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Late in the 'game'..faced with 3 options on what to do?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by luctoretemergo, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. luctoretemergo

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    I hope this doesn't neglect any rules about re-posting similar scenarios, but I really feel that my situation is a bit too specific to compare it with advice given to others in similar situations...that being said, I will start w/introducing my stats really quickly...(I have been a lurker here for quite some time but just recently made the decision that an MD is what I really want, not a PA or pharm, etc.)

    Anyway, I am a Junior at Indiana University, I am pursuing a Biology BS, and a Biochem BA, with 2 minors (though I know majors and minors don't matter much w/admissions anyway). My gpa is low at a 3.5...due to a C+ in orgo2, and a B- in a 5 credit physics honors class, and some other various B's...I have taken biochem1 and 2, with B's in both. I am trying to go with a lighter load this next semester (physics, biochem2 lab, intensive writing, religion class) so that I can focus on EC's and MCAT prep, however I am a bit concerned. I have procrasinated in my decision for med school based on a personal battle I have just fully overcome which has kept me from focusing on more than school and my recovery. A lot of my interest in the medical field stems from developing anorexia after a 120 lb weight loss from middle school to highschool, which I have just recently fully recovered from. My passion honestly lie in becoming a psychiatrist to help other girls overcome ED's, or as a reconstructive plastic surgeon, or anthestiologist for one. Anyway, this is probably TMI, but I want it to be clear why my circumstances exist.

    So basically, I am facing 3 options here, having no ECs (other than some academic organizations with are kinda worthless), no shadowing experience, and a full 3 semesters left to finish the two degrees I am going for. One is to just work my a** off prepping for MCAT's (I've ordered the books) and start volunteering and shadowing as soon as this semester starts, and taking MCAT in June to apply in late July. I also have emailed several prof's about research as well, so hopefully I will start doing that soon, if given the opportunity.

    Another is to do a 5th year undergrad (this all depends on if the FAFSA gives grants/loans to 5th year undergrads...anyone know?) and actually take one of those extra semesters this next year to go to Barcelona (or study aproad in some spanish speaking country) to broaden my horizons a bit, become fluent in spanish, and potentially develop my resume as well.

    My third option is to try for med school, (or just wait till later to apply) graduate as planned, then do a 1 year Master of Science pre-professional program offered at IUPUI to help prepare for medical school.

    I'd like to get into IU med school or a coastal school (I am absolutely in love with the coast and if I graduate from a coastal school I feel my likelihood to get a job there may increase?)

    As you can probably see, I am overloaded with options on what to do. I'd like to just hear your opinions/thoughts overall...I am not looking for the perfect answer, just some input.

    Sorry for the small novel, btw. lol.
     
    #1 luctoretemergo, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  2. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    I don't think your grades are horrible or warrant any extra schooling. I think you need to work hard on developing ECs, starting as soon as possible. Try volunteering on the weekends.

    I'd also reassess the need for your double major and 2 minors. It may go toward explaining your lack of ECs, but I don't see the point in it, really.

    I think you may want to start with your ECs now, then maybe take a year after college to work and continue on your ECs while applying. At that point you'll have 2-2.5 years of experience and plenty to write about in your application.
     
  3. Greonis

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    Firstly, with regards to your GPA, a 3.5 is not what I would call "low." It is admittedly slightly below the matriculant average, but an average is not an absolute; plenty of people get in with numbers both above and below that threshold. Therefore, you should not view it as an impediment to your future career as a physician. Nonetheless, I encourage you to work diligently and raise it as high as you can (it sounds like you are on the right track with a somewhat lighter course load), as a higher GPA can only help you by opening more doors.

    EC's, however, are extremely important, and if you truly have none that you feel are worth adding to your application (you want your EC's to have had a profound impact on you and - for some of them - to have helped you affirm an interest in medicine), then I would highly recommend that you plan to take additional time off and scrap your "apply next year for 2010 entry" option. From what I've personally seen and heard, it is far more important to show commitment to a smaller group of EC's than it is to have a large group of them to which your connections are tenuous. Therefore, in looking for new EC's, try to find something that you know you will love and be willing to stick with for a long while. From the looks of it, you are on the right track here as well by looking into research and volunteer opportunities (both of which are highly prized by adcoms). Not only will this look better on paper, but it will also give you more material to work with in crafting your application essays and in discussing your background during interviews. Adding a fifth year (FAFSA should have no problems with this, by the way) of undergraduate study is a great way to facilitate this (assuming that you have time to devote to EC's), but it is not the only way; you could work or study abroad, for example. The other great benefit of taking additional time off is that you will not feel compelled to rush. Your MCAT score will be an extremely important part of your application, and it is far better to not be under pressure while studying; you will be better prepared and thus able to receive a higher score.

