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Completing a degree first and then focusing on med school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by xnfs93hy, May 16, 2014.

  1. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    I'm in a very difficult major (Chemical Engineering) which leaves me little time to do anything outside of the pre-req classes and some volunteering. Unfortunately, I don't think my medical school application will be up to par by the time that I graduate from undergrad. I'm thinking of just focusing on my degree and co-ops/internships during undergrad and putting off medical school for a bit. My main issue is that I just do not have the time to jump through all the hoops and do research on top of my studies. There simply are not enough hours in the day to do it. My question is whether or not this is a good idea. Should I cram medical school stuff into my schedule and end up with a less than stellar application or just put it off until I'm finished with my degree and take a few gap years to get my medical school affairs in order? I spoke with my advisor at my university and he said that switching to an easier major is still a possibility at this point in the game, but I don't want to switch majors, as it will take much longer and my financial aid will run out and I'll have to take out loans (pay out of pocket each extra semester). I'm really torn on this issue. Should I focus on my degree first or pick another major that allows me to fit in the medical school stuff?
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  3. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    Any help?
  4. LostinLift

    LostinLift 2+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Finish school, then get a clinical job and do research/volunteering/whatever.
    xnfs93hy likes this.
  5. kevinus

    kevinus 5+ Year Member

    Aug 19, 2012
    Some people easily go through engineering school while preparing for medical school application, and some don't. You will have to decide for yourself if you can maintain a high GPA and gain clinical and research experiences at the same time. Your GPA should be the top priority, however, since icing is useless without the cake.
  6. Frostbite22

    Frostbite22 Iraq Lobster

    Mar 3, 2014
    I would finish school and focus on your degree. If anything being a ChemE is a good back up plan in case med school doesn't work out. Plus it'll be easier to fit in volunteering/research once you have a full time job.
  7. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1021 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    The Big Bad Apple
    The advantage of finishing your degree and then doing post bacc (formal or informal) is the latter will show up on your med school app as a separate line item GPA as well as be added to your overall undergrad. It gives you a chance to "shine" a bit that can be easily noticed.

    Med Schools mostly dont care how tough your schedule is. They care about how good your grades are. So I would recommend finishing the degree and then move on to postbacc and MCAT
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
    xnfs93hy likes this.
  8. mizzu

    mizzu Banned Banned Account on Hold

    Apr 2, 2014
    If you can't handle both, then grades first.

    But re-evaluate your time. You have more time than you think you do.
  9. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    I might throw some physician shadowing in there, apart from my volunteering. That's about it, though.
  10. terp720

    terp720 2+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    I didn't really do any of the pre-med stuff during college, just focused on my engineering requirements and got my pre-reqs done. I did research throughout UG, but none of the shadowing, volunteering, clinical exposure. Also waited until after I graduated to take the MCAT.
    I took 2 years off total (so 1 before I applied), and I think that was the best option for me. I personally wouldn't worry about trying to get it all in during college if you're willing to take the gap year or two. But make use of your summers!
    xnfs93hy likes this.
  11. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    There's really no down side to applying to med school later. The nontrad board is full of people who applied even decades later. Don't try to lock yourself to some naive premed timeframe of when you think you are "supposed" to apply. You don't pull the trigger until all your ducks are in a row.
    xnfs93hy likes this.

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