Nov 13, 2013
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Hi guys, I'm new here. I just wanted to know if any of you are familiar with Running Start, and if you could give me advice. The short story is that I was home-schooled and then started at my community college doing the Running Start program. Basically, I will graduate high school and also receive my Associate's degree at the same time. I'm in my second year of the program, and have completed a year of General Chemistry and am now started on my Biology. I'm doing fairly well in my classes, (I'll probably end up with a GPA of 3.6-3.7 for CC which isn't great, but it isn't bad either). Once I transfer to University, I will just need Organic Chemistry(which I plan on taking over the Summer, and then Physics. Is this wise? I'm on track to hypothetically apply to Medical School at 19, which is great, but I'm wondering if I should consider taking things easy, and working over the Summers instead of taking OChem. Also, I've considered taking all of my pre-med requirements at University, because that might look better than having them from a Community College. Please give me some advice! Ultimately, I just want to go to Medical School. I don't care what age I get in at, and I'm not in a hurry(anymore at least). I'm open to constructive advice, but please don't post unless you are trying to help me. Having read numerous threads on this site, I am well aware of people who somehow take gratification in trolling pre-meds. So trolls, please don't waste your attempts on this thread.
 

Say

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Hey. I was also very interested in getting into medical school soon after high school. I'm graduating a year early from college, and I have been accepted to some medical schools already. I will be 20 turning 21 within days of starting medical school. I found that interviewers don't see this as a negative, but rather are just interested to see if you are doing it for the right reasons. From what you've posted, I think you are forgetting that you need a degree in order to matriculate into medical school. You can't simply finish the pre-reqs and go... wel for the most part. Almost every school requires a degree of some sort and the pre reqs to matriculate. However, you defintely seem ahead of the game. Take it easy a little and build your resume if you want to attend a top medical school.
 
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Gregor Wiesmann
Nov 13, 2013
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Hey, thanks for the reply. I know I need a Bachelor's degree, and I'm going to be a Biology Major once I transfer to University. The way it stands, I'll be graduating college two years early. Do you have any advice for other stuff, like shadowing, MCAT preparation, and schools to apply to? I'm going to try and shadow an Ophthalmologist, Radiologist, or an Anesthesiologist soon. As for the MCAT, I was thinking about buying the set of Kaplan books. How many schools did you apply to? I'm thinking about applying to 25: Probably 20 MD and 5 DO. I'm not planning on attending a top medical school; in reality, I'll be really happy if I get accepted to an MD school, but a DO school would be okay too. What were your stats, and how many schools did you apply to?
 

Awesome Sauceome

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That is great that you are planning so well. I was home schooled through high school and tried taking some college courses but I did not have my head on straight at the time, so kudos to you.

As for suggestions:
I would absolutely not retake courses unless you had below a B or you felt like you did not learn like anything or you have particular "holes" in your knowledge. You will get elitists who tell you you will have to take all of your pre-med requirements at a top 20 or whatever or they wont count. But as long as you do well and continue to do well in all of your courses you are fine. I would just keep moving ahead the way you are. Keep in mind however with school's changing their requirements, which might slow you down by making you take more classes. Especially as of recently there is a shift and many schools recommend or downright require biochem, psych, sociology etc. These requirements are also represented on the new MCAT that is coming out in 2015. I had to take an extra semester and push off my graduation because I realized too late in the game that some of these courses were required by many schools. Also as a side note, you are planning on taking both organic I and II correct? I guess it is just ambiguous because you say you will take it in THE (meaning ONE) summer. As a side suggestion for that side note, I know some people that tried to take organic over the summer and had a heck of a time with it. It is already a pretty tough course, it is hard to cram it into a shorter time frame. I know of a few people that had more luck when they tried during a normal semester... so I would absolutely suggest trying to get research or working or something instead of taking this particular course over the summer. The same might go with physics as well... but just a thought.

I am personally not far enough in the process to comment on the age for acceptance. I know generally there is an increasing trend for applicants to be older, I think the average is like 23 or 24 now? However, I would not ever imagine it is something they would hold against you. I think that is more of a trend with many of the applicants to be older rather than the school's weeding out the younger applicants. I think if you keep working hard, keep your head on straight, and show respect and responsibility, you will be fine regardless of your age.

