Non-science postbacc (3.50, 3.18sGPA, 521, PhD+10y)

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anon2

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Vitals: 3.50cGPA, 3.18sGPA, 521 (132/129/130/130), ORM CA, math PhD+10y, FAANG engineer


TL;DR:
Are there (enough) schools which give consideration for
  1. extreme course overloads,
  2. postbacc using non-science courses, and/or
  3. C- prereqs?


GPA:
YearBCPM GPA(credits)AOUndergradGrad
2005-064.00 (3)4.00 (3)
2006-073.11 (48*)3.70 (3)3.15 (51*)
2007-083.39 (41)3.71 (21)3.50 (62)
2008-093.06 (40)3.45 (20)3.19 (60)
Undergrad3.18 (129)3.62 (47)3.30 (176**)
2009-103.26 (36***)
2010-112.33 (6****)
2011-124.00 (6)
2022-233.95 (65)3.95 (65)
2023-244.00 (12)4.00 (12)3.70 (12)
Cum3.18 (129)3.83 (124)3.50 (263)3.08 (61)
*Credit count excludes 3cr F (analytical biochem)
**Excludes AP/early enrollment
***Includes 17 P
****Includes 3 P, excludes 4 F (molecular bio), 17 incomplete


Long story:
I double majored in math and comp sci, double minored biology and physics, at a mid state school, and finished in 3 years. This meant extreme course overloads (up to 30 credits in one semester), which tanked my GPA to a 3.3 AMCAS, but since A+ mattered a lot at my school, I still graduated with highest honors on my transcript. My bio grades are execrable: math/stat-only GPA is 3.95, phys/chem is 3.11, bio is a whopping 1.86.

Took an NSF fellowship to a T5 computational biology PhD, then promptly had a terminal illness in the family. Chose to go back home for months near the end and failed out of coursework (IA required to withdraw). Transferred back to undergrad school and finished my PhD in applied math (5 years total).

Postdoc at a research hospital (oncology genomics), adjunct professor in bioinformatics, went to industry as a research engineer (AI, zero biomed), 10 years total including Wall Street and FAANG. Not listing ECs unless it matters. Retraining to a second career due to capping out (I wasn't going to rise past senior) and seeing COVID impacts fall almost completely on marginalized populations.

I all but accidentally did a postbacc. Was only going for an EMT course, ended up with two DIY FT programs in accounting and engineering at different CCs (with a few upper div eng courses at Cal State), while still employed FT (3.95 on 65cr). MCAT (521 balanced, 132/129/130/130) in August. This year I stopped working, moved for a FT T5 course-based masters in eng, FT psychology (online from home school, upgrade to triple minor), and misc accounting courses (65cr planned). None of the above are BCPM, which leaves my sGPA at 3.18.

The main problem is my science minors, which mean I've already taken almost all the upper div sci courses I can access, especially online. I'd strongly prefer not to waste my time retaking, or taking courses too similar to what I already know for that matter. I can't just take a stack of science courses at my masters school due to the enrolled program and overload limits. Completing the triple minor in chemistry would be nice if I didn't need a bunch of lab courses (which I used to suck at), plus I'm nowhere near my home school (and their chem department is a lot smaller than bio and phys so far fewer choices).

Basically, can I get away with a mild reinvention from 3.3/3.18 using engineering and/or psych (which I've never taken before), instead of hard sciences? Is a C- in intro biochem a forced retake? I already have 130B/B MCAT in hand, and a long record of double time course loads (now with 3.9+).

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We need to know that you can handle med school coursework. Non-science coursework isn't going to cut it for me, nor will computer science.

  1. postbacc using non-science courses, and/or
  2. C- prereqs?
 
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I'm missing the answer to the question, why do you want to be a physician now? What is your endgame?
It's in the PS and ECs mostly. TL;DR I retired from tech (FIRE) and for the rest of career am maximizing social impact regardless of pay. Based on skill fit and lack of access, looking at rural/remote primary care, population health beyond just healthcare. 1.0FTE charity care to uninsured marginalized populations is an option.

We need to know that you can handle med school coursework. Non-science coursework isn't going to cut it for me, nor will computer science.

