Sporky

Sporky
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(perfunctory self-deprecatory statement goes here :) )

I am going to apply to med school this year, but I have not yet completed the last 2 of the necessary post-bacc, pre-med classes, which I am taking starting in August:

Ochem I and II

I am taking the August MCAT (computerized version). On my practise exams at Princeton Review I have done increasingly better, so I am hopeful (24, 27, 29).

(I would like a 30 or 31. I'm not a genius like some of you younger intellectual gymnasts.)

I have been blessed with some life experience (I am 40 years old) including the gift of being asked to co-author a new medical study to take place in China, based upon some research I have done in the area of enzymatic activity in relation to antioxidation and lipid hydroperoxides. Also for the last 10 years or so I have been a missionary and I work with an NGO which provides medical relief to very poor countries around the world.


So, my question is, (please hold on to your seats!) How long after I take the MCAT should I wait to submit my application?


Thank you in advance for your wisdom, insight and banana bread recipes. :)


Sporky
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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You're not going to like this answer, but my honest advice is: June 2007. Take your organic classes first, and then take the MCAT in January or April. You don't have to be a genius to get your 30, but you do have to be properly prepared. Almost all of those "younger intellectual gymnasts" have finished their pre-reqs and then spent a few months studying afterward before sitting for the test. I would advise you to do the same. It's better to wait a year and do things properly than it is to rush in before you're ready and then have to overcome an MCAT score that is not up to your capability.

Efex, Law2doc, back me up here! :p
 
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Sporky

Sporky

Sporky
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QofQuimica said:
You're not going to like this answer, but my honest advice is: June 2007. Take your organic classes first, and then take the MCAT in January or April. You don't have to be a genius to get your 30, but you do have to be properly prepared. Almost all of those "younger intellectual gymnasts" have finished their pre-reqs and then spent a few months studying afterward before sitting for the test. I would advise you to do the same. It's better to wait a year and do things properly than it is to rush in before you're ready and then have to overcome an MCAT score that is not up to your capability.

Efex, Law2doc, back me up here! :p
Thank you for honesty and I do value your opinion and will take it into consideration. I believe that I can get 30 or better having been enrolled in the Princeton Review course. So, if I were to get a 30, will you let me turn in my application this fall? I Promise not to tell anyone if you say yes.

:)
 
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MedSchoolFool

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My opinion differs from QofQuimica on this one. She does bring forward several valid reasons for why you should probably hold off until next year. However, co-authorship is impressive as well is the subject matter of your research. The medical missionary work also speaks well for you. I would say that if you currently have strong grades in every class, pre-med and non pre-med courses alike, then this might be an indication that you will do well in O-Chem...even though O-Chem can be a different beast all together from everything else....but your background could nevertheless give an adcom a reasonable expectation of your success in this subject.

Also you wouldn't have your MCAT score back until late October...so by the time you apply you would almost be finished with the first O-Chem class...at least enough to know what kind of grade to expect. It may happen that an adcom would check your AMCAS application at the end of the semester to see how you did in O-Chem I, if they are interested enough in the other parts of your application (MCAT, grades, experience, PS, etc.)

There is a school of thought out there that O-Chem I & II are the classes that separate pre-med students from actual medical students, that is: do well in O-Chem or else kiss dreams of medschool goodbye. I'm sure there are some adcoms that do feel this way, but I'm also sure that there are those who wouldn't necessarily need your O-Chem grades on hand in order to make a judgment about your potential for medicine.

So...I think your BEST chances rest with the advice QofQuimica gave you...but a better than decent chance for applying this year does exist as long as all parts of your application are strong enough. Maybe try only a few (5-7) schools that seem to be a good match for you, just so you won't be out a bunch of money. You never know if you don't try....and when you are non-trad every year counts. I know. Good luck.
 

MedSchoolFool

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Forgot something....if you are taking the Princeton MCAT course then you should already understand some O-CHEM by this point, at least the basics. And trust me...the basics of O-CHEM are all you really need to know for the MCAT. It isn't really emphasized as much as Biology is for its section. If you understand the Princeton material on O-Chem then you should do well enough on the MCAT O-Chem passages....and if you do well on the MCAT, then an adcom should be able to tell that you know your O-Chem whether or not you have taken the class or not. Let your MCAT score be your guide.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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Sporky said:
Thank you for honesty and I do value your opinion and will take it into consideration. I believe that I can get 30 or better having been enrolled in the Princeton Review course. So, if I were to get a 30, will you let me turn in my application this fall? I Promise not to tell anyone if you say yes.

