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Pre-reqs needed, changed from pre-med to pre-pharm, but out of undergrad. Need advice

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by julclu, May 14, 2014.

  1. julclu


    Jun 7, 2013
    Hey, all. I've got two questions.

    I've been convinced about going to med school until about two weeks ago when I had an epiphany about a PharmD/MPH program that I want to pursue, and at the very least, pharmD instead of MD. I've been frantically researching how I can get my PCAT and pre-reqs done in time for entering into the Fall 2015 class.

    The pre-reqs for all of the schools that I would like to go to seem stricter than those of med school. With a Chemistry and Math double major and Bio minor from UNC-CH, I was convinced I would fill all the pre-reqs of any further schooling I chose to pursue. However, it seems that for many schools, I need to take public speaking, micro economics, and microbiology.

    I graduated from undergrad last year, and I am wondering if anyone has run into this problem before. What are some solutions? Enrolling part-time at a community college or university? Do I need to apply to an undergrad program again to accomplish this?

    I've also taken the MCAT twice, my best score being a 36. I am wondering how the MCAT compares to the PCAT as well, since I will be needing to take yet *another* test like this.

    Please let me know if you have any insight into these problems, or where I can go for some solutions.

    Thank you so much.
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  3. blueheron

    blueheron Chemist

    Sep 4, 2013
    Sign up for PCAT in July, apply for a community college, and choose what school you want to go to. A Chem degree from Chapel Hill (or most anywhere really) will send you wherever you want to go if you have a good PCAT. Then just finish the courses at your leisure. Go ahead and get your LORs lined up so you can apply in August. You have plenty of time.

    The MCAT is more difficult. If you are getting 36s you should be well into the 90s.
    Kelp103 and oldstock like this.
  4. oldstock

    oldstock Banned Banned

    Mar 12, 2014

    agreed with Blueheron. However, I would like you to reconsider the switch from pre-med to pre-pharm at this point. You already took the MCAT and scored a 36. Not anyone can score a 36 on the MCAT (national median / unduplicated score for accepted MD students ~31 ). Pairing with your other credentials as described above, your chance of getting accepted to a MD school in the US is very high imho! And I am sure there are some dual degree programs somewhere for MD / MPH if you really want a MPH. Are you still really sure about the switch ??

    Check out those threads on pharmacy job market here on SDN. These days a PharmD might as well need a residency to be competitive, esp. to get clinical or hospital jobs. And pharmacy graduates will almost owe as much student loans as any MD. The time, effort, and money invested in pharmacy will almost be the same as medicine. But a physician would have more power and freedom to practice medicine and a lot more opportunities and potentials to make way more money than a pharmacist.

    My point is that unless you really love pharmacy and not medicine, switching to pre-pharm from your current position might not be wise. Many students would probably kill for that 36 on the MCAT. Many pre-meds who I have seen switching to pre-pharm did that only bc their chances at medicine are slim and they do not want to go to the Caribbeans for med schools.

    But if you have already done your DD and research and had your mind set on pharmacy, then you should take the rest of your prereqs at a community college to save money imho. From what you said above, you only need to take very few more classes to complete the prereq for the pharmacy school you want to apply for. And LORs + pharmacy experience / volunteering.

    The PCAT in comparison to the MCAT, is a breeze. You would probably score very well in the 90+ pecentile first try !! :)
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  5. ciestar

    ciestar 2+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    The PCAT is a joke in comparison to the MCAT. If you took mcat content review seriously (with a 36 you obviously did), you'll be fine. It's more concept based, so it's inherently easier. (I got an 89 pcat without studying at all).

    Just finish your pre-reqs at a community college. Enroll non-degree seeking and just finish the courses. Pretty sure you can apply without having them done but as long as they're done before you matriculate, you're golden.
  6. oldstock

    oldstock Banned Banned

    Mar 12, 2014
  7. The Asklepian

    The Asklepian

    Oct 21, 2012
    I found myself in a similar situation - during my undergrad, I chose the classes I wanted to take and used the prereqs for the schools I was looking at as a loose guide. I figured that pursuing something I was passionate about (for me, neuroscience) would make me more unique and marketable to schools, but they wanted me to have ALL the prereqs regardless of my additional biology experience. As a result, I still had to take public speaking and microeconomics, both of which I just finished at a local CC. It's not the end of the world, I was accepted while they were both in progress and I still haven't taken Anatomy/Physiology.

    Just make sure that this isn't a case of cold feet because you are losing a whole year to another application cycle, and time is one of your most valuable commodities. Good luck with whatever you decide to choose.
  8. Tariqd

    Tariqd 2+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2014
    If you really want to go to pharm school then do it. a 36 MCAT is outstanding and you would be a shoo in for med school as long as you have a solid GPA but it is all about what you want. The key here is to think hard and do a lot of research about what you want to do and then do it. Don't let others pressure you into doing something you aren't sure you want to do. Hope that helps!

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