Feb 2, 2017
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I feel like I'm in a hole right now and I don't know what to do. I have wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember, but I feel like it's not going to happen here in the US. I had pretty much given up on the doctor dream, but I recently looked into Caribbean med schools. I know, horrible. I've heard a lot of bad things about caribbean schools and I agree with most things said, so I don't even feel like it's that great of an idea, but feel like it's my only shot at this point, so it's either caribbean med school or a different career (still in healthcare, just not a doctor).

When I first admitted I was probably not going to become a doctor, I was set on going the Medical Dosimetry route. I came across this once and after reading and researching I loved the idea of going into this. It appeals to my interests, I can see my self doing it lifelong, I like it, the pay is pretty decent (not that I'm going into any career for the money but it's good to know I will be ok financially), schooling isn't that long (I'm on the older end of "college age" and will be a Junior next semester so I would like to start my career soon), and school is cheaper than med school. Everything about it seems great, except that I keep reading that there aren't many jobs openings out there and you would have to go wherever need be and you can't be picky on where in the country you'll live (Don't mind leaving my current state and venturing elsewhere, but you know). I feel like there are cons to everything I want to do, and I could be entering school for something I will have a hard time finding a job in, so I don't even know what to think anymore.

I just need an opinion and some advice. Should I pick a different medical career, like Dosimetry, and just go into it and hope to get a job (I had actually accepted this path and was set on it about 6 months ago), still try to become a doctor, or try and pick yet another health related career?
 

Goro

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The smart thing will be another career, if you're not willing to invest the time to reinvent yourself for Medicine.
 
Jul 16, 2017
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Only you can ultimately decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. You're only a sophomore in college right now, so what is it that's making you think you won't get into medical school? Just curious. I'm assuming you've not taken the MCAT yet and still have half of the classes you need to take. Have you considered both DO and MD options? How much time are you willing to dedicate to pursuing your career? What interests you about each field? Why not shadow a doctor, PA, nurse, dosimetrist (is that what it's called?), etc etc and see which fits your ultimate lifestyle goal.
 
OP
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Feb 2, 2017
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The thing is my GPA is barely a 3.0. I'm pretty much passing my science classes with B's and C's. I suck at math and it's the main reason why I'm struggling in chem, physics, etc. I've done great in classes like anatomy, human bio, principle of diseases, classes that deal with the human body itself and diseases and things like that, but not too great on actual science classes (again, like chem and physics for example). It's like I'm good at medicine itself, but average in the sciences. I have 0 research/volunteering hours. I don't do anything special or have any cool extra curricular activities to talk about. No, I have not taken the MCAT yet but I'm not the best at standardized tests so I'm guessing that will not be stellar enough to make up for my gpa. I'm about to start my junior year at my university in terms of the years I've been here technically, but I went to CC first, so I'm "older" than actual juniors at my school. I'm 23, and likely will be 25 when I graduate. Assuming I take a gap year and then go to med school, I'll be 30 when I finish med school; then comes residency, fellowship, etc. That and I'll have spend thousands and thousands of dollars. If I decide to pursue dosimetry, It' just 2 years of school, so assuming I take a gap year I'll be 28 when I finish and can start working right away (If I find a job of course). This is one of the ways I look at it.

The other way I look at it is: If I can make it, it doesn't matter how old I am when I become a doctor. 30 isn't THAT old, and the money I spend on med school will be made up for during my career as a doctor.

I think the thing is that before college I never explored any other career options. I've always wanted to be a doctor. So now that I've seen other things out there (medically speaking, because my interests are all in the healthcare field), I feel conflicted and like I can make a decent living doing something I also love without having to be in school for that long and my grades/gpa also match up with this career, so it's a reachable goal. Medicine is a dream, one I would love to see come true but reality always comes into play. I worked harder than I ever have to make a B in chem 2, and I mean I worked my butt off...hard! And got just a B. That put things into perspective in terms of "it's not getting any easier from here", do I have what it takes? Then again I feel like when it comes to actual medicine, I don't struggle. I just don't know. Only time will tell. I just wanted some opinions, but my plan is to work as hard as I possibly can from here to graduation and depending on how things go the decision will naturally come to me. We'll see, but for now all advice is appreciated.
 

workaholic181

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May 29, 2017
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The thing is my GPA is barely a 3.0. I'm pretty much passing my science classes with B's and C's. I suck at math and it's the main reason why I'm struggling in chem, physics, etc. I've done great in classes like anatomy, human bio, principle of diseases, classes that deal with the human body itself and diseases and things like that, but not too great on actual science classes (again, like chem and physics for example). It's like I'm good at medicine itself, but average in the sciences. I have 0 research/volunteering hours. I don't do anything special or have any cool extra curricular activities to talk about. No, I have not taken the MCAT yet but I'm not the best at standardized tests so I'm guessing that will not be stellar enough to make up for my gpa. I'm about to start my junior year at my university in terms of the years I've been here technically, but I went to CC first, so I'm "older" than actual juniors at my school. I'm 23, and likely will be 25 when I graduate. Assuming I take a gap year and then go to med school, I'll be 30 when I finish med school; then comes residency, fellowship, etc. That and I'll have spend thousands and thousands of dollars. If I decide to pursue dosimetry, It' just 2 years of school, so assuming I take a gap year I'll be 28 when I finish and can start working right away (If I find a job of course). This is one of the ways I look at it.

