Jul 12, 2009
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So I am interested in opinions on my path to med school. Criticisms of all kind are welcome. Here's a little about me:
I am a double major in Fine Arts and Psychology. I will be doing my honors thesis centered on Emotional Regulation and the Amygdala at the Centre for Neural Science (NEW YORK UNIVERSITY) this coming academic year. Currently I have a 3.9 G.P.A. and have recently finished Chem I and Chem II (A/A-).

My plan is to take Bio I and II and Orgo I and II this coming academic year, while doing my honors thesis, and take Physics I and II next summer. I also plan to take the August MCAT so that I can apply for medical schools that fall. Is this totally insane? Is it even reasonable to think I can do well on the MCATs while taking physics next summer?
Overall I will have completed all my premed requirements in exactly a year.
:eek:
 
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camaras2480

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So I am interested in opinions on my path to med school. Criticisms of all kind are welcome. Here's a little about me:
I am a double major in Fine Arts and Psychology. I will be doing my honors thesis centered on Emotional Regulation and the Amygdala at the Centre for Neural Science (NEW YORK UNIVERSITY) this coming academic year. Currently I have a 3.9 G.P.A. and have recently finished Chem I and Chem II (A/A-).

My plan is to take Bio I and II and Orgo I and II this coming academic year, while doing my honors thesis, and take Physics I and II next summer. I also plan to take the August MCAT so that I can apply for medical schools that fall. Is this totally insane? Is it even reasonable to think I can do well on the MCATs while taking physics next summer?
Overall I will have completed all my premed requirements in exactly a year.
:eek:
My only concern is your MCAT timing. August is sort of late, because you won't be complete at school until late September. And then, if for whatever reason your MCAT is not very good, like 27 or below, you will be hard put to get in anywhere at all (assuming MD rather than DO).
 
OP
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Jul 12, 2009
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Summer classes end August seventh at NYU. Also, don't most students take the MCAT in April? Before their spring coursework is totally complete?
 

Stratego

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Well, I won't say your plan is insane, but it has some weak points.

First off, congratulations on a great GPA and especially getting As in gen Chem. Keep it up. Your sequence of courses sounds fine. The problem will be a late MCAT which will keep you from having your application evaluated by schools until September, maybe later if you don't get your secondary applications returned promptly or if there is a delay getting your transcripts verified (could take 5 weeks at that time of year). Applying in September would be considered "late" and will decrease your chances of being offered interview spots, especialy if your MCAT is on the average to low side. If you could move your MCAT date up to July when you'd maybe be half done with Physics II, then your timeline wouln't be as compromised. If you spend the entire summer just taking Physics and studying for the MCAT (as if it's your full-time job), maybe that could work for you. Alternatively, take the MCAT is September if you need more time to study, but don't apply until the following June, which would be considered "early" and more ideal a time.
 
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Jul 12, 2009
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I see. Thanks for your help. My interest in taking the MCAT and applying so soon was to avoid a two year gap. But considering that as a possibility, how many persons applying to med school have masters? Would maybe completing a masters and working during the gap before med school make sense?
 

camaras2480

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I see. Thanks for your help. My interest in taking the MCAT and applying so soon was to avoid a two year gap. But considering that as a possibility, how many persons applying to med school have masters? Would maybe completing a masters and working during the gap before med school make sense?
Many students have graduate degrees going into medical school. The number is gradually increasing. I'm not sure you really need a masters, but if you would like to do one, sure, why not? Working is of course nice. But try to stay involved in science and medicine. Perhaps get involved in a long-term research project and try to get a publication (of course this can be facilitated by a Masters program).
 

