Mar 28, 2015
28
13
Florida
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm a non-traditional student, hoping to pursue DO schools in 2 years. Long story short, I quit my career and used every semblance of money I had to go back to school full time. I just transferred from a community college to a major university this semester.

Maybe its because I knew time was ticking away and I wasn't getting any younger, but I took WAY too many credits my first semester here. I signed up for 18 credits (Bio I, Chem I, Statistics, English, a volunteer course, and Trig), am registered to work 12-20 hours in a research lab every week, am signed up for clinical volunteer hours every week, am signed up for non-clinical volunteer work every other week, and am registered in a pretty hands on leadership program for the next semester with my university. I thought I could handle it all, but hindsight is 20/20. I just never counted on Trig being SO hard for me to grasp early on. Granted, I know I haven't taken college algebra since the Bush administration, but I ended up dropping it the first week I was here because I was spending all my time studying for it and falling behind in other classes.

Most people say Trig is easy for them... I guess I'm not as smart as I hoped I was. :(

Anyway, where I'm going with this is I'm starting to really question my "tentative course schedule" over the next 2 years. I was really hoping I could apply to DO medical schools in 2 years, which would require I take Organic Chem I over the summer, and a fairly heavy course load every other semester.

Spring '16: Bio II, Chem II, (2 other courses)
Summer '16: Organic Chem I (I guess I'd have to also add Trig here since I dropped it)
Fall '16: Organic Chem II, Physics I (2 other courses)
Spring '17: Biochemistry I, Calculus, Physics II (1 other course)
Summer '17: Biochemistry II (Apply to med school)

The "other courses" are mostly psych courses since that's my major. Is this plan totally unrealistic?? I'm wondering if I should stretch my 2 year plan to 3 years...:/ If I was a few years younger, I don't think this would be as big a deal to me.

I also feel I should mention that I've been having these horrible, nagging thoughts telling me that if I had difficulty with Trig, I'll never make it in pre-med (since I know there's far harder courses I'll be taking). Any advice?
 
Mar 17, 2015
20
15
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
That's totally doable. Don't let the hard classes like trig discourage you from applying to medical school. Personally, I struggled with Ochem and had to drop it one semester too when I was taking 20+ units. I took it later that year and did much better. One extra year isn't gonna hurt you but I think that schedule is totally manageable if you have good study habits and stay focused
 

DrPatriot

2+ Year Member
May 27, 2015
822
744
Good Ole' USA
Status
Medical Student
Your success in classes is going to be a lot more important in admission to DO school than your age when applying. If you need to take an extra year to make sure you do well in your classes then do it!

As far as your trig problem don't let that worry you and throw you off your game. I struggled a lot with my math classes and looking ahead thought there was no way I would pass physics since it was going to be difficult. I am happy to report that I made it through and will be attending DO next year! Take it from me it can be done. Just do what you need to do to excel and limit your outside stresses as much as possible. If you need to take a little longer than you anticipated in undergrad that is fine. Med school is full of adversity. If you can't handle it now and overcome a failure then you won't survive in DO school.

Best of luck to you, I'm pulling for you!
 

0dee

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2015
409
610
Status
Medical Student
It is doable if you focus and keep studying as your number one priority. I have a question though, why Calc? Is it for your major? I know that most of DO schools don't even require a math and if they do it's college algebra.
 
OP
Finette
Mar 28, 2015
28
13
Florida
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you for all the support and advice!

@Tr1LL to answer your question, I put it in my rotation because I was advised by my schools pre-med office to take it. They said some schools require it, and that I should keep my options open. Should I consider not taking it? I'll admit it, math is not my strongest point. Algebra was fairly easy for me, but beyond that I struggle a little. It's not impossible for me, but I do have to study a lot more than I think some other students do.
 

0dee

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2015
409
610
Status
Medical Student
I suggest you do your own research and forget about your pre med advisor. Figure out what are your target schools based on region, gpa and such then look up on their website for the admission requirements.
I know for a fact that AZCOM, ACOM, CCOM, KCOM, ATSU-SOMA, PCOM, DMU, and KCUMB don't require anything higher than college algebra. I'm pretty sure if you go through all DO schools you'll find that almost all of them don't require Calc.
 

yanks26dmb

10+ Year Member
Nov 7, 2008
1,875
881
Status
Medical Student
I'm a non-traditional student, hoping to pursue DO schools in 2 years. Long story short, I quit my career and used every semblance of money I had to go back to school full time. I just transferred from a community college to a major university this semester.

