Jan 21, 2021
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Hello everyone! So I really need help in starting over or completing my pre-med undergrad degree and I'm TOTALLY lost as to where and how to start. A little about me before I let the questions pour our.
So I'm a 27 year old woman, wife and mom to 3 beautiful kids (aged 6,4, and almost 2). Due to my mom's health concerns and many other reasons (including getting married in undergrad) my grades slipped really bad when I first started college in 2012. I even made few Fs (Yikes! I know!) Eventually we had our first baby (totally unplanned) and that made it even harder to focus and study. Few months later, my mom finally had her liver and kidney transplants and desperately needed someone to take care of her post surgery so of course I had to be there. She later had a huge ulcer cut out from her stomach etc etc so basically I never got a chance to go back and finish my undergrad. I also had my other 2 kids during this time as I thought why not just have a family now and be done. I joined the community College for a semester or 2 for only 1 class each semester between my second and third child in 2017 but the responsibilities of being a stay at home mom were too many along with toddlers, that I took a break again. At the time I didn't realize cc classes would look bad from a med school perspective.

So my question now is, how do I get my head back in the game? Do I join the cc again and take some pre-requisites then join a 4 year university once I get accepted there and finish my undergrad? Or do I jump straight to a 4 year university? Its been years since I first went to the flagship university in 2012. Would going from a flagship uni to a cc look bad even if it's been a long time and with my situation? I've also moved to a different state and they didn't accept my application to the 4 year university I was trying to apply here. So it seems like cc is the only way moving forward, atleast for now.

What do you guys suggest I do? I'm still shooting to major in biology (like before). If I end up going to cc, can I take physics 1 and 2 there? Or any other pre-requisites I may need for med school? I know I shouldn't take the easy way out, but I've done most of my electives back in the days. All I've left are important high level science classes and physics.

Plz give me any advice, tips, tricks lol anything to move forward to. I've always wanted to go to med school but life got in the way but I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I need to make decisions fast.
Thank you
 

TragicalDrFaust

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May 27, 2017
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4yr is preferred, especially if you want to get into a more competitive program, but CC is ok. I did most of my prerequisites at CC because of the cost and some family responsibilities then transferred to 4yr for the rest. I also recommend looking into all the extracurriculars you need for medical school while you’re at CC, since you may have more time. Depending on what you’ve been doing over the last few years and what your goals are, you may need healthcare experience, clinical and non-clinical volunteering, shadowing, research, leadership and experience working with diverse populations (some of these cans can overlap, for example if you shadow at clinic for underserved patients or if you have a leadership role in a volunteer organization).
 
Jan 21, 2021
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4yr is preferred, especially if you want to get into a more competitive program, but CC is ok. I did most of my prerequisites at CC because of the cost and some family responsibilities then transferred to 4yr for the rest. I also recommend looking into all the extracurriculars you need for medical school while you’re at CC, since you may have more time. Depending on what you’ve been doing over the last few years and what your goals are, you may need healthcare experience, clinical and non-clinical volunteering, shadowing, research, leadership and experience working with diverse populations (some of these cans can overlap, for example if you shadow at clinic for underserved patients or if you have a leadership role in a volunteer organization).
Thank you for the advice. :)
I've been doing nothing more than just being a stay at home mom during this time. Had the kids near each other so didn't really get the time to do any EC (or have lunch peacefully 😜). Also didn't have the financial means to hire a babysitter and there's no family near us.
But how do I start? Do I call the hospitals around me and ask if they have anything I can volunteer in? Sorry don't have any guidance on how this process works.

It seems like I might start with CC for now. What's the class load I should start with? How many credits should I begin with? I was thinking part-time until my daughter is 3 And in preschool, that way I can take classes
mon-fri rather than taking all just one day a week (that's the plan for now).

