quigleyadam9

10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2008
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Big Rapids, MI
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Pre-Medical
New pre-med, starting off cold with pre reqs in January. I will be a second semester junior at that time. As of now, I will be spending 5 years total in undergrad. However, I will have a jampacked credit load for the next 2.5 years, including summers. This leaves little time for shadowing, research, clinicial, etc. Would it be a better idea to A. Graduate in 5 years and apply--if not accepted anywhere, take a year off or B. Stay the sixth year, with no classes in summer and use those summers to do research, shadowing, etc. A sixth year would also allow me to take recommended classes I would not have room for in a 5 year plan, i.e., genetics, physiology, immunology?
 
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AlanAlanine

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7+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2008
281
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Pre-Medical
if you're not in a rush I would recommend 6 years. It's important to apply only when you are ready, as the process is expensive and grueling. You're also more likely to do well in your classes if you are not overloaded with courses.
 

ksmi117

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Mar 16, 2008
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if you're not in a rush I would recommend 6 years. It's important to apply only when you are ready, as the process is expensive and grueling. You're also more likely to do well in your classes if you are not overloaded with courses.
Second. Besides you'll have more time to take fun classes that way! :)
 
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scott8013

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2007
28
1
Lawrence
Status
Pre-Medical
I just typed a novel and lost it damn this stolen wireless!!!

My new abbreviated response it this: Do it all!! Do it now. It is helpful to show the adcoms a continued commitment to whatever volunteer/clinical experience you have.

I did this all in the same timeline you are talking about - started spring semester and finished in May the following year (my sixth instead of fifth - started a year after you!). I also worked to support myself and volunteered at the hospital occasionally (pretty infrequent) but did a clinical volunteer shift at a free clinic every week. It was def. difficult to balance it all, but in the end I think it was what made me successful in applying this year being able to talk about balancing all the commitments and time mgmt. etc.

Also, consider that your sixth year will essentially be taken up already. If you finish in May and study in summer for MCAT you can apply that summer and then the next year will be filled with secondaries and interviews etc. At that time if you already have substantial volunteering/clinical built up over time you could get a research position and have something else interesting to talk about at your interviews.

I did it this way in the same timeline you are about to begin and was able to finish by may I also in the same time: finished a music degree, played my senior recital, volunteered 5 hrs every week, worked 20 hrs/wk, took a full load of science each semester. I'm not saying it wont be hard, but I honestly believe doing all the things I did is what got me into the schools I have because my #s are def. not that impressive.

Good luck to you, feel free to PM me, as I just walked down the path you are about to.
 

HolyGrail

A magnum opus suscipio
10+ Year Member
Jun 1, 2008
223
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At the Right Hand
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Medical Student
Take the extra time, get it right, make some extra money. Unless you're sure you can get a 4.0 while jam packing it all in, may as well get the excellent grades and take a year longer. In the end run it doesn't matter whatsoever.
 
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