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Failed all classes in college 8 years ago...am I doomed?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Amadore, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Amadore

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    UPDATE on post #49.

    The basic Dilema:

    I am currently 25 years old, make a six figure salary, and hate my life. I work 80+ hours a week in a job I hate with people I hate even more.

    I went to ONE semester of community college when I was 18, stopped going after 4 weeks, and failed all 6 classes.

    Will this come back to haunt me when I apply for med school? Do I have to disclose this? I am commited to going to school, but dont want to get done with 4 years only to be disqualified from a stupid decision I made years ago.

    Thanks,

    Amadore.
     
    #1 Amadore, Dec 29, 2008
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
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  3. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
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    Tough. Are you sure you want to go into medicine? Its a long road... just make sure its right.

    Then, go for it. You are at a disadvantage. Get over it. If its what you want to do, do it. But yes, it is going to be hard. Those grades will definately show up again.

    But starting over and getting As will change that perception. No one expects you to have known you wanted to be a doc since birth... But the harsh reality is now as a non-traditional you may be more likely to goto med school and become a DO instead of an MD.

    All of this depends on you; What you want, how hard you work, and how smart you are.

    Worst case scenario you fail and are miserable. Doesn't sound different than the starting point. And sounds like you have the money to see it through...
     
  4. HawaiianPreMed

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    If I'm not mistaken AAMC requires grades from all attended institutions. Doomed? nah, I suggest you take a look around in the non traditional section of SDN. There are many people who start off in tough situations or start a little late to accomplish their dream. If you are willing to work hard and are motivated you still have a shot... Just make sure your positive that its what you really want to do.
     
  5. Rooni

    Rooni Ph.D in Horribleness
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    I definitely wouldn't say you are doomed. If you are really committed to doing this, I think you will be fine. Four years of good grades will do a lot to balance out six bad ones. If you do well during your undergrad, do well on the MCAT, and get some good clinical volunteer work, I would guess that you will be just fine. You will get a chance to explain those six failed classes in your interviews, and as they say, upward trends always look good.

    You've got a long road ahead of you, but if you are truly committed to becoming a doctor, I doubt that your previous mistakes will disqualify you.
     
  6. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D
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    i may be wrong but i thought community college transcripts/courses can expire?
    at any rate, non trads tend to be looked at differently so you probably have a great shot if you can come out of a 4yr program with great stats (3.7, 33) clinical ecs, etc. and, after 4 years of undergrad and a lot of clinical experience after being in the working world for years i think youd be an attractive candidate.
     
  7. 229141

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    Can you work less hours and settle for 70k or so a year? (serious)

    25 years old + six figures sounds damn good to me!
     
  8. flip26

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    Yes, you are wrong.

    While colleges may have "academic bankruptcy" policies and statutes of limitation that wipe out prior grades, AMCAS does not...everything counts in AMCAS...
     
  9. flip26

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    OP:

    Let me understand: you need 4 years of college? Then 4 years of med school? And then you will work no fewer than 80 hours a week (at a job you may very well hate more than the one you have now) for around $40k for the next 3 to 7 years (or more)? And you will have accumulated college and med school debt to pay off beginning around age 40, possibly north of $400k?

    Are you nuts?
     
  10. boggvir

    boggvir Sunny California
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    No he isn't. I'm in the same situation. It's not about the money. I make six figures, and I'd be going into research medicine if I only made $50,000. I started full time work my second year of undergrad, and got a bunch of promotions. At 24, I am financially secure, but that doesn't count for much when 80% of your waking hours are miserable. When you're 75 and looking back on your life, you'll be happy you tried something you were really excited about.

    OP, there are options. Go through your undergrad and try to get as close to a 4.0 as possible. To give you a scenario: let's say you have 16 credits of F. If you then get a 3.9 during (say) 140 credits of undergraduate work, you will end up with a 3.5. If, on the other hand, you retake those classes and apply to osteopathic schools, those grades can be replaced and you can have any GPA you want (a 4.0 if you get all As).

    Either way, it's a long and hard road, but its possible. Good luck to you.
     
  11. flip26

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    Not exactly the same situation...maybe about the same age and current income, but not the same situation...the OP faces 4 years of college that I assume you don't face, so he has 4 more years added on to his plate...second, he starts in a pretty deep GPA hole, and as you point out, he needs to make a 4.0 for 4 years just to wind up with a 3.5 cum GPA (I am trusting your math here), thus the best he can do is a sub par GPA for med school purposes...talk about pressure.

