1. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice

Am I doing the right thing? 2.65 undergrad...

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by pcu, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. pcu

    pcu
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    Hi guys/gals.

    I am a current nursing student at a hospital based diploma program that is fortunately accredited through a local university. I also hold a BA in film studies from pitt. Pitt gpa is 2.65, nursing school will be around 3.2 (4.0 in microio, bio, A&P 1 and A&P 2). At this point my overall will be about 2.9. As part pf my tuition forgiveness program I am required to work 2 years as an RN for my hospital. I am looking at grabbing an ICU job FWIW.

    During that time I will be working 3-12 hour shifts a week. Currently I plan on taking BCMP classes (about 36-40 credits worth) and hopefuly I can get mostly A's and end up 3.8 or higher. I figure I take 2 classes per semester while working and I land A's. Of course I will also concentrate in killing the MCAT at some point.

    So after doing all that I am looking at roughly 3.1 +/- 0.5 with 250+ credits. It would seem to make the most sense to me to take undergrad courses a la carte considering my work requirement for the next 2 years. benefits will contribute $1750 per semester towards tuition so that will be nice.

    The nursing gig will definitely provide me with a lot of clinical experience as well as a healthy confidence that I feel many will lack. Not sure if that will get me anywhere but it will make me feel more comfortable/confident anyway. Will also make getting LOR nice and easy.

    I am also going to see if I can find a way into a research oppurtunity as well as seeing if I can find ways to volunteer.

    So anyway any feedback is much appreciated.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    5,900
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    It sounds like that is all you can do with the work requirements.

    A 3.1 is low at most medical schools. You have a 2.6 in Ugrad and a 3.2 in nursing, what makes you think you will be able to pull a 3.8 in pre-recs while working? Seems a bit lofty.

    MCAT is a major hurdle, do well on it.

    Think about applying to DO schools as well.

    Get good letters of Rec. Go to office hours for you pre-rec courses and ask questions. Make sure the professor knows who you are. Do well in his/her class and then get them to write a letter or rec.

    Volunteering is crucial.

    Make sure to do some shadowing, volunteering at a free clinic etc. I know you are going to be an RN but it will make you seem like you have thought out the decision to become a doctor.
     
  4. pcu

    pcu
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    Well I got all A's in bio, microbio, A&P 1 and A&P 2 since being back to school and being refocused.

    My nursing curriculum is strange. Normal university classes (like the ones listed above and things like human growth and development) are kind of subcontracted out to a local 4 year university. So those classes I get A's in and kill. The core nursing classes are designed by my hospital affiliated nursing diploma program. These classes are like nothing I had ever seen before. I could write a novel about my experience in nursing school but thats really not what this is about, so I digress.

    Anyway my former follies as an undergrad were related to working 20+ hours a week and more specifically I was a lost/depressed/stifled individual. I was not happy at all and eventually via the depression I just stopped really caring. It was never about not being able to grasp a concept or whatever, its was just that I didn't care and thus I essentially didn't go to class and didn't study. So in the end while a 2.65 sucks it really could be a lot worse.

    The world is a different place for me now as a 28 year old. I have regained confidence in my academic abilities and believe that I ultimately have found my passion in life.

    While ultimately I would like an MD behind my name I understand in many ways it just a means to an end and thus if it takes DO school or hell even Caribbean for that matter I will be there. Anyway I do appreciate people shooting straight with me on what I need to do and also welcome any criticism on any misconceptions I may have.

    edit: On the working situation, I will most likely work 36 hours in 3 days. I am looking into a "plan" my hospital has where you work weekends every weekend with no call offs. This way I will have Mon-Thurs to focus on school completely. I'm thinking 8 credits of science a semester is reasonable to expect high marks.
     
  5. pcu

    pcu
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    Does it make a difference to schools whether your post bac courses are related to a degree or not? For instance Pitt you can re-enroll as a degree seeking post bac or a non degree seeking post bacc. I was going to enrol as a non degree seeker as it would allow me more freedom i presume in picking and choosing the courses for the pre reqs. I still need 1 year each of inorg and org chem, 1 year physic, bio 2, calc and stat. There may be more to once I start looking at particular school req's.
     
  6. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    5,900
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    It shouldnt matter if you get a 'degree' or not since you already have an undergrad major. You will probably get more advising through the degree seeking program though.

    Other courses that are a must include English courses and now some schools are requiring or recommending biochemistry. To be safe have at least 2 semesters of english/lit

    It is going to be a long road if you do it while working. I thought Bio 2 was much more difficult and the lab was ridiculous at my school. Orgo and physics at any school are much more difficult than bio. For you, you need to make sure that you get all As in the courses. You cannot afford to mess these courses up. If that means you have to cut back on nursing or cut back on classes then do it.

    good luck
     
  7. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2001
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Ya know, I always wondered about this. If you are taking classes for an RN, wouldn't that be professional school? THerefore the courses you take are technically "professional" level and not counted in undergraduate GPA?

    My friend is in nursing program at a university, but she's earning a BSN, so thats clearly undergrad. However I'm not sure how doing RN related courses "post-bacc". Anyway that would be something to look into. I'm totally clueless about this one so anyone who can chime in would be helpful.

    Regardless, I too am concerned about your GPA. IMO, microbiology, A&P are "easy" classes to get A's in. They require TONS of material, but they are really fun to take since it relates so much to medicine. The whole motivation factor is huge here to get an A in. Sadly these are not med school pre-reqs. Whats harder are the highly competitive OChem, GChem, Physics, and Calculus. You don't run into these subjects in such detail as a nursing student (or even as a med student), but you have to do well in them. Of course the MCAT covers Physics, and O/G Chem too. I'd reevaluate your situation after taking these courses and the MCAT.

    On a side note, some schools may just require an "upper division science course", which can be biochemistry or genetics as well. Both are also helpful for the MCAT.

    Lastly, your work situation needs to be dealt with. (1) to show that you can handle course workload given your previous low GPA. I know people have said that "workload" isn't an issue, but on our side of the country at the UC's, it is especially when you have a low GPA. (2) At the very least, its also a matter of timeliness. So you can get into med school in a reasonable amount of time (and money). Med school isn't really a "lets give it a try" type deal. Its more or less an all or nothing endeavor. The more you invest into it, the more you'll get out of it...for better or worse.

    Its going to take a lot, and things will be very uncertain. My undergrad GPA is exactly like yours (2.65). I've boosted it up to about a 2.8 or something by now. It should be at a 3.0-3.1 when I finish my PhD. When I apply, I'll have a ~3.0 overall undergrad GPA, 3.8 post-bacc GPA, 4.0 graduate GPA (med school classes), and a PhD degree. All of this will span a decade of college coursework. Even then, there's never any guarantee other than that I'll keep taking more classes until I get in;). Good luck!
     
  8. pcu

    pcu
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    Hi relentless

    I had just assumed they would be considered undergrad especially considering they have told us they are accredited. Student loan wise they always consider me an undergrad. I am checking with Pitt's med school to see if I can get some clarification with this. This pursuit of mine isn't something I plan on broadcasting to anyone in my nursing school.

    I'm not really sure I can get out of work. I will have about 60k in combined undergrad loans after nursing school. I will also need to come up with about 10k to take the post bacc pre req's. I also will have about 10k in credit card debt I want to get down. I also want to save as much as possible to go into med school with. I think it makes sense that I work and kind of ease into these classes a little bit to ensure I get A's. Plus it will give me a familiarity with the hospital other students won't have (for my own peace of mind) as well as grant me access to some great LOR's from physicians.

    I understand your suggestion to take a full courseload but I'm just not sure the benefit of it outweighs the costs. I may consider it depending on where things stand about 2 years in but for now its not part of the plan.

    After talking to some people i will definitely be taking at least one of and maybe both genetics and biochem.
     
  9. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2001
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Yea ideally you want to take more classes, but ideal doesn't neccessarily mean realistic...haha. In the end, an A in one class is more important than C's in 4 classes (or worse!). But you can make a stronger case if you get A's in 4 classes;). In the end, I feel that this process is as evidence-based as any other field in medicine. If you can sell yourself on your personal statement/application using evidence-based statements, then its a good thing.

    I had to work 2 jobs during undergrad. Mainly to support my education and family. Grades certainly suffered, but hey what can I do? Couldn't extend my undergrad program any more since it would cost more. But hey thats the past, and its like many years later. You just have to show them what you can do now, don't dwell too much on the present, but you do want to address any weaknesses too.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Sundarban1

    Sundarban1 Devil in disguise
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    stop taking all these extra classes, rock the MCAT and then apply to SMP programs. even with 3 more undergrad degrees your gpa wont budge into a competative area for us md schools. either open up to DO/Foreign option or go the SMP route if you can ace the MCAT.
     
  11. Nasrudin

    Nasrudin Apropos of Nothing
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    2,598
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Yes. Keep your profile way low. Hospitals are breeding grounds for very virulent strains of haters. Consider your interactions with your physician colleagues as long-terms interviews for excellent LOR's. I know you can do this and I understand the reasons to tell yourself you can, but remember nursing science courses aint the same as science major courses, although you ask any nurse and they'll tell you they've taken organic chemistry and all that stuff. It's a different league when your gunning against the science and engineering weenies.

    Otherwise Relentless and Sandurban have hit the opposite sides of the eventual coin toss you'll have to make. Do you go hard with 3 science classes while working to prove yourself, or do you move through that stage efficiently to get to your follow through move more quickly. I'm doing the former. We'll see?
     

Share This Page