insaiyan-premed

2+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2018
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Hi, I'm currently accepted into several SMP/Biomedical science programs. My cGPA is a 3.24 AMCAS sGPA is a 3.2 and AACOMAS sPGA is a 3.17, I'm a super ORM, NJ resident.
200 Hours shadowing; 100 in the ER and 100 in Neurology Clinic
Scribing since January, on hold due to COVID
Pharmacy technician for 3 years
Clinical EC; 300 hours, Big Hospital
Clinical Research with leadership position; 500 hours, big hospital

I've been accepted to Rowan's post bacc, PCOM biomedical sciences, Chatham Biomed sciences, local Masters in Biology, and waiting on VCOM and Geisinger's MBS.

Rowan:
Pros: it's in Jersey, linkage with Cooper, small class
Cons: apartments expensive, no financial aid, upper-level undergrad courses, the linkage is iffy

PCOM:
Pros: Established DO school, offers conditional acceptance/guaranteed interview w a 3.2 and MCAT above 500
Cons: Talked to people and admissions told me approx 20-30% of students matriculate every year, however, looking around I've heard less

Chatham:
Pros: Smaller program, guaranteed interview w/ wvsom given you get to meet the admission reqs for wvsom
Cons: Far away (Pittsburgh, 6 hours from family), smaller less-known/new program, most expensive


VCOM:
Pros: Best linkage, meet the reqs and you are in (one of the DO campuses) w/o an interview as long as the MCAT/GPA reqs are met.
Cons: The farthest away, still waiting on a decision

I'm currently at a dilemma and wanted some advice. I haven't taken the MCAT as of yet, but planning to and wanted to know if staying local and doing a Masters in Biology would be a better option in terms of money. Due to the pandemic and all, family and I are being conservative. By the outlooks of these programs, it mostly depends on my MCAT. I'm aiming for a decent MCAT score hopefully top quartile (508+). I'm most likely going to stay at a local master's and study for the MCAT due to financial obligations. Seems like VCOM is the best option (the decision will come in this month).

I know at my current gpa I can't be a chooser and have to play the game as an ORM which is why DO schools are my main objective. Would staying at a local masters hurt my chances? What MCAT score would I need given that I do well in the masters? Thanks for the feedback.

EDIT:

Also threw in an App to Geisinger's SMP
Pros: online now due to COVID and reduced cost from 45k to 33k
Cons; linkage is iffy, they give preference to PA residents. online might be good due to covid, but they've always had an online curriculum (might raise a red flag for adcoms)


Added links to the website for curriculum info.
 

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Apr 18, 2019
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I seriously would not do a linkage program unless there's a direct acceptance (ie VCOM)

I'm actually a second year at VCOM-Carolinas. The linkage is quite high with post-bacc program thier med schools, maybe even higher now since they are adding a 4th campus. I recall when I started, it was still "certificate program" and was only like 17K - I think it's double now. I also think the requirements went up slightly as well. Get in while you can.

Apart from that, with a 504+ and decent EC's/letters with a broad app, you can get in somewhere DO without having to drop 30K on a program before even hitting med school.
 
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May 2, 2019
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VCOM is your best bet if you're looking at the masters program. The linkage is very high and they have a good amount of seats with their multiple locations.

Depending on your ECs, rising grade trends, PS, if you get 508+ you'll definitely get interviews and a masters might not even be necessary.
 
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dial1010usa

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Mar 13, 2013
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Agreed with above. I don't think you should go to SMP or linkage. If I were you I would stay home study hard for MCAT and at the same time take few upper division science classes or even at community college to bring your sGPA up. Do you have all B and above in science classes? If not I would retake some C or C- classes to raise GPA. At the same time do some volunteer work, shadow DO if you haven't done yet. Make your app strong for next year. Once you start SMP you will not have a time to study for MCAT. Take MCAT when you are 100% ready.
All the best.
 
Apr 18, 2019
831
525
Southeast
Status
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Agreed with above. I don't think you should go to SMP or linkage. If I were you I would stay home study hard for MCAT and at the same time take few upper division science classes or even at community college to bring your sGPA up. Do you have all B and above in science classes? If not I would retake some C or C- classes to raise GPA. At the same time do some volunteer work, shadow DO if you haven't done yet. Make your app strong for next year. Once you start SMP you will not have a time to study for MCAT. Take MCAT when you are 100% ready.
All the best.
Grade replacement doesn't come into play anymore
 

insaiyan-premed

2+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2018
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No
505+

Pick the program that is:
cheapest
one year in length
has the best linkage
is given at a host med school

How would an online program look? Geisinger has an online program.

Would a Masters in Biology at my local school be okay? Heavily leaning on this due to cost.
 

Goro

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How would an online program look? Geisinger has an online program.

