emttim

Addicted to SCUBA
10+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2007
635
3
California
Status
Pre-Medical
Basically, I'm an EMT in medic school and I have a feeling that I will probably not be satisfied staying a paramedic for my entire life. Plus I don't think my body would be able to handle that. Anyway, I'm probably going to apply to med school several years after I graduate from Davis since me and my gf will be in the unique situation to save up the majority of the cost of my medical education (obviously she's behind me 100% so no issues there). Now don't get me wrong, I love EMS, I just understand it has limitations and for all I know, I'll be in a position to help change that once I'm on the other side of the fence. I would love the opportunity to do that.

I'm wondering what you guys think as far as how reasonably my chances at getting accepted are. I really don't want to post this in the "What are my chances" subforum under the pre-allo forum because there's so many idiots who lurk there. I'd rather have intelligent replies as well as receive them from people with the same background in EMS. As far as grades go, I would think I'm ok since my science GPA is around a 3.8 and overall GPA the same. I haven't taken the MCAT yet so obviously I can't tell you what that will be. I'm an extremely good test taker so hopefully the first try will be sufficient.

My achilles heel would probably be the part of my app that doesn't involve numbers. Clinical experience is certainly not an issue but ECs and shadowing may be lacking in quantity. I actually have never in my life been able to find a doctor willing to let me shadow due to HIPAA; California is too sue happy. I only have one EC I really enjoy, scuba diving, and I just honestly love it too much to try out anything else right now. I will in the future, I'd like to get into sky diving, but I don't have the money for that. The caveat to the aforementioned is that I'll be spending some money, not saving all of it, so I can enjoy being free from school for a few years so I'll probably get my parachutist cert. Volunteering I'm not sure...did 7 months at a hospital, thought it was the most boring thing in the world and I currently volunteer as a Divemaster for a scuba instructor I know as much as possible with my schedule. I'll have to work on LORs since I can get one from my scuba instructor but so far that's about it. I don't know how that'd look but he's known me for over a year and would be able to speak much more accurately than a professor. Lastly, the pre-med reqs I will complete at UCD since I'm going there at the same time as P-school, but physics is not required for my major and UCD is expensive so I plan to do physics after I graduate Davis at a CC. I know this is looked down on by med schools, but quite frankly, I think the education I received at CC was superior to UCD and I'd rather not waste a lot more money for a lot crappier education.

Anyhow, I don't want this to be too long-winded. I welcome any advice, suggestions, etc. on my situation. Since I know it'll be mentioned too, I can't quite P-school since I'm too far into it nor would I want to since I want to be a medic for at least a year or two if not longer. I had no intention of becoming a medic just to "look good" to adcoms and I could give a damn what they think about that, either good or bad.
 

howelljolly

10+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2007
2,059
8
Status
Resident [Any Field]
dont worry about shadowing and all that jazz at all.

You need to take the MCAT, and you need to do well.

The only problem that you might have (because you didnt specifically mention this) is, make sure all of your premed classes are done within a four year period, and within a degree program, or post-bacc. If your premed is done piecemeal, it doesn't look good.

The med schools want to know... did you handle each of the premed courses in quick succession, and along with a full courseload. Anyone can pass O-chem. But can you do it right after having done Calc, and Gen Bio... and at the same time as Mol-Bio, Sociology, Psych 101, and French.... and...
Can you handle Histology, Physiology, Biochem, Psychology, and Embryology... all in the same semester.

The answer is, you can... but... you gotta convince the AdCom of that.... and the best way is to show them what they believe to be the marker for that... a tight premed schedule with good grades.
 

leviathan

Drinking from the hydrant
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2003
2,454
77
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Status
Attending Physician
Throw in your paramedic experience, scuba diving, and a few other knick-knacks and you will be far ahead of a lot of other people who got accepted with the same grades as you, based on those EC activities. Just make sure to do well on the MCAT and you won't have a problem. Good luck.
 
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emttim

Addicted to SCUBA
10+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2007
635
3
California
Status
Pre-Medical
Throw in your paramedic experience, scuba diving, and a few other knick-knacks and you will be far ahead of a lot of other people who got accepted with the same grades as you, based on those EC activities. Just make sure to do well on the MCAT and you won't have a problem. Good luck.
dont worry about shadowing and all that jazz at all.

You need to take the MCAT, and you need to do well.

The only problem that you might have (because you didnt specifically mention this) is, make sure all of your premed classes are done within a four year period, and within a degree program, or post-bacc. If your premed is done piecemeal, it doesn't look good.

The med schools want to know... did you handle each of the premed courses in quick succession, and along with a full courseload. Anyone can pass O-chem. But can you do it right after having done Calc, and Gen Bio... and at the same time as Mol-Bio, Sociology, Psych 101, and French.... and...
Can you handle Histology, Physiology, Biochem, Psychology, and Embryology... all in the same semester.

The answer is, you can... but... you gotta convince the AdCom of that.... and the best way is to show them what they believe to be the marker for that... a tight premed schedule with good grades.
Hmm, ok thanks for the input guys! Two more quick questions. With the full courseload, what if I'm having to work full-time when I'm taking some of these classes? I'm going to try to get on with AMR as part-time, but depending on the county, this may not be possible. I'm not sure it'd be worth the risk of damaging my GPA at the expense of taking a full-time science load at the same time. I'm going to assume they're going to stick their nose up at the fact I'm doing full-time at Davis and P-school at the same time since I know a lot of med schools think P-school is a joke as far as difficulty goes.

The other question was as far as LORs go, if I've been out of college a few years, should I just keep in touch with professors (not so sure they'd remember me well enough to write a good LOR) or can I substitute LORs from profs with LORs from say supervisors, colleagues in medicine, etc.?
 

TerraMedicX

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2006
329
0
Floridistan
Status
Medical Student
I agree with leviathan, make sure you do well on the MCAT and keep your GPA up!

As someone who worked full-time through undergrad, I'll say this: If gong to medical school is actually your goal, then you should focus on your school work!! The damage done to your application by having poor grades can't be made up with paramedic experience!! I was very lucky that Nova looked past the fact that I had below a 3.0 gpa, but out of the 14 schools I applied Nova was the only one that even offered me a secondary, and I am certain my GPA is the reason. So think hard about what your priority is!

Just food for thought,
Nate.

Hmm, ok thanks for the input guys! Two more quick questions. With the full courseload, what if I'm having to work full-time when I'm taking some of these classes? I'm going to try to get on with AMR as part-time, but depending on the county, this may not be possible. I'm not sure it'd be worth the risk of damaging my GPA at the expense of taking a full-time science load at the same time. I'm going to assume they're going to stick their nose up at the fact I'm doing full-time at Davis and P-school at the same time since I know a lot of med schools think P-school is a joke as far as difficulty goes.

The other question was as far as LORs go, if I've been out of college a few years, should I just keep in touch with professors (not so sure they'd remember me well enough to write a good LOR) or can I substitute LORs from profs with LORs from say supervisors, colleagues in medicine, etc.?
 
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