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Taking extra BCPM classes at CC

mutiethemailman

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Dec 24, 2019
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Hi all, I am currently in a post bacc program and have completed 30 units so far. I will do 20 more units in this program, and I will most likely end up with a 3.1 GPA overall (including my undergrad GPA). So I have 2 questions.
1) Do I need to raise my GPA to a higher number?
2) Does it help me if I take BCPM classes like abnormal psyc, anatomy, astrophysics, calc 3, or linear algebra at my local CC? I need 12 more units to raise my GPA to a 3.2.

I have already done microbio and intro to astronomy and retaken 2 semesters of ochem and 2 semesters of physics at my CC. Any feedback is appreciated!
 

iHawk_MD

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Hi all, I am currently in a post bacc program and have completed 30 units so far. I will do 20 more units in this program, and I will most likely end up with a 3.1 GPA overall (including my undergrad GPA). So I have 2 questions.
1) Do I need to raise my GPA to a higher number?
2) Does it help me if I take BCPM classes like abnormal psyc, anatomy, astrophysics, calc 3, or linear algebra at my local CC? I need 12 more units to raise my GPA to a 3.2.

I have already done microbio and intro to astronomy and retaken 2 semesters of ochem and 2 semesters of physics at my CC. Any feedback is appreciated!
What GPA have you gotten so far in the post-bacc alone? If you've done significantly well in the post-bacc, you don't need to aim to get your overall GPA raised. Your post-bacc should be largely, if not all, BCPM classes, though, if you're focusing on academic enhancement. Admissions officers I have spoken to have told me anywhere between 25-35 semester credits at a 3.8+ in upper division biology/chem courses to demonstrate significant reinvention. Once you feel you have demonstrated a change, you can focus on killing the MCAT, while maybe continuing to take a few additional courses.

Its always best to do classes at a 4 year college rather than a CC, but if that's all you have then you'll have to make do. Check with schools you're interested in and see how they view CC credits, I think almost all will accept them for non-prerequisites but may recommend you do some additional coursework at a 4 year college to show you can handle the rigor of a medical school curriculum. Also, I don't believe abnormal psych will count as BCPM. Check here for help determining what counts as BCPM.
 
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mutiethemailman

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Dec 24, 2019
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What GPA have you gotten so far in the post-bacc alone? If you've done significantly well in the post-bacc, you don't need to aim to get your overall GPA raised. Your post-bacc should be largely, if not all, BCPM classes, though, if you're focusing on academic enhancement. Admissions officers I have spoken to have told me anywhere between 25-35 semester credits at a 3.8+ in upper division biology/chem courses to demonstrate significant reinvention. Once you feel you have demonstrated a change, you can focus on killing the MCAT, while maybe continuing to take a few additional courses.

Its always best to do classes at a 4 year college rather than a CC, but if that's all you have then you'll have to make do. Check with schools you're interested in and see how they view CC credits, I think almost all will accept them for non-prerequisites but may recommend you do some additional coursework at a 4 year college to show you can handle the rigor of a medical school curriculum. Also, I don't believe abnormal psych will count as BCPM. Check here for help determining what counts as BCPM.

I have a 3.97 right now because of one A-, but I am pretty sure I will get As in the remaining of my classes. And yes, I know it is better to redo classes at my post-bacc rather than a CC. However, I had to do them at a CC due to schedule conflicts and financial constraints.

I am new to this so forgive me if this is a dumb question. When you say check with schools, do you mean emailing the admissions office and ask them about what they think about me retaking ochem and physics at a CC? And thanks for the BCPM link!
 
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iHawk_MD

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I have a 3.97 right now because of one A-, but I am pretty sure I will get As in the remaining of my classes. And yes, I know it is better to redo classes at my post-bacc rather than a CC. However, I had to do them at a CC due to schedule conflicts and financial constraints.

I am new to this so forgive me if this is a dumb question. When you say check with schools, do you mean emailing the admissions office and ask them about what they think about me retaking ochem and physics at a CC? And thanks for the BCPM link!
Honestly, you probably don't have to take any more classes based on the advice I've heard. I would maybe keep taking a few, but I think as long as you've taken some upper division biology and chemistry courses, you've demonstrated growth, you don't necessarily need to reach 3.2. And yes as you start to identify schools where you fit the mission and their stats (i.e. once you have your MCAT), shoot their admissions an email (usually found on their admissions website) and ask about CC courses, specifically to fulfill pre-reqs like ochem and physics. Some might never get back to you but many are fairly responsive.

