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Advice please...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by TripleDegree, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    Here's my situation -

    I just wrote the April MCAT, even though it was tough as nails, I might be able to pull off a 33-35

    But in terms of prerequisites, I have only completed 1 Biology course, 1 Organic Chemistry course, and 2 Gen Chem courses. I have not taken any physics or english courses. I also have a non-science based MS (GPA 3.45)

    Should I apply in June? I very much want to. I can get decent LORs and I have some medical volunteering.

    Oh by the way, for the courses that I took above, I got straight A's.



    PLEASE HELP OH WISE ONES :) What would be the best way for me to structure my application?
     
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  2. ad_sharp

    ad_sharp Senior Member
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    Here's your problem......medical schools have prereqs of their own, and they require all of those classes that you don't have yet. Lets say that you apply and are accepted for next fall. You will need to have all of those prereqs done (with a C or better) by the time that you matriculate. Do you think that you can get all of those classes done within the next year?

    Here's another thought....Since you already have taken the MCAT and have a MS with a decent GPA, it probably won't hurt you to go ahead and apply this year (it never hurts to try and your MCAT score will be good for three years at most places). If youf not accepted, just do it again next year, only this time have your prereqs done.

    As far as the app goes, you'll have to list every college course you've ever taken along with the grade that you received for that course. You probably don't want to address the lack of classes in your personal statement-do it on the secondary apps. Tell the adcoms that you will/are in the process of completing the courses. This is just my two pennies, take it for what it's worth.......good luck.
     
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  3. Tezzie

    Tezzie b*witched
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    I always thought that English was a pre-req for every university. Anyway i would suggest looking up the medical schools you are interested in. Some require 2 courses of Bio, Chem, English and Physics. You can always take Physics and English through the summer and then again during the fall.
     
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  4. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    Thanks for the advice. Since my presumed MCAT will be decent, I'm assuming/hoping that the Adcoms will be willing to believe that I have the science skills to do well in Med School and that I have a reasonable plan to complete the courses in the future. My situation is that I work a full-time job and attending classes has been very difficult for me
     
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  5. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    should you apply in june having no grades/have not taken BOTH physics courses and only one orgo and one bio? I think most schools simply won't consider your application until you have grades in the physics courses. Right now you just don't have enough core bcmp grades to apply. In many cases if a school's requirement is not the norm(for example biochem or calculus) they will accept you on the condition that you have passed it when you matriculate in the fall. But I don't think you are going to be considered for admissions lacking both physics. I wouldn't apply this year...take the classes you need now and apply next year. You simply dont have a complete application.
     
  6. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    I would really like to know how you are going to get a 33-35 without any physics?


    I wish I was that smart.
     
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  7. maygirl

    maygirl Senior Member
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    I agree w/southbelle. Since it looks like you have half of the prereqs left to take, I think you definitely have to wait another year. A few medical schools may accept and review your application, but not seriously consider it with that many prereqs left. Some of them also have additional requirements (like advanced bio, biochem, etc.) It's great that you did well in them. Just keep up the good work, and you should be all set next year.
     
  8. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    Well - most medical schools require you to complete the prereqs by the time you matriculate, not by the time you apply. I have every intention of finishing these up by the time I join.

    So - why should I wait another year? And like I said, by virtue of the MCAT score, I clearly have adequate preparation for the coursework.
     
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  9. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients*
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    Could it really hurt to apply this year? What bad could come from it? Maybe you should look at it like that... If you have the money, I would say go for it! It sounds like what you want to do.
     
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  10. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    Please, please don't make assumptions about how you will do on the MCAT, it makes it so much more painfull when you don't do as well as you needed to. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Otherwise you may derail your application process unecessarily.
    Also I would wait to complete all of the prereqs before I applied. It's hard enough to get the attention of adcoms when you have everything done (even for people with 3.9/35+). Unless you have passed out the proverbial condoms in Africa, you don't stand much of a chance until all prereqs are done.
    I wish you the best of luck, I also was a full-time job type. It took four years after my graduation to get all my ducks in a row, but I got in this year and I've never been happier.
     
