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28 y/o Biomedical M.Sc Non-Trad transition to Med School. Need Advice.

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by NeuroSigh, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. NeuroSigh


    Aug 22, 2014
    Wanting to go into Med School, Psychiatry route. Give it to me bluntly:

    Current situation
    I am currently a 28 year old M.Sc student in Biomedical Sciences. I am finishing my thesis in the next month and am taking very seriously the prospect of medical school. I was PhD bound for the last 1.5 years, but switched to a terminal M.Sc as my chances in academia were about as likely as me becoming a rock-star.

    While applying to graduate school, I was seriously considering the MD route but I had spent the previous 3 years in undergrad tailoring myself to the PhD, had taken the GRE, wrote the statements etc. and I thought I could never work medicine long term due to fact that a debilitating form of ataxia runs in my family, so I went for the PhD and got in to all my top choices. Well then...concurrent with the start of grad school, I tested negative for ataxia (luck), funding for prof's I wanted to work with was cut, and grad school became a very dark place.

    I know some admission committees may see this as a red flag, but to me it is a career switch into something viable that lines up with my interest in science and medicine and fulfills that itch to connect to individuals and tell someone, "I understand, and I am here to help you." I know that is a bit romanticized, but God were things like that just vacant in academia.

    My GPA from grad school is 3.94 (M.S Biomedical), from Undergrad 3.87 (B.S Neuroscience), and then community college 3.35 (AS Biological Science).

    I have a few pock marks on my record which I am concerned with. In CC, the ataxia I feared I would get took my fathers life and I just withdrew an entire semester. However, one prof didn't get the memo and FAILED me in Orgo I (it was supposed to be a W). I retook Orgo I the next semester and got a B.

    Then in Undergrad I got a C in Orgo II, as I struggled with depression. (Regret this often).

    CC aside and the C in Orgo II, everything else from my undergraduate institution is essentially flawless (except for a B in Spanish IV).

    I currently am missing 1 year of physics, which I may take this quarter as I finish writing and start the MCAT process.

    How is my GPA? Will being a CC graduate affect my chances? Will those Orgo pock marks kill me? Should I retake Orgo II?

    I have been in research for the past 5 years, so I have tons of experience in cognitive psych, behavioral pharmacology, electrophysiology & molecular biology.

    I also have my CNA with 250 hours of clinical work so far but it is expired and it has been 7 years since I worked as one. Currently, I volunteer at a hospital, and am trying to get some footing in the neuro/psych departments to shadow.

    I am debating getting re-certified for my CNA...or getting my psychiatric technician license and working that as it is more in line with my interests in medicine.

    I have spent almost the past decade in school with little working experience aside from research assistant positions and part time gigs in odd jobs, which may also be a red-flag to admin committees (jumping school --> school --> school)

    I realize I will be 30-31 once I start, 34-35 when I finish, and 38-39 when I am ready to roll (assuming psychiatry).

    Overall...what are my chances? And, just from your this a move I should be making at this age with little career experience aside from academia?

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  3. type12

    type12 5+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2012
    I frankly think you have a great shot after you finish up the prereqs. I'm in my late 20s nearing 30s and just started. It's worth it.

    The C in Orgo I really wouldn't lose sleep over it. I would not retake it, as you have demonstrated your capabilities and will continue to through the MCAT. In fact, I wouldn't really give it a passing mention anywhere, only be ready to explain it if asked.

    That's my two cents. Some people may say you should address it in at least your personal statement, but I don't think anyone thinks you need a retake, especially given your GPAs.

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