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An interesting situation that I am in.....

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MH, Nov 10, 2000.

  1. MH

    MH Junior Member

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    Hi,

    I am looking for some advice on an interesting situation that I am in and any advice would be greatly apprectiated.

    I am very serious about going to med school, but I only realized it late in my undergraduate education. While in undergrad, I had planned on going to physical therapy school after I graduated. I had always toyed around with the idea of going to med school, but I for some reason I never thought that I would have a good shot at getting in. By the time I was applying to PT school I had a 3.75 GPA and I have a significant amount of experience in a medical related field. When it came time to apply to PT school, I had had a major dilemma on my hands. I knew that I wanted to go to med school but do I give up PT school? Or do I go to PT school because that is what I had planned on doing.

    Well, to try and keep the story as short as possible, I am currently in my first semester Physical Therapy school. The only thing that kept me from applying to med school was the two years or so that it would take for me to take a couple classes, take the MCAT, apply and interview. Plus, i didn't want to "jump the gun" and give up on it for what may be an impulse. But 1 1/2 years later, I know it is not.

    The only classes have left to take are the 2 semesters of organic since it wasn't required by all PT schools. I did have had a significant amount of experience with Organic in Cell and Molecular Bio classes and I think I will be able to do well in it (at least a B, good chance at an A).

    This is really where my problem comes in....while I am at PT school, all I can think about is going to med school. I wanted to get some feedback as to what my chances are at getting in. I graduated from Purdue with a 3.75, Phi Beta Kappa etc. My only academic blemish is a C in my second semester of Physics. Other than that, I have 17 semster hours of A's in Bio classes and B's in Inorganic chem. At times it is just hard to stay motivated in PT school, knowing that my heart is telling me to go to med school. Do I drop out of PT school and get started on Organic right away? Or would it look better to finish my Master's, try and take the Organic classes next summer, and apply the year after?

    I am torn between the two scenarios. PT school is very demanding, and at times I question wheter or not I want to put myself through this twice? Plus it is going to cost me $50,000 for PT school. But on the other hand, I will have a great background going into med school. I will have taken a great deal of medical neuro, physiology, gross anatomy, etc. in PT school and that will help me excell in med school as well as a physician (I hope to go into Orthopedics) but do I want to take all of these classes twice? Would it look bad to med schools if I dropped out? Or would it just look that much better if I stayed in? Or would they not care at all? If I stayed in PT school, I will be 27 when I would start med school. If I dropped out I could get in as early as 25. Is it worth it? Do I have a good shot at getting into a good to decent med school with a C in physics? If I drop out now, and then end up not getting into med school....I won't really have a back up plan. If I stay in, I will have to take both semester's of Organic next summer. They cram both semester's into either 8 or 12 weeks over the summer. So it will be tough. Any suggestions or ideas? Sorry for this being so long. I have already talked to the premed advisor at the school I am at now and she was not much help. I am not in Indiana anymore so I don't have access to any advisors from my undergrad. So, again, any ideas or thought would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. InNY

