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chemical engineer wants to go to med school

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jim Henderson, Aug 23, 1999.

  1. Jim Henderson

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 1999
    Messages:
    415
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    3
    QUESTION:
    Hello,
    I am a 26 year old with a bachelor's degree in
    chemical engineering. I started out as premed in chem
    engineering, hoping to use it as a fall-back"- in case I did not
    get into med school or if I changed my mind about pursuing
    medicine. To make a long story short,I never appilied to med
    school since I ended up getting married right out of college,
    accepted a good job offer with all the perks, and put my husband
    through grad school.I wanted to give engineering a chance, but I
    was never fulfilled in my job. Now, with all the energy I have, I
    would like to pursue medicine again and devote my life to helping
    others.

    Few questions- if you can answer even one, I will be happy:

    1. As a woman, I am concerned about when I will be
    able to have children if I go to med school. Must I wait until I
    complete my degree,by which age I will probably be around 32?

    2. My GPA was 3.3 which was considered very good for
    my program at the time (it was ranked #1 in the nation and had
    the reputation of being the most difficult undergrad major in the
    school). Is this GPA something to worry about for med schools who
    will not know this?

    3. Since I have been away from school for a few years, will
    simply studying from an MCAT prep book be enough to help me on
    the
    exam?

    4. I have completed all the prerequisites for med school, but
    should I take more biology or liberal arts classes since I only
    took the minimum required for my major and "pre-med" focus?

    5. What sorts of patient interaction experiences would you
    recommend for someone like me? I am willing to work full time at
    this if I have to. I did some hospital volunteering all through
    college, but have not been as active since. I would like to do
    something overseas, but the costs are quite substantial.

    6. What kind of a back-up plan should I have in case I do not get
    in the first try? This is a big concern for me given the fact
    that I am giving up a well paying job and putting off having a
    family.

    7. I would love to have a mentor, but don't know who to call
    short of cold calling. Any suggestions?

    Thank you for listening! S.C ([email protected])

     
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  3. Jim Henderson

    Joined:
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    Hello,
    I was a 24 year old when I started in med school. I didn't go to
    college right away, and didn't vene decide to go pre-med until my
    third year in college.
    So, I'll take a stab at some of your questions:
    1. As a woman, I am concerned about when I will be
    able to have children if I go to med school. Must I wait until I
    complete my degree,by which age I will probably be around 32?
    I had my daughter as a second-year pediatric resident. And one of
    my colleagues had two children during her residency (as an intern
    and as a third-year). Many of my classmates in medical school had
    children during medical school, one had TWO! (ALL with very
    supportive husbands)


    2. My GPA was 3.3 which was considered very good for
    my program at the time (it was ranked #1 in the nation and had
    the reputation of being the most difficult undergrad major in the
    school). Is this GPA something to worry about for med schools who
    will not know this?

    That's a damn good GPA! You will have no problem!

    3. Since I have been away from school for a few years, will
    simply studying from an MCAT prep book be enough to help me on
    the exam?

    No, probably not. I would consider a Kaplan course, or the
    Princeton review.
    I'm not certain, but I think they will convert the testing to CBT
    [Computer-Based Testing]. Check out the website for the folks
    administering the exam.

    4. I have completed all the prerequisites for med school, but
    should I take more biology or liberal arts classes since I only
    took the minimum required for my major and "pre-med" focus?

    Not unless you want to lengthen the time you spend in school and
    the time until you have children. In medical school, the biology
    majors the same as the business majors.

    5. What sorts of patient interaction experiences would you
    recommend for someone like me?

    Depends on the specialty you choose. Pediatric patients are
    different from surgery patients are different from Geriatric
    patients are different from Obstetric patients...

    I would like to do something overseas, but the costs are quite
    substantial.

    Do NOT leave the US if you want to practice in the US. Do NOT go
    to a US medical school if you want to practice overseas.


    6. What kind of a back-up plan should I have in case I do not get
    in the first try? This is a big concern for me given the fact
    that I am giving up a well paying job and putting off having a
    family.

    You shouldn't have to give up your job, just take the course and
    the exam during a scheduled vacation. Use sick-time for
    well-grouped interviews.

