Dec 8, 2010
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So first post at SDN after lurking for a few weeks.

So I'm a 2/5 at my current school, Engineering Management Major. Doing a co-op program so that I gain engineering work experience before graduation which explains the 2/5 thing. I've always kind of tossed the idea of going into medicine, but was actually talked out of it by my father for miscellaneous reasons.

After working at my current Eng. job I realize it is not something that I really like doing. I refuse to do something I do not enjoy for the rest of my life, and what I really love is helping others. I feel, actually I know it's something I really want to do, and am just looking for some direction.

As of now I haven't even taken by third semester of classes, but my GPA is a 3.44. I'm not entirely sure how I will go about getting all the pre-reqs for Med. School. I was considering minoring in chem-bio at my school. Does anyone have advice as far as how I could or most efficiently go about this. Can anyone also maybe PM me a list of the pre-reqs I need to take so I can conveniently have all the information on SDN

Also can anyone post the other things Med. schools look at? There’s community service, clinical, shadowing, anything else. Anyone able to elaborate on the three. Do I need some kind of written documentation once I do these?

As far as ec's go I feel pretty comfortable even though it is very early on in my undergrad career. As far as leadership goes, I was founder/president of my schools lacrosse club, an orientation leader, vice president of my fraternity, volunteer on a regular basis, and have future plans to do other things on campus. Also I'll have a load of work experience under my belt if I stick with my current major and co-op program.

This is a sizeable post and apologize if something like this has been asked before, but I could not find anything with the search function. I know I have alot of questions, some I most likely forgot while typing this. Thanks for the advice in advanced, and any information you have to offer is greatly appreciated.
 

rafflecopter

MS-0
10+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2008
1,012
17
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Pre-Medical
Okay all of this stuff has been asked before (use the search function!!). But since you're new I'll give you a break.

Being a successful applicant to medical school requires 4 things:

1) Good academics
Get stellar grades in all of your pre reqs (Biology 1 & 2, General Chemistry 1 & 2, Physics 1 & 2, and Organic Chemistry 1 & 2 and take labs for all of them). Stellar = A/A- and the very occasional B+/B.
Also you need to do very well on the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). Its the hardest entrance exam in existence, and most people study for around 3-6 months for it. Its a grueling preparation and it needs to be done. This is the biggest hurdle of getting into medical school and the spot where most people fail. Do yourself a favor and consider entering a prep course and using that to help you study.

2) ECs
You need clinical experience (hospital volunteering, physician shadowing, EMT, etc), community service (non-clinical volunteering, blood drives, homeless shelters, underprivileged tutoring etc), leadership (president of clubs, etc), some research, and probably a few hobbies.

3) Letters of Recommendation
Start getting friendly with your professors during your pre-req classes. Go to office hours and ask questions. Always follow up after every test, etc. You need them to know who you are so that when you ask for a letter its not a stock "class rank, good student, etc".

4) Apply early. The earlier you apply, the earlier you interview and the earlier you get acceptances. Don't apply later than August!
 
Mar 31, 2010
602
7
AR
Status
Medical Student
Hey! A 3.44 isn't horrible (especially, I hear, in an engineering degree) but you are going to want to try and bring that up. I think the avg gpa for matriculants is somewhere in the 3.6 range. The required classes for med school would be Gen Bio 1 and 2 with labs, Gen Chem 1 and 2 with labs, Organic Chem 1 and 2 with labs, Physics (calc-based isn't necessary) 1 and 2 with labs, and some schools require Calculus. A lot of schools also require 2 semesters of English. I don't think you would necessarily have to declare a chem or bio minor to get your pre-requisites done. I had no problem registering for any of those classes as a Spanish major, but I know some schools let the science majors sign up first, so I would check with your school on that. As far as ec's go, shadowing (especially primary care), clinical volunteer work (such as hospital/clinic volunteer, or I hear even clinical research might count, EMT-B but that requires extra certification, scribe, etc) non-clinical volunteer work-can be anything from soup kitchen to homeless shelter to big brother/big sister, etc, research, leadership (which is sounds like you have), teaching/tutoring, are all the "standard" ec's. I would also suggest getting into something you really enjoy....some sort of hobby that would help you stand out. I was a musical theatre major before I decided I wanted to go into medicine, and I continued to participate in shows even after I transferred and changed my major. I have gotten asked a lot about it in my interviews. Also, after you have complete your pre-requisite courses you will need to take the MCAT. It sucks, and I would not underestimate it. Take your time and study right the first time...I made that mistake...and I am now living with the consequences. Good luck!:thumbup:

EDIT: you beat me to it!! haha, everything I said was probably covered in rafflecopter's post.
 

gravitywave

fourth year
Dec 19, 2009
2,078
9
s/p ERAS
Status
Medical Student
if Eng Management courses have anything like the grading curve for Eng in general, get out now and switch to a new major, one that gives out more As. 3.44 is borderline and the courses will only get harder. that said, it's completely unnecessary to major in a science for med school. they don't care what your major is, just that you got the requisite courses done and lots of As on the transcript.

all the stuff the other guys said goes too :thumbup:
 
OP
D
Dec 8, 2010
4
0
Status
Thanks for the responses.

For the community service and clinical hours, how should they be recorded? I assume that someone should just sign off on them. Also is there a roundabout number of hours that schools like to see? I know you want to do as many as possible, but is there a number that a number of you guys/gals have or are shooting for.

As far as major is concerned, in some posts I see that people stated that being an engineering major is taken into account in the application process. Others have said it is not. Is there any confirmation on this? Obviously I plan on working my @ss off regardless to get the highest GPA possible, but it would be nice that if I didn't feel completely discouraged if things don't go that way.
 

rafflecopter

MS-0
10+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2008
1,012
17
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the responses.

For the community service and clinical hours, how should they be recorded? I assume that someone should just sign off on them. Also is there a roundabout number of hours that schools like to see? I know you want to do as many as possible, but is there a number that a number of you guys/gals have or are shooting for.

As far as major is concerned, in some posts I see that people stated that being an engineering major is taken into account in the application process. Others have said it is not. Is there any confirmation on this? Obviously I plan on working my @ss off regardless to get the highest GPA possible, but it would be nice that if I didn't feel completely discouraged if things don't go that way.
Most volunteering programs require you to sign some sort of time sheet. The program director will usually keep a record of your hours. You wont have to do anything with those. Just keep a rough estimate of how many hours you did so that when they ask on your primary app you can give them a reasonably close answer. I would shoot for at least (bare minimum) 100 hrs hospital volunteering, 30 hrs shadowing (pick a few different specialties) and another 100 hrs non-clinical volunteering.

As far as major being considered for your low GPA, really forget about that. They really just care about the end result (GPA) and not what it took to get there.
 

Avoidthetiger

roar
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2008
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Resident [Any Field]
As far as major is concerned, in some posts I see that people stated that being an engineering major is taken into account in the application process. Others have said it is not. Is there any confirmation on this? Obviously I plan on working my @ss off regardless to get the highest GPA possible, but it would be nice that if I didn't feel completely discouraged if things don't go that way.
Schools don't take into account that you were an engineering major. There are many engineers out there that still get 4.0s (amazing! I know!) or even above a 3.5 gpa. Of the students who I know who got a good GPA regardless of being an engineer... they have gone on to medical school. The ones who applied with a 3.5 or less, have not. I would drop the engineering major if you are not interested in pursuing it for a career. If you are interested in mixing/matching engineering and medicine, then continue your engineering studies but work hard to get a 3.6 GPA.