Mar 29, 2010
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I do not think my chances are great at all... but would like to ask you guys for your opinion.

I have always wanted to be a doctor but was never the studious student. I started off in college with no self-confidence and had a very low GPA. Now I am a senior and still have a low GPA but have the current semester and next semester to raise it. I currently have a 3.0 cumulative GPA. I have been taking practice MCAT tests and am scoring around 32-33. I have been working in the emergency room for the past 2 yrs and volunteer at the temple's health fairs.

What are my chances of getting into ANY medical school? please be honest? what other suggestions do you have so that I can eventually get into a school in the US? I really do not want to go to the caribbean's and am will to do anything.
 

bannie22

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Carribeans are good.


Chances-> Low
Suggestions-> Do a SMP, raise the GPA. (You know you have to raise that GPA!)
2 volunteering experiences are also insufficient for application purposes (I am sure you probably have more but just did not list any)
 

J ROD

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Okay, for MD, you will need to do ALOT of postbac work, kill the MCAT (38+), or do a SMP.....hint...do the SMP if you get a 32/33 MCAT. Or some combo of the above...where you raise the GPA some, the MCAT can come down to a 35+.

DO schools, if you can get a 3.2-3.3 GPA, then get a 28-30 MCAT, probably will be okay.

Dont go to the islands until you have tried all that.

Also, you need to get more ECs....the volunteering is nice but you will need more stuff...got any?
 

robflanker

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For MD: A good MCAT will get you into a good SMP which in turn might make up for the low GPA if you do well
 
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If you retake your lowest grades and apply to DO schools, they only count the most recent grade in figuring your application GPA. This could be the easiest way to raise your GPA quickly, compared to taking more classes or applying to MD schools that average in retaken grades.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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Keep in mind that SMPs have the greatest benefits but also come with the greatest risk because typically most programs have you taken a slightly reduce med school curr with medical students so it is going to be difficult.

Also, a SMP is not going to raise your undergraduate GPA. It really is considered graduate level work so it will have its own separate GPA from your undergrad. Only taking more undergrad sci courses or doing a post-bac will raise your undergrad GPA. You are in a similar situation to myself. As I mentioned, the SMP is a big gamble, because typically you have to do extremely well, B+s and As to prove to medical schools that you can do med school work. Most programs gurantee a med school interview at their med school if you maintain certain grades and MCAT scores but be careful. On another discussion, someone in the Drexel SMP did not get granted a interview their because he got one B- in a course or two and they are strict with certain requirements and now he is running into trouble getting any interview at other school.

Best of Luck!

P.S. - I forgot to mention, just keep in mind the financial commitmet of SMPs as well. Most costs 20-30k dollars for the 1 year program (and there are no guarantees) and that is before you have the other 150k-250k dollars that med school itself is going to cost.
 
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OP
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I really appreciate the feedback.

I knew about the postbac program but was not aware of the SMP program. I looked it up online and found Georgetown and Drexel offer this program. Are there any other schools that offer it? With the current GPA I have and if I score about 34 on the MCAT, will doing the SMP increase my chances drastically or will I still have a low chance of getting into a med school? Actually my biggest concern is, can I even get into a SMP?
 
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I really appreciate the feedback.

I knew about the postbac program but was not aware of the SMP program. I looked it up online and found Georgetown and Drexel offer this program. Are there any other schools that offer it? With the current GPA I have and if I score about 34 on the MCAT, will doing the SMP increase my chances drastically or will I still have a low chance of getting into a med school? Actually my biggest concern is, can I even get into a SMP?
There is a total of 14 true SMP programs, Drexel and Georgetown being just two of them. One thing with Georgetown though, that program is ungodly expensive, like 42k for the 1 year, that is more than some med schools per year and that is a heck of a lot of money to pay and that is before you add the 150-250k it will cost for med school alone if you get in. Typically, the SMPs, if you do well, will get you into med school. Remember though, they are really difficult. Your are taking med school difficulty level courses with the med students and will be graded accordingly. You have to typically keep a 3.5 or higher in SMP grades to get accepted into med school in a SMP.

If you go to the post-bacceulrette program forum on SDN you'll find a whole host of information on post-bacs, grad programs, and SMP programs that all enhance below avg undergrad GPAs for med school admittance. I myself need to look into this since my school recorded cGPA 3.45/sGPA 3.38 while AMCAS says I hae a cGPA 3.38/sGPA 3.25. But I haven't taken the MCAT yet and that is going to determine almost everything. Most SMP will require a 25-30 MCAT score for admittance but if your in that range you'll need to take the test again. Getting a 32 or higher on the MCAT should be fine without having to take it again. If you do get a 32 or higher on the MCAT then you might want to just consider taking one of the accerlerated grad programs available with a heavy biomedical science focus to get a good graduate GPA because that will be second to best indication you can handle med school courses. Problem with most post-bac programs is that they are for students who have NOT yet taken the science pre-reqs for med school.

What is going to be tuff for you is that most SMPs have a cGPA3.0 or higher cut off for admissions. I know Temple's Advan Core SMP, one I have been thinking of applying to eventually, has a 3.3 cGPA cutoff, while others have a 3.2 cutoff. Based on your situation, and I'm not sure if you had an upward grade trend as undergrad doing better in upper level bio courses or not but I think you'd be better to do a post-bac that boosts your undergrad GPA or do a short graduate level certificate/degree program listed on SDN that will allow you to take graduate level biomedical science classes. If you have a upward grade trend and did better in upper level bio sciences courses I would recommend that latter of the two I just mentioned. If you struggled all the way through undergrad with no upward grade trend, I would then either do a structured post-bac program or take 10-20 credits of mid-level and upper level science courses at your undergrad institution to try and raise your GPA a little bit. I was even thinking of do the latter myself because there were several undergrad science classes I did not get to take before I graduated, like parasitology, histology, cell biology, neuroendocrinology, cancer, etc that I would like to take and think I def pull some B+'s and A's in.