Don't mean to pry but did you end up taking high level classes at the CC you attened? Like physics, organic chemistry, etc? Did the medical committee ever question you regarding it
 
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candbgirl

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So spend some time reading the,WAMC threads and find out what other premeds are doing for ECs. Currently the expected ECs are 200+ hours of clinical experiences(can be paid or volunteer) as long as you have direct patient contact, 50 hours of shadowing-include some with a primary care doc and 200+ Hours of nonclinical volunteering focusing on the unserved/underserved in your community.
As to attending a CC, it is fine but I wouldn’t take med school pre reqs. I’d focus on general ed requirements required for graduation from most 4 year colleges. Understand that every class you have ever taken in a cc, college, uni will be counted in your GPAs on AMCAS. That includes the courses you took way back in 2012. There is no grade replacement so those Fs count.
You should probably start with 2-3 courses and see how you do , how you adjust. You have to focus on your grades at this point. Once you are adjusted(after a semester or two) you can increase to full time attendance.
Good luck.
 
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TragicalDrFaust

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May 27, 2017
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Thank you for the advice. :)
I've been doing nothing more than just being a stay at home mom during this time. Had the kids near each other so didn't really get the time to do any EC (or have lunch peacefully 😜). Also didn't have the financial means to hire a babysitter and there's no family near us.
But how do I start? Do I call the hospitals around me and ask if they have anything I can volunteer in? Sorry don't have any guidance on how this process works.

It seems like I might start with CC for now. What's the class load I should start with? How many credits should I begin with? I was thinking part-time until my daughter is 3 And in preschool, that way I can take classes
mon-fri rather than taking all just one day a week (that's the plan for now).

Don't mean to pry but did you end up taking high level classes at the CC you attened? Like physics, organic chemistry, etc? Did the medical committee ever question you regarding it
I transitioned from working full-time to school by keeping my 40hr schedule at work and taking 1 class to start. The benefit to this is that you can ease into school. The disadvantage, obviously, is that it will take you longer to graduate. I don't have any kids but I liken childcare to a full-time job (correct me if I'm wrong), so I might start with 1-2 classes to make sure you do the best you can in them. Keep in mind that as far as financial aid goes, full time is considered 12 credits so you may get better financial aid or tax breaks if you do 12+ credits (3-4 classes), depending on your partner's financial situation. I definitely recommend researching that! You may be able to get enough grants (free money! as opposed to loans) in federal financial aid to cover CC entirely. That could help you pay for childcare depending on your household's income, which could help you take more classes and move forward more quickly.

Check hospital's websites for volunteer opportunities. The medical center near me even has a special volunteer program for pre-meds. Calling may work at some places but you run the risk of getting run around the hospital's phone tree lol. The small, state-funded in-patient mental health clinic near me also has a little program to help out with art classes on certain days. All sorts of places can have those opportunities, particularly if they are associated with medically underserved populations.

I took the full gen chem and orgo series at CC and most of my other pre-reqs including anatomy & physiology, microbiology, calculus I & II, physics I & II. It's not ideal but I wasn't asked about it at either of my interviews. I later majored in biochemistry at state university so hopefully that assuaged any adcoms fears about my ability to perform academically. If I was asked, I would probably say I made the choice that was best for me (and you have a family to think about too). I could have applied to 4yr as a freshman but I may have taken on student debt, which I wanted to avoid if I could help it. For full disclosure, I'm at a DO program and they are typically less strict about that sort of thing and more understanding of the non-traditional path and what choices we might make to keep ourselves in the best position financially.
 
Jan 21, 2021
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I transitioned from working full-time to school by keeping my 40hr schedule at work and taking 1 class to start. The benefit to this is that you can ease into school. The disadvantage, obviously, is that it will take you longer to graduate. I don't have any kids but I liken childcare to a full-time job (correct me if I'm wrong), so I might start with 1-2 classes to make sure you do the best you can in them. Keep in mind that as far as financial aid goes, full time is considered 12 credits so you may get better financial aid or tax breaks if you do 12+ credits (3-4 classes), depending on your partner's financial situation. I definitely recommend researching that! You may be able to get enough grants (free money! as opposed to loans) in federal financial aid to cover CC entirely. That could help you pay for childcare depending on your household's income, which could help you take more classes and move forward more quickly.

