Quantcast

any genuine advice is appreciated

Travel to Ghana on the Ultimate Med Immersion
This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

kate0428

New Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
HI ALL,

I am in a deep pit trying to figure out if I can really do this...It would be helpful if I can get some genuine advice on where I can go on from here with life!

During my high school, I was an artist, working on art portfolios to apply to art schools. Art was my life and I still LOVE art. However, during my senior year in high school, I somehow decided on a career change to pursue something totally different. Something more stable, like a professional job.

So, I started out at a community college in 2009 with a MATH major, transferred to a four year in 2013, and graduated from a four year in 2015 with APPLIED MATH, CHEMISTRY and premed major. During my community college years (4 full years without break), I took TOO MANY unnecessary courses and some science courses and didn't do so well on them. I was lost with directions and lacking goals or motivations. I also lacked mentor to look up upon. So when I transferred to a four year university, my gpa was around 3.1. Then, during the two years at a four year, I was on Dean's list, honors society, and graduated with a cum laude, but that only raised my overall gpa so much. During my two years at a four year university, I volunteered at a local hospital and shadowed a surgeon and a pediatric, and wanted to become a doctor, without realizing the low GPA and CRAZY NUMBER OF UNITS I have accumulated during my 6 years of college.

My overall science GPA is 3.2 and an overall GPA 3.1 (even after I graduated with a cum laude).

I am now taking my 7th year of undergraduate courses through UCLA extension, but all of a sudden, today, I feel dreaded and unmotivated and put down by my lack of self-reflection, reality, and foolishness for trying to pursue becoming a doctor. Everywhere I see that you need at least 3.7-3.8 GPA with at least 510 MCAT score. It seems all about that NUMBER.

I don't know how many of you guys can actually relate to me, but I really thought if I try hard enough nothing will be impossible. But now, I am not even sure if it is worth it to take so many more undergraduate courses to bring up my GPA from a 3.2 to a 3.4 and still feel anxious all the way applying to medical schools next year. I am not from the wealthiest family, so I always feel weighed down by the financial burden.


Any wise advice as to where I can go from here??
Do you guys think academia or a professional field is not suited for me?

Thanks for any genuine heart in advance.
 

Plastic156600sub3

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
166
Reaction score
75
I don't know how many of you guys can actually relate to me, but I really thought if I try hard enough nothing will be impossible.

Oh, believe me, we can. Truthfully, your grades aren't horrible. Don't let the early 20-somethings in the traddie forum get you down. There is a fair share of narcissism and outright arrogance there. Those of us who don't have mommy and daddy behind us (with cash and and motivational speeches) have to "hoof it" on our own (yeah, genuine NYC lingo there). Put a smile on. There's nothing wrong with you.

Any wise advice as to where I can go from here??
Do you guys think academia or a professional field is not suited for me?
Thanks for any genuine heart in advance.

How close are you to finishing your pre-reqs?

If you really want to go apply for med school, those of us older students have a great amount of possibility in DO school. DO schools are more open minded and take in the whole picture. The great thing about being a DO is, you can be anything you want to be as far as specialties go. You have your own license.

As for whether I think you are "suited" for this career path, that's not for me to say. You are the only one who can tell. You're going to have to do your own soul searching for that one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Promethean

Syncretist
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
3,336
Reaction score
5,891
So, you wandered a little. Others have come back from worse. And you can make a good story out of how you came to realize that medicine was calling you.

DO schools are more forgiving of re-invention than MD schools. As long as your most recent grades show significant improvement, that is more important than over all.

Focus in on your goals. Look outside stats. Have you shadowed? Volunteered? Got some clinical experience? Taken the MCAT?

You don't have to have a perfect app in order to find a seat. Get the rest of your app in order, take the exam, and then look at where you stand based on the results when you actually have them. Don't get yourself worked up over how you won't be good enough before you have all the info in hand.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

kate0428

New Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Thank you so much for letting me know that I still have hopes and that I am not horrible!
I agree with you that I am the only person who can decipher my own suitability with this medical career path.

As far as the pre-reqs go...
I have taken ochem series with labs, two quarters of general bio with labs, general physics series with a lab just for the first quarter all during two years at undergrad, and am taking genetics and molecular bio through post-bacc program right now. I plan to take one quarter of biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and maybe general psychology. I'm not sure if I should take Spanish (I'm from California, and many MD,DO,PA programs here recommend learning Spanish), cell bio, upper level molecular bio, or developmental psychology.

Thank you so so much once again!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

kate0428

New Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
So, you wandered a little. Others have come back from worse. And you can make a good story out of how you came to realize that medicine was calling you.

DO schools are more forgiving of re-invention than MD schools. As long as your most recent grades show significant improvement, that is more important than over all.

Focus in on your goals. Look outside stats. Have you shadowed? Volunteered? Got some clinical experience? Taken the MCAT?

You don't have to have a perfect app in order to find a seat. Get the rest of your app in order, take the exam, and then look at where you stand based on the results when you actually have them. Don't get yourself worked up over how you won't be good enough before you have all the info in hand.

Yes, I did and I wonder what kind of effect my past experience will have on me through every step of the way of pursuing this medical professional career.

