 2015 from Life University with my dual degree I was able to raise my cumulative to a 3.06 GPA and my science GPA is around a 3.35. Life considers grade replacement I ended up with a 3.771 graduating GPA from that institution. I managed to do very well in the undergrad program with 1-2 jobs throughout, and being heavily involved in ECs: Founded an undergrad club, setup 2 school wide events to volunteer at a garden whose produce goes to the needy, volunteered my extra time in school as a Dental Assistant for a low income health clinic, and volunteered at the schools orientations and other events when I had free time. I also worked as a Dental Assistant as one of the jobs while in school and between the volunteering and private practice I have about 275 hours of DA experience (although several years old, hopefully would still count as good Clinical experience). Through being a Dental Assistant I can say I do not want to be a Dentist, and after shadowing a DO at the clinic I volunteered at can say with 100% confidence I want to be a DO physician.

I am planning to take the MCAT next year around March and have been working to setup more shadowing opportunities (I shadowed a DO at the clinic I volunteered at but she did not write letters of recommendation for anyone who shadowed her). Due to having a family (a wife and 2 kids), a full time job, and now with COVID19 going on, I have also been looking at Masters programs like the MS in Microbiology & Cell Science (University of Florida) or USF's MS Medical Sciences program so I could continue working and support my family. I have also considered just applying to an SMP program like VCOM or LECOM, but that option would mean having to pick up my family, sell our house, quit my job, and move as the closest program is 3.5 hours away and is the only one in my state. As many have pointed out on SDN SMPs are a big risk which makes the consideration even tougher and hard to drag my family with me to take such a big risk and put us in a situation where we'd be struggling financially without my income.

Besides doing well on the MCAT and getting more shadowing and volunteering hours, what should my next step be to get a better chance of getting into DO school? Not to bash the school as I had a great experience there and my advisor was fantastic, but I have received criticism of where I attended my undergraduate education and would really hate for that to take away from the fact that I pulled myself up from GPA ruin and managed to do well despite a lot of my upper-level classes being difficult. Any advice would be great, as I really want to attend DO school and ultimately be a Physician but it's not as easy for me to drop everything and take the chance on an SMP program given my circumstances.
 
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Shotapp

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Just focus all your energy on getting a solid MCAT score for next March. Your post-bac GPA is solid and so are your ECs. Make sure to get a DO letter of recommendation and apply early next year. Only do a SMP or masters after a failed application cycle.
 
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CardiacStimulant

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Just focus all your energy on getting a solid MCAT score for next March. Your post-bac GPA is solid and so are your ECs. Make sure to get a DO letter of recommendation and apply early next year. Only do a SMP or masters after a failed application cycle.

Its not technically a post-bacc, its just that I retook some classes at Life U that I got Cs, Ds, and Fs in years earlier. Graduating GPA doesn’t consider the original classes I replaced, just the retakes with much better grades. Hope that makes sense. Based off the GPA calculators I did my full cumulative is a 3.06 and science is 3.35. Do you think that is okay still?
 
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John1513

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Having a family to support is a limiting factor for you and your dream of becoming an osteopathic physician.
The long road of bringing up your GPA and MCAT scores is no part-time task. Discuss with your wife options of her being the primary bread winner and/or enlisting the support of your parents and in-laws if possible.
Your idea of a Master's degree might not be a bad idea. Also consider volunteering or becoming staff at your nearest osteopathic medical school.
Ace that MCAT and more doors will open up to you.
Remember, D.O. schools look for applicants like you - the underdog, the diamond in the rough with grit, tenacity, character and tons of life experience.
If you can picture yourself do nothing else than becoming a physician, then the sacrifice and long road ahead will be worth it.
Good luck!
 
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deleted1005514

Its not technically a post-bacc, its just that I retook some classes at Life U that I got Cs, Ds, and Fs in years earlier. Graduating GPA doesn’t consider the original classes I replaced, just the retakes with much better grades. Hope that makes sense. Based off the GPA calculators I did my full cumulative is a 3.06 and science is 3.35. Do you think that is okay still?

Is that counting all your classes, or is that GPA with replacement grades only and older grades removed?
 
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CardiacStimulant

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Is that counting all your classes, or is that GPA with replacement grades only and older grades removed?

counting all classes cGPA is around a 3.06 and sGPA is around a 3.35. Some schools had mentioned weighing heavily my last 120 hours of science courses which would be huge for me and would probably put me more like 3.5-3.6
 

CardiacStimulant

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Having a family to support is a limiting factor for you and your dream of becoming an osteopathic physician.
The long road of bringing up your GPA and MCAT scores is no part-time task. Discuss with your wife options of her being the primary bread winner and/or enlisting the support of your parents and in-laws if possible.
Your idea of a Master's degree might not be a bad idea. Also consider volunteering or becoming staff at your nearest osteopathic medical school.
Ace that MCAT and more doors will open up to you.
Remember, D.O. schools look for applicants like you - the underdog, the diamond in the rough with grit, tenacity, character and tons of life experience.
If you can picture yourself do nothing else than becoming a physician, then the sacrifice and long road ahead will be worth it.
Good luck!

