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Pre-Requisites at a Community College?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by AmyBass2011, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. AmyBass2011

    AmyBass2011 Member
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    Can I take all my pre-requisites during my Freshman & Sophmore year at the community college, then take the MCAT and then finish my bachelors online? If I do a stellar job on my GPA & my MCAT will I have a good chance of getting in to Osteopathy school? (I will make sure to get a lot of shadowing & clinical experience done during the online courses).
    The problem I have is that the nearest University is a 3 hour drive away and we cannot move (my husband is stationed here with the Army).
     
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  3. fullefect1

    fullefect1 Senior Member
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    Sure, there are more then a few member who have done it and posted on this board and have been accepted into allo and osteo schools. Just make sure you choose teachers that teach very well. I would recommend choosing them on the website www.ratemyprofessors.com. But do not pick the one that everyone rates on the easiest level.
     
  4. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!'
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    It is possible - but you MUST do well on the MCAT

    Reason - whether valid or not, community college courses have the perception of being easier or less challenging than 4-year university courses. If you do well on the MCAT, then you have shown, through standardized testing compare to other premeds, that you know your materials. If you don't do as well ... it might just re-enforce that notion.

    Just something to keep in mind.

    Oh - make sure the school that you will eventually get your bachelor degree from is regionally accredited by an agency recognized by the US Dept of Education. Otherwise, you might run into problems in the future
     
  5. bigdreamer#1

    bigdreamer#1 I'm ok, your ok!!!
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    I think that the poster above, group theory, is pretty much right on there. You must do well on the MCAT no matter where you go.

    That being said, even though it has been said that CC courses are not as tough as University courses... I think, in my opinion as well as many others, that the opposite may be true.

    For example, at your standard university the prof is usually there to work on research primarily, teaching is usually a secondary requirement, and maybe even an annoyance to the prof, which often leads to less interest in helping students learn. However, at a CC the instructors are primarlily there to teach period. It doesn't seem a stretch to see the advantage already in CC, especially when you consider that the "expert" ie, the professor, at a university usually only gives the big lecture for about 100+ students, in a huge lecture hall. Then, the hands on, practical labs are taught by TA's. Often times it is difficult for TA's and Profs to communicate to help a student who is in need of help simply due to the volume of students and the lack of constant supervision from the prof. While at a CC the instructor, also the "expert," is in charge of labs and lecture of which approx only 25-30 student s total, usually. This gives much more attention to the student's and allows them to meet the needs in meeting education for that subject. Furthermore, the instructor (either MS or PhD) is there because they love to teach.

    Of course the scope of the curriculum and concepts of the subject matter must be comparable to that of the Universities, in order for this argument to be valid. In which case you should compare the curriculum to be covered to that of the national standard that is covered for that particular science subject. For example, I took Orgo at a CC, I checked how the curriculum compared to the local state U. They covered the same volume of information and concepts, even used the same text! Last, my CC instructor also had us take the national orgo stadardized test at the end of second semester for the final, just to see and prove how well we'd do compared to the entire nation of orgo programs. We did about 83% average.

    One more point has to do with gradeing/testing at CC vs University. When a larger University has so many students in a class it is difficult to give any more detailed tests than multiply choice, simply because of the ease of grading. While at the CC, they have less students and if the prof/insructor is ambitious, they give much tougher detailed, concept based tests that require you to supply the answers...finish a reaction drawing, do a synthesis problem, multiple step drawing... these things really require much more detailed conceptual knowlege to test well, when compared to multiple choice tests, like most large classes at University. Well, at least I think that multiple choice tests are a little easier than fill in the blank.

    Anyhow, just something to think about. Good luck with your plan, it could work fine if you buckle down. CC, though often looked down on, are sometimes actually better at educating you in a given subject than the university. To bad that people don't always recognize that. It' s kinda also the way it is with Ivy schools so much tougher than lesser prestigious universities...are they really? I don't know, probably not near so as people think.
     