    InNY Junior Member

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    I was in a similar situation as you. When I was a freshman in college, I knew from a lifelong dream that I wanted to go to medical school, but wasn't too sure of myself in college because it was an overwhelming change from high school to college, and I wasn't sure I was capable of getting in to med school. I got about a 3.0 freshman year which isn;t too terribly exciting, but it wasn't bad considering the course load, caliber of the school I was in, and my extracurricular activities.So, the summer before sophomore year I decided to explore other options, such as PT. I ended up volunteering in a local nursing home that summer in PT and didn't like PT and tried OT, and discovered that I liked the freedom and creativity OT had to offer, and disliked the monotony of PT. I applied to 3 OT schools not really caring whether or not I got in, but I got into 2 out of 3, and ended up transferring my junior year to OT school,leaving behind my friends, my school, ad the life I had established at my first school. My junior year in OT school was horrible. I missed my old school and myold life, had difficulty finding people I liked and had things in common with and hid myself behind my books to compensate for the sadness I felt, and when I was in my classes, all I could thikn about was med school and how mich I still wanted to go. However, I was only 19, had only two years of OT school to do, and figured it wouldn't hurt to finish OT school and work for a while to get some experience in health care, and that not only would med shcools look favorably upon it, but it would help me gain some life experience and insight into my abilities. To make a long story short, I am now almost 22 years old, just took and passed my boards, and am practicing as an OTR in the area of pediatrics,a nd while I love the work I am doing, I definitely still want and WILL go to medical school, and am making good money to pay for graduate education in the interim. I am taking organic chem twice a week at a local community college because thats my last prerequisite, and will buy some books to study for the MCAT in April. I am glad I decided to do OT school. If I don' make it into med schoolo the firsttime round, I will apply again, but at leats I have OT as a backup to continue having something to do and making good money and helping people all in the same time. If I had just graduated witha B.S. in Psych or Bio and couldn't find a job and had nothing to do, I'd be so much more scared that I was wasting my life and not doing anything worthwhile or gaining life skills and experience and/or making a diffrence in the interim. I'm not creative, so I wouldn't know what to do with a B.S. in Psych or Bio or Chem. All I know is that I am good working with people and not doing research or working behind a desk, but that can work for other people. My opinion to you is continue PT school, take organic chem whenever you can, and apply to med school. If you get in before you're done with PT school then thats great. But, don't drop out of a good future opportunity to "maybe" get in to med school Its a gamble on time and your self-esteem. PT is a good backup and I think you should clutch your cushion while you have it. Worry about paying backloans/money later, you'll have your whole life to worry about money.Hope thai helped.
     
  4. BigSkyDreams

    BigSkyDreams Smelly Uncle Member

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    Howdy,

    If you can get into a PT program these days then you won't have a problem getting into Med School. Like you said except for the Organic, the pre-reqs and grades are almost identical. With your background don't disregard Osteopathy, the PT's understanding of the body and related stucture can be a real plus. The surg. residencies are harder for a DO to find, or so I am told, but to get into a PT school you have to be top notch anyway. I just took organic last semester and then this summer and loved it, it is alot better than gen chem!

    I was in the same boat as you but started to question the future of PT in my junior year, which has made for a very long senior year. Now that there are Ph. D of PT programs this will be the only way to go to remain competative. I looked at the limitation of PT and PA, and then decided that the autonomy and depth of knowledge of being a physician would allow me to do the things I wanted.

    You have two thing that you need to do before appliying, orgo as you know and the MCAT. TAKE THE MCAT IN THE SPRING!!!! I made the mistake of the late summer test and the waiting and placement behind most everyone else truely sucks. It is still very possible that I will get in but I have decreased my chances this cycle.

    For the MCAT you may ask if you can take some months off prior, this is not something that you want to screw the pooh on. You will also want to use the search button up top and look for threads about study tips for the MCAT and organized study courses, personally I think that if you have discipline you won't need them.

    Anyway, good luck in your goal!

    ------------------
    BSD
    ______
    Work under the assumption that you will be happy one day
     
  5. MH

    MH Junior Member

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    Thanks for both of your thoughts and ideas. I feel pretty confident that I would get in to some med school, at least everyone tells me I have a pretty good chance. Since I wasn't a premed in undergrad, I never really got a good idea of what exactly it takes to get into med school. I am pretty sure i will stick it out in PT school, I can't see my self just quiting. It is just hard to think about going through alot of these classes twice!

    I too looked at PA when I was applying to PT school but it didn't allow me to reach the goals that I have for my self as a health professional. The autonomy and depth of knowledge are two of the main reasons that I want to become a physician as well. While we go into great depth in many subjects in PT school, I am constantly wanting to learn more.

    Our program here is a 2 1/2 year program and I will graduate in December. So if I am able to squeeze the two semesters of Organic in over next summer (luckily we only have a 4 week clinical rotation at the begining of summer) I will be able to take the MCAT in the Spring after I graduate and have potentially 6 months to study for the MCAT and maybe work part time, and then get a full time job as a PT while I wait for interviews etc. So hopefully I will be able to do well on it.

