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San Diego Designer to Doctor!?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by outsider18, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. outsider18

    outsider18 New Member

    Jul 7, 2006
    Likes Received:
    This is my first real post, though I've been lurking for quite some time. The decision has been made (albeit with a dash of self-doubt)—I want to be a doctor. I'm 25, been out working in wonderful world of design for the past three+ years. In fact, I have a pretty amazing job right now and somehow I still managed to gave my notice. September 1 will be my last day.

    I have a plan, only now I'm starting to second guess my decision to stay local (san diego) and try to do the CC route. I seriously considered formal post-bacs and still plan on applying to USC and a few others just in case I change my mind.

    First, a little more background I suppose. During undergrad I took Calc, some Chem and a semester of Physics, those probably average out to a solid B. Overall, I graduated with a GPA in the neighborhood of 3.3.

    I've been shadowing (mainly in ER) and for the fall I've enrolled in Bio I and Chem II in community college. Though I'm scared that its been too long since Chem to do well in part II, even though I'm really motivated and always really liked Chem. (I've also heard rumors that after 7 years, coursework becomes null and void so I've also checked with a bunch of schools that I'd eventually like to apply to and the word on that is that the only thing with a shelf-life is the MCAT.)

    This summer I took an Intro Bio course and loved it, did very well and can't wait for more. I've also arranged it so that I can still try to get into the classes at UCSD (through the extension program for those who are familiar) because obviously I want to be taking courses in a competitive atmosphere. Luckily, the dates work out so that I can still drop the CC courses if I actually get into the UCSD ones (though still unsure which are the courses I need--if anyone has done this I'd love some insight). Also, I plan on volunteering starting in September and possibly getting involved in a research project but that is still up in the air.

    Enough background though, my main concern is regarding classes (I'll worry about MCAT next). By the time I was done UG, I'd hit 3 schools (one real transfer and one summer at the local cc). Now, I took one class at Mira Costa, I'm enrolled for the fall at Mesa, with hopes of still getting one or more UCSD. That would be a total of 6 colleges/universities I'd have coursework for. Is this a red flag? I'm afraid that along with the slightly drastic career change it will come off as not being able to make up my mind, when really, its a matter of geography and timing.

    So for those of you who are still with me (thank you! thank you!) to recap, my questions are the following:

    •Does anyone know which are the appropriate courses for premeds at UCSD?

    •Will too many colleges on my transcript be a red flag for adcoms?

    •Should I just bite the bullet and go to a formal postbac?

    Thank you in advance for anyone who bothers to read and/or reply!! I really appreciate any sort of insight/advice.
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  3. NoPatients

    NoPatients Somebody stop me!
    2+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Hi, I'm just getting started too, but I'll throw in my thoughts.

    Does anyone know which are the appropriate courses for premeds at UCSD?
    Most places have a premed advisor, see if you can get in touch with one. Other than that, 1 year (3 quarters/2 semesters) of general chem, organic chem, biology, physics, maybe math or calculus are generally required. Check with some of your top med school choices and some of your backup choices to make sure you take everything you might need.

    Will too many colleges on my transcript be a red flag for adcoms?
    I wouldn't guess so, but some frown on or even ignore cc courses.

    Should I just bite the bullet and go to a formal postbac?
    I don't really know enough to contribute to this question.
  4. outsider18

    outsider18 New Member

    Jul 7, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for the reply. I know the pre-med requirements as far as the courses (gen chem, gen bio, etc.) but don't know which courses these are at UCSD. Their courses follow a much different naming convention than I am used to. I will try to get in touch with a pre-med advisor.
  5. Quix

    Quix Herr Professor
    Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

    Jul 8, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Academic Administration
    If I were to venture a guess (based on the course names and numbers), I would suspect it looks like this:

    Biology (two or more of these):
    BILD 1 - The Cell
    BILD 2 - Multicellular Life
    BILD 10 - Fundamental Concepts/Modern Biology
    + labs

    6A-B-C. General Chemistry
    140A-B-C. Organic Chemistry
    + labs

    Physics (two or more of these):
    1A-B-C. (Mechanics; Electricity and Magnetism; Waves, Optics, and Modern Physics)
    + lab

    You probably will need a year of mathematics (Calc I, Calc II, and/or Probability and Statistics).

    Take all of this with a shaker of salt, as I'm not at UCSD, have never been to USCD, and haven't seen this naming convention before. You Californians are weird. ;)
  6. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    Hi there,
    It looks like Human Biology Track is the Pre-med track at San Diego:

    Lower-Division Requirements

    BILD 1 & 3 (Note: BILD 2 is strongly recommended)
    Mathematics 10A, B, 11/10C or 20A, B, 20C
    Chemistry 6A, B, C, and 6BL
    Physics 1A+1AL, 1B+1BL, 1C+1CL or 2A, B, C, and one lab (2BL, 2CL, 2DL)

    Upper-Division Requirements

    1. Organic Chemistry (Chemistry 140A, 140B, and 143A)
    2. Metabolic Biochemistry (BIBC 102)
    3. Genetics (BICD 100)
    4. Molecular Biology (BIMM 100)
    5. Molecular Basis of Human Disease (BIMM 110)
    6. Mammalian Physiology I (BIPN 100)
    7. Three courses from the following two groups: Human Physiology and Human Disease. At least one course must be taken from each group.

    Human Physiology

    Nutrition (BIBC 120)
    Embryos, Genes and Development (BICD 130)
    Human Reproduction and Development (BICD 134)
    Immunology (BICD 140)
    Endocrinology (BICD 150)

    Circadian Rhythms-Biological Clocks (BIMM 116)
    Mammalian Physiology II (BIPN 102)

    Cellular Basis of Learning and Memory (BIPN 148)

    Human Disease

    AIDS Science and Society (BICD 136)
    Virology (BIMM 114)

    Pharmacology (BIMM 118)
    Bacteriology (BIMM 120)
    Medical Microbiology (BIMM 124)
    Biology of Cancer (BIMM 134)

    Environmental and Molecular Toxicology (BIMM 166)

    8. Two of the following lab courses: BIBC 103, 105, BICD 111, 131, 133, 145, BIMM 101, 121, BIPN 105.

    9. At least two other upper-division courses (each course must be at least four units) offered by the UCSD Division of Biological Sciences. Recommended courses include additional courses from the Human Physiology and Human Disease lists in section 7 above and BICD 110 (Cell Biology), BIEB 154 (Molecular Evolution), and BICD 118 (Pathways of Intracellular Protein Trafficking and Compartmentation). Other acceptable courses include one quarter of BISP 195 and/or one quarter of either BISP 196, 197, or 199.

    If you do not need the entire major, you could pick and choose what you need in addition to what you already have. If you visit the website could check out additional majors.

    With your chemistry, you may want to audit the first part of General Chem before taking the second part just for review. I would not hurt you for the MCAT and you would know that you were ready for the second part without having to worry about a grade.

    njbmd :)
  7. remo

    remo Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Medical Student
    Here is a link to the pre-med advising sheet they give to UCSD students. It tells them which classes to take. You will be able to get in to most of the lecture classes there but it will be hard to get into the labs since they are always full. The lower level chem and bio will be the hardest to get into. The upper level bio will be easier because the waitlists aren't as big. You may want to take general chemistry at SDSU. It is also a lot cheaper to go to SDSU.

  8. outsider18

    outsider18 New Member

    Jul 7, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Thank you all so much! You've made my weekend, though I'm all of a sudden more aware of how difficult its going to be to get into classes/labs at UCSD. SDSU is a good option, though location is not ideal but it probably would be a decent alternative to the cc.

    Thanks again, really.

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