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please help a newbie where to start. smc or ucla extension program?

stdnt20

New Member
May 12, 2020
1
0
1
  1. Pre-Medical
Hello everyone, I've been hesitant on taking a step towards my childhood dream of becoming a doctor or not and decided to make an account here to ask some questions.

I graduated from csulb with a degree in human development with a gpa of 2.9. I took about 142 units which includes my first two years of taking general chemistry a and b, 1 semester of physics , calculus 1 and 2. Being in rebel stage of not wanting to go to college, I did horribly at school and I did not care much. I dropped biology course and second time I took it, I got a D grade. There were no reason to be so other than the fact that I was lazy, did not care, and had no clear goal in my mind because I was tired of living up to my parent's. expectations.

I took a year break after graduating what I really wanted to do with my life, where I see myself in the next 5-10 years, and during that time, I worked 2-3 jobs in Southern California to figure out what I like, and what I want to pursue. I absolutely loved working all the jobs I worked. I liked being a customer service representative for Golds Gym, I enjoyed working with 2 patient elders for IHSS; however, after every shift of working, I wanted to pursue in something more and become a person that gives back much more and be able to help many people. From this result, I started looking on going back to college, and applied for Santa Monica College to boost up my gpa and retake med school prerequisites. I feel ready mentally and physically to start studying for medical school.

My goal is to apply for Brown medical school, Duke medical school, UCSF medical school, Columbia medical school, Northwestern medical school, and many other medical schools for psychiatry.

I decided to apply and take courses at Santa Monica college so I can save money with all this covid situation going on.
I do understand that medical schools look at clinical experience, letter of recommendation, mcat, research, life experience, personal statement, and leadership qualities as well as gpa.
I would like to know:
1. Can I take prerequisites at Santa Monica College and apply to med school?
2. Would medical schools accept community college post-bacc?
3. Would UCLA extension be better than SMC?
4. Is there anyone that got accepted to medical schools by taking prerequisites at Santa Monica College?
5. What would be the best path for me to take to get to med school?
6. I worked at cancer center (radiation therapy) for 5-6 months before I went to the military. Can that count as clinical experience as well?


Race/Status:
  • Asian (US citizen)
  • CA Resident
  • Graduated HS in CA
Undergraduate GPA:
  • undergrad cGPA: 2.92
  • undergrad sGPA: 2.4 - 2.5
  • Total Units: ~142, with ~139 counting towards GPA, rest taken P/F for science SI class.
At CSULB, I took pre med courses because I started out with chemistry major being pressured into science related major from being in an asian family. I took calculus 1 (c grade) and 2 (b grade), general chemistry a and b (both c grade), 1 semester of physics (b grade), organic chemistry a and b (both c grade), evolution biology (dropped first time, second time d grade).

MCAT:
I plan to take mcat as soon as I'm done with all the prerequisite courses.

EC's:
  • Projected 1440 hours paid clinical time as radiation therapist assistant at cancer clinic.
  • projected 45 hours at project angel food volunteer center
  • projected 765 hours at The Salvation Army Summer Camp as camp counselor/director
  • projected 312 hours at Onnuri Korean school and The Way church each Sunday as teacher and teacher's assistant
  • projected 600 hours at Gracious Arc church Summer program as kinder-8th grade teacher for low income families
  • 0 research experience.


I do understand and know that I have screwed up royally during my undergrad and don't have an excuse for any of it. But I believe that my failures during undergrad and looking at the unofficial transcript now was a very big slap in the face to realize to grow up and take responsibility for my future.

I would really like to avoid an SMP due to the financial burden and would like to know if taking prerequisites at Santa Monica College would be considered if applying for medical schools.

By taking classes at SMC, do I have realistic or competitive chances at medical schools that I wish to apply for or do I need an SMP to have a real chance? In time wise, I would like to apply to medical school by when I turn 30 years old so in the next 4 years max.

Thank you for your time to read the post, and hope to hear back with lots of feedbacks :)
Please do not post any negative comments.
 
Upvote 0

jhmmd

supernatural
Apr 28, 2020
1,931
1,484
76
desert highway
stdnt20 said:
Hello everyone, I've been hesitant on taking a step towards my childhood dream of becoming a doctor or not and decided to make an account here to ask some questions.

I graduated from csulb with a degree in human development with a gpa of 2.9. I took about 142 units which includes my first two years of taking general chemistry a and b, 1 semester of physics , calculus 1 and 2. Being in rebel stage of not wanting to go to college, I did horribly at school and I did not care much. I dropped biology course and second time I took it, I got a D grade. There were no reason to be so other than the fact that I was lazy, did not care, and had no clear goal in my mind because I was tired of living up to my parent's. expectations.