    OP offered zero evidence that he has done any investigation of medical careers...no mention of clinical exposure...no mention of volunteering in hospitals...the only thing he mentions is that he hates his current job...maybe he needs a new job?
     
  12. Gut Shot

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    Jesus, it's the guy's first post, give him a break. Perhaps he didn't feel like hashing out every aspect of his life's motivations for the approval of a bunch of strangers.
     
  13. Mobius1985

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    Flip26 makes an excellent point. One should not go into medicine to run away from a job one hates. Rather one runs toward medicine because they can't imagine anything else making them happy. I would be interested in the OP's motivation for a career change to becoming a physician considering the years of drudgery ahead and a dismal GPA to redeem, and admissions committee members will ask the same question.
     
  14. Mobius1985

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    An anonymus internet forum is an excellent venue for the OP to practice giving the answer.
     
  15. flip26

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    People come here and post all the time without providing enough information. I am just trying to prod the guy to offer more info if he really wants good advice...

    However, he did offer his "motivation" - he told us he hates his job and the people he works with. Frankly, hating one's current job does not equal becoming a physician in my book, especially given the huge obstacles this guy faces.
     
  16. Rooni

    Rooni Ph.D in Horribleness
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    No, of course it doesn't. But he didn't come asking if people here thought it was a good idea for him to go into medicine, or if we thought his motivations were good ones. He came asking about whether or not it was possible, academically, for him to still get into medical school. We don't need his entire life history to tell him that.

    I agree with you; from the information he provides, the OP does not make a particularly convincing case about his motivation and determination to become a doctor. But the question he was asking was also not directly related to that, so I don't think we can really accuse him of providing inadequate information.
     
  17. Lukkie

    Lukkie Membership Revoked
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    if its some small CC and it was this long ago maybe you can just not disclose the info. i really doubt they'd check
     
  18. phospho

    phospho SDN Lifetime Donor
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    I agree with the above post... I just turned 25, and I easily make 100K a year. Yes, I work my freakin' ass off (usually more than 100 hours a week). I like what I do right now, but medicine is the only thing I've ever seen myself doing.

    OP, maybe you like your field, but the particular job you have right now is malignant. I'm in finance right now, and I've had quite a few jobs that I've hated. Those jobs made me think that I hated finance. This job now has changed my mind. It made me fall in love with finance, but it also me realize that I want medicine even more. Either way, as mentioned before, the people who are right for medicine are the ones who can't see themselves doing anything else.

    Medicine is for the fanatics. If you've looked deep within yourself (cliche, I know), and you still want medicine, go for it.

    best of luck!:luck:
     
  19. Gut Shot

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    Thank you.
     
  20. flip26

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    Having a bad day? Need a hug?

    Now wipe away those tears, put on your big boy pants, and get on with it...

    :love:
     
  21. littlealex

    littlealex little tiny alex
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    Dude we're talking about 12 years before you start making the same level of salary again. Totally not worth it.
    you'll be 30 when you apply, 38 when you're out of residency. Do you really want to spend your 30's poor and overworked?

    I'd first look in careers that you can switch into w/o significant new investment in education. If you can find job satisfaction there you just saved yourself a million dollars.
     
  22. Pipkin

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    and here i thought the OP was joking...mainly thanks to the title of the thread...you know, making fun of the crazies who moan about getting a B in OChem...

    apparently i was the only one? or am i just an insensitive jerk?
     
  23. Gut Shot

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    No, but most of the patients I've been doing FNAs on could probably use one. I'm not sure what it is about inoperable tumors and the holidays.

    Surviving without a car at med school

    OP offered zero evidence that he has done any investigation of medical careers...no mention of clinical exposure...no mention of volunteering in hospitals...the only thing he mentions is that he wants to get by without a car...maybe he needs a new car?
     
  24. bones11

    bones11 I'm fighting entropy.
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    Thanks for reminding me why I'd stopped checking this site.

    Come to think of it, why am I on here? It's sunny out and I'm on vacation. Time to go to the beach.
     
  25. Gut Shot

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    I'll be 35 when I'm out of residency, 36 when I'm done with fellowship and starting a "real" job. I wish I could have started a bit earlier, but I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing, and I can work for 30+ years (if I want to) making good money in a career I love. I figured I was going to turn 40 someday, might as well be what I want when I get there.
     
  26. 236116

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    this post confuses me.

    tumors deserve christmas too. meanie.

    also i need a hug. :cry:
     
  27. htownpremie

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    i'm not sure if this is applicable to OP, but you could look into the academic fresh start program in texas...let's you start with a clean academic record, provided that it's been 10+ years..that would mean 3 more years of waiting?
     
