Feb 17, 2010
30
0
Status
Pre-Medical
This is my plan to get into medical school. I would appreciate any constructive criticism, general advice, or suggestions for my plan. I think it would help me if you identify what you think are my strengths and weaknesses.

First, let me give you some background information. I'm currently a junior and my gpa is just below a 3.0 (thanks to screwing around and previously majoring in engineering), should be a 3.0 by the end of this semester. Yes, I know that is very low and I will be getting it up to probably a 3.3 -3.4 by graduation. Not the best but that's the most realistic. I will be graduating May 2013 with a degree in Human Biology and Psychology and minors in Chemistry and Math. I have just recently decided to pursue med school.

I have over 3000 hours as a CNA and have been working as one since just before I turned 17. I'm currently on call since I have a job as a CA now (see below) but I plan on returning to be a CNA next school year so my hours should increase.

I'm currently a Community Advisor at my school (same as an RA). This is my second year doing that so I feel that is a good leadership experience.

I just started Health Pros this year, Health PROs (peers reaching out) is a volunteer organization through my university's health education office that presents at classes, in residence halls, and off campus on topics involving health such as safer sex, safer drinking habits, getting enough sleep, stress management, etc. I'm currently averaging about 5 hours a week.

My Plan:

Summer 2011

Work as CNA to build clinical experience and make money
Shadow a physician
Possibly take a summer class or two

Fall 2011 (Senior Year)
Organic Chem I
Work as CNA
Health Pros (~3 hours a week)

Spring 2012
Organic Chem II
Health Pros(~3 hours a week)

Summer 2012
Work as CNA
Summer Classes
Shadow a doctor

Fall 2012 (Fifth Year)
Health Pros (~3 hours)

Spring 2013
Biochem
Physics II
Work as CNA
Health Pros (~3 hours)
Graduate!

Summer 2014
Americorps?
Study for MCAT

Fall 2014
Americorps?
Take MCAT

Spring 2015
Americorps?
*Take MCAT again if necessary

Summer 2015
Americorps?
Apply for Med School

Fall 2015
Americorps?

Spring 2016
Americorps?

Fall 2016
Hopefully Matriculate to Med School!

I would like to go to med school preferably in MN. I'd also consider both MD and DO in the neighboring states (MI, WI, IA, ND, SD).

Additional Questions:
  1. I'd like to do Americorps post graduation, what have you heard about Americorps?
  2. I'm also considering taking some spanish courses post-bacc? Do you think that is a good idea, would it improve my chances at med school? Or would they not care about spanish classes?
  3. How many hours do you believe I should shadow a doctor?
  4. Should I consider going to grad school or doing post-bacc before apply for med school?
  5. Do you think applying for med school at the age of 25 would look good?
  6. I took calculus-based physics since that was what was required for engineering (former major), should I take algebra-based physics post-bacc to help prepare for the MCAT?
  7. What is the best way to study for the MCAT? Is a Kaplan course worth it?
 

MichaelC

Student
Oct 29, 2010
76
0
Status
I don't have a lot of advice, but I do have a related quote.

"Stating your plans is a good way to hear God laugh."
~Al Swearengen, Deadwood
 

apumic

Oracle of the Sheet
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2007
3,924
8
Denver, CO
Status
Medical Student
I, as well, have a related quote:

Or, in a much more entertaining way:


[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7uATA-M9zo[/YOUTUBE]
 

tabascosauce

my temper short but my money long
7+ Year Member
May 24, 2010
1,136
8
whats a CNA
 

apumic

Oracle of the Sheet
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2007
3,924
8
Denver, CO
Status
Medical Student
OP, looks fine. Don't plan for an MCAT retake. Take it once and only one.
 

apumic

Oracle of the Sheet
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2007
3,924
8
Denver, CO
Status
Medical Student
Additional Questions:
  1. I'd like to do Americorps post graduation, what have you heard about Americorps?
Why do you want to do it?

  1. I'm also considering taking some spanish courses post-bacc? Do you think that is a good idea, would it improve my chances at med school? Or would they not care about spanish classes?
no... take them during UG if at all

  1. How many hours do you believe I should shadow a doctor?
40-100; no more than 100

  1. Should I consider going to grad school or doing post-bacc before apply for med school?
no

  1. Do you think applying for med school at the age of 25 would look good?
why? doesn't matter.

  1. I took calculus-based physics since that was what was required for engineering (former major), should I take algebra-based physics post-bacc to help prepare for the MCAT?
why? unnecessary.

