Apr 1, 2010
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Status
Pre-Medical
My stats:

3.43 cGPA from Smith College (Major in African Studies w/ conc. in healthcare in developing countries; studied traditional medicine during year abroad in Tanzania)
~3.0 sGPA
3.96 GPA from Loyola Marymount University (Master's in Urban Education)
Teach for America 2008 Corps Member in Los Angeles area

Dilemma:

I have not yet taken the MCAT and know that my GPA is not the strongest. I am therefore applying to two programs, each in an attempt to strengthen my candidacy for medical school (will apply June 2011).

Option #1: Post Bac Premed Certification Program
--retake classes I received a "C" in as as undergraduate
--take Biochemistry (which I never took)
--assistance with elevating my MCAT score
--take a rigorous curriculum of premedical classes

Option #2: Masters of Science in Global Medicine
--related to my interests
--take a rigorous curriculum of premedical classes
--would give me a (second) medicine-related master's degree

The question is, which one would med schools look more favorably upon? The master's, because it's a masters and shows my dedication to medicine? The post bac, because it would make my GPA look better? I have looked at the curriculum for both options, and although I am more interested in the global medicine program, it is new and I am just not sure how much med schools will care. And med school matters the most to me, obviously.

So, which one should I choose?
On a side note, will ANY med schools care about my graduate GPA when I got a master's in Urban Education, or is that just moot because it's unrelated to medicine?

Thanks!
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Inside the tesseract
With a decent MCAT score you can compensate for the lowish cGPA (I'd aim for 32-33+, depending on the state you're from). The mentioned ECs are awesome, and the Teach for America credentials will overshadow some of the cGPA issues. The Urban Ed masters really won't help you much.

What you need to demonstrate to adcomms is your ability to produce consistently great grades in science and upper-level science so they know you will survive the intense science environment of med school. IMO, Option #1 will cover that need the best (and the need for a strong MCAT score) provided you are taking more upper-level science in addition to Biochem. Basically you need to raise that BCPM GPA with As and show a steep upward trend. You could do the same thing with an informal program that you design yourself, if cost is an issue.

Presumably you have, or plan to have, US-based clinical experience and physician shadowing, among the other usual and customary experiences by the time you apply.