Aug 2, 2016
19
3
Status
Pre-Medical
I know there are many other threads on here that already go over this topic, but I wanted some advice on my specific situation.

I'm currently 19 years old and am going into my second semester in college at a Community College. I have taken a freshman seminar (mandatory), Speech, and Psychology, and I am taking Intro to Chemistry, Math 110, and English 101 in the fall. So this is all I have taken or am taken so far so I am not too far into college to change my major. Flashback to high school and I always said I wanted to be a surgeon and heart surgery specifically if I could (Cardiothoracic I later researched), then going forward I had all my friends peer pressuring me and telling me that going to medical school is too hard, too much money, and takes too long, so I listened. I said I'll just be a nurse instead and try to work in the OR so that I can experience surgeries still. Fast forward to today and now that I've done some research on costs, what it takes to get into medical school, etc. I feel like I should do what I want in life and attempt to go to medical school. I am a good smart student so grades aren't an issue for me; however, I still feel like I want to get my ADN so that I can make a little more money then I am now as a bank teller (finishing my CNA) and work for two years as an ADN while going to a four year school to major in whatever then apply for Med school. I'm just kind of confused on what I should major in. Also how good of a school I need to go to for my bachelors degree to get accepted into a decent medical school program. I never had parents that went to school and all of my friends are going for business or art degrees so this is the only place that I can really get some solid advice. I am open to changing my associates degree to something other then nursing, because I have heard it's better to take an easier undergrad program that will allow you to get a higher GPA, I just think nursing is a good backup plan if Medical school doesn't work out.

Here's is my plan and tell me anything you would change if any:

Associates Degree: Penn Valley Community College in Nursing (ADN)
Bachelors: University of Kansas (Biology? Or something else? This is what I'm stuck on)
Medical School: University of Kansas (I think with a major in Biology (or whatever) at KU + hopefully working there as CNA at their Hospital here in KC, 1 year of Volunteering at Children's Mercy, and being a resident of Kansas will give me a good shot at getting accepted here)

To sum it up, will I be okay to get my ADN then do a Biology major, or should I switch my associates focus now since I am not too old or too far into the degree? Does a biology major look good to get accepted into medical school? Do I need to go to Kansas University for my bachelors, or could I go to a smaller Division 2 school Pitt State University or University of Central Missouri or will that ruin my chances of getting into medical school? Hope someone reads all of this and can give me some pointers based on my specific situation. Thank you so much for reading this, and helping out a hopeful future MD!
 

Newtonian21

2+ Year Member
May 11, 2016
118
34
I know there are many other threads on here that already go over this topic, but I wanted some advice on my specific situation.

I'm currently 19 years old and am going into my second semester in college at a Community College. I have taken a freshman seminar (mandatory), Speech, and Psychology, and I am taking Intro to Chemistry, Math 110, and English 101 in the fall. So this is all I have taken or am taken so far so I am not too far into college to change my major. Flashback to high school and I always said I wanted to be a surgeon and heart surgery specifically if I could (Cardiothoracic I later researched), then going forward I had all my friends peer pressuring me and telling me that going to medical school is too hard, too much money, and takes too long, so I listened. I said I'll just be a nurse instead and try to work in the OR so that I can experience surgeries still. Fast forward to today and now that I've done some research on costs, what it takes to get into medical school, etc. I feel like I should do what I want in life and attempt to go to medical school. I am a good smart student so grades aren't an issue for me; however, I still feel like I want to get my ADN so that I can make a little more money then I am now as a bank teller (finishing my CNA) and work for two years as an ADN while going to a four year school to major in whatever then apply for Med school. I'm just kind of confused on what I should major in. Also how good of a school I need to go to for my bachelors degree to get accepted into a decent medical school program. I never had parents that went to school and all of my friends are going for business or art degrees so this is the only place that I can really get some solid advice. I am open to changing my associates degree to something other then nursing, because I have heard it's better to take an easier undergrad program that will allow you to get a higher GPA, I just think nursing is a good backup plan if Medical school doesn't work out.

Here's is my plan and tell me anything you would change if any:

Associates Degree: Penn Valley Community College in Nursing (ADN)
Bachelors: University of Kansas (Biology? Or something else? This is what I'm stuck on)
Medical School: University of Kansas (I think with a major in Biology (or whatever) at KU + hopefully working there as CNA at their Hospital here in KC, 1 year of Volunteering at Children's Mercy, and being a resident of Kansas will give me a good shot at getting accepted here)

To sum it up, will I be okay to get my ADN then do a Biology major, or should I switch my associates focus now since I am not too old or too far into the degree? Does a biology major look good to get accepted into medical school? Do I need to go to Kansas University for my bachelors, or could I go to a smaller Division 2 school Pitt State University or University of Central Missouri or will that ruin my chances of getting into medical school? Hope someone reads all of this and can give me some pointers based on my specific situation. Thank you so much for reading this, and helping out a hopeful future MD!
Pick a major you enjoy anything at all as far as you complete your prereqs for med school. There's PE, art, English literature, psychology or athletic training or dance. Just do anything you like doesn't have to be biology or chemistry.
 
