Quantcast
This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

Navi_Girl

New Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
3
Reaction score
1

Members don't see this ad.
Hello all!

To cut to the chase, I'm looking to enroll into a postbacc program in biomedical/ biological sciences to enhance my poor undergraduate academics (I'm looking to graduate with a 3.0 overall gpa from my university in December.. I KNOW it is low, so please spare the "tough luck" stance I've seen so many people post in the SDN forums.). I'm feeling a postbacc is my second chance ticket to better my academic history, and also to study in a specialized field before attempting medical school.

I had originally planned on taking the MCAT in spring of 2016 and applying for postbacc by June, but as life would have it, I find myself relocating to New York City in April of 2016. There goes my time slot for taking such a huge test, which I've decided I'm not going to attempt in the midst of settling into a new city and applying for jobs.

So here I am looking at a few gap years before I apply for medical school, and was wondering if anyone had experience in applying with a postbacc degree?

I'm interested in achieving an MS just to have some nice looking credentials in a specialized field of study, and to have large research experiences under my belt, which I don't have much of right now. But is it worth it?

I suppose in my case, I'm SOL if I DON'T take a post-bacc (even assuming I get amazing MCAT scores by some miracle), but I haven't found a good enough reference point to see how well postbacc graduates fair in the medical community.

Any feedback would help! Thanks!
 

Goro

Full Member
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
69,526
Reaction score
108,381
You are correct in thinking this. The key thing will be to ace it.
I'm feeling a postbacc is my second chance ticket to better my academic history, and also to study in a specialized field before attempting medical school.

That's fine. med schools aren't going anywhere. By the time you apply, there might even be a new one in NYC!
So here I am looking at a few gap years before I apply for medical school, and was wondering if anyone had experience in applying with a postbacc degree?

This is a good idea if you need something to fall back on in case Medicine doean't work out. But the flip side is that MS degrees don't count towards your GPA for MD schools (they do for DO) because of the significant grade inflation they have. And it's hard to assess how rigorous a course is like "DNA Techniques" or "Seminars in Neuroscience". An SMP is your best bet, because they're auditions for med school.

Also, research experiences are less important for non-trad students, because we know you have a life.

I'm interested in achieving an MS just to have some nice looking credentials in a specialized field of study, and to have large research experiences under my belt, which I don't have much of right now. But is it worth it?

That is correct. Your GPA is too low at presents. Your fastest path to being a doctor is to simply retake all F/D/C science coursework and apply to DO schools. If you're boning for the MD, then you need to ace the post-bac (which can be DIY)...like GPA of 3.6 or higher. There are MD schools that reward reinvention (Columbia is one, so are Albany and NYMC, to name a few) but you also need to ace MCAT as well (33 or better on the old scoring system)
I suppose in my case, I'm SOL if I DON'T take a post-bacc (even assuming I get amazing MCAT scores by some miracle), but I haven't found a good enough reference point to see how well postbacc graduates fair in the medical community.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Navi_Girl

New Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
But the flip side is that MS degrees don't count towards your GPA for MD schools (they do for DO) because of the significant grade inflation they have. And it's hard to assess how rigorous a course is like "DNA Techniques" or "Seminars in Neuroscience". An SMP is your best bet, because they're auditions for med school.
Ah, I actually didn't know MS wouldn't count toward my GPA for MD... Thank you for clarifying! And for your great and specific responses!! I am also looking into the SMP path as well, but the less common MS that's offered in those programs made postbacc a more appealing option for me. I am more interested in the allopathic MD rather than DO, so I'm sure as I continue my research in potential paths I'll weigh my options better.

Thanks again!
 

CaptainAwesome92

New Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2015
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Depending on your time commitments, you could also look at pursuing a formal post-bac program (like Columbia extension). From what I understand (and anyone feel free to correct me), it sort of depends on your major/where the low grades come from. If you were a non-science undergrad, then you can take a "Career-changer" track which focuses on those pre-requisite courses. If you were a science major, then it depends if you got low grades in the prerequisite classes OR your upper division classes. In the former case, a post bac program is more advisable (I think?) and in the latter the SMP is better. An MS might be handy if you're planning on an MD/PhD type of route (which I think brings up the difficulty level of applications since those research schools are the pickiest!).

