Sep 15, 2015
5
4
Status
Non-Student
I'm sure this question has been asked hundreds of times this year alone, but I wanted to ask, just like everyone else.


I am an RN/paramedic with a specialty of pre-hospital transport, primarily flight. I have been an RN for 5 years and a medic for 12. I'm dissatisfied with my career simply because I decided to pursue it out of necessity rather than following my passion.


Being around the profession and all that it entails, I wake up every day with regret. I regret not making the decision to pursue medicine. Each day at work, the regret has turned to motivation to pursue that path.


I'm in my 30s. I've spent the past 12 years in the medical field doing everything but medicine. Each day I've had to make life or death decisions at 20,000 feet that ultimately could determine a person's fate. I would be lying if I said performing an emergent cric at that altitude while using night vision goggles wasn't exhilarating, but what is more exhilarating is the never ending quest for knowledge and understanding of medicine. You truly cannot know and/or understand it unless you have gone through the rigorous trials and tribulations one must endure to accomplish such a feat.


With all of that said, does anyone have any insight, suggestions, or advice for someone like me? Currently, I am taking a lot of upper level science courses to improve my GPA to show the adcom that I can not only handle the course load, but also excel. This is also an attempt to counter balance my 3.0 uGPA and 3.4 sGPA that was obtained only to gain a degree. Like I discussed earlier, my education and career was out of necessity rather than desire, so I never put effort into it.


Also, coming from a profession like mine, are there extra-curriculars that I need to involve myself in such as shadowing or volunteering?


Obviously, MCAT scores are important, so I know that I need to study hard and do the best I can.


Any advice is welcome, either positive or negative. I have wanted this for as long as I have remembered, and I lost track of where my heart wanted me to go. I'm not saying that I will get accepted into a medical school, but I am saying that I want to do everything possible that I'm capable of doing to help make that dream a reality.


Thanks for your time.
 

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
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passion is way overrated when it comes to the practice of medicine

yes, it should be your passion

that said, don't let those notions create dissatisfaction for you
medicine is a job like many other service careers

I think we tend to play the "what if" game too much to our detriment

it will be on my tombstone "Now I don't have to wonder what if"
and it's only in hindsight that I realize if I could have let go of romanticized notions and ideals, I would have been much happier in my life

OTOH, I'm a miserable bastard that gets off on my own suffering, I meet the definition of "addicted" to medicine (addition: continued pursuit in the face of increasing harms), and there was no better way for me to throw my life away in my estimation, in hindsight, of course

it's a path I tell people to try to get off of, like, really try, because if you're wrong and it's a misstep, it's far worse than you can imagine
 

Ad2b

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1. If you are doing well in the current science courses, like helping people with night goggles on in various states of demise, you already have the patient care in hand :)

2. IF pursuing being a physician is something you've always wanted to do, then do it. Don't stop until grades/MCAT tell you otherwise, that it's not practical. Don't let internet trolls hamper that.

3. At some point, YOU will know if this is your path or not whether the grades some in and aren't what you want/need or you get an MCAT score that is not admissible (like a 498 without some other types of mitigating factors).
 
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Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
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Dang Crayola. You're like the Kristin Stewart of SDN.
I thought she was mostly known for mouth breathing and making the same facial expression for every emotion?
 

esob

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You've got plenty of clinical experience and community volunteering will help your application overall but only slightly. The largest improvement to your application will be MCAT, then the MCAT, and finally the MCAT. You can do a post bacc and bring up your GPA but in reality you probably have ~ 130 hrs now and if you did a full time post bac for 2 years and aced 60 hrs of hard science courses your cGPA would still just crest the 3.3 mark. Thus, I still maintain that your best chance at making your application competitive is to smash the MCAT and apply broadly. Then, when you say "I got bad grades because I was just getting a degree out of necessity," your MCAT backs up that statement.
 
OP
C
Sep 15, 2015
5
4
Status
Non-Student
Thank you for the replies. I truly appreciate it. From what I gather, I need to continue taking graduate level science courses, preferably a full course load, for a few semesters achieving a competitive GPA to show that I can handle the course load and scoring top tier MCAT results in order to offset my less than stellar undergraduate GPA. Also, some volunteer work to make my application more well rounded. Thank you.
 

Ad2b

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I need to continue taking graduate level science courses
No. Undergraduate upper division level courses (genetics, neuro, physio, cell bio, micro, cancer bio, adv physio, anything with a 3 or 4 in the front of it); graduate level courses are different
 
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workaholic181

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May 29, 2017
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I'm sure this question has been asked hundreds of times this year alone, but I wanted to ask, just like everyone else.


I am an RN/paramedic with a specialty of pre-hospital transport, primarily flight. I have been an RN for 5 years and a medic for 12. I'm dissatisfied with my career simply because I decided to pursue it out of necessity rather than following my passion.


Being around the profession and all that it entails, I wake up every day with regret. I regret not making the decision to pursue medicine. Each day at work, the regret has turned to motivation to pursue that path.


I'm in my 30s. I've spent the past 12 years in the medical field doing everything but medicine. Each day I've had to make life or death decisions at 20,000 feet that ultimately could determine a person's fate. I would be lying if I said performing an emergent cric at that altitude while using night vision goggles wasn't exhilarating, but what is more exhilarating is the never ending quest for knowledge and understanding of medicine. You truly cannot know and/or understand it unless you have gone through the rigorous trials and tribulations one must endure to accomplish such a feat.