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  11. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    A bare minimum of $400 flushed, usually much much more than that. You'll need that money later.
     
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  12. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    Usually that is your major prereqs for graduation, not the premed prereqs. Trust me you need to have these classes.
    There is no virtue in the MCAT, it is an unholy thing designed to trip you up. Even if you do score in the range that you hope to it garantees you nothing. I personally know two people both of whom scored a 36, had 3.9 gpa's and NEVER got in. And these are normal nice people, guys I hang out with who have good personalities, one of them even has a degree from the Ivy in Ithaca. Please, don't count on the MCAT either to reward your intelligence (smart people bomb it all the time) or your desire to attend med school. It's full of empty promises, think of it more along the lines of a requirement not an entitlement.
     
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  13. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch
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    Perhaps you could take physics this summer (accelerated) and then apply late summer?
     
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  14. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    yeah but in reality when medical schools put this provision in there, it's usually used for maybe one class. Or maybe an upper level class like biochem or genetics that a student just hasn't taken yet. The 'core' bcmp classes are two semesters of bio, gchem, ochem, and physics. That's one of the few things medical schools look at most when evaluating applications, and you will have only taken 4(?) of these 8 classes. Maybe if you had 1 of these classes to take and could squeeze it in the summer and then get the grade to them while the process was still early it would be feasible, but your whole science academic coursework at this time just isn't close to complete. 99.99% of the people applying will have taken physics and ochem and have grades reported for them. Why would you want to stand out in that way?
     
  15. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    I don't think its mentioned anywhere in the AMCAS or AAMC that you need to have the majority of your prereqs completed by the time you apply. Again - all that is mentioned is that you have to have the prereqs done by the time you matriculate.

    People generally complete their prereqs early because it is good preparation for the MCAT, not mandated by a medical school. I have actually talked to a med school ADCom regarding this.

    What I wanted to get from this thread was whether other applicants had more insight on this. I think that most of you mean well, but you are also basing this on your own perception, and not necessarily on fact or something in a medical school web site that you could point me to.

    Anyway, I think I've learnt all I can learn from this thread. Thanks!
     
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  16. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    We do have more insight but you don't want to hear it. Listen you don't need to have completed the prereqs as an official requirement but you need it if you want the adcom to even consider you. There are a lot of impressive applicants out there, MCAT alone isn't enough. Personally I have a 3.85 and a 36 and several schools rejected me pre-secondary. Of the ones who didn't reject me outright only two didn't waitlist me. I recieved two acceptances very late in the game, haven't heard a word from any of the waitlists and I feel lucky to be able to attend anywhere. I have the score on the MCAT that you only hope to achieve as of right now, so I can tell you with the force of personal experience that the MCAT is not enough to get you into school. Disregard this advice at your own expense (literally) it's money thrown away.
     
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  17. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    I'm not trying to be rude here, but people are giving you insight. Many people(including myself) have been through the process, been accepted, spoken with people on the interview trail, etc....

    You seem like you will be a great candidate, and it sounds like your mcat score is strong, but the main prereqs(bio, chem, ochem, physics) exist for a reason. They DO NOT exist to see that people complete them sometime before matriculation. Rather, they exist specifically to screen out the people who make A's and a B or two in these classes from the people that make B's and a C or two. Obviously they can't do this unless they see the classes on your transcript. I'll tell you what.....if anyone replies to this thread has applied and been accepted to medical school not having 4 or more of the 8 main prereqs on their transcript when they interview I'll be shocked. That should tell you something.

    And the mcat and gpa for these classes measure different things. Heck people who read really well can score 14 on the bio section only having had high school bio 5 years ago. Saying "med schools will overlook the fact that I haven't taken the key classes that everyone else has taken because I rocked the mcat" isn't how things work.
     
