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May 29, 2018
Just made this account after bouncing between different ideas/advice from other posts.

I'm a rising senior undergrad and have pretty much decided on a gap year. I was introduced to the idea of a postbacc program a couple of months ago and started researching my options. I was mainly looking for a program to enhance my grades, be able to gain more shadowing/clinical experience (basically I have none), help me get into medical school, etc. After researching some more (looking at programs preferably on the east coast/chicago/ann arbor) I realized a lot of the programs I was interested in required an MCAT score of at least 500- so I decided to take the MCAT which I am currently studying for.

Well I recently read a thread regarding these SMPs and saw the OP had similar scores (will be graduating with around a 3.45 GPA) and many responders said how SMPs can really hurt a student in the end. Basically I need advice on what my next option should be since I was recommended post bacc initially.

I don't think i'm a competitive enough applicant for med school right now (finished pre reqs, have ECs, but lack shadowing/research experience) and a large concern was my gpa (thought I'd have time during post bacc to also accumulate on these experiences). Also having a hard time figuring out where I stand getting into these programs (RWJ Masters, BU 2 year program, Drexel Masters, Icahn Masters, etc.) since most websites just say minimum gpa and mcat requirements. I know responses may be brutal, but I need to know what my next step should be and any program recs! thanks! sorry it's lengthy

sorry new to this site but seeing more similar situations so if anyone thinks one can help lmk, sorry didn't mean to be repetitive
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Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
Somewhere west of St. Louis
With a cGPA of 3.45, you're fine for any DO school, and possibly some MD with a good MCAT score, especially if you have a rising GPA trend. What's your sGPA?

SMPs don't hurt candidates if they do well. They're high risk, but also high reward.

SMPs generally won't help you with ECs...you're supposed to do that on your own. But they can provide networking...ie, the clinical faculty you should be able to shadow.

I suggest simply taking a gap year or two to get in your ECs, and also taking some upper level Biology courses at the same time. You're in a marathon now, not a sprint. Med schools aren't going anywhere.


Staff member
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2011
Attending Physician
Do not take the MCAT until you are confident of a score consistent with success!
And by success, I do not mean a score that qualifies you for an SMP.
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