  1. What is the best way to study for the MCAT? Is a Kaplan course worth it?
self-study; see SN2ed's stuff....


Try searching before asking questions....
 

Lunasly

5+ Year Member
May 17, 2010
798
28
Canada
Status
I am only a freshman do my advice may not be as great as others. I have been reading these forums for a while now and fro what I have so far from people in your situation is 3 options.

1) Do a Post-Bacc to raise your GPA if you want to attend an MD school.
2) Raise your GPA to a 3.5 like you said and apply to DO schools.
3) Apply Caribbean.
Hope I helped,
Lunasly.
 

torshi

Squirrel
5+ Year Member
Oct 26, 2010
6,904
76
Rock the MCAT and you should consider some D.O. schools and less competetive M.D. schools.

Other than that your fine
 
Jan 17, 2010
550
1
Status
You're saying that while you''ve now decided what you want to do, you won't be ready for it any sooner than will many kids who are currently juniors in high school? I think you risk backing yourself into a corner that will be hard to explain.

Cut several years out of the time frame if you really want to go to med school.
 

gettheleadout

MS-4
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2010
11,814
2,783
Status
Medical Student
I am only a freshman do my advice may not be as great as others. I have been reading these forums for a while now and fro what I have so far from people in your situation is 3 options.

1) Do a Post-Bacc to raise your GPA if you want to attend an MD school.
2) Raise your GPA to a 3.5 like you said and apply to DO schools.
3) Apply Caribbean.
Hope I helped,
Lunasly.
Try everything you can to avoid this.
 

texahn

Yes
7+ Year Member
May 5, 2009
409
2
Status
Non-Student
do americorps..
 

Bernoull

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2007
1,724
8
Ischioanal fossa
Status
Resident [Any Field]
This is my plan to get into medical school. I would appreciate any constructive criticism, general advice, or suggestions for my plan. I think it would help me if you identify what you think are my strengths and weaknesses.

First, let me give you some background information. I'm currently a junior and my gpa is just below a 3.0 (thanks to screwing around and previously majoring in engineering), should be a 3.0 by the end of this semester. Yes, I know that is very low and I will be getting it up to probably a 3.3 -3.4 by graduation. Not the best but that's the most realistic. I will be graduating May 2013 with a degree in Human Biology and Psychology and minors in Chemistry and Math. I have just recently decided to pursue med school.

I have over 3000 hours as a CNA and have been working as one since just before I turned 17. I'm currently on call since I have a job as a CA now (see below) but I plan on returning to be a CNA next school year so my hours should increase.

I'm currently a Community Advisor at my school (same as an RA). This is my second year doing that so I feel that is a good leadership experience.

I just started Health Pros this year, Health PROs (peers reaching out) is a volunteer organization through my university's health education office that presents at classes, in residence halls, and off campus on topics involving health such as safer sex, safer drinking habits, getting enough sleep, stress management, etc. I'm currently averaging about 5 hours a week.

My Plan:

Summer 2011

Work as CNA to build clinical experience and make money
Shadow a physician
Possibly take a summer class or two

Fall 2011 (Senior Year)
Organic Chem I
Work as CNA
Health Pros (~3 hours a week)

Spring 2012
Organic Chem II
Health Pros(~3 hours a week)

Summer 2012
Work as CNA
Summer Classes
Shadow a doctor

Fall 2012 (Fifth Year)
Health Pros (~3 hours)

Spring 2013
Biochem
Physics II
Work as CNA
Health Pros (~3 hours)
Graduate!

Summer 2014
Americorps?
Study for MCAT

Fall 2014
Americorps?
Take MCAT

Spring 2015
Americorps?
*Take MCAT again if necessary

Summer 2015
Americorps?
Apply for Med School

Fall 2015
Americorps?

Spring 2016
Americorps?

Fall 2016
Hopefully Matriculate to Med School!

I would like to go to med school preferably in MN. I'd also consider both MD and DO in the neighboring states (MI, WI, IA, ND, SD).

Additional Questions:
  1. I'd like to do Americorps post graduation, what have you heard about Americorps?
  2. I'm also considering taking some spanish courses post-bacc? Do you think that is a good idea, would it improve my chances at med school? Or would they not care about spanish classes?
  3. How many hours do you believe I should shadow a doctor?
  4. Should I consider going to grad school or doing post-bacc before apply for med school?
  5. Do you think applying for med school at the age of 25 would look good?
  6. I took calculus-based physics since that was what was required for engineering (former major), should I take algebra-based physics post-bacc to help prepare for the MCAT?
  7. What is the best way to study for the MCAT? Is a Kaplan course worth it?
Honestly, I'm not sure if this is a serious post or not.

