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[help!] don't ignore me.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Starfishhh, May 2, 2007.

  1. Starfishhh

    Starfishhh I'm scared.

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    Hi. I just have a few questions and things to put my might (slightly) at ease. I am sure they have been asked and answered numerous times, but I have seached through pages and pages of questions and figured it might just be easier to start over.

    Okay. I am brand new to Pre-Med (waaaay farther behind that most people on this forum, from what I have read) and also a History major.

    This year I have planned out to take
    Fall: Chemistry 221/227 Biology 251/251L
    Winter: Chemistry 222/228 Biology 252/242L
    Spring: Chemistry 223/229 Biology 252/252L

    Each of those, the lecture and the lab combined are 5 credits.
    Should I continue along these lines? Is this a good place to start? Should I begin to do Doctor shadowing and interning at hospitals? How do I even find out about those opportunities?

    I feel like I am starting all over again, seeings how I just decided that I am going to stop telling myself I am too stupid to be a Doctor and go for it.

    Another question: You take the MCATs a year before you plan on applying for medical school, correct?

    Ugh, I feel like a baby, but any help would be so appreciated.


     
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  3. Raekwon

    Raekwon Junior Member
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    In terms of what classes you need to take, the best thing for you to do is look at the admissions website at your target medical school. There they'll list the classes that you need to take in order to matriculate. Generally speaking, you need a year of Bio + labs, a year of G-Chem + labs, a year of O-Chem + labs, a year of Physics + labs, and 1 or 2 mathematics courses. A lot of schools also have humanaties requirements, but as a History major you should have no problem fulfilling those.

    Yes, generally people take the MCAT a year before they matriculate. With the MCAT now computerized, there are many dates to choose when to take the test. Also, most med schools will accept MCAT scores from up to 3 years before your application is sent in.

    The earlier you gain some clinical experience, the better. Hospitals in your area should have volunteer departments you can contact to ask for opportunities.
     
  4. Starfishhh

    Starfishhh I'm scared.

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    Thanks so much for your help! :oops:
     
  5. SeminoleFan3

    SeminoleFan3 Senior Member
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    I know it's overwhelming, Starfish.
    For most schools, you'll need Gen Chem I and II, Organic I and II, Bio I and II, Physics I and II, all with labs, and then a few humanities and math classes. It's completely doable. I did all of it in 2 years at a community college. I took the MCAT in April of last year and had a lag year in which I just worked full-time while I applied to school.
    I would hospital in your area to volunteer at for a little while a few hours a week. Once you've done that and maybe made some contacts with some docs, you can approach them about possibly shadowing them once a week for a month or so. Make sure you get some variety (not just family practice). Keep up with your own interests outside of medicine; adcoms want to see variety.

    Good luck.
     
  6. 4paw

    4paw Member
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    Hi Starfishhhhh,

    Take the time now, with a notebook in hand, to get your bearings.

    Check out things like these message boards, the MSAR (medical school admission requirements) which is published once a year by aamc, and likely at your univeristy library, the MCAT website, the AAMC website, and google stuff for pre-meds. there are some great resources out there, which of course need digging for. i've found some great year-by-year checklists, etc. MSAR will give you lots of stuff on pre-reqs you'll need. MCAT: try to do something like a kaplan. When you start sciences, don't be afraid to take only one course at the beginning just to test the 'science' waters, and perhaps be doing some stuff at the university counselling centre to get over the 'not smart enough' hump - which is very doable, and yes, it can be quite real. for instance, spacing out on 'math' questions, not having effective study time - that's stuff that is emotional/psychological, get some support for that kind of stuff if it comes up. just don't worry about taking the time right now. like any research, it looks huge and messy right now. however, just work your way in there, uncover more and more as you go along, let the material reveal itself to you. and keep notes as you go. what you're finding out that's important, what you've got questions about that you may find answers for on the way, etc. you've got the time - since this is early spring, and you're not starting the courses until fall. and find some real-time people. premed office at school? a club? a mentor? all the very best to you. a planned process is ultimately the best. oh, which leads me to remember: think about post-baccs for career changers. go google that. look at things like bryn mawr, and u penn. there are programmes for people who have no sciences, that prepare you for mcat, and who have a lot of support for preparing your med app. look into those things. and now! as part of your research. could impact on your decision for what you want to do for fall. go look at the post-bacc section of this website. google it.
     
