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Seeking direction

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by iceco, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. iceco

    Jan 5, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Hi everyone! I'm looking for the best way to breathe life into the rotting corpse that is my academic record. :beat: I've written a short novel, so please bear with me.
    About me: I have a bachelor's in Microbiology and have been out of school for nearly 3 years. I'm currently working as a research and development technician at a vaccine company, and have been there since I graduated. My GPA is abysmal (3.1 overall) :thumbdown:, and I completely bit the dust in nearly every pre-req course I've taken. My finances were a major issue especially during my first two years, and unfortunately that's when I decided to take the bulk of my pre-reqs. :bang: I spent more time going to work (I had two jobs at the time), than going to class and studying. What I ended up with: O-Chem I C+, O-Chem II D :scared:, Physics I: C, Physics II: C-, Gen Chem I: F :eek: ( I was taking this over the summer at a local university and completely neglected the class. I should have withdrew, but for no reason in particular I never did and that's what I got), Gen Chem II: C, Genetics C, Cell Biology C. I was able to drop down to one job my last two years, and did better: Med Micro A, Physiology B, Immunology B+, Microbial Pathogenesis B, to name a few. However, I know that's not enough. After I did so poorly in undergrad, I decided to ride the "woe is me" train and tried convincing myself to give up on medical school.+pity+ Here I am three years later, and I still can't shake my dream of becoming a physician. I've made up my mind that I'm going to make this work somehow, but I don't know how. :confused:
    What I'm really wanting to know is what's the best course of action for someone like myself in improving my academic record? I'm not considering a formal post-bacc program, because unfortunately my finances are still an issue, and I can't afford to move anywhere (there aren't any local post-bacc programs). I'm considering trying to get a master's at a local university (I'll have to go further into debt to pay for it, but its cheaper than moving out of state). If I go the master's route, I'm still going to have to find someway to work full-time and go to school (I'd have to quit my current job). I can't have it any other way. I like the idea of eating, living inside a home, etc. I've also considered trying to get another bachelor's in an allied health field (RT, PT, Med Tech), but I don't know how beneficial that would be.
    This is all I could come up with as far as options so any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. sindadel

    7+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    There's no point to an ordinary master's because what is important is your undergraduate GPA. Since finances are an issue, a special master's program would not be appropriate.

    Your best bet, IMO would be:

    a) re-take one pre-req class at a time and get A's. You can do 4 a year this way, so you would be done pre-reqs in 2 years. Apply DO mostly, which has grade replacement instead of grade averaging.

    b) prepare solidly for the MCAT - treat it as a spring semester course, and take it in April/May just before you apply.

    c) start volunteering and shadowing right away to find out if being a doctor is what you want or if some other healthcare profession with a longer runup time appeals to you.

    You're still young and you have lots of time. What you need is excellent grades in your pre-reqs (to compensate for your previous poor performance), solid EC's and a solid MCAT score. There's no need to rush.

    Good luck!
  3. Nasrudin

    Nasrudin Apropos of Nothing
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    Self-diagnosis will be your key....

    The type of advice you get will reflect the respondent's situation not yours. I happen to agree, pretty much, with Sindadel. But....

    The key points for you to understand will be that gpa is your main obstacle. Secondly, that further advice will entirely depend on the respondents financial situation--some of whom will not understand why you lack the "motivation" to go to school fulll-time at an uppity post bac program or SMP.

    So that buyer beware here and elsewhere, but hear by all measure, for the insidious nature of pre-med culture at its peak--or valley, such as it is.

    I personally liked your idea of a second bachelor's in an allied health program. A little contrary--to the notion of pure academic achievment--again something people who chose lofty perches of perfect luxury will likely not understand.

    There is always the DO equivalent of ocham's razor which is repeapt the pre-reqs, do well, and apply with MCAT score in a decent range. By replacement your new gpa might be pretty good, but you should crunch your own figures.

    All in all you must strive to be gentle, relaxed, and posetive with yourself as you re-enter the fray of company that comprises stressed-out and under-developed humanity.

    Guard thyself. For the purpose of keeping safe the innocence of the impulse to learn and do a good in the world. Because for sure you are surrounded by land-roving shark minded mutants.
  4. skubdubdu

    2+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2009
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    Medical Student
    Sounds good. Do what you need to so you can support your values of safety/comfort/stability while you pursue your goals. Allied health fields are a great way to be a part of the profession, learn a lot, help people, and pay bills while you consider the next step. Further, it will show continuity down the line when you apply to programs.

    Re: Low grades--I don't see anyway around those beyond taking them over. I simply don't think you will be accepted to any med school program if you have not at least PASSED all the prereqs. That said, seek more qualified advice than mine before proceding...but I think they're called prereq's for a reason. Further, you need the knowledge from those classes before you can perform adequately on the MCAT.

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