  6. docslytherin

    docslytherin Tenacious D.O.
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    i took my pre-reqs at a community college when i left my grad program. regardless of where you take your pre-reqs you have to do well on your mcat. i talked to many MANY admissions commitees and all of them told me that it didn't matter at all where i took them, just that i had them finished. don't worry about taking them at a comm. college. it's not a strike against you at all. i took mine at one, did alright on the mcat and got into my top choice school.

    john
     
  7. raptor5

    raptor5 Fooled by Randomness
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    Community college
    BIO I & II
    Gen Chem I & II
    English I & II
    Physics I

    4 year institution
    Org. Chem I & II
    Physics II

    For the most part the rest of my classes were at a four year school. I was never asked about taking classes at a community college and got accepted at my first choice back in mid-September
     
  8. Eyecon82

    Eyecon82 Senior Member
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    I agree with the above posters....do well on the mcat...and you will prove yourself to the adcom....even though CC courses have the image of lower-quality education, doing well on the mcat will prove otherwise
     
  9. evescadeceus

    evescadeceus Senior Member
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    Yes, I believe it IS possible. The only osteopathic school I interviewed with who was surprizingly negative about my c.c. coursework was DMU. The osteo schools will expect an MCAT which is higher than their average (the higher, the better). Even though my MCAT was higher than DMU's average, they were still unusually negative, but as I said, they were evidently the exception. Good luck!
     
  10. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    I would think since you have a circumstance that is an unique one, then it shouldn't be a problem. However the classes you need have labs and ususally they aren't covered at community colleges (ex: organic I and II). So how would you handle the classes with labs? Biology I and II, Gen Chem I and II, Physics I and II and Organic I and II all have labs as a requirement for medical school.

    I would talk with some of the schools you will be applying to and see what they would recommend. Start building a dialouge with some of the dean's of admissions departments and that way when you are ready to apply, they will already know your situation and it won't be a shock to them.


    Good luck. You are facing a circumstance that most of us will not face and it is admirable that you are striving to overcome the situation. I for one, am gratful for our country's armed forces and their families. Thank you!!!
     
  11. lealf-ye

    lealf-ye I am a super doctor.
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    It is possible as almost everthing is possible, but, to be honest, it will be difficult, especially CC pre-reqs + online bachelors degree. You need to make sure both are accredited. Some online courses are acceptable for Med schools. I will say CC pre-req courses alone will not kill you, but you should be careful that the combination may look really bad in some adcom's eyes. Look luck. :( :(
     
  12. elvingomez

    elvingomez Senior Member
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    amy b, what exactly do you mean about the labs at cc's? i don't really understand, are you saying cc's dont offer lab?
     
  13. AmyBass2011

    AmyBass2011 Member
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    The community collge in Barstow (45 minute drive away) has General Chemistry 1 & 2, Concepts in Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Cellular Biology & Microbiology, Plus Physics 1 & 2 & Engineering Physics 1 & 2.

    The other community college about 1 1/2 hour drive form me has the Organic chem 1 & 2 and also Biochemistry. All of the classes at both colleges have labs.... :)

    On a very good note, my husband might be able to get stationed in Alaska later this year (either Ft. Richardson - Anchorage) or (Ft. Wainwright - Fairbanks). That would put me right in the same town as Alaska State Univeristy. It is very cold up there, but at least I will be at a university right? We would be making this move just so I could go to school....
     
  14. elvingomez

    elvingomez Senior Member
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    wow, great husband for supporting you
     
  15. nate2973

    nate2973 Are we there yet?
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    In my experience, the classes I have taken at my local CC have been more thorough and challenging than at the four year school I am attending. As with the previous posts, you have to do well on the MCAT no matter where you go. I also liked the fact that at the CC, the instructors were there for the student, not research, and the classes were much smaller.
     