    I have looked at DO schools and I do find it very interesting and I will definately look into it. My finance's father is a DO and he really knows his stuff so it is a definate possibility. The only reason that I would be reluctant is the competition for residency positions, especially if I am going to try and get into orthopedics.

    Does anybody have any idea as to how med schools look at graduate school grades? Do I need to continue to get a 3.7-4.0 in PT school? At my PT school, that is pretty tough. I would say most people are pretty lucky to average a 3.0. I am confident I will get at least a 3.5, but I am going to have to bust my tail to keep it up throughout PT school.

    Will my C in Physics keep me out of Top 25 schools?

    Thanks everyone
     
  6. rohit

    rohit Junior Member

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    you seem to be very worried about that C in physics. i know its the only one you've gotten, but its not that bad!!

    you have to have a high gpa to get into any of the top 10 schools, i'm thinking aroudn 3.75-3.85 being average. but some of the 15-25 schools, i think they're gpa average is more aroudn 3.6 so that C won't keep you out.

    oh, and i dont' know anything about pt school, my situation is totally different from urs, but looking at those other replies, and what you said, i think you SHOULD stay in PT school, even if you have to take classes twice. you don't have to hurry and drop out, just to get into med school 2 years earlier.

    ------------------
    rohit patel
    "knowledge is limited. imagination encircles the world" -- Einstein
     
  7. Nurse2Doc

    Nurse2Doc Senior Member

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    Have you considered going DO? If you are interested in the manipulation that goes with PT, then DO may be up your ally.
     
  8. MH

    MH Junior Member

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    Yeah, I have considered a DO, but not because of the mobilization techniques. From what I understand, that is not a major emphasis in Osteopathic schools. As a PT, at least at my school and through my experiences, we do not do "manipulations" like those performed by a chiropractor. It is more of what we call joint mobilzations. Personally I am very much against using "manipulations" as performed by chiropractors. They do not adequatley address the issues causing the pain or pathology alone. I am not sure if this is similar to what Osteopath's use.

    The reasons I have considered a DO is because of the total body approach to health care. This philosophy is similar to PT. What may be occuring in one part of the body may have an effect on another part of the body etc.

    My fiance's father is also a DO and I definately do not see much of a difference in eduation levels. He is an excellent physician with a very successful practice. So I do not have any objections to going to an osteopathic school.

    It may not be my first choice though. I have heard it is hard to get into some residency programs after graduating from an osteopathic school. I hope to go into orthopedics, and that is tough enough already!

    Oh, as for worrying about the C, yeah, I guess I kind of worry about it too much. I guess I am a little too anal about things. I was kind of shocked with that grade. I do not think it fairly represents how I did in that course. But don't get me started about that class! I just hope it isn't a deciding factor in keeping me out of schools. I am not shooting for Harvard necessarily, but I wouldn't mind going to a good school, or at least having the opportunity to choose between a few decent schools. Has any one here gotten into a top 15-20 school with a C? Or am I being a little too pessimistic? I have no clue if it is possible.

    Marc
     
  9. gower

    gower 1K Member

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    One thing you should do, for two reasons. (1)You want to be sure you have something to make a living with should your plans fall through or change, and (2) medical schools usually want applicants to have finished a program--PT, OT, MA/MS--they started before matriculation (not acceptance, which will likely be conditional upon finishing what you began).
    From what you tell us about yourself, you seem a good candidate for medical school. I would not worry about the Physics C. It is trivial in the context of what you have to offer.
    You should anticipate being asked at interviews why you went to PT school. The best response is the TRUTH, what you told us in your post. Not everyone who goes to medical school does it without a zig here, a zag there. You do not have to, and should not, apologize for the choice you made; defend it as right for you at the time. It is a common part of growing up to discover that sometimes we make wrong choices: going to PT school is not an indictable offense! And now, your experience and maturity will be a plus. Too soon we get old, too late we get smart. Best of luck to you.
     

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