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Jan 21, 2021
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Hello all!

I need some help. I graduated high school around 2013 and immediately enrolled in a community college here in the Los Angeles area. I spent about 6 years in community college and received a 1.99 science GPA. The main reason why I performed so poorly is because I had to work 40-60 hours a week to provide for my family. Some unfortunate events occurred in my family that forced me to work in fast food at 16, until my current job now. I had to step in as the man of the house pretty early. This is where my profound desire to become a physician began, witnessing physicians save the life of one of my loved ones.
Basically, as a biology major many of the science classes I needed to transfer to a university took place in the daytime. I would sign up for these classes despite knowing I would be working while class was in session. I wouldn’t physically go to class. I thought I would be able to study from home and just call off work on exam days. But boy was I wrong. Also, there were financial aid implications. If I dropped one of my science classes I wouldn’t get the full financial aid disbursement, so I would stay in these classes and receive terrible grades. These are the reasons why my community college gpa is terrible. I received B’s on my first try on CALC 1/Calc 2, Gen Chem 1/Gen Chem 2, and Physics 1/Physics 2. These classes took place at night so it didn’t interfere with my work schedule, so I passed these with Bs on my first try. I had trouble with Bio 1A/1B, O-Chem 1A/1B, Trigonometry and received a few Fs, Ws, and eventually Cs. My community college science GPA is a 1.99.

Somehow, I managed to transfer to one of the UC’s (God bless the ad-com) as a Cellular and Molecular Biology. Since transferring, I have received a 3.83 GPA in my 5 quarters worth of upper division science courses. I still have one quarter left and plan to finish strong. The main reason for my immediate success is because I haven’t had to work since I transferring from junior college. School has become my only priority and I’ve been successful as a result. Also, it felt really good as a 25 year old to finally have some direction and for a school to give me a chance. I proved the admissions committee right for taking a chance on me! Now I feel like I can compete with students of all educational backgrounds because that’s what makes the UC system great. I owe a good amount of my success to the institution itself.

I think I have a pretty interesting story. I want to become a physician because I witnessed a family member’s life saved by the healing powers of physicians. My desire to become a physician was confirmed while volunteering with hospice patients and at one of the COVID-19 testing/vaccination sites in LA.

Ultimately, when I graduate in June I will most likely end up with a 2.7 science GPA despite having a solid performance the past two years at the university level. What should I do next? My dream is to go to medical school, but a 2.7 gpa is still very low (B- area). Should I take more classes at the community college to get my GPA to a 3.0? Should I get a science masters? Or, should I apply to get a Special Masters? I want to apply to med school June 2022. I plan on taking the MCAT in January 2022 so I can try to get a score of 512 or above.
With all this in mind, what do you guys think I should do next? I understand a high upward trend is important, but I still don’t know what to do with my gap year. I will gladly accept any advice. Thank you very much.
 
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calixd123

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speaking as a california applicant who had to apply twice & go to a SMP, hard to say until MCAT comes in
 
Jan 9, 2020
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Hello all!

I need some help. I graduated high school around 2013 and immediately enrolled in a community college here in the Los Angeles area. I spent about 6 years in community college and received a 1.99 science GPA. The main reason why I performed so poorly is because I had to work 40-60 hours a week to provide for my family. Some unfortunate events occurred in my family that forced me to work in fast food at 16, until my current job now. I had to step in as the man of the house pretty early. This is where my profound desire to become a physician began, witnessing physicians save the life of one of my loved ones.
Basically, as a biology major many of the science classes I needed to transfer to a university took place in the daytime. I would sign up for these classes despite knowing I would be working while class was in session. I wouldn’t physically go to class. I thought I would be able to study from home and just call off work on exam days. But boy was I wrong. Also, there were financial aid implications. If I dropped one of my science classes I wouldn’t get the full financial aid disbursement, so I would stay in these classes and receive terrible grades. These are the reasons why my community college gpa is terrible. I received B’s on my first try on CALC 1/Calc 2, Gen Chem 1/Gen Chem 2, and Physics 1/Physics 2. These classes took place at night so it didn’t interfere with my work schedule, so I passed these with Bs on my first try. I had trouble with Bio 1A/1B, O-Chem 1A/1B, Trigonometry and received a few Fs, Ws, and eventually Cs. My community college science GPA is a 1.99.

