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Need advice! Tough Situation

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by FrkyBgStok, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. FrkyBgStok

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    Ok. Here is my situation. I went to a community college and got an associates degree in automotive science, and when I graduated went back to school to pursue medicine. I transferred to a university and took bio I, chem I, physics I, and college algebra my first semester. Second semester I took, bio II, chem II, and physics II. I didn't do too well. B in Bio I and math, but basically c's in everything else.

    i was working and had one kid at the time. i thought i couldn't cut it so i tried to pursue something else, but i kept coming back to medicine. Fast forward. I am going to return to school and retake those classes. Problem is I have 3 kids now and I have to work full time.

    Going back to the university is really something I just cannot afford. I can retake these prereqs at a community college, as well as take orgo i and ii. I plan to transfer to a extension location of a state school and finish a 4 year however it doesn't offer any science classes at all.

    I e-mailed DMU. I am from des moines and really want to attend there more than anything. I asked them about CC prereqs. They responded by saying they will accept CC credits, but they strongly recommend taking as many as possible at a university to prove you can handle the rigors of med school.

    My dilemma is if I retake at a CC and do well, they may look at my university transcript and say, "obviously you couldn't cut university classes so you have no chance." I could go back to the university, but that basically starts me back at square one, and going part time puts me getting my degree in 6 or 7 years, and really puts financial strain on my family. The CC route is about 3 or 4 years.

    So should I retake at a CC and say screw it. I will be working full time at night, watching my 3 kids during the day while my wife works, and taking classes, and that could prove i could handle it. Should I go back to the university and say screw the money (easier said than done)? Or should I return to another college in town. I would like to avoid a biology major in case it doesn't work out but if I return to the university it naturally pushes me in that direction.

    I am sorry for the long post and I really appreciate any advice. I am looking for honesty and possibly constructive criticism. Thank you all.
     
  2. SalsaGrrrl

    SalsaGrrrl Junior Member
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    Sounds like a tough situation to be in. I honestly don't think it matters where you do your pre-reqs. I was once told I would NEVER get into medical school because I did my first two years of undergrad at a cc. I'm currently finishing up my 4th year of medicine. They counted my pre-req classes from my cc the same as my university ones. So, there you go.
    Do what is financially and most convenient for you. You are not your average student and it takes alot of sacrifice and guts to do what you're doing at this point in your life and that shows through in applications, trust me.
    Best of luck to you.:)
     
  3. FrkyBgStok

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    thank you. i am cool with the CC college credits tranferring, but i am really worried about them looking at my university transcript and saying he obviously can't do it. i don't know. anyone else?
     
  4. HM3Rockstar

    HM3Rockstar Party Foul Extraordinaire
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    university, no doubt. i have a friend that was in a situation similar to yours that went the CC route. she had 3.92 gpa, 35 mcat, solid ECs, and is a URM but didn't get into in-state med schools because the majority of her undergrad was CC. she got into some out of state schools but couldn't afford to move her family. now she works at walmart...electronics.
     
  5. FrkyBgStok

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    WOW! there's a kick to the nut sac! but thanks for the input. something to keep in mind.
     
  6. punkiedad

    punkiedad punkie's dad
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    I am from the mindset that does it really matter if your credits are from a CC or from a university? But, I never went to a CC so I cant really coment on it but if all the books are the same, etc.....my guess would be to say make this a lower priority. besides, a good MCAT should trump this (then aain that does not account for the wal mart person, but if you have a 35 MCAT and didn't get into med school my guess is there is something else wrong there, IMO)

    I have 2 kids and work full time. Took my pre reqs at a public state school. Had fantastic professors and good people. This is the most important part. You need to network yourself. Lets face it your stats alone are not going to get you in. You need to get out there and meet people that can help get you in front of the right people. I know it sounds kind of dorky, but there is merit to it.

    Do you live near a med school where you will be applying? Can you even get a job working at a med school?? You mentioned you went to a trade school?

    You have to remember, especially DO schools love the non traditional route. They want to see you are hungry and come back for more, IMO. I took pre reqs with someone who never even had n undergraduate degree and got a job at a med school and they saw this persons work ethic. Low and behold, they helped this person out tremendously to get in.

