Aug 29, 2017
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi everyone!

This is my first post on this site so sorry if I do something wrong or post this in the wrong space. I know a lot of people ask for advice about these types of situations on here but I wanted to see if anyone had any specific advice that could pertain to my issue or has maybe been in my shoes before!

So basically, I had a pretty rough freshman year. I go to a competitive, private top-20 school (non-ivy) and coming from a semi-rural area I was not prepared for the challenges that awaited me. I entered freshman year as a 5 year dual-degree student in Biomed Engineering and Voice/Opera (weird combo, I know-- I was just really passionate about both!) I was very unsure about pre-med, and after making a C in my first quarter of accel chem, I decided to mentally drop being pre-med and pursue just engineering & voice.

Over the course of my freshman year, I started to realize that my voice degree was greatly limiting my level of success in engineering. Singing turned from a creative outlet to a stress-bearing chore, and took up SO much time-- I spent so much time doing required homework/practicing for my music classes that I had 0 time to study for my STEM classes that often had little homework (requiring more book-reading that I just did not have time to do). I often only slept 3-4 hours a night, which caused some medical issues that plagued me throughout the winter & contributed to my poor performance in my intro STEM classes. That being said, I ended the year with a 3.4 GPA, LARGELY bolstered by my music classes [my STEM classes were 1 A, 2 B's, 2 C's]. To take the stress off myself, I ended up dropping my voice degree to a music major, which also made graduating in 4 years more feasible.

Because of my poor STEM performance, I wanted to try something over the summer that might help boost my confidence and make up for my losses, and ended up applying for (and winning!) an undergraduate research grant for the summer. I spent the summer working on my own project in a tissue engineering lab, which was an amazing experience and made me realize how passionate I am about my major. I also decided that I really want to try to pick back up being pre-med and might try to apply to MD or MD/PhD programs-- but I just don't know that it will be feasible for me to do so right out of college given that I virtually cannot fit all the pre-med prereq's into 4 years without dropping my music major (which I cannot do due to financial aid reasons).

Is it worth it to take extra time to finish the premed classes? Would medical schools look upon me poorly for doing so, & would they understand my situation with my poor performance my freshman year? Would I be able to drop premed, work in industry, and then apply to med school later? I feel so much more confident and prepared going into this year now that I know what I'm really passionate about (biotechnology & medicine), but I just really don't know what my options are and what routes I might be able to take to medical school.

Thanks so much!
 
Last edited:

P0ke

M3
2+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2015
429
584
Status
Medical Student
Hi everyone!

This is my first post on this site so sorry if I do something wrong or post this in the wrong space. I know a lot of people ask for advice about these types of situations on here but I wanted to see if anyone had any specific advice that could pertain to my issue or has maybe been in my shoes before!

So basically, I had a pretty rough freshman year. I go to a competitive, private top-20 school (non-ivy) and coming from a semi-rural area I was not prepared for the challenges that awaited me. I entered freshman year as a 5 year dual-degree student in Biomed Engineering and Voice/Opera (weird combo, I know-- I was just really passionate about both!) I was very unsure about pre-med, and after making a C in my first quarter of accel chem, I decided to mentally drop being pre-med and pursue just engineering & voice.

Over the course of my freshman year, I started to realize that I was just not that passionate about my voice degree anymore. Singing turned from a creative outlet to a stress-bearing chore, and took up SO much time-- I spent so much time doing required homework/practicing for my music classes that I had 0 time to study for my STEM classes that often had little homework (requiring more book-reading that I just did not have time to do). I often only slept 3-4 hours a night, which caused some medical issues that plagued me throughout the winter & contributed to my poor performance in my intro STEM classes. That being said, I ended the year with a 3.4 GPA, LARGELY bolstered by my music classes [my STEM classes were 1 A, 2 B's, 2 C's]. To take the stress off myself, I ended up dropping my voice degree to a music major, which also made graduating in 4 years more feasible.

