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Thinking of a career move

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by namsu, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. namsu

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    I will be graduating a year early with two degrees in business when i am 21...I have taken an internship and decided that this may not be the career path for me and im seriously considering trying to get into med school....I will graduate with a 3.4 ish...(that is up from a 2.2 my freshman year) and I believe with about a years preperation i can achieve in the low 30s on the MCAT. Would i have a shot at med schools? Is it worth it? If i decide to take the pre-reqs for Med school i will be in school a year longer and forfeit a job i have lined up earning 48k (plus the experience with that job)....So i do not want to even try if its too much of a long shot

    3.4 low 30s on MCAT and shadowing experience with two business majors applying to med school...would that give me a relatively good shot? I have read alot about med schools and how they accept non traditional majors...from what ive read low 30s is good but 3.4 is low do i have a shot? if i had a higher MCAT would that boost my chances...is there a pt. where if your MCAT is high enough they will accept you despite a 3.4....

    i really really would appreciate any help
     
  2. hippocraticoath

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    If you have a 3.4 and a job already lined up. I say take it and run. Your GPA is below average for medical school (especially with that 2.2 - that's going to raise a red flag), you're already about to graduate, and the premedical classes are a pain in a** (and it'll take a lot longer than a year to complete, I think it would be at least two, maybe four years if you want a science degree).

    Since you have a business major, I would say that you should try and stick with it (especially in this economy). Almost all the nontrads that I've talked with decided to go to medical school either because they were laid-off from their previous jobs or because they couldn't find a job after graduating from law school, business school, etc... Yours is a different story. Usually, it's better to go from college right out or have a healthcare background since taking those required classes costs $100,000 in extra loans and you'll be much to old by the time you get out of school.

    In the end, it's really tough to get a job in this economy and I don't think you should throw away your current opportunities with the job that you have. Medical school is becoming more and more difficult to get into. The average accepted applicant has a 3.7 GPA and score in the 85th-90th percentile (that mean's you'd have to do better than 90% of the people who are taking it) and since you haven't taken the science classes yet, I would say you're probably at a disadvantage when it comes time to take the MCAT and apply. I would really save my money and take the job. If you do well in classes and get into medical school. Great. But if you don't, you'll be in $100,000 of debt and you would have lost two or four years of your life, and you might not even get your old job back.
     
  3. dragonfly99

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    This isn't an either/or type of situation. Your GPA is on the low side for a medical school applicant. You don't know what score you would get if you took the MCAT. Don't underestimate it - it's a damn hard test. It's a damn hard test. I had 1400+ on the SAT without really studying, and a 3.8 undergrad GPA and I thought it was a damn hard test. Remember those taking the exam with you were better than average college students and many of them were science majors. That is who you are being ranked against.

    In your situation, I would like to know what science and math courses you have taken, and what grades you got in those. Also, I would like to know how much more college you have to go (i.e. graduating December, graduating in May next year, etc.).

    Just because you didn't like one business internship doesn't mean you're going to hate all of business. It also doesn't mean you are going to like medicine. Medical school is HARD HARD HARD and residency is too. At times I worked >120 hours/week in the hospital as a medical student, and sometimes >80 hours a week in the hospital as a resident. I had to stay there 30hours at a time including overnight. Do you want that for several years of your life? Do you still want to do it even though medical school costs probably 200k all told, and that it will take years to repay that? Do you think you'll like taking care of patients, even if some don't respect you, some might yell at you and/or cry, etc.? You need some volunteer work, etc. with doctors to see if you will actually like being a doctor.

    In your situation, if graduating soon I would take the business job, and then take a chemistry or biology class next semester (should be able to go to night school, etc.). Just see how you do, and if you can ace the class. If you like it, then start volunteering in a hospital or doctor's office. Keep taking whatever science classes you need. Then after a year or two of that, then I would take the MCAT (after studying hard for it).

    The alternative like you said is just do a 5th year of undergrad and take a bunch of science classes. I don't think the 3.4 GPA is too low to be overcome, but I can't name a number you'd need on the MCAT. I would say >30 certainly and the higher the better. Part of it depends on what grades you get in your required premed science classes.

    Since you're still in college why not go to the premed advisor at your university and ask for his/her advice?
     
  4. PunkmedGirl

    PunkmedGirl Freshman Member
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    I believe you really need to look at your options and way them very carefully. If you know deep down that choosing a career in business is going to make you miserable for the rest of your life, then by all means don't pursue it. If you feel that you want to go into medicine and you know without a doubt that you could see yourself being happy and content with all of the ups and downs of medicine then by all means go for it. People are going to tell you that you CAN'T do it or that its IMPOSSIBLE for you to do it or that your crazy for giving up a sure thing for something that's not known yet. But in the end the choose is yours. You don't need a 3.7 or 4.0 to get into medical school, there are plenty of students who have that and still get rejected. You need to ace your pre-med courses and maybe even take one or two upper bio courses which will also help your GPA. Doing well on the MCAT and getting some really good clinical experience is also a must for you to do. Getting into medical school is all about determination and dedication of never giving up.

