10+ Year Member
- Oct 14, 2011
- Reaction score
I'll need to get other experts to comment on your shadowing vs. clinical experiences. I'm not sure exactly what is involved with shadowing for the boards and how that differs with respect to traditional expectations with shadowing.Thanks for taking the time to open and read!
I'm hoping I can get a little help here on deciding if a DIY post-bacc or SMP is in my best interest and any other application advice you guys and gals may have
I applied in the 2019-2020 cycle for MD only with no interview invites.
- Graduated in 2017
- 3.48 cGPA, 3.37 sGPA
- 507 MCAT (Chem/Phys: 131 CARS: 124 Bio/Biochem: 126 Psych/Soc: 126)
- 0 research experience (other than a semester-long research project for a class).
- ~150 hrs of volunteering in patient transport and as Heme/Onc waiting room coordinator at Rush University Medical Center over one year.
*Starting with a hospice service soon in western Michigan.
- 10 hrs of shadowing in Rush University Medical Center Radiosurgery for cardiothoracic and neurosurgical tumor boards
- 24 hrs shadowing Primary Care and Hematology/Oncology.
- 3,569 hours of clinical experience as a nurse technician (similar to CNA or PCT) over 1.5 years on nights. Hours were accumulated as follows:
*1,729 hrs in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
*1,840 hrs in Emergency and Level 1 Trauma Center
- Match Coordinator of College Rugby Club
- LORs from supervisors at PM&R and ED/Trauma jobs, primary care physician I shadowed, and volunteer coordinator at RUMC.
- Hobbies: woodworking, camping/hiking/fishing/hunting, learning Spanish as a second language,
I realize applying at the time I did and for just MD rather than MD & DO was not the best idea as I have wasted an MD application cycle and limited my odds of matriculation. I also realize that some of my stats need improvement. I plan on retaking my MCAT, volunteering more with hospice services, and gaining more shadow experience in a broader range of clinical settings.
What I can't decide on is if I should do a DIY post-bacc to improve my GPA before applying again or just dive into an SMP. From what I have read SMPs are kind of high-risk high reward if you do well enough on your MCAT and maintain a strong GPA, but even if you have a guaranteed interview you aren't guaranteed admission. However, linkages to medical schools from such programs are also important.
Would it be better to do a DIY post-bacc then an SMP? If I were to go the route of a DIY post-bacc, would it matter in the eyes of MD or DO schools if I took classes at a community college or a four-year university? How should I structure my class selection for a DIY post-bacc? Is there another route I haven't thought of that I should pursue in order to make it into medical school?
* Addressing some factors of my stats: Did not apply for nearly 2 years after graduation because I worked multiple retail jobs to help my parents keep their house and regain their financial stability. I also do not have an academic letter of recommendation because the professor that was going to write mine (who was also the premed advisor and head of the premed committee) died over the winter break of my junior year, and I was not close to any other professors. So this would be another plus for doing a post-bacc right?
I refuse to quit on getting into med school so any and all advice would be heavily appreciated!
Your GPA suggests that a DIY postbac would be okay. Your MCAT scores suggest you would be a good candidate for DO programs. I don't know what classes you intend to take, but take them at a four-year institution if you can. Build rapport with faculty to get a good set of letters for a future application. You probably should wait until next cycle to apply, especially if you wind up not having enough shadowing hours. You should reach out to your former institution to see if you could still get a review from their new prehealth advisor or whoever is so designated.