OP do u have to work, are u financially compelled to do so? If not, I'll suggest taking more classes per semester, graduate sooner and take the MCAT sooner as those science classes will be more fresh in ur mind. Also are u only listing prereq courses or it this ur entire semester courseload?

I won't advice americorps except if u're genuinely interested in it independent of admissions considerations. U can continue ur community service and leadership EC rather than doing americorps.

IMHO kaplan and the rest are a waste of $$ except perhaps if u need the structure/pace of covering the material within a given time-frame.

gdluck!
 
OP
S
Feb 17, 2010
30
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Michael C, I saw your chance me post and it sounds like you could use making a plan for yourself. If you need help with that let me know so I can just laugh at you.

Tabascosauce, a CNA is certified nursing assistant.

Apumic, I was at first interested in Peace Corps but I did not want to make a two year commitment abroad. Then at some internship fair I learned about Americorps. I really think I'd enjoy the Americorps program where I would help kids with learning to read or tutor kids in math. Also I feel it would give me something to do during my gap years. Thanks for the n00b bf video also.

Musclemass, I have no idea what your response means at all.
 
OP
S
Feb 17, 2010
30
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I do have to work unfortunately. And I am taking a full course load (17-18 credits) every semester until I graduate in May 2013. I wish I could graduate sooner. And yes I had only listed prereqs.

I will definitely take in mind taking the MCAT sooner. Do you think right after organic chem would be the best time to take it?

The reason I'm so behind is I just switched to biology last semester setting me behind. Then I added psychology this semester as a second major because I felt adding a fifth year to get my gpa up before graduating would benefit me better than having to come back and do post bacc to raise my gpa.

I honestly am genuinely interested in Americorps.

Thank you for your response.
 

Bernoull

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2007
1,724
8
Ischioanal fossa
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I do have to work unfortunately. And I am taking a full course load (17-18 credits) every semester until I graduate in May 2013. I wish I could graduate sooner. And yes I had only listed prereqs.

I will definitely take in mind taking the MCAT sooner. Do you think right after organic chem would be the best time to take it?

The reason I'm so behind is I just switched to biology last semester setting me behind. Then I added psychology this semester as a second major because I felt adding a fifth year to get my gpa up before graduating would benefit me better than having to come back and do post bacc to raise my gpa.

I honestly am genuinely interested in Americorps.

Thank you for your response.
Thx for clarifying, i like ur thinking regarding the extra yr to boost gpa and get an additional degree (remember gpa>>>>>2nd degree, so rock those classes)..

Honestly one should only take the mcat when one is ready. Ready means you're scoring well on AAMC practice test. It's easier to review for the mcat is it hasn't been too long since u took the relevant classes. However, make sure u've taken all the relevant classes b4 taking the mcat therefore u're original timeline of summer 2014 is fine.

Since u're interested in americorps, by all means go for it!

Best of luck and if i can be of further help, just pm or post..
 
Jan 17, 2010
550
1
Status
Musclemass, I have no idea what your response means at all.
Sorry if unclear. The background you're constructing makes me wonder how much desire you have to be a doctor. You happened by a job fair and decided to take a two year detour. You're on a five year plan to graduate, fair enough, that happens. You're already planning to retake the MCAT though you haven't taken it before.

Taken together, it just struck me that your activities were ordinary, the pace is leisurely and it shows no urgency or commitment to reach your goal as well and as soon as possible. All in all, a me-too record with a GPA on the low end with no apparent passion.

If I were you, I would shift into high gear and kick butt for the next few years.

You and others can disagree with me, that's fine. I think there's lots you can do if you focus, but short of doing so, I don't see this as a successful plan.
 
Oct 17, 2010
428
1
Status
Medical Student
Sorry if unclear. The background you're constructing makes me wonder how much desire you have to be a doctor. You happened by a job fair and decided to take a two year detour. You're on a five year plan to graduate, fair enough, that happens. You're already planning to retake the MCAT though you haven't taken it before.

Taken together, it just struck me that your activities were ordinary, the pace is leisurely and it shows no urgency or commitment to reach your goal as well and as soon as possible. All in all, a me-too record with a GPA on the low end with no apparent passion.

If I were you, I would shift into high gear and kick butt for the next few years.

You and others can disagree with me, that's fine. I think there's lots you can do if you focus, but short of doing so, I don't see this as a successful plan.
I know plenty of people who have taken two years off to do Teach for America before med school. I find it admirable, not a lack of initiative
 
OP
S
Feb 17, 2010
30
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey Musclemass thanks for clearing up your previous message.

