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Medical Should I pursue an SMP or Formal Postbacc?

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Mr.Smile12

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    Hello! So I'm currently trying to improve myself so I can apply to med school at within the next two years. However, I can't decide between formal postbaccs and SMPs. On one hand I have people telling me to go the SMP route because it'll prove I can handle the rigor of medical school, but it's high risk/high reward and expensive. Good linkages too. On the other hand I have people telling me it's crazy to pursue an SMP and instead I need to focus on improving my undergraduate GPA first with a formal post bacc. I think I'm leaning more towards the post-bacc too, because it's cheaper and seems like it fulfills the same purpose as an SMP with more handholding (like MCAT prep and academic counseling). Yet, the linkages didn't seem to be as good, or they weren't mentioned as existing. I'm kind of confused though, and I don't want to mess up by misunderstanding anything!

    My Stats
    About me: African-American female, senior in undergrad, CA resident
    cGPA: 3.234 (messed up sophomore year)
    BCPM GPA: 2.96 (messed up sophomore year, I'm in the process of retaking my C-s so it should go up further)
    MCAT: 503 (124/125/126/128)
    Research (my strongest category): 0 hours in new lab, 640 hours in a microbiology lab, got my own project and won two awards a year back
    Clinical volunteering: 0 hours (I've applied to 6+ clinics, health programs, etc, but have been denied for all of them so far, I'm still actively applying)
    Shadowing: 0 hours
    Non-Clinical volunteering: 60 hours at an animal shelter
    I'm also currently president of a pre-med club!

    Current Formal PostBacc School List (I don't currently have any SMPs added)
    CDU
    UC Consortium
    UCSD
    Georgetown GEMS
    John. A. Burns
    NYU Sackler Institute

    Thank you!
    But your zero hours of shadowing and clinical experience will keep you out. You won't have much time to get those hours in a postbac or master's program. Find mentors first, then think about your academic record (I lean SMP for what my opinion is worth).

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    Mr.Smile12

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    Keep me out of postbaccs/SMPs or medical school (because if you're talking medical school I understand that and I know it's very bad of me!)? Why are you leaning SMP?
    Zero hours for a medical school application. Your sub-3 BCPM GPA is good reason to strongly consider a rigorous SMP. But you have to get your hours in before you start any postbac or graduate courses. Also when will you take your MCAT? You may want to take it and go for higher than 517.

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    Goro

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    Wait, how often does this happen? Im randomly freaked out.
    Zero hours for a medical school application. Your sub-3 BCPM GPA is good reason to strongly consider a rigorous SMP. But you have to get your hours in before you start any postbac or graduate courses. Also when will you take your MCAT? You may want to take it and go for higher than 517.

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    I'll make a rare disagreement with my learned colleague, a URM candidate does not need a 517 as part of academic redemption.

    OP, a formal post-bac program is more for career changers. In your case, I recommend the DIY route of retaking all science courses with grades below C. and also getting in your ECs. You need to know know if being around sick people is what you want to do for the next 40 years.

    Read this: Goro's advice for pre-meds who need reinvention

    I lean to the SMP route as it's high reward, even if higher risk.

    Do NOT take the MCAT during your post-bac or SMP...do this either before or after.
     

    Mr.Smile12

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    I'll make a rare disagreement with my learned colleague, a URM candidate does not need a 517 as part of academic redemption.

    OP, a formal post-bac program is more for career changers. In your case, I recommend the DIY route of retaking all science courses with grades below C. and also getting in your ECs. You need to know know if being around sick people is what you want to do for the next 40 years.

    Read this: Goro's advice for pre-meds who need reinvention

    I lean to the SMP route as it's high reward, even if higher risk.

    Do NOT take the MCAT during your post-bac or SMP...do this either before or after.

    I must've missed the URM reference (which I often do reading quickly), but I did focus on the hours, which I think are a higher priority than the MCAT retake. Always work with your network, especially other URM's who successfully matriculated to medical school. Otherwise, we both generally agree if you retake the MCAT do it before you go for your postbac/SMP; similarly get your hours in before your postbac/SMP.
     
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