meb302

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mizzoudude said:
I am a graduating senior from the University of Missouri. I have a 3.29 GPA (I partied way too much as an undergrad....GPA will be slightly higher after this semester..maybe a 3.31) and I took the MCAT and got a 31. I did not get accepted to any medical schools. I really am considering optometry as a better option for me as I think it is a better lifestyle. I am a well rounded student with work experience in hospitals. I have not taken the OAT, but I am sure with a little bit of studying, I can do very well.

I plan to move to California (as warm weather is a big priority to me) and apply to SCCO. Do you all think I should apply now? Or is the option of retaking some courses I did poorly in, or doing graduate work a better option? I don't know much about pre-optometry as I have been on the pre-med route for quite some time. I have been working in a neuro lab for 2 years and will be a certified sleep technician by June. I plan to move to California after June and then establish residency (either take the OAT in october or feb. I don't know which one to take) and then apply. What do you all think? Should I retake some undergrad courses and try to get my GPA up? Take some grad courses? Do grad school? etc. Do you all think I have a chance of getting in? Or should I pursue something else as my partying ass screwed up? Any advice would be appreciated and thank you all for the help.

Hey mizzoudude,

Honestly, I think you will have a very good chance at getting into optometry school. Your gpa is right where it should be, so you probably do not need to retake any classes over again. I feel you could get accepted to a school somewhere, you just need to look into a few things first. First off, you need to see if any of the schools will accept an OAT score for next years class. Normally, I would tell you that you would have to wait until Oct. to take the OAT, yet I think since the test is computerized now, you may have other options. Once again, not really sure as I took the paper, pencil test. If you must wait a year to apply, here's what you should do to improve upon your application. I would definately shadow an optometrist or two, or work for one if possible. You could also take some classes that you may not have gotten to during your undergrad. For example, if you missed out on anatomy, consider an anatomy course. Histology, biochemistry (especially biochem 2), physiology, optics, and anatomy are all good choices if you have not allready taken them. If you need some advice on other classes, just send me a message. There's a start for you.

Overall, I wouldn't worry too much. If you show that you have a sincere interest in optometry, you will be fine. Just out of curiousity, isn't a 31 on MCATs a really good score? Just goes to show you have competitive med school is to get into. Optometry school isn't nearly as competitive. Once again, send me a message if you need more help.
 
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mizzoudude

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meb302 said:
Hey mizzoudude,

Honestly, I think you will have a very good chance at getting into optometry school. Your gpa is right where it should be, so you probably do not need to retake any classes over again. I feel you could get accepted to a school somewhere, you just need to look into a few things first. First off, you need to see if any of the schools will accept an OAT score for next years class. Normally, I would tell you that you would have to wait until Oct. to take the OAT, yet I think since the test is computerized now, you may have other options. Once again, not really sure as I took the paper, pencil test. If you must wait a year to apply, here's what you should do to improve upon your application. I would definately shadow an optometrist or two, or work for one if possible. You could also take some classes that you may not have gotten to during your undergrad. For example, if you missed out on anatomy, consider an anatomy course. Histology, biochemistry (especially biochem 2), physiology, optics, and anatomy are all good choices if you have not allready taken them. If you need some advice on other classes, just send me a message. There's a start for you.

Overall, I wouldn't worry too much. If you show that you have a sincere interest in optometry, you will be fine. Just out of curiousity, isn't a 31 on MCATs a really good score? Just goes to show you have competitive med school is to get into. Optometry school isn't nearly as competitive. Once again, send me a message if you need more help.

Thanks a lot for the vote of confidence. Yeah, even though I got a 31 on the MCAT, I only got one interview. However, I am kind of glad that I did not get accepted in a way. I came to analyzing my life a little more and I though I have always thought that being a physician would be great, the more and more I work at a hospital I also realize how over worked they are. They do not get to enjoy much of their lives. This is also after 3+ years of residency. I like the positive motivations to practice optometry as I love to work with people and optics is such a concentrated practice on the human body. It is also fascinating to learn that they can also act as a first screen for diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, etc.

I am sorry I ramble, but the prospects of moving somewhere and going to school...a different professional school than I planned on is kinda tough. I appreciate all the advice and other help people have to offer. meb302 thanks a lot. Message boards like these are great because of contributors like you.
 

PLPrincess

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mizzoudude said:
Thanks a lot for the vote of confidence. Yeah, even though I got a 31 on the MCAT, I only got one interview. However, I am kind of glad that I did not get accepted in a way. I came to analyzing my life a little more and I though I have always thought that being a physician would be great, the more and more I work at a hospital I also realize how over worked they are. They do not get to enjoy much of their lives. This is also after 3+ years of residency. I like the positive motivations to practice optometry as I love to work with people and optics is such a concentrated practice on the human body. It is also fascinating to learn that they can also act as a first screen for diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, etc.

I am sorry I ramble, but the prospects of moving somewhere and going to school...a different professional school than I planned on is kinda tough. I appreciate all the advice and other help people have to offer. meb302 thanks a lot. Message boards like these are great because of contributors like you.

I agree with meb, it seems that your GPA is good, and you do have a good change of getting in this year. I'm not sure about SCCO specifically, but there are many other optometry schools you might want to consider (ICO, PCO, NECO etc.) When I spoke with someone from ICO they told me that the deadline for taking the computerized OAT was March 14 or so (you might want to call them just to confirm). I would give it a shot and apply to at least a couple of schools. Most of the material from the MCAT is pretty similar to the OAT i think, so your chances of doing well are pretty good. One of the doctors I currently work with had a similar situation to yours, she didn't end up applying to optometry school until really late in the process and only had one chance to take the OAT. She ended up doing OK and getting accepted to ICO in MAY. So, give it a shot, if not, there's always next year. Good luck!
 

rpames

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Although you did not get into medical school, I do have to say GOOD JOB. That is a pretty good MCAT. The main material you studied for the MCAT will be fine for most of the OAT, but you will need to review for the quantitative reasoning section. Math without a "TI-do-it-all" is hard!

As long as you get some experience with an OD or three and have a decent OAT, you should not have a problem getting in.

I know you have given a lot of thought about this choice, but make sure will be happy with optometry. There are at lease 3 US med schools with average entering GPA's about what yours is, thats average GPA's, lower GPA's get in too. If medical school is what you really want, make sure you apply to the "right" schools. Also consider DO schools.

I know I'm not saying anything you have not said to yourself, but don't jump into optometry school in an attempt to avoid a year off between undergrad and professional school.

If optometry is what you really want, great. The life is better and you still help and treat patients. I wish you luck.
 

kartikji

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Hi, I was pre-med also, I changed my mind because my bro is 2nd year resident in emergency med (70-100 hrs/week) , try to shadow as many Od's as you can. Also try to focus on the OCAT a score of 300 or higher should get you in.
BEST OF LUCK