  16. asdasd12345

    asdasd12345 Membership Revoked
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    I am not robyn shppard, merely someone who wrote her an email asking for advice on med school. this was the response.


    You need to complete the pre-requiste courses at the most competitive
    institution in which you can enroll. Prescribed pre med programs are
    fine, but still choose the most competitive school. We will see what
    you did in your previous undergraduate work but will focus on what you
    do now.

    Robyn Sheppard
    Coordinator of Admissions
    Chair, ADA Assessment Committee
    University of Florida College of Medic
     
  17. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    This is just medschool rhetoric, and also comes from UF which is one of the most nitpicky schools to apply to. CC classes won't be a problem at the vast majority of DO schools, if any.
     
  18. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician
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    I agree. Look, I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you do well at any program and back it up with good scores on the MCAT, you won't have a problem. I went to a state liberal arts university and took several classes at our local CC. At the time, it was ranked the #3 CC in the country. Now most adcoms wouldn't know this, but I was able to back up my coursework with a decent MCAT. I was prepared to explain about my CC coursework in my interviews, but it never came up. I had several classmates that were transfer students from the afforementioned CC. In general, they had better lab technique, wrote better reports and papers, and had a better work ethic than most of my classmates who started at the 4 year school. The ones who went on to med school are at very good schools.
     
  19. asdasd12345

    asdasd12345 Membership Revoked
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    i may agree with you nicedream because this is what FSU's premed advisor said:

    I think it?s fine to complete your math, general biology and general chem. prerequisite at a CC especially if you plan on attending med school in FL. Out of state med schools would prefer the premed prerecs be completed at a 4-yr. institution. Therefore you might want to wait to complete the org. chem., physics and biochem at a 4-yr. school. R


    Rob Borger
    Health Professions Advisor
    College of Medicine
    Florida State University
    (850) 644-7678
     
  20. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    No, I wasn't saying that. What I meant was at all the CCs I am familiar with, they don't offer the higher level course such as Organic and Physics. And those classes are ones with required labs, so unless your CC offers those classes, it would be impossible to take them at home online. Hope this clears up the confusion my post had in it. :)
     
  21. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Yeah, Florida happens to have a very strong CC program, whereas other states may look down on CC classes. However, the OP is from Cali, which happens to be a state with a CC program even stronger than Florida's.
     
  22. AspiringDoctor9

    AspiringDoctor9 Senior Member
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    Hihi guys!

    I'm in a bit of a dilemma - after much debate, I have decided to finish my pre-reqs afterall, after a 2.5 year hiatus. However, my school wants me to leave (I have 250 units and am supposed to be graduating). Would it look bad if I finished my reqs at a community college? Or is it best that I beg and plead for another year here at my 4 year university (and hope for the best)? I know some people have taken classes at CC and then transferred... but what about the other way around? Gotten a batchelor's at a university and then went back to CC? What do you think?
     
  23. DrSmiles

    DrSmiles Senior Member
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    I think for the most part that if you do well in your CC classes, even in Barstow, and don't bomb the MCAT you will be just fine. I have several friends that did all of the pre-reqs at CC in California- which as we know, is one of the most competitive states to get into med school. 2 of them were accepted at UC Davis and one of them was accepted to UCSF with no questions asked. Another friend of mine, whose husband was in the Navy, did all her pre-reqs after already having a bachelors degree and got into COMP with no problems. By the way, you should think about applying for the Army scholarship when you get in- my Navy friend did that and they will make sure you and your husband are not separated for your residency, plus everything is paid for. :)
     
  24. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    First off your school can not make you graduate. That is your decision. So if you tell them that you have decided to apply to med school so you are taking the needed pre-reqs, I would think they have to allow that.

    If for so reason they can make you graduate (which I would go to the dean before I let them make me graduate) Then simply reregister at your college as a post-bac student, sometimes called extended studies student, or non-degree seeking, and sign up for the classes you need when you need them. In other words, don't sign up for a formal program that locks you into taking certain classes.

