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Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by DrFeelgoodMD, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. DrFeelgoodMD

    DrFeelgoodMD below is a TRUE avatar...
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    Well, I am still in college, but I am pretty sure when all is said and done that I will be applying as a non-trad. So here goes....

    I am a 3rd year sophmore (2 credits away from junior status) who started out as a bio major/premed but have switched over to psych as my major this year. The reason for the switch was because I was doing very poorly in Bio. This was caused by a family tragedy I had to deal with and also I just did not like getting up everyday and going to classes that I hated (class never stimulated me, professors sucked at teaching, etc). I took bio because people told me before I got to college that it was the only way to get to med school. I didn't find out until last year how off those folks were. Because of my struggles my gpa fell to 2.07. At any rate, my classes this year have been awesome! I am concentrating on biobehaviorial psych and I have never been so engaged in my courses as I am now. I am going to get all As this semester and after calculating it out, my gpa will rise to ~2.50 and if I keep doing great as I did this semester, when I graduate I could even have an overall gpa of over 3.0.

    But now I need advice on where to go from here. I have heard about post-bacc programs to help me finish all my premed requirements and then allow me to apply to medical school, but I am not sure if there would be an even better route to take. I also want to know about my chances of getting into med school since I had done so poorly before. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Sorry for the long post, I just hope to hear from people who may have dealt with what I had dealth with and who have succeeded. Medicine has been a goal of mine for a long time and I want to do whatever I can from here on out so I can reach it.

    Thanks in advance,

    J
     
  2. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
    Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    It sounds like you're already doing all of the right things, so keep up the good work. :thumbup: One thing I would say to you though is that you might want to re-think how you explain your previous bad grades. It doesn't come across sounding very mature or responsible for you to blame them on having had unstimulating classes and professors who are lousy teachers. (I wouldn't mention the family situation either, unless you feel comfortable discussing it with an interviewer.) I think you'd be a lot better off if you say that you made some poor decisions as a freshman (i.e., to not go to class and to not study for classes that didn't interest you), but that you've learned from your mistakes and reformed your attitude, as your more recent coursework attests. Best of :luck: to you.
     
  3. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    I definitely wouldn't phrase it the way you did here, but I disagree with Q in that I *would* mention the family problem. If that's the real reason, you've got to talk about it, otherwise it just looks like a personal lack. Be careful. Be sure you don't "blame" anything. Just say you had a family emergency or tragedy, whatever it was, you had some trouble in school while you dealt with it, but you've dealt with it and now your grades are at the high levels they want to see (you'll need to *show* them anything you say, so if you say you're over it, you need to show that with high grades or some other form of excellence).
     
  4. Islandhopper

    Islandhopper New Member

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    Not sure of ur chances to get into a US med school...though I've heard of people got in with low GPAs. While looking into US med schools, other options for u are looking into osteopathic schools and offshore med schools. I think this maybe something u want to look into, provided u are able to boost ur GPA.
     
  5. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    depends on the family problem whether I would mention it or not.
     
  6. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I agree with ShyRem. That's why I said not to mention the family situation unless you feel comfortable discussing it with an interviewer. If you write it down on your app, it's fair game for them to ask you about it. I can certainly envision various "family tragedies" that you might not want to explain at a med school interview, or have an adcom discussing behind closed doors, or that might stigmatize or embarrass you in some way if your classmates and professors all found out about it. I'm not saying the OP shouldn't mention it under any circumstances, but s/he should definitely think through how it would feel to talk about it in an interview.
     
  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    While I agree with the above posters, if you so intently disliked bio-type classes, I caution that the path to medicine is going to be full of classes that don't interest or stimulate you, and may often at times be taught by lousy professors. You have to figure out how to ace that type of class (and maybe even find a way to enjoy it), or you may have an insurmountable obstacle ahead of you.
     
  8. DrFeelgoodMD

    DrFeelgoodMD below is a TRUE avatar...
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    Thanks for all the replies! But besides grades, what can I do to help myself when I apply to US medical schools? And I know I have to take a premed postbac program, so if I do really well in those, that should also help me out as well...right?

    Thanks again!

    J

    (P.S. - DO school is in the back of my mind but my primary goal is to get into an MD school...)
     
  9. Islandhopper

    Islandhopper New Member

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    (P.S. - DO school is in the back of my mind but my primary goal is to get into an MD school...)[/QUOTE]

    Yes, but u don't want to limit ur option if u want a competitive residency - just in case if US med schools don't work out. But if u absolutely want to become an MD - like I said, try offshore schools while trying to get into a US school. The last thing u want to do is waste time and money with nothing at the end. Good luck!
     
  10. Islandhopper

    Islandhopper New Member

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    Absolutely! Couldn't have said it better.
     
  11. DrFeelgoodMD

    DrFeelgoodMD below is a TRUE avatar...
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    Hey all,

    I just wanted to update on how I did....I busted out all As this past semester, hopefully made the dean's list (i find out in a week when i return to college)) and now my gpa is up to 2.53! I expect it to go up even more next semester as well. (I have calculated that once I graduate my overall gpa should be 3.1-3.2 if i keep going at this pace and this is w/o the postbacc included)

    Like I said before, I want to take my premed requirements in a postbacc over the summer once I graduate, and I plan on working more on the research I am involved in. Is this the time to also study up for MCATs and start applications? I am a little confused what the ideal timeline would be for me. I am just trying to figure out when I would be matriculating into medical school (if I can get in).

    Could someone help me make a basic timeline including postbacc, research, MCAT prep, applications, other things to improve my resume?

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated! :)

    J
     
  12. DrFeelgoodMD

    DrFeelgoodMD below is a TRUE avatar...
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  13. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    Do some research and you'll be able to make your own!

    Here:

    Graduate
    Enter post bacc
    Fall two years prior to wanting to go to enter med school, decide on how you're going to prep for the MCAT. If you're going to take a class, look to enroll.
    Around this time, finish figuring out who is going to right your LORs. Give them late July or early August of the next year as a target.
    January of the year prior start prepping
    April of the year prior take the MCAT
    right afterwards start work on your personal statement
    May fill out AMCAS, request transcripts be sent to them
    June submit AMCAS
    the rest I've posted elsewhere
     
  14. jjmcentee@hotma

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    As you know time will tell. Get your grades up one semester at a time. Don't push too hard though, because you don't want to take too many steps back, it doesn't look like you have the "gpa" room anymore.

    facts: if you get your grades above a 3.0, apply early when the time comes, hook up with a premed advisor when the time comes, and you should have some choices.

    2.5-2.9 carribean schools because a 2nd choice, or overseas like Ireland or Italy. But don't get too crazy, just bang out some A's and B's first.

    See how things go, u don't want to fixate soo much on the all A's, get a 2.9 one semester and then quit. Pace youself, be carefull.

    Thats it.
     

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