Non-Trad Stats / Need Advice

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IssaDream

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Hello everyone on studentdoc! This is my first time posting (after months of ghost spectating the forums) here, and I was hoping to gain some insight/advice from any non-trad MD applicants about my path to an MD school. It has been my dream since childhood to become a doctor (as I'm sure you guys all share in this dream), but I have fallen off the path somewhere along the way. As of recent, however, I've gathered the courage to stick with this dream all the way until I fail and have all doors closed. Here, I will briefly share with you my stats and the 2-year plan I have in mind until I apply to medical school in 2020. I'd appreciate any feedback/insight/advice from those who have been involved in this forum and in the med school process (accepted or applicant), as I write this post. Just a warning: this may get long ;)

I am:
- Asian American (24)
- Graduating B.A in the spring from top #1 public university

Education:
- (Straight out of high school) Mid-tier public university [2012-2014]
- Pre-med at the time, majoring in general biology
- GPA: 2.93
- During this time, family went through a financial crisis, so I worked two jobs while attending school full time.
- Volunteer / Shadowing experience amidst this crisis.
- Completed half of medical school pre-reqs, but mediocre grades

- BIO 1/1L (B-/A) | BIO 2/2L (A-/B-) | BIO 3/3L (A/C-)
- CHM 1/1L (B-/A) | CHM 2/2L (B/F: Retook, got A) | CHM 3/3L (C/B)
- PHY 1/1L (B-/B)
- STAT (B)
- C/D/F's on upper division science courses, due to the circumstances at the time

At this point in my life, I dropped out of college for two reasons: (1) I couldn't keep up the grades with courses getting harder while working 2 jobs, and (2) I was extremely depressed, thinking that my chances of getting into a medical school was shot down.

I then later enrolled into community college, where I then sought to pursue a different academic path that was extremely helpful to me during my difficult times.

- [2014-2016] Community college, majoring in Philosophy
- High involvement in student community, organizations, clubs, and etc.
- GPA: 3.84 | Did not take any science courses

I then transferred to a top 1 public university as a philosophy major
- [2016-2018] Philosophy major
- GPA: 3.62
- Took a biochemistry course P/NP my 2nd semester to 'test the water' of getting back into the sciences and didn't pass, due to taking graduate level philosophy courses while working on an undergraduate philosophy publication at the time.
- Musician during this time
- Private hospice work
- Now, in my last semester, I am retaking this class, letter grade this time, with high hopes of getting an A.

Currently, I am studying for the CPC exam and am planning to work as a medical coder for about a year from May 2018 ~ July 2019. During this time, I will be self-studying the MCAT as I prepare for post-bacc schools to take a few pre-req courses that I did not complete during my first university. So to sum up this two year plan:

[2018~2019] Work in the medical field as a CPC
[2019~2020] Post-bacc, take MCAT
[2020~ ] Medical school! (hopefully).

I know medical school for me is a long shot, but it's a dream that I will see achieved someday--there is no backing out for me at this point. For those of you reading this, (and if you are non-trad like me) I'd appreciate any thoughts/feedbacks concerning this path and perhaps any advice as to how I can better improve my chances at medical school. Thank you all for sticking with this looong post!

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Lucky Day

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Hey, OP!

You've shown that you might have significant difficulties with the sciences. I would be very concerned about that. Since you're still pretty young and you've taken most of the pre-reqs, you're in a real bind. The only thing that would maybe come to my mind is a master's program, but I have zero experience with this. Someone else will have to chime in on that.

I also don't get a good sense that you've vetted the decision to be a physician through experiences. This may just be the way you presented your story, but if that's real, you'll need to get a stronger experience than coding, which I don't think will be helpful because it doesn't have any patient contact.

Good luck! I hope someone can fill in the blanks I've left!
 
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IssaDream

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Hey, OP!

You've shown that you might have significant difficulties with the sciences. I would be very concerned about that. Since you're still pretty young and you've taken most of the pre-reqs, you're in a real bind. The only thing that would maybe come to my mind is a master's program, but I have zero experience with this. Someone else will have to chime in on that.

I also don't get a good sense that you've vetted the decision to be a physician through experiences. This may just be the way you presented your story, but if that's real, you'll need to get a stronger experience than coding, which I don't think will be helpful because it doesn't have any patient contact.

Good luck! I hope someone can fill in the blanks I've left!

