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Jan 13, 2021
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After receiving an R(UNC) and a WL(USF) from the two schools I interviewed with, as well as pre-II rejections from all the other mid-tier schools(18)I applied to, I’m beginning to look at weak points in my application. I am worried about the trend of my GPA in the eyes of adcoms. As a chemistry major, I had a 4.0 GPA my first three years in college. However, during my fourth year, I had some personal circumstances that I went through and really bombed my first semester ( an F, D, two C’s). My second semester I was able to pick myself up and do better( all A’s and a couple B’s). After graduating, I took an extra full time post back semester(science and math courses) and made all A’s. This brought my cGPA to 3.65 and my sGPA to 3.69. I also retook the MCAT after graduating, improving from my original score of 499 to 518. My concern is that adcoms will look at my gpa trend and think that I am not capable of handling med school courses, given my performance my senior year. I want to prove to them that this isn’t the case, which is why I took an extra semester, and retook the MCAT. However, after not receiving invites from almost all the schools I applied to and getting a WL and R from my only two interviews, I can’t help but think that I still need to show that I’m not the same student from senior year. This is why I am thinking of doing an SMP.
In terms of my clinical experience, I had about 60 hours total of clinical experience on my AMCAS application from volunteering with various clinics. (*This may have been another weak point at the time of my application). I also had 50 shadowing hours upon applying. After submitting it, I started work full time as a CNA at a hospital and am still working there. I also have about a year’s worth of volunteer clinical experience with a local medical clinic for low income individuals, as well as non-clinical volunteering with the local food bank. My total clinical hours would be around 2100 if I reapplies this July, and my non clinical hours would be around 350. I think from working full time and continuing my volunteering, I have addressed my low number of clinical and non-clinical hours as a weak point in my application.

So to reiterate the question of the first paragraph, would it be wise of me to do an SMP to address the GPA trend weak point in my application? I am willing to put in the hard work, effort, and money if this helps me become a more competitive applicant in the future.

Any advice is appreciated!
 
May 27, 2020
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I dont think you need to do an SMP since your full time post bac already shows that you've been able to recover. Maybe taking a few more post bac courses would be helpful to solidifying the impression that you've recovered but an SMP seems like overkill for the money. How many credits was your post bac?
 
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I dont think you need to do an SMP since your full time post bac already shows that you've been able to recover. Maybe taking a few more post bac courses would be helpful to solidifying the impression that you've recovered but an SMP seems like overkill for the money. How many credits was your post bac?
It was 13 hours. I also did lab research while taking these classes with one of my old chem professors.
 
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With a 3.69, I wouldn't do an SMP. Having low clinical hours definitely hurt the first time around, which you've addressed. At this point, I'd consider adding some research to your app to balance it out.
 
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I didn’t mention it initially, but I have roughly 300 hours of research over a few semesters of undergrad. No publications though.
 
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Goro

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I dont think you need to do an SMP since your full time post bac already shows that you've been able to recover. Maybe taking a few more post bac courses would be helpful to solidifying the impression that you've recovered but an SMP seems like overkill for the money. How many credits was your post bac?
I agree.

OP, have DO schools on your list because Beggars can't be choosy.

Also have a very careful Target list for MD. Do not assume that just because you have a 518 MCAT that MD schools will automatically fall down for you. A high MCAT does not remediate a lesser GPA where the red flag of your senior year.

Your post bac will do that, but I don't think 13 hours it's enough to give Credence to the idea that you have successfully reinvented yourself. I suggest one more semester. Also if you can get a letter of recommendation writer to bounce for the bed events that sank your GPA and that they really were a fluke, that will help. On the downside of that semester, people will wonder why did you did not just take a leave of absence?

See if your school will allow you to take retroactive withdrawals for the bad classes. Yes this is a thing at some schools. The worst that your school will do is say no.

Also keep in mind that there are plenty of top MD schools that will not give you a Second Glance because they have enough applicants who did not need to reinvent themselves like you did.

Also work on interview skills!
 
Jan 13, 2021
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I agree.

OP, have DO schools on your list because Beggars can't be choosy.

Also have a very careful Target list for MD. Do not assume that just because you have a 518 MCAT that MD schools will automatically fall down for you. A high MCAT does not remediate a lesser GPA where the red flag of your senior year.

Your post bac will do that, but I don't think 13 hours it's enough to give Credence to the idea that you have successfully reinvented yourself. I suggest one more semester. Also if you can get a letter of recommendation writer to bounce for the bed events that sank your GPA and that they really were a fluke, that will help. On the downside of that semester, people will wonder why did you did not just take a leave of absence?

See if your school will allow you to take retroactive withdrawals for the bad classes. Yes this is a thing at some schools. The worst that your school will do is say no.

Also keep in mind that there are plenty of top MD schools that will not give you a Second Glance because they have enough applicants who did not need to reinvent themselves like you did.

Also work on interview skills!
I mentioned the bad semester to my school’s professional committee during my interview before they wrote my committee letter, so I’m hoping they mentioned in the letter that this semester was a fluke.
Would you recommend taking full time semesters or would part time(11hours) be fine? I was hoping to take full time upper level biology courses at UNC as a non-degree post bac, but they would only allow me to do this part time. Alternatively, I could take a full time course load at another state school in NC, but is not as prestigious as UNC. I’m planning on continuing to work part time at the hospital while I go back to school, as well as continue my ECs and shadowing.
I’ll definitely make sure to pick schools this time around that are more realistic in terms of my GPA history.
I appreciate the advice
 

Goro

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Would it look better to a medical school to take full time upper level undergrad science courses, or do a masters program in bio or chem? Which would be a better choice in my situation?

thanks!
A research MS is discounted by MS schools due to the grade inflation and the inability to assess the rigor of course like Senibars in Neuroscience, Research Methods, and Journal Club.

Taking upper lever science courses that mimic med school and doing well in them is what we look for
 
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A research MS is discounted by MS schools due to the grade inflation and the inability to assess the rigor of course like Senibars in Neuroscience, Research Methods, and Journal Club.

Taking upper lever science courses that mimic med school and doing well in them is what we look for
A research MS is discounted by MS schools due to the grade inflation and the inability to assess the rigor of course like Senibars in Neuroscience, Research Methods, and Journal Club.

Taking upper lever science courses that mimic med school and doing well in them is what we look for
Sounds good, thanks again for the advice
 
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The average accepted MD GPA is like 3.7, for DO its 3.5, you are going to get diminished returns on an SMP. Unless you can somehow get a 3.8+, which will surely be hard, I don't think its of much benefit if you have a 3.65 or whatever.

Apply DO, work on interviews, add some other assets to your application like volunteering hours (also weak). You need to remember some MD programs may be average your MCAT. The 495 is not totally forgotten.
 
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Out of curiosity, would a school reject me after an interview even if the interview went well in their perspective? If so, what would be the justification for interviewing someone if they already did not like something on their application. Just wondering if this happens to some applicants. I did a good amount of interview prep with my school career center and physicians. I’m not saying I did excellent in my interviews, and I’ll definitely keep practicing for the future!
 

Goro

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Out of curiosity, would a school reject me after an interview even if the interview went well in their perspective?
No.

If so, what would be the justification for interviewing someone if they already did not like something on their application. Just wondering if this happens to some applicants. I did a good amount of interview prep with my school career center and physicians. I’m not saying I did excellent in my interviews, and I’ll definitely keep practicing for the future!
People, in general, are poor judges of their own interview performance.

Interviewers are also trained to be polite.
 
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