The other way I look at it is: If I can make it, it doesn't matter how old I am when I become a doctor. 30 isn't THAT old, and the money I spend on med school will be made up for during my career as a doctor.

I think the thing is that before college I never explored any other career options. I've always wanted to be a doctor. So now that I've seen other things out there (medically speaking, because my interests are all in the healthcare field), I feel conflicted and like I can make a decent living doing something I also love without having to be in school for that long and my grades/gpa also match up with this career, so it's a reachable goal. Medicine is a dream, one I would love to see come true but reality always comes into play. I worked harder than I ever have to make a B in chem 2, and I mean I worked my butt off...hard! And got just a B. That put things into perspective in terms of "it's not getting any easier from here", do I have what it takes? Then again I feel like when it comes to actual medicine, I don't struggle. I just don't know. Only time will tell. I just wanted some opinions, but my plan is to work as hard as I possibly can from here to graduation and depending on how things go the decision will naturally come to me. We'll see, but for now all advice is appreciated.
I can relate to a lot of this! Especially the feeling like you struggle in chem/ physics but have an innate sense that you could do "the science of medicine" or whatever you want to call it.

I just did a post bacc year finishing pre reqs and am currently interviewing at med schools.. My GPA was 3.5 when I started this so I was in a better place in that sense than you were. I felt confident I could score highly on the MCAT and I did. But I gotta be totally honest; this past year was really difficult. There is no room for error in your classes, you have the MCAT looming, you're looking for shadowing, volunteering, working some basic patient care job that pays poorly, your friends/family all think your nuts. It was emotionally, mentally, and financially a lot to handle. It's absolutely doable but I hope that you will heed how hard it likely will be.

I say that because there's nothing wrong with "other" healthcare jobs at all. A good friend of mine just graduated with a 3.0, knew he would need a post bacc and killer MCAT to right his chances and decided to pursue other jobs in medicine. With him, there was a sense of loss for awhile, and I imagine the same would be true for you too if you picked something else. But that doesn't mean you cant be happy in another field, and frankly it sounds like you found one you're interested in.

Only you can decide this OP! Good luck with whatever you pick. Things have a way of working out.
 

getdown

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Why not apply to said carribean medical school and then when they accept you you can decline them. So from that point on you can say you were accepted to a medical school but decided it was better to pursue a different career. See? Win win situation. You can say you were accepted but declined and can then work in a different field. :)
 
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gonnif

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US MD>DO>DDS>DMD>>>PA>DC>>DPT>RN>>>>>CNA>>>>>>>Hospital Volunteer>>>>>>>>>>>>>Caribbean Med
Podiatry should be included. You are doc, you see patients, you treat sports injuries, diabetics, do surgery, get hospital admitting, and the rest. You are a specialist of foot. So many students just have no clue, never look at it, and never consider it
 

Tenk

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Given your grades you would probably not do well in medical school so the carribean would be a bust. Better to find something else.
 

Dr.Cut.em.up

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Op, why not podiatry
 

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I would recommend that you go to your student help center and talk with someone about your study skills. It is possible that you are studying inefficiently, which is why you feel as though you are studying so hard to get a B. In my first year of undergrad, my study skills were not good so I struggled more than necessary. We got a lecture on how to study and I improved my efficiency, which means I spent less time studying and still got good grades.
 
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The other way I look at it is: If I can make it, it doesn't matter how old I am when I become a doctor. 30 isn't THAT old, and the money I spend on med school will be made up for during my career as a doctor.
If you truly have an unwavering desire to become a physician, then you must do whatever it takes to make it happen. It's time for deep introspection and self-analysis. You need to figure out exactly what is preventing you from succeeding. If it's test taking anxiety, then seek help from a therapist or a counselor. If it's poor study skills, then seek help at your college's learning center. It may even just be a matter of putting in more time when it comes to studying.

You shouldn't let age dissuade you. You need to treat this as a marathon, not a sprint. I'll be honest -- Your situation doesn't look good right now. You have barely a 3.0 GPA, with only two more years of college left. You may even need to pursue a 1 year post-bac or SMP after graduating. You still have a very long way to go, and likely won't be able to start medical school until you are 26-27. And, that's only going to happen if everything goes right from here on out. Don't make any more mistakes.
 