  28. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    This thread is just about everything that's wrong with SDN:

    OP: 'Can I possible make it as a doctor? I had a bad grade once'

    Response 1: 'Beign a doctor is a terrible financial decision, no one should ever do it'

    Response 2: 'Well I think you don't want to be a doctor badly enough.'

    Response 3: ' Agree with response 2. You should only do medicine if you would rather do a manual disimpaction than spend the weekend in bed with Angelina Jolie'

    Response 4: Insulting previous responders

    Response 5: Christmas with tumors!

    Response 6: Insulting previous responders.

    Yet it needs... something. Wait I know:

    OP, if you're a URM, you definitely still have a chance of going DO. Even with your terrible GPA you could definitely steal some white person's seat, as long as you don't mind being a second class doctor.
     
  29. 236116

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    i'd honestly rather do the disimpaction. less chance of contracting an sti.

    they have little hats with jingle bells on and all.
     
  30. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    Be nice. Don't insult or harass others.
     
  31. dragonfly99

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    OP, I seriously doubt that 1 semester of bad grades years ago in community college would keep out an applicant with say a 3.8 GPA, a high MCAT score, tons of volunteer work, etc.

    However, you need to get your feet wet first in medicine before knowing if it's what you want. How about signing up to volunteer in a hospital ER, how about cutting back your work hours, and/or quitting your job to go back to a 4 year school? It will require a genuine adjustment in your lifestyle, but might help you decide whether you are ready to be an impoverished college student/med student/resident for the next 11+ years.

    If you just hate your job, then getting a better job, not running to medicine, might be the answer.
     
  32. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    I am curious about what the OP's job is now... I bet he/she is in finance/banking and freaking out. Or real estate...

    My opinion is that medicine is hard and also miserable, but it takes a certain level of nails-tough attitude to not only do it, but to be happy with the lifestyle involved. You will not be able to enjoy the next 8 years of your life regardless of how much money you've made in the past. You will lose it to debt/tuition and make a lot only when the time is so far that you'll actually have no idea what just happened.

    Stick with your job or transfer to another place, this just doesnt seem like enough of a reason to switch it up. I know doctors who are equally pissed about their careers too... make sure you know about the other side before making the leap. Best of luck though!
     
    #31 rama kandra, Dec 29, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  33. Gut Shot

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    Whoa now, you can't just combine URM with DO like that. It should go like this:

    OP, AMCAS won't replace old grades if you retake classes, but AACOMAS will. If you retake those six failed classes and do well, you can apply DO and effectively erase their effect on your GPA. Some say DO schools tend to be kinder to non-trads with some life experience.

    OTOH, if you do really, really well in undergrad, even those six F's on your transcript will likely be overlooked by at least some allopathic schools. If you're an URM, some schools will also be more forgiving of your stats.
     
  34. Rooni

    Rooni Ph.D in Horribleness
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    *snerk*


    Give us a little credit, Perrotfish...there were a couple of legitimate, "Yes, you can do it" answers before we devolved into name calling :D
     
  35. shaggybill

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    OP, don't listen to the naysayers. One semester of F's several years ago won't keep you out of an MD school if you can show that you are intelligent enough to get several semesters worth of A's, especially if those A's are in difficult science classes.

    If you make a 4.0 from here on out, it will take 112 credit hours to get you up to a 3.5, which is more than adequate to get into med school. Just make sure to pay attention to your EC's. You'll need some shadowing experience and volunteering. Research would really help you out, and try to get involved in some hobbies that make you out to be an interesting person.

    Its definitely doable. Don't let the SDN crowd get you down if this is truly your dream.
     
  36. 236116

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    I'm anti-math at the moment- but supposing that he needs 120 hours (usual amount for a bacc and the f's don't count as anything)- where does that get him?

    you seriously need ecs, though.
     
  37. shaggybill

    10+ Year Member

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    I just woke up a little bit ago and I'm not sure I understand your question, but if 112 hours at a 4.0 puts him at a 3.5, wouldn't 120 hours put him just barely above a 3.5?

    Playing around with this calculator is where I got my numbers.

    http://advising.wichita.edu/lasac/gpacalc/wsugpa.html

    And yeah, the OP definitely needs to work on some great EC's.
     
  38. 236116

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    i have no idea what i said either.

    the calc i used says 126 hrs at 4.0 to get a 3.5 after 18 hrs of 0 gpa.

    i think i need to stop posting under the influence of sudafed.
     