T

trev5150

Keep working on your core requirements for your Associate and Bachelor's & prereqs for med school. You don't need to pick a major right now. Concentrate on that and table the major decision until next summer.
 
T

trev5150

BTW you're 19, not a nontraditional student. That said, checking with us crusty types wasn't a bad idea.
 
OP
danth0ny
Aug 2, 2016
19
3
Status
Pre-Medical
Pick a major you enjoy anything at all as far as you complete your prereqs for med school. There's PE, art, English literature, psychology or athletic training or dance. Just do anything you like doesn't have to be biology or chemistry.
Would I still have a good chance at getting accepted into medical school at a large University like Kansas if I get my major at a smaller state school?
 
T

trev5150

Would I still have a good chance at getting accepted into medical school at a large University like Kansas if I get my major at a smaller state school?
What matters is your GPA, your MCAT score and your relevant extracurriculars. Get all the book learning done and develop yourself as a person. Your major is not as concerning as these things.

You're just as likely to get into your state medical school from your state university with good stats as you would be from anywhere else, maybe even more so.
 
OP
danth0ny
Aug 2, 2016
19
3
Status
Pre-Medical
Keep working on your core requirements for your Associate and Bachelor's & prereqs for med school. You don't need to pick a major right now. Concentrate on that and table the major decision until next summer.
Awesome thanks for you reply, do you think it is acceptable to go into Nursing for my associates? I kinda figured I wouldn't be considered "Non-traditional" because of my age, I just put it here because I feel like I'd get the most help here, rather then the stereotypical stuck up kids at my age, lol. As for where I attend my bachelors after CC, is a smaller state school going to ruin my chances of getting into a large medicine program such as Kansas? I am just thinking from the financial standpoint I'd be saving a ton of money going to a smaller division 2 school first and not have to take much if at all in loans and save loans for Medical School.
 
T

trev5150

The nursing option is good because you'll get to see and do more sooner. Just don't too wrapped up in it from a time commitment perspective. Do that part time to get clinical exposure while you are killing it in the science academics. That's how you prioritize.
 

cabinbuilder

Urgent Care Physician
10+ Year Member
Nov 21, 2005
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Attending Physician
Awesome thanks for you reply, do you think it is acceptable to go into Nursing for my associates? I kinda figured I wouldn't be considered "Non-traditional" because of my age, I just put it here because I feel like I'd get the most help here, rather then the stereotypical stuck up kids at my age, lol. As for where I attend my bachelors after CC, is a smaller state school going to ruin my chances of getting into a large medicine program such as Kansas? I am just thinking from the financial standpoint I'd be saving a ton of money going to a smaller division 2 school first and not have to take much if at all in loans and save loans for Medical School.
No one really cares where you get your bachelor's. Not everyone has money to go "to the best, most expensive school". You need to focus on the pre-req's and the overall package. I personally wouldn't do an associates in nursing if you are getting a CNA license already unless you plan on being a nurse (which doesn't sound like it) . You will see enough and get enough experience with that job to facilitate your med school package (that's what I did for 7 years before going to med school).
 
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T

trev5150

(that's what I did for 7 years before going to med school).
Exactly this, which is why I said not to get sucked into nursing beyond whatever very basic level that is. You get caught in it and BOOM! 7 years later...
 

cabinbuilder

Urgent Care Physician
10+ Year Member
Nov 21, 2005
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Exactly this, which is why I said not to get sucked into nursing beyond whatever very basic level that is. You get caught in it and BOOM! 7 years later...
Well, don't make it sound like its a bad thing, either. I had kids and bills, etc and it took time for me to be able to get out of Alaska to even afford to move to get to medical school, let alone get accepted. Life doesn't always happen like the storybook.
 
OP
danth0ny
Aug 2, 2016
19
3
Status
Pre-Medical
The nursing option is good because you'll get to see and do more sooner. Just don't too wrapped up in it from a time commitment perspective. Do that part time to get clinical exposure while you are killing it in the science academics. That's how you prioritize.
Okay thank you for all the advice, I know I'm still young and have time, I just like to have some sort of plan to go off of. Outside of Nursing and biology there is nothing else that interests me greatly, so I just want to make sure I set myself up to succeed. I've also heard people say pick easier majors that way you end up with a greater GPA so I'm keeping that in mind as well.
 
