• Livestream AMA: Join SDN as we welcome Dr. John Ligon, a Pediatric Oncologist with the National Cancer Institute on May 11th at 8:00 PM Eastern. Register now!
Sep 24, 2019
5
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi everyone, I have been a longer time lurker on these forums and finally am in need of any guidance and advice for my diy postbacc situation.

A little background about me, I was overwhelmed from undergrad and each semester kept adding to the fuel and I had an underwhelming cgpa of 2.5, sgpa 2.1 at the time of graduation (not an excuse, I own up to my mistakes and have been improving my study habits)

I stepped away from school to address personal issues and study habits while working and I am still drawn to medicine so here I am.

In January 2019 (Spring Semester 2019) I decided to enroll in one class (Biochemistry) at extension of my local university following Goro's guide of reinvention and found flaws with how I study/take notes and made an effort to address the problems.

In August 2019 (Fall Semester 2019), I enrolled in a full course load of 12 units (4 3 unit courses) retaking some of my prereqs while taking some classes on Goro's list

In January 2020 (Spring Semester 2020) I enrolled in 11 units (3 3 units and 1 2 unit course) also retaking some prereqs and classes on Goro's list.

Currently I am signed up for 2 courses for summer session through extension (hard to fit a 3rd course) for 6 units..

After this upcoming summer session I will be sitting at 30 units of post-bacc with an updated cgpa of 2.73 and amcas sgpa 2.60 and aacomas sgpa 2.62 and postbacc sgpa of 3.83

Now I am lost in my what to do next:

I understand that I need to prove that the me now is not the me back then and hopefully my significantly stronger performance in science courses shows that.
I know it's almost mathematically impossible to reach 3.0 cgpa/sgpa especially since I have a lot of science courses/units from undergrad but I calculated I need about 45 more units of A's to hit the cgpa 3.0 and sgpa 3.0 and it would take Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 and then apply immediately right after Spring 2022 for the 2023 cycle.

I am unsure of what path to take:
1) Do I take 75 units in a postbacc (I haven't checked if there's even enough classes to suffice this) or
2) Take about 40-50 units and then study for mcat into SMP?
3) When should I fit mcat into all of this? I want to be able to dedicate my 100% attention to it when the time is right

Any advice/criticism is appreciated!

Thank you for reading
 

SDeduN

2+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2016
36
94
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Hi Friend. It sounds like you’ve been putting in the steady, hard work into post-bac “reinvention“ and with fair success based on that post-bac sgpa. Well done. Hopefully you are learning how best to study and maintain that level & drive.

You’ve run up against that credit dilemma and I can sympathize as my journey mirrors yours in some ways. What I did, around this juncture, was to pursue a full-load, year-long Masters Coursework program that involved more high-level, science-related courses some leaning more medical (ex. “Science & The Practice of Medicine” or a seminar-like “Topics in Molecular & Cellular Biology“). It afforded me more courses to show change and doubly gave me another degree with a grad gpa (It was actually possible to apply a few of my post-bac courses toward the degree). If possible, that’s one option you may consider.

You could also simply pursue another year of post bac courses to show growth. Either way, I think at least one more good year of courses should suffice to show change. Hopefully, you’ve been volunteering and shadowing longitudinally to maintain EC involvement. Then, not knowing your current occupational responsibilities, I’d ideally say dedicate about 1.5-2 months to MCAT prep prior to testing. Early to late spring is not a bad time so as to set yourself up for an application cycle but of course, you only want to take it when you feel ready and once. You’ve gotta do well on that to complete your comeback story. So you’re either free of any post-bac course work during MCAT prep time or max, you’re only taking one, preferably a directly useful one (ex. Biostats or Psychology).

Hopefully what I’ve detailed makes sense. You can do this, you already are. Wish you the best of luck and lmk if I can help further.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads

DocJanItor

2+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2017
431
570
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Hi everyone, I have been a longer time lurker on these forums and finally am in need of any guidance and advice for my diy postbacc situation.

A little background about me, I was overwhelmed from undergrad and each semester kept adding to the fuel and I had an underwhelming cgpa of 2.5, sgpa 2.1 at the time of graduation (not an excuse, I own up to my mistakes and have been improving my study habits)

I stepped away from school to address personal issues and study habits while working and I am still drawn to medicine so here I am.

In January 2019 (Spring Semester 2019) I decided to enroll in one class (Biochemistry) at extension of my local university following Goro's guide of reinvention and found flaws with how I study/take notes and made an effort to address the problems.

In August 2019 (Fall Semester 2019), I enrolled in a full course load of 12 units (4 3 unit courses) retaking some of my prereqs while taking some classes on Goro's list

In January 2020 (Spring Semester 2020) I enrolled in 11 units (3 3 units and 1 2 unit course) also retaking some prereqs and classes on Goro's list.

Currently I am signed up for 2 courses for summer session through extension (hard to fit a 3rd course) for 6 units..

