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Cop to M.D.? (hopefully anyway)

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by BaylorBearSW, Feb 13, 2018 at 8:57 AM.

  1. BaylorBearSW

    BaylorBearSW

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    I've searched and found a few threads about cops going to med school but most were I wanted to be a cop but went to med school instead :rolleyes:.

    A little about me. I am male, 30 years old, married for 8 years (to a Ph. D. doctor, not a real Dr. :p), and have a 3 year son. I have been a police officer, in Texas, for 6 years, and have been through quite a bit of advanced training but just isn't fun anymore, plus I find I can't have an intelligent conversation with the average police officer. I find myself sitting back and waiting for the medical calls and enjoy those more than the putting bad guys in jail. I also want to provide a better life for my family, especially with the current climate in law enforcement.

    When I was little I wanted to be a medical examiner, but I have seen way more death (mostly violent) than anybody should in their life time, but it was nothing I really took serious or acted on. Fast forward to the birth of my son and the desire to be a Doctor hit me like a ton of bricks. My wife's OB/GYN was awesome, and just a very personable man, but when he handed me my son I just wanted to bring joy to people the same way it was brought to me (which I bring very little joy in my current profession :meh:). My son was then rushed up to the NICU where he was for 10 days and those Doctors were amazing as well and the fire just intensified. We still take gifts/treats to the NICU team on Christmas and other holidays, just as a small token.

    On to my education, which is the tricky part. I have a B.A. in Political Science from Baylor University and my GPA was less than stellar at 2.22, but does have an increasing trend as time progressed. Because this is a B.A. most of my science classes are not the ones preferred for Med School. I did horrible in my undergrad, partially because I was much younger than most. I graduated high school at 16 (skipped 11th grade), and stated Baylor at 17. I had no idea how to study as I never had to in High School and generally wasn't mature enough. Since then I have taken several computer forensic courses at a technical school my wife teaches at, so they were free and just for fun, but my GPA is probably 3.8 or so, not that this really matters. I also earned my Master of Criminal Justice from Tarleton State University in August of 2016 with a GPA in the 3.7-3.8 range. As I have gotten older I have taken school more seriously obviously and learned to study, but I know that 2.22 will hurt me (although that was 10 years ago). I intend to take all the pre-med requirements at a local CC over 3 or 4 semesters (including summers), and earn a GPA in the 3.7-3.8 range. And obviously hope to do well/above average on the MCAT.

    As far as extra curricular goes, I really don't have much due to my work schedule but I volunteer with the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children by helping them set up for fundraising events, answering a crisis hotline, and taking part in the Christmas for those less fortunate events. Other than that most of community service is by serving my community as a deputy sheriff, but I also go above beyond what is necessary for each call, or do stuff that isn't common. I also enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2006 but was injured during recruit training and subsequently discharged, so I don't really count that.

    I'm looking at Texas A&M Medical school at my first choice since they offer years 2-4 in a town very close to me which does not require uprooting my family. They also do their rotations at a hospital I am greatly interested in working at. I also have a few medical schools within about an hour from me, which I drive farther than that to work now. I know I have an uphill battle and about 1.5-2 years before applying but this is something I have set my mind to and will see it through.

    As far as what type of specialty I am looking at would be OB/GYN for the obvious above, and anesthesiology (had kidney stones last year and conversed with a cool anesthesiologist and learned a great deal about what they actually did).

    Just a little, or a lot, about me. Any comments or constructive criticism; lay it on me!
     
    BorntobeDO? likes this.
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  3. Crayola227

    Crayola227 The Oncoming Storm Physician 2+ Year Member

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    Definitely need to get some nitty gritty experience with sick people with chronic conditions.

    A lot of medicine is NOT providing immediate joy.

    Even in fields where that seems the case.

    What seems cool as a patient - totally different ballgame on the other side of that.
    So it must be a decision made with more knowledge than liking any interaction you've had with any provider you've had.

    Not saying that you think this, just a blanket statement I put out there for anyone.

    Not meant as criticism - meant to give you an idea of directions to go to not only explore if this really is right for you, but will also build your application.

