Oct 9, 2020
25
4
Florida
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hello everyone, this is my first post to this site and I am in need of a little advice.

I am currently a nursing student set to graduate in May of 2021. My college journey began in 2012 when I graduated high school and I started my AA at the local state college. The only desire I had at the time was to serve as an officer in the armed forces, so my grades were not a priority during the course of my AA or BS degree. I completed my AA degree at the state college and attended Florida State University for my BS where I pursued a degree in criminology. My final semester of my bachelor of science degree, I decided against military service (for reasons that are irrelevant to the purpose of this post) and I knew I had to start over. I landed on healthcare as a career choice but was stuck between trying my hand at medical school (which I knew was a longshot) and nursing school. For reasons obvious (poor grades, late to start, etc..), I decided to attend nursing school. After attending nursing school, I have realized the love I have for the healthcare field but I find myself wanting more. I am either going to practice medicine as a physician or a nurse practitioner (obviously I would prefer to attend medical school), but need advice on how to proceed.

I will post my GPA step-by-step below, but my grades since graduating FSU have been perfect. I received an A in every prerequisite to nursing school as well as nursing school itself. We do not receive GPA credit for clinical courses as these courses are designated pass-fail, but the remainder of my RN courses are listed below as well as my prior AA and BS degrees and the overall cumulative GPA. These grades are all unweighted and repeat courses include both the original attempt and subsequent attempt.

AA: 65 Credits at 2.45
BS: 63 Credits at 3.32
Non-Degree (RN-Prerequisites): 28 Credits at 4.00
AS (RN-Current): 20 Credits at 4.00
AS (RN-Future): 15 Credits at 4.00
Cumulative Undergraduate: 176 Credits at 3.18 (not counting the future RN courses)

Additionally, I don't have any special circumstances surrounding my initially low grades other than what I have already listed nor do I have any shadowing or volunteer hours. I will be a registered nurse for a few years before I apply to medical school however, something that I hope strengthens my application.

I have always been an intelligent individual who could accomplish anything that I put my mind to, but I unfortunately just didn't care about school during my BS degree and these low grades are really holding me back from pursuing a dream of mine.

My questions are as follows:

1) While my cumulative GPA may currently be low, I have already completed the most challenging year of nursing school and I am all but guaranteed in receiving an A for the remaining 15 graded credits of the program. Furthermore, if I am to take the remaining credits I am missing in medical school prerequisites (28 credits), I am certain I would finish with at least a 3.5 in those courses, but likely higher. My question is, despite low grades initially, will an almost perfect or perfect upward trend in grades, a potentially above average MCAT, and a potential ~3.3 cumulative GPA make me competitive enough as a candidate? Additionally, it is worth noting I will only be applying to MD or DO programs in the State of Florida where I live. Is it worth a shot at becoming a physician or should I just give up and become a nurse practitioner? For the record, I wouldn't attend an online nurse practitioner program, but rather a brick-and-mortar school.

2) If I do attempt to get into medical school, what advice do you give me to strengthen my application? I have heard of advising services, but these things cost thousands of dollars and I don't want to spend the money if I don't think my odds are good (hence why I am here).

3) Unrelated to my odds, If I do attempt at getting in to medical school, as far as the prerequisites go for biology, I have completed Bio 1, A&P 1 and 2, and Micro. Will these courses suffice or do I need Bio 2?

I know this is a long post, but I would appreciate all the help I can get. Thank you all in advance.
 
Last edited:

Bnmakr1

10+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2007
124
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
Hey. First off, good luck on your journey (About once a year I'll look at my past posts and realize how stupid I was). I was a former nurse who eventually went to medical school and currently a fellow.

My GPA for my first few years of college were less than a 1.0. I eventually got into nursing school, improved my grades, and got two acceptances to DO schools. I figure you'll be OK with your GPA and GPA trend. Not a single interviewer asked me about my poor grades at the beginning of my college experience.

As far as NP school, I knew I wouldn't be happy being a NP if I could have become a MD/DO. I knew their curriculum was subpar and clinicals are usually terrible. I would attempt to go to medical school as I know I would not be happy working as a NP the rest of my life.

To booster your application, you should find a few physicians you like and ask to do some shadowing with them. You're going to need a LOR from them. Also, you're going to need volunteer hours; I would recommend something outside of medicine since you are already in the hospital a bunch.

I think your rate limiting step will be applying to only Florida schools. You'll be much more likely to get an acceptance if you apply broadly. I did not get a single interview from a Florida school.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Oct 9, 2020
25
4
Florida
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hey. First off, good luck on your journey (About once a year I'll look at my past posts and realize how stupid I was). I was a former nurse who eventually went to medical school and currently a fellow.

My GPA for my first few years of college were less than a 1.0. I eventually got into nursing school, improved my grades, and got two acceptances to DO schools. I figure you'll be OK with your GPA and GPA trend. Not a single interviewer asked me about my poor grades at the beginning of my college experience.

