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SMP-New York

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by dk33, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. dk33

    2+ Year Member

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    Hi, does anyone know if there are any SMP's in the New York area? Basically, this is me in short :http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?myid=16390
    and if I had to pinpoint the weakest point on my app, it would be my science GPA. I really really would dread doing some sort of masters in something non-"clinical" such as genetics; If I were interestd in basic science studies on a graduate level, I would have taken my GREs and would be trying for PhD school. I am interested in becoming a clinican, and would be absolutley miserable spending 2 years doing studying basic science for the sake of basic science....but I have come to the conclusion that If I dont get in this cycle, something has gotta give, and I would be willng to go back to school, but I dont want to do something that I will be miserable doing, esp if I will be spending that much $....any advice? Relocating isnt an option, aside from the fact that it would be difficult to live far from family being that we have a kid and our parents/siblings help with childcare, my husband works in NY and finding a new job in his field (finance) somewhere outside Ny would be uh, virtually imposible right now, and we are kinda living off his salary....
    Thanks in adv...
     
  2. dk33

    2+ Year Member

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    bump-no one has any idea??
     
  3. beachblonde

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    With a 3.6 BCPM, I would not go the SMP route. They are designed for student with relatively high MCAT scores but lower GPAs to prove that they are not lazy and can do good work at the medical school level.

    Save the $30,000 an SMP costs and hire an MCAT tutor. If you're going to get into any NY school, you have got get that up.

    I know I've responded to your posts before, and I'll reiterate it: because you're not willing to 1) apply outside of your immediate area, and 2) apply DO, you have pigeonholed yourself. While the app season isn't over yet, your chances are fairly slim (hopefully NYMC works out for you). If you are truly dead-set on a NYC MD education, you need to get a much higher MCAT score. 33+ if at all possible. There are just entirely too many people who want to attended medical school in that part of the country, and you are competing with each and every one of them.

    Good luck with your interview!
     
  4. bluesmd

    2+ Year Member

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    i agree with beachblonde. you definitely need a higher MCAT. you sGPA is not the thing that is hurting you the most. it's the MCAT, you want at the very least a 30. check out my mdapps. my gpa is not the greatest, i am asian so over-represented. i have solid ECs but haven't done some crazy good stuff like people on SDN have done. but my MCAT is decent. that is your weakness. i hope you hear what we say, retake the MCAT, cheaper and easier as well. good luck
     
  5. SageFrancis

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    As someone who's done an SMP, I have to agree tell you not to do one. Just spend the time and a fraction of the money studying like hell for the MCAT and get 30+.

    Or apply to more schools, but it seems that you're set on staying in the NY area.
     
  6. dk33

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    so is my premed advisor just totally wrong and clueless? she keeps telling me that since on my two mcat's combined I achieved a 30 (highest in all 3 = 11/10/9), and since Im not the greatest test-taker so my chances of improving substantially are not that great, its not worth the risk of re-taking and doing even worse (and for all of you who are suggesting an MCAT tutor - uh been there done that - around $5,000 ago....40 hours of 1 on one tutoring to improve my score by 3 points), I shouldnt bother....

    But what I should WORRY about is my really low gpa (gosh...even with all the supercometitive ppl on SDN, I never knew a 3.6 GPA was "really low." sure 3.4 science GPA isnt stellar, but its all solid A's and B's ), and that I should consider going and getting a masters in genetics, biochem, etc- subjects which I really hate, and I would be miserable studying genetics for 2 years. If I wanted to study genetics, I would get a PhD in it, you know?

    Are all pre-med advisors like that? is she just very off-base? She keeps admonishing me about my GPA and told me the reason I only have 1 interview is because my science GPA is "too low for US MD schools" and my overall GPA is "borderline for medical school." A 3.6??

    So basically I am terrified to retake my MCAT for the third time - did really crappy the first time (after taking a kaplan class which I personally thought was a waste of time...spending about 30 hours/wk studying, plus taking off 3 full weeks from work before the test to devote even more time to studying and on the days right before, relaxing and preparing mentally), hired Princeton review tutors the second time around, and took the princeton course, really followed their methods, tried to relax alot bfore the test, even went to a test site and took a practice test there- got a 36 on that....), improved the second time, but statistically speaking, my chances of improving the 3rd x around are not that great, and I am not the best test-taker, so I am extremely scared of retaking - if I do worse I then basically ruin any chance I ever had....
     
