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Advice- go for it or be happy with my current career?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DWA, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. DWA

    DWA New Member

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    Hi Everyone-

    Need some advice.....I'm a 30 year old, long term goal of becoming a physician but a father with wife and beautiful young son which of course take priority. Live just took hold after college.

    Currently live in TX and obviously prefer TX allopathic schools. Can someone give me a realistic assessment of my stats? Trying to determine if I should invest any time, money, effort.

    Undergrad GPA: 3.22 (BS Chem Eng, Honors Program at one of the New England State Universities, i.e. UMASS, UCONN, UNH, UVM)
    Grad GPA (MBA): 3.7
    BCPM GPA: 3.46
    Science GPA: 3.26 (driven down engineering classes, no C's just a lot of B's, some B+'s and some A's).

    For anyone that's an engineer, you can relate, it's not easy and probably comparable to MD school in intensity (well probably not but a good approximation I would bet).

    So what do you think? Do I get points for being an engineer as I've heard or is this a crock? Also, how about making it through cum laude in the Honors Program? How about Grad GPA?

    Need an honest assessment as I don't want to spin my wheels chasing my dreams.

    Thanks
     
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  3. celticmists18

    celticmists18 california dreaming
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    Let me preface this by saying that I am an idealistic 21 year old:
    The medical school admission process had no rhyme or reason, and with your numbers you are at least in the running. That said, you can improve your chances depending on what you get on the MCAT. You have life experience on your side, which admissions committee tend to smile on. Plus you are in Texas, you lucky, lucky, person . . . that will make life easier. It won't be easy if you get in and you will need to make it clear to the admission committee that you have thought this through. If you truly want to be a physician don't settle for anything else (at least make the effort, then you won't be living with the what-ifs).
     
  4. No Egrets

    No Egrets Bachelorette of Science
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    Go for it! People have definitely gotten into TX allo schools with lower stats than yours... Of course since you are a career changer, you'll write about this in your personal statement and that will be taken into account when they look at your GPA. If you can also rack up a good MCAT score (32+) I'd say you're in the running for many of the TX schools, though perhaps your chances would be a lot lower at UTSW or Baylor which have high stats.

    If it's your dream, go after it! Which would be worse, applying and not getting in (and hence, reapplying until it works!), or never giving it a shot and living the rest of your life wondering what would have become of you!!!!???!!
     
  5. No Egrets

    No Egrets Bachelorette of Science
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    Addendum: Because you've spent these past years working in engineering, make sure you can defend your decision to go into medicine with something other than a "my job sucks" story. In other words, spend some time shadowing doctors/volunteering in hospitals or clinics and otherwise demonstrating a committment to the new profession as opposed to "anything but this." Not implying that this is something that particularly concerns you, but just a general warning for any nontrad applicant.
     
  6. Plastix.MD

    Plastix.MD Junior Member
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    From my experience the best thing to do is contact the admissisons office at the allopathic schools in which you plan to apply. Most are really helpful and can give you advice as to what needs to be worked on if anything. Another excellent resource is your pre-med advisor at your undergraduate institution. Even though you have been out for awhile they will be more than willing to help you. With all that said if you take the MCATs and do well (ie, avg of at least 10s in all the sections) you should be a very competitive candidate. Let me remind you that a lot of allopathic schools like to see community service and clinical experience. One person on the admissions staff at UCSF told me this, "our students come with such a variety of community service experiences it would be hard to differentiate one service type from another, but the thing that sticks out for me is the student that takes the extra step, such as going in on weekends. These things tell me that they are not doing this for recognition or a letter, but are doing it because its their natural nature."

    I found that a lot of the stuff on sdn to be helpful. But BEWARE we are all applicants (ie, most of us) and just because someone tells you that you are competitive vs. non-competitive doesnt really mean jack. To make it count contact the real people that make the decisions and that is the adcom.

    Hope this helps, cheers! :laugh:
     
  7. DWA

    DWA New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice.....I should note that although I don't find my career exactly fulfilling, engineering has been good to me and I don't have an "anything but this" attitude for that reason.....so I don't feel that that would come out in a personal statement or interview.

    I do quite a bit of volunteering through my company, volunteer teaching at a poorer school that my company sponsors, and I also put together an annual road race for hunger, but I must be honest i don't have experience volunteering in a hospital. How do I get involved?
     