Good Luck!
 

Akewataru

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
92
Reaction score
45
Also, research experiences are less important for non-trad students, because we know you have a life.
Goro, do you mean a non-trad is not expected to have the same amount of time spent in research because the expectation is they are working 40+ hours a week to support themselves? Is this same case with time spent volunteering opposed to working?
 

Goro

Full Member
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
69,526
Reaction score
108,381
For research, the trade off is corrct, but you have to get in some volunteering because you need to show Adcoms:

that you know what you're getting into
that you really want to be around sick people
that you know what a doctor's day is like
that you're an altruistic person
that you're prepared to serve others.

If someone is committed to be a doctor, they have to walk the walk, not merely talk the talk.



Goro, do you mean a non-trad is not expected to have the same amount of time spent in research because the expectation is they are working 40+ hours a week to support themselves? Is this same case with time spent volunteering opposed to working?
 

Akewataru

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
92
Reaction score
45
For research, the trade off is corrct, but you have to get in some volunteering because you need to show Adcoms:

that you know what you're getting into
that you really want to be around sick people
that you know what a doctor's day is like
that you're an altruistic person
that you're prepared to serve others.

If someone is committed to be a doctor, they have to walk the walk, not merely talk the talk.

Thank you for taking the time to respond back Goro. So if I did manage to get some time in research (a semester or so) it would be gravy, right? Also, if I already work in a healthcare setting, although with very little direct patient contact (med tech, but with past phlebotomy clinical experience), should the volunteering be in a healthcare setting or in a area that appeals to me?
 

Denver90

New Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
You are correct in thinking this. The key thing will be to ace it.
I'm feeling a postbacc is my second chance ticket to better my academic history, and also to study in a specialized field before attempting medical school.

That's fine. med schools aren't going anywhere. By the time you apply, there might even be a new one in NYC!
So here I am looking at a few gap years before I apply for medical school, and was wondering if anyone had experience in applying with a postbacc degree?

This is a good idea if you need something to fall back on in case Medicine doean't work out. But the flip side is that MS degrees don't count towards your GPA for MD schools (they do for DO) because of the significant grade inflation they have. And it's hard to assess how rigorous a course is like "DNA Techniques" or "Seminars in Neuroscience". An SMP is your best bet, because they're auditions for med school.

Also, research experiences are less important for non-trad students, because we know you have a life.

I'm interested in achieving an MS just to have some nice looking credentials in a specialized field of study, and to have large research experiences under my belt, which I don't have much of right now. But is it worth it?

That is correct. Your GPA is too low at presents. Your fastest path to being a doctor is to simply retake all F/D/C science coursework and apply to DO schools. If you're boning for the MD, then you need to ace the post-bac (which can be DIY)...like GPA of 3.6 or higher. There are MD schools that reward reinvention (Columbia is one, so are Albany and NYMC, to name a few) but you also need to ace MCAT as well (33 or better on the old scoring system)
I suppose in my case, I'm SOL if I DON'T take a post-bacc (even assuming I get amazing MCAT scores by some miracle), but I haven't found a good enough reference point to see how well postbacc graduates fair in the medical community.

Is an old MCAT score of 33 a hard cap? If you have, say, a 3.9 post-bacc GPA with a 512 MCAT, just shy of the old MCAT percentile for a score of 33, will the schools you have mentioned in other threads still give you this special consideration (rewarding reinvention)?
 

Goro

Full Member
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
69,526
Reaction score
108,381
Is an old MCAT score of 33 a hard cap? If you have, say, a 3.9 post-bacc GPA with a 512 MCAT, just shy of the old MCAT percentile for a score of 33, will the schools you have mentioned in other threads still give you this special consideration (rewarding reinvention)?
As they have reported to me, successful reinventors for MD had MCAT of 513+. I beleive that those that got into thier state schools may have had a lower score. DO schools will be happy with something > 505.

More importantly, do not obsess over a single metric.
 

Dr. Meliodas

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2017
Messages
831
Reaction score
830
Why are you graduating early? It might help to just graduate in spring. This will give you more classes to help boost your undergraduate GPA.
 
Top