  7. beachblonde

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    Ok, your adviser is perhaps approaching this with the viewpoint of NYC medical schools. A 3.6 BCPM normally would be fine for a state school where you're a resident (except maybe CA), but having a 3.4 overall is going to get you screened out of a lot of places, especially those in New York.

    Getting a master's (or an SMP) is a bad idea in your case because you're not going to do well if you hate it. I promise you that. If you're miserable, your grades will indeed reflect this. Getting poor grades in a graduate program will ruin your chances much more than a low MCAT score.

    I have a few friends who went the SMP route who had undergrad GPAs similar to yours, and MCAT situations that were similar. Independent of their performance in the program, they still got told that their MCAT was too low to be considered for admission. Half re-took the MCAT, the other half said "screw you" to the MD schools and went the DO route. FWIW, the ones who headed off to a DO school are all very happy right now. I can't speak for the re-takers because they're still applying, but the ones who really rocked the MCAT with >34 have had interviews or acceptances. The problem with SMPs is that they often don't guarantee anything to their students, and even if the student performs well they may not get in anywhere. That happened to one friend of mine, and it was heartbreaking because this person had a 97th percentile MCAT score and > 3.7 grad GPA.

    So, from where you stand, you can take more undergrad courses to help your GPA (depending on your credit hours, it could take a lot to make it budge), you can get over your fear of the MCAT and do better, you can send in aacomas and see if you get in anywhere, or you can reapply next year with the same stats but to a wider geographical area. Something's gotta give. I realize that your life situation is different than mine (I'm single and can move anywhere I want), but if you really want to go to medical school, you need to sit down and really think about what you're willing to trade for it.
     
  8. student1799

    student1799 "Señora” to you, hombre
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    An SMP would be a VERY bad idea for you, because it probably wouldn't do much for your app, and could even hurt you. In the SMPs that actually get students into med school (like Gtown), you're taking first-year med classes as a "dry run," to prove you can handle the work--but you're being graded against the other SMP students, not the M1s. While many med schools have worked hard to make the preclinical years less competitive, SMPs are the exact opposite: brutally competitive. To be considered competitive at an SMP, you MUST rank in the top half of the class, and the higher the better. If you do even 3.5-ish, that's considered mediocre and will cause most med schools to pass you over. Worse still, if you do poorly in an SMP, that will pretty much end your chances of getting into ANY med school, even DO or Caribbean. Because of this, most students who do SMPs have the opposite problem to yours: their GPAs are very low, but their MCAT scores are good. They are doing the SMP because it's their only hope of getting into med school, so the risk is worth it to them.

    In your case, a 3.6 BCPM and a higher MCAT score would give you a shot at plenty of schools. So stay away from SMPs and work on your MCAT score any way you can, because that's the main barrier to getting into school in NYC. And regardless of your score, you would be WELL advised to apply broadly (i.e. outside NYC), because it's too competitive there to put all your eggs in one basket.

    I know whereof I speak. I'm a lifelong NYC resident, and have a 3.6 BCPM from a well-known postbacc program, very strong ECs (over 500 hours clinical experience) and strong LORs. But I ran into a buzz saw on the MCAT: even though I'd gotten 35's and 36's on all my practice tests, with 10's and 11's in PS, both times I took the real test I ran out of time on PS and got 7's, giving me a 30S and 31S respectively. I'd originally applied only in NYC, NJ and Philly, but when I saw that MCAT score I realized I had to add a lot more schools outside NY to have a prayer of getting in anywhere. This was hard to do, because I might have to leave my husband and kids behind to attend med school in a strange place, but going out of town is a lot better than not going at all.

    I added 12 more schools to my app on 10/10, and so far I've gotten 2 interview invites--both from schools I added in October (SUNY Upstate and UVM). But I've gotten NO love from NYC so far, and even got rejected from SUNY Downstate without an interview a couple of days ago. That certainly made me mad (Downstate accepts plenty of people with LOWER total scores than I got, but they clearly didn't like that 7), but it didn't really come as a surprise.

    So work on the MCAT and don't limit yourself to the NYC schools. Otherwise you run a significant chance of ending up empty-handed.
     
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  9. Krailtappin

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    What SMP programs are there in NY?
     
  10. CrimsonKing

    CrimsonKing Living the dream
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    Exactly this. If you don't get into school this go-around, you need to take a good look at yourself and decide if medicine is right for you. If so, then you need to apply outside of your immediate area AND apply to DO schools if you want a legitimate chance of getting accepted with your stats.

    An SMP will NOT help someone in your situation.
     
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