bellajoy

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Who knows if anyone here can help, but I just wanted to throw it out there.

I am a former pre-med student (grad 2004---3.65 gpa, 27 MCAT), tried twice to get in, and I didn't get in. I was going to try again, but before doing that I decided to look into alternative things just in case. Found out I could apply for respiratory school in June, got in in July, and started in Aug 2005. So, I did that figuring I could learn more, improve my gpa even more, get tons and tons of clinical experience, work with patients (which I love), etc. I graduated in May 2007 with a 3.98 gpa and a 2nd BS. I took my CRT and RRT, and I am now working as a registered respiratory therapist at a large teaching hospital.

Right now, I'm a little unsure as to what I want to do. I've always wanted to go to med school and be a doctor. I still want to but unsure about the time committments sometimes, and truthfully, a little scared I may not get in again. And, it was super depressing those last times.

So, my questions are....Any advice for me? What do you think my shot to get in now would be?

Thanks, and sorry this was so long.
 

dEterm1ned

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My advice is apply again. I had the same thing happen (although I chose to take a job in the medical field instead of go back to school) I am reapplying because it is what I want to do peroid. You don't want to wonder "what if" and if you don't get it you can't say it was because you didn't try. Try and be detached from the outcome so you don't get too depressed.
Good luck.
 

RxnMan

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You've got two great GPAs. Your MCAT is lower than the average matriculant's, but you can overcome that. Even if you kept the 27, your numbers give you a good chance.

Assuming you still want to get in, what did your interviewers say about your interviews? Did you get any? You need to give us some more history and then we can give you some more direction (or if you don't know, then you need to find out).
 
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DrBubbles

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If you want to do it, you can totally get in, especially with the new additions to your application. So, rock the MCAT this time, and I second finding out how you interview. Have an advisor read over your AMCAS application, write your secondaries the same way you and your advisor decided to do the primary, and see what your interviewing skills are like. And if you don't have access to an advisor at your respiratory therapy school, your college pre-health advisor might be willing to help. Best of luck!
 

bellajoy

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To answer the question of if I had any interviews before in my previous 2 times of applying. I had 1 the first time, and got waitlisted (Wayne State...I was a MI resident at the time). I had 2 the 2nd time (Wayne State and Indiana University), with waistlisted again at Wayne State. (I was living in Indiana at that time, but don't think I was considered an IN resident at that time.)

I think why i didn't get in was a combination of things. First, the first year I applied, I shouldn't have continued on the app process after I had gotten really ill. I was in the hospital for a month my senior year of college, 2 weeks on a ventilator, with sepsis, pulmonary emboli, ARDS, pneumonia, pleural effusions. You name it, I had it wrong with my lungs. I had a 50/50 chance of dying. I had to take a semester off obviously...but to a lot of people's surprise, I went back to school in Jan. (I was so so ill, and even in Jan I was still a little weak, but still strong enough to go back.) I ended up finishing my degree in mid-Aug....basically, too late to even go to med school. So, even if I had gotten in somewhere, I don't think I could've went. So, obviously, I tried again.

I think after all that, what held me back was so-so MCAT score, no clinical experience (had a couple volunteer things, but nothing substantial), and possibly my interview skills. I've always been super nervous in those situations. I actually feel I'm a lot better with that aspect now....More confidence I suppose now.
 

neuronick

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My advice is to keep going. I applied 3 times. Once as an Undergrad, once as a grad student and once after grad school. I had a 3.5, 29 an M.S. in neurobiology and a publication and still didnt get in. I was about to give up and decided to apply 1 more time and got off of a waitlist at the last minute. I can honestly say that I have never been happier. I was about to settle for a job or finish my PhD but all of the hard work and agonizing over an acceptance was totaly worth it. If this is what you really want to do, (and with all of the work and money youll be putting in, you should make sure that it is) then dont give up. Go for it. Med school admissions seems to me to be a crap shoot. They dont necessarily take only the most qualified. Dont give up, and remember the squeeky wheel gets the grease.
 

bellajoy

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Thanks for the encouraging words everyone! :) If anyone has any more advice, keep it coming please.
 

RxnMan

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20 the first time...10 the 2nd
Well, 20 is about right for your stats, but 10 is on the low side. And the first time was when you had some health problems. If you decide to go again, I'd apply to more schools, but also to a wider range of schools. Check out the FAQ for deciding which school to apply to. I go through what to do (and why) and that'll give you some ideas.
 
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I agree that you should apply more broadly.

Now while I went to a UC, I had a pretty decent GPA and decent MCAT and still applied to around 30 programs.
 

bellajoy

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I agree that you should apply more broadly.

Now while I went to a UC, I had a pretty decent GPA and decent MCAT and still applied to around 30 programs.
Unfortunately, money was a limiting factor at that time. I had just finished school, was jobless, and was relying on parental money help, which wasn't too much at the time. I tried to choose wisely, and I think I did for the most part.

Now, I won't have that concern if I try again, but my concern now is location. I just moved here and I really would like to stay in the same place for more than a couple of years, plus some other things are tying me to here. Who knows....
 
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Blade28

Unfortunately, money was a limiting factor at that time. I had just finished school, was jobless, and was relying on parental money help, which wasn't too much at the time. I tried to choose wisely, and I think I did for the most part.