I do have a desire to be a doctor but I just see no reason to rush. I don't see why being a doctor should be urgent. I guess I just don't understand where you're coming from; I will be committing majority of my life to the medical field, I don't see the problem with taking two years for myself.

I also don't see Americorps as a detour, I had decided on it before deciding I wanted to become a doctor. And I did not just happen by a job fair and decide to do it but I could see how it might have seemed that way. It's something I feel I need to do, if I don't do it I will regret it. Just like I would regret not going to medical school.

Also I am not planning on retaking the mcat. I plan on taking it just once but it makes me feel less stressed out knowing that I will have time to retake it if something goes terribly wrong or something prevents me from taking it the first time around without having to postpone applying an extra year.

I think I will have no problem explaining a gap. I had wanted to take a year off between high school and college but my parents pressured me into not doing so. I understand where they were coming from but I do regret not just taking a year off still. So this is my opportunity to take time off like I wanted. There are plenty of benefits of taking time off such as avoiding burnout and saving up some money. Also the gap will give me time to marry my partner and get settle into a married life before beginning med school. I feel my partner is detrimental to my success at med school since he is such a huge part of my support system.

But thank you for your opinion, hopefully in a couple years none of the adcomms I meet will feel the same as you. *fingers crossed
 

datongnoodles

5+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2010
40
0
Status
Additional Questions:
  1. I'd like to do Americorps post graduation, what have you heard about Americorps?
  2. I'm also considering taking some spanish courses post-bacc? Do you think that is a good idea, would it improve my chances at med school? Or would they not care about spanish classes?
  3. How many hours do you believe I should shadow a doctor?
  4. Should I consider going to grad school or doing post-bacc before apply for med school?
  5. Do you think applying for med school at the age of 25 would look good?
  6. I took calculus-based physics since that was what was required for engineering (former major), should I take algebra-based physics post-bacc to help prepare for the MCAT?
  7. What is the best way to study for the MCAT? Is a Kaplan course worth it?
1. I know people doing Americorps and while I think it's really admirable I think you need to be realistic by considering your financial situation. Americorps pays very little and my friends doing it actually qualify (and do receive) food stamps. If you know you need money (for example, for Kaplan courses), you might want to consider another job. On the other hand, depending on the type of Americorps job you get, you can have some really meaningful, medically relevant experience.

2. I don't think taking Spanish courses would really affect your chances at med school, unless you're applying to a med school where they specifically say that they prefer applicants whose foreign language course was in Spanish (I think maybe UCLA is one such school?) I did meet some applicants on the med school interview trail who did Spanish immersion programs in Peru and Ecuador. The programs also included some medical volunteering on the side. That seems like a more interesting experience. (You don't need to know Spanish before you start some of those programs either.)

3. I think I honestly shadowed doctors for about 30-40 hours total and it was enough. I shadowed doctors in different specialities, in different clinical settings/practices, so I had some interesting points to make in my AMCAS. Only a couple med school interviewers even brought up shadowing, and that was mostly to see what I understood about medicine. I think shadowing beyond 50+ hours is overkill, since you basically do nothing while shadowing, just standing around and observing.

4. If you've already completed your pre-med requirements by the time you graduate from college, you shouldn't do a post-bacc. If you want to boost your GPA, you could apply for a masters program.

5. Age doesn't really matter. It's how prepared you are and what experiences you've had. I'm currently applying at the age of 26, having decided on med school only after college, and almost all of my interviewers have been impressed/intrigued by my experiences. On the other hand, I know someone who finished college in 3 years, applied when she was 20 or so and got into a great school because she had very compelling reasons/experiences.

6. Why would you want to take algebra based physics when you've already surpassed that with calc based physics?! Seriously, the physics on MCAT doesn't require that much math. If you're solid on physics, you should be fine.

7. I think the best way is to study really hard by yourself first, take practice tests and then see how you do. If after you've given it your all, you still can't seem to achieve the score you want, then you should consider shelling out all that money for a prep course. That is, unless you're one of those people who can't stick to a study schedule by yourself. I studied on my own and did fine. A lot of the prep books out there (ExamKrackers, Kaplan's MCAT 45, etc) do a decent enough job of teaching you little tricks and mnemonics that you would learn in a prep class anyway.

Hope this helps!
 

Adaggiote

Removed
Oct 9, 2010
306
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hmmm...There is usually some stupid internet meme by now in the thread. Anyways, That's what you get for being an engineering major. Buy HEY, at least you are picking up the pieces.