Has anyone gotten into MD or DO programs with community college pre-reqs?

arc5005

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So, I'm getting a bit nervous and discouraged about taking my pre-reqs at a community college. I've read a lot of posts and people have stated things such as "you aren't going to get into med school with community college pre-reqs," but realistically it is all I can afford right now. I already used all my financial aid on my BS degree and I have a low 3.15 GPA. I'm hoping to bring that up to a 3.4/3.5 after a full year of courses though; however, these courses are coming from a community college.

Has anyone had any personal experience with this?
 

crazy87

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Yes. I did all my pre-reqs at community college. I am really happy I did it considering how much cheaper community college is than pretty much anything else. I started with an undergrad GPA lower than yours and was able to bring it up. I just got accepted into a D.O. program this cycle.
 
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arc5005

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Yes. I did all my pre-reqs at community college. I am really happy I did it considering how much cheaper community college is than pretty much anything else. I started with an undergrad GPA lower than yours and was able to bring it up. I just got accepted into a D.O. program this cycle.
How many credits did you take to raise your GPA up? I'm thinking about taking about 1 year total including summer session.

Which DO school did you get into?
 
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arc5005

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How many credits did you take to raise your GPA up? I'm thinking about taking about 1 year total including summer session.

Which DO school did you get into?
Did you do any post-bac programs or anything else?
 

crazy87

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How many credits did you take to raise your GPA up? I'm thinking about taking about 1 year total including summer session.

Which DO school did you get into?
I did something like 35-40 credits. I took them over a period of a few years.
 
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arc5005

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I did something like 35-40 credits. I took them over a period of a few years.
I guess I'm nervous, because I feel like I'm so old, and haven't done anything with my life or career yet. I'm 25 and have not had a career at all. But maybe, I need to slow down and try to boost my uGPA up, get some good ECs, experience, and take the MCAT.
 

crazy87

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Sorry, missed some of those Q's. CCOM. Personally I worked a lot of health care related jobs while taking classes. Whatever you think you can do to strengthen your app I suppose! But timeline is a personal choice, of course. There are many non trad pre meds who decide to make the change and then they make it happen In like 1.5 years. It took me longer but most of what I did during that time was relevant to my app in the end. I also wasn't very confident in myself initially and felt I needed all this health care experience to "make my case" (also, I enjoyed it) but that route isn't for everyone. Will be late 20s when I start med school. I just think that if you can make your app super strong in one or more areas it can weigh out the other stuff and make it mean less (such as comm college, not great grades). Good luck to you!!
 

Astharia

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God I hope so since I did quite a few at my community college before transferring to my university. 25 isn't old. I'm 25 and still working on my undergrad. Right now I'm looking at entry into medical school when I'm 28. Do the math, done at 32, residency which could be as little as 3 years (mine will most likely be 4) puts you done and in the professional setting at 36. That's 29 years AT LEAST left in your life to work your ass off.
 
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Goro

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Yes, all the time.

So, I'm getting a bit nervous and discouraged about taking my pre-reqs at a community college. I've read a lot of posts and people have stated things such as "you aren't going to get into med school with community college pre-reqs," but realistically it is all I can afford right now. I already used all my financial aid on my BS degree and I have a low 3.15 GPA. I'm hoping to bring that up to a 3.4/3.5 after a full year of courses though; however, these courses are coming from a community college.

Has anyone had any personal experience with this?
 
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chooks

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I did all the pre-reqs I did not cover in college at a CC (1 year biology and 1 year organic chemistry -- so much cheaper than at the local university!). An added bonus is that the CC had a pre-med advisor that really was exceptional. My college pre-reqs were 10 years old at the time of my med school applications. I was accepted into multiple MD programs. If you really want to make sure about whether CC credits will transfer, the safest thing is to ask the med school what their policy is.

And at 25 you have plenty of time to organize your path as you would like!

- chooks
 
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Inygma

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So, I'm getting a bit nervous and discouraged about taking my pre-reqs at a community college. I've read a lot of posts and people have stated things such as "you aren't going to get into med school with community college pre-reqs," but realistically it is all I can afford right now. I already used all my financial aid on my BS degree and I have a low 3.15 GPA. I'm hoping to bring that up to a 3.4/3.5 after a full year of courses though; however, these courses are coming from a community college.

Has anyone had any personal experience with this?
Did all my pre-reqs at CC... So far 1 DO acceptance and 1 MD II, i only applied in Southern CA though, so I am sure I'd have much more MD invites.
 
Oct 23, 2014
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I did almost all of my pre-reqs, except for physics, at community college. I also had C's in both of my physics at my university. I have been offered a total of five interviews so far at DO schools and I was accepted at 2 schools, rejected from 1, am waiting to hear from another, and have one more interview this month.

Sooo, you can definitely get in to DO schools with CC pre-reqs, just make sure to strengthen and diversify your other experiences!
 
