Aug 4, 2017
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Pre-Medical
Hello everybody,

I was just hoping for some advice on how to proceed towards medical school admissions. I'm currently 31 years old and graduated from a University of California in 2011 with a 2.5 gpa in Sociology. After graduation, I worked as a Behavioral Technician helping children with autism for 4 years until 2016 and during that time developed the itch to become a physician.

While working, I enrolled at a local community college to get the prereqs done. I initially failed intro to Biology and OChem couple times before finally getting A's and B's. Starting 2014, I started to get mainly A's and a few B's in all my sciences courses and have completed all the prereqs. I have also managed to get all A's in Genetics, Biochem, Microbio, and Anatomy at the community colleges level and am currently sitting on a 2.99 sgpa and a 3.06 cgpa.

I am currently signed up to take the MCAT early September and have a few volunteering positions lined up. I have been taking FL practice exams but it seems that progress is slow. I've been hitting 497, 497, and 500.

With a month until the MCAT, my low practice scores have been a source of discouragement. The Fall semester starts up mid August and I was thinking about taking some more courses (Physiology and Macrobio) to give my gpa a slight boost to potentially 3.06 sgpa and 3.08 cgpa as well as obtain letters of recommendation.

I was also thinking about either finding employment as a Behavioral Technician again or signing up for a formal MCAT class while volunteering but am currently at odds of what to do in the short term. Long term wise, I was thinking about pursuing SMPs.

Any advice on how to proceed from here would be like finding an oasis in the desert right now. Thank you.
 
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CyrilFiggis

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Nov 4, 2014
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Unfortunately, none of your grades or stats present an applicant that would have any success during the application cycle. You will be at or below the 90th percentile for almost every school and most schools will frown upon an applicant with almost exclusively grades from a community college - let alone someone struggling at a CC.
 

Terror Billy

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Feb 29, 2016
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Those GPAs combined with MCAT are not promising. You might need to invest in an SMP, but that might cost you upwards of 100K. Even if you got a 510, your chances are very slim.
 
OP
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Aug 4, 2017
4
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Pre-Medical
Hello SDN,

Thanks your your replies and input. Would it be a viable option to sign up for MCAT prep courses this upcoming semester to potentially boost my scores then look for SMPs down the road?

Much appreciated.
 

DocJanItor

2+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2017
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Those GPAs combined with MCAT are not promising. You might need to invest in an SMP, but that might cost you upwards of 100K. Even if you got a 510, your chances are very slim.
There is no SMP that costs that much. The highest are around $50k.

OP, you need to reschedule your MCAT. You are not where you need to be for MCAT prep, and it's better to get one great score than needing to take it multiple times.

I wouldn't worry about GPA boosting anymore. You're over 3.0 cgpa, so that's high enough to apply to graduate schools without needing a grade waiver.

If you feel like a structured MCAT prep would benefit your studying, then by all means do one. You'll probably need about a 505+ to be attractive to an smp.

Feel free to message me if you'd like.
 

etp123

2+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2014
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There is no SMP that costs that much. The highest are around $50k.
They could be 100k total if the tuition is 50k/year and the program is 2 years right? I may be wrong but I do think I saw a few programs that were advertised at around 40-50k and had 2 year options. 1st year M1-level science courses, 2nd year research and advising for application cycle. Can't name any off the top of my head because I deleted them from my prospective list hah...
 
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Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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Those GPAs combined with MCAT are not promising. You might need to invest in an SMP, but that might cost you upwards of 100K. Even if you got a 510, your chances are very slim.
Agree, but there is no SMP on this planet that is worth $100K. These programs are a dime-a-dozen and OP, you need to shop around, and if needed, relocate.
 
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Terror Billy

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Agree, but there is no SMP on this planet that is worth $100K. These programs are a dime-a-dozen and OP, you need to shop around, and if needed, relocate.
Haha yeah sorry that number for some reason was resonating in my head, but that was for a program I believe through RVU that guarantees a seat if you reach their requirements. I know you're not a fan of those, but for OP I was thinking that might be beneficial instead of spending more years doing an SMP and then MCAT prep.
 
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OP
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Aug 4, 2017
4
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Pre-Medical
Hello SDN,

Thanks for all the great feedback and suggestions for the potential routes I could go. Here is a current rough list of SMPs and post-bacc programs I'm currently looking at based on what I have read about in the past in other threads and in-thread suggestions.

