What is your end goal? Do you care about MD or DO? If not, if you do decent on your MCAT, you don't NEED to do all of this. You would be ok now (pending a good MCAT score) to apply to DO schools. Yes, your science GPA is low, but with a solid MCAT and an "ok" cGPA, I think you would still get interviews. Two gap years is a lot of time, stress, effort, and money (lost salary, courses, etc) if you can start sooner.Hi all,
I just graduated from a state university, and I'm planning on taking two gap years. I need guidance with my plan and appreciate the help.
Major - Biomedical diagnostics.
I graduated with a 3.4 - 3.5 cGPA, and a 3.25 - 3.35 sGPA. I have had several clinical research experiences throughout most of college, one and a half semester's of bench research (My lab shifted to remote literature review work during this pandemic mid semester), and I'm working on a literature review that will be submitted to be published this year.
I have 90 -100 hours of shadowing, and I'm still looking to do more shadowing over the next year. Also, I have experience volunteering in an ED, and in the community.
I have not taken the MCAT yet, and I am looking to take it this year.
My clinical contact hours are about 650 - 750 combining research, shadowing, and volunteering in the ED. Additionally, I believe I had decent extracurriculars in college, and I competed in athletics.
I plan on going through a committee evaluation over the next year.
I want to raise my GPA in order to apply to both DO and MD schools. I cannot afford a formal post-bacc or a SMP, so I am looking to do a DIY post-bacc. I did not get any C's in the prerequisites, so I am hesitant to retake those courses.
1. My top priority is to do good on the MCAT, and take it in September and If I have to, again in January.
2. Second, I want to take courses at either UCLA or Harvard extension school online, and possibly in person depending on COVID-19
3. After spending the summer taking a decent number of courses and taking the MCAT, I want to become a clinical research assistant for the next two gap years. I plan on potentially taking one to two courses at a time during this full time employment, and if I am not satisfied with my MCAT score, I will continue to study outside of work.
4. I would like to volunteer during my summer of studying/taking classes, and carry the volunteering into my work schedule in the fall.
This is a lot, so thank you for your time!
1. I believe the MCAT should be my #1 priority at the moment over boosting my GPA, is that correct?
2. What courses should I take in my DIY post-bacc? I think I should aim for Anatomy, Pathology, and other medical science courses.
3. Should I have a GPA goal in mind such as a 3.6? Or is it more important for me to maintain a 4.0 upward trend moving forward?
4. Are there any solid extension/online schools that any of you know about apart from Harvard and UCLA?
5. Is this a solid plan, and are there any obvious faults or missing aims I should add?
Again, thank you very much and I appreciate the help.
If you are dead set on going MD (which you said you would apply to DO so it doesn't sound like that), then you would need to raise your GPA for sure AND crush the MCAT, AND get some more volunteering experiences.
What is your volunteering in? Do you have volunteering helping the less fortunate?
Onto your questions...
Yes, you need to do well on your MCAT to overcome your lower GPA. Refer to my above whether you should actually take the gap or not.
For your DIY post-bac, your science GPA is low and you need to prove that you can handle medical school level courses, so I would take upper-level science courses and you need to ACE them. If you screw this up by getting lower than an A, your chances are dwindling. This is high stakes here.
If applying MD, a 3.6 would be a good GPA, but you still gotta crush your MCAT. You are fine for DO.
Why do you need to take courses at UCLA/Harvard? Your goal is to get A's in your courses. I went to UCLA for undergrad and can tell you it's NOT easy getting a high GPA there. I am not sure how the extensions work, but if they are UCLA students, I am not sure I would go this route.