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What should I do, MPH vs Paramedic?

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Which Option should I go with?


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CanadianCamel

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My situation is very complex but I will attempt to summarize as briefly as possible.
I've always wanted to be a doctor but I'm standing in a pretty sticky situation.

In brief:

My junior year I studied abroad in Spain (with no previous knowledge of Spanish) for a semester and that pushed me back a year. Certain classes are offered in the fall/spring only and due to that I had to wait an entire cycle to get back on track. I didn't really mind this though because I felt like my experience was invaluable and I would not change what happened.

About a year ago, I got a D.U.I right before turning 21. I was not drunk, however, I made a very poor choice and I take responsibility for my actions. I had a few additional charges that got dropped as long as I accepted the deal and pleaded guilty for the D.U.I.. I might have been able to win the case but I did not want the possibility of losing one of the other charges, because while a D.U.I will significantly hinder my ability to get in to medschool, the other case would render me 100% incapable due to the current laws. With legalization occurring at the moment, it might be different but oh well. I can't change what happened.

I have no research experience as this is not something I would like to do and doing something purely to buff my CV is not in my interests. I have no clinical experience apart from volunteering for the Red Cross (for a total of 20-30 hours max), shadowing surgeons in the Hospital (also probably 30-50 hours worth) and shadowing a few family physicians back in High School (20 hours worth approximately). I also had CPR, AED and first aid certifications but then again this is all about 4-5 years ago. The only current volunteering I do is for my local religious organization (something I spend a lot of time towards.)

I'm about to graduate with a bachelors in Biology and my GPA will hopefully be just a hair above 3.0 when these grade deletes go through. I've had a lot of personal issues (including my mom's health conditions and religious instability) that has led me to make poor decisions and prevented me from achieving a higher GPA. I'm a pretty smart guy and I'm definitely smarter then the 3.0 that I achieved but I was lazy in putting the effort throughout the past few years. My parents put me in such a tight box growing up that throughout college, my only concerns were learning to socialize, talk to girls and actually learn to enjoy life. That came along with temptations such as partying, alcohol and trying to get laid, things that were all foreign to me throughout high school. I believe that this is the majority of why I'm in the situation that I'm in but at the end of the day, I made my own decisions and I'm the only one at fault for that.

From the admission point of view, my chances are pretty botched right now but I will not give up. Being a physician has always been a dream and getting into emergency medicine and helping people is something I can not settle to lose. Something that I have going for me is my personality and my charisma. I'm a very social guy now and I believe this will help me push past these hurdles.

I also work as a Pharmacy Technician (1 year total) and am planning on getting a position as a scribe soon.

Anyways, now that you're caught up with the majority of my life, this is my current situation.
This summer I will be studying to take my MCAT. Med School is not in the picture for the next cycle, meaning I have at least one year before I go down that path. I had a plan but recently I've been second guessing it and now I can't seem to make a decision between my options so I figured I'd ask on here.

Option 1)
Pursue a Masters in Public Health which would take 2 years. This will also give me 2 years to attempt to buff my resume a little bit. I'm currently working in obtaining the Recommendation Letters but I'm starting to second guess this option.

Option 2)
Take a year off in order to get away from school and mature a little bit. I will use this time to volunteer but mostly to increase my knowledge. I will become well acquainted with the material on the MCAT (assuming this summer does not prove to be enough time) and I will continue to pursue my knowledge of languages. I personally love languages and at a certain point, I used to be able to speak 4: English, Arabic, French and Spanish. I still speak English and Arabic fluently. French is something that I have learned twice and forgotten twice. The last time I forgot it was due to Spanish taking over that region of my brain. It is still somewhere in my brain as I recognize the language pretty easily and a few months of training and I'll be back to being near fluent. It has also been 2 years since Spain so a refresher is a must if I want to continue being able to converse. I have lost a lot of the language in the past year. I will also take this time to read some books as I have really been slacking on that. Taking some time off scares me because I don't want to waste time but it also seems like it might be something I need at the moment.

Option 3)
I've been leaning towards this one the most recently. I'm contemplating going for my EMT-basic certification and taking that as far as I can (in order to become a Paramedic.) This will not only solidify my passion for the emergency medicine field but it will also give me invaluable experience. Furthermore, If I for some reason don't make it to med school, being a Paramedic is a much better back up plan for me then a MPH is. At least this is how I feel. Since the courses are not very heavy (academically speaking), I could also take time to do all the above under option 2 (languages, reading, expanding knowledge, ect.)


