nontrad thinking of med school

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by heeter, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. heeter

    heeter SDN Donor

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    I'm 27 and have an undergrad in business where i got a good gpa. since then i have worked in the business/networking world and was pretty much miserable the whole time. i was laid off late last year (thankyou Worldcom) and went back to school for an electrical engineering BS. i am beginning to realize that engineering is not for me. i am evaluating my reasons for dumping all of my hard work to get back into school so i can take a bunch of bio and chem courses and try for an MD. any hints? i know, the road will be tough. my main concern is i don't want to be seen as flakey by admissions boards. thing is, i don't want to waste another 2 years finishing a degree i don't want just to prove i'm not a flake. what to do what to do.
     
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  3. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    I don't think you should waste another minute, let alone 2 years, doing something in the hopes of appearing less 'flakey'. You were laid off. After such an event it is perfectly normal to spend a little time exploring career options. That is what you have been doing. Exploring engineering. Put the right spin on it (ie I wanted to make an informed decision so explored various options and came to the conclusion for X,Y,Z reasons that medicine was the right choice) and it can be a positive. Be sure you have a lot of clinical exposure to validate that you 'explored' medicine just as thoroughly.

    Also check www.oldpremeds.net for many more non-trads like yourself.
     
  4. spanky

    spanky Member

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    I took the same route as you. I had a business degree, worked for ten years and decided I needed something more meaningful and reliable. I was also really interested in science and health.

    My classes were incredibly fun, but time consuming. Find a doctor to shadow so you can see if this is really the road you want to take. The main thing you need to know is that it is impossible to work if your taking five science classes a semester with labs. While other undergraduate classes only require you to spend 3 hours a week in class and some study time, science classes have labs that will eat up most of your day and writing research papers will take up the remainder. If money is not a concern, go for it!! I have found my experiences so far to be completely rewarding.
     
  5. The Hulk

    The Hulk Official Green Monster

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    heeter,

    I agree with the others, but I have to ask... is there any way you can combine it? Bioengineering, perhaps? Is that a major that is available? Might be a more natural shift, you know?
     
  6. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    what's the best way to get clinical experience. should you just volunteer at a hospital, are there any possible clinical paying gigs, etc? is there any type of experience that would give you mroe meaningful interaction with patients and knowledge of what being a doctor is really like? sorry for the possibly stupid questions.
     
  7. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    Those aren't stupid questions, they're perfectly reasonable - as far as clinical experience is concerned there are many ways to go. Yes, volunteering in a hospital is the easiest and allows you to continue working with the rest of your time in something more profitable to be able to afford extra classes (if you haven't finished pre-med pre-requisites) and med school applications etc, living etc.

    However, you can also become certified as a nurses assistant (easiest at a retirement home and then move onto hospital work once certified) or an EMT (opportunities for EMTs vary widely by location - as do where courses are run). There are also science research positions either running gels (if you have some bio background) or interviewing patients etc. You should look at job listings online at major medical schools. I expect other people have many other suggestions and there have been many threads on this - if you use the search function much more than what I have typed here will come up.

    btw, welcome to SDN ;)
     
  8. pallhaco doce

    pallhaco doce Member

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    I also jumped ship from a different career path (I was a doctoral student working on primate behavior and evolution). I considered the "flaky" impression I might present to an admission committee if I did not finish my degree, and this ended up being a very difficult decision. In the end, I decided that I could not control what adcoms think, so I should just do what was best for me. Given these new terms, there was no way I was going to stay in school for another 3-5 years just to make the point that, "see, I could do it after all if I wanted"?

    Also, it might help if you can explain the rationale behind your move into medicine in your personal statement, if you are really worried about deflecting any flakiness concerns.

    Good luck with your decision, and remember that whatever decision you make was the correct one.

    PD
     
  9. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    i'm by no means an expert in medical school admissions, but i'm not sure what advantage you would gain by sticking it out in a field you're not interested in. i'm also going through this because i just graduated from law school, even though i knew early on that i didn't want to practice. now that i have a j.d., i'm worried about appearing flaky if i decide to apply to med school without actually practicing law. consequently, i feel like i need to stick it out x-more years in practice to justify sticking it out in law school. this is the problem with sticking stuff out--you can fall into this endless period of misery just because you don't want to look flaky. anyway, i guess i'm just venting here more than anything else, but i know how mentally challenging it is to complete a program when you know it's not the right fit for you.
     