    Whatever you choose to do, best of luck! I think you'll be in good shape in a year or two if you get started on your EC's now and can do well on the MCAT.
     
  4. flip26

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    1) Drop one major and both minors. Keep the major with the fewest hurdles and best shot at a higher GPA. Do NOT extend your UG career just to keep the extra major and minors, but if you need an extra semester or two to get everything done for one major, then go ahead...but do NOT do an SMP - you don't need that, and it is too risky for someone like you...

    2) Get a clinical volunteering gig NOW - it can be as little as 2 to 4 hours per week - and keep it up for at least a year...

    3) Seek some shadowing opps along the way - I personally think shadowing is over rated, at least in terms of the number of hours necessary for med school adcoms to give you a "check" mark...but having at least some nominal amount of shadowing is very important...

    4) Med schools will question why a Bio major has no research, so you really do need to get something going in research...

    5) Take a prep course for the MCAT - set your sets high for the MCAT...the MCAT is much more important than the extra major and minors - a $2000 prep course is money well spent vs an extra year of college...do not rush into taking the MCAT in the next few months since you are not going to be anywhere near ready to apply to med school after your junior year, so plan accordingly...apply after your senior year, and plan for a productive "glide" year with ongoing ECs, maybe a part time research gig, etc...

    Finally, shoot for a 4.0 for your remaining 3 semesters. Raise your GPA, and since you are applying after your senior year, you will get the full benefit of a higher GPA for your med school apps...plus the benefit of nearly 1.5 years of ECs assuming you start right now and apply for med school in June, 2010...
     
    #4 flip26, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  5. TeamZissou

    TeamZissou jaferd
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    Take an extra year to finish up your degree. I was in a similar situation and decided to take an extra year and do things on my own timeline. It took a lot of stress out of the situation and it gave me time to make myself a much better applicant since I knew what I had to do. For me I know I was able to receive the same loans my 5th year as my 4th year.

    If you decide to do this beware that as soon as the application process starts it is INSANELY busy if your still trying to do school full time. So if you really want to study abroad plan accordingly. Also if you take an extra year make sure to get started in some clinical volunteering to get that on your application.

    As far as doing the masters goes DON'T BOTHER! That is mainly for people who have lower undergrad GPA's. Your GPA isn't bad, it may limit you from some schools but just research which ones don't require 3.7+ and apply there. There is also the case that some masters cost A LOT of money (ask rennykim) which just adds to your loans and takes away from the amount of subsidized loans you can take out to pay your med school tuition when you finally get there. (The loans are capped near 200K or 225K, can't remember exactly at the moment.)

    Best of luck and keep up the hard work!:thumbup:
     
  6. 236116

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    Go with a 5th year. You can get FA for all of your undergrad provided you make satisfactory academic progress. I know people will tell you to drop majors and whatnot, but this is the last chance you'll get in school to go crazy with classes. Go for it.

    The other thing is- from what you've posted, you're newly recovered from 2 eds-- given yourself a little extra time to get totally around them, because in med school you won't have it.
     
  7. scottyT

    scottyT Real Member
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    Make an appointment with a financial aid counselor at your school. You may be getting some state/institutional/private-based aid that follows different rules than the federal aid.

    You will get all your federal financial aid for the 5th year provided you aren't coming up on the government's reasonable academic progress limitation. They try to cut you off (well, make you come up with a graduation plan) when you accumulate 180 semester hours and still don't have a degree. Your school should have sent you a letter if you are even close to this scenario.

    From a financial aid perspective, it's actually much better to extend your current course than it is to graduate. All the subsidized loan money and grants will disappear the instant you graduate. Post-baccalaureate educations are very difficult to fund.
     
  8. slowbutsteady

    slowbutsteady slowbutsteady
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    NEVER worry about taking an extra year, or more. you will have decades to be a doctor, a couple of years fewer will look silly to you in 20 years.

