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Jul 7, 2020
3
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hello all,

Before I pull the trigger and jump into school once again, I'm looking for your opinion on the competitiveness of my background thus far.

I am a nontrad looking to complete my science prerequisites at a local CC prior to applying for both MD and DO programs. Below you will find my 'plan' for prerequisites, along with EC's/Volunteering/Shadowing.

Educational Background (The good and the bad):
-I graduated last August (2019) with a B.S. in Mathematics. According to an AMCAS GPA calculator I found on the interwebs; cGPA: 3.67, sGPA 3.78
-Freshman year was taken at a different 4-year institution, and I didn't do well at all -- 3.14 cGPA. However, I transferred schools and since then I have nearly 4.0'd all coursework (GPA Soph: 3.95, Junior: 3.97, Senior: 3.71 (tons of hardcore math this year, GPA suffered a little)).
- I have quite a bit (~450 hours) of mathematics research and multiple presentations, though no publications. I also was a TA for multiple math courses and a tutor outside of school.
-I have 4 'W' or 'Withdraw' marks on my transcripts, which do not look good and I know will affect me. First two were a Freshman year math class, and a religious theory course. The second was a programming course my Sophomore, year and last was a Knot Theory (math) course Senior year.
-The very last course in undergrad I took was the programming course I had taken the 'W' for mentioned above, and recorded a 2.8 GPA (ouch). However, my dad suddenly and tragically passed away in the middle of this quarter, so I have a good story to tell at least. This is actually the main catalyst for my journey into medicine.

My Current Plan (I work full time and will have to do the following concurrently - I'm not in a rush):

Education
-Attend local community college and run the gamut: Physics (full-series), Bio (full-series), Chem (full-series), OChem (full-series), Biochem (1 course). I'm not terribly worried about Physics though the rest will be a fun challenge, I'm aiming for a 4.0 here.
-Additional courses I would like to/may need to take: Spanish (full-series 1 year, maybe 2?), English (1 or 2 classes, though I have written multiple research papers, many presentations/talks, no pubs), Human Anatomy - Physiology (full-series) -- any recommendations here? I'm at a local CC so course availability is tough unfortunately, all of the above are available though.

Volunteering / EC
-Begin volunteering at local major hospital as soon as possible (on pause due to COVID) - long term commitment for at least 6 months. I figure I could do multiple years since its so close by + they have SO MANY opportunities, I'm very fortunate and hopeful to get a chance here (I have to interview at some point).
- Hospice volunteering (clinical) when COVID allows, I need to make some cold calls and/or emails. I can commit for multiple years, as I said, not in a huge rush and want to build a strong application.
- I'm a triathlete, not sure if that's an EC but I love it to death and train very hard for it.
-Would love to coach youth soccer, but can't quite find the time right now, especially with the above. Maybe next year I can get more involved.

Fortunately my boss is very understanding and works with me so hours are flexible. With the given information - do I stand a competitive chance at getting into any MD or DO schools? I know it's hard to tell without science courses or MCAT scores, maybe impossible.. but that's why I'm asking. I think either way I will push forward and try because my heart tells me to, but I want to know what the SDN thinks.

Cheers everyone!
 

JanetSnakehole

I’m a very rich widow with a terrible secret.
2+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2018
759
1,785
the West Coast
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Hello all,

Before I pull the trigger and jump into school once again, I'm looking for your opinion on the competitiveness of my background thus far.

I am a nontrad looking to complete my science prerequisites at a local CC prior to applying for both MD and DO programs. Below you will find my 'plan' for prerequisites, along with EC's/Volunteering/Shadowing.

Educational Background (The good and the bad):
-I graduated last August (2019) with a B.S. in Mathematics. According to an AMCAS GPA calculator I found on the interwebs; cGPA: 3.67, sGPA 3.78
-Freshman year was taken at a different 4-year institution, and I didn't do well at all -- 3.14 cGPA. However, I transferred schools and since then I have nearly 4.0'd all coursework (GPA Soph: 3.95, Junior: 3.97, Senior: 3.71 (tons of hardcore math this year, GPA suffered a little)).
- I have quite a bit (~450 hours) of mathematics research and multiple presentations, though no publications. I also was a TA for multiple math courses and a tutor outside of school.
-I have 4 'W' or 'Withdraw' marks on my transcripts, which do not look good and I know will affect me. First two were a Freshman year math class, and a religious theory course. The second was a programming course my Sophomore, year and last was a Knot Theory (math) course Senior year.
-The very last course in undergrad I took was the programming course I had taken the 'W' for mentioned above, and recorded a 2.8 GPA (ouch). However, my dad suddenly and tragically passed away in the middle of this quarter, so I have a good story to tell at least. This is actually the main catalyst for my journey into medicine.