I will however, direct you to another recent thread which has a very young student who is sort of down the path you are and he has reached some major burnout. Especially as you begin taking harder classes (organic, biochem etc.) I think it is important to not put too much pressure on yourself (enjoy your early 20s) while still working hard. Enjoy your hobbies and keep in touch with your friends. I think one of the things about many older applicants isnt necessarily that they are more responsible or have their heads on more straight (in fact I know many in their late 20s who are no better than middle schoolers). BUT, what they have is experience. I second what the person above said: it is important to build your resume... volunteer, do research, get some clinical experience. This stuff will not only obviously support your application, but I imagine that they will help affirm your decision to go into medicine, as well as give you some real life perspective as you are taking more challenging courses... it did for me at least. Personally I would focus on doing more of that kind of stuff over the summer, rather than taking courses. Especially because you are so far ahead I think it would actually be more beneficial to you to have more on your resume, than to get done school earlier. Med schools admissions will not give extra points because you are young. They will however take OFF points if you have no clinical, volunteer, or research experience. Oh and since you have some solid time, give yourself a summer or a semester and really kill the MCAT! You are blessed to have the time to be able to take it. No need to rush ahead and try and do it all at the same time. The number one reason I hear people do poorly on the MCAT is that they did not give themselves enough time specifically for it. Respect its importance in the application process.

So yup, you seem like you have your head on straight. Seriously good luck! You have an awesome opportunity ahead of you!
 
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Gregor Wiesmann
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Wow, thank you so much for such a great reply. In regards to the OChem, the University I'm going to transfer to has a quarterly schedule, and they teach two of the three quarters of OChem over the summer. I Would take the third quarter in the fall. Really, I wouldn't consider the option because I have read many people saying that it is hard to cram a class like Organic into such a small interval of time. However, I've read some really great about the professor who teaches the course over the summer, so I'm still on the fence about it. I see the benefits of taking it over the summer because I won't have other classes to worry about. I'll end up taking that new MCAT that will be introduced in 2015, which will include the new social science section. I have take Psychology, Interpersonal Communications, and I'm in Sociology right now. As for volunteering, I'm a drummer at a large church in my hometown. Over the last 2-3 years, I've volunteered about 300+ hours there.(The weekends have four services), so I guess that looks good on my resume. How many hours of shadowing should I attempt to complete? I read online that I should get 40+ hours, and that seems like a pretty good number to me.
 

IncognitoGuy

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Take your time. As Awesome Sauceome said, average matriculating age is ~23 now, and I would estimate half of my classmates or so took 2+ years off (assuming they graduated college at the average pace)

Also, are you studying Biology because it's interesting or because you think you need to do it for medical school? It's important in college to separate the two and not make it all one big rat race for an acceptance. If it inclines you, study abroad, discover a new hobby, minor/major in a topic that really interests you - the sky's the limit. Don't be the tunnel-visioned premed who only knows where the library and dining halls are.

You don't need a science major to get into medical school at all.. plenty of my classmates were music, history, econ and so forth. One actually even got his MBA before going to medical school. You also don't need to take classes over the summer. Use that time to volunteer, research, etc.

And I reiterate: take your time. Plenty of older people regret not taking opportunities when they were younger, and they didn't have nearly as much time as you potentially have. Don't take it for granted.
 

Awesome Sauceome

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Hey, thanks for the reply. I know I need a Bachelor's degree, and I'm going to be a Biology Major once I transfer to University. The way it stands, I'll be graduating college two years early. Do you have any advice for other stuff, like shadowing, MCAT preparation, and schools to apply to? I'm going to try and shadow an Ophthalmologist, Radiologist, or an Anesthesiologist soon. As for the MCAT, I was thinking about buying the set of Kaplan books. How many schools did you apply to? I'm thinking about applying to 25: Probably 20 MD and 5 DO. I'm not planning on attending a top medical school; in reality, I'll be really happy if I get accepted to an MD school, but a DO school would be okay too. What were your stats, and how many schools did you apply to?
For shadowing I have heard that quality is better than quantity. From my time shadowing I absolutely agree. I try and get between 25 and 50 hours with each specialty that I am interested in. You will see all that you need to see within that time. Some people have like 1000 hours shadowing some dude, and thats fine and hopefully they had more opportunities open up through that experience. But realistically, its just so that you can get an idea of what their life is like- not train how to do their job... that comes later haha.

