Aug 23, 2017
5
0
Chicago/Columbus
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi All, I am very new here and need a little help organizing my class schedule. I was originally going the PA route and through shadowing, volunteering and knowing what I'd like to do a bit more, I have decided (pretty recently) to shift gears towards med school. I would still like to fit in all of my prerequisite courses so that I can join the class of 2019, but it seems that there are prereqs to the additional prereqs I'll need to take so that timeline is much tighter than expected. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on the most optimized version of my schedule below so that I can also study for the MCAT, take the MCAT and apply by the Nov.1 deadlines (the earliest I've seen) next year. I'm a career changer and early 30s so I like to allow myself time and space to really study at a good pace. I took a basic chem class last year while working full time and this summer took a 7-week semester intro to human bio and a plant bio course while working part-time (25 hours) in the evenings and on weekends all of which I received As in.

I've outlined a Plan A and Plan B...not chronological by preference. Do either one of these look better? Do you see an alternative organization of this? Again, I work 25 hours a week nights and weekends, shadow, volunteer etc. Thanks!

PLAN A
fall 2017

gen chem 1
gen bio 1
Spanish (I'd really like to be fluent to service this population as well).

spring 2018 (is this nuts? like...it looks like too much *laughs uncomfortably I work 25 hours/week keep in mind)
gen chem 2
gen bio 2
Physics 1
biochem

summer 2018 Session 1 (7 week semester),
Organic Chem 1
Physics 2
Study for MCAT

Session 2 ( 7 week semester)
Organic chem 2
Study for MCAT

fall 2018

Take MCAT first week in September
Apply to Med schools with personal deadline October 20.

PLAN B
fall 2017
gen chem 1
gen bio 1
Spanish (I'd really like to be fluent to service this population as well).
Physics 1 (Not sure if this class is available this semester still but I can try)

spring 2018
gen chem 2
gen bio 2
biochem

summer 2018 Session 1 (7 week semester),
Organic Chem 1
Physics 2
Study for MCAT

Session 2 ( 7 week semester)
Organic chem 2
Study for MCAT

fall 2018
Take MCAT first week in September
Apply to Med schools with personal deadline October 20.
 

Eccesignum

I Narcanned Your Honor Student
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Oct 13, 2011
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Take organic chem before biochem.

Check on schools you're interested in via MSAR and see if you really need to be taking OChem 2 (some are no longer requiring it).

Do you have psychology, sociology, and an English course covered already? Again, invest in MSAR (and/or do some legwork on DO sites) and do some homework on pre-reqs if you haven't already. They have been changing along with the shift in the MCAT, and the classic four of Bio/Chem/OChem/Physics isn't sufficient anymore.

One semester of Spanish won't make you anywhere near fluent. Nice to have some basics but if you're looking for something to cut this would be first.

MCAT in September is very, very late if you're applying MD, especially if you don't have a bulletproof powerhouse of an app. Take the MCAT no later than April of the year you're applying, so that you have your score back and (in worst case scenario) have time for an retake before the cycle gets too far in. I strongly suggest having the vast majority of your secondaries turned by late August/early September at absolute latest, with earlier being better. Submitting an app near deadline means thousands and thousands (seriously, some schools get 10K+ applicants) have applied before you, have been seen by committees ahead of you, and have taken up the vast majority of interview slots ahead of you. This is not what you want.

If you're only applying DO then disregard, October is fine. DO cycle runs longer than MD.
 
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DocJanItor

2+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2017
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Gen chem is far easier than OChem, and as the poster above stated, you need to take Ochem before you take biochem. Doing an Ochem course in 7 weeks is probably not advisable. Even if you're able to get a good grade, you may not remember everything you need for the MCAT. Plus you said you're working, so that makes it even harder.

If you could, I would take Gen Chem in half semesters this fall and take Ochem 1 in the spring, followed by Ochem 2 over the whole summer. I don't know if that's an option for you, but again, Ochem in 7 weeks seems like a recipe for disaster.

If that's not possible, then I would advise you to go slower and take everything on a semester basis. Then you can finish by winter 2018, take the MCAT in the spring of 2019, and then apply immediately when AMCAS applications open for MD schools. Applying in September for MD, especially as a non-trad, is way too late. Additionally, taking your MCAT earlier in the year will allow you time for restudy/retake if you don't do well on the first try.
 
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Ad2b

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Orgo + Phyics in summer is insane. Add in MCAT? no, no no... take another year and do it well and right the first time!
 

Blanky

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Mar 12, 2017
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When you start taking these courses you will understand what you are in for. You need to push back another year and even then this will take hard work and dedication.
 

esob

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Physics and Ochem in the same summer semester is not really doable. You can take Ochem by itself though in a summer semester and retain the knowledge. I finished Ochem this summer in 5 weeks and scored in 100th percentile on the national ACS organic chemistry exam.
 
OP
balancedladydr
Aug 23, 2017
5
0
Chicago/Columbus
Status
Pre-Medical
Wow, thanks for all of this great advice!
Take organic chem before biochem.

