Algophiliac

Someday...
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2008
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I am not applying this cycle, but I am merely curious...what is the best back-up scenario for which situations?

I assume a post-bac if your GPA is very low, an SMP if your GPA is too low for medical school, but still decent, and a gap year if your GPA doesn't need work, but everything else does.

What other options are there? I guess you can do a regular Masters program, or a PhD program if you wanted to go MD/PhD anyways. Is staying a 5th year in college a decent idea, or no? I assume at that point GPA impact would be so marginal anyway, that it would make way more sense to just do an SMP, if you can make it in.
 

gravitywave

fourth year
Dec 19, 2009
2,078
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s/p ERAS
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I assume a post-bac if your GPA is very low, an SMP if your GPA is too low for medical school, but still decent, and a gap year if your GPA doesn't need work, but everything else does.

What other options are there? I guess you can do a regular Masters program, or a PhD program if you wanted to go MD/PhD anyways. Is staying a 5th year in college a decent idea, or no? I assume at that point GPA impact would be so marginal anyway, that it would make way more sense to just do an SMP, if you can make it in.
your post-bac/SMP scenarios are backwards. post-bac is for GPA repair, SMP if your GPA is beyond repairing and you need some other way to show that you're ready for the rigors of med school.

Doing an MS/PhD if your goal all along is to go to med school would be pretty dumb in my opinion. if you wanted an MD/PhD, you'd be better off taking a year off to get your house in order to make yourself attractive to those programs, and then applying.
 
OP
Algophiliac

Algophiliac

Someday...
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2008
844
0
Status
Pre-Medical
your post-bac/SMP scenarios are backwards. post-bac is for GPA repair, SMP if your GPA is beyond repairing and you need some other way to show that you're ready for the rigors of med school.
But if your GPA is say, 2.9, and the cutoff for schools that screen your application is 3.0, wouldn't it make more sense to do a post-bac? I agree that if your GPA is 2.1, it would make more sense to do the SMP, just like if your GPA is 3.1.

Doing an MS/PhD if your goal all along is to go to med school would be pretty dumb in my opinion. if you wanted an MD/PhD, you'd be better off taking a year off to get your house in order to make yourself attractive to those programs, and then applying.
Okay, this makes sense, especially from a financial standpoint.
 

gravitywave

fourth year
Dec 19, 2009
2,078
9
s/p ERAS
Status
Medical Student
my post-bac had a 3.0 gpa cutoff (it was a formal certificate program). i think it's just the way the numbers run out. in a post-bac, you're taking more undergrad level courses. but if you're sitting there with a 2.9 in 120 credits, you'd need 120 more of 4.0 just to get to 3.45. better to cut to the chase and do an SMP.

if the cutoff you're referring to is a med school admissions cut off, i honestly don't think that they exist most places. that said, take a look at the admissions numbers and see what percentage of people get in with a 2.9 - it's pretty bad. so is a 3.0, but barely less so. it would be silly to do a post-bac just for the sake of getting to a 3.0 from a 2.9. it's like my buddy in college who, instead of taking it easy and enjoying his last few weeks of undergrad, took an extra course and paid thousands of dollars in additional tuition, solely for the purpose of getting summa cum laude on his transcript instead of merely magna. :rolleyes:
 
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alexrgross

7+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2010
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los angeles, california
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GPA is important, but not so important as your performance in years prior to your app. Ive spoken with admissions directors who have verified this.

Take an extreme scenario to illustrate the point. Student A gets straight A's in the first three years of college. He gets D's every class senior year, but somehow has all the pre-reqs done. This student has a 3.7 still.

In the opposite case, student B starts with lower grades like Ds for a year or two, then improves by studying a few extra years, leading up to the app. This student has a 3.1 and will be as or more competitive then Student A. All other criteria being equal.
 

JVillien

7+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2011
62
2
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Pre-Medical
I know this thread has been inactive for a while , but what If you have a good GPA and not so good MCAT, Would an SMP be advisable?
 

theseeker4

PGY 3
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Apr 20, 2011
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I know this thread has been inactive for a while , but what If you have a good GPA and not so good MCAT, Would an SMP be advisable?
You need to have the opposite to get into the good SMP programs. They want you to have a good MCAT before they will let you in. If you have a good GPA but bad MCAT, there is no point in an SMP since your ability to handle course work is not the question, it is your ability to perform on standardized tests. Only a retake of the MCAT can demonstrate your score is not indicative of your knowledge and test taking abilities.
 

pietachok

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2008
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If you have a good GPA & bad mcat score, you only need to work on your mcat score. There is no utility in an SMP, b/c you've proven you can succeed in a rigorous program of study.
Tutors. Prep courses.