For academic enhancers, @Goro has a good guide I've been using myself, here.
 
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GreenDuck12

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50 units at a 3.9+is more than sufficient that you can handle the rigors of medical school and are no longer a subpar student. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished in your postbac program thus far. You’re going to need to start thinking about other aspects of your application, such as the MCAT, and what you can do to best position yourself for a strong performance. Assuming a strong MCAT and a well rounded application, you will need to apply broadly to DO programs and your state MD programs. Be forewarned that competition for space is fierce, and you may not be successful on the first cycle. Just keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll have opportunities down the line.
 
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mutiethemailman

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Dec 24, 2019
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Honestly, you probably don't have to take any more classes based on the advice I've heard. I would maybe keep taking a few, but I think as long as you've taken some upper division biology and chemistry courses, you've demonstrated growth, you don't necessarily need to reach 3.2. And yes as you start to identify schools where you fit the mission and their stats (i.e. once you have your MCAT), shoot their admissions an email (usually found on their admissions website) and ask about CC courses, specifically to fulfill pre-reqs like ochem and physics. Some might never get back to you but many are fairly responsive.

For academic enhancers, @Goro has a good guide I've been using myself, here.

Awesome! Thanks for all the good advice! Sadly my sGPA is a 2.9 right now, and I heard that 3.0 is the cutoff for many schools. I think I will just finish the 20 units to push my GPA to 3.1 and get a committee letter from my post bacc committee. Based on what I read so far on Goro's guide, I will need a 516+ for CA state schools.
 

mutiethemailman

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Dec 24, 2019
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  1. Pre-Medical
50 units at a 3.9+is more than sufficient that you can handle the rigors of medical school and are no longer a subpar student. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished in your postbac program thus far. You’re going to need to start thinking about other aspects of your application, such as the MCAT, and what you can do to best position yourself for a strong performance. Assuming a strong MCAT and a well rounded application, you will need to apply broadly to DO programs and your state MD programs. Be forewarned that competition for space is fierce, and you may not be successful on the first cycle. Just keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll have opportunities down the line.
Thanks! I am hoping to score a 520 or above, but it is easier said than done. In terms of a well rounded application, I have many clinical and volunteer hours from my undergrad days 5 years ago, as well as one year of research experience as a junior specialist (no publication tho). However, I have no shadowing experience. I am planning to work as an EMT after I pass the national exam. Would that help overlook the lack of shadowing experience?

I have nothing against DO schools, but I won't be applying to them because there is a chance that I will move to another country that doesn't recognize DO degrees. I live in CA, and I know the competition here is even more fierce. Do I still have a chance at MD schools (CA or OOS)?
 

GreenDuck12

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Thanks! I am hoping to score a 520 or above, but it is easier said than done. In terms of a well rounded application, I have many clinical and volunteer hours from my undergrad days 5 years ago, as well as one year of research experience as a junior specialist (no publication tho). However, I have no shadowing experience. I am planning to work as an EMT after I pass the national exam. Would that help overlook the lack of shadowing experience?

I have nothing against DO schools, but I won't be applying to them because there is a chance that I will move to another country that doesn't recognize DO degrees. I live in CA, and I know the competition here is even more fierce. Do I still have a chance at MD schools (CA or OOS)?

You’re going to need some additional more recent experiences. I would highly encourage you to get some shadowing in especially since some schools require it to be considered. I know it’s tough if the current climate but try to get 50 hours before you apply. Make sure you have hours in primary care.

You If you’re aiming for MD then a SMP will likely be necessary but may not be sufficient for an acceptance. You can find data from the AAMC that breaks down applicants/acceptances based on GPA and MCAT for all MD programs. Bear in mind that this table does not account for state of residence or other factors like ethnicity. Im not an expert on CA admissions. However, I do believe that their schools tend to have very high GPA and MCAT score ranges which makes your numbers a harder sell.

