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Advice guys?: Pre-med advisor told me to wait till next year! me making a mistake?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by trunksvegeta, Jul 13, 2002.

  1. trunksvegeta

    trunksvegeta Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2001
    Hello everyone,

    I recently made a visit to the pre-med office to discuss applying to medical school. After looking at my transcript and me not being too sure about getting in she told me she thought it would be best for me to apply next year. She drilled me with the same questions that she asks every student that goes in her office. At the end of the meeting, she told me to take about 14 hrs of upper level classes(mixed with a couple of social sciences) for each semester this upcoming fall and spring, and if I needed to take the MCAT again in april (taking it in August-fingers crossed!) I will STILL be able to apply early. She said that I hadn't had any recent healthcare experince...was a surg tech till 99. I already have an undergrad degree with all the pre-reqs, and about 50 hrs of post bacc work (since working as a tech), but I don't know if I was just one less student she has to write the committee letter for or if she just wants good stats for next year. The BIG problem is that I'm 27.....I've been pushing this off and not applying since I graduated in 98'. Should I just email her and tell her that I changed my mind, that I was going to still take classes in the fall and spring, but I just want to apply this cycle so that I get a feel for the process....and who knows maybe with luck even an acceptance. If I DON'T apply this time around and wait till August, I feel Ill just be putting all my eggs in one basket next year.....and what IF I don't get in that time?! Granted my undergrad GPA was very low 3's, but my post bacc has been great.....anyone have any advice pm me or post......thanks a TON!
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  3. Dr/\/\om

    Dr/\/\om Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2002
    Tulsa, OK
    From what you have posted, I don't see why you shouldn't try this year. There is a chance that the undergrad GPA might be an issue, but your postbacc will certainly help.
  4. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader Banned Banned

    Applying is a difficult process; if you haven't already started it I don't see how you can apply "early" while studying for the August MCAT. Your first app should be your best app. While it is true that it would be advantageous for you to start med school as early as possible, don't apply now just "to get a feel of it". You need a plan and you need to be organized to apply. It's already July and I suspect that you haven't even written your PS yet. Listen to your pre-med advisor, wait one more year and study hard in your courses next year. While it is true that sometimes pre-med advisors can be over-zealous in holding students back from applying, your advisor sounds like she was right on the mark.
  5. Bikini Princess

    Bikini Princess 7+ Year Member

    May 26, 2002
    Tough situation - but I think I agree with the above poster. You likely don't have the time to write the PS, submit apps, AND study for the august test. That and you'd be applying somewhat late - do you really want to go through all of this just to fly around interviewing for spots on a waitlist?

    Even though all your premed buddies are applying now, don't feel like you need to quite yet. And if you don't have time to take the MCAT in august, I would wait until April, studying all the while. That way, your fall & spring science classes will help reinforce your knowledge and critical thinking for the april test. There's no need to take the test in august if you apply for 2004; unless you think are truly ready for it.

    As a surgical tech, you may not quite have had the patient interaction which some med schools look for - these are experiences which you don't get anywhere else. Also, you may not have had the chance to really understand the lifestyle of being a physician either. Based on what your advisor said, I'd encourage you to get your feet wet again doing some tiny bit of clinical work, likely as a volunteer once a week.

    Based on the amount of questions your advisor asked you, it sounds like they know their stuff. Many advisors could care less about premeds; many more would not have the gumption to give you that advice.

    Sometimes it's the people who are most critical of you that want you to succeed the most. I suspect your advisor is one of these. ;)
  6. FunkDoc

    FunkDoc Daddy Mack 10+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    i disagree with the above posters. i'm a fellow class of 98 grad myeslf, and i'm starting this fall. i say go ahead and apply right now, and while preparing for that august mcat (you have been studying hard right?). this mcat score will be crucial to your application so you must do well. also you should go ahead and take some of those upper level classes this fall and spring too (although 14 hrs is a ton).
  7. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    I learned a long time ago not to listen to my pre-med advisor. I do everything opposite to what he tells me and so far I have a saceeded in everything he told me that I would not.
  8. Bevo

    Bevo Radiology, R1 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    in hell
    I say wait till next year and apply with me :)

    Im a post-bacc too. I was told by my advisor to wait for a year and try to continue with the progress Ive shown in my gpa so that the med schools can see my "fire". Ive had my fair share of horrible advisors (I could speak all day on my first pre-med advisor/undergrad dean ...she was a ...)

    Anyways, since starting my post bacc work here in the fall of 2000 Ive pretty much had to relearn how to study and build stronger study habits. My gpa is much better than what it was at my previous school, but they haven't been spectaculat. When I last talked to him he said I would be better off completing a few more upper level undergrad courses and building my gpa up to something a bit more competitive. ive currently got myself up to a 3.1.

    I know how you feel about your friends as well. I got all my friends from schoo up north going into their third years at med school next fall. And my friends from home who didn't go straight into med school are now in med school, last one starts this fall at UTSW. Im here still in undergrad like Im peddling my feet but not moving anywhere. It really is disheartening at times.

    But my advisor talked to me, he's awsome guy, and really knows his stuff. And he said if I apply now I have a higher chance of not getting in and then becoming a re-applicant which makes getting in that much harder. My father has been trying to push me into applying after the August MCAT, but I know it wont benefit me at all if I do.

    I can't speak for you directly or know you're situation exactly, but if your just gonna start studying for the MCAT now and work on your apps and do the personal statement, I think you might be asking too much of yourself and setting yourself up for failure.

