Sep 4, 2015
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi,

I am currently starting my senior year at a UC campus. Im looking to figure out what my options are. Currently not in a great place to be applying to med school at the end of my senior year but perhaps the year after. Here are my stats:

Physiology and Neuroscience major
cGPA 3.05
sGPA 3.0
Major GPA/upper div requirement classes: 3.5 (includes physiology 1-2, endocrinology, genetics, ochem 1-3)
I have about 100 hours of volunteer in hospital (will work on this year more)
I have about 200 hours of research for school credits over two quarters (no pubs only credits for school)
Involved in two social orgs on campus

So next year obviously I have to get straight As but this will only put me at 3.2-3.3 cGPA. Im going to be taking lots of hard upper div science classes and have been prepping for the MCAT this summer. I plan to take the MCAT in January this school year and again in Spring if necessary.

I want to know what I have the option to do next in order to help me get into med school. Is my only chance to get into a postbac first? if so which ones would u suggest for me? Do i have a chance at doing a postbac?

Also forgot to ask about a possible dilemma I have. I took calculus freshman year and in the third quarter i got a C-. Do i Have to retake a math course with c-? This is one grade that has held my GPA down a bit. I also have taken a quarter of stats, also did fine in calc for quarter 1 and 2. My school does not allow retakes of courses unless you failed them so I wouldn't really know what to do if I needed a better grade then c-.

thank you for your advice!
 
Last edited:

GrapesofRath

2+ Year Member
May 5, 2015
5,320
3,803
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Non-Student
How about staying a fifth year at your school? Ace both years you can probably move your GPA up to close to 3.4 territory and with a strong upward trend you might have a GPA that can be competitive for lower tier MDs. Obviously many other variables in play, the least of which is acing those classes when you've been a 3.0 student, but something to think about. Post-bacs are expensive and there is nothing wrong with staying a fifth year to boost your GPA if that is a financial possibility.
 
OP
R
Sep 4, 2015
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
How about staying a fifth year at your school? Ace both years you can probably move your GPA up to close to 3.4 territory and with a strong upward trend you might have a GPA that can be competitive for lower tier MDs. Obviously many other variables in play, the least of which is acing those classes when you've been a 3.0 student, but something to think about. Post-bacs are expensive and there is nothing wrong with staying a fifth year to boost your GPA if that is a financial possibility.

Yes I have thought about doing that. My school would require me to pick up a minor to stay since I am going to finish my major unit cap easily next year. I edited my post at the bottom with a problem I have, got any info on that? Does a post bac give me a greater edge over just staying a fifth year? I have savings money enough to pay for a year of a postbac or my first year of medical school. Ive considered joining the military after working in the VA, which would have the extra benefit of paying for medical school.
 

GrapesofRath

2+ Year Member
May 5, 2015
5,320
3,803
Status
Non-Student
Yes I have thought about doing that. My school would require me to pick up a minor to stay since I am going to finish my major unit cap easily next year. I edited my post at the bottom with a problem I have, got any info on that? Does a post bac give me a greater edge over just staying a fifth year? I have savings money enough to pay for a year of a postbac or my first year of medical school. Ive considered joining the military after working in the VA, which would have the extra benefit of paying for medical school.
For schools where calc 1 is a requirement I would retake a C-. However, I don't think there are that many schools where it is a requirement. Check each school's policy. If there are enough lower tiers that require it, take it at a different school(even a CC).

In terms of post-baccs vs fifth years by far and away your biggest goal has to be to do well at all costs. I often recommend the idea of a fifth year to many because you are familiar with that school and have an idea of what you need to do there to succeed and what that environment is like. Furthermore, you can get a feel for which classes and departments are best to take, where the easier upper level science classes are, and which professors to avoid. The gap in "prestige" between a formal post-bacc and staying a fifth year isn't nearly enough to ditch the fifth year if it is a better option for you; success in either is by far the biggest thing.
 
OP
R
Sep 4, 2015
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
For schools where calc 1 is a requirement I would retake a C-. However, I don't think there are that many schools where it is a requirement. Check each school's policy. If there are enough lower tiers that require it, take it at a different school(even a CC).

In terms of post-baccs vs fifth years by far and away your biggest goal has to be to do well at all costs. I often recommend the idea of a fifth year to many because you are familiar with that school and have an idea of what you need to do there to succeed and what that environment is like. Furthermore, you can get a feel for which classes and departments are best to take, where the easier upper level science classes are, and which professors to avoid. The gap in "prestige" between a formal post-bacc and staying a fifth year isn't nearly enough to ditch the fifth year if it is a better option for you; success in either is by far the biggest thing.
ok sounds awesome thank you for all the help. Just gotta stay focused from here on out and ill be alright. Its hard to explain to my parents that this is what I need to do. They just want me to apply to school and take what ever happens after then end of next year then go get a job if it doesn't work out. Have any suggestion to how I should go about explaining this to my parents? They don't understand that its a process that doesn't always pan out so easily.
 

GrapesofRath

2+ Year Member
May 5, 2015
5,320
3,803
Status
Non-Student
ok sounds awesome thank you for all the help. Just gotta stay focused from here on out and ill be alright. Its hard to explain to my parents that this is what I need to do. They just want me to apply to school and take what ever happens after then end of next year then go get a job if it doesn't work out. Have any suggestion to how I should go about explaining this to my parents? They don't understand that its a process that doesn't always pan out so easily.
Only you can answer this

If you ask SDN for advice on how to tell your parents how wrong they are you'll get something along these lines
a) tell them to create an SDN account to see how wrong they are
b) man up, grow a spine
c) you should be able to have an honest conversation with your parents about this.

From my own experiences and those of many people I know with their parents who can be very stubborn about these type of things, I know the advice I listed above really isn't helpful in many cases and doesn't understand the reality of the situation or just how rigid parents can be in their beliefs about these kind of things. The best thing I can tell you is try and reason with your parents in as many ways as possible. Show the AAMC data of how many people don't get into medical school, how few people get in with the GPA you have right now, and how long it'll take you to get your GPA up and that staying a 5th year is important to accomplish this. Calculate with them how much money it would cost to stay a fifth year. These are just a few of many examples. The rest really comes down to you, your parents, and your relationship with them and knowing what they will and won't respond to favorably.
 
OP
R
Sep 4, 2015
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Only you can answer this

If you ask SDN for advice on how to tell your parents how wrong they are you'll get something along these lines
a) tell them to create an SDN account to see how wrong they are
b) man up, grow a spine
c) you should be able to have an honest conversation with your parents about this.

From my own experiences and those of many people I know with their parents who can be very stubborn about these type of things, I know the advice I listed above really isn't helpful in many cases and doesn't understand the reality of the situation or just how rigid parents can be in their beliefs about these kind of things. The best thing I can tell you is try and reason with your parents in as many ways as possible. Show the AAMC data of how many people don't get into medical school, how few people get in with the GPA you have right now, and how long it'll take you to get your GPA up and that staying a 5th year is important to accomplish this. Calculate with them how much money it would cost to stay a fifth year. These are just a few of many examples. The rest really comes down to you, your parents, and your relationship with them and knowing what they will and won't respond to favorably.
yeah I should try to show them data so they can get a better perspective, I think it will be much easier justifying the 5th year once my fourth goes over perfectly. I am much more confident in my classes now since I have been on an upward trend the past year. Thanks again!