Dec 2, 2013
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Pre-Medical
Hi guys, I'm in need of advice. So, I just finished the semester of my junior year. I'm a biology major and I'm just feeling defeated. I had a decent semester, a 3.47 gpa but I got a C in orgo I. :( My cGPA is a 3.3 and my sGPA is much lower, about a 2.8. (My BCPM is a 3.0 though because I started from math100) I'm starting volunteering at the children's hospital this January and I'm a part of 2 clubs at school and that's about it. I know, pathetic. I've accepted that I've pretty much blew my chances of getting into the class of 2015, but will try to apply my senior year. I don't think my chances will be that much better though. I'm considering doing an SMP at either Loyola MAMS (I'm at Loyola now), Rosalind Franklin, and Midwestern. What's an extra 50k if you get into med school? Haha, still a lot, but I'm just kind of stuck and disappointed in myself.

I can graduate cum laude with a 3.5, it's just a matter of actually doing it. I know I can, especially now since I finished all my core and only have to take 12 credits a semester, meaning more time to devote to science (ORGO!). I haven't taken the MCAT yet, but plan to this summer. Medicine is the only thing I picture myself doing. I know I won't get in right away, but I know I will get there eventually.
 
Apr 12, 2012
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SMP programs involve graduate level classes, which is separate from your undergraduate work. A post-bacc or second bachelor's degree programs consisting of undergraduate courses will allow you to improve your undergraduate GPA. I would choose the latter personally. In my opinion (and that is all it is), SMPs should be reserved for people who have already completed post-baccs or have already done as much GPA repair as possible (the higher the number of credit hours earned, the harder it is to raise the GPA) and are now trying to show medical schools that they can handle the work load.

Edited to add: As a special bonus, if you apply to osteopathic medical schools, the undergraduate courses could potentially replace the old bad grades. Retaking courses in which you received a very poor grade could make a huge difference when applying to D.O. schools.
 

Syncrohnize

PGY-1
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Dec 28, 2010
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Hi guys, I'm in need of advice. So, I just finished the semester of my junior year. I'm a biology major and I'm just feeling defeated. I had a decent semester, a 3.47 gpa but I got a C in orgo I. :( My cGPA is a 3.3 and my sGPA is much lower, about a 2.8. (My BCPM is a 3.0 though because I started from math100) I'm starting volunteering at the children's hospital this January and I'm a part of 2 clubs at school and that's about it. I know, pathetic. I've accepted that I've pretty much blew my chances of getting into the class of 2015, but will try to apply my senior year. I don't think my chances will be that much better though. I'm considering doing an SMP at either Loyola MAMS (I'm at Loyola now), Rosalind Franklin, and Midwestern. What's an extra 50k if you get into med school? Haha, still a lot, but I'm just kind of stuck and disappointed in myself.

I can graduate cum laude with a 3.5, it's just a matter of actually doing it. I know I can, especially now since I finished all my core and only have to take 12 credits a semester, meaning more time to devote to science (ORGO!). I haven't taken the MCAT yet, but plan to this summer. Medicine is the only thing I picture myself doing. I know I won't get in right away, but I know I will get there eventually.
You haven't specified what you need help with exactly so I'm just commenting on this general situation:

OK. You will very likely need an SMP because that sGPA will simply not cut it (BCPM=sGPA for all I'm concerned so let's keep that as a 3.0). It's good that you're starting to volunteer. It's never too late to start. To me though, it seems like you will need a lot of time to study for the MCAT. I highly recommend dedicating this entire summer to the MCAT. You can still volunteer but stuff like research jobs/etc...I'd avoid them. Also, consider the EVMS SMP. They supposedly accept 85% of their SMPers. (that's the best I've heard from an SMP). Also consider Georgetown and Cincinnati but you'll need a 30+ MCAT likely. I'd avoid the new ones though because we simply do not know much about them.


Keep in mind with the SMP though, it's a one-shot deal. You screw up, you're never getting into medical school because you've confirmed medical admission committees worst fears...search SMP fail and see what I mean. With that being said, while that "one year more" attitude is a bit wallet-stretching, I sincerely think it's the right attitude to have. What's the difference between 34 and 35 years of practice? It's better to keep yourself mentally healthy than be worrying about starting one year earlier.

By 2015, I assume you meant matriculating year? I'm sure you know this but just in case you didn't it'd be termed C/O 2019. In any case, I actually recommend you aim for that but don't be surprised if it takes another year past that. Maybe you'll need time to improve your MCAT or obtain more clinical/research/volunteer experience.

Are you satisfied with D.O? If you could get that GPA up with a great SMP GPA and hit a 28+ MCAT, the DO would be pretty attainable and stress-free. Also, if you want to limit things to DO, consider a post-bacc rather than an SMP as you can do grade replacement!

Best of luck! If you have a specific question, feel free to message me.
 

RogueUnicorn

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Jul 15, 2009
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If you do well on the MCAT (mid 30s), graduate with a 3.5/3.0 with good ECs I don't think an SMP is necessary. A postbac maybe, but not an SMP
 
OP
M
Dec 2, 2013
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Could you guys clarify what a postbac is? Is it a program or do I just take undergrad science classes after I complete my degree? Can it be at a different college? Of course this is stuff that I will need to talk to my adviser about, but I'd like to get a general idea.

Also, I currently do not want to go DO. Of course, that could change.
 
Apr 12, 2012
1,081
472
Earth
Status
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If you could get that GPA up with a great SMP GPA and hit a 28+ MCAT, the DO would be pretty attainable and stress-free.
SMP = Special Masters Program = Graduate Level Course Work = No Effect on Undergraduate AMCAS GPA (although it will be reported separately as a graduate level GPA).

A post-bacc will allow you to actually raise the undergraduate GPA. Most schools tend to emphasize undergraduate GPAs over graduate GPAs, but strong performance in an SMP can be useful in demonstrating that you can handle the work.
 
Last edited:
Apr 12, 2012
1,081
472
Earth
Status
Non-Student
Could you guys clarify what a postbac is? Is it a program or do I just take undergrad science classes after I complete my degree? Can it be at a different college? Of course this is stuff that I will need to talk to my adviser about, but I'd like to get a general idea.

Also, I currently do not want to go DO. Of course, that could change.
A formal post-bacc program exists to allow students who have either never taken basic pre-requisites to take them or it allows those who have done poorly to take upper level classes to boost their credentials. Many of these programs also add MCAT preparation and extracurricular activities that are structured around the program to further boost admission potential. You can effectively do an informal post-bacc by simply taking undergraduate science classes after completing your degree (and this can be cheaper depending on the institution). Both can be accomplished at a different college from the initial degree granting institution.