Once a Pre-Med, Still a Pre-Med- 5 years after graduating: Advice Please!

Looking for some guidance in regards to my application. I’m 26 for reference and graduated in 2014 with a B.S. Biology. As far as standards go- I am considered a disadvantaged student due to my low socioeconomic background and being a first generation student.

I spent the first 2 years of undergraduate at a local community college.

Freshman: 3.74
Sophomore: 2.94

I had a hard time during my Sophomore year, both of my parents had some health issues causing them to refrain from working. Because of this I worked part-full time to help with the bills while taking too full of a course load, (3 lab science courses + other general requirements each semester), my GPA clearly suffered.

Junior: 2.78
Senior: 3.00

Junior year I transferred to a state university and had a hard time adjusting to my larger class sizes. Being in the largest major on campus I was 1 of 300 in my classes. The premed advisors here suggested I declare my major as Biology, “because that’s what people usually do.” The vast majority of my classes involved other sciences such as Ichthyology, Plant Biology, and Animal Behavior just to name a few. I lost interest in my major because of this. I stopped going to the premed advisors after 2 visits because they saw the drop in my GPA and bluntly stated that I, "would never get into med school with my track record.”

Since graduating I have never stopped wanting to achieve my goal of becoming a physician. I’ve held various positions in healthcare as a CNA, receptionist at a medical office, eye bank technician (which really helped declare my decision to fully pursue medicine), and most recently as a pathology technician/grossing assistant.

Fast forward to this past year (Jan.'18-May ’18) I took 3 classes- a general genetics course, nutrition, and an organic chemistry lab to bump my sGPA up to the 3.0 standard.

Post Bac cGPA: 3.75

Final Overall cPGA: 3.13, sGPA: 3.00 (per AACOMAS)

While taking these classes, working full time, enduring a lay off, and job searching I was set to take the MCAT. The duration of my studying was clearly not as helpful as I wished it would be, it was also intermittent the first 6 months, and full time studying the 2 months prior to the test date. I changed my study plan quite a few times. My score came back as 489. I am obviously disappointed but will fully acknowledge my scores weren’t where I wanted them to be when I took it.

At this point I’m trying to decide if I should apply to formal post bac programs or if my past can be salvaged with a tutoring company and to just retake the MCAT vs both enrolling in a post bac and retaking the MCAT at some point during it.

Other than my MCAT issue I have completed and satisfied all prereqs/suggested coursework, clinical, and shadowing experiences. I was planning to apply this past cycle to D.O. schools before learning about my subpar score.

Any guidance or advice from others would be helpful! Thank you in advance.

This is tough. I would definitely suggest getting that MCAT up and when you apply–allow the readers to know your story and how you learned from your experiences in the personal statement. I suppose you could apply to a postbacc but IMO it seems like a waste of time and money. One of the alternative routes that you might want to think about after applying would be an SMP (especially if your new MCAT score is still low). I’ve heard that many that go through SMPs and do well are looked upon favorably with medical schools–as it may show that you have the maturity and ability to do well at the graduate level.