Check on schools you're interested in via MSAR and see if you really need to be taking OChem 2 (some are no longer requiring it).

Do you have psychology, sociology, and an English course covered already? Again, invest in MSAR (and/or do some legwork on DO sites) and do some homework on pre-reqs if you haven't already. They have been changing along with the shift in the MCAT, and the classic four of Bio/Chem/OChem/Physics isn't sufficient anymore.

One semester of Spanish won't make you anywhere near fluent. Nice to have some basics but if you're looking for something to cut this would be first.

MCAT in September is very, very late if you're applying MD, especially if you don't have a bulletproof powerhouse of an app. Take the MCAT no later than April of the year you're applying, so that you have your score back and (in worst case scenario) have time for an retake before the cycle gets too far in. I strongly suggest having the vast majority of your secondaries turned by late August/early September at absolute latest, with earlier being better. Submitting an app near deadline means thousands and thousands (seriously, some schools get 10K+ applicants) have applied before you, have been seen by committees ahead of you, and have taken up the vast majority of interview slots ahead of you. This is not what you want.

If you're only applying DO then disregard, October is fine. DO cycle runs longer than MD.
Thanks so much! Yes I've taken all of the other perquisites already. I'm non-trad so in 2018 I'll officially be 10 years out from undergrad.
 
OP
balancedladydr
Aug 23, 2017
5
0
Chicago/Columbus
Status
Pre-Medical
Gen chem is far easier than OChem, and as the poster above stated, you need to take Ochem before you take biochem. Doing an Ochem course in 7 weeks is probably not advisable. Even if you're able to get a good grade, you may not remember everything you need for the MCAT. Plus you said you're working, so that makes it even harder.

If you could, I would take Gen Chem in half semesters this fall and take Ochem 1 in the spring, followed by Ochem 2 over the whole summer. I don't know if that's an option for you, but again, Ochem in 7 weeks seems like a recipe for disaster.

If that's not possible, then I would advise you to go slower and take everything on a semester basis. Then you can finish by winter 2018, take the MCAT in the spring of 2019, and then apply immediately when AMCAS applications open for MD schools. Applying in September for MD, especially as a non-trad, is way too late. Additionally, taking your MCAT earlier in the year will allow you time for restudy/retake if you don't do well on the first try.
Good advice! I think I will just take it a bit slower. I think I was just getting a bit anxious about what age I'll be when I finish everything and actually start med school (33). 1 year really won't make a big diff in the grand scheme of things. Thanks again.
 
OP
balancedladydr
Aug 23, 2017
5
0
Chicago/Columbus
Status
Pre-Medical
Take organic chem before biochem.

Check on schools you're interested in via MSAR and see if you really need to be taking OChem 2 (some are no longer requiring it).

Do you have psychology, sociology, and an English course covered already? Again, invest in MSAR (and/or do some legwork on DO sites) and do some homework on pre-reqs if you haven't already. They have been changing along with the shift in the MCAT, and the classic four of Bio/Chem/OChem/Physics isn't sufficient anymore.

One semester of Spanish won't make you anywhere near fluent. Nice to have some basics but if you're looking for something to cut this would be first.

MCAT in September is very, very late if you're applying MD, especially if you don't have a bulletproof powerhouse of an app. Take the MCAT no later than April of the year you're applying, so that you have your score back and (in worst case scenario) have time for an retake before the cycle gets too far in. I strongly suggest having the vast majority of your secondaries turned by late August/early September at absolute latest, with earlier being better. Submitting an app near deadline means thousands and thousands (seriously, some schools get 10K+ applicants) have applied before you, have been seen by committees ahead of you, and have taken up the vast majority of interview slots ahead of you. This is not what you want.

If you're only applying DO then disregard, October is fine. DO cycle runs longer than MD.
Oh I am an intermediate Spanish speaker and will be taking an advanced level class this fall. I'm just wanting to take one since it's been a while and I plan to join some local meetups to continue practicing as well.
 
OP
balancedladydr
Aug 23, 2017
5
0
Chicago/Columbus
Status
Pre-Medical
When you start taking these courses you will understand what you are in for. You need to push back another year and even then this will take hard work and dedication.
Thanks! I have started already and have taken Medical Terminology, Human Biology, Plant Biology(just cuz) and and Basic Chemistry to get my feet wet and see how I'd do. I loved Physics in high school and did well, but I'm mostly nervous about Calculus (it annoys my brain).
 

DocJanItor

2+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2017
265
291
Status
Medical Student
Good advice! I think I will just take it a bit slower. I think I was just getting a bit anxious about what age I'll be when I finish everything and actually start med school (33). 1 year really won't make a big diff in the grand scheme of things. Thanks again.
I wouldn't worry about age very much. I was 33 when I started pre-med prep, 36 as an M1 now, and I'm not even the oldest one in my class (though almost). The difference between 33 and 34 is negligible when you compare it to the risk of getting bad grades or not learning the material.
 
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