For MCAT prep, people study very differently so the most important thing I would suggest is to be open to change. If you feel a tactic is not helping you, dont stick with it. Personally I used Princeton review and did exam krackers verbal. Princeton was really nice, but they have WAY too much content. Half the stuff is unimportant and took away from my time that I could have been practicing problems. You were home schooled. You absolutely do not need a course. It was the biggest waste of my life and money. The only nice thing about the course is they give you the full set of books and lots of practice problems. Especially with the way the MCAT is nowadays, its not so much on KNOWING, its more on your ability to comprehend and test content that you just examined. Be able to read a passage and answer questions quickly and accurately. So the best way to do well is probably to do lots of problems. Make sure to do tons of full passages. The more you do, the better you should do. Take the full AAMC tests under as realistic conditions as you can... these will be your best gauge as to how you will do on the MCAT (+/-2 points likely). Study as if it will be the one and only time that you will be taking the test. If you need a schedule, I would suggest SN2's guide, I personally did not do it, but many people on here speak highly of it.

The amount of schools one applies to is based on a lot of different things. It depends on your stats, where you want to go, other things requiring you to apply to a certain area. I have a friend who was a competitive applicant (36 MCAT, masters degree etc.), and due to being married could only apply to two schools: Duke and UNC... ironically two VERY competitive schools. But it worked out for him. I know others who applied to 20 schools and didnt get in. The important part is finding schools where you could really enjoy yourself being at, you have stats comparable to get in, and you fit their mission. If you have decent stats (>30 MCAT, decent ECs, and >3.5 GPA) you are solid for most average schools if you apply to ones that you fit their mission. Invest in the MSAR, it gives you very good information on each of the schools.

As for DO vs MD, the best suggestion I have is to shadow them both. You will find the similarities and differences between the two. The DO route is absolutely fine (I am applying to DO and MD schools), but one should be aware of the extra challenges that may come along with going to a DO school and trying to get into an extremely competitive specialty. In some areas these challenges are near insurmountable, in some areas there is very little problem. Again, just something to be aware of and research for yourself. In practice I personally have seen VERY LITTLE difference between DOs and MDs. I know both DOs and MDs that are clinicians, involved in research and teaching, and running hospitals. In actual practice they are very very similar and neither one will really hinder your goals if your goal is to be a physician. However, investigate some of the specialties that may pose a challenge to become as a DO and see if one of these is what you want to be. You can do it through either path, just be aware of the challenge before you go in a direction.


Man you got me writing HUGE amounts of text... sorry about that
 

Awesome Sauceome

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Man it is scary how similar we are haha... I too was home schooled and drummed for my church like all through high school and college... I would suggest becoming even more involved in it. Its such a good hobby, try and make it into something else. Maybe get involved in teaching younger students the drums at your church or something, or try and get a group of friends to go to competitions. Not everyone has to go to Africa to get good experience helping, teaching, tutoring etc. It is this kind of stuff that actually sets you apart from many applicants.
 
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Gregor Wiesmann
Nov 13, 2013
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Man it is scary how similar we are haha... I too was home schooled and drummed for my church like all through high school and college... I would suggest becoming even more involved in it. Its such a good hobby, try and make it into something else. Maybe get involved in teaching younger students the drums at your church or something, or try and get a group of friends to go to competitions. Not everyone has to go to Africa to get good experience helping, teaching, tutoring etc. It is this kind of stuff that actually sets you apart from many applicants.
Really? That's so cool! I never did drumming because I thought it would look good on my resume, I just really enjoyed it. COme to think of it, I'll probably have 450+ hours at my church by the time I apply!

As far as MD vs. DO goes, I've read that it doesn't really matter. MD schools are viewed as more prestigious, and I guess it looks cooler to have MD after your name, but there are plenty of DO's who are surgeons. The specialty I'm most interested in is Ophthalmology because I love cameras and lenses. I interviewed an Ophthalmologist at my hospital a couple of years ago, and he was a really cool guy! Cataract surgery looks really cool to me because you can change someone's life in such a short period of time. Ophthalmology is a pretty competitive residency though, so that's why I would be worried about attending a DO school. I think the average USMLE 1 score was like 237 or something.