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Oct 25, 2014
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I'm finishing up my MD pre-reqs at a CC and I'm glad to see it shouldn't be a problem. I'm also doing a couple re-takes on some chem grades from college (a C and C+).

Since I'm re-taking them at a CC, I feel like I need to show an especially marked improvement to demonstrate an improved grasp of the subject (more than a letter grade improvement). Does anyone have any thoughts on such an "exchange rate"?
 
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I guess I'm nervous, because I feel like I'm so old, and haven't done anything with my life or career yet. I'm 25 and have not had a career at all. But maybe, I need to slow down and try to boost my uGPA up, get some good ECs, experience, and take the MCAT.
Dude don't feel that way! You have a degree which is a lot more to say than a lot of other people. You worked hard for it and are trying to make something of yourself. Keep at it and don't let what others say affect you. I think people forget how much cheaper these courses are at the community college. I'm taking some now and it's saving me money! I could give two craps what someone would say. Keep focused and carry on. Cheers.
 

jl lin

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Dude don't feel that way! You have a degree which is a lot more to say than a lot of other people. You worked hard for it and are trying to make something of yourself. Keep at it and don't let what others say affect you. I think people forget how much cheaper these courses are at the community college. I'm taking some now and it's saving me money! I could give two craps what someone would say. Keep focused and carry on. Cheers.

Really, I hear you. Totally. Thing is, if you are applying to allopathic schools, this does makes a big difference. I agree with you. I don't think it should necessarily. I think schools should look at the course content/curriculum and the rubrics set forth. People talk about easy admission to CCs; but there are some programs within some CCs that have a good reputation--like my first school--nursing AAS, dudes, there was one heck of a waiting list, and at least part of the reason was that at that time the school had the highest board passage scores and totally percent of pass scores for licensure in the tri-state area and in the country--even above a number of IVY league schools. At that time, they had a phenomenal chair/dean PhD, who actually was a graduate of an IVY league, and their team and curriculum really hit the mark. Did they teach to the NCLEX? No. But what they did was give frequent, relevant exams that were constructed so much like the NCLEX. People were nervous when taking it, but they weren't shell-shocked like other students from other schools. The got how to do the application approach to the knowledge and so forth. At any rate, a number of people either were summarily rejected for admission, based on SAT/ACT scores and other pre-testing, etc., or the were placed on waiting lists. I was one of the lucky ones that got straight in--even though it was a "lowly" (not really) community college program. There was a similar situation with people going for rad/us technology. When there are only so many seat, there are only so many seats. And when a program gets a good reputation and has high board schools and pass rates, it doesn't want to jeopardize it by just letting anyone in.

I get a little annoyed over this whole anti-CC, b/c not all CC schools and or programs are created equal. And even good programs can lose good leadership and go down the tubes a little. Then they risk losing program accreditation and honors, and they have to start from scratch to re-build/re-invent the program. To which I say, there is nothing like the right kind of strong leadership.

Interestingly enough, those that were so young, like 18 didn't do as well, in general, as those that were older, in general. The program was fast-paced and they didn't play with you. It was on the weed-out side. And you could have all A's, but if you didn't pass every one of those clinical rotations--which started from day one, you were out--all it took was one no so great clinical evaluation. And some of those clinical professors/instructors could really ride butt. Many a teen would end up leaving the program in tears. Mostly b/c they didn't understand what the instructors were looking for in the first place. Were there a few unfair clinical instructors. Sure, but mostly no. It wasn't the scenario, in general, where crap runs downhill. Sometimes I see this in residency programs, and that extreme subjective crap w/o sound, objective, prognostic indicators really has no place in the evaluation process. It is not too difficult to establish robust, prognostic indicators that are significantly less subjective--and lean to use more objective analysis and evaluation. But that's a whole education process in and of itself.
My n. program clinical exposure was about the student having chutzpah, safety in practice, and a sound commitment to patient advocacy and accountability. No excuses. No entitlements. Some of the 18 year olds couldn't grasp that concept, so they didn't make it--even if their grades were stellar.

Just like no one university is the same, the same could be said of a number of CC programs. Just like in real life, it's not the suit but the person in the suit that makes the difference.

Still, biases abound, and they are very hard to change; so you have to play the game as best as you can I suppose. You might not like the spoken or unspoken rules of the game, but there they are just the same.
 
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katiemaude

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I did all my prereqs at a CC (no retakes). I interviewed at 3 MD schools and am attending my first choice DO school. I would say that if you can afford later to take a few upper level science classes at a four-year school it would not only help your application, it will help you as an M1 (especially biochem, cell bio, anatomy and physiology). If you go to a CC I think it becomes even more important to back up your As with your MCAT score.
 