Would a Masters in Biology at my local school be okay? Heavily leaning on this due to cost.
In the age of COVID only, online will be OK

Is the Bio MS a research MS? If yes, that rules out MD, but still OK for DO.
 
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insaiyan-premed

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Apr 3, 2018
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In the age of COVID only, online will be OK

Is the Bio MS a research MS? If yes, that rules out MD, but still OK for DO.

Yes, it's a research or library thesis. I would be limited to the number of courses with a research thesis but could take more with a library thesis.
 

insaiyan-premed

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What are the courses you'll be taking?
These are some of the options from the coursework
Biostatistics
Biochemistry
Immunology
Immunology Lab
Neuroendocrinology
Vertebrate Physiology
Cell Culture Techniques
Developmental Biology
Cancer Biology
Molecular Virology
Signal Transduction
Fundamentals of Toxicology

I've also added links for the other programs beforehand. I understand that due to the pandemic online courses would be ok. However, how would an adcom go about knowing that Geisinger had an online option before the virus and is now switching students over more? Would the program look weaker?
 

Goro

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Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
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95,789
Somewhere west of St. Louis
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  1. Non-Student
These are some of the options from the coursework
Biostatistics
Biochemistry
Immunology
Immunology Lab
Neuroendocrinology
Vertebrate Physiology
Cell Culture Techniques
Developmental Biology
Cancer Biology
Molecular Virology
Signal Transduction
Fundamentals of Toxicology

I've also added links for the other programs beforehand. I understand that due to the pandemic online courses would be ok. However, how would an adcom go about knowing that Geisinger had an online option before the virus and is now switching students over more? Would the program look weaker?
Do well in this program, and you will be good to go!
 
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Goro

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
63,644
95,789
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
  1. Non-Student
These are some of the options from the coursework
Biostatistics
Biochemistry
Immunology
Immunology Lab
Neuroendocrinology
Vertebrate Physiology
Cell Culture Techniques
Developmental Biology
Cancer Biology
Molecular Virology
Signal Transduction
Fundamentals of Toxicology

I've also added links for the other programs beforehand. I understand that due to the pandemic online courses would be ok. However, how would an adcom go about knowing that Geisinger had an online option before the virus and is now switching students over more? Would the program look weaker?
Frankly I have no way of knowing if a program is online or not. That's the purview of the admissions Dean
 

Damson

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Nov 18, 2017
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The focus is to get into medical school, not to conduct research. Take the VCOM program if you get in, score a 494 on the MCAT or above.
 
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insaiyan-premed

2+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2018
148
121
Tri-state
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Do well in this program, and you will be good to go!

Hi Goro, Recent update I threw in an app at the Rutgers SMP and was accepted. Cheapest option so far. This is a link to the classes offered in the fall. I've tried finding forums and students but couldn't get any recent info on it. Would you say these look good? I feel as though this is a good option but from older searches, it seems many students don't move onto med school. However, that is contingent on my performance and MCAT score.

 

Goro

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
63,644
95,789
Somewhere west of St. Louis
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  1. Non-Student
Hi Goro, Recent update I threw in an app at the Rutgers SMP and was accepted. Cheapest option so far. This is a link to the classes offered in the fall. I've tried finding forums and students but couldn't get any recent info on it. Would you say these look good? I feel as though this is a good option but from older searches, it seems many students don't move onto med school. However, that is contingent on my performance and MCAT score.

Avoid the methods/pure research-like courses, and it should be OK.
 
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Damson

2+ Year Member
Nov 18, 2017
640
654
On The Move
Status
  1. Medical Student
Hi Goro, Recent update I threw in an app at the Rutgers SMP and was accepted. Cheapest option so far. This is a link to the classes offered in the fall. I've tried finding forums and students but couldn't get any recent info on it. Would you say these look good? I feel as though this is a good option but from older searches, it seems many students don't move onto med school. However, that is contingent on my performance and MCAT score.


Take a look at this - WVSOM Bridge Program | West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

Ask if they still have space in the program. You can be admitted without an MCAT score. Once in the program, in order to bridge into WVSOM, you'll need a 498 on the MCAT. If under 498, you will only receive the masters degree.
 
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insaiyan-premed

2+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2018
148
121
Tri-state
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
Take a look at this - WVSOM Bridge Program | West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

Ask if they still have space in the program. You can be admitted without an MCAT score. Once in the program, in order to bridge into WVSOM, you'll need a 498 on the MCAT. If under 498, you will only receive the masters degree.

Thank you for your insight. I haven't taken the MCAT yet. I personally feel I wouldn't be happy applying to medical schools w/o an MCAT above the 70th percentile which I believe I'm capable of. Also, the deadline is today and I would need the 498 MCAT as of today.
 

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