Jul 31, 2017
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Hello all,

Been lurking these forums quite a bit and want to get some non-sugarcoated opinions on what to do. I'm a recent graduate of my school's civil engineering program and I work for A decent company.

Honestly I hate my job and have always wanted to be a doctor but the influence of parents and my inability to make my own decisions is why I'm sitting in my cubicle typing this now.

I've used many different calculators for gpa and they were all about the same. My overall is a 2.5, and my BCPM is a 2.7. Going through a program I had no interest in made it hard to pass a good number of classes.

Basically I'm asking this community what the best course of action to take would be. Even if it means another bachelors degree. I have contacts in different specialties in the medical world so shadowing and interning shouldn't be an issue. Studying for the MCAT wouldn't be an issue either considering I'm basically at a desk 8 hours a day. I'm just worried about grades. I was going to wait to post until I talked to the pre med advisor at my college I graduated from, but they are currently hiring someone new so I'm at a standstill. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.
 

DocJanItor

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Jun 6, 2017
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Fear not, for many engineers before you (including me!) have felt similarly. I graduated ME 12 years ago with about a 2.5/2.5 and will be starting school next week at a very good MD school.

First of all, you may think to yourself "well, engineering is harder, certainly they'll take that into account." Yeah, they absolutely won't. For the most part, the difficulty of your degree or prestige of your university has almost no bearing on your med school app.

Short version of my story: 2.5 uGPA BS 2005, 3.0 uGPA MBA 2007, then 6 years of working in finance. Did well, but life happened and I made med school my goal. First year: CC pre-reqs, 42 credits at 4.0. MCAT 515. Entered my SMP last year and now I'm entering the same med school.

I'm sure you're looking at your GPA and thinking that you'll never be able to make it acceptable, and you're basically correct. It would take too much time to directly fix your GPA. What you need to do is prove that you've got what it takes to enter a post-bacc program. That will be your best path to a DO or MD school.

You'll need Chem I/II, OChem I/II, Bio I/II, Biochemistry, and Physics I/II. I'm sure you've already had chemistry and physics, but doing them over and getting a better grade is a good refresher. Plus, if your engineering school was anything like mine, physics was designed to break your spirit. You'll also need to take some Psych and Sociology for that section of the MCAT. Genetics and Anatomy/Physiology are also good.

You will need to carry a very high GPA through this. If you can't average a 3.7 or above, you will not be an attractive candidate. More to the point, if you can't carry a 3.7 in pre-req courses, it is probably an indication that med school is not for you. Then you will take your MCAT, where you will need to get a 510+ to be competitive for DO schools, 515+ for MD. Then you need to look for a good post-bacc program or SMP. There aren't many programs with "direct" linkage anymore, but many do offer interviews to their more successful students. And when you get in the post-bacc/SMP, you won't be able to have a job. My SMP was almost as rigorous as med school, so you'll need to save up or take out loans.

Anyway, that was my path and it took me 3 years and 3 months to go from "I want to be a doctor" to being accepted at a med school. On the flip side, I didn't have a job while I was doing all that, so it might take you a little longer. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
 

deleted

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Dec 26, 2016
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Honestly I hate my job and have always wanted to be a doctor but the influence of parents and my inability to make my own decisions is why I'm sitting in my cubicle typing this now.

....

I was going to wait to post until I talked to the pre med advisor at my college I graduated from, but they are currently hiring someone new so I'm at a standstill. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.
You gotta want it. You dont want it. If you wanted it you would contact anyone with a heart rate and respiration at your former college or proximal medical school. You still suffer from an inability to make your own choices

Until then you will be in your cubicle hating your job. Grim. I think I will fall on my sword now.

:boom:
 
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Jul 31, 2017
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You gotta want it. You dont want it. If you wanted it you would contact anyone with a heart rate and respiration at your former college or proximal medical school. You still suffer from an inability to make your own choices

Until then you will be in your cubicle hating your job. Grim. I think I will fall on my sword now.

:boom:
Literally took what I said out of context. I have been contacting everyone with a heartbeat. Literally meeting with psychiatrists, radiologists, and so forth because i do want it. I just wanted my college advisor at the college I want to get the rest of my prereqs to clearly lay out what I need and compare it to what I have already taken and researched with the schools I want to apply to eventually. Until then please move around
 

DocJanItor

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Jun 6, 2017
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So much for your word.

Placed on ignored. Rots of ruck kid
Not to be rude, but you didn't give him any advice. You judged him off of one post and said he didn't have what it takes.

He/she just came to this forum looking for a path forward. They're at the start of their journey, so asking for total dedication is a bit much. Then you placed them on ignore because they replied and told you they were doing exactly what you said.

