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Medical Should I do an SMP after masters?

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TheBoneDoctah

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My ugrad GPA is 2.85 and my master’s GPA is 3.74. I took 2 medical school classes during my master’s and did well in them. My MCAT is 517. I applied to over 60 schools and I have only received rejections so far. I applied to all of the schools on Goro's reinvention post, and I added some more schools, mainly state schools that accept a lot of OOS applicants and a couple of schools that have robust asylum health opportunities. Also, I applied to 5 DO schools; I probably should've added more DO schools. One wave of about 30 secondaries was complete in late August and the second wave was complete in mid-September.

I've been working with refugees and asylum seekers for 4 years. My main clinical experience was as a refugee patient navigator (350 hours), where I connected refugees and asylum seekers to services within the hospital and other case management services. I think my weakness in my application outside of my GPA is that I don't have a traditional clinical experience, but I learned a lot about how immigration status interplays with social determinants of health.

I did a master's thesis, and my PI mentioned in her LOR that we are in the process of turning my thesis into a paper where I will be the first author.

I was a nationally ranked debater in ugrad and I was a leader for 3 years in a religious/cultural organization.

Right now, I'm working as a Staff Research Associate at a different lab. I'm also volunteering as a caseworker to help refugees and asylum seekers get connected to healthcare services.

I don't have any IIs. Clearly, something is very wrong with my application if I cast such a large net and I haven't had any luck. I think it's time to start planning to reapply, but I don't know if I'm ready to apply next cycle. Ideally, I would just apply next cycle, but my GPA hasn't improved between the two cycles, and that seems to be my biggest problem.

Should I do a formal SMP? Is it ok if it's a 1 year SMP, or do I need 2 more years of grades? Is enrolling in a 1 year SMP sufficient to prove my academic capabilities to apply for the 2021-2022 cycle? Or, should I wait until the 2022-2023 cycle so I have SMP grades when I submit my primary? Another option is to take 1 or 2 classes online next semester and apply next cycle, would that be sufficient? Or, should I just work as a clinical research coordinator or scribe and apply again in 2021-2022?
Your issue is your GPA and clinical volunteering. Your masters isn't counted the same as the uGPA. You most likely need an SMP/post-bac with a very strong showing in the classes you take. Do you have any clinical volunteering?
 

Goro

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You made the mistake of thinking that your MS would be treated the same as an SMP for MD. I specifically discuss how this is not the case in my guide. You should have indeed applied to more DO schools.

So yes, if you're gunning for the MD, you need an SMP. Go for one that is:
1) given at a host medical school
2) is 1 year in length
3) has the cheapest tuition
4) has the best linkage

And get in actual clinical experience, Your being a guide to refugees was nonclinical. Admirable, but nonclinical. You need to show that you really do want to be around sick people for the next 30-40 years and that you know what you're getting into. In fact, I recommend doing this BEFORE the SMP.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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How do you know you want to become a doctor if you haven't done any real clinical work? Not trying to be mean or anything...this is an honest question. Medical school is a HUGE commitment physically and financially and is a lot different once you are in it. It would really be a bummer to think you want to go to medical school and then hate it once you are in.
 

Goro

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Thank you for the guide to my next cycle. If I enroll in an SMP, would I be ready for 2021-2022? I plan on renewing my EMT certification and doing that part-time.
You can't apply when you're in an SMP. You have to have all your grades ready to show that you can handle med school. Hence, you will need to wait for the 2022-23 cycle
 

TheBoneDoctah

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Both of my parents are doctors and I've also had a lot of injuries as a kid. I broke 4 bones and dislocated 2 joints, including shattering my femur in a car accident. It took 2 surgeries and a year of recovery, but my leg is almost 100% normal. I think it's crazy how medicine was able to bring my life back to normal after such a serious injury. Also, recently my dad has had a serious case of COVID-19 and has been in the ICU for over 2 months. I learned a lot from interacting with the ICU doctors and learning about the minutia with managing his care.

I have 50 hours of shadowing the stroke team at a major academic institution. I included this in my application. Many of the patients at the refugee clinic were seeing our psychiatrist, and I frequently talked with her about the challenges of caring for refugees within our healthcare system. I mentioned this in my personal statement. I had 2 EMT shifts totaling 24 hours. I learned a lot about the challenges of healthcare accessibility in rural North Carolina, in particular the opioid crisis in rural America. I didn't mention this in my applications because I didn't end up continuing it due to the time commitment of my MS program. I am getting recertified and applying for a part-time position.
Okay, sounds good. I just wanted to make sure you weren't jumping into something you hadn't thoroughly thought about. We had multiple people drop out of our first-year medical school class purely because it wasn't what they thought it was gonna be.
 
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