Petroleum Engineering Major Thinking about doing Pre-Med

Oct 13, 2014
3
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I am currently a sophomore petroleum engineering major at Texas A&M and have a 3.38 GPA. I received an internship my freshman year and already have another internship lined for this upcoming summer. However, over the past few months I've been really thinking hard on what I want to do with my life. Up until senior year of high school I always wanted to become a doctor of some sort. I volunteered in in surgery my junior year summer of high school and absolutely loved it. However, the summer after I volunteered in ER and dreaded every single moment of it. The doctors seemed unhappy, the patients ungrateful etc. That summer was actually the reason why I decided not to do pre-med in college and chose engineering instead. I actually really enjoy petroleum engineering and I had a blast on my last internship! I am also very excited for this next summer and it seems like I am doing well/above average compared to my peers. However, there are days where I wonder if I made the right choice or not. I've always wanted to be a surgeon and I am not sure if I will regret later on in life of my career choice. I was thinking about keeping my options open doing pre med. I have AP credit for majority of the classes such as Chemistry 111/112 and Biology 111/112. I even have AP credit for english. The only credits I don't have to fulfill pre med requirements for my school are Ochem 1/2, Biochem, and an upper level biology class. I was just wondering if anyone can give me their opinions of doing an engineering major with pre-med. Is my GPA already too low to have a realistic chance of being accepted to med school? Does anyone have a similar experience? Thanks in advance.
 

Dr. Retractor

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Jul 11, 2014
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1) Some schools don't accept AP credits for prereqs.
2) Shadow some surgeons, talk to them about their jobs, and determine if you can really see yourself spending 9+ years of training (not including a post-bac) to do that. You shouldn't base your decision to go into medicine based on one experience, especially one in the ER.
3) It's very feasible to do medicine at this point. Some people are in their 30s when they start med school. You would need to do some sort of Post-bacc program to fulfill pre-reqs and volunteer (in a clinical and non-clinical setting), shadow, and do research (research isn't really necessary except for top-tier schools), plus take the MCAT. Your GPA isn't that low, especially for DO. With a post-bac it should be at a reasonably competitive level for low-teir MD schools.
4) Physics 1/2+labs and the labs for bio and chem and ochem are also required for med school.
5) Plenty of people switch careers to go into medicine, so you are not alone.
 
OP
F
Oct 13, 2014
3
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I took engineering physics 1 and 2 so I think I should be good with those. I actually had so much AP credit that even now in engineering I am trying to find classes to fill my schedule with. That's one of the reasons why I think pre med might be doable. I don't know about the volunteering/shadowing though, especially with my internships in the summer. I also think I can bring my GPA up to a 3.5 or higher by the time I finish my engineering degree.
 
Jul 30, 2014
76
30
Status
Pre-Medical
I am also an engineering premed, although I am in biomedical. I know many others in my major who are premed as well as a cheme premed, ect. and a few BME alumni from my school who are now in top md schools. So it can be done.
If you are graduating in 4 years you have 6 semesters to bring your GPA up, which is plenty of time, and an upward trend would be in your favor. But with a current 3.4 you are going to need to put in a lot more time if you want to get into an md school. I undoubtedly have to work harder than the other premeds I know in bio, psych, for the same gpa, but I believe engr was the best choice for me as I love problem solving and hate memorization (hopefully I change in med school lol). From others farther along this path than myself, I have heard that adcoms in no way give engr majors a pass for low gpa, you compete with the rest. This is a huge con in choosing engr as premed major so make sure you understand that.

My recommendations would be to shadow more / get more clinical experience, adding pre-med classes next semester as you said you have flexibility in schedule, and start working harder in classes. You still have time to make a decision, but medicine is a lifelong commitment.
 
Oct 25, 2010
96
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Non-Student
As for your GPA, you're fine. I entered my 4th semester with ~3.2, and my AMCAS was ~3.6. Just takes commitment, however, I realize engineering is difficult. Decide whether or not you want to do medicine, you mentioned that you loved your internship. If you find something you love, why give that up? Whether it be medicine or engineering, follow your passion man. Good luck!
 

Lucca

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Oct 22, 2013
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Because you seem to be enjoying Petrol E, I would suggest just doing some clinicial volunteering and deciding if pre-med is right for you.

What do you want out of a career?
 

Dr. Retractor

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I took engineering physics 1 and 2 so I think I should be good with those. I actually had so much AP credit that even now in engineering I am trying to find classes to fill my schedule with. That's one of the reasons why I think pre med might be doable. I don't know about the volunteering/shadowing though, especially with my internships in the summer. I also think I can bring my GPA up to a 3.5 or higher by the time I finish my engineering degree.
A 3.5 is a good GPA, you could aim for some mid-tier schools with that. But as others have said you need to have more experience with medicine before dedicating yourself to it. Petroleum Engineering is a good field in terms of money/hour and you will definitely have a better lifestyle (and start making money sooner) as an engineer than as a surgeon.
 
Jul 30, 2014
76
30
Status
Pre-Medical
A 3.5 is a good GPA, you could aim for some mid-tier schools with that. But as others have said you need to have more experience with medicine before dedicating yourself to it. Petroleum Engineering is a good field in terms of money/hour and you will definitely have a better lifestyle (and start making money sooner) as an engineer than as a surgeon.
The average matriculant GPA in 2013 was actually a 3.69.
https://www.aamc.org/download/321494/data/2013factstable17.pdf

In general, with a 3.5 the rest of your application will need to be pretty stellar to aim for mid-tier schools.
 

Dr. Retractor

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Jul 11, 2014
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The average matriculant GPA in 2013 was actually a 3.69.
https://www.aamc.org/download/321494/data/2013factstable17.pdf

In general, with a 3.5 the rest of your application will need to be pretty stellar to aim for mid-tier schools.
It depends on what you consider "mid-tier" and what you consider "stellar".

There are many schools on MSAR that have 10-90th percentile GPA range that includes 3.5. Some of them:
UIllinois
Tulane
UTennessee
UC Davis
Wright State
UArizona
NYMC
Drexel
USUHS
Wake Forest
Loyola
UT-San Antonio
Rutgers
Rosalind Franklin
UNC- Chapel Hill
Keck USC
UWashington

A lot of those are what one would consider "mid-tier". Indeed, OP would need a good MCAT and solid (not necessarily "stellar") ECs to get into a mid-tier med school.