Hello Lucky Day, I appreciate the feedback! I have come to touch (in real terms) with my current situation with the science courses--but, I still have half to finish and I plan to kick ass during my time at post-bacc next year (+MCAT). As far as clinical experiences go, I totally agree with you; my clinical experiences need updating. My last clinical experience was in 2012 when I shadowed/volunteered, and in 2016 when I worked at a private hospice. I plan to volunteer night shifts when I work as a medical coder this year so as to update my clinical experience resume. Again, thanks for the advice!
 
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popopopop

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What's your cumulative gpa right now?
 

DarklingThrush

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I'm sorry about your undergraduate situation, but in regards to why you didn't pass Biochemistry... that sounds like an excuse to me. There are people who juggle full time jobs, children, volunteering, shadowing etc and get it done with a 4.0. Not passing Biochemistry does not bode well for you, and I really really question your ability to handle the sciences. I honestly can't fathom failing a class, especially when it's Pass Fail. You need to do a year of post bacc, taking classes for credit, and get all A's. It looks like you still have multiple pre reqs to take, so that's good, but you really have not shown you can handle the sciences. I know you plan on doing well in your post bacc, but everyone says that. You don't know what's going to come up... for example, I've had significant health problems the past year and have been in and out of the hospital, and that cost me a few B's in my post bacc. Luckily I haven't failed any classes and wasn't in a bad position fo begin with, but you better make sure come hell or high water you're going to get A's. You don't have a choice if you want to be a doctor, and right now it looks like you really don't have the chops to handle science curriculum


You need to honestly ask yourself what is different between when you failed biochem to now. Why do you think you will suddenly kick ass, when you've consistently underperformed in science classes, sans excuses?
 
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Osminog

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First off, I'm not so sure that you're non-trad, per se. In my mind, a six-year bachelor's degree and a couple of gap years =/= "non-trad."

there is no backing out for me at this point.

"Med school or bust" isn't the right mentality to have, especially in your situation. Everyone -- even top applicants -- should have a back-up plan.

For those of you reading this, (and if you are non-trad like me) I'd appreciate any thoughts/feedbacks concerning this path and perhaps any advice as to how I can better improve my chances at medical school. Thank you all for sticking with this looong post!

You have a massive number of credits and a very low GPA. Your best shot is to do an SMP at a DO school and completely ace it. Given your track record when it comes to upper-level sciences, that may not be realistic -- but it's by far your best chance.
 
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virtussis

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Do you want to be a philosophy major, or go to med school? It seems like you're having difficulty balancing the two, and I've seen plenty of people on this and other websites trying to make medical school their "side hustle" and end up failing miserably. Multiple people here have mentioned a master's/SMP, but I'd be careful, and would not consider enrolling in one until you can show yourself that you are capable of getting >3.6 GPA in pre-reqs.
 

DarklingThrush

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Do you want to be a philosophy major, or go to med school? It seems like you're having difficulty balancing the two, and I've seen plenty of people on this and other websites trying to make medical school their "side hustle" and end up failing miserably. Multiple people here have mentioned a master's/SMP, but I'd be careful, and would not consider enrolling in one until you can show yourself that you are capable of getting >3.6 GPA in pre-reqs.

Agreed. I personally don't think OP is qualified for a SMP... that's one sure way to make sure you'll never get into medical school, and with OP's performance history, very very risky
 

Osminog

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Agreed. I personally don't think OP is qualified for a SMP... that's one sure way to make sure you'll never get into medical school, and with OP's performance history, very very risky

Is it "very, very risky"? Sure. But with a sub-3.0 GPA and a huge number of credits, it's literally OP's only real shot at getting into a DO school. (MD is out of the question at this point.)

Otherwise, OP can stick with his current GPA, get a 496+ on the MCAT, and apply to podiatry school.
 

DarklingThrush

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Is it "very, very risky"? Sure. But with a sub-3.0 GPA and a huge number of credits, it's literally OP's only real shot at getting into a DO school. (MD is out of the question at this point.)

Otherwise, OP can stick with his current GPA, get a 496+ on the MCAT, and apply to podiatry school.
I'm saying it is very risky until OP proves they can handle getting A's in undergraduate upper level science coursework. I don't disagree... OP needs to preform very well at an undergraduate level before even attempting a SMP

OP can't expect to go from making F's in undergraduate classes to making a 4.0 in classes that esssntially mimic the first year of medical school
 
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