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Attending a smaller state school, need feedback.

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by MacMD1334, May 28, 2008.

  1. MacMD1334

    MacMD1334 The Someday Doctor
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    Hello,
    I am a male, caucasian, 29 year old non-traditional student who will be attending Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, MA in spring of '09 to pursue a B.S. in Biology, Biomedical concentration with the intention of then applying to medical school. I have spent the past 5 years working as an EMT-Basic in a municipal 911 system, I am married and have a 6 month old daughter and I finally have the stability and support that will allow me to pursue the M.D. dream.
    I have concerns about whether or not medical schools will have an aversion to me, regardless of GPA/MCAT score because I am attending a smaller state school instead of a private undergraduate university. I think the curriculum and research opportunities at Bridgewater State College look excellent but will that be enough? For example, the Boston University School of Medicine admissions website lists the following information about it's 2007 class:
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    "For the 168 entering students, the most commonly represented undergraduate institutions include the following:
    .
    1. Boston College
      Boston University
      Brandeis University
      Brown University
      Columbia University
      Cornell University
      Dartmouth College
      Duke University
      Hampton University
      Harvard University
      Johns Hopkins University
      New York University
      Stanford University
      Tufts University
      University of California
      University of Michigan"
    (http://www.bumc.bu.edu/Dept/Content.aspx?DepartmentID=37&PageID=9622)

    I am nervous that medical schools on the whole will be looking for matriculating candidates from schools with this sort of name recognition. Are my fears unfounded?

    The following are the Bridgewater State College B.S. Biology, Biomedical concentration course offerings. Any opinions, examples, facts, rumors and advice would be greatly appreciated in helping to alleviate or confirm my fears.

    Taken from the Bridgewater State College Biology Dept. website:
    Biomedical Concentration

    This concentration features course work in Human Anatomy and Physiology, Histology, Immunology, Microbiology, Virology and Embryology. Internship opportunities are available in local hospitals and research laboratories.


    Bachelor of Science in Biology Core Courses
    • BI 121-122 General Biology I and II
    • BI 200 Cell Biology
    • BI 225 Ecology
    • BI 321 Genetics
    • BI 428 Microbiology
    Cognates
    • CH 141-142 Chemical Principles I and II
    • CH 343-344 Organic Chemistry I and II
    • MA 141 Elements of Calculus I (or MA 151)
    • MA 142 Elements of Calculus II (or MA 152 or applied statistics)
    • PH 181-182 Elements of Physics I and II
    Biomedical Concentration Required Courses
    • BI 251-252 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II
    • 2 Biomedical or Cell/Molecular Electives (listed below)
    • 1 Biological Elective (any Biology Concentration Elective)
    Biomedical and Cell/Molecular Electives
    • BI 284 Invertebrate Zoology
    • BI 320 Biochemistry
    • BI 350 Molecular Biology
    • BI 371 Histology
    • BI 375 Immunology
    • BI 376 General Endocrinology
    • BI 382 Comparative Chordate Anatomy
    • BI 430 Embryology
    • BI 434 Biological Electron Microscopy
    • BI 436 Mammalian Reproductive Physiology
    • BI 450 Virology
    • BI 472 Human Genetics
    • BI 475 Parasitology
    • BI 482 Neurobiology
    (http://www.bridgew.edu/Biology/BS.cfm)

    Thank you all in advance for your time and input, I look forward to reading your responses.

    - Jeff
     
  2. kami333

    10+ Year Member

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    Yes. Where you went to school may have a small factor, however as long as you have the GPA/MCAT and ECs you'll be fine.

    As far as what to major in and what classes to take, as long as you have the pre-reqs (and probably take some upper levels such as biochem) you are good.
     
  3. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
    Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

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    OP, welcome to SDN. Two things:

    Please do not cross post in different forums. Choose the most appropriate forum for your thread and only post it there once. I merged your two threads together here.

    Second, your school does not matter, assuming it is an accredited American school. Your job now is to get good grades there, and do well on the MCAT. Also, make sure you get some clinical experience and consider doing some community service. Best of luck to you. :)
     
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  4. MacMD1334

    MacMD1334 The Someday Doctor
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    Sorry for the cross-post, wasn't aware of that rule and thank you for your reply. :)
     
  5. Empi

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    I take that long list of impressive schools with a grain of salt. Almost begging the question, "Why must you brag?"

    Again, Q of Q made the point, I feel like a groupie that follows her around with an, "amen."
     
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  6. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I think a lot of med schools like to list the UG institutions attended by their students as evidence of their student body's geographic diversity. It's as if to let you know that you don't have to be from Boston to apply to BU, although many Bostonian UGs clearly are choosing to stay for med school. There definitely are certain schools that tend to churn out highly competitive premeds in large numbers, and many of them are the schools on BU's list. But that doesn't mean that people who attended one of those schools automatically get a major advantage because of where they went to school. In fact, these things can work both ways--there are some adcom members at my school who are biased *against* applicants from certain premed powerhouse UGs based on previous experience with malignant applicants from those schools. Of course, it's not fair in either case to judge a current applicant by previous alums from their school, and UG institution attended is not the major determinant of whether one will receive an invite. Having a solid academic record and MCAT score (along with excellent LORs and ECs that show commitment to medicine and service) is infinitely more important than the name on your diploma.

    :oops:
     
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  7. gman33

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    OP - Your school won't matter much. It may be a factor if you apply to a few of the most competitive schools, but even there it's a small factor.

    Your main job is to do well, get a good MCAT, and keep up some volunteering.

    Another note on your major. Don't think you need to major in something Bio related. Only do this if you enjoy the material and the job prospects outside of medicine. A lot of future docs, will change their minds or just not get into med school. I'm not saying you will be one of these, but it's always a possibility. Med schools won't care what your major was as long as you do well in the prereqs. I'd also advise starting out slowly since you have been out of school a while. Better to take 12 credits a semester and get all A's, than 18 and get all B's. A lot of older students get sunk by trying to rush.

    Keep using SDN as a resource. You'll find a lot of similar people around here.

    :luck:
     
  8. drimpossible

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    Try not to compare yourself too much to the traditional applicant coming out of the "academic powerhouse" schools. True that Bridgewater's name doesn't have the punch that some of those schools on that list do, but I'm also guessing that most of the undergrads coming out of those same schools have never experienced being a first-responder before either. We're non-traditional for our own unique reasons, and we only have to convince one Ad-com (out of many) that we're worthy.

    Worry about the grades and the MCAT first, and once your ridiculously good application goes out, THEN you can start to worry about the school name recognition. :)
     
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  9. Doctor J

    Doctor J Libelous.
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    Heh. I went to community college for the first two years and certainly didn't go to a big private undergrad institution for the last two and managed to land three acceptances. Where you go to school matters far, far less than your grades, MCAT, and story. Being a non-trad student helps very much with the story. Your grades and MCAT are up to you to tackle.
     
  10. chopstick1

    chopstick1 Member
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    don't worry about it, just get good scores
     
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