Somehow, I managed to transfer to one of the UC’s (God bless the ad-com) as a Cellular and Molecular Biology. Since transferring, I have received a 3.83 GPA in my 5 quarters worth of upper division science courses. I still have one quarter left and plan to finish strong. The main reason for my immediate success is because I haven’t had to work since I transferring from junior college. School has become my only priority and I’ve been successful as a result. Also, it felt really good as a 25 year old to finally have some direction and for a school to give me a chance. I proved the admissions committee right for taking a chance on me! Now I feel like I can compete with students of all educational backgrounds because that’s what makes the UC system great. I owe a good amount of my success to the institution itself.

I think I have a pretty interesting story. I want to become a physician because I witnessed a family member’s life saved by the healing powers of physicians. My desire to become a physician was confirmed while volunteering with hospice patients and at one of the COVID-19 testing/vaccination sites in LA.

Ultimately, when I graduate in June I will most likely end up with a 2.7 science GPA despite having a solid performance the past two years at the university level. What should I do next? My dream is to go to medical school, but a 2.7 gpa is still very low (B- area). Should I take more classes at the community college to get my GPA to a 3.0? Should I get a science masters? Or, should I apply to get a Special Masters? I want to apply to med school June 2022.
I’ve taken an AAMC practice exam and received a 510 on my first try. I plan on taking the MCAT in January 2022 so I can try to get a score of 512 or above.
With all this in mind, what do you guys think I should do next? I understand a high upward trend is important, but I still don’t know what to do with my gap year. I will gladly accept any advice. Thank you very much.
Hey, I've done a lot of research on this topic myself so let me weigh in on this one.

I believe when it comes to postbacc vs. SMP vs. traditional science master's, it highly depends on your situation. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for all applicants looking for record enhancement. It highly depends on how much time and money you have, what your GPA currently is, and other things about your unique situation.

In your case, I think this is what you need to do, and it won't be easy. Take courses at open university or extension schools until you get your cGPA and sGPA up to past 3.0 each so you can be eligible to apply to most programs. Next, get a good MCAT score. Aim for 515+. Then, you are going to have to do an SMP. Look for programs that offer a guaranteed interview or guaranteed acceptance based on your academic performance. This is what I would do if I was in your shoes.
 
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Shotapp

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I strongly agree with @Patriots5298. You need to enroll at your local 4 year college as a second degree seeker (for registration priority and fin aid access) take upper level Bio courses to raise your undergrad c/sGPAs above a 3.0 to avoid getting screened by medical schools with cutoffs. Do the above first before doing an smp. If you do well enough in your post-bac and MCAT, you might not even need a smp.
 
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Goro

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Jun 11, 2010
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Hello all!

I need some help. I graduated high school around 2013 and immediately enrolled in a community college here in the Los Angeles area. I spent about 6 years in community college and received a 1.99 science GPA. The main reason why I performed so poorly is because I had to work 40-60 hours a week to provide for my family. Some unfortunate events occurred in my family that forced me to work in fast food at 16, until my current job now. I had to step in as the man of the house pretty early. This is where my profound desire to become a physician began, witnessing physicians save the life of one of my loved ones.
Basically, as a biology major many of the science classes I needed to transfer to a university took place in the daytime. I would sign up for these classes despite knowing I would be working while class was in session. I wouldn’t physically go to class. I thought I would be able to study from home and just call off work on exam days. But boy was I wrong. Also, there were financial aid implications. If I dropped one of my science classes I wouldn’t get the full financial aid disbursement, so I would stay in these classes and receive terrible grades. These are the reasons why my community college gpa is terrible. I received B’s on my first try on CALC 1/Calc 2, Gen Chem 1/Gen Chem 2, and Physics 1/Physics 2. These classes took place at night so it didn’t interfere with my work schedule, so I passed these with Bs on my first try. I had trouble with Bio 1A/1B, O-Chem 1A/1B, Trigonometry and received a few Fs, Ws, and eventually Cs. My community college science GPA is a 1.99.

