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LostPreMed91

New Member
Apr 25, 2012
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  1. Pre-Medical
I've spent the last few years harming myself both physically and emotionally. I've strived at community college and made lasting connections with professors while struggling to keep up the act.

I'm transferring to a large research university and seeking help (finally). I know that it's going to be a struggle. Science and math aren't my strongest areas and I was hoping to spread out my pre-med requisites while taking courses that do emphasize my strengths (art, psych, anthropology).

So basically, my pre-med advisor says slowing the pace will suck any competitiveness out of my apps. I can't realistically take 18+ credits, juggle EC's (I volunteer, work, and shadow), research, AND deal with new medications and therapy.

How would you guys define competitive? Strictly by credits per semester? Or science courses per semester?

Also, would it be TMI to even mention my past in my apps?
 
2

235788

14-16 credit hours a semester/3.7+ gpa/Traditional EC's + a little extra/Glowing lors/Good looking.


Its a total crap shoot for science credit hours per semester. Many people on here will say it doesn't matter.... however each adcom hold's their bias (especially the ones who are hard science professors).


Maybe you need some time to figure out your rhythm and what you have to do with your meds before jumping back into things? It would be better than jumping in, and getting 3 W's (worst case scenario).
 

theseeker4

PGY 3
7+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2011
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Suburban Detroit, MI
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  1. Resident [Any Field]
I've spent the last few years harming myself both physically and emotionally. I've strived at community college and made lasting connections with professors while struggling to keep up the act.

I'm transferring to a large research university and seeking help (finally). I know that it's going to be a struggle. Science and math aren't my strongest areas and I was hoping to spread out my pre-med requisites while taking courses that do emphasize my strengths (art, psych, anthropology).

So basically, my pre-med advisor says slowing the pace will suck any competitiveness out of my apps. I can't realistically take 18+ credits, juggle EC's (I volunteer, work, and shadow), research, AND deal with new medications and therapy.

How would you guys define competitive? Strictly by credits per semester? Or science courses per semester?

Also, would it be TMI to even mention my past in my apps?
You are a ways away from worrying about what to put in your application at this point, especially since you want to know how you have adjusted with the help you are just starting before you can talk about how you have adjusted. Whether it is ultimately TMI depends on exactly what you would include, specifically, something you probably wouldn't want to broadcast on here.

Having a light load might not be as impressive as a heavy load, but the most important part of your academics is the numbers. A high GPA and MCAT will be much more impressive than a high course load with a lower GPA and/or MCAT. Do NOT sacrifice your grades because you think you need a heavy course load. Do what you need to do to keep your grades up, period.

Grades and MCAT are the first level to judge competitiveness. EC's, especially meaningful leadership, healthcare related work, research, tutoring, etc. probably also trump your course load, number of science classes, etc. I don't know anything about your numbers, but I would be very skeptical of the claim that taking a lighter course load while keeping up substantial EC's would "suck the competitiveness out of your app."

As an aside, if you are just now getting help, is it a good idea to also change schools at the same time? I am not an expert by any means, but make sure you discuss with whatever health professional you are seeking help from whether you should delay transferring to a new school until you have your other issues more under control. :luck:
 

kexy

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2009
990
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  1. Attending Physician
I've spent the last few years harming myself both physically and emotionally. I've strived at community college and made lasting connections with professors while struggling to keep up the act.

I'm transferring to a large research university and seeking help (finally). I know that it's going to be a struggle. Science and math aren't my strongest areas and I was hoping to spread out my pre-med requisites while taking courses that do emphasize my strengths (art, psych, anthropology).

So basically, my pre-med advisor says slowing the pace will suck any competitiveness out of my apps. I can't realistically take 18+ credits, juggle EC's (I volunteer, work, and shadow), research, AND deal with new medications and therapy.

How would you guys define competitive? Strictly by credits per semester? Or science courses per semester?

Also, would it be TMI to even mention my past in my apps?

I would probably not mention a history of SI on an app unless you get through it, it's long in the past, and you have to mention it to explain your interest in medicine. Volunteering at a suicide hotline or acting as a peer counselor or something may show that you have used your own struggle to better serve others, which might be a good thing to put on an app.

For right now, definitely take it slow. I would major in a subject you're good in (like art, psych, or anthro) that you can get good grades in. I wouldn't worry about taking just 1 prereq at a time. I generally took 1 at a time and never took more than 2 at a time, and I managed to get in several places. It would eventually be ideal to take a nearly full course load (whatever your school defines that as, usually >12 semester units), but you should hold off on that until you're closer to applying and your mental health is taken care of. Right now, your mental health is more important than anything, and most schools surely wouldn't fault you for taking a light load your very first semester at a new school--so take it slow for now!

FWIW, I know someone who took only 12 semester units every semester of college, and was accepted to a top 40 medical school. He was doing research 20 hours/week. Though it may hurt you with some adcoms, I'm sure others would understand and would appreciate that you were also working. And, as others have said, a high GPA is MUCH more important than a heavy courseload. So don't sacrifice your grades for anything.

I'm glad you're seeking help, and good luck!
 
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