    7. I would love to have a mentor, but don't know who to call
    short of cold calling. Any suggestions?

    There are mentors available through the AMWA website, through your
    chosen speciality's organizational web site (AAP, ACOG, etc), or
    at your "chosen" medical school sites.

    AMWA-American Medical Women's Association (www.amwa.org)
    AAP-American Academy of Pediatrics (www.aap.org)
    ACOG-American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (www.acog.org)

    Good Luck, Daphne Pettaway, MD ([email protected])
     
  4. drhenderson

    drhenderson Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 1999
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    2
    I will answer questions after each section of this letter, all
    :answers will be marked as "answer".
    :
    :Origional question with answers:
    :
    :Hello,
    ::
    :: I am a 26 year old with a bachelor's degree in
    ::chemical engineering. I started out as premed in chem
    ::engineering, hoping to use it as a fall-back"- in case I did not
    ::get into med school or if I changed my mind about pursuing
    ::medicine. To make a long story short,I never appilied to med
    ::school since I ended up getting married right out of college,
    ::accepted a good job offer with all the perks, and put my husband
    ::through grad school.I wanted to give engineering a chance, but I
    ::was never fulfilled in my job. Now, with all the energy I have,
    I
    ::would like to pursue medicine again and devote my life to
    helping
    : thers.
    ::
    ::Few questions- if you can answer even one, I will be happy:
    ::
    ::1. As a woman, I am concerned about when I will be
    ::able to have children if I go to med school. Must I wait until I
    ::complete my degree,by which age I will probably be around 32?
    :
    :ANSWER: Many medical schools will allow you take take a lighter
    :course load or take a leave of absence if you have a compelling
    :reason, such as children. You should check with individual
    :medical schools on their policies. (But don't bring this up at
    :interviews!) Nevertheless, it is hard. If you complete your
    :hungover:egree at age 32, you will presumably go into residency, which is
    :more time consuming than medical school... so you're looking more
    :at 35 or 36.
    ::
    ::2. My GPA was 3.3 which was considered very good for
    ::my program at the time (it was ranked #1 in the nation and had
    ::the reputation of being the most difficult undergrad major in
    the
    ::school). Is this GPA something to worry about for med schools
    who
    ::will not know this?
    :
    :ANSWER: Medical schools should know this. If you score high on
    :the MCAT, this will help. Med schools do take into account
    :competitive undergrad institutions.
    :
    ::3. Since I have been away from school for a few years, will
    ::simply studying from an MCAT prep book be enough to help me on
    ::the exam?
    :
    :ANSWER: Maybe. Do some of the practice tests available and see
    how yo do. These books are available at the medicalstudent.net
    bookstore.
    :
    :: 4. I have completed all the prerequisites for med school, but
    ::should I take more biology or liberal arts classes since I only
    ::took the minimum required for my major and "pre-med" focus?
    ANSWER: Not necessarily. If you do OK on the practice MCATs and
    the real thing, these won't necessarily help.
    :: 5. What sorts of patient interaction experiences would you
    ::recommend for someone like me? I am willing to work full time at
    ::this if I have to. I did some hospital volunteering all through
    ::college, but have not been as active since. I would like to do
    ::something overseas, but the costs are quite substantial.

    ANSWER: Go on a medical mission trip with a church or
    humanitarian group. Why? Many reasons! #1 You get to help
    people, #2 You get experience, #3 you get to interact with health
    professionals, #4 It looks good on you resume, #5 It doesn't cost
    too much if you just go to Mexico or an underserved region of the
    US.


    ::6. What kind of a back-up plan should I have in case I do not
    get
    ::in the first try? This is a big concern for me given the fact
    ::that I am giving up a well paying job and putting off having a
    ::family.


    ANSWER: Never burn your current bridges. Always keep your
    current carreer as a backup. Apply to the medical schools of your
    choice as well as osteopathic and less competative schools.

    ::7. I would love to have a mentor, but don't know who to call
    ::short of cold calling. Any suggestions?


    ANSWER: We at medicalstudent.net are here to serve!


    ::Thank you for listening!


    And thank you!


    Jim Henderson, MD of medicalstudent.net

     

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