:)
Well, it's not actually up to me anyway, is it? I mean, if I tell you no, I refuse to give you permission, would you really not apply this year??? ;)

There definitely are a small number of people who can do well on the MCAT while missing some of the pre-reqs. But they are the exception that proves the general rule that you should really wait until you can do things properly. The MCAT is a curved test, and you are taking it predominantly against people who have finished all of the pre-reqs (and even a few like me who have PhDs in organic ;)). I'd feel better about your plan if you were just missing organic II (which tends to focus more on synthesis) and not both classes; organic I covers material that is very important for the MCAT. And even in that case, you'd still need to go back and review your biomolecules (proteins, lipids, and carbs) on your own, because those topics are usually covered at the very end of the second semester in most organic courses. The biomolecules are commonly tested MCAT topics, BTW, so if you do decide to go ahead, you'll want to make sure to learn them.

I think that I am addressing a different issue than the points that MedSchoolFool seems to be making. I don't think that you should wait to apply because you're not a good enough applicant, or because you will be missing the organic pre-reqs when you apply. I'm speaking solely from the vantage point of maximizing your MCAT score. You can look at the AAMC trends for yourself; non-trads over age 30 like us statistically do the poorest on the test. And the generation gap is huge; the college-aged adolescents beat the pants off us as a group. So where I'm coming from is that I want you to have every possible thing that is under your control going in your favor. If you still aren't convinced by my brilliant rhetorical skills, however, I will wish you the best of luck with your apps anyway. :)
 
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Sporky

Sporky

Sporky
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QofQuimica said:
Well, it's not actually up to me anyway, is it? I mean, if I tell you no, I refuse to give you permission, would you really not apply this year??? ;)

There definitely are a small number of people who can do well on the MCAT while missing some of the pre-reqs. But they are the exception that proves the general rule that you should really wait until you can do things properly. The MCAT is a curved test, and you are taking it predominantly against people who have finished all of the pre-reqs (and even a few like me who have PhDs in organic ;)). I'd feel better about your plan if you were just missing organic II (which tends to focus more on synthesis) and not both classes; organic I covers material that is very important for the MCAT. And even in that case, you'd still need to go back and review your biomolecules (proteins, lipids, and carbs) on your own, because those topics are usually covered at the very end of the second semester in most organic courses. The biomolecules are commonly tested MCAT topics, BTW, so if you do decide to go ahead, you'll want to make sure to learn them.

I think that I am addressing a different issue than the points that MedSchoolFool seems to be making. I don't think that you should wait to apply because you're not a good enough applicant, or because you will be missing the organic pre-reqs when you apply. I'm speaking solely from the vantage point of maximizing your MCAT score. You can look at the AAMC trends for yourself; non-trads over age 30 like us statistically do the poorest on the test. And the generation gap is huge; the college-aged adolescents beat the pants off us as a group. So where I'm coming from is that I want you to have every possible thing that is under your control going in your favor. If you still aren't convinced by my brilliant rhetorical skills, however, I will wish you the best of luck with your apps anyway. :)

Your skills of speech and thought have caused me to give up medicine altogether and choose a career in Bonsai gardening. I hope you'll stop by my stand one day and purchase one.

(Of course, I'm kidding, silly). Although Bonsai gardening is kinda fun.

With regard to Organic - my Chem II class (which I just finished 2 weeks ago) was taught by a professor of Chemistry at the U of H school pf Pharmacy and the 2nd 1/2 included Organic Chemistry. Plus I've been drawing molecular structures with Chemsketch since I was knee-high to a thoracic surgeon. I have a funny story to divert attention from my rantings - my sister in law took their miracle baby (born at 18.5 weeks) to a follow up and their doctor said "I have some bad news". Of course, they were shocked! So they said, "Let us have it", thinking that something new had occurred, despite all they had overcome. The Dr. said, "your son is going to be short when he reaches adulthood". They began to wonder if the doctor was speaking of dwarfism or some other anamoly, and they asked "how short?" The Dr. replied, "Oh, 5-8 or 5-9." I asked how tall the doctor was - no kidding, he is 4' 8" tall!!!!!!LOL!!! I said, you should have told him - he will be short, but you can always look up to him!!!!


Anyway, I know the odds are against all of us, but those of us who are insane tend to ignore those types of statistics; not that we ought to be foolhardy or demonstrate ignorance of the subject at hand.

