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Have just begun to explore medicine as a new career...

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bevan_borton

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I will just write a little bit about myself so that the forum knows about my background before giving their advice.

I am 31 years old, graduated with a GPA of 3.76 with a Bachelors Degree in Finance. Before I had started working in finance, I had been considering changing my focus to medicine and I even stayed an extra year at university to take organic chem, biology, and engineering physics so that my science understanding was sufficient so that I could write and do well on the MCAT. My GPA in those science classes was 3.30 (not bad but not amazing). I ended up getting a job in finance before I could write the MCAT and went on to work in Investment Banking and then in Trading for about 9 years total. I recently left my Trading role and I am now VERY seriously looking at pursuing the medical career again. My reasons are:
1. I like constantly having to learn and develop personally. It is life long learning in medicine.
2. I want to work in a business where I have a positive impact on someone besides myself and the rich people who I work for. Specifically I want to HELP people.
3. I like being challenged and having to push myself to do the best job I can.
4. I like how the medical field is constantly changing and it requires doctors to continue to learn and stay up to date.

I am currently planning on applying to Medical Schools in Ireland ideally for the September 2017 start date. I am planning on writing the MCAT and I have bought Princeton Review MCAT books to use as serious refresher on the science that I learned years ago. So far the review is going ok, that being said the MCAT that I will need to write to have it considered for my applications to Irish Medical Schools is in September. That does not leave me a lot of time to get this knowledge down and hopefully score relatively well on the MCAT to help my application. I do NOT have a lot of relevant volunteer or research experience to put on my application. The schools I'm specifically interested in are RCSI, Trinity, University College Dublin, and Limerick.

I would ask that everyone be VERY VERY HONEST with their answers to my questions:
1. For the schools I listed above, what are the primary things these schools are going to look at? Is my GPA going to be good enough?
2. To increase the probability of me getting into Medical School what is a reasonable (and achievable) MCAT score that I should be trying to achieve?
3. I have been told by a staff member from Atlantic Bridge that RCSI will not let people with undergraduate degrees into the 5-year program. Is that true? http://www.atlanticbridge.com/medicine/faq/ (click on
How long are the medical degree courses in Ireland? - seems kind of odd and the websites don't seem to make that clear)
4. What should I do to improve my chances of getting into Medical School in Ireland?

Thanks everyone for your help!
 

Dr_Jan_Itor

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I have heard mixed opinions about mature applicants through ABP. There does exist a 'mature applicant' track at most Irish, UK, and EU medical schools which require no entry exams or pre rec courses as long as you have a bachelors degree, are older than mid 20s (depending on school) and have good letters of reference. Those tracks may be EU only from what I've seen on their web pages but it would be worth emailing each admissions office at the schools you're interested in.

That being said, I am curious why you are only interested in Irish schools? Your unique story, decent stats, and 9 years of quality service in your previous career make you competitive to apply to American schools. You'd only need to take a few STEM courses at your nearest state school and write a strong MCAT.
 

Dr_Jan_Itor

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To answer your specific q's...

1. Irish schools all advertise a 'holistic approach' to admissions, but through ABP it seems a strong mcat is a huge advantage with the Graduate entry degrees you are seeking. They also very heavily account your letters of rec and your previous GPA is good enough as they don't care as much about taking 'pre med' courses. I would definitely start volunteering. I interviewed at RCSI this past cycle and was grilled for having no volunteer experience having chosen to work full time thru ugrad in clinical related jobs.

2. There are a few other threads here that list accepted students stats and where they were accepted. From what I've seen, a slightly above average mcat score has been adequate for the well rounded applicants like yourself.

3. This is true. The 5 year program is meant to be an undergraduate degree. As a person holding a bachelors degree you will find that extra first foundation year to be a waste of your time. Since you are planning to sit the mat, you should apply to the programs which offer a 4 year gem course.

4. Email admissions offices at each school you listed. They were very honest and forthcoming when I did the same.
 
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