gazingbeyond

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Hi all,

I am new to this forum. I am currently considering applying for post-bac programs.

My background,
I am currently 26/27 years old. I originally majored in engineering (my parents forced me to do engineering, I had no idea what I wanted to do at the time). Due to depression I dropped out from school (got kicked out due to 2.0 GPA). I took some time off from school. I eventually went back to a different school and graduated with a 3.6 GPA in accounting/finance. I currently work at one of the big 4 accounting firms. But I absolutely hate it. I always wanted to do something that contributes to the society and find being a doctor would be extremely fulfilling. I understand it's tough, but I will do whatever it takes to get there. I am currently applying for post-bac programs (Columbia, Drexel, NYU, and Hunter). I prefer to go to Drexel since they have an evening program.

Question and concern,
On their application, it asked if I was ever dismissed from a college before. How should I respond to it? Do I have to submit my transcript from every school that I attended? Also, the application asks for recommendation from science professors. I am not in contact with any of my previous science professors. What is my best option? Should I e-mail the director of admissions and explain my situation?

I appreciate your advices in advance.
 

NeuroLAX

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Hi all,

I am new to this forum. I am currently considering applying for post-bac programs.

My background,
I am currently 26/27 years old. I originally majored in engineering (my parents forced me to do engineering, I had no idea what I wanted to do at the time). Due to depression I dropped out from school (got kicked out due to 2.0 GPA). I took some time off from school. I eventually went back to a different school and graduated with a 3.6 GPA in accounting/finance. I currently work at one of the big 4 accounting firms. But I absolutely hate it. I always wanted to do something that contributes to the society and find being a doctor would be extremely fulfilling. I understand it's tough, but I will do whatever it takes to get there. I am currently applying for post-bac programs (Columbia, Drexel, NYU, and Hunter). I prefer to go to Drexel since they have an evening program.

Question and concern,
On their application, it asked if I was ever dismissed from a college before. How should I respond to it? Do I have to submit my transcript from every school that I attended? Also, the application asks for recommendation from science professors. I am not in contact with any of my previous science professors. What is my best option? Should I e-mail the director of admissions and explain my situation?

I appreciate your advices in advance.

When you apply to medical school you will be asked this question again. Answer it truthfully and thoroughly explain why it happened, what you learned from it, and what you've done to ensure it doesn't happen again. Same thing applies for reporting misdemeanors and felonies (God forbid).

Talk to the director of admissions, they will be best able to advise you on the requirements for applying to their program.
 
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theseeker4

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Thanks, NeuroLAX. Does anyone else have any other suggestions?
There is no need to go through a formal post-bac program if the hoops you have to jump through makes it impractical. Register as a second-degree or non-degree-seeking student at any university and take the classes that way.

What pre-reqs do you still need? What is your GPA including your old classes before you were dismissed/dropped out? Are you considering MD only or have you looked into DO schools? The answers to these questions should guide whether you will be aiming to apply right after a year or so of post-bac work or looking at an SMP, etc.
 

gazingbeyond

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There is no need to go through a formal post-bac program if the hoops you have to jump through makes it impractical. Register as a second-degree or non-degree-seeking student at any university and take the classes that way.

What pre-reqs do you still need? What is your GPA including your old classes before you were dismissed/dropped out? Are you considering MD only or have you looked into DO schools? The answers to these questions should guide whether you will be aiming to apply right after a year or so of post-bac work or looking at an SMP, etc.

I don't know exactly. Probably slightly over 3.0. I am only considering MD.
 

robflanker

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I don't know exactly. Probably slightly over 3.0. I am only considering MD.
With that GPA, I suggest a re-think to a degree. MD isn't completely out of the picture but you ought to re-think that
 

gazingbeyond

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With that GPA, I suggest a re-think to a degree. MD isn't completely out of the picture but you ought to re-think that

I understand my overall GPA would be low. But I also think that medical school would mainly consider the institution that obtained my undergraduate degree (which was 3.6). Furthermore, I think doing well on my post-bac and MCAT would put me in a decent position. I would be wrong since I just started considering going to to Med school recently. Please correct me if I am wrong.
 

gazingbeyond

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Have you shadowed or done any clinical volunteering? Why dismiss DO?

I want to do internal medicine. Base on my understanding, DO does more hands on work (please correct me if I am wrong). I haven't done any shadowed or volunteering. But I plan to do so if I get into a post-bac program.
 

robflanker

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I understand my overall GPA would be low. But I also think that medical school would mainly consider the institution that obtained my undergraduate degree (which was 3.6). Furthermore, I think doing well on my post-bac and MCAT would put me in a decent position. I would be wrong since I just started considering going to to Med school recently. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Nope - they consider everything. Some place a bigger focus on recent stuff that others but thats relatively unpublicised or substantiated. Your overall GPA is the biggest determinant by far but recent upward trend is a good thing but not a life-saver

I want to do internal medicine. Base on my understanding, DO does more hands on work (please correct me if I am wrong). I haven't done any shadowed or volunteering. But I plan to do so if I get into a post-bac program.
Not necessarily - I would do so more reading on DOs
 

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I want to do internal medicine. Base on my understanding, DO does more hands on work (please correct me if I am wrong). I haven't done any shadowed or volunteering. But I plan to do so if I get into a post-bac program.