    I spent 6 months in Thailand working at a rural hospital and it was an amazing experience. also, it really helped my application, i think, because I, like you, was late to decide to be a doctor. i needed to immerse myself in the clinical/volunteer world to convince myself (and adcoms) that this was the career for me.

    and the people who say "what about the lost income" are really thinking short term. this is a lifetime we are talking about.

    as others have said, drop the other majors and minors. not as impressive as an increase in your GPA -- not even close.

    So, DO NOT apply until you have all the pieces of your app in great shape. SDN is a good source for advice and ideas on how to accomplish all those pieces. and KILL the MCAT.
     
  9. luctoretemergo

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    First off, I want to thank all of you for your responses. The premed advising at my school consists of one advisor who's advice isn't always the most helpful. The double major situation is sorting of upseting me, as I have spent time towards classes in both majors and now, dropping one, is going to be a rough decision. I am 3 classes away from my Biochem B.A.: Physical chem, Inorganic Intermediate Chemistry (which I WAS planning to take this summer), and Biochem2 lab, which i am enrolled in for this spring. (I also need 4 more Arts and Humanities classes, two of which I'm enrolled in for next sem) It would be hard to not get the degree when I've come this far, even though I will not enjoy these three classes... On the other hand, for a Bio BS, I need statistics, evolution, 3 labs, and a lecture left. For one I planned to take Anatomy464 which is a challenging class but counts as a lab and lecture. I also need physics2 still which I am enrolled in either way since I need it for MCAT. The tough part of this is that pretty much all alternative classes are full, for sure all of the bio classes. So I am kind of stuck with this schedule for next semester. I am not sure now which degree to pursue. If I just do one degree, should I aim to apply for med school this summer and try to get all my EC's in since my schedule would be a bit more flexible, or should I still do 5 years undergrad even with just the BA biochem? Or if I do 5 years undergrad should I get both degrees? I guess I'm not sure what I'd take to fill in 4 more semesters of classes after this one if I only got the biochemBA.

    As you can tell my mind is just all over the place... but now knowing what classes I still need for each, what are your recommendations?
     
  10. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    I get the feeling that you are overwhelmed but do not take the dropping of a extra major or minor as a blow to yourself - I too had similar issues with adding more classes to add a minor and you know what, it really doesn't change anything except whats on paper.

    There were literally two course differences between Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at my school. Being both really wouldnt impress adcoms since they prob know that there are subtle differences between them. You worked hard, but also had to contend with the stress of limiting your MCAT prep and exposure to the field.

    On the end, the extra major/minor won't help you as much as going out solidly and picking up the EC and MCAT time.
     
  11. exoslimjim

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    Everything depends on where you want to apply, but I really think you should try to finish your BA this year (even take Summer school) and apply this year. You only need basic ECs, as strong ECs cannot compensate academic/mcat performance. Putting in volunteering/shadowing hours is ridiculously easy. If you need money, i would recommend getting a job where you work with patients. Oh and founding a club is a very easy leadership experience. Keep up grades, prep very well for mcat (you dont need college courses for the mcat), and apply early. Research is invaluable, but if your not only applying to the top 20-40 schools, you can probably do without it.

    I believe Majors do matter. my bud graduated with 1 BS in 3 years and has interview invites in all cept one so far of the 10 schools he applied to (all of which were in the top 13 medical schools (usnews)). of the two people i know in hms hst, they were quadruple majors in 4 years (one was maybe 5). Of course they were well rounded, but so is "most" everyone else. So i would also shoot for that double major but cram it in 4 years. I'm sure you can do it. goodluck
     
  12. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    I disagree with the assumption that a double or 'quadruple' major is important to an adcom. The only time I think it matters is when they are in completely different areas. I have friends who scooped up multiple science majors like Biochem/neuroscience. I am never impressed with that. Its a matter of a few classes.

    However, a guy who majored in art history and chemistry is a bigger accomplishment to me. I think its too subjective to know if there is any truth to what I am saying but I personally never think its cool to be a double anything unless its in a different division entirely.
     
  13. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    If your major has a strong enough program, you prob shouldn't be able to double major in anything unless its in a separate division.

    If you flew through bchem and neuroscience that means the programs were not exactly so tough - unless you are brilliant in which case none of this is important.
     
  14. flip26

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    For the courses you listed, I would do Bio - more flexibility in courses and more useful for med school - and PChem and Inorganic Chem can be time and GPA killers from what I have heard - and stats is an easy class to boost BCPM, and Anatomy would be a nice class to preview for med school.