I used to tend to compare myself to those who are "on-track" and have everything together..nearly perfect GPA, higher than average MCAT scores, prestigious undergraduate institution, tons of beneficial extracurricular activities.

From now on, I won't look back or around, but focus in on my goals. I have shadowed, I have volunteered, I have taken MCAT (but did just the average), but now I will get those grades together during my one year of post-bacc program, retake the MCAT to aim for more competitive score, and gain some more clinical experience within my interest.

Even then, it will still be very far from perfect, but if I never stop trying and give it my best, I agree with you that I will find a seat and I will reach somewhere.
I am a different, unique individual after all!

Your words truly calmed me down and I was truly soothed by them to be able to come to this conclusion.
Thank you so much.
 

Promethean

Syncretist
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
3,336
Reaction score
5,891
Thank you so much for letting me know that I still have hopes and that I am not horrible!
I agree with you that I am the only person who can decipher my own suitability with this medical career path.

As far as the pre-reqs go...
I have taken ochem series with labs, two quarters of general bio with labs, general physics series with a lab just for the first quarter all during two years at undergrad, and am taking genetics and molecular bio through post-bacc program right now. I plan to take one quarter of biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and maybe general psychology. I'm not sure if I should take Spanish (I'm from California, and many MD,DO,PA programs here recommend learning Spanish), cell bio, upper level molecular bio, or developmental psychology.

Thank you so so much once again!

As I struggle through my school's required online medical Spanish module, I think that you should learn as much of that language as possible, since you will encounter many patients who speak it. I wouldn't take it as a for-credit course, though, but rather study it through a community group or with online materials. Duolingo is helpful and free for getting down the basics.

The more upper level sciences you take (and get excellent grades in!) the better, but don't feel like you have to overdo it. A reasonable courseload with all As is going to look a lot better than taking 24+ credits a term of Bs. If you can pull off more credits and keep your grades where they need to be and keep doing everything else you need to do to be competitive and stay sane and have a little bit of a life... great. Just remember that balance is key.

Don't, DON'T compare yourself. That gets you no where. Sometimes, I feel sorry for myself and realize that I could have started medical school 15 years earlier if I'd had the family support, the financial knowledge, or really any clue whatsoever about what I wanted to accomplish and why. Any bit of that could have gotten me there sooner, but I wouldn't have been the person that I am. Those extra years weren't "late blooming." They were years spent having adventures and learning different things than my traditional classmates haven't gotten to experience. I'm not better for being a non-trad, but I'm not worse either. I bring different stuff to the table. You, too.

Focus on where you've going, not where you've been. Consider than in 10 years, you are going to be 10 years older one way or the other. You can either be 10 years older and a physician, or 10 years older and doing something else. Just don't get there and realize that you wish you'd done the other thing. Look at which outcome you want and go for that.
 

CyrilFiggis

EM resident
7+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
2,052
Reaction score
3,460
Take a break. You're just burning yourself out. You had a crap GPA, but showed an upward trend in a 4 year (where it matters). This is all perfect fodder to talk about in your PS. Life growth, finding your calling, learning from your past, etc, etc.

From now on, I won't look back or around, but focus in on my goals. I have shadowed, I have volunteered, I have taken MCAT (but did just the average), but now I will get those grades together during my one year of post-bacc program, retake the MCAT to aim for more competitive score, and gain some more clinical experience within my interest.
- What was your first MCAT score?
- Is your Post-Bacc formal or informal?
- If you've already done clinical work in your area of interest, branch out and find something else. Show diversity and range. Work with a new patient population.
 

Plastic156600sub3

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
166
Reaction score
75
Thank you so much for letting me know that I still have hopes and that I am not horrible!
I agree with you that I am the only person who can decipher my own suitability with this medical career path.

As far as the pre-reqs go...
I have taken ochem series with labs, two quarters of general bio with labs, general physics series with a lab just for the first quarter all during two years at undergrad, and am taking genetics and molecular bio through post-bacc program right now. I plan to take one quarter of biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and maybe general psychology. I'm not sure if I should take Spanish (I'm from California, and many MD,DO,PA programs here recommend learning Spanish), cell bio, upper level molecular bio, or developmental psychology.

Thank you so so much once again!

I didn't do anything for you to thank me! That's what these forums are about! We are here to support each other and the ones who have already been seated or graduated come back to help, too. Some people get out of touch and consider it a stats contest, but it certainly is not. We aren't playing WoW, Pokemon, or Dungeons and Dragons here. lol. People geek out and try to wow or put down others with their accomplishments. By all means, it's good to be successful, but humility goes a long way.

Some of those upper level courses are unnecessary. Many schools require upper level biology credits, but, really, they don't have to be extremely difficult. I took upper level courses that were interesting to me personally. These classes are easier to do well in, simply because it's not really a chore to complete them. Upper level mol.bio. and even cell bio are not really necessary for most schools. Basic micro is useful. Biochem is optional for a majority, but I suggest it mainly because there are several schools that use it as a filter requirement. Also, if your schooling is nearly taken care of via grant/scholarship and you're not paying for it out of pocket, I would highly suggest re-taking any science classes for which you hadn't received a good grade. This is the great part about AACOMAS. You can slaughter your grades, improve through re-taking them (which still isn't fun), and still recover from it GPA-wise.
 
Top