As far as NP school, I knew I wouldn't be happy being a NP if I could have become a MD/DO. I knew their curriculum was subpar and clinicals are usually terrible. I would attempt to go to medical school as I know I would not be happy working as a NP the rest of my life.

To booster your application, you should find a few physicians you like and ask to do some shadowing with them. You're going to need a LOR from them. Also, you're going to need volunteer hours; I would recommend something outside of medicine since you are already in the hospital a bunch.

I think your rate limiting step will be applying to only Florida schools. You'll be much more likely to get an acceptance if you apply broadly. I did not get a single interview from a Florida school.

Thank you for your reply. Can I ask, were you a Florida resident when you applied to med school? I’ve lived in Florida my whole life. I honestly can’t imagine leaving.
 
About the Ads

Bnmakr1

10+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2007
124
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
Thank you for your reply. Can I ask, were you a Florida resident when you applied to med school? I’ve lived in Florida my whole life. I honestly can’t imagine leaving.
I wasn't at the time. I had strong ties to Florida as I lived there for 20+ years before I moved. I don't think the DO schools in FL give my preference to in-state applicants. Take this all with a grain of salt due to me getting accepted in 2013.

My advice to everyone applying to medical school (and residency) is to apply broadly and early. You can always turn down interviews later.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Sep 12, 2020
113
128
Somewhere west of the Mississippi
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
You may consider attempting to do a 1-year post-bacc somewhere like UCF or another program that is linked to the medical school. Also, I would apply to programs in the southeast (Medical College of Georgia, VCOM-Auburn, ACOM, etc) within commuting distance to Florida in addition to Florida schools to increase your chances at acceptance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Oct 9, 2020
25
4
Florida
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
You may consider attempting to do a 1-year post-bacc somewhere like UCF or another program that is linked to the medical school. Also, I would apply to programs in the southeast (Medical College of Georgia, VCOM-Auburn, ACOM, etc) within commuting distance to Florida in addition to Florida schools to increase your chances at acceptance.

Thank you for the reply. I will consider the Georgia schools, but I have to think about my fiancé during this transition as well (she has a career in hospitality management).

Can I ask the purpose of the post-bacc if I complete my prerequisites at the state college? From my understanding, these programs cost a ton of money and don't guarantee you a slot even if you finish them yet alone just complete a year. I don't intend to go to dental school or pharmacy school as a backup like some pre-meds do, so if I don't get into med school, ill end up as a NP with more unnecessary debt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Sep 12, 2020
113
128
Somewhere west of the Mississippi
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
Some post-bacc programs are 1 year instead of 2. They’re definitely not necessary, but some provide guaranteed interviews if you hit certain benchmarks. For many DO schools, you’re only on campus for the first 2 years, then clinical rotations can be near campus or actually quite far (5-6 hours or even farther) from campus for years 3 and 4. Your GPA will be fine for DO schools, and you’ll be competitive with a 503+ MCAT score. Obviously, higher is better for your overall competitiveness.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Oct 9, 2020
25
4
Florida
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Some post-bacc programs are 1 year instead of 2. They’re definitely not necessary, but some provide guaranteed interviews if you hit certain benchmarks. For many DO schools, you’re only on campus for the first 2 years, then clinical rotations can be near campus or actually quite far (5-6 hours or even farther) from campus for years 3 and 4. Your GPA will be fine for DO schools, and you’ll be competitive with a 503+ MCAT score. Obviously, higher is better for your overall competitiveness.

Thank you for the clarification. Can I ask, you said ill be competitive for DO schools with the right MCAT, but what about MD schools?
 
Oct 9, 2020
25
4
Florida
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I wasn't at the time. I had strong ties to Florida as I lived there for 20+ years before I moved. I don't think the DO schools in FL give my preference to in-state applicants. Take this all with a grain of salt due to me getting accepted in 2013.

My advice to everyone applying to medical school (and residency) is to apply broadly and early. You can always turn down interviews later.

Thanks for taking the time. Ill consider applying broadly. I don't think the DO schools are giving state-preference, but I know the MD schools at public universities do, which is all of them except for 2 (UM and NSU).
 
Sep 12, 2020
113
128
Somewhere west of the Mississippi
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
3.3 cumulative GPA is going to be tough to be competitive at MD schools unless you score 510+ on MCAT. That’s generally speaking, but I’m not as familiar with Florida MD schools. They should have average admission statistics somewhere on their websites though to give you an idea of what it takes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Sep 10, 2019
187
370
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I am an NP and currently MS1. Debt is not an issue here as you will make enough money to pay it back. The true issue is whether you are passion enough about medicine to pursue MD/DO degree. I made 130k a year as NP, but i was disappointed with NP training that I went back to medicl school. Now that I have experienced both training NP vs MD, NP training is not even close for comparison.
Take it for what it worths, its all about your passion for medicine and less about debt. Everything comes with a risk, the path to become a physician is not risk free, and only when you are trully passionate about medicine and willling to take risk to pursue it will succeed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Oct 9, 2020
25
4
Florida
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I am an NP and currently MS1. Debt is not an issue here as you will make enough money to pay it back. The true issue is whether you are passion enough about medicine to pursue MD/DO degree. I made 130k a year as NP, but i was disappointed with NP training that I went back to medicl school. Now that I have experienced both training NP vs MD, NP training is not even close for comparison.
Take it for what it worths, its all about your passion for medicine and less about debt. Everything comes with a risk, the path to become a physician is not risk free, and only when you are trully passionate about medicine and willling to take risk to pursue it will succeed.