If there was a certain program that SDNers believe would be a good fit for me based on my situation, I would be very grateful for any suggestions or advice.

Masters & Postbac Programs w. GPA and MCAT.xlsx
 
Last edited:

etp123

2+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2014
334
255
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello SDN,

Thanks for all the great feedback and suggestions for the potential routes I could go. Here is a current rough list of SMPs and post-bacc programs I'm currently looking at based on what I have read about in the past in other threads and in-thread suggestions.

If there was a certain program that SDNers believe would be a good fit for me based on my situation, I would be very grateful for any suggestions or advice.

Masters & Postbac Programs w. GPA and MCAT.xlsx
It might also be a good idea too to contact these programs directly, tell them you're interested, and give a quick rundown of your situation. Most of the programs I contacted were very honest, gave me a better picture of what their program is like so I could decide for myself if it would fit my needs, and gave me advice on what I could do to improve my chances for acceptance.
 
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OP
N
Aug 4, 2017
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi again SDNers,

After doing a little bit of digging around on the forum, it seems like there are a few schools which put more weight upon upward trends and others which have a "32 hour policy". If I get an MCAT score of about 505 and my last 56 hours sGPA is about 3.75 at the CC level, would it be favorable for me to directly apply to schools for Fall 2019 or should I still do the SMP. Thank you for the help.
 

aformerstudent

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Med school is not a wise move for you. I don't mean that in an insulting way either; I'm trying to help you see what I experienced myself so you don't set yourself up for long-term consequences. To succeed down this path, you have to be an excellent student NOT necessarily someone who actually wants to become a doctor for the reasons we all want to become a doctor. Nobody will tell you this until you see it in practice for yourself. Doctors are professional students first who morph into healthcare professionals at the end. If you really want to help people, MD is not the way to go.

You are going to fall flat on your face if you apply to med school with those grades and then fall flat on your face again if you go the Caribbean route where you could probably get in. Straight-A students have failed down the Caribbean route.

There are only two ways to succeed down the med school route. 1. Come in as a top student or 2. Come out as a top student. Mediocrity will stop you at both points.
 
Jul 25, 2017
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Why does this sub encourage people with uncompetitive track records?

It's taking Lizzys of 75+ to garner a lot of invites, DO only slightly lower but they screen much more heavily for other factors
 

DocJanItor

2+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2017
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Why does this sub encourage people with uncompetitive track records?

It's taking Lizzys of 75+ to garner a lot of invites, DO only slightly lower but they screen much more heavily for other factors
A few reasons. The first being that I'm proof that someone with a bad UG record can turn it around and get in. It's possible, however unlikely, that someone else can do the same. That doesn't mean that I always think it's a good idea. However, I'm not sure a stranger on the internet telling someone "you can't/shouldn't do it" is going to be particularly effective. If they ask for an evaluation of their decision, I usually give it to them.

The second reason is that GPA, MCAT, LizzyM, etc. aren't the whole story, especially when it comes to non-trad applicants. I have experience far beyond what normal med school applicants have, and it's showing through even in my first year of med school. I'm sure some of these people asking for help have a lot to offer.

Ultimately, it's not our job to guide them to make the decision we think is best. With my LizzyM, I had less than a 10% chance of matriculating, yet here I am at an amazing med school. When I first got on this site I was rightly told that it was going to be a long, tough battle. They were right, but it was worth it.
 

DocJanItor

2+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2017
257
285
Status
Medical Student
I don't disagree with you, I just don't think anonymous discouragement is effective. People will wade through the 20 responses saying "No" and find the one saying "yes" and ignore the rest. It's a great case study of confirmation bias; they're only going to pay attention to what they want to hear. We're literally in a thread with someone who matriculated to the Caribbean, failed out, and now wants to go back. Despite the fact that every notable person on this site has told them that it's over and that, even if they miraculously finished medical school, their odds of landing a residency would be equally microscopic. This is how deeply people lie to themselves.

Although it would be impossible, I'm sure if you could do a follow up of people on the non-trad board, 75% of them would wash out before applying, and another 20% would fail to matriculate.

Like you said, I think there are much better paths for people to switch to. Careers that don't have such high entry requirements but still have good salaries. There's some special elevation of medicine, though, and especially for doctors. I also think that the recent difficulty of getting into medical school hasn't caught up with anyone who hasn't applied in the last few years.