Trying to gain general advice Post Bacc / Premed / Masters

Hi, my name is Ben and I’ve decided to start to pursue a medical career and become a physician. I was curious if I could get some advice on general questions I have in creating the best possible med school app.

So I would really appreciate your input because there are a lot of knowledgeable people on this forum.

My outcome is to get accepted into the best possible allopathic school.

I have read through threads here and on for about 5 hours and have a good feel on what I need to do, but still I have a some specific questions, first though I will give you some background on my academic history/work history.

-1st Year attended University in CA.

-3.4 overall GPA

2nd year got pretty ugly, moved back home and took both community college and local university classes. (I decided to become an actor and was enrolled in acting/theater classes)

-GPA very low, didn’t really attend classes so there were a lot of W’s (withdraws) yet a few profs kept me enrolled, giving a few Fs… Overall 1 semester with 1.9 GPA (at local university) and a couple Fs at comm college.

Moved to pursue acting in NYC, then LA. This was a few years, eventually I just went back to school to get a degree.

Return to school around 23 years old. Had 4.0 at community college (60 units) then went to local university, had excellent grades for 1 year then slacked off, ended with a 3.2 and a B.A. in communications. Graduate at 25

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That gives a good summary of my academic career. I would say my GPA is around a 3.0 to 3.3, which is inflated because of those Comm Coll classes.

So, now I went to work for 2 years as a salesperson/consultant. I’m in the home mortgage field right now, and I have done well but now I am BORED with my career. This makes me 27 and DESPERATELY wanting to do something that MEANS SOMETHING at the end of day.

I enrolled for my sciences at a comm college but after reading how they are viewed I am withdrawing from O Chem and Phy tomorrow. I guess I will have to wait.

Even after all my research I have a few questions still.

  1. If I want to move my undergraduate performance from par 3.0-3.3 to excellent, is a post bacc program or informal post bacc best (even masters)?

    (I have read the answer, it doesn’t matter, the program is what you make it)

  2. I want to have the best possible shot at getting into a school, I live in AZ but am willing to relocate to ANYWHERE. Where would you guys go? I see that Maryland/Washington DC is a rich area with Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Maryland Univ and a few other strong universities in one area.

    I understand a common answer is, “it doesn’t matter. It is what you make it.” So my real question is, if you guys could move/go to any undergrad which one would it be, or what areas have the strongest medical communities (Boston? MA)

  3. What are you guys doing for work? My problem was that most course at Universities in AZ were only offered during the day, that is why I originally was enrolled in CC. If you are taking classes all day, what are you doing for money at night, or are you just living on loans/savings?

  4. My fears are that I go take classes and then I don’t get in. Then I start saying, “do I take a masters for 2 years? Enroll in a clinic for another year? Keep applying while improving the little areas I can?” I guess I’m saying, what do you do if you don’t get in the first time?

    It is a gamble with the amount of time/money involved in the quest to apply. Years and $ go into this, so you don’t want to start this journey without a well crafted plan that almost certainly ensures success.

  5. I had a B in 2nd semester biology, would you guys retake that?

  6. What general advice would you give someone in my shoes? Focus on volunteering? Post Bacc vs informal post bacc, does it matter? Do I have a better shot getting into a great school like Hopkins if I go do my pre-reqs there and get a letter of Rec from a professor there? Am I over thinking it in moving, should I just try to get pre reqs at ASU (local university)?

    I want to put together a well rounded app with volunteering, improved GPA, Great MCAT, Great LORs, but I need to know where to start. Are your chances better with the better undergrad schools esp since you can get LORs from that university(i.e. hopkins, georgetown, etc)?

  7. Does it matter where you go to med school? I want to specific do surgery, do I have to go to a great school or is it better to go to a less known school and finish higher in your classes. I’ve tried to educate myself on how applying to surgical residencies works. I guess you take “boards” and if you do well on those you have a better shot at being a surgeon. How does getting into good residency programs work after you are in medical school?

  8. Is it hard to get into these better schools with a B.A.? If I wanted to attend science classes at Johns Hopkins with a 3.2 BA, do they just let you in or do they have a stringent admissions process?

    Any all all comments are appreciated! Sorry for the verbosity.


You asked a lot of very specific questions, an although you gave a good summary of college, I don’t have enough info on your science background to comment other in general terms to suggest any specific path.

  1. 4 year schools are viewed more more favorably than CC.

  2. Better grades are likely more important then the rank of the school.

  3. take a breath and plan this out.