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A few basic qestions

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by droz1, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. droz1

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    Hello everyone,
    I have a few questions about the pre-med process. I am a mid 20's X-Ray tech student at a community college and I'm planning to transfer to UCF to complete the X-Ray BS.

    I've been told that I should not take the med school pre-reqs at the community college but will it really hurt me that much if I take most of them while I'm at the CC? The reason why I ask is that I have already taken 2 English, 2 Math, and 2 Physics plus Bio I as pre-reqs for the X-Ray program. The only med school pre-reqs left would be Bio II, Chem, and OrgChem.

    Question number 2. A lot of the X-Ray program (about half total time spent) is clinical education done at a hospital. Is that considered clinical exposure? Is that considered an extra-curricular activity even though it is part of the X-Ray curriculum?

    And the last question. My cGPA is 3.8 and 4.0 science but a lot of my A's where A- and since my school doesn't use the plus/minus system, A- and A+ is the same 4.0; so that GPA is a little inflated. How bad will it look if once I transfer to UCF my GPA stats leveling a little lower than at the CC or is that expected?
     
    #1 droz1, Dec 21, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
  2. droz1

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    I guess they're not that basic. Anyone?
     
  3. RabbitMD

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    I'm really new at this myself, but from what I've been reading on here, a lot of med schools won't accept pre-reqs taken at a CC (at least MD schools? I seem to remember DO might be different though). Sounds like you're doing great in your classes though! Sorry I can't help more!

    EDIT: I take that back... sounds like it might be okay. Check out this thread:
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=527335

    Seems like it would depend on the school and what the other parts of your application look like.
     
    #3 RabbitMD, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
  4. dragonfly99

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    I would recommend taking the premed classes at a 4 year university, especially one that has other premedical students. You need to know that the class is structured to teach you enough and some of what you need to know to do OK on the MCAT. I would check with individual medical schools to see if they accept community college classes for science prerequisites...some will not, and probably some will. It might depend on which community college, also - not all are equal. My biggest concern would be whether those community college classes, especially if part of the Xray tech curriculum, would get you ready for the MCAT.

    I would take biology and chemistry at a 4 year university, and I would take the same intro bio and chem classes that the biology and chemistry majors take. Those are the classes the med schools want to see you taking IMHO.
     
  5. droz1

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    Ok, so I won't take any more pre-reqs at the CC but what about the science classes I already took? Should I retake them at a 4-year college or does that only work for DO schools?
     
  6. Lacheln

    Lacheln Cavorting in the Hills
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    If you have any idea of where you are interested in applying, I would call them and see what they say about comm college courses. I believe there aren't many schools that flat out won't accept cc courses as pre-reqs, but there are more who will value those courses less as an indicator of academic success. That said, unless a school you are very interested in won't accept them, I wouldn't retake them - I would suggest focusing on upper level courses like biochem, genetics etc.

    As for whether schools will understand that some poor initial grades at the new school are due to the transition, yes, some would, but not all, and it would be an additional red flag to deal with. If you don't feel confident in your abilities maybe you can audit a course first to get your feet under you. Or line up a tutor right from the start, don't wait to start struggling before getting help. Good luck!
     
    #6 Lacheln, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
  7. Joannavr

    Joannavr Customer Disservice
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    The reason you're having a bit of trouble getting answers is that we're not the right people to ask. Do you know what med schools you're interested in? Only they can tell you how they view CC courses. Call them up, they'll be happy to give you the information and then you have it first hand from the people whose opinons actually matter.

    Don't bother retaking courses before you know the answer from the horses mouth, you may be just wasting time. Same goes for taking more classes at the CC, find out first!
     
  8. DrJD

    DrJD Junior Member
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    There are very, very, very few medical schools that won't accept community college pre-reqs... Most say they will take them if they are from an "accredited" community college, which I'm sure yours is.

    Now, do you need to retake the classes you've already taken at the University level? NO!!! That would be a waste of time and effort. If you can wait to take the other classes at the university level then you might as well. I took pretty much every single pre-req at the community college level and I have on acceptance so far. Honestly, the thing holding me back is my really low GPA, not the community college classes. You're GPA is amazing so you don't need to worry about that.

    As far as your grades dropping, the simple answer is, don't let that happen. Work harder if you have to. You have given yourself such a great start, you are on your way to becoming a doctor!

    Now if they do drop some you are totally fine. We are talking to a 3.5ish level, you're overall will still be in the 3.7 range and with a solid MCAT you will be good to go. If you drop to below 3.0 at the university that will raise some red flags. (This happened to me, not because it was hard but for other reasons and it is really hard to get accepted.)

    Lastly, I don't think your grades will drop as much as you think, it takes intelligence to get a 4.0 in some of those classes at a JC, and that will take you far in the university system. (Oh, and start volunteering NOW!)

    As a non-trad, who had a bad GPA and went to a CC and a university let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck!
     
  9. RabbitMD

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    From what I understood, I don't think droz was worried his grades would actually drop... just that the current GPA is somewhat inflated because an A- counts the same as an A, and if this is no longer the case it will drop.

    Is that right droz? If so, I wouldn't worry about it... I think AMCAS will see the individual grades in your courses, and calculate your GPA itself... so doesn't matter if one of the schools you've been to calculates your GPA differently.
     
  10. droz1

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    Yeah that is my main concern. If I keep flirting with those A-'s , they won't be 4.0 anymore but a 3.75. They will probably notice the drop from the CC GPA.
     

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