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Oct 8, 2015
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Can anyone taking an SMP tell me more about their experiences? For example, the rigor of courses, how to study for med courses, tuition, med schools that they'll apply to, and overall experience.


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I'm currently in one. The one I'm in is not exactly with the med students, bet we learn from the same professors and have a lot of the same clinical cases as them. Some of my friends are in the MD program at the school, and, when we compare, we're usually learning the same things. From what my professors have said, they learn a broader scope while we learn the topics we cover more in depth. So the rigor is pretty difficult though I was used to taking a heavy load at my UG, taking 20 credit hour semesters at some points with 4 of those courses being hard sciences (ochem, biochem, biology, biochem research course). So I felt pretty prepared when I came in and didn't feel like I was swimming. Other people may feel differently, I don't know. I believe these courses will definitely help me if I'm accepted to med school because we are learning a lot of the same things so, while I'll have to learn a lot in med school, I will already know some of the things and will be able to focus on new concepts. Tuition is expensive (like med school expensive), but that's what you get when you do a program through a med school. I applied to my in-state schools and to the schools I strongly felt I fit in with their mission. So far I've liked the experience because it is helping prepare me for med school and keeping my brain fresh so that I don't have to get back into the swing of things if I'm accepted to an MD program this year!
There's a post-bacc and non trad thread where you'll probably get much better answers on this with specific stories anecdotes and insights

Long story short these are very rigorous programs. For it to be worth it often you have to beat out the majority of MS1s in the classes you take with them. So basically you have to beat out people who were probably better students than you in college by a decent margin who will also now be far more motivated and studying far more than they did in undergrad.

While a number of people accomplish gpas needed for MD programs in many SMP programs every year its a very very difficult task and for specifics on that the post bacc and non trad forum. Many people interested in doing one and who have done one have posted there
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I'm currently in my second year (thesis) part of the program. Now it's pretty chill - I'm just writing a thesis (taking a while though) while I work part time and do my admissions cycle stuff (majority of my time with interview prep, etc).

My program is one of the top programs, associated with an allopathic medical school. All of our classes are taken from med professors, mostly the same exams as the med students, but the curriculum is about 70% of the MS1 class. They have all the PBL and PD classes and anatomy LAB in their first year, and we get second year pathology and second year physiology courses. I did pretty well (3.7+) so I can speak on what it takes to excel. While the curriculum is roughly 70% of MS1 curriculum, you are fighting for the best grades and so, while not saying which is harder, there is a different element of stress towards the medical classes. Med students just need to pass, but to truly benefit from an SMP, you need to do better than the average med student.

From August until May, I had an integrated medical exam every 2 to 3 weeks. I essentially watched or went to 3-4 hours of lecture a day. On non exam weeks, I'd be studying for 3-6 hours a day, 6 hours each weekend day. For the weekend and week leading up to the exams, I kicked it into gear with 5-10 hours of studying every day, 10 hr days on the weekend. I maybe had one day every two to three weeks off to hang out or do something social (but I lived with my gf and best friends so it wasn't too bad for me). I sacrificed a lot of social things though.

If you give it your all though, you can become incredibly introspective in your study techniques. I got so enthused by clinical studies that my world revolved around it for my second semester. I started volunteering in the affiliated clinic with med students on my spare time and it really brought it home for me as a lifestyle, not just an education. I put in all the effort and was able to get a 4.0 in the last semester, but it was incredibly challenging. I had to even study for the MCAT in the last semester too.

Overall, if you put in the sweat, blood and tears, and you do well, it is definitely worth it. The intellectual growth helped be double my percentile on the MCAT, I got a sweet committee letter from a med school dean, and I've had some fortune with multiple early interviews so far. But there are pitfalls, as some of my friends who got a 3.5-3.7 and have a 30 MCAT are still struggling for interviews unfortunately.

Excellent job! Might I ask which state your SMP is in? I'm thinking of joining the IMS at USF next year (before applying), but I'm also looking at the SMP in EVMS and Cincinnati. The exams probably vary between programs, but are they essay style, true false, MCQ, or a combination of both? Also, what are PBL and PD, and how are the labs/ what is done?

Thanks and good luck.
In terms of SMP specifics be careful about which USF program you do. I know there is one which you get clumped with all kinds of science students such as PhD ones and what not and they take maybe only a few out of that large class into their med school the next year. There is another program at USF that is more of a traditional SMP but I don't know how strong the program is in terms of % of their students who go on to MD schools.

Cincinnati is an excellent program. The majority I believe who do it end up going to MD schools. But it is also rather selective; I believe they only have a class size of around 32 and their average stats for their students are around 3.4/33 which are about as high as average stats as you'll see for an incoming SMP class. From what I've read a number of students in those programs are the type who have already tried once at the MD cycle and came up empty.

EVMS is school specific to EVMS. There is a great respected poster with lots of experience in the reapplicant forum DrMidLife who went through EVMS's SMP years back before going their for med school and gives tons of good input. She can tell you specifics about the program.

Rosalind is another commonly cited program. They are another school where if you do their SMP you are targeting going to their med school specifically. 3/4 of the SMP class graduates and I believe about 60% of those students or so end up getting into Rosalind's program. Certainly a risky program but for that one the stats of the SMP students they take are lower(think 3.15/28-29 esque).

Georgetown might be perhaps the most famous, respected and rigorous SMP program out there. They boast that 85% of their graduating class goes on to medical schools within 2 years of graduating and the majority of those are US MD schools. Again the stats are relatively high of their incoming SMP class at around 3.3/32.

I don't know much about Tufts or Boston U but those are also solid programs. The two best linkage programs are at Tulane and Temple. Both of those programs about 90% of hte people who do the program end up getting into their medical school. The catch is for Tulane ACP you need to already have applied to medical schools and have a waitlist from a school. Temple's program the incoming stats are rather high(think 3.5/31) and you need a 30 on the MCAT.

So that's my general knowledge of SMP's looking around these forums. Like I said though, for a decent SMP that is worthwhile you are going to need to partake in some GPA repair first at a DIY post-bacc level.
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