My Current Plan (I work full time and will have to do the following concurrently - I'm not in a rush):

Education
-Attend local community college and run the gamut: Physics (full-series), Bio (full-series), Chem (full-series), OChem (full-series), Biochem (1 course). I'm not terribly worried about Physics though the rest will be a fun challenge, I'm aiming for a 4.0 here.
-Additional courses I would like to/may need to take: Spanish (full-series 1 year, maybe 2?), English (1 or 2 classes, though I have written multiple research papers, many presentations/talks, no pubs), Human Anatomy - Physiology (full-series) -- any recommendations here? I'm at a local CC so course availability is tough unfortunately, all of the above are available though.

Volunteering / EC
-Begin volunteering at local major hospital as soon as possible (on pause due to COVID) - long term commitment for at least 6 months. I figure I could do multiple years since its so close by + they have SO MANY opportunities, I'm very fortunate and hopeful to get a chance here (I have to interview at some point).
- Hospice volunteering (clinical) when COVID allows, I need to make some cold calls and/or emails. I can commit for multiple years, as I said, not in a huge rush and want to build a strong application.
- I'm a triathlete, not sure if that's an EC but I love it to death and train very hard for it.
-Would love to coach youth soccer, but can't quite find the time right now, especially with the above. Maybe next year I can get more involved.

Fortunately my boss is very understanding and works with me so hours are flexible. With the given information - do I stand a competitive chance at getting into any MD or DO schools? I know it's hard to tell without science courses or MCAT scores, maybe impossible.. but that's why I'm asking. I think either way I will push forward and try because my heart tells me to, but I want to know what the SDN thinks.

Cheers everyone!

Is it absolutely 100% necessary to take your prerequisites at a CC? This should be a pathway of last resort - many medical schools discourage CC coursework. I strongly advise you to take all your prerequisites through a 4-year institution if at all possible. Very rural and/or military candidates sometimes get leeway with CC credits (and some medical schools don’t care, which is why you’ll sometimes see people saying “I went the CC route and I was fine”) but you’ll hurt your chances at many US MD programs. I don’t know if DO is the same.
 
Jul 7, 2020
3
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I completely understand where you're coming from, but I think this is truly the best option for me at this time. There are 4-year institutes somewhat close to me, and I may be able to get in - so I will take this into consideration. I understand it may hurt me, however I have a decent track record in undergrad and I am working full-time. I'm hoping a well crafted application, EC's, and LoR will be sufficient. Also, my state school and home state schools favor in state students and accept CC coursework so I'm not terribly worried...
 
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JanetSnakehole

I’m a very rich widow with a terrible secret.
2+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2018
759
1,785
the West Coast
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I completely understand where you're coming from, but I think this is truly the best option for me at this time. There are 4-year institutes somewhat close to me, and I may be able to get in - so I will take this into consideration. I understand it may hurt me, however I have a decent track record in undergrad and I am working full-time. I'm hoping a well crafted application, EC's, and LoR will be sufficient. Also, my state school and home state schools favor in state students and accept CC coursework so I'm not terribly worried...

Are you an Oregon or WWAMI resident? You cannot be considered both for purposes of admission - you will either be in-state at OHSU or UW.

State/public schools are often look more favorably on CC work, that’s true. However, that’s often not true for OOS private programs - i.e., the other programs you should be targeting. Unless you are ONLY applying to your single state MD school, you will be considered a less competitive candidate for other schools that might consider you if you take all CC prerequisites.

So you’re aware, I am a WA resident and just went through the application process myself last cycle.
 
Jul 7, 2020
3
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Are you an Oregon or WWAMI resident? You cannot be considered both for purposes of admission - you will either be in-state at OHSU or UW.

State/public schools are often look more favorably on CC work, that’s true. However, that’s often not true for OOS private programs - i.e., the other programs you should be targeting. Unless you are ONLY applying to your single state MD school, you will be considered a less competitive candidate for other schools that might consider you if you take all CC prerequisites.

So you’re aware, I am a WA resident and just went through the application process myself last cycle.

Yes I'm currently in OR but was born/raised in WA... so thank you for clarifying!! It sounds like I should take my time and apply to a 4 year to take my prereqs. Thank you for all the help!
 

JanetSnakehole

I’m a very rich widow with a terrible secret.
2+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2018
759
1,785
the West Coast
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Yes I'm currently in OR but was born/raised in WA... so thank you for clarifying!! It sounds like I should take my time and apply to a 4 year to take my prereqs. Thank you for all the help!

My pleasure, happy to help. If you’d like to know specifics about applying to medical school from the PNW or how I managed my postbac/application cycle, feel free to DM me anytime. Good luck!
 
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