They are equivalent degrees. Many, many DO's match IM, and it happens consistently every year. Read up. :thumbup:
 
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gazingbeyond

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Nope - they consider everything. Some place a bigger focus on recent stuff that others but thats relatively unpublicised or substantiated. Your overall GPA is the biggest determinant by far but recent upward trend is a good thing but not a life-saver


Not necessarily - I would do so more reading on DOs

Would a high MCAT score boost my chance significantly? In business, GMAT is probably the biggest factor in MBA admissions. How do they weigh GPA vs. MCAT?
 

gazingbeyond

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My track record is somewhat like this.

My first 60 credits - 2.0 GPA
My next 30 credits - 3.81 GPA (community college)
My next 80 credits - 3.59 GPA (where I got my undergraduate degree)
 

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I want to do internal medicine. Base on my understanding, DO does more hands on work (please correct me if I am wrong). I haven't done any shadowed or volunteering. But I plan to do so if I get into a post-bac program.

You should do so way before a post-bacc. How do you know you're going to like medicine. . .?
 

gazingbeyond

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You should do so way before a post-bacc. How do you know you're going to like medicine. . .?

Thanks everyone for the great tips. I haven't done one because I didn't decide to do medicine until 1 month ago. I knew I didn't like accounting long before I started my current job (classes, internships, etc.) I thought I was too old to switch careers since I screwed up when I was young, and thought it was too late to pursue a career in medicine, engineering, computer science, etc. I originally wanted to go get my MBA (hopefully from the top 20 school) after I work at my current job for 2 to 3 years. Afterwards, I going to try to become a consultant and eventually start my own business. But I absolutely hate my current job. I thought about doing something fulfilling and meaningful to the society well making decent money. I thought about either try to get into medical school in 2 years (shadow, post-bacc, volunteer, etc) or get my master/PhD in comp sci/eng. type of degree. I think it would make my life a lot more fulfilling and meaningful. I am 100% sure if I'd like medicine or not, but I know I will like it more than my current job. I dislike my current job because it serves almost no purpose (I do audit work. But when we find something may not be according the accounting standard, then we use "alternative" approaches to make sure it's below the materiality. I guess that's why auditors rarely catch frauds. I work a lot of hours doing meaningless and repetitive works. I report to almost everyone who's more experienced than me, and everyone has huge ego). I think being able to help people with their daily needs would be great career. I have worked hard to get my current job, and I never even liked accounting (I do like finance though, but front office finance jobs are impossible to unless you graduated from a top school). I think as long I don't hate medicine as much as accounting and I know I am contributing to people's everyday need, I will work hard and believe that I will be happier. I understand getting a MD or PhD is going to be hard work. However, I am willing to do whatever it takes to achieve my goal.
 

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Thanks everyone for the great tips. I haven't done one because I didn't decide to do medicine until 1 month ago.

How did you decide without having any clinical exposure though? My preconception of what medicine was very different from what it actually is. You think you like it because you want to.

I knew I didn't like accounting long before I started my current job (classes, internships, etc.) I thought I was too old to switch careers since I screwed up when I was young, and thought it was too late to pursue a career in medicine, engineering, computer science, etc. I originally wanted to go get my MBA (hopefully from the top 20 school) after I work at my current job for 2 to 3 years. Afterwards, I going to try to become a consultant and eventually start my own business. But I absolutely hate my current job. I thought about doing something fulfilling and meaningful to the society well making decent money. I thought about either try to get into medical school in 2 years (shadow, post-bacc, volunteer, etc) or get my master/PhD in comp sci/eng. type of degree. I think it would make my life a lot more fulfilling and meaningful.

Giving yourself two years to get into medical school is a tight schedule, especially for someone with your academic history. I'm going to assume you haven't taken any of your science pre-reqs. That means you need to take 2 semesters of gen chem, orgo, bio and physics. You also need to accrue clinical exposure (lots of it). You also need to study for your MCAT. These things must be completed before you can apply. There's a huge benefit to applying early, so that means you have one summer and one year to get all of the above done. Start volunteering now (before leaving your job). Take a science class (general biology is a good start). Get an A in that class. Learn about medicine and the different specialties within the field. Shadow some different physicians.