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allantois

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I honestly think Caribbean is fine if you have good stats (aka you will complete the program and match). However, they aren't doing anyone any favors by admitting students only to see them fail from the program.
 

allantois

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US MD>DO>DDS>DMD>>>PA>DC>>DPT>RN>>>>>CNA>>>>>>>Hospital Volunteer>>>>>>>>>>>>>Caribbean Med
This is so ridiculous and triggered a lot of people. DDS = DMD. You will also have a lot of colleagues, many with decades of experience who went to Caribbean.
 
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JLC

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I think to answer bluntly, if you are only maintaining a 3.0, and thats with CC credits, and have no extracurricular activities, you probably aren't cut out for medicine and should seek an alternate career. Medicine (even with the explosion of new medical schools) is a specialty that has the highest qualifications to enter. You will be using your skills to treat patients and their diseases that can have short and life long repercussions. It doesn't matter how passionate you are about being a doctor, if you don't have the capability, no amount of passion will make you a good doctor. There are a lot of great things about going into medicine. There are also a lot of other careers that can be just as fulfilling. Entering medical school is tough (at least for the MD), going through medical school is tougher, going through residency/fellowship is even tougher and each step you will be gaining more and more responsibilities. If studying for a class to gain entrance is difficult for you, then I would worry you barely getting by studying to take care of patients. However, as everyone above you said, nothing should stop you from pursuing medicine should you decide to commit to it. Good luck.
 
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Pharaoh95

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Podiatry should be included. You are doc, you see patients, you treat sports injuries, diabetics, do surgery, get hospital admitting, and the rest. You are a specialist of foot. So many students just have no clue, never look at it, and never consider it
I'm not sure why but I just burst out laughing :lol::rofl:
 
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21Rush12

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I think to answer bluntly, if you are only maintaining a 3.0, and thats with CC credits, and have no extracurricular activities, you probably aren't cut out for medicine and should seek an alternate career.
Had I followed this advice I wouldn't be in medical school right now. Sub-3.0 sucks, but as a junior OP has the opportunity to turn it around. It will be hard, and it will probably require a gap year for the kind of extracurriculars and exposure OP will need to complete an app but it's not the end of the world.

OP My advice would be to get learning center help, buckle down, and work your ass off to get nothing below a B+ for the next two years. At the same time, consider trying to obtain a volunteer position doing something in the community once a week and stick with it. Show your commitment to serving those who need it. Take the MCAT only when you are ABSOLUTELY prepared to do so, you need that metric on your side to mitigate the GPA. You have the chance to turn it around, and if it's your true calling you will have to find a way to make it happen. You are not old, you will be the same age in 10 years whether or not you went to medical school. The cost of school is a drop in the bucket compared to your lifetime earnings. Don't make any more excuses for bad study habits, close the book on them as they are in the past; instead look forward and take control of your life.


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Ad2b

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Had I followed this advice I wouldn't be in medical school right now. Sub-3.0 sucks...

Thank you for posting and being yet another person to say <3.0 is not great, there's a lot of work ahead but not dead yet. Congrats on being in med school!!
 
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21Rush12

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Thank you for posting and being yet another person to say <3.0 is not great, there's a lot of work ahead but not dead yet. Congrats on being in med school!!
Thank you! I came back from 2.2 at community college after freshman year and graduated with a 3.4. I have had no problem keeping up with my class whatsoever. I really hope that people at the bottom of the low GPA pit realize that results are recognized and hard work and reinvention are rewarded. Maybe not at HMS, but there are many outstanding schools that will recognize the trend.


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JLC

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Had I followed this advice I wouldn't be in medical school right now. Sub-3.0 sucks, but as a junior OP has the opportunity to turn it around. It will be hard, and it will probably require a gap year for the kind of extracurriculars and exposure OP will need to complete an app but it's not the end of the world.

OP My advice would be to get learning center help, buckle down, and work your ass off to get nothing below a B+ for the next two years. At the same time, consider trying to obtain a volunteer position doing something in the community once a week and stick with it. Show your commitment to serving those who need it. Take the MCAT only when you are ABSOLUTELY prepared to do so, you need that metric on your side to mitigate the GPA. You have the chance to turn it around, and if it's your true calling you will have to find a way to make it happen. You are not old, you will be the same age in 10 years whether or not you went to medical school. The cost of school is a drop in the bucket compared to your lifetime earnings. Don't make any more excuses for bad study habits, close the book on them as they are in the past; instead look forward and take control of your life.


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That's great, but you are more the exception than the rule. Again, I did say "However, as everyone above you said, nothing should stop you from pursuing medicine should you decide to commit to it. Good luck."