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career changer with NY med school aspirations

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by fahmed1855, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. fahmed1855

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    I am making somewhat of a radical career change (was an investment banker briefly before my firm went boom, but im glad it happened cuz I hated the work and realized medicine is what I want to do). But I was wondering if anyone could just give me feed back about my plan of action or my chances in general. I have a 3.5GPA in Econ from the U of Michigan. I was extremely active on campus and held leadership positions, though not really anything medicine related. I am planning to do my post bacc at Hunter and hopefully find some kind of research related position until then. Over the next two years ill probably try to get as much volunteering(both in hospitals and otherwise) and shadowing as I can.

    I'd like to go to school in NYC ideally. Assuming I work my butt off and do well on my prereqs and MCAT, are NYMC and SUNY downstate long shots for me? Any feedback/tips/critique would be greatly appreciated- thanks!
     
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  3. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
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    As glad as you might be that your firm went boom, I would not put that as the point in your life to get into medicine. With the business market hurting right now, I imagine that they will be expected a lot of former business majors to come knocking, and they will weed out accordingly. I think if you do well on the MCAT, you would have a shot at those schools for sure. What is your science GPA?
     
  4. fahmed1855

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    I unfortunately only took once science class in undergrad (a Bio class, did get an A in it though). I am still a little confused as to what goes into a science GPA. If indeed Math and Stats are included in it too, including that Bio Class, my science GPA should be 3.9 or so thus far. But I still have to take every other prereq when I begin my post bacc. I have a good idea of what kind of volunteering is expected, but could someone explain to me what kinds of experience qualifies as clinical experience? Would shadowing and volunteering at a hospital count as clinical experience?
     
  5. Mobius1985

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    I'm curious as to why you want to be a physician if you have no clinical experience to date that inspires your interest in such a vocation? Admissions committees will also be very interested in the answer to that question.

    A clinical experience, per LizzyM, one of our active adcomm members, is anything that gets you close enough to patients that you can smell them. You can get this type of experience many ways, via volunteerism, job, or class requirement. You can acquire it in hospitals, clinics, hospice, nursing homes, residential homes, pharmacies. Shadowing a physician is a clinical experience, but it is passive, and you aren't involved in the care of the patient, you are observing and gaining an understanding of what a career as a doctor entails. More active, face-to-face interaction with patients is the more desirable, but a mix of both is generally done. I feel that shadowing several types of specialists and having patient interaction in more than one venue is good, as it shows you have a greater breadth of experience and understanding of what you're getting yourself into.
     
  6. fahmed1855

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    That is an interesting question Mobius, one as you can probably imagine I got from almost all of my friends (actually it was more like have you lost your mind lol) I guess the only answer I could give as to why I want to pursue medicine is probably the same rationale any premed student starting out could give, which is it seems like a career that is consistent with my goals in life (great admiration of doctors, doing something intellectually challenging, helping people, relationship building, etc). Also I had the somewhat unique experience of being in a completely different line of work and for better or for worse realizing that is definitely is not what I am passionate about at all. A funny thing kind of happened also when I got laid off and I think this will be a common story for the recent lot of grads in this terrible job market. I had something of an epiphany and whereas before I could not see myself spending years going through the whole premed process again because I felt like I would be wasting years of my youth, I realized that I was robbing myself of a much more fulfilling career that fit my personality better.

    I cannot really explain why I ended up as an investment banker if I was not even passionate about it. I think I was part of the many who for better or worse have to find how the hard and long way where their passions really lie. Even at this point, like many premeds, I still should reserve my ultimate judgment about a career for medicine after I get some meaningful clinical experience, take some prereqs, shadow some doctors etc. Wow that was kind of a long answer, sorry about that haha.
     
  7. Mobius1985

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    It was good practice for you, and I was interested to read it. Mmmcdowe gave good advice. Your Personal Statement should never say that you left investment banking because you didn't like it/firm went bankrupt, but rather that the call to medicine was too compelling to ignore.
     
  8. fahmed1855

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    Oh yeah I definitely agree with you there. Plus, anybody that thinks switching to medicine is just a career change and not a total lifestyle change, from what I have been able to gather, is very sorely mistaken haha.
     
  9. Mobius1985

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    Especially when it means giving up a comfortable income for the next six years, so you can make minimum wage during residency (3-5+ years), before you can practice medicine in order to pay back huge educational loans. That is dedication and commitment!
     
  10. fahmed1855

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    Hey Moebius, since you are already in med school, if you don't mind me asking, (CaribMD already kndly chimed in on this already), what do you think would make me a competitive candidate going forward stats wise (Sci GPA, MCAT, volunteer hours etc) if I was aiming for SUNY Downstate or NYMC? I will obviously try to get as high as numbers as possible, but what do you think the minimum sci GPA and MCAT id need to have a good shot with schools like those.
     
  11. Mobius1985

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    Mean stats:

    SUNY Downstate cGPA 3.7, MCAT 32 ; NYMC its 3.6 and 31.

    Remember half of candidates are below those numbers, and half above, but those are good numbers to aim for. sci (BCPM) GPA should be a little higher than cGPA.

    I can't speak of those schools specifically, but generally about 150-200 volunteer clinical hours is good to aim for, spread evenly over the two years.
     
  12. whoknows2012

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    I am not in med-school yet, although I will be next year, but I think I can offer you some advice on numbers you might need to obtain to be competitive at those two schools....

    GPA-above 3.5
    sGPA-above 3.5
    MCAT-above 30 (preferably in the 30's to make you very competitive)

    Volunteer-wise get as much experience as you can. There is no set number of hours that adcoms look for, however, you definitely want to get as much as you can, especially because you said you haven't had anything up until now.

    So if you combine those from a purely numerical standpoint, you would be competitive at those schools. I have an interview at Nymc in a couple weeks and I have a 3.6 and a 29.....so hopefully this helps
     
  13. alibai3ah

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    I think the change in career option can greatly work to your benefit. These days many medical schools are reticent to let in 21 year old college graduates, because they feel that they lack the proper training and discipline that is usually gained from the work force. In addition, many of them have not experimented with other fields to really know if medicine is what they truly want. But someone of a completely different background and work experience coming into medicine will really show that this person knows what is out there and despite seeing all the possibilities found medicine to be the most enticing. Offcourse I agree with some of the posts above regarding having more clinical experience to really show that this is what you want, but I would not count yourself out.

    New york schools tend to be more forgiving than other states like california so I think you def have a shot. I think your undergraduate gpa will matter very little mainly b/c its been 3+ years since you have been out of college. Therefore adcomms will mostly be interested in your post bac grades (pre req science courses) and mcats to really consider you a competitive candidate. With a 3.7-3.8 and 31+ MCAT I think you have a solid shot at those schools. Also based on the fact that you are a non-trad applicant, I would really apply more broadly. If you get really top notch scores I would apply to Columbia and Einstein as well. Good luck
     

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