Jan 9, 2017
184
128
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi, everyone

I plan on applying during the 2018 cycle, but I'm in a bit of a dilemma.

Background: I recently graduated, and the plan that I've outlined with my advisor is to study for the MCAT and take it in January, work full-time or part-time in the interim, and get my apps together before June 1st.

However, there are a few problems:
1) I've had no luck in finding a job and I'm still having to submit a ton of applications.
2) My parents don't understand how the med school application process works no matter how many times I try explaining it to them (they think that I can magically get in somewhere by next year if I hurry and take the MCAT in September and apply in October; definitely not going to happen)
3) I want to get an MPH in addition to an MD at some point, but I don't think that a 1-year program is realistic for me at the moment, as I don't think that I can study for the GRE and submit grad school apps while effectively studying for the MCAT (especially if I were to get a job). My plan is to apply MD/MPH and MPH at the same time (with just my MCAT score) and see which one (or both) ends up working out. If the MD/MPH ends up working, then I'm obviously going to take that, or just apply MD and get an MPH later. Plus, as it stands, most 1-year MPH program deadlines fit into an awkward time frame that would require me to do a third gap year, which I really don't want to do.
4) If I try explaining all of this to my parents, they get defensive and say that I should just call med school off because I'm not working within their preferred time frame (which is totally unrealistic). They feel like gap years are a waste of time. Like, I understand their concerns (they want me to have an advanced degree asap), but they just don't understand what's actually required of me since my main goal is to at least get an MD. That's my first priority.

All of this unnecessary pressure is really discouraging and it's negatively affecting my concentration and study habits.

I'd appreciate some advice on how to handle this (and some ideas on how I can get some type of job).

My GPA is fine (c: 3.93, s: 3.97), but I REALLY need to work on my MCAT score (my most recent practice exam was a 502 and I'm aiming for a 515+). Also, I'm a URM.
 
Last edited:

CyrilFiggis

5+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2014
1,883
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It's your career and life, not theirs. The job doesn't need to glamorous, just a job - starbucks, subway, your local grocery store.
 
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Terror Billy

FDT
2+ Year Member
Feb 29, 2016
384
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Ignore your parents and don't apply until you are ready. Your GPAs are stellar and with a solid MCAT score I see no reason why you can't get into a school of your choice.
 
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URMfemaleMPH

issa
2+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
66
65
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Hi, everyone

I plan on applying during the 2018 cycle, but I'm in a bit of a dilemma.

Background: I recently graduated, and the plan that I've outlined with my advisor is to study for the MCAT and take it in January, work full-time or part-time in the interim, and get my apps together before June 1st.

However, there are a few problems:
1) I've had no luck in finding a job and I'm still having to submit a ton of applications.
2) My parents don't understand how the med school application process works no matter how many times I try explaining it to them (they think that I can magically get in somewhere by next year if I hurry and take the MCAT in September and apply in October; definitely not going to happen)
3) I want to get an MPH in addition to an MD at some point, but I don't think that a 1-year program is realistic for me at the moment, as I don't think that I can study for the GRE and submit grad school apps while effectively studying for the MCAT (especially if I were to get a job). My plan is to apply MD/MPH and MPH at the same time (with just my MCAT score) and see which one (or both) ends up working out. If the MD/MPH ends up working, then I'm obviously going to take that, or just apply MD and get an MPH later. Plus, as it stands, most 1-year MPH program deadlines fit into an awkward time frame that would require me to do a third gap year, which I really don't want to do.
4) If I try explaining all of this to my parents, they get defensive and say that I should just call med school off because I'm not working within their preferred time frame (which is totally unrealistic). They feel like gap years are a waste of time. Like, I understand their concerns (they want me to have an advanced degree asap), but they just don't understand what's actually required of me since my main goal is to at least get an MD. That's my first priority.

All of this unnecessary pressure is really discouraging and it's negatively affecting my concentration and study habits.

I'd appreciate some advice on how to handle this (and some ideas on how I can get some type of job).

My GPA is fine (c: 3.93, s: 3.97), but I REALLY need to work on my MCAT score (my most recent practice exam was a 502 and I'm aiming for a 515+). Also, I'm a URM.
Just to clarify, but most MPH programs will accept your MCAT score in lieu of a GRE. You might have already known this, but just in case you felt like you had to take the GRE in order to get an MPH!
 

sb247

Doer of things
7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2012
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forums.studentdoctor.net
1. Are you living off your parent's paycheck? Is that why their opinion matters so much?
2. Take any old job
3. The GRE does/should not require studying
4. The mph can happen at any time for doctors, don't do anything that will distract from med school application/mcat
 
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OP
U
Jan 9, 2017
184
128
Status
Pre-Medical
1. Are you living off your parent's paycheck? Is that why their opinion matters so much?
2. Take any old job
3. The GRE does/should not require studying
4. The mph can happen at any time for doctors, don't do anything that will distract from med school application/mcat
1) Yes. I wish I wasn't, but I kind of don't have any other option right now. I'm nearly broke at the moment, and I'm trying to get a job so that I can save up for app season. I've done the calculations and just to apply for 20 schools (primary plus secondaries, assuming that I receive every single secondary) is going to cost me up to $4000 max. I've already submitted at least 50 applications, and I plan to apply for substitute teaching and tutoring as soon as the week starts. Plus, I have nowhere else to go otherwise. If I'm not at home, I'll be homeless.
2) In the process of applying
3) Ehhhh... not as much as the MCAT, but it does require some degree of studying/practicing. Plus, you can submit the MCAT in lieu of the GRE for most MPH programs (including top ones). Hence why my first priority is med school and then MPH as a back-up (for Summer/Fall 2019).
4) Agreed. My parents just don't get that. I explained to them why it isn't a smart idea to pull together an application now at the last minute (by taking the MCAT in September when I'm not ready), but they literally said that they "don't want to hear it; all I want to hear is that you got in somewhere". And when I told them that they should read up on the process, they replied with "I don't need to read up on anything; I just want you to get in". Ugh. Like, why ask if you don't want an honest answer? It just goes in one ear and out the other. I can't just pull together an MPH application when I haven't taken the MCAT yet. They have no idea of what it takes for any of this. They're very far removed from these application processes (they have PhD's, but they applied for them before I was born in the early '90s). I don't believe in rushing anything and they believe in rushing everything just for the sake of getting credentials.
 
Last edited:
OP
U
Jan 9, 2017
184
128
Status
Pre-Medical
Just to clarify, but most MPH programs will accept your MCAT score in lieu of a GRE. You might have already known this, but just in case you felt like you had to take the GRE in order to get an MPH!
Already knew this, but thanks for the reminder! I'm sure some other people may not know that, so it's good to mention.
 
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