Apr 12, 2010
2
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
First off hello to everyone, and thank you for taking the time to read my post. Secondly, I apologize if this is the wrong topic, but it seemed appropriate for my situation.

Currently I just turned 21 and have a Bachelor in Fine arts with specialization in Graphic Design. I have always been very interested in the arts and sciences, and when it came time to choose a career path out of high school I opted for art. Now after finishing my degree I find that although I do very well, I feel sort of unsatisfied and not really pushed or challenged enough. I have always dreamed of becoming a doctor and I decided to pursue this dream.

Because of this I applied to pre-med school, was accepted, and received a substantial scholarship. All of this is wonderful but I'm feeling very worried and apprehensive about the choices I'm making.

For instance how will my BFA reflect on me when replying to Medical schools? What courses should I take and what activities would you recommend participating in to increase chances of getting into Medical School?

I'm really worried that it will seem somewhat obscene that I've done such a harsh jump in career paths, from Artist to Doctor. Perhaps it will make me seem random and indecisive? I'd like to become an OB/GYN. I realize that it requires a great deal of work, and years of school to become an OB/GYN and I am prepared for that.

I was hoping that perhaps students pursuing this field or any current OB/GYNs could answer a few questions as well.

How many years did you spend in total before you became an OB/GYN?
How would you describe your school & interning experience?
How high was your debt?
What courses would you recommend for someone wanting to specialize in obstetrician & gynecology?
Is it difficult to juggle personal life and work?
What is an MCAT score I should aim for to get into a good school? (Cornell for example)

Sorry for such a long winded post, I'm just curious and trying to gather as much information as possible! Thank you again!

-A.D :)
 
Oct 21, 2009
142
1
0
Status
Medical Student
I think your background is an asset, not a detriment. You should only consider it in that light because that's the truth. By the time you apply, you'll have completed all the prerequisites that medical schools consider necessary to begin professional school. You'll be a much more interesting interview than your typical bio major, traditional premed. Use your uniqueness to your benefit.

You're 21...many of us nontrads are 25...30...40...even 50+.

I'm sure you'll get great advice here about choice of specialty, but keep in mind most med students change their mind after rotations. I'd definitely convey an open mind to admission committees.

Good luck!
 
2

298116

I'm in a similar situation. I graduated with a degree in Radio-Television-Film, had a career in the industry and now I'm taking the pre-reqs for med school. I'm working full-time and I have to take classes at a community college. I'm also working on different film-related projects as they come along.

Don't worry about the career change. It's great that you have other interests. And you don't have to totally abandon your graphic design skills. At least you have a medium to express yourself in times of high stress.

Start getting clinical experience now. You're young, and while it may seem like you've changed your major late in the game, it's still very early. There are others here in their 30s, 40s, even 50s, with kids, and a mortgage. Don't get discouraged, but you have to really put yourself out there to find out what having a career in the medical field is really like.
 

teddy bear doc

Expert plush toy surgeon
5+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2009
356
0
91
Status
Medical Student
I was a linguist, French and Arabic, with a BA in French and English Lit.

I might not be the best person to answer your post since I wasn't successful this year, but my best advice to you would be to get involved in something, hopefully clinical, IMMEDIATELY and stick with it the entire time you are doing your premed classes. Show them that even though you have other interests, this is where you want to be and where you should be. Good luck to you! You will rock in anatomy (my sketches sucked hard :laugh:)

PS. you sound exactly how I felt when I started my premed stuff a couple years ago... except I was five years older than you are with a toddler.
 
Oct 5, 2009
172
1
0
Status
Non-Student
Artist? sounds pretty cool. Agreed with above, get clinical experience. They will see your determination and understanding of the career after seeing your shadowing/volunteer/work experience that is medically related.

you dont sound random and indecisive, you sound like an applicant with broad interests.

also, at the very top right hand corner of this site is a "search" box, if ppl dont reply with answers to the specific questions you asked at the bottom of your post you can search for similar posts from others.

Good Luck!
 
Apr 12, 2010
2
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all the positive feedback! I feel much more confident!!

@ Teddy Bear: looking forward to anatomy!! :D

What do you guys do for clinical experience? Just volunteering at local hospitals and the like?
 