Perhaps next time you could let a thread develop before you judge someone so quickly.
 

thisisvj89

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Jul 23, 2016
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CC pre-reqs, 42 credits at 4.0. MCAT 515. Entered my SMP last year and now I'm entering the same med school.
I too am an engineer (mechanical) making the switch, currently completing pre-reqs. The conventional wisdom is that any applicant must prove they can cut it in med school and show it on their application. The two most heavily weighted metrics for this are GPA and MCAT. You managed a 4.0 GPA during all pre-reqs and a 94th percentile on the MCAT but then had to also complete a SMP before gaining acceptance? Assuming the rest of your application was on par, that's really disheartening for anyone making the switch to hear.
 
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DocJanItor

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I too am an engineer (mechanical) making the switch, currently completing pre-reqs. The conventional wisdom is that any applicant must prove they can cut it in med school and show it on their application. The two most heavily weighted metrics for this are GPA and MCAT. You managed a 4.0 GPA during all pre-reqs and a 94th percentile on the MCAT but then had to also complete a SMP before gaining acceptance? Assuming the rest of your application was on par, that's really disheartening for anyone making the switch to hear.
You have to understand, my undergrad grades were garbage. It would've taken years of coursework to raise my GPA to over a 3.0, and that just wasn't a reasonable thing to do. My application would've been automatically screened out at almost every school without humans eyes even seeing it. SMPs are really only for grade repair to prove that you can handle the rigor of medical school.
 
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Blanky

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I doubt you need Physics 1/2, so I would start with Chem 1/2, Orgo 1/2, and Bio1/2, and Biochem. After that move into some upper level biology to move that cGPA above 3.0 (This is the only way to get noticed apparently.) Classes like Microbiology/Immunology/Anatomy/Physiology etc. As your GPA begins to become competitive you should work in shadowing and some kind of clinical experiences. (In fact it may be best to get some shadowing done immediately so that you are certain that MD/DO is for you)
 
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deleted

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Dec 26, 2016
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You have to understand, my undergrad grades were garbage. It would've taken years of coursework to raise my GPA to over a 3.0...
You had what it takes, aka Grit.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance: Angela Duckworth:

Grit can be developed. But it requires sacrifice, abandoning excuses and having passion. You saw that eventually and yes it doesnt come over night. You have to want it badly enough in spite of the circumstances in which you find yourself. Considering I come from a communist country as an immigrant, have lost much, attending medical school for the second time after a near fatal injury 20 years ago, and had the gravitas to say, "I am going back to medical school", yeah, you could say I have no pity for Americans who have everything at their disposal but wallow in self pity.

Charles Darwin evolutionary theory applies to America today and if it isnt pretty, there is a reason

best regards
 

hizi

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Jul 16, 2017
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You gotta want it. You dont want it. If you wanted it you would contact anyone with a heart rate and respiration at your former college or proximal medical school. You still suffer from an inability to make your own choices

Until then you will be in your cubicle hating your job. Grim. I think I will fall on my sword now.

:boom:
what kind of advice is this one? Was he asking for advice or was he asking to be judged?

o_O
 
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Ad2b

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So, here's my guidance from someone who's GPA is worse than yours, though, I've been told and suspect that it won't matter because I have decades (yes, decades) between that GPA and the one now + life events.

1. I would consume - I mean consume - every little tidbit you can from multiple sources on being a non-trad premed. Schools admission offices, premed advisors (though take with a heaping grain of salt - they are not there for you, they are there for current premeds without degrees and sufficiently overwhelmed with them - generally speaking)

2. Take the long view on this path. Seriously. Long view. The more distance you can put between who you think you are now (and would have to prove it) and the person you were with the 2.5, the better off you will be. There are plenty of people on here with <3.0 who made it to MD and even more who made it to DO.

3. Do not underestimate the MCAT. It's not as hard as people scream it to be but it's far easier with sufficient background knowledge, courses, etc.

4. You do NOT need a 2nd bachelor's degree and that won't help you anyway (this is a common train of thought - I thought the same thing and only got registered as degree seeking for a 2nd bachelor's for the student health insurance ;) )

5. Get A's. Go back take any course less than an A- or B. Take upper division science courses like genetics, microbiology, cell biology, etc and prove you can handle the sciences.

6. Make sure the LORs you get from taking those classes are excellent.

7. Apply. Never beat yourself up with that old [email protected]#$y GPA. IT does not define you now, if you prove you can get the A's. AND prove yourself with the MCAT.

Sincerely, the old crone
 

thisisvj89

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Jul 23, 2016
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(In fact it may be best to get some shadowing done immediately so that you are certain that MD/DO is for you)
Definitely second this. I landed a shadow with a local ED doc and had an amazing experience the first evening that changed everything for me. That experience alone pushed me over the edge and since then I've been working/studying/volunteering 60+ hrs/wk (70+ during tougher courses) to make the transition.

I could've been totally turned off by that experience just as well. No point in spending thousands of dollars in coursework and upending a good career path until you've at least dipped your feet in the water.
 
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