Digsbe

7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2011
1,368
994
Status
Pharmacist
Hi everyone, I'm a third year pharmacy student (P3) in a Pharm.D. program and I'm on track to graduate in 2016. I've had medical school as a thought in my mind since my first year and as graduation gets closer I am more strongly considering applying to medical school after I graduate from pharmacy school. I already understand that financially it might not be the best decision, but I'd rather go into more debt and secure having a job I love for the rest of my life over going through my career always thinking "what if" or disliking where I'm at. I'm not really interested in doing community pharmacy (working for Walgreens, CVS, etc) and clinical pharmacy interests me but at this point I'm more interested in practicing medicine over doing a pharmacy residency. The area of medicine I'm most interested in is internal medicine and oncology. My favorite classes in pharmacy school have been physiology, biochemistry, immuno/viro and our pharmacotherapy courses which look at organ systems, disease states, the basics of diagnosis for these diseases, how to monitor them in order to deem if more pharmacotherapy is needed or needs to be discontinued with the heaviest focus being on how to treat the conditions using drugs as well as the basics of drug-drug interactions or adverse drug effects to watch out for and monitor. I love learning about the diagnostics that we do study in pharmacy school and the treatment aspects. This is an interest of mine and the more I go through school the more I believe that I want to practice medicine. I really love interacting with patients and having more direct patient care experiences.

Anyways, here are my stats. My uGPA isn't stellar, it's only 3.11. I had worked the majority of my undergrad years and had a family member pass away one semester requiring me to drop a class and making C's in two courses I was taking (bringing that semester's GPA down into the 2's). I had some challenges some semesters between completing research, presenting at meetings, and family things going on (like deaths and declining health of some family members). I have a few semesters where my GPA was in the upper 2.0's which brought down my cumulative. However, my undergrad transcript does have an upward trend with my senior year making honor roll with a 3.5 GPA and a summer semester of a 3.33. In undergrad I had 1 year of research experience and presented research in 3 professional settings. One being at a regional biologist meeting, another being a seminar on campus and the third being a research showcase event on campus where I won an award for being the best paper presentation in my discipline (science & mathematics). The research I had helped work on was eventually published as well so I do have a publication in a journal with my name on it as a secondary author. I graduated with my BS degree majoring in molecular biology in 2012.

Pharmacy school has been considerably harder than undergrad with a more intense course load (as to be expected). However, I've been focusing much more and doing my best to be successful. My pharmacy school GPA is a 3.2 and I have taken on roles in leadership. In my P2 year I was on a committee for one of our patient care projects where we helped volunteer and develop events pertaining to immunization clinics. This year as a P3 I am on the executive committee for my school's APhA chapter (American Pharmacist Association) and volunteer for many of our patient care events (I had recently volunteered at an immunization clinic and gave over 100 flu shots). By the end of pharmacy school I'll have over 2,000 hours of clinical experience and do plan on taking my board exams to get licensed after graduating so if I do go to medical school I can work part time as a pharmacist and during the summers to hopefully ease the tuition and loan burden. I have not taken the MCAT yet but plan to register for the January one if my schedule permits. If not I will take it later in 2015. My plan is to apply in 2015 and attend medical school in 2016 after I graduate with my Pharm.D. Given my stats what MCAT score do you believe I must earn to stay competitive or try to make up for areas of weakness? Should I try and take a year after pharmacy school to retake undergrad courses I made C's in? My other option is to apply for PharmD residencies and get into clinical pharmacy which is something I am still considering.

Between now and possibly applying to medical school I would like to ask others to evaluate my standing now as far as being competitive for medical schools (both MD and DO) and things I can do to change my application for the better. I understand my post is a massive wall of text so below is the basics:

uGPA 3.11
Bachelor's earned, PharmD expected in 2016
Pharm school GPA (so far) 3.2 (I expect this to rise)
1 year of research experience
1 Publication in a scientific journal
3 professional presentations and 1 award for a presentation given
leadership experience in pharmacy school
Currently have about 400+ hours of clinical experience (but will have over 2,000 when I graduate)
Volunteer experience ranging from assisting homeless shelters to clinical experiences (health fairs, flu shot clinics, etc).
No MCAT yet. However, I'd like to know if I should try and take the MCAT in January before the new MCAT is brought on board and what kind of score to shoot for given my current stats to try and be competitive.