2

298116

I just started a new job at a medical assistant. I'm being cross-trained to do both the administrative and clinical duties, as well as being trained as a phlebotomist. It's really hard. I'm not a certified MA so I'm learning on the job. But I know that if I can handle this, I can handle being a physician. I've already learned how to check vitals, give injections, perform EKGs, room patients, and it's barely my third week. Eventually I will be removing sutures, assisting in physicals, and what not. It's a combination of hands-on work and shadowing a doctor. You also learn the dirty, business side of medicine and dealing with insurance... which is extremely difficult and heartbreaking...

It's a rough and extremely underpaid job. But the experience is worth so much more than just an addition to your resume. It will probably be the deciding factor whether or not you want to go to medical school. Maybe you'll decide to go into health care administration, or nursing, or just shun the industry itself.

Don't worry about getting certified (too expensive and takes too long). Drs will hire and train you if you write an awesome cover letter with details about your experience. I have NO experience in the medical field, but I had experience in customer service and working in a small business. Most will want a full-time MA, but I have seen ads, at least in my area, for part-time MAs.

Best of luck to you!
 
Apr 27, 2010
1
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
aad88, I didn't think there were any graphic design premeds but your post made me sign on to reply. :D

I have a graphic design degree and I've been working for a long while now in motion graphics. Not in med school yet (applying this year), so I don't think I'm an expert at this by any means. But I thought you might like to know that you're not alone!

First off, your background is not a bad thing. It is really about what you do with it or learn from it, and how it makes you a better person and hence, better doctor.

Second, I would echo a lot of the others thoughts about getting more clinical experience under your belt... esp ob/gyn if that's what you're thinking about. You won't be able to say convincingly that it's what you're interested in until you've walked the walk!

my 2cents... good luck!
 

Nontrad Dad

7+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2010
34
14
151
Status
Pre-Medical
OP, you're definitely not alone. I'm a marketing communications guy at a tech company...and just prior to this I was a web/graphic designer for 8 or so years.

I agree with the other posters. A diverse background shouldn't hinder you so long as you can express how it made you a better person and more importantly, how it has allowed you to come to the conclusion that you'd rather be a doc.

And the more clinical experience the better - especially for extreme career changers like ourselves.

Best of luck..
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,881
281
Status
Attending Physician
...
What courses would you recommend for someone wanting to specialize in obstetrician & gynecology?
...
What is an MCAT score I should aim for to get into a good school? (Cornell for example)
First, career changing is not very unusual these days, and I wouldn't call your career change any more extreme than many others.

Second, you don't need to take any specific courses to specialize in OBGYN other than the prereqs needed to get into med school. In the 3rd year of med school every med student does a core rotation in OBGYN. If you enjoy it, you can do electives in OBGYN related things in 4th year, and probably will want to do an away rotation or two at other programs to help you "audition" for residency. But as a premed, there is nothing you can or should do coursewise for that discipline. EC-wise, shadowing an OBGYN might be useful.

Third, it's foolish to target a specific med school, especially one toward the top of the US News ranking list, before you have taken premed courses or MCAT. And you won't make any friends on here if you equate only the schools ranked in the top 20 by US News as "good schools". There are only about 125 allopathic med schools, and thus all of them are quite good. Most receive as many as 5,000 - 10,000 applications for 150 slots. Half of all med school applicants won't get in anywhere, and that's already a very self selected group weeded out by premed courses and MCAT scores. So your goal should be to get into "a" US med school, and once you have options, you can think about a top ranked place. In most cases, you are going to have to apply widely and broadly, with your state school being your best shot, and some of the others being longer shots. Even the top students with the top scores won't necessarily get a top ranked place -- there is a lot of subjectivity in the process, and programs decide which of the stellar students will make a "good fit". As a result, we have folks with amazingly high stats each year whining on SDN why they only got into what they perceived as a "next tier" program.

Fourth, OBGYN is not particularly competitive, so you will be in good shape to get onto that track from any US med school. Long hours and high malpractice premiums have severely limited this fields popularity. But I caution every person applying to med school "thinking" they know what they want to go into to keep an open mind. Most people change their minds at least once during med school as to career path. You really have to do a rotation or sub-I in a field to get enough of the flavor to make a career decision, and every year many people find that fields are not what they expected or find they really enjoy something else a lot more.
 
Last edited:

gonnif

Only 562 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
18,615
27,042
181
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
Career changers also have an advantage of simply standing out a bit in the crowd of applications from the stereotypical biology major with a 3.7 GPA and the usual set of activities.