Currently a freshman in College

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preprofmed

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Hello, I just have a few questions. To start off with, I am an 18 year old freshman at the College I work at. My major was Biology, but now I have changed it to Pre-Professional Medical. I want a job in the medical field, because I will always have a job! My GPA is 3.14 at the moment, and I know I will pass all of my classes this semester with As, which will boost it up to 3.45. I am wanting to go to NIU after I am done at my local college, and then go on to Loyola in Chicago for Medical School. I am wanting to know what I will have to do to ensure that I will get in when that time does come.. Also, I am just looking for some advice to help me have a little more faith.. I feel like the classes will just get harder and harder and I will not be able to maintain As.. I am very nervous. I am currently taking a basic chemistry class (101.9%), a humanities class (96%), and a math class that is one level lower than college algebra (95%). I have English 101, and 103 done (did Dual Credit in high school), and I got Bs in both of them. I have to take a lot of Biology, Chemistry, and Math, and just need some advice. This may help, I am wanting to become a Pathologist. I like to be prepared, and knowledgeable in what I want to pursue..

My first question is what is the difference between a Clinical Pathologist and an Anatomical Pathologist?

My second question is what can I do to stay on the right track (how hard is schooling for this field)?

My third question is just if anyone has any advice for me?

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Hello, I just have a few questions. To start off with, I am an 18 year old freshman at the College I work at. My major was Biology, but now I have changed it to Pre-Professional Medical. I want a job in the medical field, because I will always have a job! My GPA is 3.14 at the moment, and I know I will pass all of my classes this semester with As, which will boost it up to 3.45. I am wanting to go to NIU after I am done at my local college, and then go on to Loyola in Chicago for Medical School. I am wanting to know what I will have to do to ensure that I will get in when that time does come.. Also, I am just looking for some advice to help me have a little more faith.. I feel like the classes will just get harder and harder and I will not be able to maintain As.. I am very nervous. I am currently taking a basic chemistry class (101.9%), a humanities class (96%), and a math class that is one level lower than college algebra (95%). I have English 101, and 103 done (did Dual Credit in high school), and I got Bs in both of them. I have to take a lot of Biology, Chemistry, and Math, and just need some advice. This may help, I am wanting to become a Pathologist. I like to be prepared, and knowledgeable in what I want to pursue..

1) My first question is what is the difference between a Clinical Pathologist and an Anatomical Pathologist?

2) My second question is what can I do to stay on the right track (how hard is schooling for this field)?

3) My third question is just if anyone has any advice for me?
1) Per yaah, in the Pathology subforum FAQ sticky:
There are two branches, AP (Anatomic Pathology) and CP (Clinical Pathology). The vast majority of residents training in the US do so in a combined residency (detailed below). AP includes surgical pathology, which involves using frozen sections (instant microscopic preparations of tissues) to make diagnoses on OR cases to aid in diagnosis or management (like whether a margin of resection is positive for cancer, or whether a mass is actually cancer or something else). Surg path also involves, obviously, making diagnoses on tissue on traditionally processed tissues (i.e. the next day). Pathologists use the clinical history, gross examination of the specimen, microscopic tests, and occasionally ancillary tests like immunohistochemistry in order to arrive at the correct diagnosis. AP also includes Cytology, using preparations of free cells to arrive at a diagnosis (like a Pap Smear or a needle aspiration of a mass). Residents are trained in performing Fine Needle Aspirations. It also includes Autopsy and forensic pathology. CP includes many lab-based disciplines like clinical chemistry, microbiology, blood banking, coagulation, hematology, immunology, and others. Residents learn how labs are run, how tests are performed, quality control is maintained, etc. Almost every test other doctors order in hospitals goes through pathology who are responsible for the integrity of the results.
2) The required coursework is difficult. Med schools are very competitive to get into (only 45.2% of applicants are successsful). Get As from now on. Get a good MCAT score. Acquire appropriate ECs. Shadow a pathologist, but also a primary care doc, and maybe one other specialty for a total of at least 50 hours.

3) Loyola loves to see substantive humanistic involvement on an application, so start some nonmedical community service that helps the poor for a cause you care about as soon as possible. Ideally this would be on a weekly basis for 1-2+ hours, but do what you can. Even better would be if you move to a leadership role within the same organization after awhile. Longevity with the same organization counts.

Are you at a community college right now? Be aware that some med schools feel CC coursework is less rigorous than that taken at a 4-year school. If true, it may be more difficult for you to get a competitive MCAT score. When you transfer, you may see a big difference in the intensity of the coursework and your grades may fall off. You don't want that to happen, so be wary.

Read these forums widely to get a better idea of application expectations.
 
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From the perspective of a 4th year college student: Work hard NOW. The reason why so many people drop being "pre-med" isn't because they aren't capable, but that so many of them don't see the time/stress commitment as worthwhile when they could be happier doing something else. My advice is to decide early on if this is what you want. If it is, go BALLS OUT early. Do whatever you need to do to perform well, and the sooner you start the better. I had a slower start and it took me longer to start performing as well as I needed and its made the latter part of my college experience very stressful. Avoid being me! You're just a freshman, start doing well today!
 
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