I am 100% sure if I'd like medicine or not, but I know I will like it more than my current job. I dislike my current job because it serves almost no purpose (I do audit work. But when we find something may not be according the accounting standard, then we use "alternative" approaches to make sure it's below the materiality. I guess that's why auditors rarely catch frauds. I work a lot of hours doing meaningless and repetitive works. I report to almost everyone who's more experienced than me, and everyone has huge ego). I think being able to help people with their daily needs would be great career. I have worked hard to get my current job, and I never even liked accounting (I do like finance though, but front office finance jobs are impossible to unless you graduated from a top school). I think as long I don't hate medicine as much as accounting and I know I am contributing to people's everyday need, I will work hard and believe that I will be happier. I understand getting a MD or PhD is going to be hard work. However, I am willing to do whatever it takes to achieve my goal.

You know right now you're looking at 2-3 years of post-bacc/MCAT/applying before you start medical school. Then 4 years of medical school (at which point you'll be making zero money). Then your internship/residency which can last anywhere from 3-7+ years. After adjusting your annual salary to the 80 hour work weeks you'll be making the same as a McDonalds employee. You're willing to give up 10+ years of your life for something you haven't even really experienced. . .That's a pretty rash decision if you ask me.

Start volunteering and shadowing now. Maybe enroll in a science class at night/weekend at your local 4-year university. I'd recommend general biology, especially if you haven't taken a science class before.

Also, based on some quick math I'm thinking your overall GPA is right around a 3.0. Do yourself a favor and google the "AMCAS gpa calculator" and calculate both your cGPA and sGPA. Understand that AMCAS includes every college course you've taken, and does not honor grade replacement. Also, you MUST include +/- grading if it was included on your transcript. At 170 credits completed, budging a 3.0ish GPA is going to be tough, so you may also be looking at an SMP (more money). DO schools honor grade replacement, and tend to look at the "complete picture" that an applicant presents. If if turns out that path isn't for you, so be it, just don't shoot it down before you've done any research.

I'm not trying to be a negative nancy. I applaud you for your willingness to take a huge risk in order to achieve happiness and professional satisfaction. I was in your same shoes man, and I haven't looked back yet.

That said, this is a a long, hard, stressful, expensive, difficult, time consuming path. I'm beyond busy now - 30-40 hours a week in the lab, 12 credits of night classes, volunteering, shadowing, homework, studying. . . it never ends. All my friends are going on trips to vegas and AC and the beaches and I'm staying home to study or finish experiments.

You're not going to be making any real money for at least 10 years, all while shelling out close to $250,000 that will be accruing interest the entire time.

If you were a consultant and someone wanted to outlay $250,000 over 10 years for a business they've never practiced in or have experience with what would you say?
 

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@johnnyscans Agree with everything that you said and I appreciate your comments very much. I have called hospitals and asked to volunteer/shadowing. I am going to quit my current job this summer and got a more 9 to 5 job while attending post-bacc night classes. If I don't get all As in my first semester or dislike the environment after doing volunteering work than I will pursue a different path in life. If I do extremely well in these science classes and think I can do relatively well on my MCAT (I will do a few practice test after a decent amount of studying), then I will continue with this path. That being said, if I do well in my science classes, like the volunteering work, and doing well in my practice exam in December, then I want to make sure I will more likely than not to get into a medical school after I put 2 to 3 years of efforts. Of course, if I didn't get all As in my first semester, hate the volunteering work, or doing poorly on my practice exams, then I will assess my options in December (I will not pursue my career in medicine). My current GPA based on AMCAS gpa calculator is 3.09. If I can 3.85 in my post-bacc, then I will have a 3.2 GPA (that's why I have to get all As in my first semester of evening post-bacc program to even consider continuing pursing this career path). I under if I choose to do MD instead of continuing progression I would lose over a least a million dollars and 10 years of time (I make almost 60k now, and the salary will go up as I get more exp., plus the 250k loan I have to take out). But I absolutely hate my current job and my chance of getting into front office finance jobs is even smaller. I am not assuming being a MD will make me happy or not, but I will know by end of this year (shadowing, volunteer, classes, and talking to different doctors. I have spoken to 2 doctors regarding their career and my thoughts on becoming a doctor). The reason I created this thread is because if I want to know I do the right things in the next 2 to 3 years, then will the low GPA factor still prevent me from attending medical school? Assuming I will have 3.2 cgpa and a 35 MCAT, would that still be too low (I don't know if I will get it, but I will have a decent idea is this will be the most likely outcome or not by December of this year)? If so, then I probably think about giving up this thought all together and pursue other options in life. If not, I will give this path a shot for the next 7 months.
 