I looked into Princeton Review stuff, and they had so many different options it was kind of overwhelming. Kaplan has this sweet book set that comes with 5 books I think(Chem, BIO, Physics, OChem, and then the Verbal Passages). I'll check out some stuff from ExamKrakers too! I heard that the Kaplan practice tests are actually harder than the actual MCAT, but I can't confirm that. I guess if they were harder that could potentially be beneficial though.

Did you take Biochem? I'll probably take it, as a lot of schools are actually starting to require it, but I think I'll take it my Senior year. I don't want a bad Biochem grade to pull my GPA down.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to help me out! I don't have any pre-med friends at my Community College, and my parents don't really know much about any of this stuff either so it's nice to get clarification!
 
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Gregor Wiesmann
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Take your time. As Awesome Sauceome said, average matriculating age is ~23 now, and I would estimate half of my classmates or so took 2+ years off (assuming they graduated college at the average pace)

Also, are you studying Biology because it's interesting or because you think you need to do it for medical school? It's important in college to separate the two and not make it all one big rat race for an acceptance. If it inclines you, study abroad, discover a new hobby, minor/major in a topic that really interests you - the sky's the limit. Don't be the tunnel-visioned premed who only knows where the library and dining halls are.

You don't need a science major to get into medical school at all.. plenty of my classmates were music, history, econ and so forth. One actually even got his MBA before going to medical school. You also don't need to take classes over the summer. Use that time to volunteer, research, etc.

And I reiterate: take your time. Plenty of older people regret not taking opportunities when they were younger, and they didn't have nearly as much time as you potentially have. Don't take it for granted.
I will admit that I'm doing a Biology major because it fits my pre-med classes nicely(I'll only have to take like 3-4 additional classes). I was going to major in Chemistry because I absolutely LOVED it, but I found out I needed to take three quarters of Calculus and I wasn't really up for that. I know you can major in anything you want and that Medical Schools don't play favorites, so I also considered being an Art major. I would have to take a bunch of other classes though, and I'm perfectly fine with being a Bio major, even though I know it's not mandatory.
 

Awesome Sauceome

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Yea, thats what is important, finding things you are genuinely passionate about and then using that to help others (or just simply because you love it haha!)

Best thing to do it find an Ophthalmologist that is a DO and one thats an MD. You will be shocked how similar they are heh. I was enlightened when I did that for orthopedics.
In the end you can find people on here that are DO's that have gone into competitive specialties. What most people will say, and I will certainly mirror is that it is all on you. You could go to a DO school and rock it and study well and kill boards and do a couple successful away rotations during your 4th year and become whatever the heck you want. Conversely you could go to an MD school, become disillusioned, perform dismally on the boards, and not enjoy any specialty heh... Its all up to you. If you want an interesting thread to read, read OrthoJoe's "ask me anything" thread. He has a pretty solid attitude on the whole thing and presents the pros and cons of DO route pretty well for getting into a competitive specialty. As a side note, national geographic has a movie called "inside north korea" or something like that.... This surgeon did over 1000 cataract surgeries in 10 days for people in need (in north korea). Its a very interesting movie.

I wouldnt worry about the USMLE. I certainly get caught up in the numbers way too much for my own good as well... but focus on your MCAT first. Your MCAT can really define where you are applying.

Its the princeton review hyperlearning set. I have used Kaplan, and while many people may like them, I personally thought that their practice tests were not representative of the real MCAT and I think that their books were irrelevant. Harder does not necessarily mean better for you. The problems from Kaplan were not helpful for me personally. Berkeley had the toughest questions period (on raw knowledge) and Princeton was the most representative I think when it came down to passages (except for EK verbal which is best for verbal passages). I owned all of the full sets (some given, some lent, and some I bought). So I was able to test them all. But just my two cents. We could be very different. Personally I rank them as this:
Difficulty: The Berkeley review> Princeton> Exam crackers=kaplan (except for verbal)
Usefulness: Princeton> Berkeley=EK> kaplan

There is a nice middle ground between finding a challenge and finding a set of books that you are happy to pick up every single day for like 2 months straight heh... I have a friend who used LSAT prep to help him study for verbal and he did very well. So its really proof that there is no magic book that you will crack open and you will just kill the MCAT. What it takes is a lot of consistent practice and review. In the end the best thing you can do is make sure you do well on the AAMC practice tests (save them for when you are nearing the end of your studying).