Somehow, I managed to transfer to one of the UC’s (God bless the ad-com) as a Cellular and Molecular Biology. Since transferring, I have received a 3.83 GPA in my 5 quarters worth of upper division science courses. I still have one quarter left and plan to finish strong. The main reason for my immediate success is because I haven’t had to work since I transferring from junior college. School has become my only priority and I’ve been successful as a result. Also, it felt really good as a 25 year old to finally have some direction and for a school to give me a chance. I proved the admissions committee right for taking a chance on me! Now I feel like I can compete with students of all educational backgrounds because that’s what makes the UC system great. I owe a good amount of my success to the institution itself.

I think I have a pretty interesting story. I want to become a physician because I witnessed a family member’s life saved by the healing powers of physicians. My desire to become a physician was confirmed while volunteering with hospice patients and at one of the COVID-19 testing/vaccination sites in LA.

Ultimately, when I graduate in June I will most likely end up with a 2.7 science GPA despite having a solid performance the past two years at the university level. What should I do next? My dream is to go to medical school, but a 2.7 gpa is still very low (B- area). Should I take more classes at the community college to get my GPA to a 3.0? Should I get a science masters? Or, should I apply to get a Special Masters? I want to apply to med school June 2022.
I’ve taken an AAMC practice exam and received a 510 on my first try. I plan on taking the MCAT in January 2022 so I can try to get a score of 512 or above.
With all this in mind, what do you guys think I should do next? I understand a high upward trend is important, but I still don’t know what to do with my gap year. I will gladly accept any advice. Thank you very much.
Do NOT do a research MD

Read this:
 
Jan 21, 2021
11
4
Hey, I've done a lot of research on this topic myself so let me weigh in on this one.

I believe when it comes to postbacc vs. SMP vs. traditional science master's, it highly depends on your situation. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for all applicants looking for record enhancement. It highly depends on how much time and money you have, what your GPA currently is, and other things about your unique situation.

In your case, I think this is what you need to do, and it won't be easy. Take courses at open university or extension schools until you get your cGPA and sGPA up to past 3.0 each so you can be eligible to apply to most programs. Next, get a good MCAT score. Aim for 515+. Then, you are going to have to do an SMP. Look for programs that offer a guaranteed interview or guaranteed acceptance based on your academic performance. This is what I would do if I was in your shoes.
Thank you. I agree it’s in my best interest to get to a 3.0 GPA. It sucks because I’d have to take an additional 40 Semester units before getting to that 3.0 mark. Would it look bad if I took extra classes at a community college? It would be the much more feasible option for me.
 
Jan 21, 2021
11
4
I strongly agree with @Patriots5298. You need to enroll at your local 4 year college as a second degree seeker (for registration priority and fin aid access) take upper level Bio courses to raise your undergrad c/sGPAs above a 3.0 to avoid getting screened by medical schools with cutoffs. Do the above first before doing an smp. If you do well enough in your post-bac and MCAT, you might not even need a smp.
Thank you for your response. Wait, you can actually do that? Wow, I had no idea. If I can continue getting my classes paid for after graduating this June I would definitely do a DIY post bacc at a university. I was thinking about taking classes at my old community college just because I qualify for the fee waiver.
 

Shotapp

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Thank you for your response. Wait, you can actually do that? Wow, I had no idea. If I can continue getting my classes paid for after graduating this June I would definitely do a DIY post bacc at a university. I was thinking about taking classes at my old community college just because I qualify for the fee waiver.
Yeah, that's what I did. If you enroll as a non-degree seeking student, you won't get registration priority/fin aid and it will be difficult for you to take the classes that you want to take. You don't have to finish the 2nd degree. Just take the classes you need and bounce. It would be ideal to do a post-bac at a 4 year college not community college. What is a fee waiver? (is tuition waived?)
 

Nugester

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Jul 4, 2017
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Thank you for your response, Goro! That is some sound advice. I am on the right track towards reinventing myself but I still have work to do. Do you know of any MD schools that accept, or have accepted students in the 2.9-3.0range?
Success stories aplenty here: Below 3.0 gpa Support Group/Thread

There are schools out there that do accept <3.0. Metrics can be found on AAMC's website: 2020 FACTS: Applicants and Matriculants Data
(I had <3.0 but did a post-bacc and MS too though).

If you search for it on SDN, there are lists for DO and MD programs recommended by Adcoms on this site.
 