  1. postbacc using non-science courses, and/or
  2. C- prereqs?
Thanks, was a long shot. I don't want to run a full WAMC, so based on the GPA record I already have (plus As on every retaken prereq), am I viable on the academic front? That would be a 3.52/3.24/521/PhD.
 
It's in the PS and ECs mostly. TL;DR I retired from tech (FIRE) and for the rest of career am maximizing social impact regardless of pay. Based on skill fit and lack of access, looking at rural/remote primary care, population health beyond just healthcare. 1.0FTE charity care to uninsured marginalized populations is an option.


Thanks, was a long shot. I don't want to run a full WAMC, so based on the GPA record I already have (plus As on every retaken prereq), am I viable on the academic front? That would be a 3.52/3.24/521/PhD.
Hard to tell without seeing what courses you took.
 
Hard to tell without seeing what courses you took.
What information would you look for, and/or where's the line?

If it's all prereqs:
  • Calc: (APx2)
  • Stat: A-
  • Phys: (AP), A+
  • Inorg: B-, A
  • Orgo: C- (retake to A)
  • Biochem: C- (retake to A)
  • Bio: (APx2), (presume anatomy/physiol A)
  • Psyc: A+
 
What information would you look for, and/or where's the line?

If it's all prereqs:
  • Calc: (APx2)
  • Stat: A-
  • Phys: (AP), A+
  • Inorg: B-, A
  • Orgo: C- (retake to A)
  • Biochem: C- (retake to A)
  • Bio: (APx2), (presume anatomy/physiol A)
  • Psyc: A+
Read my post on guide to reinvention for pre-meds, and that will give you an idea of the types of courses we want to see you have.

Something you may have to also consider is that screeners are interviewers may consider you to be a professional student. You'll need to dispel that notion in your application and in interviews.
 
Read my post on guide to reinvention for pre-meds, and that will give you an idea of the types of courses we want to see you have.

Something you may have to also consider is that screeners are interviewers may consider you to be a professional student. You'll need to dispel that notion in your application and in interviews.
I have read the guide before posting (thanks a lot for the info). I know that getting 30 credits of As in upper div bio is sufficient. I mean, I've taught bioinformatics as the professor, how much does that count?

My question is given that the courses I have taken aren't on the reinvention subjects list, is my current record as it stands with a postbacc done wrong still viable?

Thanks for the reminder - my main response is I've spent no more calendar years in school than typical, and I have concrete uses for the knowledge.
 
I have read the guide before posting (thanks a lot for the info). I know that getting 30 credits of As in upper div bio is sufficient. I mean, I've taught bioinformatics as the professor, how much does that count?

My question is given that the courses I have taken aren't on the reinvention subjects list, is my current record as it stands with a postbacc done wrong still viable?

Thanks for the reminder - my main response is I've spent no more calendar years in school than typical, and I have concrete uses for the knowledge.
No, your teaching one subject doesn't do it for me.

The C's in the postbac are an eyebrow raiser. Yes, you got As on the retakes, but you're supposed to do that.

DO schools may cut you more slack than MD schools.
 
How many hours of clinical volunteering/employment do you have ? Any in person physician shadowing hours ? Any non clinical volunteering hours ?
 
No, your teaching one subject doesn't do it for me.

The C's in the postbac are an eyebrow raiser. Yes, you got As on the retakes, but you're supposed to do that.

DO schools may cut you more slack than MD schools.
Sorry, I was listing all prereqs across my entire transcript, not the courses that I took during the postbacc:
  • Accounting 1, 2, 3
  • Intermediate Accounting 1, 2
  • Advanced Accounting
  • Auditing, Fraud Examination, Accounting Ethics
  • Technology & Society
  • Engineering Statics, Engineering Dynamics, Engineering Graphics
  • Engineering Materials, Electrical Circuits, Digital Systems
  • Fluid Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering Design
  • EMT 1, 2
  • Gen Psych, Psychology of Learning
  • Psychology of Prejudice & Discrimination
  • Psychopathology, Psychology of Death & Dying
  • Psychology & Education, Psychology & Law
Every single course is an A except solid mechanics (B). I'm planning on
  • Orgo (retake)
  • Biochem (retake)
  • A&P
for 3 more As, but how many total do I need?