The important thing is to find good books for practice problems. One coudl do content review with wikipedia if it came down to it. Its the practice problems you want to do. I would suggest (through my failures) To devote like 1/4 of your time to raw content review (reading through the books), 1/4 of your time testing, and 1/2 of your time going over your practice problems and tests problem-by-problem (even if you got the problem correct). The review of the practice problems is where the meat of your preparation should come... NOT just by reading chapters. I spent too much time reading chapters and not enough time practicing problems and reviewing them. Many concepts come up again and again on MCATs, some things in the books never came up on a single practice test, nor the real thing. raw content is not important... being able to have ANY problem come in front of you and then you being able to not panic and solve the problem logically and quickly... that is what the MCAT is about.

I took biochem I, II, and protein biochem. Surprisingly they were some of my highest grades in undergrad. I did well because I liked them a lot, and I was a Bio major. I took them because I knew they were good for me and I liked them. You could be surprised.... I would say the meat of all the science knowledge that I know came from biochem. It can be very challenging, but it is a very useful course, which is probably why med schools are requiring it more and more.

And I am happy to help.. personal message me if you need anything. I work in research so a lot of my time is spent between incubations and stuff, so I tend to be on here on and off all day. I have spent a lot of time researching all of this stuff. I am happy to help where I can.
 
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Gregor Wiesmann
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Funny you should mention that. There's actually a local clinic I found that has both an MD and DO Ophthalmologists! I wouldn't actively seek to attend a DO school, but I would much rather go to one than a Caribbean school. It's just nice to know that DO's can still make it into Ophthalmology residency. I'll certainly try to get some shadowing done there and see if they differ much.

The MCAT certainly seems daunting to me. So basically, I should get the Princeton Review Hyperlearning set for biological and physical sciences, and then the ExamKrakers stuff for Verbal? It will be kind of awkward when I have to explain to my friends that I can't hang out because I've got to study three months for a single test. I guess I just have to drink a lot of coffee, and develop a really solid schedule. I think what you mentioned earlier about taking a quarter off to study might be a good idea. That might mean my Physics sequence is cut off a quarter early though. I was originally planning on taking the Summer before my Senior year to study for it, but that doesn't seem like a good idea anymore because I would be sending in my application a little bit on the late side. I've heard that it's better to apply in June so they get your application early.


What got you interested in Medicine? Or even more specifically, why Orthopedics?(I've read that to be a great specialty) I've been interested in medicine since I was around 12, but have only been serious about it for the last couple of years. I thought about Dentistry too, but I don't know if I would want to spend 30+ years of my life doing teeth. When I told my Dentist that I was Pre-Med, he replied: "Oh......have you ever thought about dentistry?" I guess it is a pretty good option though, 4 years and then you're making money(if you don't specialize). There's also a certainty of what you will be doing with your career. When you go into medical school, you don't know what residency you'll match into. Personally, I can't even imagine doing Family Practice; it would probably drive me crazy. However, I've always been interested Surgery, but I've heard that General Surgeons have kind of rough hours. I once heard someone on these forms say "Stay on the R.O.A.D to success(Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anesthesiology, Dermatology)" I guess all four of those have pretty good hours and salary.
 

Awesome Sauceome

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First off, I would suggest a couple of things about the first thing that you said about applying to DO schools. On SDN I would for sure avoid statements like "I wouldnt actively seek to attend DO schols etc." I totally get you completely, you have no offense coming from me. But I just want to save you from having trolls and flamers blow up your threads haha. The whole DO vs MD thing is super sensitive for some people. I have watched interesting threads go down in flames heh.

As for the meat of your message: From my personal opinion, yes that is the route that you should go for with the MCAT. Mind you n=1, I am only one person, but that is what worked for me. A lot of it depends on your strengths though. So for instance, I obviously have an extremely strong bio background. So with that in mind, I think kaplan or EK bio is better since I would need less review. For real, princeton can go way too deep sometimes. So if you are kinda weak in bio, then princeton would be best. If you are strong in it, I would suggest going kaplan or EK since they skim the material more. As for the physical sciences and organic chem, absolutely go princeton. I think they did VERY well. You could go Berkeley review for physics if you were really wanting to go deep, but princeton again is a nice middle ground between hard and approachable. I think that princeton did a very good job with things in organic and physics in particular. As for verbal, go exam krackers 100%. I think its like the 1001 question book, or 101 verbal or something like that, the point being its a big book filled with tons of questions.