Because of my poor STEM performance, I wanted to try something over the summer that might help boost my confidence and make up for my losses, and ended up applying for (and winning!) an undergraduate research grant for the summer. I spent the summer working on my own project in a tissue engineering lab, which was an amazing experience and made me realize how passionate I am about my major. I also decided that I really want to try to pick back up being pre-med and might try to apply to MD or MD/PhD programs-- but I just don't know that it will be feasible for me to do so right out of college given that I virtually cannot fit all the pre-med prereq's into 4 years without dropping my music major (which I cannot do due to financial aid reasons).

Is it worth it to take extra time to finish the premed classes? Would medical schools look upon me poorly for doing so, & would they understand my situation with my poor performance my freshman year? Would I be able to drop premed, work in industry, and then apply to med school later? I feel so much more confident and prepared going into this year now that I know what I'm really passionate about (biotechnology & medicine), but I just really don't know what my options are and what routes I might be able to take to medical school.

Thanks so much!
First of all, "STEM" means nothing in med school admissions. BCPM is what counts (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math). Your engineering classes and music classes will look no different in the eyes of med school admissions committees. Just letter grades with a # of credits value next to them.

No they won't care if you take longer. If you can come back with solid grades, you'll be fine for med school. You can do whatever you want in between, they really won't care.

Learn the system, and come up with a strategy. I remember when I was initially trying to fix my GPA, I was like "oh I'll just take a bunch of easy classes to fluff my GPA." Then I found out about BCPM and thought... "dang nabbit, they've foiled my plans."
 
  • Like
Reactions: Prometheus123
About the Ads

efle

not an elf
5+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2014
11,714
15,587
Status
Medical Student
I virtually cannot fit all the pre-med prereq's into 4 years without dropping my music major (which I cannot do due to financial aid reasons).
You lose financial aid if you switch out of music? Why...? They don't allow people to change their plans for their future/career/life at your school ??
 

ciestar

All grown up! MS4!
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
6,186
6,846
Status
Medical Student
You lose financial aid if you switch out of music? Why...? They don't allow people to change their plans for their future/career/life at your school ??
Not if it's a music scholarship.
 

Deus Ex Medicine

2+ Year Member
May 25, 2014
77
36
Status
Pre-Medical
Because of my poor STEM performance, I wanted to try something over the summer that might help boost my confidence and make up for my losses, and ended up applying for (and winning!) an undergraduate research grant for the summer. I spent the summer working on my own project in a tissue engineering lab, which was an amazing experience and made me realize how passionate I am about my major. I also decided that I really want to try to pick back up being pre-med and might try to apply to MD or MD/PhD programs-- but I just don't know that it will be feasible for me to do so right out of college given that I virtually cannot fit all the pre-med prereq's into 4 years without dropping my music major (which I cannot do due to financial aid reasons).
Congratulations on winning the undergraduate research award! What an achievement!

If you want to be pre-med, you're going to need to find a way to get A's in pre-med courses however. I think you should get some experience in the clinical setting (volunteer and shadowing doctors) to confirm your decision to pursue MD or MD/PhD. This should be your #1 priority. Take a relaxed course load (minimum) and make your decision first.

Is it worth it to take extra time to finish the premed classes?
Yes!

Would medical schools look upon me poorly for doing so, & would they understand my situation with my poor performance my freshman year?
Medical schools are very understanding of poor academic performance in freshman year due to the high school to college transition period. Also, "upward trends" in grades/GPA are looked highly upon. If you can get all A's from now on - which should be your goal - you will be fine.

Would I be able to drop premed, work in industry, and then apply to med school later?
If you want to go to medical school, I would not recommend dropping pre-med. It's in your best interests to decide if you want to pursue a career in medicine and then stick to it. Finish your pre-med course requirements, take your MCAT, and apply. It is very common nowadays to have a "gap year" after college or even multiple gap years. You can certainly work in the industry and apply to medical school later.

Good luck!
 

thedarkniteeee

2+ Year Member
May 24, 2017
167
187
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey I feel you; I did music from middle school through high school and finally left music to pursue premed in college. Just know that whatever path you eventually take, you'll be great in it
 
About the Ads