Maybe its because I knew time was ticking away and I wasn't getting any younger, but I took WAY too many credits my first semester here. I signed up for 18 credits (Bio I, Chem I, Statistics, English, a volunteer course, and Trig), am registered to work 12-20 hours in a research lab every week, am signed up for clinical volunteer hours every week, am signed up for non-clinical volunteer work every other week, and am registered in a pretty hands on leadership program for the next semester with my university. I thought I could handle it all, but hindsight is 20/20. I just never counted on Trig being SO hard for me to grasp early on. Granted, I know I haven't taken college algebra since the Bush administration, but I ended up dropping it the first week I was here because I was spending all my time studying for it and falling behind in other classes.

Most people say Trig is easy for them... I guess I'm not as smart as I hoped I was. :(

Anyway, where I'm going with this is I'm starting to really question my "tentative course schedule" over the next 2 years. I was really hoping I could apply to DO medical schools in 2 years, which would require I take Organic Chem I over the summer, and a fairly heavy course load every other semester.

Spring '16: Bio II, Chem II, (2 other courses)
Summer '16: Organic Chem I (I guess I'd have to also add Trig here since I dropped it)
Fall '16: Organic Chem II, Physics I (2 other courses)
Spring '17: Biochemistry I, Calculus, Physics II (1 other course)
Summer '17: Biochemistry II (Apply to med school)

The "other courses" are mostly psych courses since that's my major. Is this plan totally unrealistic?? I'm wondering if I should stretch my 2 year plan to 3 years...:/ If I was a few years younger, I don't think this would be as big a deal to me.

I also feel I should mention that I've been having these horrible, nagging thoughts telling me that if I had difficulty with Trig, I'll never make it in pre-med (since I know there's far harder courses I'll be taking). Any advice?
I got C's/D's in remedial algebra/other embarrassingly basic math classes in college. I got A's in bio, physics and ochem. being bad at a certain type of math doesn't mean you'll be bad in pre-med pre-reqs.
 

Stephanopolous

5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2013
826
603
Upstate, NY
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I'm a non-traditional student, hoping to pursue DO schools in 2 years. Long story short, I quit my career and used every semblance of money I had to go back to school full time. I just transferred from a community college to a major university this semester.

Maybe its because I knew time was ticking away and I wasn't getting any younger, but I took WAY too many credits my first semester here. I signed up for 18 credits (Bio I, Chem I, Statistics, English, a volunteer course, and Trig), am registered to work 12-20 hours in a research lab every week, am signed up for clinical volunteer hours every week, am signed up for non-clinical volunteer work every other week, and am registered in a pretty hands on leadership program for the next semester with my university. I thought I could handle it all, but hindsight is 20/20. I just never counted on Trig being SO hard for me to grasp early on. Granted, I know I haven't taken college algebra since the Bush administration, but I ended up dropping it the first week I was here because I was spending all my time studying for it and falling behind in other classes.

Most people say Trig is easy for them... I guess I'm not as smart as I hoped I was. :(

Anyway, where I'm going with this is I'm starting to really question my "tentative course schedule" over the next 2 years. I was really hoping I could apply to DO medical schools in 2 years, which would require I take Organic Chem I over the summer, and a fairly heavy course load every other semester.

Spring '16: Bio II, Chem II, (2 other courses)
Summer '16: Organic Chem I (I guess I'd have to also add Trig here since I dropped it)
Fall '16: Organic Chem II, Physics I (2 other courses)
Spring '17: Biochemistry I, Calculus, Physics II (1 other course)
Summer '17: Biochemistry II (Apply to med school)

The "other courses" are mostly psych courses since that's my major. Is this plan totally unrealistic?? I'm wondering if I should stretch my 2 year plan to 3 years...:/ If I was a few years younger, I don't think this would be as big a deal to me.

I also feel I should mention that I've been having these horrible, nagging thoughts telling me that if I had difficulty with Trig, I'll never make it in pre-med (since I know there's far harder courses I'll be taking). Any advice?
I'm a non-trad who went the DO route also. I was just accepted to two schools so far this cycle. Here's my advice:

I would re-consider Biochemistry II and Trig. Now I haven't flipped through my osteopathic school specific book to the point where I have it memorized but I certainly don't remember these classes being requirements at any schools. I applied to nearly 30 and I don't have those classes. Use the extra time to study and do well in other classes or take a class that you are interested in that has nothing to do with medicine or science (read: make yourself stand out).

It's hard to tell about difficulty without knowing you personally and without knowing the other classes. After an initial glance the schedule looks okay, providing your only work is the research position 20hrs or so a week. Organic chem was a beast of a class for me, so my advice, if possible, is to take that as a sole class during that summer.

Also, keep in mind that unless a class is a pre-req to apply to the school, you could always have a class planned for the summer of the year that you are accepted. That would help you space them out a bit.

Best of luck!