    Regardless which major you choose, do not apply to med school this next cycle - you will not have enough ECs done by June '09 - med schools do not like to see a bunch of ECs crammed into the semester right before you apply - they want to see that your commitment to medicine has been examined and tested over time. Furthermore, to apply this next cycle, you will be rushing the MCAT - and you need to start ECs immediately and carry through to June '10 when you should apply.

    Personally, I would avoid the cost of a 5th year of college, and I definitely would not do the extra year in order to have the double major.

    Plan to take the MCAT in 2010 and prep intensely for it - I highly recommend the Kaplan online course - taking the MCAT no later than May or June 2010. During your "glide year" you should continue with ECs, perhaps a research gig.

    Do not rush applying this next cycle, and when you do apply, have everything ready to go in June - do NOT try to apply this next cycle only to get your apps in late, or take the MCAT in late summer - better to apply early in '10 than late in '09.
     
  15. bruinhd

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    if i were you, i would take the additional year off or do the 5th year of undergrad.

    But I lean towards just taking the year off for a couple reasons. First off, your priority now should be to study hard for the MCAT, and destroy it in the Spring. Your GPA isn't bad as you have opted to put it, but it is in the middle of what the applicant pool is so you need to stick out. Not having experience in clinic or research, or anything except academic clubs is not going to make you stand out. Faculty may not find it amusing every time they see first years put stethoscopes in their ears in the wrong direction, or struggle to figure out how to read blood pressure for the first time manually. You need to bring it when you apply. You need to jam up all 14 vacant spots on the app where it asks for EC's.

    Your personal story sounds like it would a very good case for your passion, but you need to back it up with things you've done now. You could spend 8+ hrs a week during the next year off working in a free clinic, maybe helping give classes about teenage dieting or whatnot.

    Taking a year off is not going to be bad at all. Most of the secondaries that you are going to see when you apply are not going to harass you for taking a year off. Most will say "if you have taken MORE than a year off, please explain why". Some will ask what you have done with your year off, but don't worry, that should be considered a good thing because now you have this opportunity to talk about all the awesome stuff you've been getting involved with.

    P.S. FAFSA will help with your 5th year of undergrad in most cases, unless PEL grants have been further gutted by a certain federal administration...

    I had a lot of things in common with your application, you can P.M. me if you have any questions. And GOOD LUCK! Most importantly, DESTROY THAT MCAT!
     
    #15 bruinhd, Jan 1, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  16. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Agree with everyone who said do the extra year. The number one reason people don't get into med school is due to rushing things. There is no set timeline for med school. The average age of starting med school these days is 24, and a good chunk of every med school class is composed of folks who took an extra year or two to get the prereqs. ECs are not small potatoes, and so if you don't have any, you shouldn't rush to squeeze them in -- take the time you need. A 3.5 is not prohibitive of med school -- it's just shy of the average.
     
  17. URHere

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    First of all, I just want to say this: yes, there are things that you need to do to get into medical school, but you should never let medical school aspirations dictate whether or not you do things that are important to YOU.

    If your majors and minors are important to you (and not because you are trying to look good on paper), then stick with them and don't let anyone change your mind. If you are serious about medical school, you only have to make sure you keep your grades up - the rest of your academic career is yours, and yours alone, to decide on. If you want to take an extra year and go abroad, then do it. You only have one life, and once you're in medical school and beyond your free time will only thin out, so do what you want now.

    That being said, you do need to work some clinical experience into your resume. If you know that you want to work with people with eating disorders, why not volunteer at a treatment center or work with a local support group? I'm sure you could find something that would be related to what you want to do - it would be excellent and unique clinical experience, and you would enjoy it too.

    Aside from the MCAT and clinical experience, I wouldn't worry too much about adding ECs just to look good to an adcom. Instead, find hobbies that you enjoy. I honestly think that most people would end up with interesting ECs on their applications if they stopped worrying so much about what medical schools want and started thinking more about what they want.

    Good luck!
     
  18. flip26

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    No need to "jam up" all 14 spots. A couple of long term ECs that reflect your altruism and interest in medicine, as well as your outside interests or hobbies, is all it takes.
     
  19. slowbutsteady

    slowbutsteady slowbutsteady
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    no offense, but i took 3 years between college and med school and not one of my 9 interviews asked me to "explain it." if i had worked at Starbucks for 3 years i wouldn't have had to explain it because i would not have received ANY interviews. instead, i spent my time working at NIH, in Thailand, finishing my prereqs, and taking the MCAT. all good, i think.