    Good Luck :)

    Oh and having a 2.2 in your freshman year isn't a red flag especially with an upward trend to 3.4. Now having a 2.2 in your freshman year and in your senior year is a red flag.
     
  5. OP
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    namsu

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    Wow thanks for the quick replies

    to Hippocraticoath:
    I definitely understand what you are saying, and it probably doesnt make logical sense what im thinking about doing but...I really dislike the career path im on...The jobs i have looked in (strategic consulting, finance, accountants) are very mundane boring, or high stress, or just simply something i dont think i want to spend the REST of my life doing. My brother is a consultant and i see how stressed he is..the people i work with everyone hates there job, and they have reason to! I definitley need to do some shadowing and more understanding of what im getting myself into and i am under no illusion of HOW difficult medschool will be, but i feel like i would really enjoy being a doctor helping people instead of focused on when to get this assignment done or answering to superiors reading through reports joining conference calls etc... I am graduating a year early (May 09 I am in my "junior" year), I can always get another job next year thats not the issue to me the issue is forfietting possibly 50k and the year experience all for not getting into medschool. I have heard the MCAT is extremely difficult, but how can it be THAT difficult that studying a year cant guarantee a great grade? Maybe I am being too optomistic, i should have paid attention from the beginning of school... I think your advice is good I will take the job and graduate on time...I guess I will try to study on the side and take a couple of the pre-req classes at night. I took chemistry my first semester at college and I got a C in 1 and 2...But i feel that is because i really didnt try, i had a 2.0 my first semester and a 2.4 my second...I think that is just because I really didnt go to class or do anything...i didnt show up to alot of tests and even to one final. (he let me remake it)...I have read that colleges look highly upon increasing GPAs and if i start studying a year in advance for the MCAT i really feel that i can get a competitive score...I guess the biggest thing if i start studying for the MCAT and taking the pre-req classes I can take the job but my performance at the job will suffer and knowing that the job I am doing is not going to be what im doing the rest of my life (basically a waste of time) seems like a waste to me. I have read about the loans, the long hours, doctors getting treated badly...but i really feel like its a better fit for me. I THRIVE on getting worked hard...I LIKE going to school, i LIKE having alot of tests, i actually like studying...I like talking to people one on one...I guess it will be a tougher road...I will volunteer next semester at a clinic and shadow someone...if its something i really want to do then it will happen if i fail then i didnt want it enough. do you have any other thoughts or input? Thank you so much for your response

    To Dragonfly:
    I understand how hard medschool will be and the tough road ahead i have chosen...thats not really the issue to me. believe it or not im someone who really loves to take tests, i love taking alot of hours and being overloaded with work...I just function better. My first two semesters in college i really screwed up just because i didnt show up to class...I did take chemistry and i got a C both times but simply because I didnt take it seriously...I didnt even show up to the final for the first chemistry. My first semesters i was taking 12 hours and i did worse then when i took 21 hours these past semesters. I dont understand how a test can be THAT hard as people say the MCAT is. I think i will take your and hippocraticoath's advice to not jump into it. I am a year ahead I will take a bio class and pick up an MCAT book next semester and see if its something i think i can plausibly accomplish... I really dig the career path of a doctor though and its something that i feel like would be a better life path for me. I guess i will take the job..And take your advice with night classes. I will graduate a year early at 21 and start the job september... I should be able to finish the pre-reqs Fall of 09 and spring of 10 and take the MCAT in may... If i dont get in at least i will have a job to fall back on. My only problem is that...it will probably be very difficult to find time to shadow, study for the MCAT and apply for med school...but i really feel like i would be happier in medicine then in Business...Do you have any input or advice on anything else ive said? I really appreciate your response! :)
     
  6. OP
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    namsu

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    Punkmedgirl: thanks! I really appreciate your reply! I feel like i really really do know that deep down i just wont like business...i feel like i thought medicine would be too much school and business is something that i felt more safe and secure with. But now that ive worked there and everyone i talk to in different fields...its just bs....I wanna help people, i want to work with people one on one, i want to have a purpose not just hit deadlines. I feel like medicine could fufill alot for me then any business field could...You've given me alot of inspiration...one pre-req i have already taken was Chem 1 and 2 my freshman year and I got a C in both...how big of a deal do you think that will be? If i get an A in phys, ochem, bio, and an upperlevel biochem course do you think that would strengthen my chances? Thanks alot i really appreciate it! :)
     
  7. PunkmedGirl

    PunkmedGirl Freshman Member
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    No problem. I feel that people nowadays don't know how to encourage anymore and would rather make decisions about someone else's life when its their own decisions they are unhappy with. Also, if you don't get in the first time around don't feel its the end of the world either. There are tons of people who don't get in on their first try but do on their second and third try. A C in Chem I and II is fine as long as you rock the rest of your premed courses. I'm not sure if you are aware of this but there are two pathways to become a physician, MD and DO, which can increase your chances of getting accepted into a med school. You can check out the pre-DO and DO forums or pm Chocolatebear or even myself for more information. I think that answers everything.
     
