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Should I get another undergraduate degree?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Linux987, May 26, 2008.

  1. Linux987

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    First and foremost, I would like to apologize if a similar question has been answered before. I searched and found similar posts without answers, and read the last 10 or so pages of this forum and didn't find what I was looking for.

    Here is my situation:

    I recently graduated with a BA degree in entrepreneurship. I had thought for some time that I wanted be both successful and to help people and thought I would do this by making money and giving it away. Well, I figured that a degree could help teach me the fundamentals of business, but couldn't completely capture the essence of entrepreneurship, so I took what I thought I needed from my classes without much concern over my GPA, and a result graduated with a 3.1 grade point average. Well now, a short time later, I have found my fair share of success and find that I'm really lacking any passion or feeling of achievement. In the past, I have spent much time thinking about medical school but always decided against it. Now, I realize that this would be an excellent way to help others and at the same time give me something to really be passionate about. I have talked with several M.D.'s and have decided that this is what I want to do.

    However, my degree includes none of the prerequisites for medical school and my grade point average is very low, at 3.1. What are my options? I know I will need to schedule a meeting with various university employees, but I want to know what you think. I know with dedication I could earn a 4.0 or very close in all of the classes I need, but I don't really know if taking them alone is going to help me enough. I live in Texas, and the only post-bac or similar program that I can find around here is the one at the UNT health science center, but you must be a science major to be accepted as far as I can tell, because you actually earn a master's. This excludes me. Should I go back to school and earn a B.S. degree in a science? I'm not sure how the process works, but if the school keeps the first two years of my college work, I believe my GPA was between 3.25 and 3.35 during this time. If this is the case, an A in the remaining classes could probably bring me up to around a 3.6 or slightly better, at the cost of probably two years work.

    I also have little experience with extra cirricular activities relating to this field. I know a doctor I could shadow, and I'd be more than happy to volunteer somewhere, but nothing as of yet. I also don't think I could contribute much at this point in the research area with such little science background.

    Finally, I know this may sound very presumptuous, but I am very confident that after taking my required classes, my MCAT score would be very competitive. Test taking has always been my strong suit. In most of the standardized testing throughout my life, I have scored in the top percentile, and my girlfriend recently took the LSAT exam, and my test scores on her practice exams were very high. I did see one post that said a high MCAT with a lower GPA may indiciate laziness, but I'm not sure what to think.

    I know this post was wordy, but I thank you in advance for reading it and for giving me your honest advice.
     
  2. wisconsindoctor

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    How would becoming a doctor give you a feeling of personal achievement (in the context that you are presenting it)?
     
  3. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    I don't think I'd pursue another degree, but if you really have none of the med school pre-reqs done, that's about as much work as another degree. If you pull a great GPA in all of those classes, you should be able to bring your GPA up significantly. How many hours did you log as an undergrad? The less, the better, in this situation. If you can pull up that GPA to the 3.3-3.4 range and kick ass on the MCAT (33+, I guess), you'll probably be in good shape to get an acceptance, given that you write and interview well.
     
  4. Cegar

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    Ignore wisconsindoctor. He is one of the resident trolls (but not a resident).

    There are a few post-bacc programs designed for nontraditional students who never took the basic sciences.

    The post-bacc forum (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=71) has a few threads on the topic.

    Alternatively you could attend a university as a post-bacc student and take the prerequisite science/math classes.
     
  5. wisconsindoctor

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    Cegar,

    You are an idiot. I'm asking the OP to look deep inside to see what really motivates him/her. That is why I asked the question I did.

    Feel free to keep up with your flame posts.
     
  6. Danbo1957

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    Go and talk to the pre-med advisors' office at your college and see what they say, you need to work with them throughout the process. You can take pre-med courses "by themselves", but you will need to ace them at 3.75+. Also, you need do well in the other activities expected by med schools; and, get a 35+ on the MCAT.

    That's the minimum...
     
  7. Linux987

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    This is a valid question, and I believe it would inspire these feelings for a few reasons. As I mentioned in my post, I had always thought of becoming a physician, but I decided not to. Well, I decided not to for the wrong reasons and made a mistake. I wanted to make money, and I knew I could make money without spending 6 years or more before getting out in the workforce. I thought this would be enough to make me happy, so while I was passionate about medicine, I went into business and loathed every class I had to attend. Shortly before I graduated I started a small online business and got financing to purchase a franchise. They both have been successful and require little hands on work from myself. The only reason I started these two companies was because I thought they would be profitable, and a result I don't feel that pouring my heart and soul into these companies will yield much personal satisfaction. In my free time, I read various medical journals and have several scientific magazine subscriptions. I am also close friends with a few doctors and love hearing their stories. I have been interested in science since I was very young. Earning an M.D. is something I want to do, and I guarantee that if I'm given the opportunity, I will be an outstanding physician.
     
  8. Linux987

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    Thank you all for your replies so far.

    I did misspeak a little. I technically do have the math and English requirements satisfied. I still need the biology, chemistry, and physics requirements.

    I typed the above credit hours into a GPA calculator and found that if I just take these classes, I could bring my GPA up to about a 3.3 if I made excellent grades. However, I'm worried that this may be a little low?