How many hours of clinical volunteering/employment do you have ? Any in person physician shadowing hours ? Any non clinical volunteering hours ?
Lead EMT: 100h
Search & rescue: 100
Hospital postdoc: 1000 (some scribing for autopsy, non-patient facing work in path)
Shadowing: 20 (primary care)
Charity director (marginalized populations): 1000+
Team coach: 100
Academic peer reviewer: 100 (if that even counts)

Other than the postdoc and coaching, all these counts are increasing. I'm talking to service volunteering opportunities, likely crisis line and/or hospice - not applying until that is 150+.
 
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I've taught bioinformatics as the professor, how much does that count?
Have got talked to medical schools closest to you? I can tell you many med school professors are wary of teaching others who were faculty PhDs. You have to be willing to unlearn a lot and return to a position as a groveling medical student.
 
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Have got talked to medical schools closest to you? I can tell you many med school professors are wary of teaching others who were faculty PhDs. You have to be willing to unlearn a lot and return to a position as a groveling medical student.
Lol "negative" is a fair answer. I taught 10 years ago, never looked back when industry actually paid me. Another reason I've been taking undergrad courses this past year, to be back on the other side of the room.

I've went to three specialty conferences and none of the faculty/PDs I've networked with mentioned that sort of thing when I was asking for med admissions advice.
 
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Thanks for the reminder - my main response is I've spent no more calendar years in school than typical, and I have concrete uses for the knowledge.
I would suggest finding a better answer for that question if it's asked.

You have, by my count in your post, a double major in math and CS with a double minor in biology and physics (120+ credits, probably quite a few more), a 2 year PhD program in math after a withdrawal from a biology PhD, 65+ credits from 2 DIY FT programs (accounting and engineering) and are working on an engineering masters w/ a FT psych program on the side for another 65+ credits.

That's a lot of schooling in a lot of various subjects. That is far from the typical or regular student.
 
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I would suggest finding a better answer for that question if it's asked.

You have, by my count in your post, a double major in math and CS with a double minor in biology and physics (120+ credits), a 2 year PhD program in math after a withdrawal from a biology PhD, 65+ credits from 2 DIY FT programs (accounting and engineering) and are working on an engineering masters w/ a FT psych program on the side for another 65+ credits.

That is far from the typical or regular student.
Yes there's a ton of credits there.

I spent 3 years in undergrad (most people take 4+), 5 years in grad school, 10 years FTE, and now 2 years postbacc. That's "career student", just because I manage to take double time courseloads?

It's not like I can graduate any faster, and I have my thousands of hours on ECs regardless. Catch-22.
 
Sorry, I was listing all prereqs across my entire transcript, not the courses that I took during the postbacc:
  • Accounting 1, 2, 3
  • Intermediate Accounting 1, 2
  • Advanced Accounting
  • Auditing, Fraud Examination, Accounting Ethics
  • Technology & Society
  • Engineering Statics, Engineering Dynamics, Engineering Graphics
  • Engineering Materials, Electrical Circuits, Digital Systems
  • Fluid Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering Design
  • EMT 1, 2
  • Gen Psych, Psychology of Learning
  • Psychology of Prejudice & Discrimination
  • Psychopathology, Psychology of Death & Dying
  • Psychology & Education, Psychology & Law
Every single course is an A except solid mechanics (B). I'm planning on
  • Orgo (retake)
  • Biochem (retake)
  • A&P
for 3 more As, but how many total do I need?


Lead EMT: 100h
Search & rescue: 100
Hospital postdoc: 1000 (some scribing for autopsy, non-patient facing work in path)
Shadowing: 20 (primary care)
Charity director (marginalized populations): 1000+
Team coach: 100
Academic peer reviewer: 100 (if that even counts)

Other than the postdoc and coaching, all these counts are increasing. I'm talking to service volunteering opportunities, likely crisis line and/or hospice - not applying until that is 150+.
What I see is the app of someone who has reinvented, but not of someone meaning to go to medical school.
 