Thanks for reviewing my stats! I appreciate any feedback.
 
Last edited:

Boshi

5+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2013
5
12
North Carolina
Status
Medical Student
Hi! I'm a recent PharmD currently in first year of Med school. Looking at what you presented I would recommend shooting for a mid 30's MCAT score and if you get below 30 I think it's better to apply for a DO program. I started the process of getting ready to apply to med school in the summer after P2 year so you will need to start gearing up with writing your essays and all that jazz. Also, I would heavily recommend against working during the first year in med school since the amount of information you are responsible for is astronomical compared to pharm school and you won't have time to work. Just my two cents.
 
OP
Digsbe

Digsbe

7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2011
1,368
994
Status
Pharmacist
Hi! I'm a recent PharmD currently in first year of Med school. Looking at what you presented I would recommend shooting for a mid 30's MCAT score and if you get below 30 I think it's better to apply for a DO program. I started the process of getting ready to apply to med school in the summer after P2 year so you will need to start gearing up with writing your essays and all that jazz. Also, I would heavily recommend against working during the first year in med school since the amount of information you are responsible for is astronomical compared to pharm school and you won't have time to work. Just my two cents.
Thanks for the advice! I may just work PRN during breaks and try to get a full time temp job in the summer if possible to avoid working during the first year(maybe work overnights or something). Would it be possible to work during 2nd year in most programs or during the clerkship years? Do you think my GPA is too low to be competitive for MD/DO programs? I know they are below average but I'm also hoping some of the extra stuff in my application can make up for that. Did any adcoms feel like it was a negative thing that you had a PharmD and wanted to switch to medicine or did you think it helped make you more competitive? If that's the case I may take a gap year to work full time as a pharmacist and re-take some classes I made C's in as evening classes at a cheaper school.
 
Last edited:

Boshi

5+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2013
5
12
North Carolina
Status
Medical Student
Hi!
Again, you really should not even consider the option of working at this point. You will understand more when you are actually immersed in this really demanding world of medical school.
As far as you GPA, it's not a question of if it's too low. The question is if it is competitive enough for where you want to attend (look at MSAR for more details). I really think it's a combination of your GPA and MCAT that will get you in the door as far as getting considered for an interview. You will find that having a PharmD really is not that much of an advantage (at least in my experience)... if anything adcoms are more likely to question you on your decision to switch gears. I didn't find the PharmD much of an advantage in the application process (and I had a competitive undergrad GPA and lots of EC's + research + study abroad + yada yada). At the end of the day, this whole application process is a complete black hole, so research the schools you want to go to and try to figure out to the best of your ability if you have a chance. There's not much else you can do.
 
Jan 5, 2016
3
1
Hi! I'm a recent PharmD currently in first year of Med school. Looking at what you presented I would recommend shooting for a mid 30's MCAT score and if you get below 30 I think it's better to apply for a DO program. I started the process of getting ready to apply to med school in the summer after P2 year so you will need to start gearing up with writing your essays and all that jazz. Also, I would heavily recommend against working during the first year in med school since the amount of information you are responsible for is astronomical compared to pharm school and you won't have time to work. Just my two cents.
Boshi do you think it is a better idea to drop pharm school before graduating to app,y to medical school? Did you see any benefits of having a pharm degree in med school?
 

Boshi

5+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2013
5
12
North Carolina
Status
Medical Student
Boshi do you think it is a better idea to drop pharm school before graduating to app,y to medical school? Did you see any benefits of having a pharm degree in med school?
Personally, I would never not finish what I started. I think it looks bad and honestly any education you get is never a waste. But if tuition is causing a big hole in your wallet it might be worth considering if you really want to continue.
There is a little bit of an advantage in terms of having time to study other things and not have to memorize a bunch of drugs. But I wouldn't say it's a big advantage, it's more of a time saving benefit (I'm currently a second year so it will be interesting to see if the PharmD will help more during rotations next year)