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Nov 19, 2015
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Graduated UCSB 2014 with B.S. Biopsychology. Plenty of shadowing experience, good LORs, plenty of volunteering, some research experience, applying for more research opportunities. Still need to take the MCAT (probably this summer after I finish Biochem, I know I will do extremely well)
cGPA = 3.25
sGPA = 3.2

I am currently completing 2nd semester of UC Berkeley Post-Bac. I have received A's in all the classes I have taken.
I am from Southern California but moved to Berkeley (Northern California) in order to attend UCB post-bac. I am very unhappy with the program (unorganized, poor instructors, late night classes) and I am spending way too much money to justify staying here to complete the program. What is my best option?

1) Should I try to get into an SMP?
- I would have to study for/take the GRE or MCAT very quickly and apply very quickly. I know these can be a double-edged sword. These are also extremely expensive. But I finish with a graduate degree. Ideally would like an SMP Nutrition Program.

2) Should I switch post-bac programs?
- I could attend UCLA post-bac. No application, Closer to home = cheaper. 2 classes transfer from my UCB post-bac work. From what I have read, UCLA may have a lot of the same shortcomings as the UCB program. Any insight?
- I am applying to the Cal Sate Fullerton post-bac program. Closer to home = cheaper. Is this program any better?

3) Should I give up on allopathic MD school and focus only on DO school?
- I could retake classes I did poorly in at a CC back home. Save WAY MORE money. Quicker. Easier. But I pigeonhole myself to only DO schools. I am really considering doing research and I know there is less at DO schools. MD schools tend to have higher USMLE pass rates and better residency matches.

4) Should I go to a 4-year University close to home and just take upper division science courses related to medicine?
- I will be done with the med school pre-reqs after this semester. Now I need to prove I can excel in advanced level science classes. Example: I can take upper level science classes at UCI for the next year and do well in all of them. Will this matter for medical school? Will a Certificate for Clinical Research from UCI mean anything?

TLDR: Not happy with UCB Post-bac. Should I do an SMP, switch post-bac, give up on allopathic, take upper division classes at any university?


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5+ Year Member
Aug 22, 2011
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I would probably not recommend giving up too easily on a program you are committed to. Can you tough it out at your program and find ways to get As? Med schools get worried about too many jumps, even if they are well explained. If you have to switch so be it, but try to have something lined up that you can transfer into. Do not rush the MCAT! A bad MCAT is not the way to start this recovery effort. I can't say which option might be better, maybe others have insight. GL


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7+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2014
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I think you can still go MD, and I think it would be fine (and wise) to switch to the cheaper post-bacc. Is the one at CSU Fullerton a formal one? Are your GPAs above including what you've done at UCB or are they what you graduated with? Since you're probably halfway through the semester or so, you should probably finish at UCB and switch for the summer/fall. Also, do not rush into the MCAT. Give yourself plenty of time to study for it so you only take it once. I am a UC grad, and I did my post bacc at a CSU. If you have more specific questions, feel free to PM me.