Advice: BSN to MD/DO

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Harebell, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Harebell

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    Hello, I have been lurking around these parts for awhile, and have seen the plethora of similiar threads posted. Ive found out lots of interesting information, but I would still like some advice, before I begin making life-changing decisions.

    I am currently at the end of my Junior year of nursing school at one of the top nursing schools in the country (fwiw). Unfortunately, due to a combination of apathy, laziness, hangovers, ect I will manage to graduate with just around a 3.0....Ive had a good time here! I had a 3.7 in high school, 1300 SAT, and Ive never taken calculus :oops:

    Through my clinical experiences, and some soul searching, Ive decided that I truly do want to be a doctor. I used to think the journey it required was not worth it, and working as little as possible was exactly the lifestyle I desired.....my grades are reflective of that 'tude. I now KNOW that I Want to do this, whatever the heartache, studyache, sleep deprivation.

    So as I read these forums, and chew my fingernails, and agonize about the proper course toward reaching my goal, I figured I would ask for a bit of advice. I would love to do a formal 1 year post bacc, but it seems like competition for these things is fierce! I probably would've been better off majoring in classical literature like my little heart desired. I'd really like to get on the right track as quickly as possible, and not delay any longer.

    So anyway, what is a newly reformed almost BSN student to do? I know I am capable of mastering the material, I got a 5 on AP Bio no problem (which is meaningless Im sure, but I don't have socks for brains either). Suggest plans of action? PostBaccs that are a bit less lofty? Personal anecdotes? Any help would be most appreciated, and again I apologize for inundating the board with another one of these threads-Thanks!
     
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  3. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    You are going to need the Pre-Med courses and you are going to need As in these courses. That 3.0 is way low for medical school no matter what nursing school you attend or what you did in high school. You are going to need enough courses to get yourself into competitive range. Undergraduate GPA (3.6 average for matriculants). Whether you do formal post bacc or just take the coursework, you have a bit of an uphill journey ahead. Is it impossible? No but it's going to require some good study skills and some good grades. You can't afford anything less than B+.

    In addition to getting your undergraduate GPA up, you are going to need to take the MCAT and score well (above 30 with no section lower than 8). This is no "chip shot" either and takes thorough preparation after taking the six Pre-Med courses (General Biology with lab, General Chemistry with lab, General Physics with lab and Organic Chemistry with lab).

    Figure out a timeline and plot your strategy for getting the above accomplished and you are on you way. In the meantime, you can be working and getting your clinical experience.
     
  4. nursejessy

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    I was in a similar situation as you. I have my RN/BSN, and wanted to get into med school. I wasn't sure if I should do a post-bacc program for pre-req's or save money and go to a CC. I had a good undergrad GPA (3.9) and I did a year MSN program with a 4.0, I still didn't get accepted to post-bacc program. They told me that my SAT score wasn't high enough (1200), a test I took when I was 15, over 12 years ago. I emailed the admissions boards of all the med schools I am interested in and asked them what they thought about pre-req's at a CC. The overwhelming response was as long as you get good grades and good mcat score it doesn't matter where you take the classes. I'm finishing up my pre-req's now at CC, and so glad I didn't take out the $40k in loans to pay for a post-bacc program.
     
  5. medic11306

    medic11306 OW!! Quit it...
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    Having been a paramedic for a number of years and searching for what I wanted to do when I grew was difficult. I understand where you are coming from, but your decision is not without challenges. It took me helping to bring a kid into this crazy world to decide what I wanted to do. A 3.0 is not stellar, but don't sweat it. I have a lot of CC credits and as it stands now about 140+ college credit hours without a degree and have been accepted to the only school I applied. My GPA was decent, 3.6 with my science a 3.7. My MCAT wasn't in the 30's, I scored a 6 in the physical sciences and I was accepted, in one of the most competitive years in 8-10 years. It is the total package that you have to offer, not just your numbers and test scores. If you want to go to medical school get on the ball. Now will you get into John Hopkins, or Harvard, well only if you score a 45 on the MCAT; but if you work on your pre-reqs for med school and do well there and do fairly well on the MCAT then you stand a chance. I do suggest that if you are real close to finishing your BSN, then do so (and work on bringing up your GPA some) and work while getting the pre-reqs out of the way. That clinical experience will be very helpful for you on your application. If you can work on some of the pre-reqs while finishing your BSN and do well that's even better. It can be done, just gonna take a little work and studying on your part, and remember it's the entire package they look at, not just numers.:)
     