  10. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    Deer Heeter,

    Numerous students are entering medicine after pursuing a different career path. Several of the students in my graduating class were older than 35. It's nice to see the diversity.

    It sounds like you need a post-bac program to help focus your academic course work for application to medical schools. Although you can do this yourself, a post-bac can prepare you well in your transition from an engineer to premed and then to physician.

    Look at this site offered by Johns Hopkins. It's a new program directed by David Trabilsky who was the former Deans of Admission at the School of Medicine. The Hopkins Post-Bac program was designed for people like you.

    http://www.jhu.edu/postbac/

    Good luck!
     
  11. BlueAvocado

    BlueAvocado MD/DO Hopeful
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    Hello there,

    It's nice to see there are people on here who are in the same situation as me. I am also a Business Graduate. The biggest reason I am going for Medicine is because I always wanted to do it. I happened to get my business degree because when I joined the military they gave me a financial job, so I figured maybe Medicine wasn't my destiny. Not till a few months ago I started to get back into the flow of thinking if it would be possible and if it is something that I wanted to commit my self to. My situation has changed from the last time my goal was medicine. I am married and I have a kid. So it was not only my descision but it was mutual descision in my family. I am following my dream and it's going to be a hard long road, but I am willing to sacrifice to do something that I feel is my calling. I just started this fall on my pre meds so if you have any questions please ask me. Good luck
     
  12. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    Good luck Dr. Grkovich!

    I also had a family during medical school, and my family kept me sane. It's awesome.

    If you're a military man, then you should consider the military as an option to pay for medical school. You'll be debt free and receive a small stipend while going to school. You won't have to face a huge debt burden when you finish!
     
  13. BlueAvocado

    BlueAvocado MD/DO Hopeful
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    Cool Cool :)

    Yeah actually I was going to do that, but I ll leave that on the back burner, being in the military I learned not to get to excited about things like that. Since I am out it will take some effort to get back in (Meps etc.) but you are right about family keeping you sane I get a lot of support from my wife, where are you at now, are you a med student?
     
  14. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    I graduated from Hopkins, and now I'm an opthalmology resident.

    Good luck!
     
  15. Toots

    Toots Dr. Librarian

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    Heeter, I am in the same boat! I have been teaching for 5 years, and I just started back to do my prereqs this year. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

    Toots
     
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  17. snowprincess

    snowprincess Senior Member

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    Hi everyone, i'm new to this and a nontrad student (jan '03). Good luck to all of you and for those offering support and encouragement - a BIG THANKYOU:clap:
    I worked in cancer research labs after bachelors and then worked as programmer/analyst for approx. 6 years. So now I'm going back to med school after being married for 12 years and having a kid;) My family support is very important and my parents are helping us looking after our daughter. I'm looking forward to finally going to med school
    :clap:
     
  18. heeter

    heeter SDN Donor

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    what an unexpected number of responses! thanks for all of your advice, it is all very appreciated by me and (by the looks of it) the other folks in my boat. i think this is one of those situations where i knew what i was going to do but wanted more justification for it. i am looking for a post-bac program but the nearest one to me is at University of Texas Arlington. i can't afford to move out of state just for prereqs. anyone know anything about it (long shot i know).
     
  19. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    exlawgrl-
    i think an m.d./j.d. work very well hand-in-hand, especially if you're interested in any sort of policy. good luck-
    peter
     
  20. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    everyone on this board is so nice--it's totally different from any law message boards. i am interested in health policy, so it's something to consider. maybe an md/mph would work, but i might have too many [email protected] degrees in that case.
     
  21. heeter

    heeter SDN Donor

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    biomedical engineering would be a great thing to go into but the undergrad is not offered where i am (university of texas austin). actually it is, but the program just started and is not accreditted and they are ramping up the courses. another school is a possibility.

    it really struck me that i'm not really in engineering for a good reason when i went to the career fair. i couldn't think of anything worse in the world than designing control systems for manufacturing. the studies are challenging but the only route i could think of that would be good for me is IP attorney.

    as an aside i have a several good friends in med school or in residency so maybe they would be a good place to start for ECs. anyhoo, thanks again.
     

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