Can you guys help me gauge my chances & pre-req strategy?

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jwizzie

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I'm a sophomore political science major, and I've decided within the last 6 months that I would like to go to med school. Although I've got a 3.83 GPA, I'm a little worried because I've only taken one science course so far (physics 1, but I got an A-). I intend to take chem 1 and zoology this summer at a community college (A's in both I hope). Since we have three academic terms, I plan to take chem 2 and another bio class in the fall, orgo 1 and physics 2 in the winter, and orgo 2 in the spring. Based on what I know about our professors, I think I could get A/A-'s in the chem and bio classes and B/B+'s in the orgo classes.

I am also a little worried because I don't have a billion (or so it seems) volunteer hours in a medical setting that other people seem to have, but I've got some pretty good ec's. I am a soldier in the Army National Guard and I will be doing ROTC in the fall. In the Army, I've served as an indirect fire infantryman and a legal specialist, and I'm going to be transferring into a medical unit this spring. I've also played Div III college football for the last two years, done student government, and have worked on campus as a writing tutor. As far as volunteer activities, I worked for a nature preserve the summer before college, I'm volunteering with the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation this spring, and I also voluteer to do campus tours to incoming freshman. However, I do intend to do some doctor job shadowing this summer and next fall.

I'd really appreciate any feedback. I'm just kinda worried because I haven't taken most of the science classes (but I anticipate doing pretty well in them), and for the fact that I haven't had much medical volunteer experience. Our school's pre-med program has a great reputation for kids doing well on the mcat, so I'm not too concerned about that (at the very least, I'd rock the verbal as a poli sci major). I really want to go to my state school, UW-Madison, and I'm going to apply early decision to have the best chance. Anyway, thanks for putting up with this rather long winded summary of my college life!
 
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GTea

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jwizzie,

Your ec's sound great. I would say you have a solid chance.

I don't know why you've decided to go into medicine, but you should definitely keep an open mind since you have only taken one science course and have not yet been really exposed to the medical field (judging from what you wrote). Medschool is all sciences, and I know a bunch of people who, after taking a few science courses, decided medicine isn't for them. I also recommend you to definitely do the doctor shadowing. I think I gained valuable, realistic view of what working in a hospital is like by volunteering in the past (and also by working as a med assistant now). I'm not claiming that I know a lot about being a doctor is like. But, my experiences have definitely given me a more realistic view.

Also, I suggest that you try to take your science courses at your school and not at a community college. Many schools care where you've completed your requirements. If you have the option, try to take it at an university.

Your grades and ec's look great so far. I've recently been accepted to UW-madison, and believe that it is a good school (they're building a whole new facility for medical education). Good luck.
 

Mr. Rosewater

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i love all the estimated grades. that's awesome. you should just apply now and supply med schools with your forecasted gpa.
 

jlee9531

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hey wiz...

i dont see why you are worried. youve just said a lot of good characteristics about yourself. you forsee you getting good grades in the sciences. good. i hope you do get those grades.

noone has a bazillion volunteering hours. not many have your 3.83 gpa and your activities...

maybe you are just naive and dont know much about what it takes to become a competitive applicant but you seem like a good guy...

so let me tell you. you have nothing to worry about. do well in the core requirements and do well on the mcats and you will be fine.
 

jwizzie

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Gtea
Thanks for the great reply. As a answer to your question about why I'd like to go into medicine, I actually started thinking about it a little more than 2 years ago. My best friend got in a horrific car accident senior year of hs that left her in a coma for 2 weeks and in the hospital for 6 weeks total. Thankfully, she has fully recovered, but I didn't think she was going to make it when i visited her in the ICU on the first night after the accident. However, I was just amazed at the doctors caring for her. I was with her in the hospital and her rehab nearly everyday, so I really think I've picked up a pretty good working knowledge of the process. Even with that said, I had always wanted to be a lawyer, so I focused on preparing for that when I entered college. However, the medicine bug kept nagging at me since the experience I went through with her, and I did a lot of self-analysis about 6 months ago and realized that I'd rather do medicine.
 

jhk43

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Originally posted by jwizzie
I'm a sophomore political science major, and I've decided within the last 6 months that I would like to go to med school. Although I've got a 3.83 GPA, I'm a little worried because I've only taken one science course so far (physics 1, but I got an A-). I intend to take chem 1 and zoology this summer at a community college (A's in both I hope). Since we have three academic terms, I plan to take chem 2 and another bio class in the fall, orgo 1 and physics 2 in the winter, and orgo 2 in the spring. Based on what I know about our professors, I think I could get A/A-'s in the chem and bio classes and B/B+'s in the orgo classes.

I am also a little worried because I don't have a billion (or so it seems) volunteer hours in a medical setting that other people seem to have, but I've got some pretty good ec's. I am a soldier in the Army National Guard and I will be doing ROTC in the fall. In the Army, I've served as an indirect fire infantryman and a legal specialist, and I'm going to be transferring into a medical unit this spring. I've also played Div III college football for the last two years, done student government, and have worked on campus as a writing tutor. As far as volunteer activities, I worked for a nature preserve the summer before college, I'm volunteering with the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation this spring, and I also voluteer to do campus tours to incoming freshman. However, I do intend to do some doctor job shadowing this summer and next fall.

I'd really appreciate any feedback. I'm just kinda worried because I haven't taken most of the science classes (but I anticipate doing pretty well in them), and for the fact that I haven't had much medical volunteer experience. Our school's pre-med program has a great reputation for kids doing well on the mcat, so I'm not too concerned about that (at the very least, I'd rock the verbal as a poli sci major). I really want to go to my state school, UW-Madison, and I'm going to apply early decision to have the best chance. Anyway, thanks for putting up with this rather long winded summary of my college life!

you'll be fine
 

Anka

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I second the 'you'll be fine' sentiment. Do try to take prereqs in a university setting.

Anka
 

Munchkin6245

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I also suggest that you take your science courses at your school and not a community college. Your outlook for your grades seems great but it would be more ideal for you to take all your science classes during regular term and not summer. You may find out, like I did, that Chemistry sucks and not do as good as you intend. You may also want to start off volunteering at "free" clinics. I find that you get more patient contact and get into the real nitty gritty, rather than filing and answering phones for some hospital floor. I don't think that anyone will let you do doctor shadowing anymore due to HIPPA. And I wouldn't bet on any professor or school record of how well you are going to do in courses/MCAT. They're not taking the tests for you. You're gonna have to study your a** off, and then you're still not going to know everything. I'm not trying to discourage you, only point out that it's a long and hard road to be a premed. Check with your local hospitals and see if they need runners for the surgical wards. At the hospital I work at we always get runners during winter break and the summer who are premed students. It's a great opportunity to get in there and see some really "bloody" procedures and see if you think you could handle it. But otherwise, good luck and don't ever give up!
 

vtucci

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I agree with a few of the other posts. You should try to take the pre-reqs in a 4 year school setting. The general word is that adcoms hate community colleges for the prereqs. I don't know how true that is but the classes will probably be more rigorous at a 4 year college.

You will be fine. Diversity in activities and majors is appreciated.
 
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