  6. Harebell

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    Thanks so much for all the help! Would anyone suggest working a bit as a nurse while simultaneously knocking out requirements? The thought of embarking down a ten year journey without a dime to my name is more than a little frightening.

    Would I also be required to take more english/humanities type classes? (I don't think I technically have 1 year of english). Haha I'm sure I need more than a little help to rid my writing of its liberal sprinkling of colloquialisms as well.
     
  7. obrn

    obrn Member
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    I worked the first semester that I took classes - full time at both. I thought that it was a total disaster - when I was at one, the other always seemed to be looming over my head. If I had done even one of them part time, I think that I would have been better off. Of course hindsight is 20/20!

    I elected to quit nursing and continue with school full time. For me, since I didn't want to be a nurse, it wasn't worth killing myself to continue working as one. But I think that is an individual decision.
     
  8. burntcrispy

    burntcrispy Member
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    I was in a similiar situation to yours. Graduating nursing school and hating every minute of it. I was so disinterested and discouraged back then that I never studied other than on the morning of the exam. I ended up graduating with a bit less than 3.1. I ended up going back and taking the prerecs, making all As and going to medical school.

    I was in Texas which helped because we have 7 medical schools there, most of which have 200 spots/yr. By numbers alone it made it a little easier. If you are in California or the upper East it may be a little tougher just because there aren't as many slots with a large number of applicants. The best advice I can give is to study as hard as possible from now on. You want to make all As from here on out if you can. It's fairly easy to do in nursing school but will be much harder in the premed classes like physics, organic chemistry, biochem, etc. There you will be going heads up with a classfull of students who are all competing for the As to get into medical school. It's not impossible, but will require alot of work and dedication. Next, you will have to do fairly well on the MCAT to "prove yourself". It is an uphill battle coming from a lower GPA but it can be overcome with hard work.

    As far as a post-back program, I didn't go that route. I'm not sure any of the universities had that option. If you finish nursing you will already have a college degree. The only thing you will need from there is the prerecs for medical school so you may be able to enroll at a university to take those classes and not persue another degree. FWIW, the adcoms in Texas advised me to do the prerecs at a university and NOT CC.

    Good luck with your journey. Going to medical school was the best decision I have ever made.

    Burntcrispy, MD
     
  9. chopstick1

    chopstick1 Member
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    I know exactly how you feel, I am the same, now BSN>DO school. since you're already in school....finish your BSN, go to work/do the pre reqs. study for the MCAT. get some good experience and certifications to pump up your CV. tell the docs you work with you're interested in med school. get their advice, ask plenty of clinical questions and look up answers on your own. show that you're interested in knowing "the why" of a medical problem. that'll help get good LOR's from the physicians that you work with and prepare you a little for school. this may take you a few years (classes, mcat..etc) so have patience and prepare for the long journey ahead....good luck!
     
  10. apnea

    apnea Forgot the safe word...
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    Damn, where are you looking at?? i'd looooove to take my pre-reqs at a CC but every med school i ask tells me that they want them from a proper university
     
  11. melrose84

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    I'm thinking about going BSN-MD...

    I want to go into international health/tropical medicine but am not sure about the best route.

    Last May I got my BA. Immediately after that I started prereqs for nursing. I have just finished my first semester of an accelerated nursing program, and have realized that I am more interested in medicine.

    I am trying to decide if I should continue w/ nursing school and finish in May 2008 or begin premed coursework this summer so I can take the MCAT in May 2008. Or, I could finish nursing school and then go to school to become a nurse practitioner or PA, or I could stop nursing school and get a job as a tech and take prereqs for PA school.