  8. TexasRose

    TexasRose Gotta run
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    Don't be mislead into thinking it's easy to get into TX med schools. I have heard that engineering majors get cut some slack for the difficulty of their coursework and it's effect on grades, but don't count on it very heavily. Your ugrad GPA is low and the BCPM GPA is also a bit low. Not trying to discourage you, but you need to have a realistic view. You will need a very strong MCAT score to balance the grades.

    Read the websites of the medschools to get an idea of the applicants that get accepted, etc.

    You will need some exposure to medicine. That can be in the form of hospital volunteering (call hosp volunteer program) or shadowing a doctor. You'll need to be able to talk about the practice of medicine during your interviews for med school, and these types of experiences are good ways to show admissions committees that you have amade an effort to learn about the field.

    (I apologize if I've just given you a bunch of info you already know.)
     
  9. lisa13579

    lisa13579 2K Member
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    If I can be taken seriously by admissions committees for switching from a career in dance to medicine, you certainly can! If you really want it, you should definately try. I did, and I've gotten into 4 schools so far :)
     
  10. Paws

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    So go for it - what do you have to lose? Just be thoughtful and do some introspective work on who you are, what you feel you want to acheive and how do you think you can achieve it. Talk with your wife, look into your baby's eyes - and then think: what do I want see when I look behind me at age 75? ;)

    I have found that it really is a very personal road to walk but if you are persistent and are open, you will get the right feedback at the right time and you will make the right decisions. As for you ugrad work, you can go and take some upper div bio courses, maybe volunteer in a lab or definitely the ER, and then just go from there. You will see opportunities present themselves as you go along.
     
  11. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    Apply DO also. DO schools are very perceptive at accepting nontraditional students like yourself. The average age for students at DO schools is 27 while that of MD schools is 24.
     
  12. skypilot

    skypilot 2K Member
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    Yes you are a very competitive candidate with those numbers and an MCAT of 30. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    When you write your personal statement tell about your accomplishments and achievements in the field of engineering. Show how you would like to apply these engineering achievements and talents to the field of medicine. There are medical schools that are looking for people who can bring engineering talent to medicine.

    You can use the internet to find volunteer opportunities. Most hospitals also have volunteer departments. You could also get certified as an EMT or Certified Nurses Aid and do some part time work in Health care.
     
  13. OldLady

    OldLady Senior Member
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    BS MS EE

    PM me and we can talk further.
    I tried to just "be happy with my job" but I wasn't so it never worked....I'm your age and I'm into 3 schools right now. Take the MCATs and start shadowing/volunteering
     
  14. willow212

    willow212 Senior Member
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    Hi DWA,

    I agree with some of the above posters that the first step should be getting hands-on experience through volunteering/shadowing (something like shadowing paramedics/EMTs on weekends, or volunteering in your local ED - your local hospital could probably give you plenty of options). Plus talking to any MD's that you know about the process of med school/residency (and this board too, of course) will help.

    I think that for a non-traditional applicant, there are definitely life experience advantages which will help you. That said, the biggest barrier will be convincing the adcoms that you are committed and motivated enough to spend at the least the next 7 years of your life (4 med school, at least 3 residency) working very hard and making big sacrifices - and this after having a comfortable lifestyle. They'll definitely want to know - why medicine, and why now? Which I think you can best answer with some good medical experience.

    Best of luck!
     
  15. DWA

    DWA New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice.....great suggestions.

    I'm going to call our local hospital to get some experience this summer, and start on the MCAT in June. Since it's been awhile since I've taken the basic science pre-reqs, I won't take it until next year.

    Thanks again.
     
  16. ZekeMD

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    You have a great shot if you do halfway decent on the MCAT. I am also a chemical engineer and I can tell you from personal experience that admissions committees look favorably upon taking such a hard curriculum. I've been told that some schools even adjust your GPA to account for difficult majors, not sure if that's true but it may just be their way of leveling the playing field. Anyhow, I'd say go for it....it seems like you're worried about messing up what you already have, but it can only get better if you keep reaching for your dreams. Good luck.
     
  17. sleepwhenimdead

    sleepwhenimdead Junior Member
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    DWA,

    It looks like you've probably already gotten all you need. I am an MS4 who turns 40 next week, I'm married and have a 2-1/2 year old son. It can be done...If you're committed, it's worth it. Good luck. If you have any questions PM and we could talk.
     

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