Reapplying to med school, MCAT retake, PA school considerations?

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

Fancy Dr Narwhal

Full Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
30
Reaction score
10
Hello,

This is my first post and I honestly am in serious need of some advice. I'm a nontraditional student who hasn't been able to matriculate into med school because of below 500 scores the previous 3 times. I even applied to an SMP to avoid the MCAT but sadly, this semester isn't going well and I am afraid my SMP GPA will tank my uGPA of 3.8

What should I do now? Will med schools even look at me with a downward trend since it's an SMP and not undergrad courses? Will I have a shot if I knock MCAT out of the waters my 4th attempt? I am also looking into PA schools now but have no PCE, so I will be needing a job that has that. Should I just give up on being a doctor and do PA? Not that it's any easier, but PAs don't have to worry about the Match or residency. Since I am older and am a bad standardized test taker, would I be saving myself some time and stress if I just did PA? Being a doctor has been a life long dream of mine and for the first time... I am looking into other fields just in case and I feel like the reason is bc I am scared of potentially getting into med school but not doing well on the constant boards, thus ending up in my 40s by then if I'm lucky. Any advice would help a bro out. Thank you

Members don't see this ad.
 
What are your cGPA and sGPA ? What were your MCAT scores ? What are your ECs including shadowing hours and clinical volunteering with patient contact ? Where is your state of residence ? How many times have you applied ? Any interviews ?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Why don’t you will in this grid and give us a clearer picture of where you really are in the preparedness and process.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Members don't see this ad :)
What should I do now? Will med schools even look at me with a downward trend since it's an SMP and not undergrad courses? Will I have a shot if I knock MCAT out of the waters my 4th attempt?
No and no.
To the second question, I suggest that magic thinking is not a good strategy.

It's time for Plan B.
 
What are your cGPA and sGPA ? What were your MCAT scores ? What are your ECs including shadowing hours and clinical volunteering with patient contact ? Where is your state of residence ? How many times have you applied ? Any interviews ?
My cGPA is a 3.8 and I only had B's in orgo back in undergrad. But I feel like I just suck at standardized testing considering my previous MCAT scores were 492, 493, and a 496. My extracurriculars were like 100 total hrs of shadowing and 4 yrs worth of health-related volunteering at the children's hospital, but I didn't feel like it was enough hands-on patient contact since I never did anything like scribing or medical assistance jobs, though I wished I did. I live in VA and I have applied only 2 times with no interview. I was hoping my current SMP would help but this spring semester is hurting me. I'm heartbroken
 

Why don’t you will in this grid and give us a clearer picture of where you really are in the preparedness and process.
Can you further explain? Sorry, I'm new to SDN and I guess didn't know how to format this thread. And honestly, I am in such a setback with life bc of this SMP. After I graduate, I plan on studying hard for one last MCAT retake before I let go completely and potentially look into PA school
 
No and no.
To the second question, I suggest that magic thinking is not a good strategy.

It's time for Plan B.
I was afraid to hear this but if that's reality talking... I guess I have to stop chasing after this dream. It all started with bad MCAT scores. I did well in undergrad but really screwed up with the MCAT and now this SMP. I just dug a deeper hole for myself, didn't I? Basically, you are saying I shouldn't even bother giving the MCAT one last try this summer?
 
You have a very good GPA and good ECs. Your only weakness is that your best MCAT score is 496. However, you could receive interviews at some of the newer DO schools with your GPA, ECs and a MCAT of 496 (though some have various shortcomings). I suggest these schools:
VCOM (all 4 schools)
WVSOM
UP-KYCOM
PCOM Georgia and South Georgia
LECOM (Erie, Elmira, Seton Hill)
LMU-DCOM
ACOM
WCU-COM
UIWSOM
NYIT-AR
ARCOM
BCOM
ATSU-SOMA
LUCOM
ICOM
Noorda-COM
Kansas (new school)
Many of these schools have MCAT medians in the 498 to 502 range so you should receive some interviews. Apply in June and submit all your secondaries by July.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
You can post a reply with answers formatted to the template of the link that was provided by candbgirl.

I do not see a reason for retaking the MCAT a 4th time unless you have identified why you are struggling and are consistently scoring much higher on practice tests. A lower gpa (how low is it going to be?) in an SMP will effectively tell schools that it is not worth taking a risk on your application.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
You have a very good GPA and good ECs. Your only weakness is that your best MCAT score is 496. However, you could receive interviews at some of the newer DO schools with your GPA, ECs and a MCAT of 496 (though some have various shortcomings). I suggest these schools:
VCOM (all 4 schools)
WVSOM
UP-KYCOM
PCOM Georgia and South Georgia
LECOM (Erie, Elmira, Seton Hill)
LMU-DCOM
ACOM
WCU-COM
UIWSOM
NYIT-AR
ARCOM
BCOM
ATSU-SOMA
LUCOM
ICOM
Noorda-COM
Kansas (new school)
Many of these schools have MCAT medians in the 498 to 502 range so you should receive some interviews. Apply in June and submit all your secondaries by July.
Thank you for the input! While my uGPA was great, idk how low my SMP GPA will be and that's what scares me. I'll evaluate by the end of this spring semester
 
You can post a reply with answers formatted to the template of the link that was provided by candbgirl.

I do not see a reason for retaking the MCAT a 4th time unless you have identified why you are struggling and are consistently scoring much higher on practice tests. A lower gpa (how low is it going to be?) in an SMP will effectively tell schools that it is not worth taking a risk on your application.
Gotcha, thanks. And yeah, I know why and it's bc I've been skimming the content and not thoroughly reviewing my right/wrong answers on practice problems. I will start studying from scratch one more time before I give it all up. As to a lower SMP GPA, I had a 3.65 GPA in the fall semester and was on the road to matriculating in its linked program, BUT this spring semester may be much lower and I might end up at a lower GPA (overall SMP GPA of 3.4 or 3.5 at best). How will that look despite a 3.8 uGPA?
 
