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Trying to decide between Case Western SMP and Rowan University SMP

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TrillyBassily

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Hello, I've been accepted to both the MS in Medical Physiology program at Case Western Reserve and the MS in Biomedical Sciences program at Rowan University.

I'm from California so both are out of state. Both are relatively new programs and I'm having trouble deciding between the two.

Both last about 1.5-2 years and as far as I know, neither of them have any sort of linkages to any medical schools which is my destination after completing the program.

I've done a reasonable amount of research into both programs but I'd like to hear from you guys about what I should be keeping an eye out for while I make my decision. I'd especially like to hear the opinions of students who are in SMP programs right now.
 

DrMidlife

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The Rowan program is in the evening. It wouldn't make any sense to move cross country to do an evening masters. There's no "S" in that SMP, unless maybe you live in Camden already, or you have to move to Camden for some reason, or you know a PI in Camden who wants you in their lab all day churning out pubs. Or you are starting with a 3.6/34 or similar. Also: have you been to Camden?

Pro tip #1 for smart consumers: these MSBS programs all say they're helpful to premed/dent/vet students who need academic enhancement. Almost none of them say anything about how the program helps. (The CW program does say how it helps, very clearly.) The more disciplines that a program claims to help (med/dent/vet/PT/PA) the lower the likelihood that a low GPA premed is going to get into a US MD school from there. Triple true for Californians.

Pro tip #2 for smart consumers: if you can't get to the program's web page from the med school's website, it's unlikely that the program has anything to do with the med school.

Pro tip for Californians: OMG don't get excited about getting into a US MD school. Please, I beg you, look at cost of attendance as an out of state student for the schools that host SMPs (as examples of OOS targets for Californians). Unless your family is wealthy and wants to pay $250k+ for your med ed, you really really have to prioritize getting into a UC or changing your state of residence. All the arguments about "don't lose a year of practice by trying to get into a 'better' school" are voided when you are spending $100k more for your med ed.

Best of luck to you.
 

TrillyBassily

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The Rowan program is in the evening. It wouldn't make any sense to move cross country to do an evening masters. There's no "S" in that SMP, unless maybe you live in Camden already, or you have to move to Camden for some reason, or you know a PI in Camden who wants you in their lab all day churning out pubs. Or you are starting with a 3.6/34 or similar. Also: have you been to Camden?

Pro tip #1 for smart consumers: these MSBS programs all say they're helpful to premed/dent/vet students who need academic enhancement. Almost none of them say anything about how the program helps. (The CW program does say how it helps, very clearly.) The more disciplines that a program claims to help (med/dent/vet/PT/PA) the lower the likelihood that a low GPA premed is going to get into a US MD school from there. Triple true for Californians.

Pro tip #2 for smart consumers: if you can't get to the program's web page from the med school's website, it's unlikely that the program has anything to do with the med school.

Pro tip for Californians: OMG don't get excited about getting into a US MD school. Please, I beg you, look at cost of attendance as an out of state student for the schools that host SMPs (as examples of OOS targets for Californians). Unless your family is wealthy and wants to pay $250k+ for your med ed, you really really have to prioritize getting into a UC or changing your state of residence. All the arguments about "don't lose a year of practice by trying to get into a 'better' school" are voided when you are spending $100k more for your med ed.

Best of luck to you.

So your advice would be too choose the CWR program over the Rowan program? Also, could you explain what you mean when you say "There's no S in Rowan's SMP"? Lastly, you seem like a wealth of knowledge on the topic, so could you give me a few more pro tips if you got them, or any additional advice you feel I would benefit from?
 

DrMidlife

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please tell me you know what SMP means since you're shopping for one...

I've packed this forum full-to-busting with SMP advice. easy to find if you look.
 

TrillyBassily

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please tell me you know what SMP means since you're shopping for one...

I've packed this forum full-to-busting with SMP advice. easy to find if you look.
Of course i know what SMP stands for. i just don't see your point when you say it isn't special. It's very much a special masters program, correct? What am I missing?
 

DrMidlife

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If you're going to go with "very much" then you tell me: what's special about it? there are hundreds of 1-2 year terminal masters programs in biomedical sciences. Only about 15 include courses with med students, that directly demonstrate your ability to succeed in med school. That's the S.
 

TrillyBassily

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If you're going to go with "very much" then you tell me: what's special about it? there are hundreds of 1-2 year terminal masters programs in biomedical sciences. Only about 15 include courses with med students, that directly demonstrate your ability to succeed in med school. That's the S.
Well, it's a nonthesis master's program designed to strengthen the grades of students looking to apply to professional schools but as of yet do not have the necessary requirements to get in. Aside from a linkage with a medical school which not all SMPs offer, what else would one expect from an SMP?
 

TrillyBassily

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If you're going to go with "very much" then you tell me: what's special about it? there are hundreds of 1-2 year terminal masters programs in biomedical sciences. Only about 15 include courses with med students, that directly demonstrate your ability to succeed in med school. That's the S.
Seriously though, i really wanna get more advice from you if you have it. From the little time I've spent on these forums it appears to me that you're the authority on these topics more or less. If you've got some bit of wisdom that could be of use to me, I'd greatly appreciate it if you shared.
 

DrMidlife

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The "S" in SMP is special. There's nothing special about a 1-2 year terminal masters, with respect to increasing your chances of getting into a US MD school, unless the program puts you through most/lots of the first year of med school as an audition for med school. Again, there are about 15 programs that put you through med school coursework. There are hundreds that don't.

Med schools are familiar with SMPs. Med schools will NOT take the time to research a program that offers a 1-2 year terminal masters. They are not curious about the rigor of some new program that doesn't include med school coursework. It's just a terminal masters. It might be rigorous. Success in the program might be a true sign of your true academic prowess for med school despite a poor undergrad showing. But med schools aren't going to go find out if that's true. They don't care about your grad work unless you got reviewed respectable pubs out of it. Terminal masters programs aren't pub-generating. A library thesis isn't a reviewed reputable pub. Med schools have to reject 90% of their applicants. They aren't looking for things to be all "oh look how interesting this student's masters program is" because every app in the pile has something they should go look at. They don't go look. ~5000+ apps per med school. ~150 seats per school.

As I said six years ago (yikes) in my categorization of GPA enhancement programs, a terminal masters isn't necessarily a bad idea. It's just a bad idea if you think it's going to change the perception of a poor undergrad performance. A terminal masters program is selling you a product. If the webpage tells you it'll help you enhance your record for med school, that's marketing. It might be true. If the program is completely wide open about where its grads are now (Cincy, Mississippi are nice examples of this) then you know for sure. Usually you don't.

If you have a poor undergrad record, you're not supposed to want to go to med school. You won't find a nice tidy product to buy that makes it all okay unless you're eligible for Temple or Tulane ACP, and then you'd seriously better be ready to work. GPA redemption is a hot mess. Successfully finishing an SMP at a US MD school might still "just" get you into a DO school. Hot expensive risky mess. Why? Because >55% of US MD applicants get rejected every year. No adcom is excited to see one more low GPA app, by default. No anonymous old fart on SDN can hand you a formula. Good lord I've tried.

Public service announcement: no program will fix a low MCAT. What you do for a low MCAT is get a good MCAT. Don't go to med school with a low MCAT even if a med school says they'll let you.
 
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The Helpful Aye Aye

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The "S" in SMP is special. There's nothing special about a 1-2 year terminal masters, with respect to increasing your chances of getting into a US MD school, unless the program puts you through most/lots of the first year of med school as an audition for med school. Again, there are about 15 programs that put you through med school coursework. There are hundreds that don't.

Med schools are familiar with SMPs. Med schools will NOT take the time to research a program that offers a 1-2 year terminal masters. They are not curious about the rigor of some new program that doesn't include med school coursework. It's just a terminal masters. It might be rigorous. Success in the program might be a true sign of your true academic prowess for med school despite a poor undergrad showing. But med schools aren't going to go find out if that's true. They don't care about your grad work unless you got reviewed respectable pubs out of it. Terminal masters programs aren't pub-generating. A library thesis isn't a reviewed reputable pub. Med schools have to reject 90% of their applicants. They aren't looking for things to be all "oh look how interesting this student's masters program is" because every app in the pile has something they should go look at. They don't go look. ~5000+ apps per med school. ~150 seats per school.

