Feb 9, 2021
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hello there! I'm a career-changer hoping to do a DIY post-bacc this upcoming school year. I've done some research on how the medical school application process goes, but I'm still a bit scared about whether or not my plan is reasonable, so I'd really appreciate any feedback on it!

About me: Non-trad with 3.84 cGPA and 4.0 sGPA (Only took one science course in undergrad, Anatomy and Physiology 1, so this will probably decrease quite a bit between now and the end of the road). Took 2 psych classes and minored in sociology. I currently have 0 shadowing hours and 0 volunteer experience, clinical or nonclinical. In terms of skills and weaknesses, I'm good at memorization-based tasks, very bad at physics and math. (I already fulfilled the math requirement, but I just wanted to add that bit of background information, just in case it might help)

Courses that I need to take:

General Biology 1/2
General Chemistry 1/2
Algebra-based Physics 1/2
Organic Chemistry 1
Biochemistry (the schools I'm interested in are fine with either biochem or orgo 2, and I've heard that biochem is more memorization-based, which I'm better at)

My plan:

Summer 2021: Go on a volunteering bender and get 80 hours of volunteer hours per week. Squeeze in 100 hours of shadowing somewhere in there, as well.

Fall 2021: General Biology 1, General Chemistry 1, Physics 1

Spring 2022: General Biology 2, General Chemistry 2, Physics 2, MCAT (going to try and teach myself the biochem and orgo concepts required to pass), apply to Medical School

Fall 2022: Organic Chemistry 1

Spring 2023: Biochem

I heard that medical schools frown upon being less than fulltime status, but those 3 courses in the upcoming Fall and Spring semesters should make me considered full-time, since each of them is 4 credits each, adding up to 12 credits. Is that fine, or will it be frowned upon if I take less than 15 credits per semester? Would it also be frowned upon if the only courses I take in the Fall and Spring semesters of my glide year are orgo 1 and biochem? Should I be taking a full course load then, as well, to show that I can "handle the rigors of medical school", or does it no longer matter since I've already been accepted and just need to check the boxes of having completed those final two prereqs?

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day!
Last edited:


2+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2016
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
80 hours a week of volunteering sounds very difficult to maintain and actually fill, since most gigs are smaller chunks of time. I would heavily advise against taking the MCAT before finishing the prereqs, especially Biochem.
Nov 5, 2020
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I love the hustle, but this isn't going to set you up for success. I don't know if it's possible to get 80 hours a week volunteering tbh, most places in my area are only open during regular business hours.

A more sustainable option: find a medical and non-medical volunteering org you enjoy asap and start with one shift per week at both and ramp up from there. 4 hours a week at each org for 52 weeks is over 200 hours each and shows that you commit (as opposed to getting 80 hours, checking the box, and gtfoing). Shadowing can be fit in throughout the year.

Imo, don't skip summer semesters unless you've got something worthwhile that needs your full attention like an internship or research opportunity. If you take classes summer 2022, you could be finished your prereqs in Fall 2022 and spend the entire spring semester focused on MCAT + ECs and filling out the app.

Good luck!
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