    The next part of it is of course aptitude for science.

    As a cop, long hours, responsibility, paperwork, and the "customer service" side of working with a-holes and unhappy people, you already get. I have no doubt you have a high tolerance for "yuckiness" as well, like blood and pus.

    Try getting experience in hospice, nursing homes, memory care, etc.
     
    Goro likes this.
  4. DV-T

    DV-T 2+ Year Member

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    This 2.22 does not have to hurt you. Have you heard about Texas Academic Fresh Start? See TMDSAS info on it here: TMDSAS Medical: Texas Academic Fresh Start Grades > 10 years can be wiped out GPA-wise, but you keep all your earned degrees. Do a SDN search for other Academic Fresh Start threads.

    TX medical schools love high GPAs and with the help of AFS, you can get into any TMDSAS school as long as your MCAT and ECs are competitive.

    GL!!!
     
  5. BaylorBearSW

    BaylorBearSW

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    Feb 12, 2018
    How would one go about doing this? Volunteering at local hospital? Getting a part-time (in addition to my current) job doing something inside a hospital? Just curious what medical schools are looking at.

    True with policework too, so I know I can't base it all off interaction, but that's what re-peaked my interest in it. And just like police work I know it's not all sunshine and rainbows but when it is, that's what makes it worth it. And just like police work for every minute of something fun, there is 5 minutes of paperwork, preparation, or research that goes along with it.

    I actually have a pretty decent aptitude for science, I only got a B.A. instead of a B.S. because it required less foreign language hours.

    I saw this in another thread while lurking and have looked into it a bit. My hang up with it involves cost, which I am trying to keep down. I can take the pre-med courses at the CC for $110 an hour, where as have to get 90 hours from a university is much more expensive and cuts into med school money. Plus I can do most of the classes online, which is a plus with my work schedule (12 hours shifts, Pittman Schedule; so I work different days each week). Now, perhaps if I can do the AFS through a CC that has affiliation with a 4-year university (like McLennan Community College and Texas Tech) that may work but not sure if that's an option for the program. I still have much research to do, but making sure it's not all for naught first.
     
  6. DV-T

    DV-T 2+ Year Member

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    You can declare AFS and take the courses at any CC as long as the CC you attend will allow you to declare AFS with a degree already. How AFS is applied is entirely dependent on the Admissions department of each school. Some will allow it even if you have a degree, while others won't. So contact the Admissions Dean at McLennan and ask them. Because you already have a degree and will be a nontraditional, taking courses at a CC will not be looked down upon as long as your MCAT is competitive.

    Regarding online courses, I am not familiar with TMDSAS schools' policy regarding online courses. Some might take them while others might not. You might want to contact A&M and other TX schools you are interested in attending whether they will take online courses. @AnotherLawyer might help with his perspective on taking online courses.
     
  7. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

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    Read this:
    Med School Rx: Getting In, Getting Through, and Getting On with Doctoring Original Edition by Walter Hartwig

    ISBN-13: 978-1607140627

    ISBN-10: 1607140624
     
  8. BorntobeDO?

    BorntobeDO? SDN Bronze Donor Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    Thats a great story, I might look into grade forgiveness with the DO schools (some still do it), and try to get rid of the lowest classes that are killing your GPA. If you can prove that you have the proficiency to handle a hard course load, I think your background story is fantastic. So basically you need a post-bacc that you do very well in or perhaps a special masters program at a med school. This will take years to do, but it will also give you time to make sure the feeling is real.

    I do not think you need any additional medical volunteering at this point. If you want that do it later IMO, you have plenty of unique experience in your own life. Your challenge is proving you can handle the academics. That means high MCAT, and high grades in whatever post bacc/Masters program you decide to do. That is your number one weakness IMO. You need to prove it was immaturity that made you do bad, not inability.

    I am saying this as a non-traditional student as well (former healthcare for 8+ years prior to med school). It took me 2 years to get my ducks in a row to apply, and I didn't have a low GPA issue, so it would probably be at least another year for you. But you can 50 or you can be 50 and a doctor. The age comes either way. Decide what you want and go for it! Good luck!

