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College Senior Deciding to become a doctor but no science reqs (help)

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by ucdguy2012, 02.23.12.

  1. ucdguy2012

    ucdguy2012

    Joined:
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    Hi Everyone,

    So it's occurred to me late on with 4 quarters to go that I want to pursue a medical degree after I graduate. The catch is, I have no pre-requisites except two biology classes completed. I don't have enough time to finish up 3 quarters of calculus, physics, chemistry and organic chemistry. I never thought it could be possible for me to have a chance at medical school except I came across the "career changer post bac". To me, it sounds like a great chance. You get to finish up your science requisites after you graduate and some have linkages. The catch is that they only pay for one year of financial aid out of two. The alternative to a career changer would be to finish up the pre-reqs at a community college which would be thousands cheaper however, it lacks that whole boost of being a 4 year university. It occurred to me though, what if I did the science pre reqs at CC and, did a one year post bac to enhance my background? I'm going to throw down my stats here too. Please give me some feedback as to which is the best and if you have any experience doing any of this please let me know!

    Majors: Psychology and Evolutionary Anthropology
    GPA: 3.5
    Research in an endocrinology lab for a year
    Lots of EC, Will be shadowing a physician soon.

    Thanks!
  2. ucdguy2012

    ucdguy2012

    Joined:
    02.23.12
    Messages:
    6
    I dont have any space to take them to finish both of my degrees. Thats another problem
  3. ucdguy2012

    ucdguy2012

    Joined:
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    I would but, then I would get kicked out due to my plan with my college to finish both degrees and I only have financial aid for 4 more quarters.
  4. blkwmnmd

    blkwmnmd Cry me a river...

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I was in your exact position many moons ago when I decided to pursue medicine. You seem to be in a decent position due to your major/GPA and experience. In all honesty, I would not do a "piecemeal" of taking the required courses just to satisfy entry requirements. I graduated undergrad in 2007, did a post-bac in 2008 simply to take the necessary classes that I was missing and/or up my grades and then I applied. Well, that was a no-go! Any specific reason? Well, maybe because I did the bare minimum, maybe because I didn't pick the right schools, maybe my post-bac advising was the not the best, who knows. After being discouraged and then encouraged, I entered a grad school program with a specific goal of getting you into medical school. I took classes with medical students, wrote a thesis, worked in a refugee clinic and just all in all became a far better candidate. What I'm getting at is that programs that are structured and have a goal of helping you (regardless of your background/experience) prepare you far better than what we can do on our own. I am most glad that I did not get into medical school 3 years ago because I'd be barely passing right now I think. And this cycle, I got into 4 schools before the year was over.

    Now I don't mean to make you think "It took you how long to get there?" I had a different route. But if I had known about these structured programs such as Drexel, Tufts and BU, it would've been a different story. Granted I did have a considerable amount of the requirements completed before entering grad school (which does matter for some programs), but there are plenty that are focused on career-changers. I may be wrong but I think Columbia has one. The AAMC website posts programs for all types of students.

    I know that your other concern was financing. Well, that is just something you can't think about too much when medical school is on the line. You are going to go into debt and the sooner you are okay with that, the sooner there will be that much less stress in your life. I'll admit that my grad school was the most expensive ticket into medical school but if I had it to do all over, I wouldn't change anything (except think about med school far earlier in my undergrad career maybe!).
  5. ucdguy2012

    ucdguy2012

    Joined:
    02.23.12
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    Triage: I do go to UC Davis and I'm in L&S. I know the requirements and I'm going to hit the unit cap hence why i have a plan quarter by quarter to finish with my advisor. I'm leaving here with two degrees and thats that lol.

    Blkwmnmd: Thank you for your insight. I've seen the career changers and thats probably the route i have to go. I don't like how some require the GRE which is completely stupid.I've accepted I'm going into debt and I'm okay with it! Which grad program did you apply to if I may ask?
  6. thlaxer

    thlaxer Passable Paperweight

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    NJ
    Status:
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    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hello there, there's actually a post-bacc forum on SDN that contains a lot of helpful information about 'career changer' post-baccs. Keep in mind that many of these career changer programs will only write you a committee letter if you have completed a certain number of classes at their institution (certain programs would even prefer it if you went in with no prereqs done). Something to think about since if you go in with too many pre-reqs completed, you might not be eligible for a committee letter there unless you take additional upper division courses.

    Also, I'm surprised about the GRE requirement. Maybe things have changed, but when I applied a few years ago, I only sent in my SAT scores from college. Off the top of my head, these schools didn't have the GRE requirement a few years back: Goucher, Columbia, Harvard Extension, UPenn, NYU. I personally would avoid going to a community college to do your prereqs, some med schools frown upon this (while others claim that they do not mind). This is all anecdotal, but none of the students I interviewed with seemed to have gone to a community college (disclaimer: this occurred at "top 60" schools)..

    In my opinion, the best thing you can do now is to make sure you finish strong so that your GPA is as high as it can be entering the post-bac program. You will have time to complete all of your pre-requisites within 2 years, so I don't see a point purposely stuffing in as many of them into your undergrad years (the benefit: you might save some money; the con: you might royally screw up your sGPA if you aren't giving the course the attention it requires).

    Also, while upper division courses definitely help, it's very possible to get into medical school with the bare minimum pre-requisites. I got in through this pathway and a few of my friends have also had successful cycles this year.

    Last but not least, what is your math background like? I ask this of almost everyone because one thing I've noticed is that the people who do well in the post-bac program are usually the people with strong math backgrounds. Chemistry and Physics, for example, require a certain level of comfort with algebra and trig. So if math is a potential weakness for you, your time now might be better spent brushing up your math skills first before attempting to do chemistry.

    Just my thoughts. Good luck!

    Edit: Also as TriagePremed said, I don't think double majoring is going to affect you much if that is a concern of yours. I applied with a single major (a B.A., not even a B.S.!) and it was never brought up as an issue.
    Last edited: 02.24.12
  7. ucdguy2012

    ucdguy2012

    Joined:
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    Triage: They are not forcing me to do anything I don't want to do. I enjoy both of my degree paths and, if I just drop in the middle of one when I only have a a few classes left for both, that would be so much work just wasted.

    Napaholic: Thank you! I didn't know there was a post bac group. The post bac programs im looking at require the gre or a standardized test ( i did not take the SAT) and I'm not leaving california for it (my partner is in graduate school for a PhD and its already a LDR). My math background is pretty good and I agree about getting my GPA higher.
  8. thlaxer

    thlaxer Passable Paperweight

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    NJ
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Yup, you'll get a lot more career changer perspectives over there. Good luck :)

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