    My questions:
    -Will I feel limited if I become an NP or PA? Will I always wish I had gone to med school?
    -How much free time does a medical student have?
    -Is the time and effort required for medical school really worth it?
    -How do NP's and PA's feel about their jobs?
    -What is the best career path for my goals?
    -If I go to med school, will I feel like I have no time in my life for other things that are very important to me, such as family, friends, or travel?
    -Should I continue w/ nursing school?

    My goals for 10 years from now:
    -Have time to relax, hike, see friends, have kids
    -have a medical job that is challenging but not too time consuming in the US
    -have my MPH
    -learn various foreign languages
    -have a job that sends me overseas to do international health/tropical medicine.
     
  12. nursejessy

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    I talked to admissions at UCIrvine, UCDavis, and Texas schools. They've told me that If you have good grades and good mcat's, it doesn't matter where from.
     
  13. tiredmom

    tiredmom Senior Member
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    I got interviews at all the TX schools except TCOM (didn't apply there). I've got 2 years of jr college, plus a couple of my prereqs that I went back for. The adcoms (at least in TX) seem to understand that if you are working fulltime, you go with the best schedule that works with your work schedule, which is often at a CC.
     
  14. horsenurse25

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    Rather than ask these very important questions on a public anonymous board, I would go contact some real NPs and PAs and ask THEM. Shadow a bunch of them around. This is probably not the best place to get realistic answers to your questions.
     
  15. CarolinaGirl

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    Actually some of us one this forum are real NP's and PAs and can give very realistic answers to the op's questions.
     
  16. Harebell

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    My OP was different than Melrose's NP/PA/what do I want out of life post, just to clarify. I was hoping for advice on best routes to go from a bsn to medical school acceptance. Thanks so much for all the great advice!
     
  17. chopstick1

    chopstick1 Member
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    lots of good questions.....I am a BSN>DO. prior military and worked for near 13 years before starting med school. I wanted to do a certain amount of goals too and nursing allowed that because it's decent/good paying and flex hours. I speak a foreign language, hiked part of the AT, overseas doing tropical med, never got a MPH though. and to save up money plus complete my pre reqs/mcat. those are some reasons why I stayed in for so long before med school. it's definitely do able if you stay in nursing school and finish.

    as for med school life, yes time is tight and the biggest enemy but i am in a PBL program so I have a "floating" schedule but I do spend most of my day studying in addition to going out once a week and daily exercise. sure friends and family do suffer a little...med school is time consuming!! but it's all worth it in the long run. I looked into NP/PA, sat in their classes, worked with a bunch in many diff fields, and just wasn't for me, I wanted med school. and regrets.....yeah if I didn't do it. so if it's for you, go for it. good luck!
     
  18. Harebell

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    Chopstick,
    What tropical med type stuff did you do? I'm interested in doing a bit of international work before returning to do pre-reqs.
     
  19. melrose84

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    THanks everyone! Chopstick - what all you did b4 going back to med school is fantastic. that's why i kind of wanted to stick w/ nursing. but I've decided to switch to premed this summer, because I'd rather do it now than later, and maybe i can travel during the summer and do international health stuff then and work on my languages. Thanks!! What kind of international medicine did you do?
     
  20. Sciencegasm

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    I am currently double majoring in Nursing and Biology. It takes care of the the pre-reqs, gives me clinical experience, and puts me up to date, scientifically speaking, with the other students i will be in medical school with. If you have the time i suggest getting both degrees. It will help when it comes to admission and with the subjects in school.
    Now most of my biology classes have to be done in the summer due to the uncompromising nursing schedule.
     
  21. Handyman73

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    Working as a nurse might allow you some tremendous flexibility in your hours (or not!) to take classes. You should also be able to make pretty good money, too.

    Graduate, get a nursing job (maybe even one with tuition reimbursement) and take a few pre-reqs to see how they feel. With your GPA, you pretty much have to get an A in everything from here on out. Don't take classes any faster than your ability to do so will allow...
     

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