    Edit: I guess not on the grade forgiveness. Times have changed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018 at 10:06 PM
  9. DV-T

    DV-T 2+ Year Member

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    Just wanted to correct this. According to @Goro , most if not all DOs no longer have grade forgiveness.
     
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  10. BorntobeDO?

    BorntobeDO? SDN Bronze Donor Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    Well then, I stand corrected. It would be a good idea to figure out which ones do then.
     
  11. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

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    I think only AZCOM, and maybe one other school. Not mine though.
     
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  12. GypsyHummus

    GypsyHummus 5+ Year Member

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    You also need a certain score on the MCAT for the Grade replacement to kick in for AZCOM.

    The times of grade replacement are basically over. Now is the age of SMPs and crushed hopes and dreams of people who cannot hack it.

     
    Goro likes this.
  13. BaylorBearSW

    BaylorBearSW

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    Feb 12, 2018
    Thank you for all the suggestions, and I will definitely pick up the book and give it a read.

    As a path of least resistance, I've also been thinking about doing RN at my local CC (since I already meet the requirements and score pretty high on the grading sheet they show for admission requirements), then trying to get on at the hospital I want to work at which offers tuition reimbursement. Then doing an RN to BSN program, and then, after some years of experience, DNP-A or CRNA (which will soon all be DNP programs anyway, by 2022 if I understand correctly). I think I could potentially do the AFS program for that too, as the RN grants a Associates and the CC has an agreement with Texas Tech to provide classes on their campus, and a pathway for RN to BSN.

    Just not sure what the real earning potential is on the DNP-A/CRNA route is, as the numbers vary quite a bit online. I've heard anywhere for about $150-$250k yearly for CRNA, and a lot more for anesthesiologist, I've even seen as low as about $80k to postings on job boards paying $120/hour ($249k extrapolating out at 40 hours a week), but have no real idea what my area (Central Texas) is paying. I'm not in it for the money by any means, but it makes no sense to go $100k (more) into debt to make $50k a year. I currently make $38K a year as a cop, and already in quite a bit of debt as Baylor wasn't cheap. Just a little thinking out loud. I am still in the infancy stages of this but trying to put together a plan.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018 at 8:12 AM
  14. AnotherLawyer

    AnotherLawyer Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    I contacted every TMDSAS school and each said they would accept online coursework, even though MSAR suggests otherwise. I took three science prerequisites online and I had no issues this past cycle. With that said, my personal belief is that in person is better than online and that four year is better than CC. I went to great lengths to take classes in person when possible. But at the end of the day it wasn't always possible. So do the best you can and if you do take courses online realize that getting all As and a high MCAT score will be that much more important.
     
  15. RNthenDoc

    RNthenDoc

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    The ASN->BSN->CRNA route is a great career. Was a plan of mine for a bit but I diverted to MD/DO instead of CRNA.

    The ASN is the most versatile AS degree in the nation, and pays for itself rapidly.

    AS to BSN is a joke that can be done online. Good schools want you to have experience first (a year or two) but some diploma mills will let you run through it.

    If it is *possible,* you can package your BSN and medical school prerequisites together and let a hospital help you pay for both.

    Then, if you wanna take a stab at MD/DO, you’re ready. If not, then you have a BSN and can pursue CRNA or DONP or whatever else suits you.

    It’s a very low-risk career path, but the trade off is that it takes a long time, and parts of it are very tough. (My ASN was an absolute butt-kicker, easily more intense than Ochem etc. but that is wildly variant based on the specific school.)

    While bearing the above in mind, it’s very important to treat nursing seriously. Nursing is supposed to be a calling, and people who are “using” it for what they can get out of it end up burning out fast, hating life, and ultimately providing worse care. And that’s when lawsuits happen, and blah blah blah. Like, imagine a cop saying that becoming a cop is a great job and anyone should do it. Obviously being a LEO requires specific skills and temperament, etc. Same goes for nursing.
     

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