srleslie

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I have a BS in Biology with a 2.9 GPA. I have now realized I want to go to medical school. I obviously need to take a lot of courses to bring this GPA up. One thing I have developed a strong passion for in the past few years is geology, and if I never got into medical school I think I would be happy in that field of science as well. If I were to complete a geology degree (about 45 more credits) along with retaking a few med school prereqs for a better grade, how would that look to med schools? In other words, would it matter that I look a bunch of upper level geology courses instead of more biology courses? I am passionate about geology and think I would do well in the courses. Thanks in advance.
 

funklab

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I have a BS in Biology with a 2.9 GPA. I have now realized I want to go to medical school. I obviously need to take a lot of courses to bring this GPA up. One thing I have developed a strong passion for in the past few years is geology, and if I never got into medical school I think I would be happy in that field of science as well. If I were to complete a geology degree (about 45 more credits) along with retaking a few med school prereqs for a better grade, how would that look to med schools? In other words, would it matter that I look a bunch of upper level geology courses instead of more biology courses? I am passionate about geology and think I would do well in the courses. Thanks in advance.
Since your major is Bio, I assume lots of your 2.9 is science classes, meaning that your science GPA probably isnt so hot either. I don't think your grades will ever be very competitive at US MD schools. But with enough time and money anything is possible.

I am by no means an expert, and you should check out all of the "whats my chances" threads, sometimes real life adcoms post there. Check out AAMC's website, they break down the admittance rates by GPA and MCAT score.

By my count, you will bring your GPA up to around a 3.2 if you get all A's. According to AAMC's charts http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/applicantmatriculant/table24-mcatgpa-grid-3yrs-app-accpt.htm a really good MCAT could bring you up into the range of 40-50% acceptance, and probably push you well past 50% at DO schools.

Retaking the prereqs for a better grade is probably a waste of your time (in my opinion). Showing that you can bust straight A's for several semesters in a row of upper level science (geology is science, right? lol) classes in a row would probably be more worth while...
 

DrMidlife

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On the one hand, if you've got a love for something other than medicine, for the love of all that's holy do something other than medicine. Medicine's freaking hard. Shadow some male ob/gyn's who are close to retirement. Shadow some geologists.

(Pausing to consider whether that's the first time anybody on SDN said "shadow some geologists." Hmmm.)

On the other hand, having interests outside medicine is normal, and is likely to help you maintain your mental health long term. There's nothing at all wrong with studying something you like, that you won't plan to make a living at. (Ask a philosophy major.)

Getting a 2nd degree is a great way to improve the academic assets you'll need to get into med school. But do the math: even if you get a 4.0 during your 2nd degree, you're going to max out around 3.3. That's not competitive. To get into med school you'll likely need to take some drastic, expensive steps, such as an SMP. And during your 2nd degree, you'll still need to jump through the premed hoops of the MCAT, clinical volunteering, etc.

See the postbac forum for more low GPA comeback strategies & stories.

Best of luck to you.
 

Nasrudin

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(Pausing to consider whether that's the first time anybody on SDN said "shadow some geologists." Hmmm.)

On the other hand, having interests outside medicine is normal, and is likely to help you maintain your mental health long term. There's nothing at all wrong with studying something you like, that you won't plan to make a living at. (Ask a philosophy major.)

Getting a 2nd degree is a great way to improve the academic assets you'll need to get into med school.
For sure. Your the 1st person to recommend shadowing a geologist. And then for it to be a solid piece of advice...? You're the first. The geologist would probably be like huh? what? You want to watch me study rocks?

Anyway to the OP. Second bachelor's with financial aid and loan capability is definitely the way to go for now. Then DrMidlife is right. You can either try with what you have or you can leave less to chance with multiple years of expensive application cycles with OR do an SMP. Either way is tough and risky. With an SMP being the toughest.

So if Geology is a good plan B then go for it.

Although I'm more in the Booker T Washington camp and less in the WEB Dubois with regards to the potential comeuppance of those with denigrated gpa's.

Myself I would learn an employable trade that was med school applicable. Geology and philosophy or in my case Samba drumming and African-American satirical literature. Are pretty much useless. And belong to the accoutrements of those for whom making a living is a distasteful afterthought or an inconvenience.

Geologists might be the one guy everybody can agree was right after it becomes apparent that no one gives a sh!t what was said in the past tense in a disastrous present. Good luck making a living with that. And I hate sounding like your pops. But if you aint noticed the class war has just opened up a new front against the middle class. Geologists aren't exactly in the front of the employment line with State budgets retreating to a radical new norm of barely sustaining the semblance of governance.