Gotcha, thanks. And yeah, I know why and it's bc I've been skimming the content and not thoroughly reviewing my right/wrong answers on practice problems. I will start studying from scratch one more time before I give it all up. As to a lower SMP GPA, I had a 3.65 GPA in the fall semester and was on the road to matriculating in its linked program, BUT this spring semester may be much lower and I might end up at a lower GPA (overall SMP GPA of 3.4 or 3.5 at best). How will that look despite a 3.8 uGPA?
If you can take full length practice tests and score much higher on them, it may be worth a shot. However, it’s the 4th attempt and it would have made sense that you would have adapted your studying after the 1st or 2nd try.

A 3.65 fall gpa for the SMP is pretty good. An overall one of 3.5 still should work for DO schools, which are the only ones you should be applying to given your MCAT. However, you are saying it will be much lower, so a 3.0-3.2 spring GPA will likely be a major flag for admissions members reviewing your application.

Some of the DO schools listed by Faha were ARCOM, BCOM, LUCOM, and LMU. These schools all have problems with poor board scores and other issues so it would not be wise to apply there even if there is a chance of an acceptance. You would be burdened with a high amount of debt and no degree if you are not able to get the support to pass the board exams. Likewise, Noorda and ICOM are newer schools and would not be the best at helping a student who has trouble with standardized testing. Kansas COM is likely to have the same problem.
 
  • Love
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
I was afraid to hear this but if that's reality talking... I guess I have to stop chasing after this dream. It all started with bad MCAT scores. I did well in undergrad but really screwed up with the MCAT and now this SMP. I just dug a deeper hole for myself, didn't I? Basically, you are saying I shouldn't even bother giving the MCAT one last try this summer?
As I said, I'm not a fan of magic thinking. Why do you think you're going to do better on the MCAT when you have not been, with repeated tries?

On top of that a high MCAT does not remediate low gpas. In fact, it merely highlights the differences between the two
 
If you can take full length practice tests and score much higher on them, it may be worth a shot. However, it’s the 4th attempt and it would have made sense that you would have adapted your studying after the 1st or 2nd try.

A 3.65 fall gpa for the SMP is pretty good. An overall one of 3.5 still should work for DO schools, which are the only ones you should be applying to given your MCAT. However, you are saying it will be much lower, so a 3.0-3.2 spring GPA will likely be a major flag for admissions members reviewing your application.

Some of the DO schools listed by Faha were ARCOM, BCOM, LUCOM, and LMU. These schools all have problems with poor board scores and other issues so it would not be wise to apply there even if there is a chance of an acceptance. You would be burdened with a high amount of debt and no degree if you are not able to get the support to pass the board exams. Likewise, Noorda and ICOM are newer schools and would not be the best at helping a student who has trouble with standardized testing. Kansas COM is likely to have the same problem.
So yes, I did my calculations and with a 3.65 fall SMP and potentially a 3.2 spring SMP, that would result in an overall 3.4 SMP GPA and I'm being realistic and "hopeful" here. I know I am in a tough spot and I honestly wished I didn't do an SMP to begin with. Thank you for your honesty and headsup on what I should look into! Fingers crossed for one more shot before I consider Plan B, which isn't much easier either lol
 
As I said, I'm not a fan of magic thinking. Why do you think you're going to do better on the MCAT when you have not been, with repeated tries?

On top of that a high MCAT does not remediate low gpas. In fact, it merely highlights the differences between the two
Honestly, it's bc I realized my past mistakes and compared it to ppl who did well... I should've had a thorough content review phase and executed my mistakes in a spreadsheet. I wasn't putting my all into them and was hoping I try to give it one last shot with months of studying to take it either this Sept. or Jan. I won't even apply until next cycle, so if all else fails again, I'll stop there. And I hear an SMP GPA of 3.4-3.5 is decent for DO schools. Sure, it's a much lower downward trend than my 3.8 GPA in undergrad, but do they not consider that it's an SMP though?
 
Honestly, it's bc I realized my past mistakes and compared it to ppl who did well... I should've had a thorough content review phase and executed my mistakes in a spreadsheet. I wasn't putting my all into them and was hoping I try to give it one last shot with months of studying to take it either this Sept. or Jan. I won't even apply until next cycle, so if all else fails again, I'll stop there. And I hear an SMP GPA of 3.4-3.5 is decent for DO schools. Sure, it's a much lower downward trend than my 3.8 GPA in undergrad, but do they not consider that it's an SMP though?
In reading through the thread your downward trend might not be lethal, if you can finish with a 3.4-3.5. Does your SMP have linkage to a med school??? A broad application will be needed, but I'm still not anguine about doing better on the MCAT. But it appears that you may indeed have to try one more time.
 
In reading through the thread your downward trend might not be lethal, if you can finish with a 3.4-3.5. Does your SMP have linkage to a med school??? A broad application will be needed, but I'm still not anguine about doing better on the MCAT. But it appears that you may indeed have to try one more time.
That's a little relieving to hear, though yes, I know I am in a tough spot rn. My goal is to not go down too badly and aim for that 3.4-3.5 SMP GPA. And yes, this is the SMP for VCOM. I'm gonna have to reapply next cycle with a better MCAT. If I see that I am not improving in my FLs, that's when I will look for a plan B. I hope to come back to this thread with hopefully some good news. Thank you
 
  • Care
Reactions: 1 user
Top