It’s a long road ahead for sure. I am 34 years old right now with a decent job in IT so some may call me crazy, but its been what I’ve wanted to do since shadowing a DO back in 2016! My wife is very supportive and says if that’s what you want to do then that’s what you want to do and you should go for it. My parents... not so much. DIY post-bacc will be part as some schools have said they would like to see recent [email protected] full time for 2 years. Not that I do not think I could handle it, but cost wise thats a couple of grand a semester and we can’t afford to shovel that out right now. At least a MS I could get Financial Aid again, and if I did an online MS I could still work. Of course, the risk there is I do well in an MS but schools still want a SMP and then Ihave no more FinAid. I am trying to play this smart with the least negative impact on my wife and kids
 

John1513

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It’s a long road ahead for sure. I am 34 years old right now with a decent job in IT so some may call me crazy, but its been what I’ve wanted to do since shadowing a DO back in 2016! My wife is very supportive and says if that’s what you want to do then that’s what you want to do and you should go for it. My parents... not so much. DIY post-bacc will be part as some schools have said they would like to see recent [email protected] full time for 2 years. Not that I do not think I could handle it, but cost wise thats a couple of grand a semester and we can’t afford to shovel that out right now. At least a MS I could get Financial Aid again, and if I did an online MS I could still work. Of course, the risk there is I do well in an MS but schools still want a SMP and then Ihave no more FinAid. I am trying to play this smart with the least negative impact on my wife and kids
What is the nearest D.O. school to you? It would be beneficial to try to be IT staff at that school...
 
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Its not technically a post-bacc, its just that I retook some classes at Life U that I got Cs, Ds, and Fs in years earlier. Graduating GPA doesn’t consider the original classes I replaced, just the retakes with much better grades. Hope that makes sense. Based off the GPA calculators I did my full cumulative is a 3.06 and science is 3.35. Do you think that is okay still?
Read htis:
 
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CardiacStimulant

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In my situation where I already retook classes I bombed in previous years, it sounds like maybe I should be looking for some classes I didn't take in my undergraduate program? I already took a lot of the med school type classes like Endocrinology, Histology, Neurophys, Immunology, Parasitology, Biochemistry, etc. (took these classes with the Doctor of Chriopractic students - same test just a slight curve for undergrad) so should I look at retaking those even if I already took them and made As? I looked at UNE and really the only 2 classes I was considering is Pathophys and Medical Term - the rest I have taken and did really well on already besides Orgo 2, where I made a C (so might consider that as well). I think technically I already re-invented myself my last 2 years at school, it has just been a while since I attended school aside from a few MS classes in Information Technology and a Calculus class. That is the reason why I was considering a Masters instead, potentially USF as they appear to be the only "SMP" that is online and would be conducive to my life now with 2 kids and a full time job, although I have read many times on SDN that online coursework is frowned upon.
 
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In my situation where I already retook classes I bombed in previous years, it sounds like maybe I should be looking for some classes I didn't take in my undergraduate program? I already took a lot of the med school type classes like Endocrinology, Histology, Neurophys, Immunology, Parasitology, Biochemistry, etc. (took these classes with the Doctor of Chriopractic students - same test just a slight curve for undergrad) so should I look at retaking those even if I already took them and made As? I looked at UNE and really the only 2 classes I was considering is Pathophys and Medical Term - the rest I have taken and did really well on already besides Orgo 2, where I made a C (so might consider that as well). I think technically I already re-invented myself my last 2 years at school, it has just been a while since I attended school aside from a few MS classes in Information Technology and a Calculus class. That is the reason why I was considering a Masters instead, potentially USF as they appear to be the only "SMP" that is online and would be conducive to my life now with 2 kids and a full time job, although I have read many times on SDN that online coursework is frowned upon.
What are your year by year GPAs?

No, do not retake upper level courses wher eyou did well. Retake all C- or worse pre-reqs.
 
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dial1010usa

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Lot of people may not agree with me but I would suggest you to focus on your MCAT and at the same time work on your EC.
Do you have LOR from your science professors or committee letter?
Take any science classes even at community college or online.
Do not re-take any pre-reqs unless you got C-
Do not go MS or SMP route yet.
Everything depends on your MCAT score, try to hit 505+
Get LOR from DO/MD.
All the best!!!
 
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