I am going to give you some advice. Many prep companies have all of these nice little gimmicks and tips and stuff so that they can sell their product. Verbal is notorious for this. Companies (including EK) will have you rank problems, reorder which to do, speed read etc. When in reality you need to just answer the problems. You waste too much time ranking and choosing what problems to solve first etc, its so stupid. My princeton review course was horrible for this, I ended up stopping going to the lecture because it was just such a horrible strategy. The reality is that if you want to get over a 30, you physically must answer every single question, you cant skip passages, whether the answers are right or wrong, you have to answer everything. So just read the passage and go with your gut instinct. Verbal is usually the hardest section to get higher in, so it takes tons and tons of practice and acceptance of your instincts. Thats why EK is so good. EK also has a book thats like math and verbal strategy. This book is a must. Since you cant use a calculator you have to learn how to do exponents and logarithms and stuff in your head, this book helps a lot.

So to summarize, if I was to do it all over again I would focus all of my time in these books:
Bio- kaplan or EK
Chem- princeton
organic- princeton
physics- princeton
verbal- EK

So if the money is right, you may be best off getting the princeton hyperlearning full set, and then maybe the full examkrackers set. Again the main point is to get the books of practice problems. And obviously DO the practice problems heh...
When you are getting within a month or so from taking the MCAT, buy the AAMC practice tests and burn through those. They are old MCATs I am pretty sure so they are very representative of the real deal. Though expect the problems on the real thing to be harder. My first physics passage on the real MCAT left me dumbfounded. Just realize that everyone is graded together on the same curve. So if you think a problem is ridiculously hard, chances are that everyone thinks its very hard and/or its a poor question and AAMC will toss it out.

I would absolutely make sure you have all of the pre-reqs done before you take the MCAT. Some people take it before, I think those people are nuts... like you said you might take it before you are done physics. I would only suggest that if you had taken a high level physics or something in high school. Otherwise I wouldnt chance it. The thing is most med schools average your MCAT scores. So lets say you bomb the physics portion because you get unlucky and have a ton of problems from that last quarter of your physics. So lets say you get a 26. Well thats not super hot. Lets say you then study more, finish physics and retake and bust out an amazing 34. Well then you are still only at a 30 overall which is average. So I dont know, thats my little speech on that. I think its better to be patient and do everything right the first time rather than trying to clean it up later. If it means taking an extra year before you apply, so be it. Spend that time getting more ECs and stuff. I would apply early if you can, it is better to apply early. Most schools are rolling so you could be accepted before people have even gotten interviews if you apply in June and have decent stats.

As for the schedule of your MCAT. Some people take a month, some 6. Personally I took 14 weeks and it was too much. I studied roughly 40 hours a week consistently for those 14 months. You eventually hit a point of diminished returns. If I could do it over again, I would have done 10 weeks, maybe 12. It was like I got on this rush when I saw my practice test scores skyrocketing and I had a ton of confidence. Then in the last couple of weeks everything levels off (you can only get so good at taking the tests) and then you feel average about it. Not to mention as you alluded to, life continues to go on without you. Absolutely make time for friends still, but as much as you can try and treat studying like a 9-5 job. Be consistent but give yourself necessary breaks. I studied the first month or so every single day with no breaks. That was a horrible mistake and I started to burn out. So from then on I made sure to take one day 100% off. No school work, no MCAT, I would just hang with my girlfriend or go fishing or whatever. That day off will rejuvenate you in ways you cant imagine. And every once in a while I would realize I am just so out of it so I would take a random day off. Thats fine too, accept your humanity. Just make sure to give yourself like an extra week total when you are setting up your MCAT schedule. As far as I know thats most of the advice I can give... I am sure more will come, and maybe with some more messaging you will be able to get some more out of me, but thats all I can think of for now heh.

