Aug 12, 2016
*I figured this is more appropriate for non-trad section - so I've moved the thread*

Hello everyone,

I'm currently a pharmacist working at a very busy retail pharmacy in Canada (obtained PharmD in '15). Over the past year or two, I've grown a heavy interest in transitioning over to MD/DO. There are many reasons for this - but in short, I needed another academic stimulant to help me grow as a hcp. I'm aware that I can consider a hospital pharmacist route but my personal experiences during clinical rotations have swayed me away from it.

Of course, there are many hurdles I have to get through starting now. I'm going to try to have a positive outlook on this whole application process and enjoy the ride. I plan on updating my progress as I move along. I'd appreciate any sort of insight/feedback.

[1] GPA
I've only completed two years of undergrad with cGPA of 3.62 and sGPA of 3.5. My main concern, though, is the cGPA earned during pharmacy which is just around 2.9 (I honestly could've done better but admittedly, achieving high marks was not my priority).

From my understanding, grades earned during pharmacy will not count toward the uGPA as they are labelled as "graduate-level" courses according to AACOMAS - which makes sense because these aren't standardized grades that can be compared with other applicants. However, inevitably there were numerous science-related courses during pharmacy (e.g. Metabolic Biochemistry & Immunology) that dragged my GPA down.

Question 1: Despite these science courses being strictly designed for PharmD degree, would these be still counted toward my sGPA/uGPA/other? *I've e-mailed AACOMAS - and will update accordingly*

Question 2: Most MD/DO schools that I've researched indicate that applicants must have finished at least 75% of courses toward their bachelorette degree, would this mean that I'd have to do additional year of UG studies? *I've e-mailed a few schools - and will update accordingly*

[2] MCAT
I'm aware MCAT is another beast of a test that I can't afford to take lightly - I'll be giving a few months of study time (while working FT). I plan on writing it around April 2017. I'll update this section later in time.

[3] LOR/EC
This is the area that I'm most concerned about. I have a few Dr. colleagues that I can reach out to shadow and obtain a letter of recommendation. However, many schools also require letters from professors or pre-medical committees. As I've been out of school (esp. undergrad) for a few years, developing personal relationships with professors seem very difficult right now. I'm thinking of volunteering/working in a lab for the next year - while keeping my FT job.

Question 3: Any non-traditional students have tips or any recommendations on improving in this area? Going back to volunteer and research is one option (of course - I'll have to devout significant time). I'd like to know what other routes are available for my current situation.

Question 4: Much of my ECs during school stem from pharmacy experiences (e.g. pharmacy in a healthcare team, clinical hospital rotations, community pharmacies) - Would these experiences be qualified as appropriate ECs? Unfortunately I do not have much research/publication/other stellar accomplishments.

[4] Application process

I understand that the best time to apply is ASAP. My earliest possible date would be ~May, 2017; but polishing LORs/ECs + MCAT + additional English course (to meet my pre-reqs) all within in the next 8 months WHILE keeping my FT job may be unrealistic.

Question 5: Should I aim to complete the process as early as possible so that I can apply for next cycle (2017)? *Of course, this wouldn't mean much if I don't score too well on my MCAT next April.*

Seems like I just babbled on a bit; but this is essentially my long-term plan. I'd love to connect with anyone in similar situation.

Thanks for your help!!