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BSN student with 1.5 semesters remaining interested in pursuing DO

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by CC:awesomeness, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. CC:awesomeness

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    As the title states, I am currently a BSN student at a four year university with less than a year to go. I have every intention of completing my BSN because 1. it's a Bachelor's degree and I need a bachelor's to apply to med school (or pretty much any grad school for that matter) and 2. it would be pretty pointless to stop now.
    I've started looking into my options as far as medical school and I am pretty certain I am interested in applying only to DO schools for the mere fact that from what I've gathered from here on SDN, DO schools are more "forgiving" in terms of the non-traditional applicant. (I will be 26 when I graduate with my BSN.)

    I am currently looking at post-bacc programs like the one Johns Hopkins offers because I have zero pre-medical pre-requisites completed as this time. What I would like to know is, should I complete a structured program like a post-bacc directed to "career changers" who want to complete pre-med requirements in a structured manner or should I complete the pre-reqs at my convenience at a community college while working as a nurse? Also, is research a requirement for a non-traditional student?

    I currently have around a 3.6 GPA and am projected to graduate with a higher GPA or remain around the same GPA- basically I will be graduating with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

    Side note: I started college late because of some medical issues I had in the past. Also, I am not a indecisive, habitual "career changer". I worked as a LVN before enrolling into a BSN program. I figured completing my BSN was the next logical step, but my clinical experiences up until this point has left me wanting to do more for my patient rather than just carrying out orders prescribed by the doctor.
     
    #1 CC:awesomeness, Aug 7, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
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  3. OrdinaryDO

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    I am certainly no professional, but I think I could probably give you a pretty well rounded answer for a few of these questions.

    I noticed you already addressed why you decided to go BSN at first, but I would expect there to be more in-depth questions about this that will be asked of you when you interview (way down the line). I would shadow a few D.O.s just so you can see for yourself if that is what you want to do and to have a foundation to base your reasoning on if you are asked to present a more specific reason than the one stated above.

    As far as research, D.O. schools don't really focus heavily on research. Many schools are beginning to carry dual degree programs all the way up to D.O./MBA and D.O./PhD. If you want to apply into a dual degree that focuses on research, then sure you will definitely need some in your background. Having little to no research is not an app killer, but it most certainly doesn't hurt you either.

    I would advise against taking all of your per-requisites at a community college. It may come off as taking the "easy route", even if that is not necessarily the case. I always live by the saying, "better safe than sorry," therefore I would try to at least gain admittance into a 4-year state college.

    P.S. I know where you are coming from with the whole nursing scene. I have been a CNA (I know, not a nurse.) for 6 years and I have been working along side nurses the whole time. I have had the chance to do a lot of things out of the original scope of a CNA, but the fact of the matter is it only takes a certain amount of time before you start to realize your potential is being cut short and what you can actually do for the patient is limited to the doctor's discretion (rightfully so).
     
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  4. DO2015CA

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    Work as a nurse for a while at start taking the pre-reqs at a local school. Without having taken any pre reqs you won't know if you can get good enough grades to get into medical school. Organic chemistry and biochem are a whole new beast. Definitely the CC route. Formal Post-Baccs are way too expensive and are usually last chance effort to get into medical school
     
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  5. DO2015CA

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    CC prereqs won't kill your application, but make sure to do upper division electives at a 4 year. ADCOMs will understand financial strain. Saying that, if you take them at a CC do well.
     
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  6. OrdinaryDO

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    You said it better than I.
     
  7. BGMayagi

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    I'm in a relatively similar situation as you. I was an associates degree nurse that worked a few years before going back to finish up my BSN and prereqs. I'm almost done with both and currently applying. I also am doing my of the prereqs at my local CC due to location and scheduling. For DO schools, they do seem to be more forgiving of nontraditional students and less rigid in what they want from an applicant. The main thing at this point for you is to do well in your prereqs which is everything. Then focus on killing the MCAT which is even tougher for a non trad as there are more requirements now to do so (psych, soc., biochem). The MCAT will be your key or barrier to success so don't play around as it will show how much you learned from your CC classes if you take them there and will show how you test out. I work with a lot of premeds and the MCAT has been the biggest killer of premed dreams so do well!

