Jul 27, 2009
15
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Pre-Medical
I am a new user, and have a couple questions...a little bit about me first. I was previously a Paramedic and am now an RN working in an ICU an ER. I got my BSN with a 3.9 GPA, and also have an Associates in my Paramedic (3.3 GPA). I am now pursuing a pre-med curriculum.
I need to take Physics and O'Chem, and retake Chem.
Questions:
Should I take these pre reqs at a university, or is Community College ok?
As far as the Physics goes, does it matter whether or not it is Calculus based or not? And if it does not need to be Calculus based, does this put you at a disadvantage for the MCATS?
Also, I have read on other forums that being an RN applying to med school can put you at a disadvantage...is this correct?
Lastly, I know med schools like to see volunteer experience, would volunteering for an Fire/EMS agency be acceptable for this experience?
I appreciate all of your comments and advice in advance..Thanks!
 

MacdaddyDaniels

5+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2009
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Pre-Medical
I would deffinetly recommend staying away from a CC. Most Med schools look at that as u r trying to take the easy way out. My pre med advisor didnt even want me to take one class at a CC during summer.
I know most schools don't require calc based physics, but im not sure if it puts u at a disadvantage as far as MCAT.
As far as volunteering I believe they like to see it on applications just to show interest in the medical field. Being and RN and a paramedic probably has you covered there, but if you want to do more Im sure volunteering for fire/ems is a great way to do so.
 

Mattabet

Doctor Thunder
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Jun 8, 2008
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Right. You're not going to want to do ALL of your premed coursework at a CC. It's generally looked upon as less rigorous than a university program. There are post-baccalaureate programs offered by many schools where you can crank out your premed requirements - this is what you probably want to look into.

Don't worry about calculus based physics. The requirement is algebra-based, and the MCAT does not test anything beyond algebra based physics. You won't need calculus.

That volunteering is great, as is your exposure to medicine and healthcare in general. These are going to be strong selling points for your application!
 
OP
C
Jul 27, 2009
15
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I appreciate your helpful comments, any other input is welcomed!
 

MDtobe31311

Class of 2014!
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Feb 2, 2008
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From what I've heard, taking prereqs at cc is fine as long as you take the more upper division science classes at a good college/university and show that you can do well in them. Basically, med school wants to see that you have a good base. And, of course, you have to show that you can do well on the mcat.

And definitely no need for calc based physics for the mcat. Take the easiest physics class you can find!
 

red10

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Jun 2, 2009
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If you got your BSN with a 3.9 you probably can handle the rigors of university courses for your pre-reqs. I don't know if they'd really look down on you for taking them at a community college though since you're already out of college and in the workforce. It may be hard to do those pre-reqs at a university while working. A community college would probably have more flexible scheduling including evening classes. I would check with other nontraditional applicants and maybe even the schools you're interested in. Community college is a ton cheaper especially when you aren't going full time.
 

ygree001

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Nov 18, 2008
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Don't take your prereqs at a CC. It will put you at a disadvantage. You can probably get away with a couple, but you need to take most of them at a 4 year school. If scheduling is your issue, try to find a postbacc program, some of them have evening classes.
 

clinicallabguy

PGY5 Oto-HNS
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Mar 30, 2008
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I'll chime in.

Should I take these pre reqs at a university, or is Community College ok?
There was an article on SDN a few months ago about this. Here's the link:
http://www.studentdoctor.net/2009/04/community-college-and-professional-school-admissions/

Med Students that went to more selective undergrad institutions perform better on the USMLE examinations is what I think I remember that this article stated. For what that's worth.

As far as the Physics goes, does it matter whether or not it is Calculus based or not?
It doesn't matter. Have you taken calculus already? If so, then I've heard from some people that Physics makes more sense when you include Calculus. If not, then why take extra classes? Unless you are planning to apply to the handful of schools that require some calculus.

And if it does not need to be Calculus based, does this put you at a disadvantage for the MCATS?
I don't think so. The math on the MCAT is easy enough for you to do in your head for the most part (with practice). The stuff that you can't do in your head shouldn't take more than a minute or two on paper or you may not finish the physical sciences section. (But, you'll worry more about that in a year or two).

Also, I have read on other forums that being an RN applying to med school can put you at a disadvantage...is this correct?
Never breathe a word on an application that sounds anything remotely like you're switching fields because you were dissatisfied with the one you were in. You should switch to medicine for positive reasons (I'm sure you know that), and the AdComs should believe that. Whether it is a disadvantage or not is irrelevant because it's where you're at and you can't change it. But, I think anything can be spun into something positive. It makes you unique, and it's who you are.

I don't think it will keep you out of medical school. Don't be shy about it in your app, but be candid about it. Being fake on an application WILL keep you out of medical school, even if you think someone may look negatively on your past experience (IMO). I majored in an Allied Health Profession and I think that is was looked upon as a positive thing for the most part when I applied.

Lastly, I know med schools like to see volunteer experience, would volunteering for an Fire/EMS agency be acceptable for this experience?
Sure
 
OP
C
Jul 27, 2009
15
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you for your thoughtful and helpful reply...I appreciate the advice.