    Thank you for directing me to the post-bacc forum, I'll take a look in there and see what I can find.

    I will surely make an appointment with the pre-med advisor at my University, so thank you for that suggestion as well.
     
  9. WellWornLad

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    I'll take this opportunity to plug the Harvard Health Careers Program. That's where I completed my prereqs. It may be a bit far from Texas, but for someone in your position it may be ideal.

    1) It's extremely cheap. About $650-850 per class (not per credit), and that includes labs.

    2) It's extremely awesome. The professors are (usually) top notch, and the classes prepare you very well for the MCAT. The flip side to that coin is that it can be harder to get that A than some other places, but then again your prereqs will be taken that much more seriously by adcoms.

    3) It's extremely easy to get in. You have to apply for the Health Careers Program to get sponsorship (i.e., Committee Letter), but anyone can take the classes for credit if they want to and can pay.

    4) Boston is perhaps the best place in the U.S. to get research experience, volunteering/clinical experience, or both. There are tons of great hospitals, tons of great universities, and three great medical schools in the immediate area.

    If I were you, I'd seriously consider it.
     
  10. Kromosoft

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    #10 Kromosoft, May 27, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  11. Kromosoft

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  12. Linux987

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    Thank you for the advice WellWornLad, that program looks pretty interesting and I am definitely going to look at it some more. It would be a bit of a travel, but not something I couldn't do.

    I e-mailed the pre-med advisor at my University to set up a meeting, so with any luck she'll be able to give me her input pretty soon. I've found the University faculty to be a bit hit and miss, but usually they do a pretty good job.

    Kromosoft thank you for your reply as well. I probably should have left the personal reflections out of my post in the first place. I always believe in getting all of the information, so I always want to give it all as well. Those aren't all of my reasons or experiences. I left out the fact that my father works in the medical industry--from the business angle...not as a physician--and I've been around it all of my life. It's what I want to do.

    Also, getting some clinical experience is a great idea. I think I will work on that very soon.
     
  13. nu2004

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    i had a very similar path. my grades were also pretty lame. in fall 05 i decided that i wanted to make it happen. my post-bacc grades were better and my MCAT was great. i start this year. it can be done. good luck.
     
  14. michwolverine

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    Can you go back to school for the next two years to do the preregs and get your GPA up?
    Here is a three-year plan for you (academic year):
    year 1: gen chem, biology, math if needed
    volunteering, shadowing
    year 2: o-chem, physics, math if needed, more biology
    volunteering, shadowing, research if possible
    take MCAT spring/summer after this year; apply to med schools that summer (not fall)
    year 3: work in a medical environment with patient contact; interviews

    If you could start back to school this fall, then you are looking at three years from now. If you have to start the next fall, then four years from now. It takes a long time because of the chem classes--that's two full years to get throught the two sequences. You don't want to overload yourself either because you need to get the best grades you can.

    Re your original post, ALL your classes from your undergrad still count on your undergrad GPA. You don't ever get rid of any of it. You can just add more classes to raise your GPA.

    You should start volunteering now in both a medical setting and in your community in areas that help others or relate to health.
     
  15. nu2004

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    this is a good plan. i ended up not being able to do pre-reqs right away because the post-bacc i wanted to enter had some silly math requirements i hadn't filled. so my schedule was:

    year 1: full year of calculus, one term of physiology. running my small business.
    summer 1: general chemistry w/ lab (8 weeks of HELL) - still trying to run my small business, realizing it is not working, sell the business
    year 2: biology, physics, organic chemistry all w/lab (9 months of HELL) - also working 20 hours/week as an ER tech
    summer 2: July MCAT and primary application... secondaries in everywhere by October (too late. try to have them in earlier) take a vacation to go to Burning Man. still working at hospital.
    year 3: biochemistry, english and psychology (thought i might go to UIC, which requires the latter two), still working, plus interviews. acceptances coming in from January to March. Quit hospital job in February. Make final decision where to attend in early April.
    summer 3: hang out with my girlfriend. BBQ. play lots of Guitar Hero and Wii. spend a tremendous amount of time buying a home in Cleveland and trying to sell in Chicago
     
  16. Linux987

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    Thank you for the encouragement nu2004. I know there are probably many people in a similar situation, so it is inspirational to hear you were accepted. Congratulations!

    Michwolverine, that seems like a pretty solid plan and I believe I would be able to start as early as this summer. I assume I will probably end up doing something very similar.

    The consensus I seem to be getting is to build upon what I have instead of pursuing an additional degree.

    As always, thanks for the advice.
     
  17. dilzmega

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    I am in a similar situation except I have a degree in general science. What I am doing is attending a state school who is very reputable in the state and taking all prerequisite's plus some extra advance biology classes such as immunology and histology. As the adviser who is an MD (ad com for UNC) her self explained to me is that once you graduate you have the post-bac line as a clean slate and some of the adcoms would look at this GPA as an addition to the regular GPA this would give you a BCMP GPA and Raise your GPA significantly if you could stay as close to a 4.0 as possible just think 3.4 cum 4.0 sci take the MCAT and destroy it and Your on your way to Medical school in 3 years. Also do all the volunteering and shadowing in between all of this mess.
     

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