May 27, 2020
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I won't be applying until 2022 as I work to make my app more competitive as a non-trad pre-med.

As I reflect on this future plan, pursuing a backup plan has recently been becoming a priority to address in case med school doesn't work out. The uncertainty of volunteer clinical experience opportunities during this pandemic, and the talk of increased competition in future application cycles during this ongoing recession has been leading to this thought. Another big hurdle I need to get past is the MCAT.

As a biology major, I simply don't have much to consider in terms of a long-term career. I have undergrad debt and it worries me quite a bit to not have better options as a bio major. As such, I have been looking into pursuing a vocational degree during my gap years. Pursuing an Associate's degree in nursing at my local college is one option I'm looking into. If I am accepted into the nursing program next year, I'd be done with the 2-year program by the time I'd be entering med school - if accepted.

Will med schools give me a difficult time with pursuing the nursing route if I ultimately decide to enroll? I avoided this major in undergrad 10 years ago due to my advisor telling me that it's viewed as a vocational major, and that med schools look down on this. I likely won't have any work experience as an RN by the time I enter med school if accepted that year.
 
May 19, 2020
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FWIW, you might consider doing an accelerated nursing program rather than the associates. They're competitive to get in, but it would leave you with a BSN instead of an associates in a similar amount of time.

If you're looking for a shorter "vocational" program, you could see what the market is like for CNA work in your area. The programs are short, a bit longer if you go for the CNA II certification, but they will get you into a position where you're making (some) money and getting clinical experience pretty fast.

I have a number of students who have gone from entry-level positions to medical school. I've also had non-traditional students that have gone from nursing to medical school, and even nursing -> NP -> medical school. You just need to frame it right- that you wanted more responsibility than the entry (or mid-level) position you had.
 
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May 27, 2020
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I have considered the accelerated BSN route, but the concern is funding. Many of the (12-month) programs I looked into were $40K+, not including living expenses (no programs available in my state). It's also my understanding that I'd need to look into private loans for such program because I will already have a bachelor's degree. I'm considering the opportunity costs, but doubling my current student loan debt is worrisome, especially if I do eventually get into med school. There are also entry level MSN programs that are similar in purpose to accelerated BSN. These programs allow me to obtain federal loans, but many of these programs cost a bit more.

CNA jobs are booming in my area, though they actually make less than my current (non-clinical) job. I am enrolled in my local CC's CNA course this fall. This is actually part of a second backup plan I have been considering...work at least part-time for a couple years as a CNA to gain enough paid PCE for PA school if med school is a no-go.
 
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jhmmd

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Apr 28, 2020
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What about becoming a pathologist's assistant? Anasthesia assistant? Have you considered going the PA route? Those programs typically run ~2 years.
Edit: didn't see the part about PA school at the end of your second post. PA school might be more of a better fit, but if you are really dead-set on becoming a physician, it's time to bite the bullet and give it your all. Carve out some time to start studying for the MCAT. What does your undergrad GPA look like?
 
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May 27, 2020
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Haven't looked into becoming a pathologist's assistant, but will look into it. AA's don't practice in my state. GPA is currently at a 3.7 in my final year.
 
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