    Just spend your time wisely and the number of years off -- at least up to 3/4 -- is irrelevant!! there is a reason that the median age of a med student is 24!!!

    and again, don't worry about losing the major/minors. You still did the coursework!!!! for the rest of college, take art, music, history. Med schools like "educated" people.

    NOTE: MSAR shows a much higher acceptance rate among humanities majors than biological science majors.
     
  20. luctoretemergo

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    Ok, thanks again for all the advice, you guys have been a tremendous help thus far and TIA for taking time to help me out.

    First, it was mentioned that my classes left for the BA Biochem wouldn't be the best for my GPA. Well, N330 (intermed inorgo chem) is required for IU med school anyway, so I'd just be taking p.chem and the biochem2 lab past that for the BA biochem, plus my distrubution A&H's which I have 4 left. For the bio, I know the classes I would want to take are human molecular lab, endocrinology lab, anatomy lab and lecture, then I have to take the stats and evolution. Evolution here is supposed to be quite challenging, as well as anatomy...so those could possibly turn out to be B's, just like how the 2 chem classes would probably be B's. So, is there any advantage to the BA over the BS? I have all the humanities credits of the BA already except those 4 A&H classes. If I do bio, I need to drop this lab I'm signed up for asap and take stats instead...but I'm scared to do this because if I do then decide to do biochem I've taken stats for no reason when I could have taken something more relevant to my interests. However, I have no prof's I'd feel comfortable asking for recommendations, (except a physics prof but I took his class spring of 08 so I am worried it would be a bad reflection on me to ask him for a letter being almost 8 months ago) and I thinnk bio prof's would be better to ask in terms of these, as the chem prof for N330 and the others for the classes I've had left I have heard are not great to ask for rec letters. So If I could get into research that is one, but I still have that other science one left, so I suppose I could just take extra science classes just for my own benefit and to get to know more professors....

    It seems like the majority are saying to do the degree in 4 years, then take that year off to focus on EC's and whatnot. I'm a bit afraid to do this primarily because research here would be limited to students, and once I graduate I don't know that I could find a research position that would be open for just a year. I do however like the idea that I could focus on MCAT studying, however, my home life is a bit depressing/not so encouraging so the thought of moving back home in that year isn't so appealing.

    So I guess, my main question is the major and BA vs BS
     
  21. flip26

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    Statistics is highly relevant for med school, arguably the most relevant math class (after maybe Algebra). Whether you do research, or read research papers (in med school), a background in Statistics is helpful. Many med schools require it or at least recommend it as a pre-req.

    Zero diff between BA and BS for med school. Zero.

    Don't limit your thinking to research only being possible at your college. If you live near a med school or major teaching hospital, I would look for research opportunities there...
     
  22. WolverineDoc13

    WolverineDoc13 Good Times in the Midwest
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    QFT!

    First of all: Thank you for sharing your experiences. I appreciate your strength and the fact that you were willing to share your personal struggles with us this morning. You've been through a lot, and I wish you the best with whatever decision that you make. I've also considered going into psychiatry, for similar reasons.

    Second: URHere makes a point. You need to decide which major is best for YOU. I would beware advice telling you which major (biochem or bio) is best for your apps or takes more or less time to complete, because undergrad is for YOU-- not for med school, not for your resume. You only have one chance to major in what you want before moving on to a more fixed form of education (med school). You like biochem more? DO IT. Like bio more? DO IT. Like both equally? DO BOTH! You will only have this chance once. Ignore what med schools will think because they honestly wont care what you choose to major in. Studies have proven this.

    Third: Take your time. I can see the argument of trying to graduate in 4 years in order to save money. (That's why I didn't take a 5th year), but don't do it to save time -- you've got a lot of that. Hence, you may need to evaluate how you can complete your classes before your graduation date. I would talk to a financial aid officer about the money issues. If you can graduate in 4 years, without over stressing yourself, try it.

    Fourth: I would take some time before applying to med school. Whether you take a 5th year or not. You've already been through a lot. I would put more pressure on yourself by getting more EC's, keeping your grades high, taking the MCAT, dealing with med apps and essays, etc. within the span of 8 months. That's a lot of stuff to deal with at once. Take some time. You deserve it and need it, and med schools look positively on it.