Here is the link for everything you will want to know about post-bacs, graduate programs, and SMPs!

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=71
 
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MilkmanAl

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Typically, the SMPs, if you do well, will get you into med school.
Not really. A strong SMP performance will probably give you a chance at getting into med school when you had none before, but it certainly will not "get you in," regardless of how well you do. Many schools won't even look at the SMP grades. Georgetown has one of the better post-SMP acceptance rates, and it was around 50%, last I checked.

In my opinion, a SMP is something that should be a last-ditch attempt at admission to a U.S. school. If you can't get into DO or MD programs after at least 2 cycles, can't fix your grades without an unreasonable amount of extraneous schooling, and have a strong MCAT score, an SMP is a decent option before shipping yourself off to the Caribbean (or wherever). SMP's are super risky (bad showing=never going to med school on the mainland) and usually cost tons of cash, as noted.

I would do as Catalystic suggested and retake a few of the classes you got your lowest grades in and see what that does for your GPA. If you've had a few D's here and there, you should find your GPA for DO schools skyrocketing if you replace them with A's.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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Not really. A strong SMP performance will probably give you a chance at getting into med school when you had none before, but it certainly will not "get you in," regardless of how well you do. Many schools won't even look at the SMP grades. Georgetown has one of the better post-SMP acceptance rates, and it was around 50%, last I checked.

In my opinion, a SMP is something that should be a last-ditch attempt at admission to a U.S. school. If you can't get into DO or MD programs after at least 2 cycles, can't fix your grades without an unreasonable amount of extraneous schooling, and have a strong MCAT score, an SMP is a decent option before shipping yourself off to the Caribbean (or wherever). SMP's are super risky (bad showing=never going to med school on the mainland) and usually cost tons of cash, as noted.

I would do as Catalystic suggested and retake a few of the classes you got your lowest grades in and see what that does for your GPA. If you've had a few D's here and there, you should find your GPA for DO schools skyrocketing if you replace them with A's.
That is the total opposite of what Dr. Midlife and many other's who have taken SMPs have said. If you maintain a 3.5 or better GPA in a SMP what better way of showing a potential med school you can handle the course and difficulties then getting those kind of grades in med school classes. The only people I've heard not get interviews or acceptances for medical school after a SMP are the ones who got B's or lower in some of their SMP courses.

I do agree with you though they are very risky and some quite expensive. Despite the SMP courses being the same level of difficulty and intensity as med school courses, the pressure and expectation in SMP med school courses if even higher than that in the same courses taken by a MS-I, but if you were taking them in the regular med school way all you have to do is pass to move on to MS-II where if you don't get 3.5 or higher in those same classes in a SMP, as you pointed out, you can forget ever going to med school in the continental US! I do agree with you that SMPs are a last resort, especially because of their costs and that is even before the tremendous debt med school will cost so you could be talking, when all is said in done between the SMP and Med School you go to, having between 300-350k in debt and that is a tremendous amount of money.

I personally, would take some mid-level and upper level undergrad bio sciences courses to boost my GPA. Unless you get a C or less in your pre-reqs I cannot see retaking them again. I was right on the borderline myself. I did good freshman year, but the second half of Gen Chem and Gen Physics killed me because I got C+'s in Gen Chem II, Gen Chem Lab, and Gen Physics I. Gen Bio was B's, Gen Chem I B+, and Physics Labs and Gen Physics II B+'s. Orgo I got B+'s and A in Orgo lab. I would not want to repeat Gen Chem II or Gen Physics, I hated those classes and did not enjoy them. Gen Bio and Orgo were much more interesting and enjoyable, at least I thought so.
 
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MilkmanAl

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what better way of showing a potential med school you can handle the course and difficulties then getting those kind of grades in med school classes.
There isn't a better way, but as Voltaire said, "Better is the enemy of good."
 
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There isn't a better way, but as Voltaire said, "Better is the enemy of good."
Very true, but like you said, SMPs are a huge gamble, and I've read a few people on here in them, Drexel being one, that because he got one B- he wasn't asked by Drexel for an interview or anyone other school for that matter. It shows you how hard and stringent the SMPs are.

One word of advice for anyone who chooses an SMP, if you do decide to go, make sure you apply to programs that, God for bid you don't get all B+'s or A's or any med school interviews/acceptances, do yourself a favor and make sure it is a program that at least will give you a certificate or allow you stay for a second year and get a master's degree so that you don't walk away empty handed, after spending 20-40k for the ridiculous tuition some of the programs are charging!
 
OP
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I personally, would take some mid-level and upper level undergrad bio sciences courses to boost my GPA. Unless you get a C or less in your pre-reqs I cannot see retaking them again. I was right on the borderline myself. I did good freshman year, but the second half of Gen Chem and Gen Physics killed me because I got C+'s in Gen Chem II, Gen Chem Lab, and Gen Physics I. Gen Bio was B's, Gen Chem I B+, and Physics Labs and Gen Physics II B+'s. Orgo I got B+'s and A in Orgo lab. I would not want to repeat Gen Chem II or Gen Physics, I hated those classes and did not enjoy them. Gen Bio and Orgo were much more interesting and enjoyable, at least I thought so.

Did you apply/get in to med school with the grades mentioned above? Did you retake any of those courses? If you did get into med school... what did you do?!
 
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I would try SMP as a last resort for MD.

It is very expensive and a risky gamble.....

might ought to call Kenny Rodgers.....:laugh:
the gambler? ha. also there is another song called gambler by Kava, its like techno/electronic. its nice.