Dismiss Notice
Check out the new Application Assistant, where you can calculate your LizzyM score, see how you rank compared to other applicants, and see a list of schools where similar students were accepted.

First Post: Physicist thinking about Medicine

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Physicist, 10.28.14.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. Physicist

    Physicist

    Joined:
    10.28.14
    Messages:
    1
    Hello everyone,

    I just turned 27 and I'm seriously thinking about going into medicine. I've worked in health care for about 3.5 years now. Medical Physics requires 2 years of residency (like med school, but for physics...) after grad school, and of course the work is in a hospital setting.

    Working alongside my physician colleagues, I've had a close look at the profession and have even performed small procedures (inserting tandem in uterus; placing seeds in prostate through the perineum)... Teaching hospitals... am I right??? Anyway, I want in! I have always been a man of science, and I want nothing more than to further my studies and to devote my career to improving the lives of patients.

    I originally went into medical physics because I didn't know what to do after my BS in physics. I just knew I was good at science and math and wanted to get paid for it, my position pays $150k with my experience. So I went to grad school, then did my residency, passed my board exam (I'm certified by the American Board of Radiology), and have been working in the field for 3.5 years (including residency).

    Now I find myself sitting in my office wishing I had gone down a different path, day after day. The work is interesting and challenging but I no longer feel the spark, I really wish I had a more direct impact and relationship with the patients. I thought the salary would make everything better but money really isn't everything. I am young, eager to learn, and am motivated to jump back into the freezing cold academic swamp.

    My undergrad GPA wasn't great ~3.0-3.1
    My grad GPA was okay ~3.5-3.7
    I haven't taken a biology class since freshman, but I have plenty of calculus (1 through 4) and physics, and I minored in chemistry in undergrad.

    I was planning on taking a few classes starting next semester at a nearby university while I work full-time. Maybe some biology+lab and some org.chem+lab, given these are my weaker subjects. Also have to study for the MCAT. I've got my work cutout for me.

    I haven't done much volunteering in my day, and I think I should be giving back. I'm not married, just me, my gf and our cat! So I can definitely make time.

    I really hope to make progress this year and hopefully get into med school in the following year. I will keep you posted, and will try to contribute to the forum. I am very interested to learn about people with similar experiences, I will be reading threads to gather some data.

    Thanks,
    Physicist
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. ehwhatsupdoc

    ehwhatsupdoc 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    04.10.11
    Messages:
    132
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    My brother is a Medical Dosimetrist and has thought of going into medical physics. Its looks like interesting work. I'm not sure what I would do if I were in your shoes. If I was happy with my current job and was happy with the amount of challenge and compensation and quality of life it gave me then I don't think I would be so eager to begin a grueling path to become a Doctor, just for the possibility that I might enjoy it. Now with your experience with working with Urologists and Radiation Oncologists you probably know exactly what you are getting yourself into. I say go for it if you don't mind giving up your current life style for several years. Now is it possible you'll feel the same way about losing the spark afer a few years as a Doctor? I would say YES it's very possible.
     
  4. ehwhatsupdoc

    ehwhatsupdoc 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    04.10.11
    Messages:
    132
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Your should help a lot with overcoming your low u.g. Gpa but you should work on getting it up and use grade replacement if you can for DO school. Also would you ever be interested in developing new types of accelerators and treatment modalities? Maybe an MD/PHD in medical physics if you are crazy enough lol? But it would be a dynamite combo if you want to be at the forefront of technological advancements!
     
  5. ehwhatsupdoc

    ehwhatsupdoc 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    04.10.11
    Messages:
    132
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Should be your *experience* in the first line in the last post
     
  6. connerm

    connerm

    Joined:
    09.08.14
    Messages:
    48
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Hey there. You're in a similar position to me (including the GF and cat) except that I'm a biologist and have been working in biomedical research in a hospital setting. I will repeat some of the advice that I have received:

    Most MD programs don't care very much about your gGPA because it is considered to be subjective. Your uGPA and BCPM are the only thing that truly matter as far as grades go. That and a kickass MCAT.

    You need to demonstrate that you are capable of handling the academic load of a medical student. The best way to do that is to give a year or so of strong performance in an undergraduate setting taking mostly upper level science courses. You would also do well to take sociology and psychology intro courses prior to taking the MCAT 2015. I am about to switch to a part time position and go to school full time for the next year and a half at my local state school to do just that. During this time if you need any more shadowing/volunteering/research you are in a great position to do it. Sounds as if you have GREAT clinical experience though, so maybe just find some good volunteer work that you enjoy and have a passion for.

    After you have pulled up your GPA a small amount with this strong performance, you will have demonstrated that you are serious to programs and you will have some professors who you have gotten in good with and will have some nice recommendation letters assuming you play your cards right. Your GPA will probably only be up .2-.3, but that puts you in a prime position to apply for a good SMP program in the event that you don't make it into an MD. Look into programs that you might be able to participate in. This may require relocation, but if you are going to be a doctor you're going to be doing some relocating anyways so you might as well start now.

    You could do an MD/PhD, but that just delays your future income. If you have a passion for research, you can do perfectly fine with just the MD providing that you do well in any future rotations. I work with a ****load of MDs and a small number of MD/PhDs who make up the PIs around me. At some point it makes very little difference.
     
  7. connerm

    connerm

    Joined:
    09.08.14
    Messages:
    48
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Wow, I had a nice response typed out for you but then my browser clicked back somehow and I lost it. Long story short, you're in a very similar position to me except that I've been a biologist for the past several years in a hospital setting. I'll give you some of the advice that I've received.

    The true roadblock in your way right now is the undergraduate GPA. Graduate GPA is nice and all, but you didn't blow it out of the water and in any event most MD programs look at gGPA as being subjective. No MD program will even look at you with a GPA like that. Do the math and see how many hours you need to take to pull it up. Look at your BCPM GPA and see what you need to do to fix that. Tailor yourself an academic program that will get both of those up as quickly as possible assuming you pull your end of the deal and perform well. Since you are pretty strong on chemistry and physics, I would focus on bio courses such as biochemistry, cell biology, immunology, virology, etc. You should also take intro to psych and sociology (which are not BCPM) to get ready for the MCAT.

    Your best bet at getting into an MD program is to show a year or more of strong academic performance in a full time undergraduate setting where you are taking mostly upper level science courses. In order to show that you can handle the rigors of a medical program (and get done sooner,) it is best to take a full course load and cut back on work. If you take some serious coursework and do well you may end up pulling your GPA into the 3.3-3.4 range, which is prime territory for gaining admission to a decent SMP program. In addition, you'll have time to add some volunteer hours, maybe do a little research, and get in good with a couple of nice professors who might be willing to write a good letter of recommendation.

    If you can get into one an SMP and knock it out, you should be able to get into an MD. You're looking at a couple of years here, not one.
     
  8. ehwhatsupdoc

    ehwhatsupdoc 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    04.10.11
    Messages:
    132
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    If medical schools don't give you an acceptance just because of your undergrad gpa than that's just dumb! You clearly have the experience that's shows you would be a great MD! You even passed one of the same boards radiation oncologists have to pass! And it ain't easy! Do not do an SMP or formal post bacc! Just take classes on the side like you are thinking of doing and keep your job, do not drop it for a stupid SMP!
     
  9. premedbrah

    premedbrah 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.02.14
    Messages:
    145
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Look up the the book "Intern" on Amazon. The author used to be a Physicist at Berkeley, then he went to med school. Great read.
     

About the ads

Share This Page