  18. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    Agreed. It's a particularly fat-headed way of losing money, or a donation to AMCAS. Depending on how you like to look at things.
     
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  19. jedirampage

    jedirampage Senior Member
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    How did you do a master's in engineering without doing physics? What engineering did you do? I'm just curious, being an engineering grad myself.
     
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  20. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    I had plenty of physics while doing my Masters - the only issue being that it was done more than 10 years ago
     
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  21. jedirampage

    jedirampage Senior Member
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    I could be wrong, but if you have your degree I don't think it matters how long ago you completed your courses. There is a three year limit on MCAT scores, but I don't think that applies to coursework. Again, I'm not sure but it would definitely be worth checking into.
     
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  22. oldtimer

    oldtimer Not a blind man
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    TripleDegree,

    You have to remember that you're competing with thousands of other people for a few select spots. You want to put your best foot forward. If you've completed your prereqs 10 years ago, how do you think you will compare with applicants who've completed theirs within the last 3 years? You're going to be at a distinct disadvantage, one that even a high MCAT may not make up for. But you have an a better idea of what you want than we do. If you would be happy with any school, apply and see if you get accepted anywhere. It's possible that if your GPA/MCAT are high enough that adcoms will overlook the fact that your grades are so old or that you still have a lot of coursework left to finish. Although, for the more competitive schools, you'll have a very difficult time getting in. And keep in mind that schools require you to state the number of times you've taken the MCAT and applied to medical school. These pieces of information may negatively influence your candidancy in the future if you fail to get accepted the first time around. Not to mention the money, time, and effort you would have wasted.

    If you're going to do something, do it right and not half-assed. Just my .02 cents.
     
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  23. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    Your best bet is to contact several medical school not just one or two and ask them. Not matter what we think here (although I do agree with what everyone has posted) it is better to get it straight from the schools. Like the above poster said with over 35,000 folks applying medical schools are looking for *reasons* to put your application in the trash pile why give then any reason?
     
  24. skypilot

    skypilot 2K Member
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    I disagree. I don't think you are at a disadvantage if you have a MCAT score of over 30 and have a Masters degree in Engineering. As long as you can fill in the AMCAS application with all prerequisite sciences and some recent coursework with excellent grades (especially Organic Chemistry!) you will be fine despite the age of some your Physics coursework. It will be presumed that as a practicing Engineer you have enough recent background in Physics. If you are missing any of the required prerequisites try to complete them over the summer and submit your AMCAS on September 1st.

    I had a few courses over 13 years old on my transcript.
     
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  25. oldtimer

    oldtimer Not a blind man
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    Having that engineering background cuts both ways. If he's been using a lot of physics in his career, then adcoms may cut the OP some slack and assume that he's mastered the basic physics concepts. They may overlook his not taking the physics prereqs by the time he applied. However, the OP better score like 10+ on the PS section. Anything lower and it will raise eyebrows I think. Furthermore, the OP didn't mention what type of engineer he is and what type of career he has now. Industrial engineers are quasi-engineers. Since graduation, the OP may also have taken a completely different path outside of engineering like business, programming, etc that does not use physics knowledge. I graduated with an engineering degree and I have not touched a physics-related problem since college (except for the MCAT of course).

    If the OP is the risk-taking type, then he should apply and see if he gets accepted somewhere. Although, the OP should do so being aware of the odds against him.
     
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  26. jedirampage

    jedirampage Senior Member
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    What I was getting at was that one must have taken physics to get an engineering degree. If this is the case with the OP (which is what I assumed was true) then when those courses where taken is irrelevant. If this is not the case, then I don't know if I understand the OP's situation completely.
     
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  27. HoodyHoo

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    Wouldn't the physics you took that long ago still count as your physics requirement for med school? i don't see why not. But I guess if you have an masters in engineering than non-calculus based physics should be cake.
     