    Working as a nurse is great experience and will give you something to write about in secondaries and talk about in interviews. You can do this and succeed. The application process has been kind to me for interviews despite my CC and nursing background. I only completed one interview so I can't comment if I'll get grilled in my future MD/DO interviews or if it'll impede my acceptances, that's yet to be seen. Just do well in everything and I don't foresee any problems in the future if you stay out of trouble and do well on the MCAT.
     
    CC:awesomeness likes this.
  8. NoTownPreMed

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    Hey guys, I'm an RN as well who is currently taking prerequisites at a local CC (you can follow my thread ---->>>> http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/journey-from-nursing-to-medicine.1141784/ as I will update my progress) Just as others have mentioned, taking classes at a local CC will not hurt you. But do note that if you decide to take that route, you will need to nail these courses as well as the MCAT as admissions will definitely raise an eyebrow if you do not perform well on these. Good luck to you on your journey, your clinical experience as a nurse will definitely give you a good shot!!! :D
     
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  9. ----------12c

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    I think DO is your best bet. I would not apply to MD, they would eat you alive on the fact that you are a nurse. But other wise if you make it to the interview stage just answer better than your counterparts and be ready to explain why.
     
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  10. CC:awesomeness

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    Thanks for the info., greatly appreciated! And I absolutely agree with your statement regarding "your potential being cut short". Don't get me wrong, nurses are most definitely an integral part of the team, but after completing an externship this summer and really seeing the ins and outs of life as an RN-it's not something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.
     
  11. CC:awesomeness

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    Thanks for your reply. My plan is to take my first pre-req during the final semester of my BSN program (upcoming spring semester) while I'm still at my 4-year university (it'll be covered under my Spring tuition at no additional cost). I will most likely be taking Biology I w/lab and transition over to CC that summer.
     
    #10 CC:awesomeness, Aug 8, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  12. CC:awesomeness

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    Your insight is definitely appreciated and congrats on the interview. Do you think taking my first pre-req while still in my BSN program would raise any flags? I guess it'll show I was actively pursuing pre-med pre-reqs while wrapping up my BSN. Also, same for summer classes following graduating with my BSN. I think if questioned during an interview, I would be able to address my reasons for pursuing med school right away, but do not want to come off as a "career jumper". Do you think it would be better to wait a bit before starting pre-reqs?
     
    #11 CC:awesomeness, Aug 8, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  13. CC:awesomeness

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    Duly noted! I've been thinking a lot in terms of planning my courses and will probably work part-time as an RN and go to school full-time, but we'll see how that idea pans out in less than 9 months when I actually graduate. I plan on taking my first pre-req this upcoming spring semester (final semester in BSN program) at my 4-year university and will transition to CC after my finishing up my BSN.

    Are BSN science classes like A&P I&II, Micro., Pathophysiology and Pharmacology (combined class) I & II, Principles of Chemistry (All of which I've gotten A's in except for chemistry) factored into my sGPA?
     
    #12 CC:awesomeness, Aug 8, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  14. CC:awesomeness

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    Thanks for all of the replies!

    According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, these are the minimum requirements:

    • One year of biology
    • One year of physics
    • One year of English
    • Two years of chemistry (through organic chemistry)

    What other courses do I need to take, specifically upper division courses without having to look up each and every DO school.?
     
  15. NoTownPreMed

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    Include biochemistry also.
     
  16. osteohack10

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    I would just echo what others have mentioned. I was a paramedic before coming to medical school and it was awesome experience. I loved the work, the people I worked with and it exposed me to a lot of different aspects of medicine (though certainly not exhaustive, I still have no idea what I want to do).

    I would recommend working through your pre-reqs while practicing nursing. It's not 'easy' per se, but if you snag an inpatient 12 hour shift position then working 3 shifts a week and going to school is definitely doable. That will also help you avoid amassing debt before medical school which, trust me, is nice.

    Most schools are starting to require pre-reqs above and beyond just gen chem, orgo, physics and bio. Consider biochem, genetics and if you have time some upper level bio classes. I can't speak to the new MCAT since I took the old one, but a stats, sociology or psych class may also help prepare you for the test.

    Provided you can finish your pre-reqs with a ~3.5 and score an equivalent 27+ on your MCAT you should have a good shot at a lot of DO schools. Competition gets more difficult every cycle, so take your time and crush all your classes/MCAT.

    Best of luck to you!
     

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