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Changing directions

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by msbbc833, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. msbbc833

    7+ Year Member

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    I am 22 years old and I just finished my undergraduate degree from a good public institution in Texas. I have completed all the pre med reqs except for 8 hours of physics (including lab). I was originally pre-med which explains why I completed most of the reqs, but I changed my mind during my undergraduate years. There are a few things I need to get done and I would appreciate input on how I should go about them. I plan to stay in Texas for medical school. I have not taken Bio chem so I will not be applying to UTSAs Med school.

    1. Take the MCAT. I am purchasing http://www.amazon.com/Examkrackers-Mcat-Complete-Study-Package/dp/1893858499/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230695160&sr=1-2 and plan to take the exam in April.

    2. Take physics classes at a community college. Should I take them before or after the MCAT? Does the study guide linked above review physics? If so maybe I can take the classes in the summer after the MCAT?

    3. Lab experience. I have no hospital work or lab research experience. What should I do here?

    4. Applying. I missed the deadlines for fall 09 so it looks like I have a year and a half to go.
     
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  3. muggle911

    muggle911 Non-magical member
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    You should take the physics classes BEFORE the MCAT if at all possible. Yes, the full examkrackers package will go over physics, but it would be helpful to have seen the material in a real physics class ahead of time. Examkrackers will not TEACH you everything you need for the physics section of the MCAT, it will REVIEW the material that you already should have seen in a physics class.

    As far as "hospital work," if you mean that you have no medically-related volunteering, you need to get started on that ASAP. 1) this will help you confirm that you do like and are right for the medical profession. 2) med schools expect to see it to show that you have thought out your decision to become a doctor.
     
  4. indianstar

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    2. I have heard that it is not a good idea to take pre-med classes at a community college, especially if the community college is of a lower caliber than your undergrad institution.
    I would suggest taking physics before the MCAT. You could maybe take the exam during the last part of your second semester of physics, but I wouldn't sugget taking it any earlier than that.
    The study guide claims that it provides a complete overview needed for the MCAT. Since part of the MCAT is physical sciences, then physics is most likely in there. The study guide does NOT teach you physics. It offers advice as to how to work through the problems, but doesn't walk through the basics. The authors have assumed that you have taken all the classes or have nearly finished them if you are going to take the MCAT.
    3. You definitely need to get clinical and research exposure before you apply. How do you know you want to be a doctor if you have not had exposure to a medical environment? (Not trying to be harsh, this is what admissions will ask you) Look into volunteering at a local hospital or a university hospital that is affiliated with a medical school. I've found that many doctors are willing to let volunteers shadow them. Also, ask around at different univeristies for different research opportunities. You could work in a research lab while taking physics on your year off. Try asking your science professors at your undergrad institution. Hope this helps. :)
     
  5. msbbc833

    7+ Year Member

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    I could do some research and volunteering this semester as well as finish up my physics classes, but then when would I be able to take the MCAT? I think the latest I should take it would be May so that I can apply right afterwards. What do most people in my situation do?

    Also it has been two years since I have seen biology, o-chem, and genetics. If I just have a go at with the examkrackers book, will that be sufficient? Again, what do most people do? Think of a senior in college who hasnt taken these classes since sophomore yr.
     
  6. dw2158

    2+ Year Member

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    Any reason you don't want to wait one more year? Your whole schedule would be less crammed and you could get a job in a medical setting to boost that part of your app...
     
  7. Doctura

    2+ Year Member

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    Regarding the Physics - Definitely take it before the MCAT. Physics accounts for half of the physical sciences section, and you will sacrifice your score without it. I recommend completing the EK physics review book while you take the physics class. Thus you can kill two birds with one stone. Also, feel free to take it at a community college. (I did it and I no one said a word about it). BUT, if you do take it a community college make sure you have a good reason (full schedule, location, money) and make sure that you have good grades in your other science classes.

    Regarding the EK Review Series - It is good, but it is best when paired with another review book (Kaplan or TPR). I think the books have good ideas in all of the areas, but they are a little lacking, particularly in Organic.

    Regarding Clinical Experience - Get some. It doesn't have to be a huge amount, but enough to generate about 8 stories or experiences with patients. Also, this is important to make sure that you like medicine. You don't want to go through the first two years of medical school and then realize you hate hospitals. For volunteering, look at the websites of local hospitals. Often there will be information on who to contact or even a webform to fill out. For shadowing, contact your family physician or a physician that you know, tell them you are interested in becoming a physician, and ask (politely) if they would be willing to let you shadow them for a few days (once a week or all in a row). The worst they can say is no.

    Regarding Research - I would worry about the Physics, MCAT, and Clinical Experience right now. Research is great, but MCAT and Clinical Experience are MUCH more important, especially since you only have about 7-8 months before you have to submit your application for fall of 2010 admissions.
     
  8. fightinI

    5+ Year Member

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    I agree with what's being suggested here. My personal suggestions:

    1) Take physics this spring and summer
    2) Take an MCAT prep course in the fall. I always felt that a motivated, well disciplined student can get by with just the books, so if you're one of those good for you, but I sure as *ell was not.

    3) Take the MCAT in January 2010, apply in May/June/July/Aug 2010.
    4) Start Med School in August 2011.
    5) While doing the above activities, try and find work either in an academic or clinical setting. Volunteering is a must.

    Sorry for taking another year of your life.
     
  9. msbbc833

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    After speaking with an advisor here is what I have come up with.

    1. I will take physics (both semesters) and physics lab, all concurrently during this upcoming spring semester. I will take them at a local community college. This is a total of 8 hours. Meanwhile I will order the examkrackers complete review books (5 books) and go through them from now until May.

    2. In late May I will begin the Kaplan MCAT course. This will go until the end of July. I decided to go with Kaplan because they have a higher score guarantee. Any comments on my selection?

    3. Take MCAT in August.

    I am hoping that completing physics as well as the examkrackers books will have me in tip top shape by the time I start the Kaplan course. What do you guys think of my plan? I have a 3.8 science GPA and a 3.73 overall GPA from the University of Texas. I am hoping a 30 MCAT should get me into a Texas school. Thanks for any input.
     

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