As for all of the stuff about life and my interest in medicine. I actually was pretty late in the game. I almost didnt graduate high school... I had aspirations of being a professional drummer. I was going to go down that route but then my band broke up and the members went to college, so I sort of figured I would follow suite. I basically randomly picked my major in college (bio) and found I actually really enjoyed it once I started. After my grades started picking up and my class rank opened some doors for research I realized I was being called to something bigger. I planned on going for a PHD since I really enjoyed learning and my professors really pushed me to apply. I continued down that route for a couple of years; grades got even better, got more research experience, but in my last semester of college I basically just had a realization that I didnt want a desk job (what PHDs actually do) so I shadowed in the ER and fell in love with medicine. It is a beautiful blend of science, using your hands, staying on your toes and moving. It was just very enjoyable. So I postponed my graduation to take some more courses required for med school and to give myself some time to study for the MCAT. I was going to apply this cycle, I had my application about halfway finished but then basically realized that I needed to take another year. I had graduated, got married, moved to another state, started a new job, and taken the MCAT within 2 months. I just realized I did not have the time nor the money to finish my application. I was really disappointed at first, but it all has worked out so much better not rushing my application. I got a sick research job at a medical school, and I am now boosting my application and I will be applying next year. I am spending my days doing medical research, shadowing, working in a clinic, and hopefully my nursing assistant license will transfer soon so I can get a hospital job on the weekends.

As for specialty, I am trying to remain as open of a book as I can. Sounds cheesy but I am letting God guide me as much as I can. I figured I have been taken this far, why not let him keep steering me in the right direction. Heck if you would have told me 5 years ago when I was failing high school that I would be applying to med school, I wouldve called you crazy. So I am trying to be willing to be any specialty I feel called towards. As of right now I do really like ortho however. It is very competitive for both DO and MD, but of my time shadowing it seems like the one I could go into. The thing is they practice both medicine and surgery. They appreciate the basic sciences while enjoying anatomy and using their hands. I am a bit of a handy man and the tools and evolving equipment in their field is incredible. I am also incredibly pleased to see how happy the older ortho docs are. It has a very low rate of burn out. When I spent time in the ER half the docs told me to run from medicine all together. It has a nice balance of office work and hospital work. At first I would like you and said HECK NO to family medicine, but you would be surprised as some of the bonuses of family medicine, especially rural medicine. It sounds crazy but once you start reading from some of the rural docs out there, they are doing some really cool stuff. Who knows though... But again, we shall see where I end up. I figure I will just keep staying the course, working hard, and hopefully opportunities will happen for me.

So hey just shoot me an email on here any time. Hopefully I can continue to help, or just chat, or whatever. My job can be kind of boring some days and I feel like I have exhausted like the entire internet hahaha, so its nice to chat.
 

Fedekz

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Jul 25, 2008
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Hey. I was also very interested in getting into medical school soon after high school. I'm graduating a year early from college, and I have been accepted to some medical schools already. I will be 20 turning 21 within days of starting medical school. I found that interviewers don't see this as a negative, but rather are just interested to see if you are doing it for the right reasons. From what you've posted, I think you are forgetting that you need a degree in order to matriculate into medical school. You can't simply finish the pre-reqs and go... wel for the most part. Almost every school requires a degree of some sort and the pre reqs to matriculate. However, you defintely seem ahead of the game. Take it easy a little and build your resume if you want to attend a top medical school.
Uhhh you don't absolutely need a bachelors degree to matriculate to medical school ... You can be accepted places and matriculate with just the Pre reqs and X amount of credits.

One example is the university of Chicago ....
http://pritzker.uchicago.edu/admissions/requirements/
 

JFS

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Aug 27, 2013
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I was in a very similar situation as you OP (minus the home-schooled part). Could have graduated in 2 years, decided to take some more classes and graduated in 3, then worked full-time during my app year (4th year). So far I do not regret a second of it.

If you go into medicine, the next 30+ years will be completely devoted to it. Listen to others and smell the roses while you can, get some life experience, avoid burnout. Besides the burnout-preventing aspects of it, it will likely make you a better candidate come app time (if only at least for longer experiences). PM me if you have specific questions.
 

Awesome Sauceome

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yea sorry heh... i tried to PM him since that was so much crap. But it like wouldnt let me? So i had to flood the this thread with info instead
 
OP
Gregor Wiesmann
Nov 13, 2013
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Uhhh you don't absolutely need a bachelors degree to matriculate to medical school ... You can be accepted places and matriculate with just the Pre reqs and X amount of credits.