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  28. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    Thanks for all your replies.


    same thing goes for the rest. I will be taking Organic Chemistry and biology over the summer while I'm applying, and then finishing up the final courses over the Fall. I am hoping the Adcom will consider my situation and plan for taking future courses while making their decision.

    While the MCAT PS section was tough, I hope to get a 10+. Verbal has traditionally been my strength, and I think I did well there too.

    All in all, I am reasonably hopeful that my score will be right around 33, 34.


    Since I'm not getting any younger, I did not want to necessarily delay my dream by a year, if I had a decent shot at getting in. I am not looking at research oriented or academic schools.
     
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  29. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    Good luck. I wouldn't be too overconfident. Your application with a 33 would be far from a lock. Good shot though
     
  30. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    thats amazing, you know the MCAT standard curve two months before your score!!
     
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  31. MrTee

    MrTee Senior Member
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    If you got an MS in engineering, shouldn't you have at least had an intro to physics class at the undergrad level? What was your undergraduate degree in?
     
  32. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    Stop the sarcasm people. I was looking for advice, not criticism or sarcasm. Last time I checked, this was the Student Doctor Pre-Allo advice forum, not the lets-hate-everyone-who-is-unsure forum.

    On a lighter note, one can only hope about the MCAT score right? :)
     
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  33. I'm confused...you're wondering if the pre-reqs should be completed before applying versus before graduating? Unusual, since usually pre-meds will have completed the most basic pre-reqs before attempting the MCAT.

    I agree, though, adcoms would really like to see how you did in the traditional "pre-med" classes...basic physics, bio, g-chem, o-chem, etc.
     
  34. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    Blade - basically yes. I am a good self-learner, so I was able to teach myself most of the Bio and Org Chem for the MCAT. Physics and GenChem I already knew from way back.

    I would have taken just 1 course in Bio, 2 courses in GenChem, 1 course in OrgChem at the time of application. I'm hoping that this would not be a huge strike against me.
     
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  35. gschl1234

    gschl1234 Senior Member
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    I was in a similar situation last year. I had no biology when I applied for med school. I've gotten into 3 schools so I think you'll be fine applying this year. Good luck. :)
     
  36. TripleDegree

    TripleDegree Joker Doctor
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    FINALLY A POST THAT GIVES ME SOME ENCOURAGEMENT!!!

    gschl - pl. check your PMs
     
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  37. BaseballFan

    BaseballFan Senior Member
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    Opinion:

    I personally don't think you'll be at any disadvantage.

    I would send an additional letter with your application to each school you apply to- explaining what you're doing, why you want to re-take these classes, why you want to be a doctor but havent taken bio yet, etc.

    Explaining is very important, so it doesn't look like you're clueless. By doing this, I think you wont get "screened" out of the process. Plus you're already a non-traditional applicant with an advanced degree.

    I am also an engineer who applied and was accepted this past cycle. If you have an MS in engineering and life experience as an engineer, the adcom will know that you have plenty of proficiency in the basic sciences. My engineering background was viewed in a very positive light at all of the schools at which I interviewed.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd apply this year for sure. Give it a shot

    Good luck!
     
  38. BaseballFan

    BaseballFan Senior Member
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    Opinion:

    I personally don't think you'll be at any disadvantage if you apply now.

    I would send an additional letter with your application to each school you apply to- explaining what you're doing, why you want to re-take these classes, why you want to be a doctor but haven't taken bio yet, etc.

    Explaining is very important, so it doesn't look like you're clueless. By doing this, I don't think you'll get "screened" out of the process. It helps that you're a non-traditional applicant with an advanced degree.

    I am also an engineer who applied and was accepted this past cycle (although I had all the prereqs finished). In my opinion, if you have an MS in engineering and life experience as an engineer, the adcom will know that you have plenty of proficiency in the basic sciences. My engineering background was viewed in a very positive light at all of the schools at which I interviewed.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd apply this year for sure. Give it a shot

    Good luck!
     

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