  7. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    You don't want to take the MCAT until you are done with all the prereqs, so don't worry about that just yet. Just see if you can do well in the two semesters of each of bio, chem, orgo and physics first. And you need to squeeze in some hospital volunteering or shadowing, as clinical exposure is a must. Good luck.
     
  9. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator
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    I think some students take it while they do their third year reqs (orgo or physics for the most part) and just fill in the blanks with kaplan. I took it after I finished them all. I think the bigger issue is figuring out when to budget your time in for MCAT studying. I have several friends who took the MCAT after they finished all their prereqs but took the MCAT courses during a maxed out semester (5 Classes), needless to say they didnt do quite well. As well, I have more friends whotook it while they were taking organic chemistry in their junior year but left most of their schedule blank to study for the MCAT and have done fairly well.
     
  10. lilnoelle

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    If your school has premed advisors, it wouldn't hurt to talk to them to fill in some blanks as well.
     
  11. Wanna_B_Scutty

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    I don't really have much to add to this subject beyond what the other posters have contributed.

    But if I may make a suggestion for the future, you'll probably get more responses more quickly if you title future posts with a specific title such as "Advice for a Newly-Premed Junior?" Other posters like to be able to see in advance precisely what type of advice each OP is seeking. It also makes you seem more thoughtful and deliberate, which people respect.

    Good luck to you. :luck:
     
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    This is less of a good idea for nonsci majors. If you have had a ton of science, you will have caught a lot of the info in other courses anyhow. But if you are learning science from eg a history background, you really want to finish the courses first and then review rather than try to learn it from Kaplan initially. FWIW, a lot of the latter parts of orgo and physics can show up on the MCAT (at least they did when I took it).

    There is no rush -- a better score is generally worth more than an earlier cycle.
     
  13. lilnoelle

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    Are the computerized tests offered in the late spring/early summer? It seems like it would be easy enough to take the test right after you complete the prereqs, apply late summer and still be ahead of the game (in comparison to the previous situation with August MCATers.)
     
  14. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    Yes, it sounds like you're off to the right start. :) Are you by any chance going to PSU? The biology course numbers sound really familiar.

    If you're in Portland for school, Legacy Good Sam is a good place to start volunteering. They have lots of spots, and it's really easy to get to.
     
  15. Starfishhh

    Starfishhh I'm scared.

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    I never really thought of that being an emotional leap, so that is probably a much better way to look at things. I am doing the year by year checklists, but I am a Junior just now beginning Pre-Med stuff when all of the people around me are getting ready for their MCATs. It's a little overwhelming. The Chemistry is a bit daunting as well, seeings how I haven't had Chem since high school. :(

    Thanks so much for the resources and ideas of places to look. I spent 5 hours reading questions and answers and googling pre-med, haha.
     
  16. Starfishhh

    Starfishhh I'm scared.

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    I am, infact, at PSU. :)

    Legacy Good Sam, got it.
     
  17. Starfishhh

    Starfishhh I'm scared.

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    What do I do about LOR's? It says to request them as you proceed, but how should I protect the integrity of the document since I am not sending it anywhere, yet, just keeping it on file? Is there anything I should ask my Prof to write in there?

    Andddd, second question: Does anyone have any good book or online prep for Chemistry? It's always been a weaker subject of mine.
     
  18. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    I miss Portland. :( Good Sam's on NW 23rd, so you can take the streetcar from PSU. OHSU also has some shadowing program that would probably be good, but I don't know the details of it. I would guess your premed advisor could help you there.
     