One example is the university of Chicago ....
http://pritzker.uchicago.edu/admissions/requirements/
That looks great, although tuition is pretty darn steep.......45k for first two and 60k for second two years. I always thought it was kind of weird that Medical Schools required you to have a Bachelor's degree even if you have completed all of the prereqs. After all, the first two years of Medical school is just more classes, so I wish they would just combine your two years of prereqs from undergrad with the first two years of Med school and just say that you have a 'Bachelor's degree in Medicine.'
 
OP
Gregor Wiesmann
Nov 13, 2013
585
319
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I was in a very similar situation as you OP (minus the home-schooled part). Could have graduated in 2 years, decided to take some more classes and graduated in 3, then worked full-time during my app year (4th year). So far I do not regret a second of it.

If you go into medicine, the next 30+ years will be completely devoted to it. Listen to others and smell the roses while you can, get some life experience, avoid burnout. Besides the burnout-preventing aspects of it, it will likely make you a better candidate come app time (if only at least for longer experiences). PM me if you have specific questions.
Hey, thanks for the reply JFS. I'm not graduating in two years, I just started college two years early. I don't really feel burnt out yet even though I'll have 114 college credits under my belt by the time I graduate high school. I just kind of got used to the fact that I always have homework that is waiting to be done. I guess the only thing I was worried about is if I'll be able to handle the workload once I get into OChem and Physics. General Chem was pretty darn easy for me, so I'm hoping that Physics will be alright. I guess it's just the way my head is wired; I'm finding that Biology is more difficult for me than Chem was. I'm trying to figure out if I should take OChem over the summer(with a highly rated professor), or take it through the whole year with Physics, so if you have any advice towards any of that I would appreciate it.
 

Itsmine

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Nov 19, 2013
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Uhhh you don't absolutely need a bachelors degree to matriculate to medical school ... You can be accepted places and matriculate with just the Pre reqs and X amount of credits.

One example is the university of Chicago ....
http://pritzker.uchicago.edu/admissions/requirements/
...

Um, if you don't have a bachelors degree, you're not getting into medical school. Sure, some medical schools don't "require" a bachelors degree, but then again, medical schools also don't require clinical exposure.

My point is, med schools have plenty of qualified applicants to choose from who have bachelor degrees, so why would they choose someone who doesn't?
 

Fedekz

10+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2008
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...

Um, if you don't have a bachelors degree, you're not getting into medical school. Sure, some medical schools don't "require" a bachelors degree, but then again, medical schools also don't require clinical exposure.

My point is, med schools have plenty of qualified applicants to choose from who have bachelor degrees, so why would they choose someone who doesn't?
You're overgeneralizing too much sir, there are people who matriculate without a bachelors, people have posted threads about it from time to time over the years. It's obviously rare. On that same token, I can assure you that people do get into medical school with no clinical experience as well ... Usually people with amazing stats. SDN does not accurately represent the majority of med school applicants, so while everyone on SDN has delivered a baby in Africa and has years of clinical experience, there are still a lot of applicants with little to no clinical experience.

Saying that it just blatantly doesn't happen is just ignorance on your part.

Maybe they will be a accepted if they are unique in some way that makes them an attractive applicant, or have exceptional stats?
 

NickNaylor

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You're overgeneralizing too much sir, there are people who matriculate without a bachelors, people have posted threads about it from time to time over the years. It's obviously rare. On that same token, I can assure you that people do get into medical school with no clinical experience as well ... Usually people with amazing stats. SDN does not accurately represent the majority of med school applicants, so while everyone on SDN has delivered a baby in Africa and has years of clinical experience, there are still a lot of applicants with little to no clinical experience.

Saying that it just blatantly doesn't happen is just ignorance on your part.

Maybe they will be a accepted if they are unique in some way that makes them an attractive applicant, or have exceptional stats?
Unless someone knowledgable has told you otherwise, no applicant should expect to be accepted without a bachelor's or clinical experience. It obviously happens, but going into the process with that expectation is a bad idea. Everyone has their own opinions, but I personally find it hard to believe that someone is serious about being a physician and yet does not have any sort of clinical exposure. Barring something truly incredible about themselves I would not recommend that someone be accepted if they have no clinical experience. This is based on actually interviewing applicants.