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arc5005

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Thanks for all the information guys. I'm still taking classes at CC w/ a few re-takes and hoping to boost my GPA up to a 3.45 and science GPA up to a 3.69 by December of 2015. I was hoping to take a KAPLAN MCAT prep course either this summer or starting next January. Then taking the MCAT in April 2016 and apply to DO schools early may. I'm not sure if I need to do a SMP or a Masters in Biomedical sciences. I would like to be able to take at least Biochemistry at a 4 year uni, but that might be the only upper-lvl course I could afford before I apply to DO schools next year.

Did any of you do a Special Masters program or graduate work?
 
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I've been looking at doing my pre-reqs at a CC and so I was looking at some Med school websites. Hopkins says they don't mind you doing your pre-reqs at community colleges, but if you do that it's best to take at least one upper level science course at a 4 year college or university. I would look into the specific schools you're looking at (if any) to see their specific requirements.
 

gonnif

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Traditional students who go to CC will also follow with 2 years at a 4 year school so are not necessarily a good indicator for nontrads.

Many people who do prereqs at CC do go onto medical school, but it does put you at a competitive disadvantage with the majority of the applicant pool. However, depending on your background and situation, it can be very minor or can have a major impact. But, obviously with time, money and logistics of schooling it may be the only choice for working nontrads, especially those with a family.
 
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Thanks for all the information guys. I'm still taking classes at CC w/ a few re-takes and hoping to boost my GPA up to a 3.45 and science GPA up to a 3.69 by December of 2015. I was hoping to take a KAPLAN MCAT prep course either this summer or starting next January. Then taking the MCAT in April 2016 and apply to DO schools early may. I'm not sure if I need to do a SMP or a Masters in Biomedical sciences. I would like to be able to take at least Biochemistry at a 4 year uni, but that might be the only upper-lvl course I could afford before I apply to DO schools next year.

Did any of you do a Special Masters program or graduate work?
It sounds like you're well on your way. I initially transferred from a CC to a four year school, then returned to the CC several years after graduation to do my prereqs. I didn't do a SMP or any graduate work aimed at medicine. Several of my letters of rec were from CC faculty. No one at any interview ever asked about my classes at the CC or said anything that indicated this was a problem. I'll start med school next fall.

CC courses might be an issue at particularly elitist schools and you might want a SMP if that's the direction you want to go, but otherwise it just doesn't seem to have been an issue. I honestly preferred the CC classes to those at the university due to smaller class sizes, more opportunity to interact with the professor, and the focus of the profs on teaching rather than research.
 
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arc5005

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It sounds like you're well on your way. I initially transferred from a CC to a four year school, then returned to the CC several years after graduation to do my prereqs. I didn't do a SMP or any graduate work aimed at medicine. Several of my letters of rec were from CC faculty. No one at any interview ever asked about my classes at the CC or said anything that indicated this was a problem. I'll start med school next fall.

CC courses might be an issue at particularly elitist schools and you might want a SMP if that's the direction you want to go, but otherwise it just doesn't seem to have been an issue. I honestly preferred the CC classes to those at the university due to smaller class sizes, more opportunity to interact with the professor, and the focus of the profs on teaching rather than research.
Can I ask what schools you had interviews at and which school you are entering at in the Fall?
 

MrLogan13

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Me. I did all my pre-reqs except for physics at a CC.
 

ColDocUSA

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I took all my pre-reqs at a CC and had a very successful application cycle this year. It was never brought up throughout the process.
 
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Did all my pre reqs at CC and then biochem night class at a university. You can look at my mdapps profile to see where I interviewed at/got in. I'm at Hopkins for med school now.

I didn't have GPA repair to do though and did well on the MCAT.
 

PreMedBeauty

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Did all my pre reqs at CC and then biochem night class at a university. You can look at my mdapps profile to see where I interviewed at/got in. I'm at Hopkins for med school now.

I didn't have GPA repair to do though and did well on the MCAT.
Where can I look at your mdapps profile? Thanks!
 

PointLizz

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LOL "Old"
The short answer is yes. I've been reading this forum for several years and signed up two weeks ago. Every time this question comes up, a handful of people say yes. Good luck! :)
 

eablackwell

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Where if you don't mind sharing and your experience as well?
Where did I do cc? or med school? I did CC up in north FL while teaching full time during the day. Med school, I'm in south FL. I had a ton of ECs that helped me - long-term motivational speaker, Olympian, ridiculous amounts of community service in various fields, including medicine. I had minimal shadowing because, well...I was already basically going full tilt 80 hrs a week between teaching high school and going to night classes. That's the main reason my MCAT sucked so much. I took it the week before my orgo 2 final during a semester when I was taking calc 3, orgo 2, and physics 2 w/ calc...and I didn't take any time off work. Learn from my mistake and don't overload your schedule too much.

Med school has been challenging, but it is for everyone. I put a lot of effort into community service and keeping my grades up. I ended up barely missing the 1st quartile in my class when all was said and done, but I'm happy to say I matched my first choice this past week in a ROAD specialty and no one will ever care about my CC premed or craptastic MCAT score ever again. So, clawing your way out of the gutter can be done, but it's not easy. ;)

Good luck!