    All universities have extended studies or post bac registration for pre-meds seeking to take their pre-reqs for admission to med school. The only drawback is usually you are one of the last groups to be allowed to register for classes, so you may run into full classes.

    Don't let them make you graduate without fighting them on it.

    Good luck
     
  25. Eyecon82

    Eyecon82 Senior Member
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    Hey...what would happen if you get accepted to an osteopathic school and by the time of matriculation...you havn't received your degree? a lot of the schools say 90+ hours....is it ok not to get a bachelors? I switched from engineering to las...and for engineering...they dont require you to take any foreign language...and las requires 2 years of it....i won't be able to fulfill that requirement...any thoughts?
     
  26. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    You would have to talk to the school you are interested in. I think I remember reading on VCOM's site that you had to have a degree by the time you matriculated. Every school is different. I would call them and explain your situation. Talk to the dean of admissions. They may be ok with it since you switched degrees and now can't fullfill the degree requiremnet.

    I know that although they have the 90+, most schools do have problems with accepting you without a degree, but they can be persuaded.
     
  27. Eyecon82

    Eyecon82 Senior Member
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    WHat if i have already been accepted to a school with the 90+ requirment....would they be able to revoke my acceptance in any way? I'm kind of afraid to just call and tell them that.....i rather not tell them at all since they only have the 90+ requirment...you know? Thanks
     
  28. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    So you have already been accepted by that school? Well,,,,,, does any of the paper work from that school to you, have anything about finishing your degree before you matriculate? I got a letter from VCOM ststing I had to finish my degree. If you didn't, then I can only assume you are free and clear.

    I know it must be very scary not to call them, but for your own piece of mind I really think you need to call them and clear the doubts out of your mind. They will find out so it's not like you can hide it from them. call them and relieve your stress level.
     
  29. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Email them anonymously.
     
  30. DrSmiles

    DrSmiles Senior Member
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    Actually many universities boot you out after so many credits. Probably because they don't want students to make a career out of school! :laugh:
    I doubt there is much you can do to persuade them to change their mind if it is policy- talk to your dean. I know at the Univ of Cal schools, they will boot you out after so many units.
    I think if your GPA is solid then just graduate and do your pre-reqs at a CC.
    Lots of students get the bachelors and then later go back to CC to do the pre-reqs- ask some of the professors at the CC to confirm this.
    Besides, why not save yourself some money? Med school is going to put a big hole in your wallet, you might as well graduate as scheduled and do your pre-reqs at the CC.
     
  31. AspiringDoctor9

    AspiringDoctor9 Senior Member
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    Hihi!

    Thanks DrSmiles - You're absolutely right - I am at the University of California, and that is exactly where the problem is. The rule here is once you pass 216 units, they want you to leave. However, another thing I'm worried about - My overall GPA is fine (~3.7), but my science GPA is lagging behind majorly since most of the prereqs I already did was in freshman year (I goofed off too much). Thus, my science GPA is about 3.2. Will it look fishy that I suddenly decided to finish at CC? I'm wondering if adcoms will think I couldn't cut it at UC, which is why I went to CC to finish my reqs?
     
  32. Eyecon82

    Eyecon82 Senior Member
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    Hey thanks...from what I remember from the "contract"...there was nothing about finishing a degree...it was stuff like ou cant have a c- or lower in any of the pre-reqs....must have at least 90 hours...cummulutive gpa must be 2.75 or above by the time of matriculation...and all the other normal stuff..such as not sending in deposits or transcripts in on time... Yea you're right....i should call them to relieve stress...but i've been postponing it...I think i'll try contacting them within a few weeks since our sem is almost over...I have tried everything at my undergrad institute for them to give me leniancy on this requirement because of switching majors...but no luck....I mean...i'm tri-lingual...most of my extracurriculars involved asians or south asians......so I would definetly say that I have experience in different cultures...oh well...thanks though!
     

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