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What I see is the app of someone who has reinvented, but not of someone meaning to go to medical school.
Fair. My problem is between a bio minor and coursework from a bio PhD, I've already taken most of the upper div bio courses. Other than A&P, it's going to be hard to find courses that aren't retakes.

How would you advise basically a bio/biomed major who needed reinvention on their own major?
 
Yes there's a ton of credits there.

I spent 3 years in undergrad (most people take 4+), 5 years in grad school, 10 years FTE, and now 2 years postbacc. That's "career student", just because I manage to take double time courseloads?

It's not like I can graduate any faster, and I have my thousands of hours on ECs regardless. Catch-22.

My point was that, in interviews, you’re very likely going to be asked “why medicine if you have X amount of credits/years in all these unrelated fields”. Brushing it off as typical or saying “I’m just smart enough to take double course-loads” is not a good answer. You can explain it in a plethora of ways that will sound much better to an interviewer than that.
 
My point was that, in interviews, you’re very likely going to be asked “why medicine if you have X amount of credits/years in all these unrelated fields”. Brushing it off as typical or saying “I’m just smart enough to take double course-loads” is not a good answer. You can explain it in a plethora of ways that will sound much better to an interviewer than that.
That was the second half of my answer - I can relate these fields to social impact and medicine*, and I have pubs which were only possible by combining multiple disciplines' worth of perspectives to solve complex system problems. PI letters will say my multidisciplinary background is a unique and defining strength.

*Accounting? Resource allocation in healthcare systems. Engineering? Biomed and AI. Psychology? Primary care is increasingly mental health.

The first half is nothing more than "I didn't just spend forever in school avoiding the real world", with a 10 year working career.
 
Fair. My problem is between a bio minor and coursework from a bio PhD, I've already taken most of the upper div bio courses. Other than A&P, it's going to be hard to find courses that aren't retakes.

How would you advise basically a bio/biomed major who needed reinvention on their own major?
Do an SMP at a host medical school
 
That was the second half of my answer - I can relate these fields to social impact and medicine*, and I have pubs which were only possible by combining multiple disciplines' worth of perspectives to solve complex system problems. PI letters will say my multidisciplinary background is a unique and defining strength.

*Accounting? Resource allocation in healthcare systems. Engineering? Biomed and AI. Psychology? Primary care is increasingly mental health.
.
But you don't need a medical degree to address those issues.
 
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But you don't need a medical degree to address those issues.
The end goal is rural/remote primary care with a view to systemic change, and I have no business advocating for anything if I'm not even a provider on the ground.

Yes way premature, but FM+/-preventative medicine is the kind of path I'm looking at, something that would have a use for MD/PhD. I'm strongly considering 3-year programs.
 
The GPA-MCAT grid shows you have a ~75% chance for a MD acceptance. I suggest these schools with your stats:
Carle Illinois (you fit their profile)
California University
Kaiser
USC Keck
The UCs (except Riverside unless you are from that region)
Mayo
USF Morsani
Miami
Belmont
Duke
Wake Forest
Virginia Commonwealth
Eastern Virginia
George Washington
Georgetown
Drexel
Temple
Jefferson
Penn State
Rosalind Franklin
Medical College Wisconsin
Western Michigan
Oakland Beaumont
Cincinnati
Hackensack
Hofstra
Einstein
New York Medical College
Albany
Dartmouth
Tufts
Quinnipiac
any new schools that open for 2025 (American University in CA, Alice Walton, Roseman, Methodist)
 
The GPA-MCAT grid shows you have a ~75% chance for a MD acceptance. I suggest these schools with your stats:
Carle Illinois (you fit their profile)
I was looking at this AAMC grid and it showed 61% for 3.4-6/518+. Do you have different data?

Thanks a lot for the list! Yes multiple people have independently pointed me at Carle, they're very high on the list.
 
I was looking at this AAMC grid and it showed 61% for 3.4-6/518+. Do you have different data?

Thanks a lot for the list! Yes multiple people have independently pointed me at Carle, they're very high on the list.
Yes, I am basing it on a pre Covid grid. There was a large increase in applications one year during COVID and thus lower overall acceptance rate.
 
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