As an aside, the advice you all have given is a great blessing and I cannot convey how much it means to me to be able to speak with others in the same boat. I was just thinking though, wouldn't it be ironic, if everyone on this forum were in reality inmates in the terminal cell block at Attica Prison and only pretending to be "pre-meds"?

See you in the yard!!

Sporky
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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Sporky said:
As an aside, the advice you all have given is a great blessing and I cannot convey how much it means to me to be able to speak with others in the same boat. I was just thinking though, wouldn't it be ironic, if everyone on this forum were in reality inmates in the terminal cell block at Attica Prison and only pretending to be "pre-meds"?

See you in the yard!!

Sporky
:laugh: Well, you will come to know all of the SDN regulars after you've been here for a while. Most of us are on the fast track for parole based on our good behavior. :D

P.S. I tried my hand at bonsai gardening too, but I'm not very good at it. I love looking at them though. On the other hand, I've had tremendous success with aloe plants. Go figure. :p
 

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What is your current GPA? If it's good 3.4+ and you're sure you could get at least 30+/- a couple of points you can go ahead and submit it now. I don't know when you're planning to take the computerized MCAT and how long it would take the scores to come back. That is something to think about as well. You can always update your grades in December. Remember, prereqs are needed to matriculate. You don't need to have them all finished before you apply. What I'm saying is if you think your numbers are competitive (meaning they can get you a spot in medical school) then go for it. :luck:

Sporky said:
(perfunctory self-deprecatory statement goes here :) )

I am going to apply to med school this year, but I have not yet completed the last 2 of the necessary post-bacc, pre-med classes, which I am taking starting in August:

Ochem I and II

I am taking the August MCAT (computerized version). On my practise exams at Princeton Review I have done increasingly better, so I am hopeful (24, 27, 29).

(I would like a 30 or 31. I'm not a genius like some of you younger intellectual gymnasts.)

I have been blessed with some life experience (I am 40 years old) including the gift of being asked to co-author a new medical study to take place in China, based upon some research I have done in the area of enzymatic activity in relation to antioxidation and lipid hydroperoxides. Also for the last 10 years or so I have been a missionary and I work with an NGO which provides medical relief to very poor countries around the world.


So, my question is, (please hold on to your seats!) How long after I take the MCAT should I wait to submit my application?


Thank you in advance for your wisdom, insight and banana bread recipes. :)


Sporky
 
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Sporky

Sporky

Sporky
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98
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Sugar Land, Texas
www.innovativehs.net
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Pre-Medical
FutureDocDO said:
What is your current GPA? If it's good 3.4+ and you're sure you could get at least 30+/- a couple of points you can go ahead and submit it now. I don't know when you're planning to take the computerized MCAT and how long it would take the scores to come back. That is something to think about as well. You can always update your grades in December. Remember, prereqs are needed to matriculate. You don't need to have them all finished before you apply. What I'm saying is if you think your numbers are competitive (meaning they can get you a spot in medical school) then go for it. :luck:

Thank you all again, sincerely.
I just finished meeting with my cheerleader/ med school advisor (yes, his name really is Dr. Pepper) and he cheered me on. My current GPA is 3.45 and I think I can get a 30-31 on the MCAT. My GPA would be higher, but I have been stuck in a "B" mode lately, for some odd reason. BTW, if you can find a practising doctor to agree to sit with you on a weekly basis and give you feedback, I cannot tell you how wonderful it is. My advisor is also a former non-trad who started medicine at 36 and is a wonderful encouragement to me and my family. Sometimes when I start to feel like I am just another schmuck in the pond (which I am), then he reminds me that I am a unique schmuck and that's what counts. Plus I get to be a blessing to him through prayer and encouragement and I get to hear some of the goods and bads of real medicine. (good = helping people, bad=medicare billing nightmares).

Here's a great story from my friend and a great reason to be a doctor: Of course, I don't have any details regarding names, etc. because of patient confidentiality, but those things aren't needed for the story anywho:

A woman was having extreme dizzy and fainting spells and shortness of breath, including passing out completely while standing or taking a shower. She was young (early 30's) had 2 kids, and was about 50 pounds overweight, although she had tried many attempts at dieting and exercise. Her family were terribly worried for the obvious reasons.

1 visit and 1 short procedure later, this lady has lost 55 pounds, can do things she hasn't done in 10 years, has no shortness of breath or dizziness and now has a new lease on life.

My friend says that one cannot know the joy of an experience like this until one takes part in it. I know that you all (and hopefully me too!) will experience these types of wonderful moments in the not too distant future.

Blessings,

:)
 
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