  39. Amadore

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    Wow, it seems my outlook is a bit bleak. :(

    To answer a few questions:

    I currently work as a Project Manager for a telecommunications company. I make $106,000 per year with a 15% bonus. I have 85 direct reports, two assistants, and four interns.

    I have been interested in medicine my entire life, one parent is a Physical Therapist, the other a Medical Scientist. I attended my first Cadaver viewing (only got to watch) when I was 11 and found it fascinating. I worked in my fathers lab for just shy of two years, and then ventured off on my own.

    I graduated early from High School and immediately enrolled in college, a community college due to lack of funds and parents refusing to pay, they said it would build character (it did). After four weeks I was involved in a motorcycle accident and broke my right arm, and then decided to just stop going to school, 17 year old brilliance.

    At 18 I was approached by a recruiter after he had seen a few of the websites I had coded for a local bank. He offered me 33,000 dollars a year to be an operations manager of a telecommunications company. I was promoted after 11 months to an Area Manager, and after two years was promoted to Project Manager, then a few years later to Senior Project Manager.

    While the job is not terribly hard, the people I work for are a miserable group, and I feel as though I contribute nothing to society. I work all day and see no results in anyones lives, I simply increase service income for high-ranking company officers. I am up for promotion in 6 months and have been told the position is a lock. It will be alot more money, but more stress and even worse people. I just feel like no matter how far I advance, the worse I feel. This isn't depression as I am happy as soon as I leave the office. I love my life and I feel like I could be doing so much more.

    Thanks,

    Amadore
     
  40. 236116

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    Not really. It's just that you need to be really really really really sure that this is what you want. Trads have an avantage in that they are following basically the same path as those who have gone before. Non-trads like you (and me!) have to forge our own.

    If you do well in undergrad- not even necessarily 4.0, depending on how many credits you take, you'll have that covered. Then comes MCAT.

    What you should consider doing now is this:
    - Take a class or two at the local CC. Maybe the basic English and Math, biology, stuff like that. Can you do it? Are you still giving it up?

    - Volunteer at the hospital. Spend time in the environment. Ask a doctor to let you shadow. Still a place you want to be?

    - Find out what your local 4 year requires for transfer. CC's are less expensive and tend to be more flexible. Once you've got a bit of school back in you, transfer, buckle down, and get to it.

    Also- you might want to see if you can retroactively W or audit those classes. The time limit might have expired, but they might also make an exception, then you'd get a clean slate.
     
  41. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    Alright, you're still here, I guess you need a real answer.

    No, you're not hopeless, we're sure of that. We're just not sure how much harder it's going to be for you than if you'd never gotten those Fs.

    The situation: It's hard for us to tell how ADCOM's would respond to a good (3.7) GPA after 1 semester of all Fs. Will they see the average, or will they see your performance after 1 semester? It's tough to tell.

    Advice:

    1) Look into the option of a Doctor of Osteopathy. It's like MD, but with different initials (DO) and different rules about admissions. The main different rule is that if you retake the classes you failed, the new grade you get counts. This effectively erases your disadvantage

    2) Look into the option of a 6 year BS/MD program. They guarentee that if you keep a certain GPA over the course of your first two years, you will be in their MD school for years 3-6. At the end of the six years you're awarded both an MD and a BS. If you're accepted into one of these programs you have no problems, since you'll be judged exclusively on your performance in the program. Couldn't hurt to apply.

    3) Talk to the school where you failed, explain your situation, and see if you can get the Fs changed to Ws. I mean, you didn't really fail the classes so much as you failed to formally withdraw when you walked away from them, due to a medical issue. Maybe play up the accident, how you just could never come back after the trauma. If they're willing to work with you you'll have no problems.

    4) Talk to an ADCOM member (I know there are some lurking around here). I have a hard time believing that they would hold 1 semester where you got all Fs because you walked away from the courses against you just as though you had failed the classes. It would just be stupid

    5) Seriously, shadow a few types of physicians and see if this is something you want to do for a living. You might find it's less fulfilling than House makes it look. Also investigate the costs and content of the training you'll be going through. Read through these forums to get a feeling of what you need to do to get in (volunteering, GPA, standardized tests, etc). Read though http://pandabearmd.com/, just because.

    6) Any undergraduate degree works for medical school, provided you've done the prereqs. See if your company will pay for you to go back for a degree in your field. That way if you don't like what you see in Organic Chemistry or while you're volunteering you'll have your old job to fall back on, with better prospects.

