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caduceusdude

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Hi,
I recently graduated from a state university with perfect GPA and a lower MCAT (I am going to take it again prbly raise it to 32-33). During my year off I have a couple options before me:

1. Research---Continue doing research with a professor who is head of a department in medical school here at my state university and possibly get a publication. (prbly take 1/2 grad level courses at my state University)

2. MPH--I have gotten into very good/not so good public health programs in Britain, so I can go there and do an MPH. This will complement some work as a health volunteer abroad for seven months and look unique. But I am worried because in their grading system it is very hard to get A's.

3. SMP--Do an MHS degree at Johns Hopkins (9 months of hardcore science classes) or Special Sciences program at U Penn. It will obviously be difficult to keep a good GPA here (but GPA might not matter as much during the application year) but the reputation will be excellent.
4. SMP2--Do an SMP at less known universities like VCU, Drexel, Temple, etc.

I would really appreciate it if you give me some advice on how to proceed from here.

Thanks in advance.
 
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vectorman

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I think going to Hopkins/UPenn will certainly help your app. The name is too hard to miss.
 
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4thMolar

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I don't understand why you would want to enroll in an SMP if you have a perfect GPA. An SMP is for those who have a low GPA who are looking to enhance their academic credentials by proving they can take upper level science courses and obtain a high GPA. In fact, if you get a lower GPA in the SMP, it may even hurt your application. If I were you, I would continue doing research or the MPH. The MPH would be an excellent way to stay involved academically during your gap year, since you do not need to take any hardcore sciences. I'm pre-dent, so I don't know much about what kind of MCAT score is acceptable, but if it is on the low side, you may want to re-take (although your high GPA would probably offset it anyhow).
 
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i don't believe smp's are solely for those who have low undergrad gpa's. certainly there are others who have perhaps taken a lot of time off or have graduated with little science background and would like to prove that they can cut it. also it will definitely help you adjust to life in med school better having already taken the courses. but again if you have a great gpa i'm talking 3.8+ then you should be fine.
 

caseofthemndays

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Definitely continue with the research. Taking a full load of classes will make raising your MCAT a lot harder, plus you mentioned you already have international clinical volunteering experience, a perfect GPA and an acceptable, soon to be awesome, MCAT score. The research publication would make you a very well-rounded competitive applicant... with less debt ;)
 

plausible

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I don't understand why you would want to enroll in an SMP if you have a perfect GPA.

I couldn't agree more! I'd def. take some time to really focus on the MCAT, now that you don't have anymore classes. Research or MPH... what do you like to do more? Either one will be a good application enhancer, it's just what you plan to do in the future that matters. Do you want to work in health policy, public health, etc in the future? Then do the MPH. Do you plan on specializing or sub-specializing? Then do the research. G'luck.
 
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