What would you say the fundamental difference between MD and NP training is? Also, there are degree mill NP programs and there are brick/mortar NP programs (which I would attend), so the caliber of training between NP programs and practicing NPs can differ vastly when compared to PA or MD/DO.

Do you think the shortcomings of NP training regardless of the quality of the program can be overcome by experience? At the end of the day, is is the medical school or the residency that creates a competent physician?

I love the field that I am in, but I just don't know if I will be happy collaborating with physicians and making less money. That being said, I don't know if I have it in me to start over from scratch for a third-time. I went to school for pre-law my first run at it. I graduated, moved back in with my dad, and started over in nursing. Here I am about to graduate as an RN in May and im talking about starting over again. Some days I feel up to the challenge and other days I just want to take a good paying job (NPs are like top 10 percent of earners nationwide as is), settle down with my girlfriend, and enjoy my life.
 
Sep 10, 2019
187
370
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
we
What would you say the fundamental difference between MD and NP training is? Also, there are degree mill NP programs and there are brick/mortar NP programs (which I would attend), so the caliber of training between NP programs and practicing NPs can differ vastly when compared to PA or MD/DO.

Do you think the shortcomings of NP training regardless of the quality of the program can be overcome by experience? At the end of the day, is is the medical school or the residency that creates a competent physician?

I love the field that I am in, but I just don't know if I will be happy collaborating with physicians and making less money. That being said, I don't know if I have it in me to start over from scratch for a third-time. I went to school for pre-law my first run at it. I graduated, moved back in with my dad, and started over in nursing. Here I am about to graduate as an RN in May and im talking about starting over again. Some days I feel up to the challenge and other days I just want to take a good paying job (NPs are like top 10 percent of earners nationwide as is), settle down with my girlfriend, and enjoy my life.
The difference in training is huge. NP training simply do not go deep enough into medicine. Experience as a nurse or nurse practitioner will not help you if you do not know what you dont know; it may helps you recognize when something is wrong, but the next question is how you would manage complications. Thats where residency comes in, you learn from attendings and senior residents, who are there to help you navigate when complications arise, and to yell at you when you are about to kill someone. Would you prefer a board certified physician to care for you when complications arise, or would you rather put your life in someone with less training? You can manage Strep throat as an NP, but when a kid comes to you with Acute Rheumatic Fever, would you feel confident to treat that kid by yourself?
There is nothing wrong with going NP route, but an NP does not have the same medical training that physicians have. I got 99% on my AANP board certification as an NP, but oh boy, medical school is a whole different beast. Let me give you an example for comparison. In NP school, all I learned is follow the guidelines, give Amoxicillin for Strep. Now, NP students do not learn microbiology like medical students do. Streptococcus actually has many groups, and I did not go deep enough into which type of Streptococcus it is. Is it group A or group B? What is special about Streptococcus that we need to aggressively treat it? Can you name 2 potential complications if we do not treat Strep throat? I did not learn about mechanism of action of Amoxicillin, why it is good for gram positive bacteria and not for gram negative bacteria. It is these little details that make a difference in how you come up with differential diagnoses and treatment plan.
Every physician that I have met made many sacrifices. Heck, to become a physician took them 10-15 years in training in total. And there is a good reason for it, physicians cannot afford to commit medical error, especially in patients with complicated conditions. Humans do make errors, and physicians with 10-15 years of training can still make errors.
At the end of the day, it is up to you. There is nothing wrong with being an NP, but it is a false claim that you can substitute medical training with experience. Experience will come with time, but medical training does not work that way.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Dral

10+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2009
1,981
1,219
Dermatomicroscope
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I will echo what others have said with you really limiting yourself to applying to Florida schools only.

You may already know this (I'm not at all trying to be patronizing), but applying to med school is a whole different game than undergrad in a relative sense.

I'd say in order of chances of getting a straight up acceptance: DO school by applying broadly >> DO school in FL > MD school applying broadly >> FL MD school.

If it is really in your heart to go to med school and you are willing to give up a lot to do it, just apply broadly. If you are ok with not going to med school, then a more limited geographic application strategy is a good 'well, let's see what happens, I can always target NP instead' approach. That is a personal decision for you to make obviously.
 
Aug 29, 2020
70
85
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Experience nursing for 2 years, while taking premed post bac classes. Do shadowing and research and community volunteering. Apply full time for 1st year nurse career then go part time to have more time for the extracurriculars. Enjoy the journey. Also, study for thr MCAT right away. It was my weakest point but I got accepted to a DO school. You need to show admissions that you are on an upward trend before med school in terms of your grades.
 

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads