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Value of SMPs

Haifa1026

New Member
Apr 11, 2012
7
0
0
  1. Pre-Medical
Im currently a junior in UCSB and want to stay in california for med school if at all possible. I didn't start out college very well but my grades have been rising (3 freshman, 3.5 sophmore, 4.0 junior). I currently have a 3.45 and if everything works out I'll have a 3.52 by the end of this quarter. I'm going to have a year off between graduation and med school, so I was wondering whether it's worth to do an SMP with a 3.5-3.6 or is it just better to work for a year in bioengineering or other various related fields? I'll be taking the MCAT this summer so I don't have a score yet.
I guess what I'm confused about in general is what is the SMP really worth? does it make me a more competitive applicant just because I have a masters, or is it generally only for people who have very low GPAs?

Also, I don't want to start another thread so Ill add another unrelated question.

I'm trilingual (hebrew and russian) and I've heard spanish makes you a lot more competitive. I have a weak foundation that's limited to conversational spanish, but I do ok with languages so I can invest some time and try to become fluent. Is the edge worth the effort, or is it not a big deal?
 

SixStringPsych

Full Member
7+ Year Member
May 3, 2011
857
67
181
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Generally only for people who have very low GPAs (usually anywhere between 3.0 and 3.5). Most people here on SDN will place you right in the average applicant GPA based on the published statistics.

If you had the extra money, you could do an SMP and it would help if you do really well, SMPs however can also hurt your chances if you do poorly (like < 3.5 GPA at least). Plus they are expensive. I recommend you work in your year off, an SMP would be a waste for you. Of course this is assuming you have plenty of research and clinical experience under your belt. Also, depends on what your MCAT will be.

I'm sure others will weigh in.

Someone move this to the Post Bacc forum! :)
 

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,836
40,424
276
The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
Im currently a junior in UCSB and want to stay in california for med school if at all possible. I didn't start out college very well but my grades have been rising (3 freshman, 3.5 sophmore, 4.0 junior). I currently have a 3.45 and if everything works out I'll have a 3.52 by the end of this quarter.

Having an upward trend adds to your overall GPA. Do you have an breakout for BCPM and AO (i.e. sGPA and cGPA)?

I'm going to have a year off between graduation and med school, so I was wondering whether it's worth to do an SMP with a 3.5-3.6 or is it just better to work for a year in bioengineering or other various related fields? I'll be taking the MCAT this summer so I don't have a score yet.

An good to great MCAT is the most efficient way to improve your chances. You say you are taking it this summer? are you applying late this year?

I guess what I'm confused about in general is what is the SMP really worth? does it make me a more competitive applicant just because I have a masters, or is it generally only for people who have very low GPAs?
Having a masters itself will not add to your competitiveness. SMP is generally for low GPA. If you want to boost your GPA a little, taking additional upper level bio, chem, math courses post-graduation would help. They do not have to be part of an SMP.

I'm trilingual (hebrew and russian) and I've heard spanish makes you a lot more competitive. I have a weak foundation that's limited to conversational spanish, but I do ok with languages so I can invest some time and try to become fluent. Is the edge worth the effort, or is it not a big deal?

Its not going to be worth that much for medical school though it maybe helpful later in residency.

Bottom line, work on MCAT. 3.5 with good upward trend, a good MCAT , etc, will make you a good candidate
 
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Im currently a junior in UCSB and want to stay in california for med school if at all possible. I didn't start out college very well but my grades have been rising (3 freshman, 3.5 sophmore, 4.0 junior). I currently have a 3.45 and if everything works out I'll have a 3.52 by the end of this quarter. I'm going to have a year off between graduation and med school, so I was wondering whether it's worth to do an SMP with a 3.5-3.6 or is it just better to work for a year in bioengineering or other various related fields? I'll be taking the MCAT this summer so I don't have a score yet.
I guess what I'm confused about in general is what is the SMP really worth? does it make me a more competitive applicant just because I have a masters, or is it generally only for people who have very low GPAs?

Also, I don't want to start another thread so Ill add another unrelated question.

I'm trilingual (hebrew and russian) and I've heard spanish makes you a lot more competitive. I have a weak foundation that's limited to conversational spanish, but I do ok with languages so I can invest some time and try to become fluent. Is the edge worth the effort, or is it not a big deal?


wait on your mcat. Its going to play a major role.

I'm a current smp student with greater stats than the average (3.7/3.6), so they aren't just reserved for the dummies. Many of my classmates with 3.6's+ were typically average people who were 1) accepted only DO or 2) never got off the md waitlist, and this was a plan b or last minute MD drive option. There are still the handful of people with the super low gpa, but they also have like 32+mcats, so they are the unbalanced folk (typically the ivy league engineers)

If you can't do well/ok in a SMP, why would you think you can do well/ok in medschool? You take the same classes, but don't take the clinical stuff on top on them. You get to do clinical research too! I'm going to probably have 1-2 ortho pubs before next nov because of it.

From what I've seen, most people do actually pretty well, and some well don't... so you decide your fate if you do one.

If you have an instate one that only cost like 20-25k, then its not really that bad of a deal for the average guy.

If you are considering one, don't do the scam ones that do not have a linkage (U of M, Case western etc.). They do not get students into med school as well as the ones that cherry pick out of the students and take 40, 50, 70% of them.
 

Haifa1026

New Member
Apr 11, 2012
7
0
0
  1. Pre-Medical
Thanks a lot for all the help, I really appreciate it. Sorry for posting in the wrong forum haha.

Of course this is assuming you have plenty of research and clinical experience under your belt. Also, depends on what your MCAT will be.

As far as research, I have a little bit over a year and I'm working on a project right now that has the potential to be published if it's completed properly.

Clinical experience I shadowed a cheif of psychiatry for 50 hours and saw the hospital setting in general. I've also worked for the past year with mentally ill patients with administering medication caring for them and so on, but I don't really have any volunteering experience. Is it necessary on top of everything?

Having an upward trend adds to your overall GPA. Do you have an breakout for BCPM and AO (i.e. sGPA and cGPA)?

I have a 3.3 BCPM, but i did very bad my first 2 years in sciences in general. My transcript is full of Cs, completely due to lack of effort, and when i started trying into the middle of sophomore year I still hadn't learned how to properly study until junior year. I have taken 4 sciences ( 1 first quarter, 3 second) this year, and 2 more this quarter.

An good to great MCAT is the most efficient way to improve your chances. You say you are taking it this summer? are you applying late this year?

I'm applying next year, which is why I'll have to have a year off. I want to get my GPA as high as I can, meaning the low 3.6's. I'm taking the MCAT this aug/sep so I have the entire summer to study for it and I'll have time to retake in case I don't perform to my expectations.

If you have an instate one that only cost like 20-25k, then its not really that bad of a deal for the average guy.

If you are considering one, don't do the scam ones that do not have a linkage (U of M, Case western etc.). They do not get students into med school as well as the ones that cherry pick out of the students and take 40, 50, 70% of them.

I was considering doing the USC Keck Global Medicine MS in which the year of courses is the exact same as the med students I believe. It also costs 40k though, so that's not very appealing. There's also a 1 year UCSF masters but I dont think its related to the medical school in any way.
 
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