Medical Should I finish my MBA during the first semester of medical school?

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TheBoneDoctah

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    Background: I had a business undergrad and graduated in fall 2019. Due to my GPA and business undergrad, I was allowed to start my MBA in conjunction with my last undergrad semester. My MBA is a completely online, 30-credit program, and as of right now, I have completed 24 credits. I'm currently taking a class over the summer, and as of August, I will have completed 27 out of my 30 credits.

    That leaves 3 credits (one more class) remaining, which is my capstone MBA course. This course is a 7-week online class and is offered ONLY in fall and spring. The next course runs between October 19 and December 12.

    What complicates things is that I’m starting medical school in fall 2020 (my orientation starts in August, classes officially start in September). The reason why I haven't completed my MBA before med school started is due to a change in advisors; my old MBA advisor assured me I could complete my MBA in summer 2020, but when I got a new advisor, she told me I couldn't complete it till fall 2020 due to prereqs required for my capstone.

    Ideally, I'd like to finish this class and be done with my MBA in December. That being said, I’ve informed my medical school about having to take my final MBA class-I’d be starting my first semester of med school while trying to complete this capstone. I had a meeting with my program director (not sure what her title is) last week, and I explained to her my situation and my desire to complete the program ASAP. I don't want to have this 7-week course hanging over me for the next few years; I genuinely feel like I can't give my 100% to med without getting the MBA out of the way. What's really driving me at this point is that I'm 90% done with the MBA, and it doesn't make sense to just abandon it or keep it on the backburner.

    My PD said that it's about 60+ hours/week in med school, and she made it clear she wanted to see me succeed, which I absolutely appreciate. We talked about potentially deferring the class till later till spring 2021 (which isn't going to happen as we cover cardio/pulm/renal then) or spring 2022, when I have to study for Step 1. My PD also asked my academic history, which I'll describe in more detail below. But one of the other reasons I'd like to just grit my teeth and finish the class this semester is due to my strong academic background. I'm aware that med school is a serious uphill climb and different than undergrad, but I feel like I can tough it out for 7 weeks.

    Another reason I can think of is due to my school going hybrid for fall semester, which gives me additional flexibility.

    I asked my MBA advisor about how long I could defer this class for, and she said 7 years, which gives me a lot of time to work with. However, as I've mentioned, I'd like to NOT drag this out any longer than I need to.

    The PD will be discussing my situation with her higher-up and getting back to me next week. I have assured my PD that in September, if I feel like I'm overwhelmed, I will withdraw from the capstone and see if I can take it later, but we won't know until I actually start the semester. This class will likely require 7-8 hours/week to do.

    I'm just not sure what to do-should I keep fighting to finish this class or just wait? I would appreciate any advice at this point; I'd like to complete the program but also want to set myself up for success in med school. I have thought about this, and I am willing to work through this with my school and consult the learning specialist to ensure I'm on track.

    Academic background: I've attached my transcript below for reference. I've taken multiple semesters of 18+ credits and have taken 2 back-to-back semesters of 22 credits. During one of those 22-credit semesters, I was working part-time as an ER scribe (the most demanding job I had during undergrad, although I worked a few other small jobs through undergrad). I graduated summa cum laude and had 9 credits for my MBA when I finished undergrad.

    Other potentially helpful info: My class would overlap 1 block, which includes micro, immunology, infectious disease, pharm (which I have for 1.5 years anyway), and skin stuff. I've taken immunology and 1 semester of biochem in undergrad. Didn't take A&P or micro in college.

    Career goals: I'd like to eventually go into hospital management or something policy-related someday, if that helps.

    EDIT: I have included a PDF with my med school timeline, if that helps. The other option I can think of is taking this class next spring (March 8th-May 1st), corresponding to my Energetics & Homestasis block (covers metabolism, obesity/diabetes, GI physiology, endocrinology). While it would delay things by a semester, I could have refined my study strategies by spring.
    Personally, I would say just get through it if it only takes 7-8 hours a week (and you are sure of this). However, you NEED to know that medical school is nothing like undergrad, and though your transcript is beautiful, you need to be prepared to change your study habits a bit in med school. If you think you can learn how to study medicine well enough to succeed, AND do this course, then do it. It seems you are a pretty smart person with your transcript, so I don't doubt you can do it, but you just wanna be careful that you aren't burying yourself.
     

    TheBoneDoctah

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      You're absolutely right, and I hear you. Reflecting on what I wrote, I'd like to think my academic record can back me up here, but as you mentioned, med school's a different ball game altogether. I know there's no way for me to know the rigors of med school beforehand (all I know is what other students have told me, and my situation is likely to be different). So I'm doubting the extension of my academic record to my med school performance a little bit...but it's also all I have to present to my PD (she didn't know about my grades prior to our meeting, and my transcript's the only tangible thing I got).

      I was thinking of providing my PD with weekly or biweekly updates for that accountability, because I know it's a risk for both parties involved and if they do give me the chance, I want to ensure I'm successful (I'm fortunate my school does P/F for pre-clinical, so less pressure there but again, wanna succeed). I was hoping to use the time I had between September 8th (when classes start) and October 19th to get a feel, with that door of withdrawing from the course. Looking at the rest of my curriculum (updated the post with a PDF of it), I feel like this might be the only time before I dive into 100% new material. But I will likely have refined my study strategies after the 1st semester...so o_O a little bit of a catch-22 there. Working out the kinks in the 1st semester + finish the MBA earlier (?) or have an efficient system in place to deal with med + finish the MBA a year out...

      I'm also trying to come into this armed with UFAP/Sketchy/other resources and having a general weekly schedule in my head (based off what I know from current students and will definitely be refined going forward). What's nebulous is the exact study strategies I'll need, but I can't do a whole lot till September 8th.

      The other thing I'm eyeing is the 60-hour figure my PD quoted; if I can even refine my study strategies and time management a little bit, I can squeeze in the extra hours I need for the course (and I will double-check that 7-8 hour figure with a former classmate). All I can do is plan wisely and see how it goes in that first month...

      Thank you very much for your advice!
      I am assuming the 60 hours is what they are saying the study time is? In med school, I was literally studying all the time, haha. If you aren't studying, you feel guilty about not studying. That being said, I was top of my class in medical school (so I studied a ton), and probably still could have fit in the 7-8 hour course. I think it's doable overall, it's just gonna be how you adapt in the first few months.
       

      TheBoneDoctah

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        Yep, that's the study time. Thank you for your insight so far, and I was hoping to pick your brain just a bit more, since I came up with another idea after looking through my curriculum.

        The other option I can think of is taking this class next spring (March 8th-May 1st), corresponding to my Energetics & Homestasis block. While it would delay things by a semester, I could have refined my study strategies by spring. It would be a little rough because cardio/pulm/renal would end on March 12th, but otherwise, it wouldn't be too crazy. I have 2 "freebie" weeks with spring break and Ecology of Health & Med week (talking about social determinants of health, health equity, diversity, population health, etc) that semester. So it would come down to the difficulty of the material...

        Immunology/micro/ID/inflammation/skin (fall 2020) VS. metabolism/obesity/diabetes/GI phys/endocrinology (spring 2021)

        I know this varies from person to person...but in your experience, which semester seems lighter in terms of the topics covered? Fall 2020 or spring 2021?
        Depends. The immunology block is much more basic science-heavy so if you like that it won’t be as tough. I hated that block personally and loved the systems (cardio, GI, etc). It really just depends on you and how you handle the specific material. I still don't think it will matter too much. The time you will be spending studying will probably be about the same.
         
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