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New member with questions, please help

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by NJdcjr22, 09.26.14.

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  1. NJdcjr22

    NJdcjr22

    Joined:
    09.26.14
    Messages:
    7
    Hey everyone-
    After reading a bunch of posts on here, I became a member and I'm hoping someone can help me out. I'm a recent graduate with a degree in Economics. I work at an acocounting firm and hate it and know this is not what I plan on doing for my life. I want to be a doctor, always have, but because I was a college athlete, athletics was what I focused on in college and taking science classes was simply not feasible for me.

    Here comes the bulk of the story. If anyone can take the time to read it and help men it I would really appreciate it. My cumulative GPA in college was a 3.2. That 3.2 is with multiple F's on my transcript. One F is from freshman year when I was just messing around and the others happened right before I graduated. I had a situation where I had a stress fracture in my spine, ACL reconstruction, rotator cuff repair, and then nerve pain in my right arm after the surgery that was worse pain then all other surgeries combined. All of these issues were in a 2 year span. I was a mess as my dreams of becoming a professional athlete were shattered. I knew I wanted to become a doctors then but I was close enough to my degree that I finished. I enrolled in some of the science classes but withdrew a lot because I was very depressed from the circumstances. I did manage to keep a GPA above 3.0 for my cumulative which I hope will be still be ok.

    As of now I am enrolled in General Physics and General Bio 1 at the local state college while working. I plan to make A's. I know the basic prerequisites for med school. I found out about post bacc programs after I started these classes.

    That leaves me with these questions:
    1) For applying should I take more courses then the basic physics, bio, chem, and organic chem to make my application stronger?
    2) will I be able to share my story on my application in the hopes that it will explain my poor grades?
    3) can I use post bacc resources at schools without being enrolled I the program?
    4) what should I be doing now and next semester to give me the best chance of getting into a quality medical school?

    Sorry for the length and anyone that has read this and willing to help, again, I really appreciate it.

    Thank you.
     
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  3. Rocketdog

    Rocketdog 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    03.03.14
    Messages:
    79
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    There are a few things you can do to boost your acceptance chances given your specific situation:
    Take courses you can get an A, the stronger your GPA the better
    Sharing your story is ok..as long as it ends with how you overcame adversity to be a stronger applicant.
    Using post bacc resources to non-degree or non-certificate students are up to the school themselves, best to ask them directly

    The "what else should I do doing" question relies on what else haven't you done: how are your ECs? volunteer hours, community service projects? Have you done any shadowing? You should be comfortable with an ADCOM asking you about your motivations about being a Physician. How are your presentation skills?
    You can create a medical school checklist: check off the things you've done, etc.

    Go to the AAMC website and download the current MCAT test areas and read every question you can understand. There are things in your biology courses that apply directly to the MCAT.

    Remember: you can't see the finish line, but it's there. One step at a time, you'll make it.
     
  4. NJdcjr22

    NJdcjr22

    Joined:
    09.26.14
    Messages:
    7
    Rocketdog, thanks for the response.

    In terms of my extra curricular activities I have a good amount of volunteer work through my college athletics. Aside from that, I have not done any shadowing or volunteer hours? Is it best just to go in ask a physician to shadow him? Are there preferences toward primary care? I assume you should shadow fields that you are interested in. I know that the post bacc programs usually have physicians that they have their students shadow. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on ECs to pursue.

    My presentation skills I consider to be very good. I am confident in myself and how I present myself. The reason for becoming a physician is linked to my medical history, as it has given a passion for the learning about the body and its systems as well see clearly that I want to help people for a living.

    Thanks again for the response.
     
  5. edgerock24

    edgerock24 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.28.12
    Messages:
    852
    1) Nope. No need. Biochemistry is likely to become an official prereq soon, but other than that taking the bare minimum prereqs is entirely fine.
    2) Yes, but it is known to focus more on your medically related experiences/the physician that you'd like to become in your personal statement moreso than concentrate on your past struggles. However, I do believe that AMCAS offers a separate essay to "explain poor grades" or something of the sort, but I'm personally not too familiar with that.
    3) Cannot really answer that for you, and I'm unsure if you actually need any outside resources. You do not need 'premed advising.' You can find more relevant and up to date information by searching this forum. The only thing that I could see being useful is if this post bac program helps students find research, work, or shadowing opportunities. If so, then it wouldn't hurt to send an email out inquiring about it.
    4) Get A's. For you specifically, since your GPA is on the low side, you need to focus on getting good grades. Don't even focus on any EC's for a little bit, because EC's are meaningless if your GPA is low. Also, you should look into DO programs. You will likely have much better luck with them when you do apply. For any MD school, you'll have to ace all of your science classes and really really rock the MCAT.
     
  6. NJdcjr22

    NJdcjr22

    Joined:
    09.26.14
    Messages:
    7
    edgerock24,
    Thanks for the response. In regards to #4 that was kind of what I was thinking, as I'm solely focused on getting A's right now. I am interested actually more in DO as I see a DO and he has done wonders for me. Is there any criticism towards shadowing your own doctor? I plan to ask him next time I see him.

    Thanks again for the help.
     
    edgerock24 likes this.
  7. Rocketdog

    Rocketdog 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    03.03.14
    Messages:
    79
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    NJdcjr22, there is no preference as far as shadowing. Yes, you can simply present yourself to Physician and ask if you can shadow. They understand what you are asking because they, most likely, had to shadow also. If you have the time, try to shadow several kinds of Doctors.

    One thing to keep in mind: Adcoms don't favor any ONE thing...because there are several factors to an applicant. GPA and MCAT scores are good indicators of med school success, however, since you need a diverse set of experiences, they want a well balanced applicant.

    As one adcom member put it: "When you go see an orchestra, you don't ONLY see violin players"........ beauty lies in diversity. Clubs, shadowing, volunteering, being involved in the community, etc.... shows the adcoms you are a well balanced and diverse applicant.
     
  8. NJdcjr22

    NJdcjr22

    Joined:
    09.26.14
    Messages:
    7
    Rocketdog,
    Thanks for the information, again I really appreciate it. Planning on shadowing my physician for the rest of the semester as well as volunteering on weekends. Then next semester I will look to shadow a new doctor in a different area as well as a different volunteering area. Anxious and excited as each day I get closer to my goal.
     
  9. Rocketdog

    Rocketdog 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    03.03.14
    Messages:
    79
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Glad to help anyway I can. I've been on my own personal medical school journey a long time myself. I find the excitement sustaining. Everyday I learn something new it carries me until I learn something else....and so the cycle repeats forever. I''m a life-long learner. I find medicine incredibly exciting.
     

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