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gazingbeyond

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Amen johnnyscans, amen

I know you have been blunt with me. I agree with everything you said. That being said, I think I will have a good assessment of my situation in December. All I do want to know if I do the right things in the next few years, then would I have a good shot to get into med school or not. If the answer is no, then it would be irrational for me to pursue this career. If the answer is likely, then I will do whatever it takes to get into medical school. I will try to talk to a few more doctor and admission counselors. I just want to get what hopefully and current med students think my likelihood of success if I do everything right in the 2 to 3 years. I do not think I current have a good shot of getting into med school. I don't imagine being a doctor is glorious and fun. I do think becoming a doctor will make my life happier (I could be wrong, but I will know by end of this year) and fulfilling while making a decent living.
 

johnnyscans

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@johnnyscans Agree with everything that you said and I appreciate your comments very much. I have called hospitals and asked to volunteer/shadowing. I am going to quit my current job this summer and got a more 9 to 5 job while attending post-bacc night classes. If I don't get all As in my first semester or dislike the environment after doing volunteering work than I will pursue a different path in life. If I do extremely well in these science classes and think I can do relatively well on my MCAT (I will do a few practice test after a decent amount of studying), then I will continue with this path. That being said, if I do well in my science classes, like the volunteering work, and doing well in my practice exam in December, then I want to make sure I will more likely than not to get into a medical school after I put 2 to 3 years of efforts. Of course, if I didn't get all As in my first semester, hate the volunteering work, or doing poorly on my practice exams, then I will assess my options in December (I will not pursue my career in medicine). My current GPA based on AMCAS gpa calculator is 3.09. If I can 3.85 in my post-bacc, then I will have a 3.2 GPA (that's why I have to get all As in my first semester of evening post-bacc program to even consider continuing pursing this career path). I under if I choose to do MD instead of continuing progression I would lose over a least a million dollars and 10 years of time (I make almost 60k now, and the salary will go up as I get more exp., plus the 250k loan I have to take out). But I absolutely hate my current job and my chance of getting into front office finance jobs is even smaller. I am not assuming being a MD will make me happy or not, but I will know by end of this year (shadowing, volunteer, classes, and talking to different doctors. I have spoken to 2 doctors regarding their career and my thoughts on becoming a doctor). The reason I created this thread is because if I want to know I do the right things in the next 2 to 3 years, then will the low GPA factor still prevent me from attending medical school? Assuming I will have 3.2 cgpa and a 35 MCAT, would that still be too low (I don't know if I will get it, but I will have a decent idea is this will be the most likely outcome or not by December of this year)? If so, then I probably think about giving up this thought all together and pursue other options in life. If not, I will give this path a shot for the next 7 months.

A 3.2 GPA is below average. You'd have the benefit of a strong upward trend on your side though, and there are schools that place strong emphasis on your last 60 credits. What is your sGPA? How many science classes did you take your first time through undergraduate? Assuming you'll get a certain MCAT score is MCAT masterbation. You've never taken a physics, chemistry or biology course in your life and you're expecting to walk away with a 35.

I know you have been blunt with me. I agree with everything you said. That being said, I think I will have a good assessment of my situation in December. All I do want to know if I do the right things in the next few years, then would I have a good shot to get into med school or not. If the answer is no, then it would be irrational for me to pursue this career. If the answer is likely, then I will do whatever it takes to get into medical school. I will try to talk to a few more doctor and admission counselors. I just want to get what hopefully and current med students think my likelihood of success if I do everything right in the 2 to 3 years. I do not think I current have a good shot of getting into med school. I don't imagine being a doctor is glorious and fun. I do think becoming a doctor will make my life happier (I could be wrong, but I will know by end of this year) and fulfilling while making a decent living.

Only you can no for certain as to whether or not your path is irrational. I'm irrationally stubborn in the fact that I know that there is no other career path for me. I will not stop until I'm in medical school, period. You need to attack this path with a similar mindset. That's why I'm pressing you to make sure you're completely dedicated to it BEFORE you make any drastic life changes. Once you reach the commitment step, you're essentially setting in stone the next 10 years of your life.

I wish you good luck though. I know how frustrating it is to be stuck in a job you despise, doubly so when the pay is decent. It's a vicious cycle.
 

robflanker

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A 3.2 GPA is below average. You'd have the benefit of a strong upward trend on your side though, and there are schools that place strong emphasis on your last 60 credits. What is your sGPA? How many science classes did you take your first time through undergraduate? Assuming you'll get a certain MCAT score is MCAT masterbation. You've never taken a physics, chemistry or biology course in your life and you're expecting to walk away with a 35.
To add fuel to this...
A 3.2 cGPA is around 2 standard deviations below normal I believe for MD. Current matriculant cGPA is 3.65 and IIRC 1 Std Dev is 0.24.

MCAT: I love when people assume they are going to score in the top 5% of people taking it, and that they are again 2 standard devs above the average matriculant at an allopathic school (avg of 31 with a std dev of 2 IIRC). Especially when they are in GPA recovery mode.
 
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