    7) Investigate other fields. Maybe you'll like engineering. Or Computer Science. Or Building construction. Or nursing. Or the military. There are lots of great, non medical fields out there that impact people's lives.

    Good luck.
     
    #40 Perrotfish, Dec 29, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  42. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
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    I would just like to point out that your personal statement is going to be AMAZING!!!!!!! Pretty much, start it off with what you said there, then continue with the WHY MEDICINE thing, and soon you'll be getting fitted for your white coat as well.

    Definitely think about DO, and then goto school, do your prereqs and get good grades, then apply. If your MCAT and new grades are high enough, your story will (most likely) more than make up for the first go round, and you will probably get accepted into MD if you want.

    This is what ADCOMs like to see. Person with real world experience finds an actual INTEREST in medicine, and is willing to do whatever it takes to answer the calling. Perfect. Just like a fairy tale.
     
  43. coldweatherblue

    5+ Year Member

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    hey man, if you want it bad enough you can get it. Just realize you gotta keep a 3.7+ throughout undergrad. Explaining why you dropped out after one semester and failed classes YEARS ago is not going to be hard when you interview, and I really doubt ADCOMs will hold that against you if everything else is cherry.

    OTOH just make sure it's what you want. It'll likely be 12 years before you can start paying back that debt. You'll work very hard and be broke for a long time. There's a chance you'll be even unhappier doing the med-school/residency/attending thing than you are now in telecom. You'll probably have to move away from all your friends/family for med school. As long as you're cool with that sacrifice... in the end you're the only one who will be able to decide whether or not it's a good decision.
     
  44. ejay286

    ejay286 Member
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    I don't see what everyone's fascination with making money early in life is about, most people in this country don't really start making any real money until mid to late 30s anyway so I see nothing wrong with the OP following his dreams. I just tried to convince one of my LOR writers to pursure med school and he's 30, its never too late to pursue whatever you want.
     
  45. fish89

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    you are most definitely NOT doomed!
    med schools really look for things that STAND OUT. even awards like 'soccer mom of the year' can help because it helps define who you are as a person. if you can say that you made a 6 figure salary without even having any college education, and then found your real calling in life through medicine, you can definitely make a case to a med school committee. my suggestion is that you take your postbac classes, kick butt in them, and then apply to med school. you will have a very unique story to tell: that of someone who found their passion after a stint as a super successful college-dropout, who then decided to shape up and show their true colors being a great doctor. if i were an admin officer, i would be excited by that story. as long as you ace your postbac classes ,med schools will know that you're over your ignorant youth phase and are intellectually prepared for medicine.
     
  46. flip26

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    Some really excellent advice here, especially the ones I underlined...
     
  47. Darkshooter326

    Darkshooter326 Senior Member
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    Yea, I'm not sure the community college coursework will matter too much, it was 8 years ago; 11-12 years in the past based on when you apply. The CC grades are the least of your worries, as everyone else here has said.

    However, you'd need to go at this super hard. From salaried employee to making nothing and studying all day. You need to get a college degree, ace the MCAT, pay for applications, etc. On top of that you need to do clinical work, and maybe even try to do some research. I'm not saying you can't, but it's a HUGE change, and you definitely need to do some soul searching to see if it's worth it and feasible for you.

    Your GPA will be split by year, so yea, they'll see a poor 'freshman' year, but if you get 3.9-4.0 your soph-senior, you're fine.

    I'm not sure the exact protocol for going back to get a degree, but I hope the idea isn't to do night school. It would take forever, be incredibly taxing, and hard to succeed if you tried to get an entire degree. But maybe companies will pay people not to work for them, but get a degree? Doesn't make sense to me, but i guess that's the idea?
     
    #46 Darkshooter326, Dec 30, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  48. What up doc

    What up doc FLASH
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    nice post,



    but youre still a d-bag. :laugh:
     
  49. flip26

    2+ Year Member

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    Why have you quoted people and altered what they wrote?

    I don't appreciate it, dude, and I doubt if Perrotfish appreciates it, either.
     
  50. Amadore

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    UPDATE:

    My promotion at work came much earlier due to an involuntary termination of someone two levels above me. I have been in the job for 3 months now, and hate it. Not just a little, a lot.

    Spent 40 hours at two hospitals shadowing, and loved it. I got puked on once, which was not fun :laugh:. I think I am going to go back to school.

    If I can manage to get my "Fs" turned into "Ws" at the CC, will this help substantially?

    Thanks,
     
  51. jtimmer1

    2+ Year Member

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    Yes, it would. Good luck.
     

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