Non-Trad Reapplicant Options (DIY Post-Bacc, Masters, SMP, MBA)

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Option that will give the best results:

  • DIY Post-Bacc [Starting in Spring 2018]

    Votes: 7 87.5%
  • Master of Science [Starting in Spring 2018]

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Special Masters Program [Starting in Fall 2018]

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Full Post-Bacc Program [Starting in Fall 2018]

    Votes: 1 12.5%

  • Total voters


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2010
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Hello fellow non-trads! I have been out of college for 4 years now with an initial ~0.75 years continuing my undergrad research/volunteering and then ~3.25 years doing debt and equity investment analysis. I made the mistake of applying in September and having most of my secondaries complete in early October. So, in case I become a reapplicant for MD and DO, I am trying to generate the most impact for next cycle while still balancing opportunity cost with risk. I am looking for some recommendations on the safest route for me to show academic growth.

I have come up with a few options after receiving some excellent advice and resources from an earlier post where I was considering the Carribean. In addition, I've included some information about my GPA trends and MCAT for reference.

Route 1 - DIY Post-Bacc --> Boost Undergraduate GPA
#1 California State University Northridge (CSUN)

Pros: 1 semester of growth before app (~$352/unit); ~10 minute drive; can possibly continue to work part-time
Cons: Not sure if this is enough

#2 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Pros: 2 quarters of growth before app; course difficulty more likely to be equivalent to my alma mater (UCSD); ~30 min to 2 hour drive with traffic; can possibly continue to work part-time
Cons: Not sure if this is enough

Route 2 - Masters Programs that start in Spring --> Show Graduate-level Competence
#1 USC Master of Science in Global Medicine

Pros: I am interested in global medicine; close to home; assistance with next cycle; option to replace my old 2013-2014 academic letters of recommendation
Cons: High cost; no linkages or medical school matriculation data; might require me to leave my job

#2 UPenn Specialized Studies Program
Pros: Linkage to Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Cons: High cost; may not be able to qualify for 3 letters of recommendation by November 1st (don't know why they refuse to accept medical school letters); requires me to leave my job

Route 3 - Programs that start in Fall w/ Formal Linkage
#1 Temple Advanced Core in Medical Sciences Program (ACMS)

Pros: Guaranteed admission to Temple
Cons: Very competitive

#2 Drexel Pathway to Medical School
Pros: Guaranteed admission to Drexel
Cons: May or may not qualify as a disadvantaged (single mother, $25-40k childhood income for 3, immigrant from disadvantaged rural region)

#3 Creighton Pre-Medical Post-Bacc
Pros: I think guaranteed admission to Creighton
Cons: May or may not qualify as a disadvantaged (single mother, $25-40k childhood income for 3, immigrant from disadvantaged rural region)

Route 4 - Special Masters Programs that start in Fall w/ Informal Linkage
#1 Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS)

Pros: 100% of class is interviewed with ~50% of class accepted to EVMS
Cons: High cost; may not provide me with any benefit for the upcoming cycle; requires me to leave my job

#2 Georgetown, Tufts, Tulane, BU, Rosalind Franklin, University of Cincinnati, etc.
Pros: Ability to prove my competence in medical school coursework
Cons: High cost; only opens the door for an interview; high risk for no guarantee; may not provide me with any benefit for upcoming cycle; requires me to leave my job

Route 5 - Master of Accounting / Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Pros: Ability to prove my competence in graduate-level coursework related to mathematics; potentially unique for medical school; my employer will likely pay; serves as a backup plan
Cons: Unrelated to medicine and might give the wrong impression

MCAT / GPA Trends
*Redacted to minimize the huge wall of text. I'll just explain if requested.*



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I will try to rephrase what I am asking. My concern is that my two GPA trends are perceived as rollercoaster trends. Besides the high school summer grades, I have two dips. The first was primarily due to a single chemistry course in the summer that I was improperly advised to resolve with a repeat instead of disputing the withdrawal issue. The second, which I discussed in many secondaries, was due to a period with extenuating personal circumstances. The impact from this period significantly bolstered my study skills and ability to cope with stress. On my AMCAS table, this period is also kind of merged with my recovery period (~3.86 and 8 A+'s over five quarters).

What do you folks recommend as the best approach to show further academic resilience? DIY Post-Bacc for my undergraduate GPA, SMP for medical school competence, Master of Science program that interests me, or is there no easy answer for recovering from these trends?
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With your MCAT I imagine a DIY post-bac and good EC development would be the cheap and best way to go (EC isn't something you mentioned at all.... ECs are a big deal man!) Also I don't know the negatives of an MBA/MAC, but I've seen positives (about 4 people at my UG school where this helped to get into a MD).... But with that said I don't know the negatives that come along with it because that usually happens behind closed doors.
Sorry about that @WhereMyLiberalsAt. I was trying to avoid a large wall of text. I think my extracurriculars are adequate, but they are old. I'm heavily leaning towards the DIY Post-Bacc right now as well. Here is a list of my extracurriculars:


@gonnif, I reviewed the resources you provided for me in my other thread. Do you think the following plan would be sufficient to indicate reapplicant growth and make up for my rollercoaster GPA trend? Also, does it look bad if I take courses at a state university (CSUN) much closer to me instead of at UCLA?

(Spring 2018) ~20 Units of DIY Post-Bacc to put me at 3.48 total / 3.38 sci / 514 MCAT
(Spring 2018) Reiterate commitment to healthcare through medical scribing, volunteering, service
(June-July 2018) Submit primary on June 1st with secondaries pre-written for immediate turnaround
(Summer 2018 - Spring 2019) Special Masters Program to provide additional updates and also serve as a failsafe for the off chance I somehow have to apply again at the end of it

In addition, I called a few medical schools that I applied to. They similarly suggested applying early next cycle, working on my undergraduate GPA, and showing more recent healthcare experience if I end up as a reapplicant for the next cycle. They also indicated that I could potentially still receive an interview invite with my stats in the current cycle, but that remains to be seen.