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SMP Student Needs Advice

xvndr

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Feb 17, 2017
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Hello all!

I'm a current SMP student at a well-known DO school about to finish up my first year. For our second year, we have the option of choosing different concentrations (general studies, thesis, and some others), and I chose to do a thesis related to diabetic vasculature.

Up until right before COVID kicked us out of schools, I was dead set and very excited to do this research because I'm very passionate about studying diabetes. Now, with schools being out, I was told by my thesis mentor that there is a chance that I may not get into the lab at all during my second year, we just don't know because, well, everything with COVID is very much up in the air right now. So this worried me a bit because I partially wanted to use my thesis to show DO schools "hey look, I did well my first year in difficult science classes and I can think critically by doing research in my second year".

So, I'm kind of in a pickle right now because I don't know how beneficial thesis will be for me if I'm not in a lab full-time, For reference, I was 2.75 in undergrad (embarrassing, I know, you don't need to tell me), and totally flipped things around and am going to finish my first year in an SMP with somewhere between a 3.68 and 3.72 (depending on grades after finals). I guess I'm just worried that adcoms will say "well, he wasn't in a lab, he was just reviewing literature his second year". So I'm not sure if I should do the thesis now or switch to general studies and take more classes (virology, immuno, micro, etc). I'm also retaking the MCAT this September and not sure I'll be able to keep up with both the MCAT and taking more high-level courses. My last attempt was a 498 (back when I was a ****ty student), so I'm shooting for >505 now and want to dedicate as much time as I can to that.

I realize this post is kind of all over the place, but then again so is my mind because I'm not sure what will be best for me in the long run when I submit applications to DO schools this summer. So, any help/input is super appreciated. Thank you all and stay safe please!!

tldr: Should I stay in my SMP's thesis track, where there is a chance I won't make it into the lab, but will also have more time to prep for the MCAT either way; or, should I switch to general studies and take more classes, which will significantly cut down on my MCAT prep?
 
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Normally I would recommend the research track because that gives you some skills to fall on for Plan B.

But in the age of covid-19, unless you can get into the lab, you need to gain something that will help you the most with getting into Medical School.

Therefore I recommend taking more class work. Yes it's going to cut into your MCAT study time but that means you're going to have to delay taking the MCAT until you are 100% ready for it.

Medical schools are not going anywhere, and this is no longer a horse race, it's a marathon.
 
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xvndr

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Feb 17, 2017
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Normally I would recommend the research track because that gives you some skills to fall on for Plan B.

But in the age of covid-19, unless you can get into the lab, you need to gain something that will help you the most with getting into Medical School.

Therefore I recommend taking more class work. Yes it's going to cut into your MCAT study time but that means you're going to have to delay taking the MCAT until you are 100% ready for it.

Medical schools are not going anywhere, and this is no longer a horse race, it's a marathon.
Hi Goro, thank you so much for your input. I really value your insight here on SDN. I'm going to have a meeting with my mentor on Friday and further discuss this. If you have any more insight that you can provide, I'll be sure to listen closely. Thank you again - have a good day!
 
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xvndr

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BTW, DO schools don't care about research.
Do you think, then, that schools would look more favorably on additional SMP classes vs. doing a thesis (given that I can get into the lab)? Or would there be a negligible difference?

Edit -- this is also given that I've completed a year with a gGPA ~3.7
 
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dial1010usa

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Mar 13, 2013
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Do you think because you have done almost one year of SMP you will do really well on MCAT?. If you do get 505+ in MCAT it will open lot of doors for you. Your 1st year SMP grades are really good. I would suggest take other science classes instead thesis if you get that option that's gonna help you in med school and for your MCAT. As Goro suggested DO doesn't care much about research even though reasearch will help you in residency.
 
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