samuel984

5+ Year Member
Oct 6, 2015
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Hi there,

It's really nice to see many posts and answers from friendly people here. However, I think my situation is quite unique, so I hope to find some advices here.
I'm a second year master student of computer science in a UC school, and obtained my bachelor's degree of Biochemistry from Asia (not a Permanent Resident in USA).
I've done several biomedical research internship and research assistant roles in big pharma and academic institutions across several countries in USA and Germany. I clearly know that I love the intersection of medicine and computer science research (like what people do in google brain healthcare team). Also, I have strong passion to be a doctor since my childhood.
As a result, I've been thinking to apply for medical school in USA for a long while. However, as an international student who obtained undergraduate outside USA, I know there are many obstacles, especially visa and coursework (US medical schools don't recognize the coursework outside USA). I'm thinking to work as a software engineer or go for PhD first to get green card by company or publication citations in a few years.
Here are some of my questions:

1. Would you suggest me to do (a) PhD and take pre-med classes at the same time, and apply for med school after PhD or (b) be a software engineer, take pre-med courses part time, then apply
2. For people go to industry prior to medical school application, how do you take pre-med course part-time in university? (I see several pre-med program requires full time and only provide higher-level pre-med classes)
3. For people go to industry prior to medical school application, how do you find proper recommendation letters ? Does it harm your application if you don't find professors in academics?
4. Is it doable for a PhD student to take pre-med classes?
Thanks!
 

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
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Jul 26, 2009
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It's really nice to see many posts and answers from friendly people here. However, I think my situation is quite unique, so I hope to find some advices here.
I'm a second year master student of computer science in a UC school, and obtained my bachelor's degree of Biochemistry from Asia (not a Permanent Resident in USA).
I've done several biomedical research internship and research assistant roles in big pharma and academic institutions across several countries in USA and Germany. I clearly know that I love the intersection of medicine and computer science research (like what people do in google brain healthcare team). Also, I have strong passion to be a doctor since my childhood.
As a result, I've been thinking to apply for medical school in USA for a long while. However, as an international student who obtained undergraduate outside USA, I know there are many obstacles, especially visa and coursework (US medical schools don't recognize the coursework outside USA). I'm thinking to work as a software engineer or go for PhD first to get green card by company or publication citations in a few years.
You are both
1) a non US Citizen/PR holder (about 10%-15% of non US citizens/PR holders who apply get accepted)
2) a non-US undergraduate degree (this limits your schools to under a 1/2 to a 1/4 who will consider you)

1. Would you suggest me to do (a) PhD and take pre-med classes at the same time, and apply for med school after PhD or (b) be a software engineer, take pre-med courses part time, then apply
Many, probably a majority of US medical schools require at least 90 undergraduate credits from a US/Canadian school in order to matriculate. There are some that require 30-60 credits. Simply taking the "required" prereqs may not be sufficient. Having US graduate level work will not substitute for missing undergraduate work. There are some medical schools that will accept foreign degrees but certainnly under half and likely under a quarter.

2. For people go to industry prior to medical school application, how do you take pre-med course part-time in university? (I see several pre-med program requires full time and only provide higher-level pre-med classes)
You do not need any formal premed program but can the take the course work independently as a DIY (do it yourself)

3. For people go to industry prior to medical school application, how do you find proper recommendation letters ? Does it harm your application if you don't find professors in academics?
Many, if not most medical schools require letters from academic faculty that you have taken courses with

4. Is it doable for a PhD student to take pre-med classes?
[/QUOTE] highly unlikely

1) Getting a green card will help immensely
2) Getting a PhD, while impressive accomplishmemt, may actually work against you, certainly in time and effort, but in motivation and commitment as you have extensive research background so why are you not just staying with PhD research
3) You would need extensive clinical and non clinical volunteering (other than research) which would be very difficult to do while PhD student and hard enough while working full time and taking classes
4) and lets not forget the all important MCAT

These are the challenges
 
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samuel984

5+ Year Member
Oct 6, 2015
11
0
Status
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
@gonnif Thanks for your suggestions and information!
Do you think is it possible to finish all of this requirements with a part-time job in 5-6 years? I won't obtain my green card until 3-4 years later, so I will wait for a few years for application.
Also, is there difference between taking classes from community college and 4-year university for application? I think most 4-year universities don't provide the part-time class option? Am I right?

Thanks!
 

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,131
37,543
The Big Bad Apple
Status
  1. Non-Student
@gonnif Thanks for your suggestions and information!
Do you think is it possible to finish all of this requirements with a part-time job in 5-6 years? I won't obtain my green card until 3-4 years later, so I will wait for a few years for application.
Also, is there difference between taking classes from community college and 4-year university for application? I think most 4-year universities don't provide the part-time class option? Am I right?

Thanks!

you can and should take at 4 year school if you can and you can do part time there
 
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