Introduction (trying to stay encouraged)- Apply SMP or attend accepted school (Master of Science in Biology)

Hello everyone,

I’m excited to be apart of a great community like this. I listen to all of Dr. Ryan Gray’s podcast faithfully and I’m enjoying every bit of it! I’m really excited to be here.

A little bit about me: I am a 25 years old college graduate. I got my degree in biology in 2014. I want to go to medical school, but being discouraged most of the times held me back. I’ve been doing things here and there to stay encourage by working in the healthcare field, volunteering, and taking classes at a community college, but OPM podcast, like almost everyone here I’m sure, gives me that extra push. I look forward to this forum doing the same.

Quick question- If anyone could help me (in their option) if an SMP is better than getting a master’s degree in biology at any other school like a private institution?

P.S.- If Dr. Gray mentioned this in one of his podcast, can someone please share?

In 2016, I got accepted into a university that’s allowing me to receive a master’s in biology. This is an opportunity for me to go back to school and receive my master’s that can potentially help me into medical, but I want to make the right decision. Their curriculum at this university reflects what medical students will be taking in their first and second year of medical school (gross anatomy, biochem, biostatistic,etc) so that’s a plus. On the flip side, I’m not sure if I should just take my time and look into some special master’s programs. I’m kinda caught in a dilemma.

Classes start in August…

Some info on the school: The university is small private institution. When speaking with the director of the program, he mentioned that the professors form a close relationship with their students. Students who are interested in medicine, nursing or dentistry enter this program, so I asked the assistant director about the numbers of people who were interested in medical school. I asked, how many of them get accepted into medical school after the program or within a year or two, but they couldn’t give me an exact answer. Is that a warning sign? They mentioned that they lump everything together (since they are small with 45 students in the program), but that they are proud of their 80% placement rate.

If anyone has ANY advice for me that would be appreciated.

I really want to make the right decision, but caught in between taking more time off (about a year) to look into more smp schools to apply to so I have more options or jumping at this opportunity to go back to school and receiving my master’s.

I’m happy I joined. I hope someone has some kind of advice for me.

Thank you

Master’s in Biology will not help you as a master’s GPA will be calculated separately for MD and DO. Generally, SMPs are for people with lower GPA and high MCAT. SMPs also have an advantage as they are sometimes linked to medical school. An SMP is a last resort for people with no other options to improve their GPA/MCAT. If you fit into this bill, it’s something to consider. Do you need to do any GPA repairing? If not, skip more schooling all together if you can and just work on your MCAT and other parts of your application.

Similar yet alternative viewpoint:

A masters in biology will be more useful to you should you not get into medical school. At least with a focused degree, you’ll have a strong foundation to either go into a science-related field or pursue a PhD. An SMP may get you a degree, but there’s only so much you can do when you have a degree that means nothing to anyone outside of a medical school admissions committee…

Either way a masters won’t fit into what most would consider the GPA used for any sort of automated screening process during the primary admissions process. However, a human will view any sort of strong academic recency with some favor.