From Law School to Medical School with Partial Completion of Prerequisites

Aug 28, 2016
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Dear Community Members,

I have read a number of conversations about the relative merits of the prospective options for career-changers and others transitioning from nonscientific academic backgrounds. After studying the discussion threads throughout this forum, however, I was unable to locate counsel that pertained to my precise situation.

I'm about to begin my third-year of law school. Not unmindful of its limited influence, I offer that I matriculated to program ranked in the top 15 and expect to graduate with honors. My undergraduate experience began at junior college and I later majored in a social science at my local university. I graduated with a 4.000/4.000 GPA and completed the following science and mathematics courses: one semester of inorganic chemistry with lab, one semester of biology with lab, two semesters of calculus physics* with labs, two semesters of calculus*, statistics, and econometrics. (Courses marked with an asterisk were completed at junior college.)

Given the awkward combination of my partial completion of the medical school prerequisites coupled with my standing as a law student, how do you recommend that I proceed with my transition to medical school?

Thank you in advance for your consideration as well as your advice.
 
Last edited:
Jun 7, 2016
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Medical Student (Accepted)
There are others on the site who have more experience, but I'd suggest researching school that you'd like to attend and determining exactly which prerequisites you would have to complete before matriculation. The MSAR has information on which schools will accept the courses that you completed at a junior college. Also, remove your name from the original post to preserve some anonymity on this site.

Also, prepare to articulate a reason for this dramatic career shift. You'll definitely need to address it in your personal statement and at interviews.
 

eteshoe

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Check out the Nontrad forum: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forums/nontraditional-students.110/

There isn't any real rocket science to being a nontrad. Finish up your pre-reqs, study and take the MCAT, get some clinical exposure (i.e. volunteering and shadowing), apply to med school and have a compelling reason for the switch. Also since you haven't technically practiced law as an independent lawyer, you're not really a "career-changer" and you'll have to convince the adcom that you're not just jumping degrees willy nilly.

Before jumping the gun though, you will have to finish your law degree and I highly recommend shadowing a couple of physicians in order to see if this path is for you.
 
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atomi

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Dear Community Members,

I have read a number of conversations about the relative merits of the prospective options for career-changers and others transitioning from nonscientific academic backgrounds. After studying the discussion threads throughout this forum, however, I was unable to locate counsel that pertained to my precise situation.

I'm about to begin my third-year of law school. Not unmindful of its limited influence, I offer that I matriculated to program ranked in the top 15 and expect to graduate with honors. My undergraduate experience began at junior college and I later majored in a social science at my local university. I graduated with a 4.000/4.000 GPA and completed the following science and mathematics courses: one semester of inorganic chemistry with lab, one semester of biology with lab, two semesters of calculus physics* with labs, two semesters of calculus*, statistics, and econometrics. (Courses marked with an asterisk were completed at junior college.)

Given the awkward combination of my partial completion of the medical school prerequisites coupled with my standing as a law student, how do you recommend that I proceed with my transition to medical school?

Thank you in advance for your consideration as well as your advice.
You could start by coming back down to planet earth and using normal vernacular.

You have a long road ahead of you to try and convince some medical school admissions committee that the only reason you are jumping ship isn't because of a lack of job stability coming from law school.
I could offer some questions about the wisdom of amassing what adds up to at least a million dollars in tuition, living expenses, and opportunity cost of lost income by pursuing two simultaneous professional schools, but I won't. You would be best served by asking a few of the many lawyers who became doctors on this forum whether they wished they would have rather gone straight from law school to med school, or if they valued their time working as a lawyer in hindsight.
 
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Law2Doc

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Dear Community Members,

I have read a number of conversations about the relative merits of the prospective options for career-changers and others transitioning from nonscientific academic backgrounds. After studying the discussion threads throughout this forum, however, I was unable to locate counsel that pertained to my precise situation.

I'm about to begin my third-year of law school. Not unmindful of its limited influence, I offer that I matriculated to program ranked in the top 15 and expect to graduate with honors. My undergraduate experience began at junior college and I later majored in a social science at my local university. I graduated with a 4.000/4.000 GPA and completed the following science and mathematics courses: one semester of inorganic chemistry with lab, one semester of biology with lab, two semesters of calculus physics* with labs, two semesters of calculus*, statistics, and econometrics. (Courses marked with an asterisk were completed at junior college.)

Given the awkward combination of my partial completion of the medical school prerequisites coupled with my standing as a law student, how do you recommend that I proceed with my transition to medical school?

Thank you in advance for your consideration as well as your advice.
First, there have been MANY threads on here about people seeking to make the jump from law to medicine, including one just a few months ago, so you really need to do a search. Look in the nontrad board, that's where you'll find the career changing stuff. Most of the responses you'll get will be rehash of the more polished answers others got recently. And it makes you seem too lazy to take the first step in your own in your due diligence.

Second, whenever anyone leads off with being at a "top" anything it raises suspicion either that the person is a troll or that their focus is not on becoming a doctor but in collecting more prestige. It's not relevant.

Third, I agree your post is worded too formally or in odd vernacular for anyone to take you seriously. Lawyers don't talk like that but someone pretending to be a lawyer might. Anyway both these careers are about communication, so you'll need to work on this.

Fourth, you will be regarded differently by admissions if you are changing careers as a lawyer or as a law student. The field doesn't want people who haven't figured out what they want to do, people who are degree collectors, and people who haven't got their trajectory all figured out. And they want people drawn to medicine, not running from the law. So you'd get a very different reception having been a lawyer for a while, tried it out, were successful, but decided you were attracted more to medicine than being the guy still in law school who never even gave law practice a try. So your back story/reasons are going to matter.

Fifth, med schools like you to have done your due diligence so you need to get out there and shadow and volunteer in the health care setting and make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. It's not optional.

Sixth, once you have your story/reasons straight, it's time to look at coursework. You need two semesters of bio with labs, two of General Chem with labs, two of orgo, two of physics with labs, a year of math, and for some places a semester of biochem. So either you enroll full time in a postbac or you take these as open enrollment someplace. And you need mostly A's. And then you need to do well on the MCAT.

It's going to be a longer road than you probably think. Many have made the transition from law and you are hardly unique. I again implore you to go spend the time to dig up the MANY threads that cover your similar situation on the nontrad board-- rather than hope premeds on preallo can duplicate the wisdom of those that have actually been in your shoes. Good luck!
 
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