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Post-bac vs SMP?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by stefamiee, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. stefamiee

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    Hello, I have been reading SDN for a while now, and I am going to be a senior next year at UC*, so I am getting a little anxious about med schools.
    Right now, my stat is very bad. I am planning to take the MCAT in the spring of 2016 then apply right after. However my current GPA is 3.0... and if I can get all As in the next two quarters, I can only bring it up to 3.4...

    So my question is: should I do a post bac or SMP after I graduate? (fall of 2016) I have been looking into both, and I am still not sure which is the best choice for me.
    Thank you,
     
  2. GrapesofRath

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    If your GPA is above 3.3 at the time of graduation I would rarely recommend an SMP. The reward doesn't outweigh the risk. Being a UC grad makes things a little different(read below) however.

    If your GPA is under a 3.1 an SMP is almost mandatory if your boning for the MD.

    Between 3.1-3.3 is a grey zone for you. You would need an MCAT score to give a better evaluation of what to do(and this can be said regardless of GPA). A score in the 80-90th percentile and I think an SMP might be in order with a 3.18 type GPA. If however, you knock the MCAT out of the park(34+ equivalent) then even with that 3.18 type GPA I think several semesters of post-bacc work could be the best move to bring your GPA above 3.4 and with that strong upward trend and strong MCAT score is enough to give yourself a chance at an MD program, without ever having to deal with the major risk an SMP entails(doing well in post-bacc is definitely easier than doing well in an SMP where the consequences of not doing well are lethal which is why when both options can work for you the former is often a smarter choice).

    The caveat I will add is that there is a long line of UC pre-meds who don't have good grades in their UCs(where grade deflation is bad as anywhere in the country) but then go on to do well in their SMPs. That's why things are a little less clear cut for you and while for someone with a 3.26/34 I would often say just do some post-bacc work for you, I think given how successful many in your shoes have been in the past with an SMP it might be a good idea to go that route.

    Your first priority though has to be ace this senior year. If you don't do well this year then recommending either a post-bac or SMP is difficult.
     
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  3. You're My Boy Blue

    You're My Boy Blue Second Time's a Charm
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    @GrapesofRath Hit the nail on the head. Pardon the cliche. The only thing I would add is the DO route. If DO is something that interests you then grade-replacement through a DIY postbac would be the best option. Again, MCAT score (or general range in practice tests) is kind of a necessity for any concrete advice
     
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  4. GrapesofRath

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    If OP wants to go the DO route, do well this year get the GPA above a 3.2 and a solid MCAT will do the trick. No post-bac or SMP is needed with a solid MCAT score and a good showing this year in school(and we're talking 65th+ percentile or so for DO to be in reasonably solid shape with a 3.2 esque GPA).
     
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  5. You're My Boy Blue

    You're My Boy Blue Second Time's a Charm
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    What's your science GPA OP? For example a c3.4 with a s3.0 would probably get him canned while a c3.4 with a s3.4 would be fine. Again, assuming a decent mcat.

     
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  6. Dogfood3140

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    I am in a similar situation so I would like to ask for your opinions. I am a Berkeley grad with 3.35 with mcat 12/11/12. I am Asian male as well and have had 1 rejection thus far and starting to get a little worried that i may have no luck. If I were to plan on taking next two years off, would post bacc help me?
     
  7. tennerd

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    i really doubt a 3.2 and 28 mcat would get far in DO. only the the newest and crappiest DO schools accept those stats and there are so many applicants per seat that try with those types of stats.
     
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  8. GrapesofRath

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    That's not particularly accurate. Go to the WAMC threads and DO threads. Hell ask Goro himself; there are definitely schools where 3.2/28 can be competitive for(obviously not the ones that screen out below 3.25 but a number of others), particularly when there is some kind of upward trend.
     
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  9. tennerd

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    this guy doesn't have an upward trend. this guy has a 3.0 with 2 quarters to go.
     
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  10. GrapesofRath

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    Well the point is if he improves his GPA. If he applies with a 3.0 next year yeah DO isn't going to work out to well. If he raises his GPA to a 3.2+ that will mean a year of an upward trend. That's not that significant but it is at least something and with a solid MCAT I think he can be competitive for some DO's with the right list.
     
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  11. tennerd

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    even with a 30 mcat he shouldn't even be looking at the top half of DO schools, which have averages of 3.6/28+. he needs a post-bac/smp.
     
  12. GrapesofRath

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    I don't know enough about DO school admission to really get into the nit grit details but a 3.2/28 can be competitive at a not so insignificant amount of DO programs. Obviously don't apply to schools with 3.25 screen out and Touro and Western types like you said with their 3.6/29 averages might not be the best move, but there are options.

    This whole discussion is entirely moot without a strong showing senior year grade wise and of course an MCAT score.
     
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  13. cantankerous

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    "However my current GPA is 3.0... and if I can get all As in the next two quarters"
    Not to be.... but usually that plan never works out
     
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  14. neekzg

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    lol agreed. I made that assumption/calculation every quarter of undergrad to see what my GPA would be upon graduation. Surely worked my ass off to try and make it happen but inevitably some A-'s and even Bs will occur.
     
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  15. Goro

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    It depends upon what you (and OP) want.

    For you, dog, you're competitive for DO schools right now. Wanna stay in or near CA? You have TUNCOM, AZCOM, both Westerns, PacNW and Touro-CA to pick from.

    But if you're only going for MD, the acing a post-bac (3.6 or better) AND acing MCAT (514 or better) are required.

    Post-bacs can be DIY; you can save $ by doing them at your local CC opr 4 year school.

    I prefer SMPs that are linked with a medical school. Both Western and Touro have them. In essence, these are the back door into those schools. Pass the audition and you're in. Just do well


     
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  16. stefamiee

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    Thank you so much for all the replies!
    Yea I agree...straight As plan never work out well.. I will definitely try though, I think getting it up to 3.2+ is possible.
    After my first quarter, if I don't have a strong upward trend, I should look into post-bac/SMP then?
    So the question is.. DIY post-bac OR SMP? SMP is harder but it would give me a second degree... :\
    and can I apply while doing post-bac or do I have to wait another year?
     
  17. You're My Boy Blue

    You're My Boy Blue Second Time's a Charm
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    The degree itself is worthless, the program however is worth a lot. Also if you can't handle an SMP you probably can't handle med-school. It will show yourself, and adcoms, what you would be capable of.

    You can apply during post-bac but you might be screened out depending on your final gpa. By the time you were done with the post-bac you'd already be in the reject bin. I would wait a year and apply with the best application possible. Good luck!

    Also OP do you have an mcat? What's you science gpa?
     

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