Stratego

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Be aware that if you start a masters, med schools expect you to complete your obligation to the program. As the masters won't have an impact on whether you gain an acceptance or not, only do a masters if you are truly interested in gaining expertise in that area. Alternatively, you can get a job and continue with some volunteering during the glide year. Or you can travel, or spend time with friends, or elect to do research, or take some upper-level science classes that would make your M1 year less intense. Just don't live in your parent's basement and play video games for a year, as it is harder to have relevant material for an update letter that you'll send schools during the application year. (No, being a squad leader that takes over the enemy star system is not a leadership experience.)
 
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Jul 12, 2009
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Aww man!! No, I definitely plan to work. My parents work at Genentech and Stanford Hospital so hopefully I can use some strings to pull something together. But in your honest opinion, would studying for the MCATS during next summer, and taking physics, with the idea I will take them in July realistic? I have a propensity to do well in stressful situations, but would the late application affect me too much regardless?
Thanks for all your help!
 

Stratego

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You are looking at a trade off (a rock and a hard place): If you take it earlier, your PS MCAT score might be lower due to not having covered all the relevant material in class yet, if you take it later, you are less likely to get all the interview offers you might have otherwise. If you are a great test taker and multiple practice tests show you performing in the 33-34-35-36 range or better, it's a reasonable risk to take the test later, as you still have a decent chance of getting an acceptance somewhere, especially if you apply to less selective schools than your stats warrant.

As you read these forums more widely, especially in the Reapplicant Forum, you'll see evidence of what I'm saying.

Being complete in August would be considered reasonable.
 
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Jul 12, 2009
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Right. I guess it was my interpretation that early decision applicants apply June-August and the rest begin in september (according to stanford med website). But I guess this information was misleading.
 

camaras2480

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Right. I guess it was my interpretation that early decision applicants apply June-August and the rest begin in september (according to stanford med website). But I guess this information was misleading.
Yeah. Applications open for Early Decision and Regular Decision in June.

You really should be targeting a 35 if you go ahead with this plan. Your plan is certainly feasible - just difficult, but you already know that.
 

impulse

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Is it worth considering dropping your thesis and taking physics this year?

I actually had a similar game plan to but my premed adviser pretty much thought applying that late would be pointless. I wanted to avoid the extra year before med school but it's not that bad. You could do plenty of beneficial things. If you don't want to kill yourself this year you could do physics and bio then orgo next summer or year.
 

camaras2480

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Is it worth considering dropping your thesis and taking physics this year?

I actually had a similar game plan to but my premed adviser pretty much thought applying that late would be pointless. I wanted to avoid the extra year before med school but it's not that bad. You could do plenty of beneficial things. If you don't want to kill yourself this year you could do physics and bio then orgo next summer or year.
And that's the most important part :)
 
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I think you all are right. My thesis is important to me so dropping it is not an option, plus there is always the possibility of my name being attached to a publication which is super kudos. Plus Liz Phelps/Joe Ledoux are rather famous in the neruoscience community so turning that down would be dumb. I'll just take physics the following year and hopefully continue working at the NYU neuroscience labs reaping lab experience haha. :)
 

Mobius1985

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Completing your pre-med requirements in one year is an amazing accomplishment.

I did the same thing you had planned to before I applied: I took Physics and a formal MCAT study course over the summer, then took the MCAT in August back when results took 2 months to come back. I submitted early October and wasn't verified for 5.5 weeks. My Secondaries were complete by mid-December. My interviews were January through June. I was not particular about what school I would attend and was happy that I was accepted. Comparing my experience with similiar others I've read on SDN, I was fortunate to get accepted. If you are not fussy about what school you go to, I think your original plan can work. If you aim for the more-selective schools, you might be disappointed where you end up if you apply late.
 

camaras2480

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I think you all are right. My thesis is important to me so dropping it is not an option, plus there is always the possibility of my name being attached to a publication which is super kudos. Plus Liz Phelps/Joe Ledoux are rather famous in the neruoscience community so turning that down would be dumb. I'll just take physics the following year and hopefully continue working at the NYU neuroscience labs reaping lab experience haha. :)
Sounds like a plan! Good luck!