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Staff member
5+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2013

Before I start down this path, I wanted to make sure I am heading in the right direction based on what I have read so far in the forums. A little about me:

UG: 3.3
BCPM: 3.2
Grad: 3.5
Postbacc: 2.8 (took 1 sci course 4 years ago and failed-spread myself too thin, missed the withdraw deadline. Last semester took 2 sci courses w/4.0)
ACOMAS sci: 3.3
All gpas are estimated based on my spreadsheet
MCAT: never taken

Clinical ex: nurse of 5 years
Military: 1LT in the Army Reserves Nurse Corps
NonClinical: adjunct with a local nursing program
Volunteer: none
Research: prior to deciding on this route I had been observing in a pig lab w/research related to trauma. The surgeon said if I can dedicate more time, I can be included on a few studies for publishing
Shadowing: none officially
LOR: several options from sci professors, to MDs/DOs, supervisors and military physicians.

Goal: USUHS admissions is my goal. HPSP for civilian program admissions for allopathic or DO would be my next step focusing on any school that looks at the last 60 if possible. Also planning to move to TX next year w/ my SO (this is also where my drill station is) and will look at TX schools. Tertiary plan....continue along the nursing path.

Plan: Besides Bs, 3 grades killed my BCMP, the F in genetics, a F in a math class back in 2001 and a C in chem II. It has been awhile, so I'm retaking all my sciences (which were originally for science majors, not nursing): a/p, bio, chem, pathophys and micro. Additionally I need to take: organic, physics and calc... and any other upper level sciences to build a nice DIY postbacc. Start studying for MCAT after organic chem.

1. Can you suggest sci courses to take. I have upper level biochem, looking at genetics, virology and histology.
2.I have a grad level advanced patho and pharm. I know grad courses do not help the postbacc but it could boost my sci. Should I still take grad level sci courses?
3. How heavy is the biochem on the MCAT? Wondering if I should take it again as a refresher (I have an A) or will retaking previous courses be enough of a refresher?
4. Is more wt placed on volunteering or research or does it matter if you focus on one more than the other? I have a lot going on and can volunteer or do research but not really both especially with classes.
5. As with volunteering, official shadowing is something kinda tough to fit in. Is there a numerical goal I should shoot for?
6. Any other suggestions?

Thank you for your time
Is your undergrad a BSN, or do you have something else (or something else in addition)?

What is the timing of your grad program (and whats it in) when compared to your post bacc? And was the post bacc official or DIY?

Shadowing: “none officially“ - what do you mean officially? You don’t have to necessarily have a document or schedule stating how many hours or put in. Just don’t lie and ensure that whoever you list you shadowed would verify if contact. That said, working with doctors as a nurse, for instance, would not be ”unofficial” shadowing if that’s what you were getting at as you were working in the capacity as a nurse, on a team With a physician. I’m not sure otherwise what you would mean by official versus unofficial shadowing.

So only USUHS/HPSP? Otherwise continue with nursing? No GI Bill or Voc Rehab Or anything? There is also VHVMASP and VA HPSP. You have more options Available/potentially available than you mention.

1) Retake your failed courses - anything below C. Anything upper level 300/400+.
2) MD won’t consider Masters. DO will. Though would be better to focus on bachelor level consider you’ll be retaking some classes as it is, and should initially do some upper levels - which would round out a DIY post bacc anyway.
3) I dont know As I took the old MCAT, and I’m not as up to speed on the new MCAT as some of the others on here, so I’ll defer.
4) Except for the research powerhouse schools, volunteering is more emphasized - and even at the research heavy schools, theyre about equal.
5) Generally 80+ give or take. If you have less considering your time spent working as a nurse, especially if you have physician letters, and with a military background, I’d worry less on this - especially if you have “unofficial” shadowing, in which I’d like to hear what you mean, because that could possibly count.
6) More later.

Thank you!

* My undergrad is a BAS in interdisciplinary studies (don’t ask lol). My grad degree is a direct entry MSN for people with a BS in something other than is my entry into the profession
* Post bacc I took an undergrad genetics course about a year out of my grad program, spreaded myself thin and missed the withdraw deadline. I took a/p I and pharm this past fall with 2 As. Plan is to take all my previous sciences again (a/p, micro, chem and bio) plus the prerequisites I’m missing as part of my DIY postbacc. Then figure out what addtl courses to take and then figure out if I need to retake biochem which I already have an A in (took it as part of my undergrad). Nothing official for postbacc....just me registering as non-degree seeking and taking courses
* I mean unofficially as in the time spent with physicians I’m on the clock, no dedicated time following them on rounds or in clinic although I have participated in rounds on my own patients
* I wasn’t aware of the other options so I will look into them. Really liking the idea of MD or DO but I’m also trying to keep a level head and have a realistic plan B which are my various nursing options. Plus, I am new to the USAR, meaning newly commissioned.

1. Planned on retaking genetics but the math course is no longer available. There are some low grades for non-science courses from back in 2000, should I retake those as well?
2. Understood
3. Understood
4. So maybe less time in the lab and publishing and more volunteering...although the lab is unpaid so technically that’s volunteering too Luckily my hospital has plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Not that I plan to do the bare minimum, but is there a range that I should aim for? I’ve seen ranges from 1-2k Hrs
5. Understood
6. Thank you


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7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
Somewhere west of St. Louis
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