As an OOS applicant it is really tough. Usually schools have several hundred IS applicants for 70-80% of their seats and several thousand OOS applicants for fewer seats. Most schools tend to have higher GPA and MCAT ranges for OOS applicants relative to their IS peers. That being said, there are some programs, public and private, that will be options for you depending on how your application shakes out. Unfortunately it will be an uphill climb that may take more than one application cycle.
 
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mutiethemailman

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Dec 24, 2019
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You’re going to need some additional more recent experiences. I would highly encourage you to get some shadowing in especially since some schools require it to be considered. I know it’s tough if the current climate but try to get 50 hours before you apply. Make sure you have hours in primary care.

You If you’re aiming for MD then a SMP will likely be necessary but may not be sufficient for an acceptance. You can find data from the AAMC that breaks down applicants/acceptances based on GPA and MCAT for all MD programs. Bear in mind that this table does not account for state of residence or other factors like ethnicity. Im not an expert on CA admissions. However, I do believe that their schools tend to have very high GPA and MCAT score ranges which makes your numbers a harder sell.

As an OOS applicant it is really tough. Usually schools have several hundred IS applicants for 70-80% of their seats and several thousand OOS applicants for fewer seats. Most schools tend to have higher GPA and MCAT ranges for OOS applicants relative to their IS peers. That being said, there are some programs, public and private, that will be options for you depending on how your application shakes out. Unfortunately it will be an uphill climb that may take more than one application cycle.
ok I see! thank you for your input! ima focus on my MCAT and finding a doctor to shadow first before worrying about stats!
 

iHawk_MD

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ok I see! thank you for your input! ima focus on my MCAT and finding a doctor to shadow first before worrying about stats!
I'm not convinced you will need an SMP to go MD, as long as you have a strong MCAT. If you get above a 517 (no easy feat), AAMC show a ~50% acceptance rate for people with your potential stats (3.1 sGPA). Of course this is all based on a strong performance on the MCAT, a strong showing through the rest of your classes, and great EC's. It seems you are still lacking some key EC's; stats aren't everything, and you can have a 4.0 and 528 and still not get any love if you don't do anything other than school. Also, given a lot of your classes occur at CC, I once again stress that you check with potential schools as some may not look too kindly at those classes. You can start with CA schools.

If you can't score that well on the MCAT, an SMP may be needed, as applicants in your GPA bracket have a 40% acceptance rate when 514-517 and a 34% chance when 510-513. Don't forget, a 517 is 94th percentile of all test takers, not a given. You should be prepared to go DO and do your research into what that might mean for practicing internationally or obtaining a specialty of interesting.
 
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Shotapp

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Unfortunately I don't. Do I need more volunteering hours if I work as an EMT in the fall? I know it's not the same thing, but I might not have time to do that along with work + school + shadowing.
Yeah you need recent non-clinical volunteering. Volunteer hours from 5 yrs ago aren't going to cut it especially if you've not been consistently volunteering with those organizations til present day.
 

mutiethemailman

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Dec 24, 2019
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Yeah you need recent non-clinical volunteering. Volunteer hours from 5 yrs ago aren't going to cut it especially if you've not been consistently volunteering with those organizations til present day.
Actually, I don't know if this counts. I volunteered at a free tax preparation office this year during the tax season. I will probably go back next year during the tax season, so I will have consistent but not consecutive non-clinical volunteering experience I guess?
 

mutiethemailman

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Dec 24, 2019
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I'm not convinced you will need an SMP to go MD, as long as you have a strong MCAT. If you get above a 517 (no easy feat), AAMC show a ~50% acceptance rate for people with your potential stats (3.1 sGPA). Of course this is all based on a strong performance on the MCAT, a strong showing through the rest of your classes, and great EC's. It seems you are still lacking some key EC's; stats aren't everything, and you can have a 4.0 and 528 and still not get any love if you don't do anything other than school. Also, given a lot of your classes occur at CC, I once again stress that you check with potential schools as some may not look too kindly at those classes. You can start with CA schools.

If you can't score that well on the MCAT, an SMP may be needed, as applicants in your GPA bracket have a 40% acceptance rate when 514-517 and a 34% chance when 510-513. Don't forget, a 517 is 94th percentile of all test takers, not a given. You should be prepared to go DO and do your research into what that might mean for practicing internationally or obtaining a specialty of interesting.
ok thanks for the cold hard facts! I really need to make myself a better applicant before applying.
 
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