same21

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Im thinking of applying to SMP programs for 2011, however im very nervous because I dont want to spend a ton of money for nothing. My first few science classes in undergrad I messed up because I was immature. However, now I am studying a lot and still having trouble pulling off As and A-s. To all of you who go to SMPs for a low gpa are you guys worried that if you couldnt hack it in undergrad that means you wont hack it in an SMP?
 

jslo85

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Well to be honest, the primary emotion that I'm feeling is impatience.

I'm going to be attending an SMP style graduate program this fall and I have a sub 3.0 GPA with an average MCAT (should have studied more ><). I realize I have said "should" a lot to myself in the past, I'm actively trying to change that to "do".

I've had a bit of time to reflect after graduating from college and there really hasn't been a day that I have regretted how big of a hole I had dug myself and how immature I had been. Right after I returned, I started doing an informal post-bacc at a local university and was very self conscious of how others would see me, someone who did well in high school and went OOS to California to attend a UC and coming back home since I couldn't make medical school. But it was this stupid sense of pride that made correcting my bad habits a tedious task.

In my humble opinion, it's really a question of how bad you want to attend medical school. To me, plowing through more upper division science courses at my local university is not getting me anywhere. I have way too many units. The only practical choice left is to attend an SMP and that's where I will be in the upcoming months. Am I nervous? Somewhat. But I would rather seize this opportunity than spend another year at home, taking classes and scribing/taking differential diagnosis for my mentors while wondering to myself if anyone would ever feel that I deserved a second chance and toss me a lifeline to medical school. You are your first patient and I've done enough self exploring/self pity for a lifetime. So when you realize that there is nothing else that you would rather be/do than become a physician, then you'll realize what a wonderful opportunity an SMP is and have no inhibitions.

My 2 cents.
 

drizzt3117

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Im thinking of applying to SMP programs for 2011, however im very nervous because I dont want to spend a ton of money for nothing. My first few science classes in undergrad I messed up because I was immature. However, now I am studying a lot and still having trouble pulling off As and A-s. To all of you who go to SMPs for a low gpa are you guys worried that if you couldnt hack it in undergrad that means you wont hack it in an SMP?
To be totally honest, if you can't make it in a smp, you won't make it in med school. While the expectations are a little higher, the workload is generally less, so yeah.
 

DrMidlife

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Workload is generally less? How so?
Workload is generally less in an SMP than in med school. It's maybe 1/2 to 2/3 as heavy. At EVMS, for example, the med masters students are in class with the M1s except for interactions with the living and the mostly-still-intact dead (clinicals & anatomy). We have to do a library thesis, but we get all year to do it. Med masters get a whole lot of afternoons off, and a fair number of full days off, while the M1s are still in lecture or lab, all dressed up in their ironed chinos and shirts with collars.

same21, one thing to consider here, if working really hard doesn't get you the test scores you want, is that your happiness is actually relevant. Does studying and taking exams suck the life out of you? Might be worth looking into careers that don't involve constant studying and day-long exams. These are never as intense as during the first two years of med school, but they never really stop as long as you practice.

Best of luck to you.
 

combatwombat

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Workload is generally less in an SMP than in med school. It's maybe 1/2 to 2/3 as heavy.
True but SMP students get letter grades while medical students just need to pass (at least at Tufts, I don't know about EVMS). IMO this makes a serious difference in stress levels.
 

drizzt3117

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True but SMP students get letter grades while medical students just need to pass (at least at Tufts, I don't know about EVMS). IMO this makes a serious difference in stress levels.
There are a lot of med schools where they have grades too, and the workload in m2/3 is much heavier than first year much less the abbreviated smp workload.
 

RogueUnicorn

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True but SMP students get letter grades while medical students just need to pass (at least at Tufts, I don't know about EVMS). IMO this makes a serious difference in stress levels.
word. no offense, but pretty much anyone can pass these classes with minimal studying
 

mic2377

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At UC the course load is around 3/4 of the MS1's, time wise. We are (-) gross anatomy, (+) a research thesis, but all the core classes are the same. I am doing a lab thesis so I spend as much or more time in lab than med students spend in gross. Gross anatomy is not as difficult but is very time consuming.

Also, there is a real risk that if you can't hack it in undergrad, you may not be able to hack it in your SMP. More people fail out from these things than you would anticipate, and you messed up your dream forever.

Really, though, MS students need to make at least a 3.5 GPA to be considered "successful." Most accepted former MS students I have talked to have had 3.7+ GPA's at places like Georgetown or UC, and it is not easy to get these grades, on top of the stress of applying.

In short, do evaluate before you jump in.
 

DrMidlife

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At UC the course load is around 3/4 of the MS1's, time wise. We are (-) gross anatomy, (+) a research thesis, but all the core classes are the same.
Don't the M1's at Cincinnati have clinical exposure classes? At EVMS these take up a couple afternoons a week.

Briefly looking at the Cincinnati SMP curriculum, I think it's fair to say that the quantity of coursework is as much or more than the EVMS curriculum, and while more of the EVMS classes are with M1's, qualitatively the rigor is about the same, with Cincinnati SMPers having lab research opportunities that EVMS med masters do not. And both will kick the unprepared student's fanny quite well. Fair assessment?