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CNA or Medical Assistant? Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by musicmuse1122, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. musicmuse1122

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    Hello SDNers,

    I just graduated from college, and I'm looking for ways to improve my ECs before reapplying to medical school (no interviews the first time). I'm already retaking my MCAT, so I'm not worried about that too much. There's really no way to improve my GPA (3.24) so I'm banking on clinical experience.

    I'm already volunteering on the patient floor at one hospital and in the emergency department at another hospital. I have the opportunity to take either an 8-week CNA course or a 16-week Medical Assistant course. Both are through the local adult school, so they're cheap. In CA, because of malpractice insurance, doctors don't like to give MAs on the job training, so I'm hoping that either of these courses would get me some more realistic patient contact than what I'm doing right now.

    What do you guys think? Which one should I go for? Either? Neither? Thanks guys!
     
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  3. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    You should go for... something to fix that GPA.
     
  4. musicmuse1122

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    I'm already taking classes at a local university extension. but I can't improve it significantly without taking like 30 more classes, which is like a whole degree all over. So it is what it is, basically. It might go up to a 3.3 if I'm lucky.
     
  5. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    Consider special master's programs (1-2 years without dissertation) or a formal, med school-affiliated post-bacc program.

    A 3.2 is really, really bad unless you are 99%tile on the MCAT (38+)

    Nothing else as minor as a CNA / MA certificate will help.
     
  6. musicmuse1122

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  7. 0919mmk

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    This is not true. I mean, yes, 3.2 is not good. Does that mean that you won't get in to med school with a 3.2? Not at all. There are plenty of state schools where you can be competitive with a 3.2 if your MCAT is >33. 2 cycles ago, I got 3 interviews and one acceptance that didn't work out (long story, see my blog), and I applied with a 3.1, 32 MCAT. If you are interesting/have a good story/have other strengths/can show that you're not a total *******, adcoms can see past a low GPA.

    OP - if I were you though, I would focus on that GPA :p and killing the MCAT.
     
  8. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    I don't know what state he's from, but I hope it's not California :laugh:
     
  9. 0919mmk

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    Agreed. If he IS from CA, well, there's always law school :thumbup:
     
  10. MSU2009

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    and pharmacy school
     
  11. punjabimc

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    You def. will need alot of 'extra stuff' to be considered for medical school. A good explanation, solid MCAT score, and yes - lots of volunteer, leadership, work experience/clinical experience (CNA here).

    I know you posted in the Allopathic thread but - have you considered the DO route as well?
     
  12. drdan83

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    Try to get the gpa up to 3.3 and make sure your pre-req's are all B or better.

    Study very hard on the MCAT and shoot for 32+

    You need to be able to distinguish yourself from the other applicants regarding your EC work. Have one clinical activity and then try to work for an organization like the Red Cross and become really involved. Don't try to do too much in too little time.

    I think CNA and medical assistant courses are a waste of your time. You are better off investing your time in an activity that will make you unique.

    If you can do that, I think you'll get in somewhere.

    This idea that you need a 4.0 or something close to that to get accepted is the typical advice you get from misinformed pre-meds. I know plenty of people who got in with a 3.3-3.4 on their first try.
     
  13. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    I think it would be more useful to be a CNA. I don't think MAs get good much clinical exposure.
     
  14. StephanieZ

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    Why do you think that? Is it because every other premed has done CNA? I ask because I am thinking of doing CNA classes next month in order to get my foot in the door working in a clinical setting.
     

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