  19. Wanna_B_Scutty

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    If your school has a Pre-Med office, letters should be sent there (call the office for the mailing address).

    If your school does not have a Pre-Med office, you will want to start and Interfolio account:
    http://www.interfolio.com/

    Telling your LOR writers precisely what they should say about you is a bad idea. :laugh: However, most of them will ask you for your resume, and a few will ask you to write them a mini-essay about why you want to go into medicine. Others may want to talk to you at office hours for a little while before writing a LOR. It would behove you to comply with their requests cheerfully and promptly. :)



    Can't help you there. But once you get to Orgo, make sure to pick up Pushing Electrons. It changed my life. ;)
     
  20. Starfishhh

    Starfishhh I'm scared.

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    All righty. Because I know that schools aren't keen on LOR's that haven't come directly from the source. So I should definitely start an Interfolio account, even though I probably have about 3 years to go? Where do the letters... actually go... through Interfolio? Since I don't know where I am going to even apply to Medical School yet.

     
  21. Wanna_B_Scutty

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    I didn't need to use Interfolio b/c my school had a Pre-Med office.

    However, if you go to the Interfolio website, and poke around a bit, I'm sure you can find the answers you're looking for. Alternatively, do a Search (see blue bar at top of Forums screen) for the word "Interfolio" and see what you find.
     
  22. Starfishhh

    Starfishhh I'm scared.

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    I am pretty sure both the schools I have gone to have pre-med offices. Should I go to the pre-med offices and set up something so that I can have my Prof's send them there?

    Thanks so so so much for your continuing replies.


     
  23. Wanna_B_Scutty

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    Call the Pre-Med office at the school you currently attend. Tell them that you've recently decided to go pre-med, but you need their help in terms of setting up a LOR timeline, getting clinical experience, etc. Then, let them lead you through the process. They've been sheparding pre-meds through the process for years. Let them guide you rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, yourself! Then, come back here to fill in any gaps in your knowledge that still remain.

    Good luck! :luck:
     
  24. mikeinsd

    mikeinsd predictably unpredictable
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    i didnt know my school even had a pre-med office (i never knew such a thing existed, so i didnt know to ask for one) until senior year! When I found out, i really wished i had gone there from day one... they can be really helpful :D
     
  25. instigata

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    UCSD has one??? Where at??
     
  26. On3H34rT

    On3H34rT Junior Member
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    Relax! Enjoy College :)
     
  27. Christo1

    Christo1 Member
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    Career Center. It's right off library walk sort of between Center Hall and Price Center.
     
  28. yobynaes

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    Hi Starfish, I was in the same shoes three years ago. I never even thought about going to med school until my junior year. I changed my major from EE/CPE to Molecular Biochem to prepare myself for the new career choice. Of course, it's doable but with a little more effort than usual.

    It also took me 2 and half years to complete my new major. I decided to take an extra half a year mostly because my scholarship covers for five years and also because i didn't want to push myself too hard. I was always kind of a slacker, you see. In the end, my message is that in terms of pre-med requirement courses, you should have plenty time to finish it, and still preform very well on MCAT. The classes you really need for mcat, IMHO, are Basic Bio, Human Bio, Biochem, Gen Chem I & II, Phys I&II (Modern phys helped me a little), Orgo I &II. take your time to plan out when you can finish these classes and when you want to tackle MCAT cuz that's pretty much what matter the most in your application.

    Finally, i would suggest you to make a plan to add in research and volunteer experience on your resume. Don't compare yourself with other premeds cuz it's kind discouraging. Just follow your own pace. I started volunteering and researching in my senior year. By my super senior year, i stopped research because i had a pending publication under my belt. I also found a world renowned physician to shadow at that time (the advantage of living in one of the largest cities in the world).

    Otherwise, good luck in your pursuit. :luck: :thumbup: Just don't give up.
     

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