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Goro

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Thank you for your response, Goro! That is some sound advice. I am on the right track towards reinventing myself but I still have work to do. Do you know of any MD schools that accept, or have accepted students in the 2.9-3.0range?
Without reinvention? None. No one would be doing you any favors my accepting you when you're at risk to fail out of med school.

With the 2.9-3.0? You're going to have to play the field.
 
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Jan 9, 2020
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Thank you. I agree it’s in my best interest to get to a 3.0 GPA. It sucks because I’d have to take an additional 40 Semester units before getting to that 3.0 mark. Would it look bad if I took extra classes at a community college? It would be the much more feasible option for me.
You can do 20 units a semester and bang this out in a year. You'll have to get used to that kind of a workload anyway if you want to make it in med school. 20 units should be about 5 classes per semester. Just gotta hunker down and do nothing but study for a year and get a 4.0.

Taking courses at a CC is not going to help you. Take these courses at any 4-year institution instead, whether it be through a formal program or DIY. If money is a problem, you're going to have to take out private loans or work for some time and save up until you can afford to do it.
 
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Jan 21, 2021
11
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Yeah, that's what I did. If you enroll as a non-degree seeking student, you won't get registration priority/fin aid and it will be difficult for you to take the classes that you want to take. You don't have to finish the 2nd degree. Just take the classes you need and bounce. It would be ideal to do a post-bac at a 4 year college not community college. What is a fee waiver? (is tuition waived?)
Damn that is such a smart idea. Thanks for the idea I’m going to ask my Health Professions counselor at my school to fill me in on this. I think she mentioned this but didn’t go into detail. This seams like a no brainer. Thank you so much for taking the time to pass on some crucial knowledge to me. And yes, a fee waiver means your community college tuition is waived.
 
Jan 21, 2021
11
4
You can do 20 units a semester and bang this out in a year. You'll have to get used to that kind of a workload anyway if you want to make it in med school. 20 units should be about 5 classes per semester. Just gotta hunker down and do nothing but study for a year and get a 4.0.

Taking courses at a CC is not going to help you. Take these courses at any 4-year institution instead, whether it be through a formal program or DIY. If money is a problem, you're going to have to take out private loans or work for some time and save up until you can afford to do it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to provide me with this information. I needed this type of positivity. You are right, I can do this. I’m going to follow shotapp’s recommendation to apply for a second bachelors so I can get a semesters worth of classes paid for. I will have to pay for fall classes out of pocket which is manageable, as long as I can get spring paid for.
Btw, your patriots just stole my guy Hunter Henry from the Chargers! Coach Bill is not messing around this offseason.
 
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Jan 21, 2021
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Without reinvention? None. No one would be doing you any favors my accepting you when you're at risk to fail out of med school.

With the 2.9-3.0? You're going to have to play the field.

Goro. I understand where I stand as an applicant so I’m definitely going to spend the next 1-2 years reinventing myself. Are there MDs that reward reinvention or is it mainly DO schools that award reinvention?
Without reinvention? None. No one would be doing you any favors my accepting you when you're at risk to fail out of med school.

With the 2.9-3.0? You're going to have to play the field.
I completely agree with you. I’m planning on spending the next 1-2 years reinventing myself so I can be a more competitive applicant. Do you know which MD schools are known to reward students who reinvented themselves from similar situations to mine? Or is it mainly DO schools that reward reinvention?
 
Jan 9, 2020
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Thank you so much for taking the time to provide me with this information. I needed this type of positivity. You are right, I can do this. I’m going to follow shotapp’s recommendation to apply for a second bachelors so I can get a semesters worth of classes paid for. I will have to pay for fall classes out of pocket which is manageable, as long as I can get spring paid for.
Btw, your patriots just stole my guy Hunter Henry from the Chargers! Coach Bill is not messing around this offseason.
Yea man, we got Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith so we are back to our 2 TE set days. Watching the Bills dominate this season crushed my very soul. Good luck on this journey... and remember, it's a marathon. Not a sprint
 
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Goro

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I completely agree with you. I’m planning on spending the next 1-2 years reinventing myself so I can be a more competitive applicant. Do you know which MD schools are known to reward students who reinvented themselves from similar situations to mine? Or is it mainly DO schools that reward reinvention?
When you're ready to apply, make a post. I do have a list of those schools. And yes there are MD schools that reward reinvention
 
Jan 21, 2021
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