ms6

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Mar 10, 2005
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Hi everyone,

I've just decided to go into medicine. Here is my story:

Graduated from a UC with a sub 3.0 cum GPA, non-science major. I've had a VERY VERY bumpy college ride, and very under my usual potential. I went through a very long un-motivated period, that lasted basically until i graduated. Now that i've found something that i could really be passionate about, i have this huge roadblock!

I haven't done any of the pre-med requirements yet. I've started with one bio class, which i am getting good grades in, but it is just the beginning. I've started doing research at Stanford VA, in cardiology. I'm looking for some volunteer work right now. i plan on taking the Mcat in April 2006, and apply that fall.

Is doing a post-bac advantageous for me, since i have no pre-med fulfilled, other than calculus and english? Which programs would be better? I've started taking classes at a local JC, but getting into classes is really tough, and I could lose a lot of time like that. Also, what other things can i do that will help me get into a US-school?

Another issue i have is that i'm in a serious relationship, and my significant other will be applying to graduate school soon as well. We have both decided to apply for fall of 2007. I would like to get my resume to a point where I will have a choice on which school i can go to. That way it will give us flexibility to live together, if we get into schools in the same city or area.

Any help from all of you who have so much experience will be greatly appreciated!!! I'm so confused!! :confused:

Thanks!!
 

liverotcod

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Nov 1, 2003
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In order to fulfill medical school prerequisites, you will definitely need to do a post-bacc. Also, this will help your GPA. I would not suggest taking your post-bacc courses at a junior college - you're looking to maximize their impact in your application, and junior colleges are (rightly or wrongly) seen as less demanding by adcoms. You should be done or almost with your prerequisites before taking the MCAT. Given that you have only about a year in which to complete all of your prerequisites, you will really need to start an intensive formal program this summer. Even at that, the April 2006 MCAT will probably by too early, and you should shoot for August.

With (for the sake of argument) a 3.1 cumulative GPA when you apply, you should be striving for a 35 MCAT to have a reasonable chance at multiple acceptances. Please consider both allopathic and osteopathic schools to increase both your admissions chances and your geographic diversity to stay with your SO.

You asked about other things you can do to improve your resume. One critical item is clinical experience. You said you are looking for volunteer work. Kill two birds with one stone and make it clinical volunteer work with significant patient contact. Free clinics are often really good for this, as are (sometimes) emergency departments at hospitals. You should also shadow at least 3 or 4 doctors for several days each to accumulate experiences to talk about in you personal statement and interviews.

The more detail you can give about your academic situation and the rest of your application, the more detailed the advice we can give back! Good luck :thumbup:
 

Law2Doc

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liverotcod said:
you should be striving for a 35 MCAT to have a reasonable chance at multiple acceptances.
I would echo what liverotcod said with respect to not rushing to the April '06 MCAT. A nonscience major pulling less than a 3.0 is going to have a heck of a lot of work ahead to get anything even close to good score on the MCAT (let alone a 35+, which only a gifted few manage). And to squeeze it in in April will mean taking one class (Gen Chem 1&2, probably) in a condensed format over the first summer, and then the remaining three subjects Bio, Phys and Orgo together over the following academic year, which is tough even if you are really good at sciences. And even then you won't have the latter half of the second semester of any of them (if my calculations are correct). You probably would be best served to slow everything down a bit. I would advise finishing all of your postbac prereqs and then take a Kaplan or TPR course (ideally sequentially rather than all at once) before taking the test. You can learn the MCAT material without these test prep courses, but if you don't have a strong background in sciences, it's less advisable.
 
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ms6

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Mar 10, 2005
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Law2Doc said:
I would echo what liverotcod said with respect to not rushing to the April '06 MCAT. A nonscience major pulling less than a 3.0 is going to have a heck of a lot of work ahead to get anything even close to good score on the MCAT (let alone a 35+, which only a gifted few manage). And to squeeze it in in April will mean taking one class (Gen Chem 1&2, probably) in a condensed format over the first summer, and then the remaining three subjects Bio, Phys and Orgo together over the following academic year, which is tough even if you are really good at sciences. And even then you won't have the latter half of the second semester of any of them (if my calculations are correct). You probably would be best served to slow everything down a bit. I would advise finishing all of your postbac prereqs and then take a Kaplan or TPR course (ideally sequentially rather than all at once) before taking the test. You can learn the MCAT material without these test prep courses, but if you don't have a strong background in sciences, it's less advisable.


Thanks for your advices! I am begininning to see that rushing may not be the best thing for me. Will it hurt me then, if i do these classes at a JC? I mean the classes are easier... from what i've heard.

YOu got it absolutely correct. I was going to do a one-year intensive chemistry over this current summer. I will have finished 2/3 bio by then. Which will then leave orgo and physics this fall. I was going to take a Princeton Review course also this fall, and start studying for the MCAT, asap. I know it might be overkill, but my friend who is a MD/PhD at USC told me the earlier i can start the better it would be.

I've started research a Stanford as well, and will hopefully get a publication and some really good LORs. I'm still looking for volunteer work at clinics, but nothing has been making sense.

I also had some volunteer work abroad, in India for two-months which really propelled me into the decision for med school. If i can do well, should i still think about this super accelerated program i've made out for myself?
 

Law2Doc

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ms6 said:
Thanks for your advices! I am begininning to see that rushing may not be the best thing for me. Will it hurt me then, if i do these classes at a JC? I mean the classes are easier... from what i've heard.

YOu got it absolutely correct. I was going to do a one-year intensive chemistry over this current summer. I will have finished 2/3 bio by then. Which will then leave orgo and physics this fall. I was going to take a Princeton Review course also this fall, and start studying for the MCAT, asap. I know it might be overkill, but my friend who is a MD/PhD at USC told me the earlier i can start the better it would be.

I've started research a Stanford as well, and will hopefully get a publication and some really good LORs. I'm still looking for volunteer work at clinics, but nothing has been making sense.

I also had some volunteer work abroad, in India for two-months which really propelled me into the decision for med school. If i can do well, should i still think about this super accelerated program i've made out for myself?
I personally would not take the classes at a JC if it can be avoided. Med schools regard these as easier, and so your grades will be scrutinized as such. I think everything you've described sounds fine (and I would definitely do a little of the clinic/volunteer work to pad the resume in that area), but taking orgo, physics and studying for the MCAT simultaneously is very ambitious. If you were a strong science student, I'd say go for it, but otherwise, I still recommend spreading it out.