    Good things come to those who wait, I think considering what you would have to do at this to prepare for the application process, you should wait till next year to apply.

    Hope this helps.
  9. Just an asside on GPAs for those of you interested. Your cumulative undergraduate GPA and cum science GPA are the 2 that seem to be important to Adcoms.

    Post-bac courses will contribute to this number. So if you are doing well in those, it should pull up a low undergrad GPA. So trunksvegeta, even though you undergrad was a low 3, your great post pac will bring it up some. However, graduate school grades will not. They will see you graduate GPA, but it will not add to you undergrad numbers.

    My final words of wisdom would be to wait. You are already at such a disadvantage with the August MCAT and having not submitted already. Given that there are some weaknesses in your application, why put yourself at a further disadvantage. This is such a dificult time-consumming process. I might even venture to say that being out of school and working while doingit makes it even harder. This fall are you planning on juggeling upper-level classes, work, filling out secondaries, arranging letters of rec. This all right after cramming for the the August MCAT. Not to mention the time off you'll have to negotiate with work and school to fly to interviews.

    One final suggestion - call some of the medical schools you are interested in and ask. Make an apointment to speak to the dean of admissions, tell him/her your situation and ask if he/she thinks you should apply or wait a year.
  10. md03

    md03 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2000
    Your pre med advisor gave you VERY wise advice. I'd wait. Even if your stats as they are right now are good enough for an acceptance, with the August MCAT, your application will be later than many and many slots will already be filled. It's not wise to apply "just to get a feel for the process" hoping you may also be lucky...that is an incredible waste of money...the applicatioin process is very expensive.

    My situtation was similar to yours, except I didn't have a premed advisor, I was out of school when I applied first. I had decent stats (despite a colorful academic background), but schools wanted recent upper level classes to show specifically I could handle med school related work.

    Dont' worry about your are a youngster! I was 38 when I started med school, and I applied twice. Following your premed advisors advice willl GREATLY increase your chances of acceptance the first time you apply.
  11. reesie0726

    reesie0726 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 23, 2001
    arlington, tx
    I agree with many of the above posters. If you have any troubled spots in your application then you should wait until u can get your application in early and have more things to make it stand out meaning more clinical experience and ec's. If you had taken the april mcat, I would have said to go ahead and apply. But you are going in blind if you go ahead and apply with the august mcat and your app is going to be held back. I had completed almost half of my interviews by the time your file can even be considered. I am nontraditional like you and I know that you want to hurry up and get into med school already. But be patient. Go through this app process once if possible. So take your advisor's advice.
  12. PimplePopperMD

    PimplePopperMD Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2000

    I was told the same nonsense by my premed advisor. I applied anyway, gained admission to three schools, and am now a fourth year at my number one choice school.

    If you don't get in this year, reapply. That's the worst that can happen. The process is expensive, but you shouldn't reject yourself. At least give them the opportunity to do it.
  13. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Alexandria, VA
    Nonsense. Premed advisors sometimes don't know their dingus from their elbow.

    I was told that I WOULD NOT get into an American school and that I needed to take a bunch of science classes. I had a 3.1 and a 34. Got into two schools before November 1st, and I told my advisor that he should tell my story the next time someone with mediocre stats applies ...

    If money is an issue and time isn't, than go ahead and make yourself better before you apply. But, otherwise, why not try this year and if it doesn't work out, try next year? At least you'll have the experience under your belt.

    Good luck,
  14. Bevo

    Bevo Radiology, R1 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    in hell
    I think its wiser to wait. I had 2 friends who got similar advice. One of them was told in his pre-med advisory committee interview that he has the grades to get into medical school but the pre med advisor thought he wouldn't make a very good doctor. So she told him that she was going to write that down on her recommendation letter. Same lady told another friend of mine that his grades were too low to even bother applying that he should look elsewhere. Both are going into their 3rd year of medical school this fall and just finished their USMLE step 1 exams?

    yeah some people give out really ****ty advice, but not all. The same lady who was their pre med advisor told me I never should have been even admitted to that college and that I belonged in some other college more my speed. Or some crap like that.
    But Ive switched schools for my post bacc and Ive met the other side of the spectrum in terms of advisors. We went over my application and my history and he basically told me he'll help me either way but he thought for me specifically it would help to wait the year.

    This guy has been doing it for awhile, he's an MD himself, and if I remember correctly he's worked at 2 medical schools. Point being I trust what he says.

    I guess my point is, not all pre med advisors are bad and its taken me awhile to learn to trust the advisors here where I am considering what I had to put up with.

    While our situations are a bit different, the same reasons should still apply to the person above as myself. Starting your application process this late and starting everything else now puts a lot of strain on yourself and it puts you at risk. From what Ive learned is that it is much harder to go apply as a reapplicant.

    Start studying now for the april mcat, start working on your personal statement now and be one of the first people to apply this summer. It'll be that much better for you. I honestly believe that.
  15. X


    Ok here it goes.

    There is no hurry, another year won't make a huge difference even though you may think so at the moment.

    Listen to your premed advisor but only take that as a suggestion. You gotta deal with it and they just say it and its over. So if you really feel like applying go for it.

    If you set full two days apart and get to work, you can have your PS done and you apps filled, so time issue is not relevant. This leaves you plenty of time to study for the MCAT. Just make sure you have your PS edited a few times.

    If you can still not make up your mind, flip the coin and go with it.


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