    This is a long post, but I've seen some VERY questionable advice on this thread-- probably because I've been advising for 2 1/2 years already, but have only been advising online for about a week. Beware eager-beaver pre-meds telling you what to do. You definitely don't need to "cram" anything in, you don't have to drop anything, and college courses is one of the best ways to study for the MCAT. The only thing I feel you need to do is put less pressure on yourself.

    Feel free to Private message me if you have any more questions.
     
  23. WannaBePreMed

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    True everything here is questionable, so trust yourself luctoretemergo.
     
  24. exoslimjim

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    1) a ba is not a bs. In some majors, the difference is small, for biochem, i think it's much bigger. I know with certainty that in some graduate programs, the BA degree does matter. I would think that would be the same in the more selective med schools.
    2) Majors are equal to a set course load. More means more courses. a high gpa is great. a high gpa with 2 majors is outstanding. the more the merrier. You dont need to put quadruple in quotes, just take a closer look around.
    3) do what you have to do to get in. Which means you don't need an entire extra year to get in. just make sure you have reqs done and enough ECs. My friend at upitt had 2: research thesis, and a service org. He did a lot more, just didnt write it down. I don't know why.
    4) Use hobbies in ECs. My bros friend at stanford put down the gym.
    5) There are plenty of research oppurtunities for a year. In fact, I had 1 med student, 2 undergrads, and 1 high school student. none stayed more than a couple months, and did no more than a couple hours a week. Not saying that is what you should do, but many PIs are understanding.
    6) I think i'm the only one suggesting that she apply this year... My point is if you want to go to med school and believe you have a good app, then apply. no need to spend another year waiting. Not saying you shouldnt prepare for a 5th year if you wanted.

    I'm very questionable, but i'm not the one saying others are so. what is qft?
    So good luck, I'm sure you'll do well whatever you choose.
     
    #24 exoslimjim, Jan 1, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  25. scarletgirl777

    10+ Year Member

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    Strong point. Why not just take 5 years but take it easy academically, doing the bare minimum to be full-time? That way you have time to do a good amount of research (if that's the EC you are most concerned about) and you can still get that much needed clinical experience during the course of the next year or so.

    No one cares about BA or BS. I would pick the major where you can show the strongest grades. Your overall GPA is fine, but you make it sound as though your science GPA, which will be looked at separately, is much lower.
     
  26. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    BA/BS: either is find and I've never seen an adcom member who thought that it mattered (and I've interacted with several dozen over the course of 8 years)

    Biochem vs. Biology: again, it doesn't really matter.

    BCPM gpa: This matters. You told us your gpa but not your BCPM gpa. That is a huge deal and grades of B and less could spell trouble in that regard. Also, if your BCPM is <3.33 and you expect to get B or less in BCPM courses you take in the future, then you may see your BCPM decline.

    Glide year: medical schools hire people to work in their research labs (not every worker is a student). So does the NIH (you might be particularly interested in the institute that covers addiction because it covers the intersection of neuroscience and behavior which may be relevant to anorexia nervosa). You might benefit from a year in an apartment, away from your hometown, with a full-time job and some time to spend on ECs. Bethesda, Boston and Chicago are the places where many people go for this type of experience and there are others, too. You won't save any money but if you live frugally and have a roommate you should be able to support yourself during a glide year.
     
  27. luctoretemergo

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    I would love to find that but when I pull up my transcript or my grades I have no indication of what my BCPM gpa is...do I just take all my science/physics classes and calculate it myself?
     
  28. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Yes: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math.
     
  29. luctoretemergo

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    Ok, assigning the A a 4.0, A- a 3.7, B+ a 3.3, etc... I did the calculations on the AMCAS site and got this
    freshman yr= 3.4263
    sophomore yr= 3.0158 (thanks to physics and orgo chem2)
    junior yr thus far= 3.4667
    total average= 3.30292

    This is a bit disheartening..I definately need some A's in BCPM classes to pull this up...
     
  30. Bartelby

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I hate to clutter your mind with more options, but have you considered an advanced degree in Psychology? You could focus directly on helping women with eating disorders, which seems to be your real interest, instead of going the roundabout way of medical school where you will learn a lot of stuff that is just marginally related to your interest. I'm not saying this because a PsyD or Clinical Psychology PhD is easier to get into-- it isn't. I'm saying this because you should really consider what program best fits your life mission before you enter it.

    For med school your GPA is a little low, but I certainly wouldn't say hopeless. Rock the MCAT. If you need to pull your GPA up after graduation, as others will tell you there are SMP (Special Masters Programs) that can pull it up (or at least show your aptitude for science). Depending on where you finish out you might want to just take a year or two to work in the field you are interested in while doing some volunteer or other community based extracurriculars on the side, and while you work really consider what you want to do. Good luck!
     
