Aug 18, 2017
Hi everyone,

I’m a motivated 24-year-old non-traditional applicant in a dilemma!

Background: I’m a physiotherapist who graduated in 2015 in Canada. I completed a Bachelor’s of 3 years and a Master’s of one year, both degrees in physiotherapy. My undergrad cGPA is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (I struggled a lot in my undergrad, to say the least).

I took the MCAT course with Prep 101 and am planning of writing the exam in summer 2018.

My goal is to boost my lackluster gpa. I am considering the US and Ireland as options because the application processes are more holistic, as opposed to here in Canada where gpa seems to be all that matters (which I understand to a certain degree). That is not to say that I believe my undergrad gpa will be overlooked outside of Canada, I am just weighing in on the possible options:

1) Complete a second undergrad degree in Canada to improve gpa

I feel that this would be harder for me, as I need to be in an environment with like- minded individuals. In Canada, formal post-bacc programs do not exist and we lack the support from profs and peers about applications and the MCAT, etc. It would also mean that I would work part time or not at all.

But if it works out, I could then reapply to Canadian/US schools.

2) Go through the MCAT and apply to the Atlantic Bridge program

This is the program in Ireland, affiliated with the US and I feel that my only chance is

to perform well on the MCAT. Depending on the different colleges in Ireland, there is no REAL gpa cutoff (according to my research). It seems to be a plan B for students who cannot apply to Canada/US schools.

3) Apply to post-bacc pre-med program in the US

I discovered this recently and it seems to be the best route. Yes, it will be difficult financially and yes, I am aware that most programs only accept US residents. However, as I described above, I really need the environment and the linkages to med school.

According to my research, I seem to be eligible since I have actually have not completed the majority of the fundamental sciences courses.

4) Give up

Yes, I have heard it before, “You should settle as a physiotherapist/it’s a great career”. And I DO love my job. I’m just wondering if it’s even worth it at this point to reapply.

All honest advice is welcome, especially from non-traditional students/those who took the post-bacc route!


2+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2017
1. That is your best option, in my opinion.

2. I wouldn't recommend going to Ireland. Obtaining a residency will be extremely difficult.

3. Seems too expensive and unnecessary. You can complete a DIY post-bac in Canada instead. It will be far cheaper.

4. Only you can decide if it's worth it or not.
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5+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2014
Medical Student
Hate to be pessimistic, but you seem to follow a stereotype of applicant that struggled in undergrad, but thinks that they can just turn it around or do well in one thing (MCAT) and slip in to med school. US MD programs make take a more wholistic look, but unless you take enough courses to get your GPA up to at least 3.25, which means at least 30 credits at 4.0, I don't think your chances are that great.
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