I'm just saying. Interesting plan B's that you enjoy. But that yield no cash. With a primary plan that looks unpromising without herculean effort. And you don't see any fault line in that?

Best of luck. In any case.
 

srleslie

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Thanks for the adivce, however I would just like to point out that graduates with a BS in geology are currently getting offers from oil and mining companies in the 70 to 80K range, despite this economy....so not exactly a useless degree or one that will leave me poor.

For sure. Your the 1st person to recommend shadowing a geologist. And then for it to be a solid piece of advice...? You're the first. The geologist would probably be like huh? what? You want to watch me study rocks?

Anyway to the OP. Second bachelor's with financial aid and loan capability is definitely the way to go for now. Then DrMidlife is right. You can either try with what you have or you can leave less to chance with multiple years of expensive application cycles with OR do an SMP. Either way is tough and risky. With an SMP being the toughest.

So if Geology is a good plan B then go for it.

Although I'm more in the Booker T Washington camp and less in the WEB Dubois with regards to the potential comeuppance of those with denigrated gpa's.

Myself I would learn an employable trade that was med school applicable. Geology and philosophy or in my case Samba drumming and African-American satirical literature. Are pretty much useless. And belong to the accoutrements of those for whom making a living is a distasteful afterthought or an inconvenience.

Geologists might be the one guy everybody can agree was right after it becomes apparent that no one gives a sh!t what was said in the past tense in a disastrous present. Good luck making a living with that. And I hate sounding like your pops. But if you aint noticed the class war has just opened up a new front against the middle class. Geologists aren't exactly in the front of the employment line with State budgets retreating to a radical new norm of barely sustaining the semblance of governance.

I'm just saying. Interesting plan B's that you enjoy. But that yield no cash. With a primary plan that looks unpromising without herculean effort. And you don't see any fault line in that?

Best of luck. In any case.
 

Nasrudin

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Thanks for the adivce, however I would just like to point out that graduates with a BS in geology are currently getting offers from oil and mining companies in the 70 to 80K range, despite this economy....so not exactly a useless degree or one that will leave me poor.

Industrial mining. Energy production industries. Should've occurred to me. Good. At least you're thinking practically. I retract my statement then.
 

NTF

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Thanks for the adivce, however I would just like to point out that graduates with a BS in geology are currently getting offers from oil and mining companies in the 70 to 80K range, despite this economy....so not exactly a useless degree or one that will leave me poor.
And if you like it enough to get a PHD I know plenty of people from the geology department at my old school who were being offered 6 figures from oil and mining companies before they even finished their dissertation.
 

DrMidlife

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Thanks for the adivce, however I would just like to point out that graduates with a BS in geology are currently getting offers from oil and mining companies in the 70 to 80K range, despite this economy....so not exactly a useless degree or one that will leave me poor.
Go shadow those oil & mining company jobs. Find out who the happy geologists are - you don't find them by going after the best paying gigs, I bet.

As with medical shadowing, the key information to get is how much they like what they're doing, what they wish they were doing instead, and whether they're doing the job because they want to or because they have to (mortgage/family/etc). Which is all useless to you unless you're sufficiently self aware to assess whether their perspective applies to you as an individual.
 

DrMidlife

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Myself I would learn an employable trade that was med school applicable. Geology and philosophy or in my case Samba drumming and African-American satirical literature. Are pretty much useless. And belong to the accoutrements of those for whom making a living is a distasteful afterthought or an inconvenience.
I'd be a dance major, geography minor. If med school didn't happen, I'd get an MPH and do GIS development. And dance a lot. (In reality I did a math major, CS minor, and I'll never have another chance to be an 18-23 year old in a sun-filled dance studio.)
 

Nasrudin

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I'd be a dance major, geography minor. If med school didn't happen, I'd get an MPH and do GIS development. And dance a lot. (In reality I did a math major, CS minor, and I'll never have another chance to be an 18-23 year old in a sun-filled dance studio.)
Yeah. I see your point. It's true that from the perspective of the continual uphill struggle of damage control. In retrospect. A half practical/half fun lifestyle could be cushily and enjoyably brought to fruition at the application point. Of say 28. With ease. And while sucking the marrow of youth.

And yeah. I would do it that way too. But still. I'd have something that would pay 15/hour plus. Just to make it go right. If your working 2 jobs just to keep from moving backward. What's the point of youth. Or oldness for that matter.