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confused as hell-PharmD wanting to go MD

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by sechance77, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. sechance77


    Jun 16, 2008
    I am a pharmacist and its been almost 12 years now, since I first prepared for my pre-med and later changed my mind to do pharmacy. I have a busy life now and I am looking forward to changing my profession. I want to go to med school. I look back now and I cannot imagine how hard it was getting through pharmacy school . But I still think its worth going back to med school. Is there any one out there, in my shoes, who knows what they want to do, but dont know how? If there is please reply to this email and help me get over my aprehensions.

    email: [email protected]

    I need to understand what the pre-requisites would be and what do I do in terms extra cirriculars. I am a little lost here.
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  3. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion 10+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    First, if you don't want a lot of spam, edit your post and take out your email address. You can ask people to send you a private message within SDN if you like.

    This being the nontrad forum, there are plenty of career-changers here, from nursing/engineering/teaching/etc. backgrounds. If you're specifically looking for a pharmacist to talk to, I haven't seen any in the ~18 months I've been paying attention here. I think you'll find that the nurses, PAs, PTs, etc. can guide you well.

    In general, you will be compared with 21 year olds when you apply to med school. Nobody is going to notice or care that you're a practicing pharmacist until your GPA, MCAT score, essays, recommendations and clinical experiences have been reviewed. And nobody is going to give you a go-ahead for time served as a pharmacist - you will be evaluated on the same terms as a 21 year old. That said, you will be expected to show that you're a mature and experienced candidate, well-versed in health care policy and ethics, and you may be expected to demonstrate that your background in pharmacy is relevant, or leverageable, within medicine.

    To get to where you're ready to apply, you need to:

    1. Find your undergrad transcripts and calculate your overall and science GPAs. Look on for instructions on how to calculate these, and for what constitutes science. If you're 3.6 or above, you arguably are fine. If you're under 3.6, you need to do additional undergrad work to get over 3.6, and/or do exceptionally well on the MCAT, and/or apply to mid-low-tier MD schools, and/or look into DO.
    ...Your graduate GPA does not carry much weight.

    2. Assuming you've taken a year each, with labs, of gen chem, organic chem, physics and biology (these are still the prereqs), you should take some additional undergrad upper division science, to demonstrate that you can handle rigorous coursework and know what a genome is. Arguably, you should do this in a classroom, versus online or at a CC. Some med schools expire prereqs after X number of years, such as UMass where X=6. You need to find out if a given school that you're interested in has such a policy. There are plenty of us here with 10-20 year old prereqs who got in.
    -->> One very important aspect of taking new coursework, in your case, is that you need letters of recommendation from faculty.

    2. Prep to take the MCAT. I suggest you dive right in and see how far you are from being ready by taking a practice test on (first one's free). You may find that you need very little review, or you may find that you really want to just take all the prereq coursework again. You can take a prep course (Kaplan, TPR, etc.), you can buy/borrow prep books, etc.

    3. Buff your clinical experience. If you're not working in a clinical setting, then start a volunteer gig in a hospital or clinic. Get an MD or DO colleague to allow you to shadow for a day, and get yourself well-versed in the current pros/cons of medical practice.

    4. Find 4 people to write you strong recommendations. Some schools are going to require 3 of these to be faculty.

    5. Get Iserson's Guide on getting into medical school. This is a solid 1st opinion, in most cases, on questions of how to do it.

    6. Get a recent med school grad or current med school student to act as a 2nd/3rd opinion on anything you see on SDN.

    Best of luck to you.
  4. phospho

    phospho SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    Columbus, OH
    You are one of the nicest people on SDN. I love how you're always so patient and take the time to go through everything thoroughly:luck:
  5. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion 10+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Aww. Glad to know somebody hasn't seen any of my bitchy posts aimed at arrogant entitled whiners. :)
  6. phospho

    phospho SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    Columbus, OH
    haha, too funny... you rock:love:
  7. retaplased


    May 15, 2008
    You have been a pharmacist for much long then myself, but I know how you feel. I knew during my third of year pharm. school that I should have gone to medical school. During undergrad, I decided that it would be easier on me and my family to do pharmacy, but as you know, pharm school is no walk in the park. Currently (I just graduated last year), I am trying to repay my student loans. They should be completely repaid in about two more years. I figure I have a few more years of working and saving before I can apply to med. schools (esp. with a family to take care of). Anyway, if you are able, I would def. do what you have wanted to do. I do not know your situation, but there are plently of individuals that have gone back and made it work out, even if they have other responsibilities (family ,bills, etc...). Do what you got to do. Do you think you will try to work a shift here or there while in school?
  8. phospho

    phospho SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    Columbus, OH
    I finally have some time to sit down and write this post.