  31. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    I was thinking the same thing! That field or licensed clinical social work. Most of the quality time that patients are able to spend with providers is spent with counselors, not physicians, and many physicians are frustrated by the short amount of time they have with any one patient (reimbursement rules make it counterproductive to spend more than 15 minutes with patients in many situations).

    Do you have the apptitude is science to do what amounts to professional studies in the hard sciences only to prepare for a career that is more about developing trusting relationships?
     
  32. luctoretemergo

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    Psych is not exactly my interest, tho. My heart is in medicine, every aspect of it intrigues me, and while I may not do the best in science classes, my heart is in them. I love learning and this is why I don't mind to work hard to pull up my science GPA. My advisors have never suggested taking more BCPM classes I would do well in to pull that gpa up, in fact I didn't even know about this until coming to this site. So armed with the new info I have gained, I feel I could get it up to a 3.5 at least if I did 5 years and took at least 5 more bio classes/labs. Psychiatrity is an interest, but so is surgery/anthesthiology/etc... that is just one of my interests. I guess i should have eloborated on that a bit more. And like I said, I am at a healthy point now where I can focus on school more, so I can likely at least pull my gpa up a bit now..
     
  33. luctoretemergo

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    So I am kind of realizing that the 4 A&H classes I need for the BA are going to do nothing for my BCPM GPA, and that the C487 biochem2 lab I'm enrolled in now, and P.chem will both probably be A-'s/B's. However all the bio labs are filled up now, which are what I would need for the biology BS. I could take statistics towards the Bio BS (does this count for the BCPM in that it's math?) or inorganic intermed chem (which i'd have to take now or later since its a prereq) or anatmony (human tissues biology lect and lab). These are the classes that are still open. Or I could just stick w/the biochem2 lab. Suggestions?
     
  34. exoslimjim

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    Sorry, but it bugs me when people "suggest" someone else consider another degree or profession... I mean, how well do we know this person, their intentions, their character, and both professions well enough to pass judgement?

    Also, again it is a fact that a BA is not a BS, the distinction may be small at some schools, but it is there. In many cases the BS is the more attractive/required degree in graduate programs. If this is hard to believe, there are many jobs that require a BS degree and won't take a BA.

    Also, Biochem and Bio? They are a world of difference! PCHEM is one of the biggest diffs i would think... There is also a reason why bio/physio are common majors and biochem is not.

    to luctoretemergo: I think it's a good think you're more interested in medicine than a specialty. If you are planning to do 5 years, I would suggest you finish your BA and BS and spread out classes in the summer/winter. I would also suggest getting research credit/thesis to boost ur gpa and exp.

    And as long as you are taking 5 years, i don't think the order you take classes matters as much except to you. Or are they "or" options? If you are choosin between inorganic, anatomy, biochem2, and stats, you should choose what you are most familiar with. Honestly tho, stats is not taught at many schools and is necessary for all research.
     
  35. luctoretemergo

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    Like I said the BA Biochem requires me to still take: biochem2 lab (enrolled in for fall 09), N330 (a hard class but req for premed anyway), and C360 (p.chem) and 4 more A&H classes, of which 2 I am signed up for this fall 09
    The BS Biology requires me to still take: Evolution, Stats, 2 upper level labs, and probably the 400 level anatomy class, though hard it counts as the addition lecture and lab I still need.

    The requirements for the BA biochem I have left aren't going to help my BCPM GPA much, but with only 2 classes additional I'd rather just get the degree since I've come this far. I guess I could just take some bio classes on top of that to help my gpa if the bio degree doesn't matter, then again if I go 5 years then I might as well earn the degree, or does it matter?

    I am going to shadow this week, and plan to volunteer tutor once a week, work at a clinic once a week, and then work at my job as a pharm tech 2x a week. I may have to limit this to once a week if my grades drop, my schedule for next sem is the biochem2 lab, phsyics2, intensive writing (6 books to read, old english stuff and paper writing), and a religion class. So I'm a tad worried about all of this plus my schedule but hopefully it's doable.

    Do you think the tutoring is ok or should I focus on an EC more medically oriented? I'd like to do the tutoring but I'm kind of EC ******ed at this point so I'm not sure if it's as helpful as I want it to be.
     

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