S
 
OP
Finette
Mar 28, 2015
28
13
Florida
Status
Pre-Medical
It's really nice to hear advice from other people who have completed this process, and to hear it's not impossible. I think I was really down on myself this week because of Trig, but so far I'm doing really well in my other classes (I just took my first Bio quiz of the semester and got a 100%). I don't really know any other pre-meds in real life, so most of the time people aren't sure what to offer me as advice. (Note: when I left my job to move to the university, a few of my co-workers told me "let me know what you decide to pursue when you realize medicine is too hard for you." They were jerks, so I tried not to take it personally) I think I just needed to hear some words of encouragement from fellow peers. :)

@Stephanopolous Unfortunately, at my university Algebra and Trig are prerequisites to take Physics, which I will definitely need. My only option out of that would be take Physics at a local community college as a transient student, but I've been warned that this might raise a few eyebrows to admissions committees. I'll definitely look into Biochem II though! I think I need to narrow my school list to ones I actually plan on applying to so I can get a better idea of what classes I can omit.
 

Stephanopolous

5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2013
826
603
Upstate, NY
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
It's really nice to hear advice from other people who have completed this process, and to hear it's not impossible. I think I was really down on myself this week because of Trig, but so far I'm doing really well in my other classes (I just took my first Bio quiz of the semester and got a 100%). I don't really know any other pre-meds in real life, so most of the time people aren't sure what to offer me as advice. (Note: when I left my job to move to the university, a few of my co-workers told me "let me know what you decide to pursue when you realize medicine is too hard for you." They were jerks, so I tried not to take it personally) I think I just needed to hear some words of encouragement from fellow peers. :)

@Stephanopolous Unfortunately, at my university Algebra and Trig are prerequisites to take Physics, which I will definitely need. My only option out of that would be take Physics at a local community college as a transient student, but I've been warned that this might raise a few eyebrows to admissions committees. I'll definitely look into Biochem II though! I think I need to narrow my school list to ones I actually plan on applying to so I can get a better idea of what classes I can omit.
I know how it is, I didn't have many friends (actually none) who were doing pre-med when I was. The pre-med advisor at my university told me I should consider other options, and there were points where I would be in tears, frustrated, wondering if I could make this happen. Struggling makes us appreciate and value our success so much more so just keep that in the back of your head. I understand your hesitation about CC classes for pre-req's. At the end of the day I bit the bullet and took my organic chem sequence there because it was cheaper and the teachers had a better reputation. I wouldn't go back and change that decision and it never came up in any of my interviews.
 
Last edited:

oOKawaiiOo

7+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2011
977
687
Public library computer
Status
Pre-Veterinary
To fix your trig by attending your math tutoring center! HECK, if you really need help...... help is only a phone call away. Just have to search on the internet.
 

glepurple

2+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2015
23
12
Status
Pre-Medical
It's really nice to hear advice from other people who have completed this process, and to hear it's not impossible. I think I was really down on myself this week because of Trig, but so far I'm doing really well in my other classes (I just took my first Bio quiz of the semester and got a 100%). I don't really know any other pre-meds in real life, so most of the time people aren't sure what to offer me as advice. (Note: when I left my job to move to the university, a few of my co-workers told me "let me know what you decide to pursue when you realize medicine is too hard for you." They were jerks, so I tried not to take it personally) I think I just needed to hear some words of encouragement from fellow peers. :)

@Stephanopolous Unfortunately, at my university Algebra and Trig are prerequisites to take Physics, which I will definitely need. My only option out of that would be take Physics at a local community college as a transient student, but I've been warned that this might raise a few eyebrows to admissions committees. I'll definitely look into Biochem II though! I think I need to narrow my school list to ones I actually plan on applying to so I can get a better idea of what classes I can omit.
As someone who is also completing the pre-reqs I suggest you not rush to finish your remaining courses. I too just returned to school over the summer and I took upon a large courseload and was constantly playing catch up. My grades suffered as a result (I got a 3.3 not terrible, but would of been better had I lightened the load) and now I know to not take a load that's to big to handle at once. I came in with the mindset of finishing school as early as possible to apply to med school, but now It has set in that I won't get in without making good grades in these pre-reqs. So I now have changed my plan to accommodate my situation. My point is don't rush to apply to med school. Make the best grades you can first, then focus on the mcat. Best of luck too you!!
 
Dec 10, 2013
474
345
Status
Medical Student
This is an intense schedule. Definitely possible, but it will be very difficult. The main issue I have with your schedule is the MCAT. A lot of people at my school take a whole semester off to study for that beast. It is also just as important as your classes. I would try to think about how to fit that in your plans as it will be a big factor in your chances of getting into DO school.

Also my plan is similar to yours :) so you're not alone!