Aug 27, 2015
1
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello,

This is my first post on SDN. I don't think it repeats any earlier post exactly. I hope someone here can give me advice. I'm currently enrolled as a PhD student in an English department at a top Ivy League school. I graduated as an English major from Berkeley with a 3.97 GPA and very high GRE's (1580 on the old version: 800 Math, 780 Verbal). I did most of the AP math and science classes in high school to satisfy my requirements, having been certain since my junior year that I wanted to become a humanities professor. I did dabble in cognitive/behavioral sciences during undergrad, but had practically no BCPM coursework.
I was selected as the only member of my graduate cohort to receive a prestigious university-wide fellowship in the humanities, and I entered the program with only moderate reservations about careers in the profession (fueled by periodic web editorials advising against graduate school in the humanities). Now, two years later, having finished coursework and received my MA, I've elected to take a leave of absence to reassess my future. While I certainly don't regret having spent my youth studying classic literature, I now realize that the academic humanities is not the professional field where I want to spend the rest of my life. Partly the impetus for this realization has been seeing my father, himself a noted doctor who inspired me with a lifelong respect for science, develop the early signs of a degenerative nerve disease; partly I kept finding that my reading and thinking about philosophy and literary theory was taking me in a very different direction than most of my peers--always inclined to more technical and formal analyses of linguistic patterns, I became obsessed with the study of aphasia and the neurology of language. Increasingly I have been feeling that I need to switch to medicine to really do work that I find rewarding, both clinically and in terms of research.
So I'm wondering if anyone here can offer advice or guidance on this path. I know I will need to do post-bacc coursework--pretty much all the premed courses. I will also need to at least volunteer at a clinic, since all my volunteer work so far has been outside the medical field. But what else? Is this prima facie a laughable idea? And if not, does anyone know about the chances of getting into a good med school in California (UCSF, UCLA, UCSD, UCD, UCI, USC, or Stanford) out of a post-bacc?

Many thanks for reading
 
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Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
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This is impossible to estimate without knowing your GPAs and MCAT. The CA schools are among the most competitive in the country and CA is a net exporter of MD students.

The median MCAT score for MD matriculants is ~31 on the old test (~501 new) and GPAs of 3.7.

You will need to shadow a doctor, and as you mention, do some clinical volunteering, to show us that you like being around sick people and know what you're getting into.

Your SATs and GREs are irrelevant for this process.


So I'm wondering if anyone here can offer advice or guidance on this path. I know I will need to do post-bacc coursework--pretty much all the premed courses. I will also need to at least volunteer at a clinic, since all my volunteer work so far has been outside the medical field. But what else? Is this prima facie a laughable idea? And if not, does anyone know about the chances of getting into a good med school in California (UCSF, UCLA, UCSD, UCD, UCI, USC, or Stanford) out of a post-bacc?