A second degree with all A's will be necessary; no question I can do it, but will it hurt my app?

Jan 5, 2014
49
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Pre-Medical
My first time in school, I had no business being there. I took six years to finally complete a business degree with a 2.5. Now over a decade later I'm back in school, getting straight A's, actually doing volunteer work I should have been doing all along, keeping my business going. My immediate challenge is fitting in much needed clinical experience and then research once I've taken enough science classes to be useful. Here is the problem: I may be getting straight A's my second time around, have an excellent MCAT score (hopeful), have a great application other than the nagging overall GPA of probably just over 3.0 by the time I'm done, good extracurriculars... "but you seriously took 10 years to finish two degrees - are you out of your mind?" Is the fact that I was out of school for over a decade going to keep them from adding the years up in their heads and thinking I'm crazy? Four years is not that long to me, not when the alternative for me was to always be poor as a self-employed pet sitter (don't get me wrong I love my job, just hate being poor) or go back and work in a cubicle doing low-level administrative work.
 

Goro

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A second degree with all As will convince every Adcom member in the world that you can handle medical school. There are a good number of schools that value reinvention

My first time in school, I had no business being there. I took six years to finally complete a business degree with a 2.5. Now over a decade later I'm back in school, getting straight A's, actually doing volunteer work I should have been doing all along, keeping my business going. My immediate challenge is fitting in much needed clinical experience and then research once I've taken enough science classes to be useful. Here is the problem: I may be getting straight A's my second time around, have an excellent MCAT score (hopeful), have a great application other than the nagging overall GPA of probably just over 3.0 by the time I'm done, good extracurriculars... "but you seriously took 10 years to finish two degrees - are you out of your mind?" Is the fact that I was out of school for over a decade going to keep them from adding the years up in their heads and thinking I'm crazy? Four years is not that long to me, not when the alternative for me was to always be poor as a self-employed pet sitter (don't get me wrong I love my job, just hate being poor) or go back and work in a cubicle doing low-level administrative work.
 

MedPhys2MD

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Oct 9, 2011
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I'm not quite understanding how you think getting all A's would every hurt you... Are you worried about getting another degree hurting you? Don't really understand that concern either though

Could you explain what you're worried about please?
 
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smallbiz2doc
Jan 5, 2014
49
5
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm not quite understanding how you think getting all A's would every hurt you... Are you worried about getting another degree hurting you? Don't really understand that concern either though

Could you explain what you're worried about please?
Thank you everyone for your responses! Yes, I was worried about the second degree part (as opposed to post-bach or SMP). I don't recall what forum I was on (I wasn't the OP), but some were saying getting a second degree could be seen by the admissions committee as an inefficient use of finances and time, as well as poor in comparison to other students who double-majored and got it all done in 4 years. I feel that my situation is different (6 years of 2.5 from the distant past, needing another 120 credits just to raise it to low B, get clinical exp., do research, etc...), but I was starting to second-guess myself after reading those other threads.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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I would be more concerned with your motivation for pursuing a career in medicine than what you've done over a time span of 16+ years. You can have the intellectual capacity and the work habits to do well in an academic setting but have no passion for service to fellow human beings and care of the sick, injured, and others seeking medical services.
 
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smallbiz2doc
Jan 5, 2014
49
5
Status
Pre-Medical
I would be more concerned with your motivation for pursuing a career in medicine than what you've done over a time span of 16+ years. You can have the intellectual capacity and the work habits to do well in an academic setting but have no passion for service to fellow human beings and care of the sick, injured, and others seeking medical services.
My initial motivation was a combination of my interest in the body and mind, why diseases and disorders happen, how they can be prevented, how they can be treated in the unfortunate event they are allowed to occur and progress... and how those interests might lead to a life where my time and energy is worth more than it is now. (Insert transition between science and caring here, maybe after some clinical experience. ;-) )

The times I have been most caring have been toward people who were somehow disadvantaged, physically and/or mentally, like my disabled step-mother who raised me since I was 2 years old, elderly people who just needed someone to talk to in a nursing home I only worked at for two weeks when I was young (because it drove me crazy that I had to leave the patients to do my job when they desperately wanted to talk to me), then a quadriplegic woman I lived with over a summer while I was in school the first time (a brief period in that time I actually felt motivated to get up at 5:00 am), then hospital mates who were a whole lot worse off than me mentally, not just going through a divorce. The help I got there had more to do with being there for people who didn't know what to do because they still didn't feel better and were having terrible side-effects from their medication. It is in those situations that people see my true nature. People don't even know me until they find themselves in a situation where they need me. Until then, they just think I'm aloof. That is something I have to work on.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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If you're referring to a psychiatric hospitalization in that last part there, I'd suggest not discussing that in your PS unless you can't avoid it because of a gap in your CV. There's a lot of prejudice against mental health patients in medicine.
 
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smallbiz2doc
Jan 5, 2014
49
5
Status
Pre-Medical
If you're referring to a psychiatric hospitalization in that last part there, I'd suggest not discussing that in your PS unless you can't avoid it because of a gap in your CV. There's a lot of prejudice against mental health patients in medicine.
Oh no I would keep that out (big stigma). Thankfully I wasn't there long enough for it to cause any gaps. Just long enough to realize I also have empathy for people who are not well mentally (I imagine you have to be comfortable with that in many areas of medicine).