Apr 16, 2014
4
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Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hi all!

So I'm not the most nontraditional.. but I'm finding it hard to get clear guidance from my undergrad and pre-med advisors. Here's my situation...

Graduated BU, major in Health Science Cum Laude 3.48, 2014
Pre-med coursework:
Gen Chem I/II - B/A
Bio I/II - (Ap credit)/A, also took Cell bio B+, Genetics B-, Anatomy A-, Physio B-, Microbio A
Orgo I - C+
Calc I - C+
Stats - A
Psych - (Ap credit)
Sociology - A-

I've taken about half of the courses, as you see. I didn't do the best in Calc or Orgo I. Classes I would like to retake/take include: Orgo I/II, Physics I/II, Biochem. My advisors were uncertain about calc.

ECs/post grad work exp:
President of undergrad Red Cross Club
Went abroad to med clinics 3x in undergrad, interned for org over summer in Central Am
Current rape crisis counselor/ volunteer for that organization
Current research coord at top Boston hospital (great refs)
Current student of 200h yoga teacher training

As you can see... I'm all over the map. I started out very much public health based but now I'm deciding i"d like to go into medicine. The timing is the difficult part.

The following are my options:

A. Spring - start physics/biochem/retake calc if necessary
Summer - orgo both sessions, finish physics; take MCAT in summer

B. Spring - physics I
Summer - Orgo I/II
Fall - physics II/ biochem, study for MCAT
MCAT in Jan/April

What do you recommend? I really want to get back to school ASAP, so I'd love choice A. What do you think? Also, I know my GPA isn't the highest, but any other recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

~M
 

heartsink

5+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2013
203
129
Status
Seems like you're in a rush and i'm a big fan of anti-rush. Why the rush?

Allopathic schools will look at both iterations of your orgo and calc, not just your retakes. Most would say your gpa is on the low side for MD but certainly still competitive enough for some of the less prestigious MD med schools. Just don't let it go much lower.

Your plan involves a ton of hard sciences packed all together at once, but it looks like you're on a semester system which im unfamiliar with, and maybe thats more reasonable than ochem1, ochem 2, ochem 3, physics and the MCAT in summer on a quarter system. You only get one shot at your first MCAT, so take a few full-lengths before hand and make sure you're at least a couple points above where you'd like to be.

If i were you, i'd go with plan B as that sounds more reasonable, but its harder for me to gauge the feel of semester systems. You said it yourself - you're not that nontraditional (c/o 2014 = ~23 y.o.?), so it sounds like you've got plenty of time.

Don't rush!
 
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Sep 3, 2015
216
246
Outer Gates
Status
Pre-Medical
I agree- plan B.

You want to make sure you actually learn the material and aren't just checking off course requirements. You really need to KNOW it for the MCAT.

Take the opportunity to learn good/great study habits this time around (that has been my biggest change personally) so you can really learn.

And, as far as calculus goes, to get a good grade in physics, may not be a bad idea to retake it. Unless you're doing algebra based physics.
 
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heartsink

5+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2013
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Some schools explicitly require calculus, some just require "math" which can be fulfilled by taking stats.

Algebra-based physics is easier and nothing is lost in translation -- the concepts are all the same, you just use derived formulas. You won't need calc on the MCAT and you won't need to know how to do calc-based physics ... ever. Avoid it if you can imo.
 
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Sep 3, 2015
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Outer Gates
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Pre-Medical
The program I'm in just recommended calculus (and even calculus 2) to demonstrate my ability to handle more rigorous classes (together) without taking two labs at the same time, since I'm just starting back.

Idk if that is something that is widely recommended (calc 2 I mean). But I do stress, it was just recommended and not required.
 

Ad2b

SDN Gold Donor
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2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2014
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Pre-Medical
No at calculus. You won't be applying to Harvard and that is the only medical school I know of that requires calculus. No calculus is required on the MCAT.

Do NOT take Orgo 1 and 2 in same summer.

Schedule?

Spring:
Physics 1

Summer:
physics 2

Fall:
orgo 1 + lab
some other interesting psych/soc/science class

Spring:
orgo 2 (if required; I'm never taking this and took biochem instead)
MCAT prep

Summer:
MCAT
 

heartsink

5+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2013
203
129
Status
Spring:
orgo 2 (if required; I'm never taking this and took biochem instead)
MCAT prep
Uhhhh he definitely needs orgo 2 (as in second semester of organic chemistry), and so do you if you're premed. One full year of ochem with labs (usually 2/3 quarters only) are pretty much universally required for med schools*.

*edit; in the US

edit2: I think i better understand -- there are some medical schools that allow part of the organic chemistry requirement to be substituted with biochem, but I only know of Loyola Stritch that does this off-hand.
 
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