After this upcoming summer session I will be sitting at 30 units of post-bacc with an updated cgpa of 2.73 and amcas sgpa 2.60 and aacomas sgpa 2.62 and postbacc sgpa of 3.83

Now I am lost in my what to do next:

I understand that I need to prove that the me now is not the me back then and hopefully my significantly stronger performance in science courses shows that.
I know it's almost mathematically impossible to reach 3.0 cgpa/sgpa especially since I have a lot of science courses/units from undergrad but I calculated I need about 45 more units of A's to hit the cgpa 3.0 and sgpa 3.0 and it would take Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 and then apply immediately right after Spring 2022 for the 2023 cycle.

I am unsure of what path to take:
1) Do I take 75 units in a postbacc (I haven't checked if there's even enough classes to suffice this) or
2) Take about 40-50 units and then study for mcat into SMP?
3) When should I fit mcat into all of this? I want to be able to dedicate my 100% attention to it when the time is right

Any advice/criticism is appreciated!

Thank you for reading
My GPA and situation were very similar to yours. There's only so much you can do with a postbacc before it becomes time inefficient. The long and the short is that is started with a cGPA of 2.5, took 42 credits at a local CC with a 4.0. This boosted me to a 2.83 which is still not enough to be considered by most schools. After that, I took the MCAT and got a 515, entered into an SMP, did well, accepted into the associated med school, now entering my M4 year.

If you are done with your pre-reqs then I'd start studying for the MCAT. Take a semester off if you need to, but make sure you're scoring very well before you take the test. If it's the week before and your practice FLs aren't in your desired range, cancel the test and reschedule. Taking the test once is always better than taking it twice.

The path you take really depends on your desires and your MCAT. If you want to get into any medical school, you can probably start applying to DO schools after you finish your prereqs and with an MCAT of 505+. MD schools are likely to autoscreen any student with a cGPA < 3.0. If you want to do MD then you will almost definitely need an SMP with a school linkage and a great performance. Your MCAT will need to be at least 510+.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Sep 24, 2019
5
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi Friend. It sounds like you’ve been putting in the steady, hard work into post-bac “reinvention“ and with fair success based on that post-bac sgpa. Well done. Hopefully you are learning how best to study and maintain that level & drive.

You’ve run up against that credit dilemma and I can sympathize as my journey mirrors yours in some ways. What I did, around this juncture, was to pursue a full-load, year-long Masters Coursework program that involved more high-level, science-related courses some leaning more medical (ex. “Science & The Practice of Medicine” or a seminar-like “Topics in Molecular & Cellular Biology“). It afforded me more courses to show change and doubly gave me another degree with a grad gpa (It was actually possible to apply a few of my post-bac courses toward the degree). If possible, that’s one option you may consider.

You could also simply pursue another year of post bac courses to show growth. Either way, I think at least one more good year of courses should suffice to show change. Hopefully, you’ve been volunteering and shadowing longitudinally to maintain EC involvement. Then, not knowing your current occupational responsibilities, I’d ideally say dedicate about 1.5-2 months to MCAT prep prior to testing. Early to late spring is not a bad time so as to set yourself up for an application cycle but of course, you only want to take it when you feel ready and once. You’ve gotta do well on that to complete your comeback story. So you’re either free of any post-bac course work during MCAT prep time or max, you’re only taking one, preferably a directly useful one (ex. Biostats or Psychology).

Hopefully what I’ve detailed makes sense. You can do this, you already are. Wish you the best of luck and lmk if I can help further.

Thanks for your response! My plan is to study/grind for the MCAT towards the end of my postbacc when I figure out a definitive end of taking classes so I can put my 100% attention to it.
I am currently volunteering in a clinical setting for my extracurriculars but I am planning to leave my occupational day job very soon to strictly focus on MCAT and get more clinical experience as I can!
If possible could I future PM you if I have any other questions?


My GPA and situation were very similar to yours. There's only so much you can do with a postbacc before it becomes time inefficient. The long and the short is that is started with a cGPA of 2.5, took 42 credits at a local CC with a 4.0. This boosted me to a 2.83 which is still not enough to be considered by most schools. After that, I took the MCAT and got a 515, entered into an SMP, did well, accepted into the associated med school, now entering my M4 year.

If you are done with your pre-reqs then I'd start studying for the MCAT. Take a semester off if you need to, but make sure you're scoring very well before you take the test. If it's the week before and your practice FLs aren't in your desired range, cancel the test and reschedule. Taking the test once is always better than taking it twice.

The path you take really depends on your desires and your MCAT. If you want to get into any medical school, you can probably start applying to DO schools after you finish your prereqs and with an MCAT of 505+. MD schools are likely to autoscreen any student with a cGPA < 3.0. If you want to do MD then you will almost definitely need an SMP with a school linkage and a great performance. Your MCAT will need to be at least 510+.

Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it! Do you know if it's better to prioritize retaking my C- pre-reqs and then as much as I can off of Goro's list that mimics med school curriculum?

To clarify what you meant in your last statement, I can apply to a DO schools that reward reinvention that doesn't autoscreen <3.0?
I will definitely take your advice for my MCAT approach and aiming for the best score possible (hopefully 510+). If you don't mind, could I PM you about where your SMP is and about its program?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.