Check hospital's websites for volunteer opportunities. The medical center near me even has a special volunteer program for pre-meds. Calling may work at some places but you run the risk of getting run around the hospital's phone tree lol. The small, state-funded in-patient mental health clinic near me also has a little program to help out with art classes on certain days. All sorts of places can have those opportunities, particularly if they are associated with medically underserved populations.

I took the full gen chem and orgo series at CC and most of my other pre-reqs including anatomy & physiology, microbiology, calculus I & II, physics I & II. It's not ideal but I wasn't asked about it at either of my interviews. I later majored in biochemistry at state university so hopefully that assuaged any adcoms fears about my ability to perform academically. If I was asked, I would probably say I made the choice that was best for me (and you have a family to think about too). I could have applied to 4yr as a freshman but I may have taken on student debt, which I wanted to avoid if I could help it. For full disclosure, I'm at a DO program and they are typically less strict about that sort of thing and more understanding of the non-traditional path and what choices we might make to keep ourselves in the best position financially.
Wow! Thank you so much for all the info! I really appreciate it. I will look into being full-time once I get my foot into college again. Maybe take slow in the beginning then transition to being full-time.
Also will check websites and local clinics for volunteering opportunities like you said. :)

Lastly, did you start over when majoring in biochem at the University or did most of the credits transfered from cc and you were able to graduate relatively faster? That's what I'm planning to do except my major would be biology.
DO is something I'm considering as well since there's almost zero difference as to what they can do compared to an MD.
 

TragicalDrFaust

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May 27, 2017
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Wow! Thank you so much for all the info! I really appreciate it. I will look into being full-time once I get my foot into college again. Maybe take slow in the beginning then transition to being full-time.
Also will check websites and local clinics for volunteering opportunities like you said. :)

Lastly, did you start over when majoring in biochem at the University or did most of the credits transfered from cc and you were able to graduate relatively faster? That's what I'm planning to do except my major would be biology.
DO is something I'm considering as well since there's almost zero difference as to what they can do compared to an MD.
100% of my credits transferred from CC to university so I only had to do ~60 credits at each institution. In my state there's a website that all state schools use to show which CC credits will transfer and fulfill which credits at each university. Perhaps reach out to a counselor at your preferred university to see if they can give you a sense of how your credits will transfer. There are also some school systems that guarantee acceptance at state university from CC with full credit transfer.

If you're considering DO, be aware that they are often considerably more expensive than their MD counter parts (my tuition is $58k/yr!) and many of them will want to see a sustained interest in, or at least openness to, primary care and/or rural or underserved populations represented in your extracurriculars and essays. Just something to think about. All that being said, my experience at DO school so far has been great.
 
Jan 21, 2021
4
0
So spend some time reading the,WAMC threads and find out what other premeds are doing for ECs. Currently the expected ECs are 200+ hours of clinical experiences(can be paid or volunteer) as long as you have direct patient contact, 50 hours of shadowing-include some with a primary care doc and 200+ Hours of nonclinical volunteering focusing on the unserved/underserved in your community.
As to attending a CC, it is fine but I wouldn’t take med school pre reqs. I’d focus on general ed requirements required for graduation from most 4 year colleges. Understand that every class you have ever taken in a cc, college, uni will be counted in your GPAs on AMCAS. That includes the courses you took way back in 2012. There is no grade replacement so those Fs count.
You should probably start with 2-3 courses and see how you do , how you adjust. You have to focus on your grades at this point. Once you are adjusted(after a semester or two) you can increase to full time attendance.
Good luck.
Thank you for the specifics, I wasn't sure how many hours we needed for clinical/ non-clinical so this was very helpful.

The thing with general eds is that I've already done almost all of my them back in the days. Now the only thing left to finish are the pre-reqs. As much as I want to start again at a state flagship to maintain that stature, it is incredibly difficult given my situation, academically and financially. So I think I will have to start at cc and move to a university as soon as I'm able to do so. I can only hope med school will look past this.

Yes thats what I'm planning to do. Starting with a small class load and working my way towards being a full-time. By then my youngest will hopefully be atleast 3 and in preschool, giving me the time to be a full-time.
 
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