Mar 28, 2010
16
0
0
Oklahoma
Status
Pre-Medical
Here is my situation: I'm 27 years old. I started college last August with the purpose of eventually making it into medical school. So far, things are going great. I have straight A's and intend on graduating with a 4.0 (I know it's still early in my college career, but that is what I'm aiming for). I recently obtained my CNA certification and plan on volunteering at the local hospital under that capacity for clinical experience and to help bolster my application. When I begin to take my upper level science courses, I also intend to take advantage of every available research opportunity. I haven't yet joined the pre-professional club at my school but plan to at the beginning of the fall semester (I've spent my freshman year acclimating myself to college life as I have been out of school since high school).

Here's the kicker: Before I started this whole endeavor, I was an absolute do-nothing. I have a terrible work history that includes going from menial job to menial job (mostly fast-food) with no direction or goals. The majority of my free time consisted of video games, Cheetos and soda. For the sake of brevity, I'll spare you the details of how my outlook on life has changed.

Do you think an admission board will be willing to overlook my past in light of how I've changed and how I now have a genuine desire to help people and make something of myself? I keep trying to reassure myself that if I do well academically over the next few years, do exceptionally well on the MCAT and get tons of clinical and research experience, that I can prove to an admissions board that I am serious about this and that I am very capable of completing medical school and becoming a physician. What do you think?
 

canjosh

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2004
1,171
1
141
Houston
Status
Medical Student
Adcoms care about your academic history. Your academic history is spotless so far. They actually like to see people that change their outlook on life due to some circumstance(s). As long as you don't have a felony criminal background or something, your do-nothingness shouldn't come back to haunt you. You'll just have to explain what it was that caused you to change your ways, and what it is that motivates you to pursue medicine.
 
Sep 4, 2006
30,590
10,408
281
Inside the tesseract
Do you think an admission board will be willing to overlook my past in light of how I've changed and how I now have a genuine desire to help people and make something of myself?
Adcomms love a good redemption story. Don't worry about your past employment history. You'll have three years of solid performance, community service, research, and maybe leadership or teaching on your application to demonstrate your turn-around.

Clubs don't help you unless you rise to a leadership position or use them as a springboard to community service, BTW. Don't join, unless you want to.

Just take advantage of one research opportunity so you have in-depth involvement. Don't jump from position to position.

Besides the hospital volunteerism, also get involved in some weekly (2 hours is fine) nonmedical/noncampus community service. Tutor kids, coach something, Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchen, crisis hotline, basically something you care about. Long term dedication is good, so choose carefully.

Another member posted that she intends to list attack squadron leader for her video game of choice as a leadership activity. Leading peers in real life is more appreciated by adcomms, so strategize on how you'll demonstrate this quality.
 
Mar 28, 2010
16
0
0
Oklahoma
Status
Pre-Medical
:) Thank you for the encouraging words, you guys! I really appreciate it. :)

@canjosh: Fortunately, I have no criminal history.

@Catalystik: Our pre-professional club has a job shadowing match-maker who can hook you up with a physician in any specialty you want. That would be my primary motivation for joining.
 
Last edited:
Sep 4, 2006
30,590
10,408
281
Inside the tesseract
Catalystik: Our pre-professional club has a job shadowing match-maker who can hook you up with a physician in any specialty you want. That would be my primary motivation for joining.
Awesome. I wish every campus had that service available. It can be very difficult to find a physician to shadow in some communities.
 
Oct 6, 2009
9
0
0
Los Angeles, CA
Status
Academic Administration
I started med school at 30, after working as a receptionist at an insurance agency during most of my 20's. As long as you write into your personal statement the EVOLUTION of your desire to become a physician, I don't think they will care. ON the contrary, many schools like non-traditional students (older, career changers, etc) because they have MORE LIFE EXPERIENCE than some of the other applicants. GO FOR IT!

Dr. R.