As I said six years ago (yikes) in my categorization of GPA enhancement programs, a terminal masters isn't necessarily a bad idea. It's just a bad idea if you think it's going to change the perception of a poor undergrad performance. A terminal masters program is selling you a product. If the webpage tells you it'll help you enhance your record for med school, that's marketing. It might be true. If the program is completely wide open about where its grads are now (Cincy, Mississippi are nice examples of this) then you know for sure. Usually you don't.

If you have a poor undergrad record, you're not supposed to want to go to med school. You won't find a nice tidy product to buy that makes it all okay unless you're eligible for Temple or Tulane ACP, and then you'd seriously better be ready to work. GPA redemption is a hot mess. Successfully finishing an SMP at a US MD school might still "just" get you into a DO school. Hot expensive risky mess. Why? Because >55% of US MD applicants get rejected every year. No adcom is excited to see one more low GPA app, by default. No anonymous old fart on SDN can hand you a formula. Good lord I've tried.

Public service announcement: no program will fix a low MCAT. What you do for a low MCAT is get a good MCAT. Don't go to med school with a low MCAT even if a med school says they'll let you.

When you retire from this forum, it'll be a sad sad day.
 
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TrillyBassily

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The "S" in SMP is special. There's nothing special about a 1-2 year terminal masters, with respect to increasing your chances of getting into a US MD school, unless the program puts you through most/lots of the first year of med school as an audition for med school. Again, there are about 15 programs that put you through med school coursework. There are hundreds that don't.

Med schools are familiar with SMPs. Med schools will NOT take the time to research a program that offers a 1-2 year terminal masters. They are not curious about the rigor of some new program that doesn't include med school coursework. It's just a terminal masters. It might be rigorous. Success in the program might be a true sign of your true academic prowess for med school despite a poor undergrad showing. But med schools aren't going to go find out if that's true. They don't care about your grad work unless you got reviewed respectable pubs out of it. Terminal masters programs aren't pub-generating. A library thesis isn't a reviewed reputable pub. Med schools have to reject 90% of their applicants. They aren't looking for things to be all "oh look how interesting this student's masters program is" because every app in the pile has something they should go look at. They don't go look. ~5000+ apps per med school. ~150 seats per school.

As I said six years ago (yikes) in my categorization of GPA enhancement programs, a terminal masters isn't necessarily a bad idea. It's just a bad idea if you think it's going to change the perception of a poor undergrad performance. A terminal masters program is selling you a product. If the webpage tells you it'll help you enhance your record for med school, that's marketing. It might be true. If the program is completely wide open about where its grads are now (Cincy, Mississippi are nice examples of this) then you know for sure. Usually you don't.

If you have a poor undergrad record, you're not supposed to want to go to med school. You won't find a nice tidy product to buy that makes it all okay unless you're eligible for Temple or Tulane ACP, and then you'd seriously better be ready to work. GPA redemption is a hot mess. Successfully finishing an SMP at a US MD school might still "just" get you into a DO school. Hot expensive risky mess. Why? Because >55% of US MD applicants get rejected every year. No adcom is excited to see one more low GPA app, by default. No anonymous old fart on SDN can hand you a formula. Good lord I've tried.

Public service announcement: no program will fix a low MCAT. What you do for a low MCAT is get a good MCAT. Don't go to med school with a low MCAT even if a med school says they'll let you.

By any chance do you have a list of those 15 SMP programs that do put you through med school work? And while we're on the topic, you know where I can find an its of SMPs that have linkages? Cause ive looked all up and downs his forum trying to find a complete list but haven't turned up anything. I figure someone like you would know.
 

DrMidlife

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please look for those lists again. hint: look at the top.
 
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