  8. MSmentor018

    MSmentor018 Hooah!
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    here's the bottom line, if you WANT medicine bad enough....set up a plan, keep at it, and do your best on your pre reqs and mcat. don't get too hung up on specific grades and such. there are people with low mcat/gpa that gets in...and I know some with stellar grades/mcat (3.9/37) and didn't get into the few that they applied to, had to wait another year. the general rule of thumb is, the worse you do, the broader you should apply. US schools (MD, DO), carib schools, mexico....etc. FM track, PBL, ISP, SBL....many types of programs to choose from. it's not that uncommon anymore to start in your upper 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's.....you're 21, you've got nothing but time. stay motivated, keep the dream alive. if medicine is for you, you'll find a way to get there. good luck
     
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  9. dragonfly99

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    namsu
    those sound like good reasons for exploring a medical career. It is nice to be able to try and help people every day, and I generally don't go home feeling like what I do doesn't make a difference. However, you have to realize that medicine is also an extremely stressful career in general. It's a different kind of stress than a businessperson at a high powered consulting firm would have, but it's extremely stressful. Make no mistake about that. But you can go shadow a few doctors and see what they all have to say about it too.

    With C's in chemistry I would recommend you consider retaking the chemistry. If you really think you know the stuff, despite making the C's, then maybe you don't need to. However, I would worry about taking organic chem after not having taking any chem. class for 2-3 years and having gotten a C in general chemistry. You want to set yourself up for success, not failure. I think you can do it, but you don't want to screw yourself over by going in to a class unprepared.

    Not sure if your business job will fit in well with studying for premed classes. It's possible to go to school at night and work (I've done it). However, it might be really hard, or even prohibitively difficult, if you have some sort of 60 or 70 hour/week high powered consulting job. I know some of those firms work the new guys really hard...the 50k salary comes at a price. But you could always try it for a few months and then bail for an easier job, or to study full time if necessary. You just want to make sure you don't totally screw up your GPA...so I'd just take one class at a time at first if/when you are starting a new job. Alternatively, you might just want to consider staying in college at least an extra semester so that you could take more of the classes you need.
     
  10. OP
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    namsu

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    Punkmedgirl: I know about the different types of medicine I will definitley look more into that. I feel like i can def. destroy the pre-med courses...physics is something i absolutely love, orgochem is something im scared about, and bio I dont think i'll have a problem in. thank you so much, i will def. read your blog posts:):):)

    MSmentor - yea thats what people say to me...Time isnt really a big deal and if i really want it i want it. The thing is i dont want to go to the carribean and the sooner i actually start the better for me. I realize i will be a year behind if i do get in coming in at 23 but I feel like four 6 or 7 years total I can def. do it

    dragonfly99: you have been really helpful.. I have heard ALOT from doctors and i like the stories i hear. I know that some specialties are more stressful then others but in general you will be stress. i dont mind stress, in fact i dig CERTAIN stress in a way. but the kind of stress that you deal with in the business world i feel like is much different. It encompasses your life, it literally takes your soul, you become irrevocably changed. you can argue that being a doctor no matter what speciality does that as well...but i would rather be changed worrying about how to help people worrying about what the problem is with someone or why can i fix a medical problem then a problem pertaining to an MS project error or a email error. I still have time to choose im going to complete my business degree on time and start studying for the MCAT..Both have advantages. I was thinking and if i do get accepted then i would have to wait a year doing nothing anyways...I was thinking i could get a 1 year masters or i could work for that year...Im pretty sure by that time i can make closer to 60k for the year which could be beneficial in paying off some student loans. If I dont get into a US med-school I dont think ill pursue it. Even if its stressful now, I know there has to be SOME profession in business that i would like...and eventually i know i can find one. I just have the option to go to medschool because of my age, and i feel like since i have people that can support me going to med school, im young enough, and i have been blessed with the opportunities there is nothing from stopping me to go to med school and become a doctor and help people. I think alot of people simply dont have the opportunities to become doctors because of financial obligations, having families early, and a whole plethora of other reasons. If i can do it, why not? What nobler cause is there then to serve your fellow man
     

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