Now, I won't have that concern if I try again, but my concern now is location. I just moved here and I really would like to stay in the same place for more than a couple of years, plus some other things are tying me to here. Who knows....
That is tough - and I sympathize.

I had to work a lot of extra shifts to be able to afford all those secondaries. :(

In med school, financial aid helped with the ridiculous cost that is applying to residencies.
 
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bellajoy

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That is tough - and I sympathize.

I had to work a lot of extra shifts to be able to afford all those secondaries. :(

In med school, financial aid helped with the ridiculous cost that is applying to residencies.

I'm sure whenever I do decide to do it again...I'll be working a little extra too to pay all that stuff. (I'm already doing that a little now because I'm planning on getting a new car.)

I wonder how good of a chance I'd have at going to school here. (I know it's pretty competitive...but I am employed by the fine school/school's med center. Not that it makes a difference probably.)

Sometimes I think a day position would be better as I would be working more closely with more of the pulmonary docs. At night, you get to know the residents/interns a little more, but depending on what is going on, you may not see them much. I would totally love if I could get a LOC from one of those guys. I still feel entirely too new here still though....still trying to "prove" myself a bit.
 
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Blade28

Sometimes I think a day position would be better as I would be working more closely with more of the pulmonary docs. At night, you get to know the residents/interns a little more, but depending on what is going on, you may not see them much. I would totally love if I could get a LOC from one of those guys. I still feel entirely too new here still though....still trying to "prove" myself a bit.
If you're working in the ICU closely with the residents, managing vents and whatnot, do you also get to work with the attendings? I'd definitely shoot for a LOR from them. (Residents' letters don't carry any weight, IMHO.)
 

bellajoy

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If you're working in the ICU closely with the residents, managing vents and whatnot, do you also get to work with the attendings? I'd definitely shoot for a LOR from them. (Residents' letters don't carry any weight, IMHO.)
Usually the attendings are only around sometimes and the beginning of my shift (at night) and sometimes at the very end. I saw them a lot more when I was on days for orientation. They are there constantly on days pretty much....rounding, etc.

4 of them are doing a big study with HFOV....so we may see more of them even on nights. A quick question for anyone who looks at this...would working with them on a study like this be considered research experience in any way? We follow the protocol....meaning we're the ones who may suggest a pt, we put them on it, we make all the changes, we have to be there for patient turns, etc. We work closely with them for this. I was just wondering. I know it's nothing like really planning something and getting published and everything.
 

RxnMan

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...A quick question for anyone who looks at this...would working with them on a study like this be considered research experience in any way? We follow the protocol....meaning we're the ones who may suggest a pt, we put them on it, we make all the changes, we have to be there for patient turns, etc. We work closely with them for this. I was just wondering. I know it's nothing like really planning something and getting published and everything.
Yes.
 
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Blade28

4 of them are doing a big study with HFOV....so we may see more of them even on nights. A quick question for anyone who looks at this...would working with them on a study like this be considered research experience in any way? We follow the protocol....meaning we're the ones who may suggest a pt, we put them on it, we make all the changes, we have to be there for patient turns, etc. We work closely with them for this. I was just wondering. I know it's nothing like really planning something and getting published and everything.
Research experience, yes. Publications, no. But it definitely helps!

And I can see why working days gives you more exposure to the attendings - they aren't always around at night. :)

Edit: BTW, HFOV - interesting stuff! :thumbup:
 

bellajoy

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Edit: BTW, HFOV - interesting stuff! :thumbup:
yeah, it is. It will be interesting to see what they find out. Who knows if it really ever works....a lot of the time people die after they've been on it....but of course, most of the time when people are put on it they are extremely sick.
 
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Blade28

yeah, it is. It will be interesting to see what they find out. Who knows if it really ever works....a lot of the time people die after they've been on it....but of course, most of the time when people are put on it they are extremely sick.
Exactly. Like ECMO, HFOV is usually used as a "salvage" method to temporize a patient's condition as they're going down the drain.
 

bellajoy

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Exactly. Like ECMO, HFOV is usually used as a "salvage" method to temporize a patient's condition as they're going down the drain.
Very true. We probably should be putting people on it a lot sooner to see the effect we want (improved oxygenation)....but of course the question is how soon?
 
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Blade28

Very true. We probably should be putting people on it a lot sooner to see the effect we want (improved oxygenation)....but of course the question is how soon?
Well...I wouldn't shun conventional ventilation simply to "see what happens"! I'm sure there are plenty of clinical trials underway looking at its true effectiveness.

BTW, at your institution, is it the typical "Medicine uses CMV, Surgery uses SIMV" setup? Or do you guys now use APRV or BiLEVEL?
 

bellajoy

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Well...I wouldn't shun conventional ventilation simply to "see what happens"! I'm sure there are plenty of clinical trials underway looking at its true effectiveness.

BTW, at your institution, is it the typical "Medicine uses CMV, Surgery uses SIMV" setup? Or do you guys now use APRV or BiLEVEL?
That's exacly how it is pretty much. In the MICU, pretty much everyone is on A/C, an SBT/trach collar trial/cpap, and that's it....in SICU, SIMV is the rule.
 
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