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duaman: what do you think?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jim Henderson, Aug 23, 1999.

  1. Jim Henderson

    10+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Hey Dr. Henderson! How are you?...Well, i just wanted to get some opinion on how i am doing so far and any tips for admission to a Medical school. I am a second year student at UCLA leaning towards biochemistry. I enjoy chem a lot, however, i am not the greatest chemist, and although i study very hard-- even my dad tells me to lay off the books sometimes-- i do not score at the top of the class. My overall gpa right now is a 3.09 ( includes only 4 courses at UCLA)....and i am a bit nervous, because although i am doing my best, and i am learning a lot, it is not where medical scools would like it. My situation is a tad strange. Last quarter, my first at UCLA, i pulled through an A in Calculus, a B+ in G.Chem, and a very sickening C in first year Bio. That C was very saddening, but like my dad said--" You did your best, now just move on" and i have. The problem with that class was, that besides being taught by very uninspiring professors, every test was in the form of multiple choice; i really have a problem with those kinds of tests even though i put in a lot of effort, and i get a good understanding of the material; that doesn't apply just to bio...in calc, and chem, i do a lot of the problems, and try to avid memorizing, and i do well in those problem solving courses. That was my first C ever. The first two quarters, previous to Spring 99, i had gotten mostly all A's, and a few B's taking my premed courses at a j.c. because i did not enroll at UCLA until Spring 99. Keep in mind that i have soph units, even though i have only taken one quarter at UCLA. So i am relatively new with the univ. style although i get a good grasp of the material in every course. My grades were pretty good in Calc, and G. chem, but my Bio grade was pathetic, in my opinion. But i put that behind me, and moved on from there just recently finishing a summer course at UCLA in which i took 1st quarter ochem. Although i enjoy chem, and put in tons of hard work like i do in all my classes i only ended up getting a B....i was scoring 17 pts above the mean and getting b's and on the final i score 38 pts above the mean and only have a B to show for it. A B is not bad, but considering its ochem i felt destroyed. I handled the course with ease, felt that it was easier than g.chem, but i ended up getting a B on a major required course. So there you have it. College has not been that hard for me because i put in a lot of effort and come prepared for every test, but its just that i never seem to get that A or A-, always ending up with a B or B+...and let me tell you its very humbling because i care SO much! So Dr, how would you rate my situation?? I have that "premed mentally" where i just gut it out, and do my best--i used to run track, so i have that instinct!! Besides that, things are great, and i am learning a lot of interesting material. Dr. Henderson, i hope to be hearing from you soon, and that you hopefully understand my situation well enough to reply. I will be keeping in touch with you because i enjoy your sites almost tooooo much!!!! That's a good thing belive me. Thanks a whole lot. Remember the sky is the limit!!!!
    ---- Victor
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  3. drhenderson

    drhenderson Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I was a gut runner too... I think running is kind of like medical school! And like running, it isn't the fastest who are necessarily the winners, but the ones who stick it out and actually finish the race.
    Your problem echoes that of many premeds who have posted here and on other message boards. Seems the transition from a junior/community to college to a 4 year university is often tough.

    The B in organic is not going to kill you. I would not dwell on that. Many premeds get Cs or worse in that killer class!

    The C in biology is a tough blow, but your dad is right... learn from your experience and do your best. Seriously evaluate what you did right and wrong, and throw away the wrong.

    I don't know about that multiple choice thing. I said things like that too, but the fact is the MCAT and boards are multiple choice. The MCAT, in fact, has an essay section too. Somehow, you need to master both types of exams. Study until you are bored stiff! Do NOT cram for science courses. Go over your notes each and every day... highlight only the important topics from each class.

    Sounds like you are very smart, doing so well in calculus, etc, but it just sounds like you need to re-evaluate your study methods for biology.

    In your upper level biology classes, you will have more of an opportunity to seek individual help from professors... do so. Perhaps even in your basic courses your professors have office hours... go to them!

    Encouraging news: Though the transition from a community college ot a 4 year university is tough, you should get into the groove and hopefully things will come a bit easier and more natural overtime.

    If you come out of UCLA with a C or two and otherwise good grades, and do well on the MCAT, you shouldn't be in too bad of shape! Just keep your head up and keep trying! (But don't be afraid to try a different study method!)

    When you apply, be sure to apply to lots of places outside of California, cuz those Cali shools are tough to get into!

    Jim Henderson, MD of Medicalstudent.net

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