    Long post, I know, but if possible and you are wiling, see if you can look into it....Overall, best of luck to you and if you want it bad enough you can do it. Don't give up (even though you might think of it once a week!)
     
  7. FrkyBgStok

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    thank you very much. i did shadow a doctor that sits on the board at DMU for some interviews and he said he would write me a great LOR. this could help but i don't want to bank on it solely. I live about 10 minutes from DMU. Grew up here all my life. My family, friends, and wife's job are here which is mainly the reason i want to go there. DMU is by far my number one choice.

    as far as working there, i doubt they have anything at night. I need to work full time and have a job in a warehouse for a food distribution company. this allows my wife to work full time during the day, and i watch the kids during the day. i can get family to watch them a couple days while i attend class. working at DMU i don't think will work as daycare for three kids under 3 is just too much money.

    thanks for the support. i appreciate it.
     
  8. punkiedad

    punkiedad punkie's dad
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    No problem.....it sounds like you are on the right track. don't stop looking or take your eye off the ball. I was in the exact same situation as you are. You would be amazed of who is connected. Good luck and don't give up.....seems like a long road, but take it day by day and you will be there before you know it...........
     
  9. OncoCaP

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    Go back to school at a University and screw the money. Figure out a way to make it work. Downsize, live in poverty, etc. That will get your ready for medical school. Get a degree in something that allows you to get your premed credits and maintain a very high GPA, but which allows you to get a degree you are in interested in as a backup plan. For example, you might be able to go into physical therapy or optometry and there are various degrees that feed into that. You might even consider engineering but you would need to think long an hard about that one because it could kill your GPA.
     
  10. FrkyBgStok

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    thanks for the advice but it is much harder to just decide to live in poverty with kids. i looked at prices this morning and the university is $500 per credit hour whereas the CC is $90. They also offer more times to take the classes. I am not saying I would get a better education at the CC, however for my family and me, it might be what I have to do and risk it. I suppose doing well on the MCAT could prove I grasp the material.
     
  11. flip26

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    Well, eventually you have to go to a 4 year to get a BS or BA before med school, right? When are you planning to do that?

    Not doing well in the pre-reqs at the CC is your biggest problem. I also think you need to step up to the Uni and retake those classes - and make As.

    Is there some reason you can't take out student loans? The price differential does suck, but you ultimately have to attend a 4 year - to retake the pre reqs at the CC will look fishy...and will not be regarded in the best light.
     
  12. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
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    My thoughts on this:

    1. Doing prereqs at a CC on top of a successful university transcript might be fine. On top of an unsuccessful university transcript, you have something to prove, and you can't prove it at a CC. The thing you need to prove is that you can succeed at rigorous science coursework over an extended period of time. Keep in mind that 60% of applicants get rejected - don't set yourself up to be one.

    2. You won't improve your chances unless you change your work situation. You need A's now, and you need to have that be your job, which means you need to borrow money. The way I would do it is to pursue a 2nd degree at a university (preferably in something like biochem or microbio, where I'd take a ton of upper div science), with full student loans. It's silly to be swayed by numbers like $500 vs. $90 per credit, when you'll be $200k to $300k in debt on the other side of med school. Taking on debt to get you into med school shouldn't be a dealbreaker; it's literally what you have to do.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  13. FrkyBgStok

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    There is university extension location in my area that offers four year degrees with classes during day and night as well as many online. My plan is to tranfer to that when the time is right, but no science classes are offered. basically business classes and public adminstration.


    As for DrMidLife. You make a great point putting myself in an uphill battle. You may be right about having something to prove and def something that I need to keep in mind.

    As for the second thing, my problem isn't so much the working at night, it is the watching the kids during the day. My oldest is 3, and her brothers are 2, and 1. Daycare for them would be approximately $500-$700 per week. So adding this all up. If I were to get the degree from this 4 year it would be approximately $60-80K over three years. Add another $25K for three years of daycare puts me at $155K in debt not to mention last wages of about $50,000 per year for three years. This is before medical school. Or I can go to a CC and pay for the classes as I take them cash, not pay for daycare, work full time, and I have $0 debt.

    I don't want to set myself up to fail, but that just gets to be too much not to try. I don't know. This is what i am torn with. Thanks again for the advice.
     

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