I took a year break after graduating what I really wanted to do with my life, where I see myself in the next 5-10 years, and during that time, I worked 2-3 jobs in Southern California to figure out what I like, and what I want to pursue. I absolutely loved working all the jobs I worked. I liked being a customer service representative for Golds Gym, I enjoyed working with 2 patient elders for IHSS; however, after every shift of working, I wanted to pursue in something more and become a person that gives back much more and be able to help many people. From this result, I started looking on going back to college, and applied for Santa Monica College to boost up my gpa and retake med school prerequisites. I feel ready mentally and physically to start studying for medical school.

My goal is to apply for Brown medical school, Duke medical school, UCSF medical school, Columbia medical school, Northwestern medical school, and many other medical schools for psychiatry.

I decided to apply and take courses at Santa Monica college so I can save money with all this covid situation going on.
I do understand that medical schools look at clinical experience, letter of recommendation, mcat, research, life experience, personal statement, and leadership qualities as well as gpa.
I would like to know:
1. Can I take prerequisites at Santa Monica College and apply to med school?
2. Would medical schools accept community college post-bacc?
3. Would UCLA extension be better than SMC?
4. Is there anyone that got accepted to medical schools by taking prerequisites at Santa Monica College?
5. What would be the best path for me to take to get to med school?
6. I worked at cancer center (radiation therapy) for 5-6 months before I went to the military. Can that count as clinical experience as well?


Race/Status:
  • Asian (US citizen)
  • CA Resident
  • Graduated HS in CA
Undergraduate GPA:
  • undergrad cGPA: 2.92
  • undergrad sGPA: 2.4 - 2.5
  • Total Units: ~142, with ~139 counting towards GPA, rest taken P/F for science SI class.
At CSULB, I took pre med courses because I started out with chemistry major being pressured into science related major from being in an asian family. I took calculus 1 (c grade) and 2 (b grade), general chemistry a and b (both c grade), 1 semester of physics (b grade), organic chemistry a and b (both c grade), evolution biology (dropped first time, second time d grade).

MCAT:
I plan to take mcat as soon as I'm done with all the prerequisite courses.

EC's:
  • Projected 1440 hours paid clinical time as radiation therapist assistant at cancer clinic.
  • projected 45 hours at project angel food volunteer center
  • projected 765 hours at The Salvation Army Summer Camp as camp counselor/director
  • projected 312 hours at Onnuri Korean school and The Way church each Sunday as teacher and teacher's assistant
  • projected 600 hours at Gracious Arc church Summer program as kinder-8th grade teacher for low income families
  • 0 research experience.


I do understand and know that I have screwed up royally during my undergrad and don't have an excuse for any of it. But I believe that my failures during undergrad and looking at the unofficial transcript now was a very big slap in the face to realize to grow up and take responsibility for my future.

I would really like to avoid an SMP due to the financial burden and would like to know if taking prerequisites at Santa Monica College would be considered if applying for medical schools.

By taking classes at SMC, do I have realistic or competitive chances at medical schools that I wish to apply for or do I need an SMP to have a real chance? In time wise, I would like to apply to medical school by when I turn 30 years old so in the next 4 years max.

Thank you for your time to read the post, and hope to hear back with lots of feedbacks :)
Please do not post any negative comments.
OP, the general advice is that if you can see yourself doing anything other than medicine, do that instead. Medicine is a long hard road with many bumps and if you can spare yourself the money, time, and effort, you really should pursue a different career. Trying to say this in the nicest possible way. There are many other ways to give back to the community besdies medicine--social work, teaching, AmeriCorps, etc. Answers to your questions:

1. Sure, why not?
2. See #1
3. Depends on many things; take classes at a place where you can get straight As--not nec. saying this in terms of community college vs. a university, but depending on commute, student body, cost, etc. etc.--all this will play into whether or not you are able to achieve straight As at your college. Choose wisely.
4. Not sure; you could do a search of the premed forums on this site
5. Seems like you have a good plan. Best plan is always to rock the MCAT and get straight As; everything else comes secondary to these two things. Mark my words.
6. Uh, not sure--you could verify this with someone at your desired medical school (go through the chain of command).

Hope this helped.
 
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GreenDuck12

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
2,105
2,266
226
  1. Medical Student
OP, I agree with what was posted above. One thing you need to be aware of is that the schools you listed (UCSF, Duke, Northwestern, and Brown) are among the most competitive schools in the US. Your GPA puts you at a disadvantage as your start your postbac journey. While not impossible, you have to know that the odds of being admitted to those schools, simply based on your starting GPA, isn’t great. If you can’t go to those programs would you still want to be a doctor? Would you still want to do this if you were accepted to a DO program instead of an MD program? Would you be open to applying to MD and DO programs?

Before deciding where to go for your postbac classes, you should get a copy of the MSAR. Look up each of the schools that you’re interested in applying to in order to see how they view CC credits, as well as their accepted GPA/MCAT range. This will help you decide between UCLA and SMC. Good luck to you.
 
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