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Adive on Med school

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Lubdub, Aug 6, 2000.

  1. Lubdub

    Lubdub Junior Member
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    Hello All,

    I am going into my third year as an undergrad student with a major in computer science. My science grades are :
    Bio:A-, B-
    GenChem: B+, B-
    OChem: B+, Pending (A- or B+)
    Physics: not taken
    Major: BA computer Science
    My Overall GPA right now is about a 3.2 and I will bring it up to about a 3.4 at graduation time. My plan is to take physics in the summer right after I graduate, then study for MCAT's all the way up to April (7 months). Then that summer I plan to start my MPH (1yr program)...Or I may first do my MPH and then take physics and study for MCAT's. Can someone tell me which plan sounds more advisable?
     
  2. FourthTime

    FourthTime Member
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    Your grades are a bit low, but a graduate GPA can boost that. You say you plan to have a 3.4 undergrad GPA. Remember, the average acceptance at most schools is above a 3.5. Also, you've got a lot of B's in science courses. One thing that the admissions committee will do is compare your overall to your science GPA. Any large deviation is unattractive. Thus, I suggest you do the MPH before taking the MCAT. You will need a strong MCAT (over a 30) to be competitive, and some epidemiologic and statistic courses may help your graphical interpretation and critical reasoning abilities that are essential to doing well on the MCAT. Best of luck!
     
  3. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member
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    Your grades are a bit low, but so were mine and I did fine. I graduated in May of '98, and like you took one physics class after I graduated (in summer after graduation). I then began MCAT prep in January through Kaplan, took the test in April, got a 30, applied, and was admitted to several schools early this year. I am now an MS1.

    BUT, I also needed an extra boost to my resume, like you do as well. Instead of the MPH route, I chose the Patient care experience route. And it worked out perfectly. I worked as a PCT (Nurses Aid) in a hospital full time (three 12 hour shifts/week), and was still able to take the Kaplan course at the same time. I stayed at the hospital for 16 months, and learned a HUGE amount about Patient care. It was an amazing, wonderful, and extremly educational experience, and was the boost I needed to gain acceptance. Just thought I'd throw that out as an alternate plan! Good Luck, Mango



    [This message has been edited by Mango (edited 09-03-2000).]
     
  4. Socceroo4ever

    Socceroo4ever Senior Member
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    Mango--

    Sounds like you're doing what I'm doing now, excepting a few situational differences. I just began work as a NT-1 at hospital nearby and am loving it (although doing three twelves a week plus full-time school is just murder). It may be a bit extreme, but I happen to feel that if all potential medical students could get three months or more of experience in a clinical setting, such as a nursing assistant, we'd all have better bedside manners. Any comments?
     
  5. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member
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    I agree 150%! EVERY person interested in becoming a physician should do some manner of direct Pt care before they apply to med school. The PA schools all require six months to a year of Pt care experience before they admitt somebody, why shouldn't the med schools as well? The truth of the matter is that even though med schools don't require it, they do look VERY HIGHLY upon students who have Pt care in their backgrounds (ie, it will be a huge boost to your resume).

    I commend you on your efforts, and also recommend that you work in Pt care as long as possible. Aside from teaching you volumes about being a better clinician (and therefore physician), it will make you better prepared than your classmates. For instance, next week we begin doing actual Pt interviews in the hospital. Many students in my class have voiced concern over there ability to handle the situation. Most of them are downright scared! But after spending 16 months dealing with Pts in my care on a daily basis, I feel like I am more than prepared for this important part of being a physician (that is the Pt interview). And I have working as a lowly nurses aid to thank for all of that! Also, you'll find that your experiences will one day soon provide you with an excellent personal statement topic, as well as tons of great things to discuss during your interviews! Good Luck, and keep those bed pans clean! [​IMG]
     
  6. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
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    Mango, we're in perfect agreement on this: I think it's CRAZY that med schools require everything BUT meaningful medical/patient care experience. I got it in 2 years as a PT/OT aide at a county hospital: working on the acute medical, psychiatric, and surgical floors of a county hospital was absolutely INVALUABLE, both in terms of buffing up the resume and in the more important sense of cementing my desire to become a doctor. I'm planning on getting on my school's adcom and pushing hard for real patient care experience.

    An important correction: graduate work IS NOT applied to your undergrad GPA. 4.0ing your MPH will not budge that 3.4, and it is the undergraduate GPA that most med schools use for primary app screening. So if you want to bump up that 3.4, do post-bacc work. The MPH will certainly help, but I think acing some post-bacc work would be time better spent. My $.02.
     
  7. Socceroo4ever

    Socceroo4ever Senior Member
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    Heheh Mango... on keeping bedpans clean! Most of my patients are ambulatory with assistance, this being a pulmonary stepdown unit, but anyhow! What you mentioned about being a better clinician is certainly true, or at least, I can see that it's true and feel like I'm getting the best experience I could muster prior to medical school. There is one other element of it, though: appreciation of nursing staff. I promise anyone that after working three months on a nursing floor, you will appreciate and respect everything nurses do!

    So... I think it's great that we get clinical experience with patients in this manner, but I also think it a huge bonus for the future nurses that we'll be working with when we're physicians, because we will know and value the sort of labor they endure! [​IMG]
     
  8. omores

    omores sleep deprived
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    BAck to lubdub's original query, which was whether to take the MCATs before pursuing an MPH, or to get the MPH first and then tackle the MCATs...

    I think you're probably better off taking the MCATs first, before embarking upon the MPH. The further away you get from basic sciences, the harder the MCATs will be. Think about how rusty your brain can feel at the end of summer; can you imagine trying to recall the minutiae of ring-opening reactions two years after you stopped studying them?

    A prep course might refresh your memory somewhat, but I think it's better to deal with the MCATs when the material they cover is still relatively fresh.

    Good luck with whatever route you follow!

     

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