With all of that said, does anyone have any insight, suggestions, or advice for someone like me? Currently, I am taking a lot of upper level science courses to improve my GPA to show the adcom that I can not only handle the course load, but also excel. This is also an attempt to counter balance my 3.0 uGPA and 3.4 sGPA that was obtained only to gain a degree. Like I discussed earlier, my education and career was out of necessity rather than desire, so I never put effort into it.


Also, coming from a profession like mine, are there extra-curriculars that I need to involve myself in such as shadowing or volunteering?


Obviously, MCAT scores are important, so I know that I need to study hard and do the best I can.


Any advice is welcome, either positive or negative. I have wanted this for as long as I have remembered, and I lost track of where my heart wanted me to go. I'm not saying that I will get accepted into a medical school, but I am saying that I want to do everything possible that I'm capable of doing to help make that dream a reality.


Thanks for your time.
If you're gonna keep taking classes it would be best to take undergraduate upper division science courses.

You clearly have tons of experience in healthcare and are a unique applicant. The other posters are right; your best bet is a high MCAT and an early application. Luckily for you you could easily take the MCAT in say March and have everything put together.

Most schools require science professor letters of rec. Can you obtain these? They are of the most importance. And MD or DO letter would assist you but some non trads are totally at a loss of finding science LORs.

Volunteering hours would behoove your app despite the fact that you work in healthcare. MCAT is definitely most important though.

Grass is always greener OP.. but the fact of the matter is people like yourself do change paths and start medical school all the time. If this is what you want then go for it. MCAT is overhyped IMO. Just prepare well and be confident.

Good luck with whatever you pick!
 
OP
C
Sep 15, 2015
5
4
Status
Non-Student
Thanks for the clarification on the graduate/upper level undergraduate courses.
 
OP
C
Sep 15, 2015
5
4
Status
Non-Student
As far as LOR, I have my hospital's medical director, our chief trauma surgeon, and an intensivist, all of whom I work with daily yet all in different ways, willing to send them in. It is more challenging trying to develop a relationship with one of my current professors in order to get a LOR. I am going to have to work on that.
 
Jun 26, 2017
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Medical Student (Accepted)
As far as LOR, I have my hospital's medical director, our chief trauma surgeon, and an intensivist, all of whom I work with daily yet all in different ways, willing to send them in. It is more challenging trying to develop a relationship with one of my current professors in order to get a LOR. I am going to have to work on that.
I have the exact same problem as you with letters. I could get 20 good letters at my job, easy, but many schools have a hard requirement of two science professor letters. I did a DIY post bacc and finished 45 hours of hard sciences between Jan 2016 - Aug 2017... and I only had two instructors more than once. Those are NOT the people who know me. One of them's so not excited about writing me a letter she's not even done yet, and it's getting late now IMO.

I wish now I'd put more effort into developing a relationship with my teachers, as those are the people schools actually care about but how know me the least. I have two of my favorite intensivists writing letters as well, and I know those will be good letters - I just hope schools look at them as closely as they look at the professor letters. Just look at developing a relationship with professors as a totally mandatory evil and you will be fine.
 

coppernickel

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Jul 13, 2016
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Just a tip for developing those relationships other than doing well and being an inquisitive student: tell them a little about yourself. I found my postbac professors all really appreciated me as an older student vs their undergrad students and genuinely respected the fact that I had had a prior life and also was still working concurrently with school. I had told them about how I'd gotten to where I was, and it helped them take an interest in me. I did this with all my classes so I had a really varied pick of LORs for my application. They know the letter writing drill so just involve them in your process and they will be happy. I plan on letting them know if I get my top choices too because I am so appreciative especially knowing how hard it is to get these academic LORs. When it comes time to ask, ask if they can provide a strong letter.
 
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Ad2b

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I wish now I'd put more effort into developing a relationship with my teachers
That should be stickied.

In 2009, I took a pre-req, needed help understanding a concept, kept going back to the professor, over time, developed that relationship and he is one of my LOR's. In fact, every single one of my professors is willing to write an LOR for me. Why?

I'm not special, I simply got to know THEM, their interests, their course material, did well and kept in touch with all of them. When I head "home" I go visit and in the case of that biochem prof, I sit in his class, in my old seat. He enters the auditorium and immediately, I see the smile. Nothing better!
 
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That should be itstickied.

In 2009, I took a pre-req, needed help understanding a concept, kept going back to the professor, over time, developed that relationship and he is one of my LOR's. In fact, every single one of my professors is willing to write an LOR for me. Why?

I'm not special, I simply got to know THEM, their interests, their course material, did well and kept in touch with all of them. When I head "home" I go visit and in the case of that biochem prof, I sit in his class, in my old seat. He enters the auditorium and immediately, I see the smile. Nothing better!
It's rare for professors who you got an A with to not be willing to write one. I've asked for 8 over the years, never had one say no
 

Ad2b

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It's rare for professors who you got an A with to not be willing to write one. I've asked for 8 over the years, never had one say no
I got a B in biochem. That professor said he had "A" students he didn't want in med school - his or anyone else's - and that if he were asked to write one, he'd be not so polite in saying "NO." An "A" does not always mean LOR... nor should it.
 
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