PharmD to MD
Hi all.. I'm 23, I am a first year pharmacy student and the longer I stay here, the more I know this isn't for me- my interest lies much more in diagnostics and I want to do surgery. I know I will never feel fulfilled until I become a physician so this isn't really a question of "if", it's more of a "when". I graduated with a BS in Biochemistry, however my GPA was only a 3.0. I haven't taken the MCAT yet but will soon. Irrelevant, but I scored 93rd percentile on the PCAT - I test well. I have published research and a lot of patient experience. Does anyone have any experience with this? Should I finish pharmacy school for the GPA and then apply the MD route? Should I see if I could get in now? Any other recommendations?
(Just for background, I am also a single mom. I'm not sure if that would count against me, but I have an excellent support system to help me through it. Again, not a question of "should I".)
See the relevant table for your ethnicity for acceptance rates by MCAT/GPA
Med schools use undergrad GPA as a screener for applicants. Grad and undergrad GPAs are computed and reported separately so finishing pharm school may not have the beneficial effect on your application that you're hoping for.
There is also the issue of debt. Can you afford to pay for pharm school and then med school? That seems like a ridiculous amount of debt to take on.
BTW, one last thing to consider-- is your support system capable of relocating? You will probably have to move for med school and move again once or twice for residency. And one more time for fellowships.
The debt and support systems are not issues. I'm looking for advice of how to realistically boost my application to get in.
IF your MCAT score is good enough (29+), you might consider SMPs.
SMP= Special Master Program-- a 1 year program which is essentially the first year of medical school. You will take coursework side-by-side with actual MS1s and be graded on the same curve. Some have linkages or guaranteed interviews if you successfully complete the program.
For a current list of SMPs and a discussion of program requirements:
Do you suggest an SMP instead of pharmacy or after?
Or consider retaking core undergrad pre-reqs to improve your grades in them and apply to osteopathic medical school since they allow grade replacement
DO programs have surgical residencies.
So you think a decent Pharm GPA and decent MCAT score isn't enough to overcome a 3.0 undergrad? If they screen by undergrad GPA only, then what would be the point of a masters?
A one year SMP gets you where you want to be faster than 3+ year PharmD.
(Top SMPs have med school admission rates as high as 85%. Some have linkages and [u]guaranteed[/u] admission interviews.)
Medical school plus a surgical residency takes 9-10 years. Do you want to add another 3 years to to the tally?
A SMP also avoids the awkward question of why you completed a PharmD when you knew you wanted to go to medical school. (And you will be asked.)
But, it's your life--do what you want.
P.S. Some medical schools will look at a grad GPA in addition to an undergrad GPA. I have no idea which programs do, but an admissions counselor at a SMP will.
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