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Post Bacc Student

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Sugar plum, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Sugar plum

    Mar 7, 2011
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    I recently graduated from UCSD with a very low cumGPA of 2.9 as a physiology and neuroscience major and minor in psych. I struggled with depression/anxiety disorder and had a hard time managing grades. Now that I graduated I applied for the post bacc for pre health students at UCSD which has very limited space and is for underprivileged students, and I was not admitted. I now enrolled as a limited status student to do post-bacc work on my own for two years, I plan to begin to apply to medical schools next Spring so if I were to be accepted anywhere I would be looking at matriculation in FALL '13. I want to know what classes would be best to take just as many repeats of any C's and B's that I can? Or should I just focus on retaking my pre-med reqs or should I also repeat upper div bio classes I did poorly in?

    A little extra about me: I volunteer as a research assistant in a dev. neurobio research lab for the past year and will continue to for next 2 yrs - I have a secured spot, possible publication from the position and have a great LOR from my PI. I have volunteer work ~100hrs, and shadowed an internal medicine dr. for a good while with another great LOR. Next month I am interviewing for a position in a clinical internship where if accepted I will get great clinical exposure, 260+ hrs and a possible LOR. I am currently studying for my MCATS and feel I can break a 30 with my progress so far (I score highly on Verbal it is my strong suit). I also will be shadowing an orthopedic surgeon the following summer/yr with a guaranteed LOR. I also have the usual extras of multiple club involvements - one which may stand out is a club in which we travel to Mexico once a month and provide medical aid to orphanages. As for my application I am a strong writer and think I can write great essays for the app and I will take advantages of all resources on my campus to have the essays revised and improve them as much as I can before submitting.

    I know I am a weak applicant looking at my GPA I do not stand much of a chance. Although I will not give up and now that I am older and have gotten a grip over my depression and anxiety condition I plan to do my all and feel confident I will do my best to pull off A's during my two yrs of post bacc. Most threads I read here are people suggesting to others in my boat to also do an SMP I do not think that is something I want to do. If I don't do I still stand a chance? My first choice is an MD program but I am open to DO knowing that beggars can't be choosers I will take my second choice if were to be accepted as a DO student.

    Any comments will be greatly appreciated, and if any one can offer advice on a tentative plan for coursework I should be doing during my postbacc I would really appreciate that as well.
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  3. ShoTyme

    ShoTyme We're going STREAKING!!!

    Jul 25, 2011
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    I'm not really an expert, and am definately not the most qualified to answer your question. However if I were you, I would repeat any class I received a "C" or lower to start off. With the DO grade replacement, you have a chance to raise your GPA. Combine that with a phenomenol MCAT score, and you would have a chance I would think. Because of the low GPA currently, I do not see MD schools as a realistic option. It's going to be a long uphill battle, but where there is a will, there is a way. Best of luck!
  4. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
    10+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2006
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    Resident [Any Field]
    I suggest that financing your postbac will be an issue. Please, please don't get private loans - these are not sustainable in medical education debt management. You might want to look into a 2nd bachelors, to help with financial aid & registration priority. You might want to look into a different school, if you can't get what you need at UCSD.

    I suggest that you won't be ready to apply to med school next spring, based on how difficult it is to budge a GPA..
    First, for MD schools, repeated coursework doesn't erase the old grade for GPA calcs. All the coursework is averaged. For DO schools, a repeat forgives the old grade.

    C's in prereqs should be retaken. Otherwise it doesn't matter. I suggest taking as much upper div science as you can (biochem, neuro, genetics, micro, immuno). It's not an exaggeration to say that every new grade you get that isn't an A is a waste of time and money, in a GPA comeback.
    I suggest using good grammar and correct punctuation when you're bragging about your writing & verbal skills.

    There's no credibility in talking about what your MCAT score will be until you have an MCAT score. The only slightly reliable predictor is scores on multiple practice tests, and those are still +/- 5 points.
    Assume that getting A's in a ton of hard coursework is going to be the hardest thing you've ever done. Assume it will get you down and threaten your mental health. Assume it will stop being what you want to do several times a week. Plan accordingly.
    After 2 more years of straight A's, your cumulative undergrad GPA will max out under 3.3. That's not a number that gets people into med school too often, definitely not in California. That's why people do SMPs - because undergrad GPA is very difficult to improve.

    There's a ton of info in this forum and in the postbac forum for folks in your situation. If you do a lot of reading about what other people have done, you'll educate yourself about possibilities, probabilities, costs and obstacles.

    Best of luck to you.

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