OP
danth0ny
Aug 2, 2016
19
3
Status
Pre-Medical
No one really cares where you get your bachelor's. Not everyone has money to go "to the best, most expensive school". You need to focus on the pre-req's and the overall package. I personally wouldn't do an associates in nursing if you are getting a CNA license already unless you plan on being a nurse (which doesn't sound like it) . You will see enough and get enough experience with that job to facilitate your med school package (that's what I did for 7 years before going to med school).
So you're suggestion would be to stick it out as a CNA and chose something else for my associates/bachelors? What would you suggest? I guess I'm nervous if I got all the way through to my bachelors and then what if I didn't get accepted into medical school? Would I be able to get some sort of decent job with my bachelors if it's not nursing? I just want some sort of fall back plan. I am a pretty good student, So I am not too nervous about not getting accepted into med school, but at the same time I don't want to get over confident without a back up plan.
 

cabinbuilder

Urgent Care Physician
10+ Year Member
Nov 21, 2005
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So you're suggestion would be to stick it out as a CNA and chose something else for my associates/bachelors? What would you suggest? I guess I'm nervous if I got all the way through to my bachelors and then what if I didn't get accepted into medical school? Would I be able to get some sort of decent job with my bachelors if it's not nursing? I just want some sort of fall back plan. I am a pretty good student, So I am not too nervous about not getting accepted into med school, but at the same time I don't want to get over confident without a back up plan.
I guess I'm confused as to why you think it's necessary to get an associates degree? Why not just go for the bachelor's and then apply to medical school. I get the whole "back up plan" if you don't get it but at 19 years old you have LLOOONNGG way to go. I actually did things in reverse. I had my bachelor's first in biology. I kick myself because I hated half the classes in the bio major and didn't know you could have any major and still apply to med school. I would have done an English major with pre-req's and been a much happier and much more successful person. So don't do nursing unless that is something you really want to do because being stuck in a job you hate is more miserable IMO. I got my CNA license after I got my bachelor's so I would be able to get a job in the hospital to get medial experience. I wasn't "stuck" in that job, I had lots of complications from having children and ended up being very ill for 5 years. It took me that long to be well enough to even apply to medical school. Will that being said, it took me 3 cycles of applying before I was accepted. Failure is part of the process and you need to expect to fail to get in the first time - most people don't.
 
OP
danth0ny
Aug 2, 2016
19
3
Status
Pre-Medical
I guess I'm confused as to why you think it's necessary to get an associates degree? Why not just go for the bachelor's and then apply to medical school. I get the whole "back up plan" if you don't get it but at 19 years old you have LLOOONNGG way to go. I actually did things in reverse. I had my bachelor's first in biology. I kick myself because I hated half the classes in the bio major and didn't know you could have any major and still apply to med school. I would have done an English major with pre-req's and been a much happier and much more successful person. So don't do nursing unless that is something you really want to do because being stuck in a job you hate is more miserable IMO. I got my CNA license after I got my bachelor's so I would be able to get a job in the hospital to get medial experience. I wasn't "stuck" in that job, I had lots of complications from having children and ended up being very ill for 5 years. It took me that long to be well enough to even apply to medical school. Will that being said, it took me 3 cycles of applying before I was accepted. Failure is part of the process and you need to expect to fail to get in the first time - most people don't.
The confusion of getting a associates comes from me being ill informed on college, I'll be the first in my family to go to college, so all the information regarding school I've learned my own so I guess I was under the assumption that in order to get a bachelors degree you must get an associates degree in something first. Now knowing this, if I decide to get a bachelors in biology(just an example) I don't necessarily have to get an associates in anything I can just complete two years at my community college then transfer to a four year school to finish the bachelors without declaring an associates?
 

cabinbuilder

Urgent Care Physician
10+ Year Member
Nov 21, 2005
4,543
2,364
Texas
Status
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The confusion of getting a associates comes from me being ill informed on college, I'll be the first in my family to go to college, so all the information regarding school I've learned my own so I guess I was under the assumption that in order to get a bachelors degree you must get an associates degree in something first. Now knowing this, if I decide to get a bachelors in biology(just an example) I don't necessarily have to get an associates in anything I can just complete two years at my community college then transfer to a four year school to finish the bachelors without declaring an associates?
That's exactly right. Most who get an associates do so because they only plan on going to school for 2 years and are looking for a "quick way into the workforce". 99% of students get a bachelors without ever getting and associates. That just like when patient's ask me if I was a PA or nurse before going to medical school. When I say NO, they are surprised thinking you had to have one of those careers first. Just doesn't work that way.