    I don't know if this helps or not, but here it goes:

    I have a very close family friend that graduated from Ohio State's pharmD program, and while he was still in pharmacy school, he decided to go to medical school. So, during his 4th year he started preparing for the MCAT, etc.

    When he applied to med school, Ohio State instantly rejected him due to the fact that he had already received a doctorate from them, and also because his MCAT score was 26. He was accepted to Cincinnati, however, and he is currently a pgy2 in Columbus.

    A few notes:

    1- He loved pharmacy, but hated practicing it and wanted to combine it with medicine. I'm just a premed, and I don't know too much, but it seems that there's A LOT you can do by combining them. He's currently in IM, but I know he wants to get into a "subspecialty" (not sure of the difference between a subspecialty and a fellowship)

    2- None of his pharmacy school grades meant anything to anyone. Yes, they were calculated in his "graduate" GPA, but no one really cared about them. His undergrad was the primary focus. As someone else said above, they compare you to a 21 year old kid.

    3-His pharmacy degree did NOT help him. The fact that he was able to convince the adcoms that he wanted to combine medicine with pharmacy simply made the adcoms "overlook" the fact that he might not be fully dedicated to medicine (since he already has a doctorate degree).

    4-He was moonlighting constantly with his pharm D during medical school. There were many courses which he didn't really have to study too much in, so he would use that time to make some good money.

    5-The fact that he has a pharmD helped him immensely in getting a good residency.

    6- The fact that he moonlighted during med school helped him a lot, since not only was he a pharmacist, he was essentially a practicing pharmacist, which helped him with getting a good residency

    7-He studied his ass off for the MCAT. It wasn't easy for him at all, although he was one of the top pharm students in his class.

    8-He says that if he didn't tell the adcoms that he wanted to use medicine and pharmacy together, he doubts he would have been accepted anywhere this easily

    9-He was one of the 3 pharmDs that graduated from medical school that year

    10-Like I said, I'm just a premed, so I don't know what it's like to do 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of pharmacy, 4 years of medical school, and more than 4 years of residency. Be very aware of the fact that you must really want this, because from what I heard from my friend, he sometimes had very bad days getting up in the morning to start "another day".

    11-There isn't a day that goes by that my friend thanks himself for doing what he did. He absolutely loves what he does. Also, if he were to do this all over again, he says that he wouldn't change a thing. Seems there's a huge role that his pharmD is filling in his medical career.

    If you have any other questions, please let me know. I can definitely call him for you if you need specific information. This isn't an easy path you're taking, but many others have done it before you, and they don't regret it. I wish you the very best of luck:luck:
  9. lilliputian


    Jun 18, 2008
    Wow...I'm new to this forum and am somewhat relieved to know that I am not the only one feeling this way. I am in my last year of pharmacy school and am strongly considering medical school myself.

    I was wondering if there was a particular school that you were considering going to. The reason I ask this is because I had a friend of mine in a similar situation (was an optometrist and switched to medicine). He had been out of school for awhile and ended up making an appointment to talk to the dean at a local medical school here that he was interested in. They were very helpful in evaluating his grades (he did end up taking additional coursework because of his grades), his experiences (he ended up shadowing in the hospitals more), and telling him what he needed to do in order to make him competitive.

    He's now in his last year of med school and has no regrets about his decision to switch careers. Hang in there and good luck to you!!!:)

    To everyone else - thanks for the helpful tips!!!!
  10. rx515

    rx515 5+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2008
    Im sort of in the same situation. I just received my MCAT score and am applying for fall 09. I am currently on my rotations and will graduate may 2009. My pharmacy program was a bit different though since it was a six year straight through deal. So I was actually still taking certain undergrad couses such as physiology, psych, among others while I was in a graduate program. I wonder how that will affect my GPA. I made it through pharm school with a 4.0 but did get 4 credits of science B and 3 credits of other B in my 2 years of "undergrad" time. My overall GPA is now a 3.95. (mcat 33 btw) I entered my school in the amcas twice, once for the 1st two years and once for the next 4. But I'm wondering if I should move the nonpharm ie ones that dont start with PHAR-XXX to the "undergrad" section. Any suggestions?
  11. dezokitty

    dezokitty 7+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2008
    Oh wow! I found a thread for people just like me! I'm also in my last year of pharm school, applying to med school currently. I'm in about the same situation as you, rx515, although what I did on the AMCAS was put the first 4 years as undergrad and the last 2 as grad. I know it's a little weird, since the first 2 years are technically grad level, but that was actually the way that my school's transcripts made it. If you're not sure about how to enter it, I might ask around (maybe ask your school's registrar, a premed advisor, and/or an AMCAS representative). I've already submitted the AMCAS, so I'll let you know if there are any problems that come up while it's in the process of being verified.
  12. jhafez87


    Feb 24, 2008
    can I ask why do u guys want to switch from pharm to med. ur answer will help me alot. Thanks

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