I'm sorry that this was so long but I felt like this was all relevant information as I'm in a pretty unique situation. Tell me what you guys think and please I don't need to hear that I won't make it, or it won't happen and do not tell me to do research. I will keep trying to get into medical school even if it takes me my entire lifespan. Also, I'm going to try for D.O schools when the time comes. It will not only be easier but I'm very fond of their osteopathic approach to medicine.
 

CanadianCamel

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I know. I was told MPH would be good because it's a "professional health career" and it would help me a lot in getting into med school (due to them looking for health professionals ect). Especially if I were to get a high GPA post-grad. But no one really knows about my whole situation (especially my D.U.I) so it's hard to get a full answer based on my situation. I have to be able to convince the admission guys that I took time to mature, reflect and improve after my life nearly came crashing down (once again a reference to the D.U.I)
 

TheoryOfEverything

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Honestly, none of those options are the best thing for you.

Retake courses you got C or lower in. Bring GPA up to 3.25+
Study for MCAT, take it when you're actually ready.
Shadowing, clinical volunteering, non-clinical volunteering (maybe something related to alcohol awareness to show you've learned).

Do those.
 
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CanadianCamel

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I don't want to continue being in undergrad. This is my fifth year and I'm retaking some courses and It looks like I'm sitting in the B range. I just want to put undergrad past me and start the next chapter without dwelling on the past and attempting to fix what I already messed up. I need a clean slate. That's why grad school seemed appealing. I will definitely take the MCAT when I'm ready and I'll also do the rest of the stuff (especially the alcohol idea which is good). But you don't think that being a paramedic would be good? I'm planning on going into Emergency Medicine so I feel like it would be very beneficial.
 

bcurtis

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Please don't waste time and money on becoming a paramedic when you want to become a physician. That makes little to no sense. Work on your medical school application through retakes, volunteer work, ECs, shadowing, and knock out the MCAT. Boom you're in medical school.

I don't want to continue being in undergrad. This is my fifth year and I'm retaking some courses and It looks like I'm sitting in the B range. I just want to put undergrad past me and start the next chapter without dwelling on the past and attempting to fix what I already messed up. I need a clean slate. That's why grad school seemed appealing. I will definitely take the MCAT when I'm ready and I'll also do the rest of the stuff (especially the alcohol idea which is good). But you don't think that being a paramedic would be good? I'm planning on going into Emergency Medicine so I feel like it would be very beneficial.
 

TheoryOfEverything

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Everyone here will tell you to retake courses to improve your GPA. A 3.0 just isn't gonna cut it most of the time. You don't have to retake the courses at your undergrad institution, you can take them at a community college or another university. Paramedic would definitely be a cool experience, but GPA and MCAT holds the vast majority of weight in your application, so you need them to be as high as possible.
 

CanadianCamel

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So doing everything you guys said (extracurriculars, volunteering, shadowing, clinical experience) is something I plan doing no matter the course I take.

Everyone is also telling me to retake courses but I'm not sure how I feel about that. This semester I'm currently taking 4 retakes (Human Physiology, Biochemistry II, Immunology and Medical Ethics) and I think Medical Ethics is the only course that I'm going to get an A in. I've been in undergrad for 5 years that I feel stuck and I have no motivation to retake the same courses in order to show schools that I'm actually able to score an A. It's also not guaranteed that I'll get an 'A' in these courses, which will hinder the aspect of the retakes. You could mess up just one exam, due to sickness or some other issue and boom, you're now getting a 'B' at best. I really just want to find an option where I can put undergrad behind me, open a new leaf and excel in that. Dwelling on the past and continuing to focus on retakes is doing nothing but stressing me out, making me depressed and slowing me down (in my opinion). This is partly why I wanted to continue to graduate school. I initially thought of pursuing a masters in Biology then I realized that I didn't want that nor would that provide me with an ideal backup plan suited for my needs. I then started to look at the MPH degree and found it a perfect suit. However, I'm currently in this stressful state in which I'm unsure of everything and contemplating becoming a paramedic as a back-up plan while I continue to boost my resume. I also feel as being a paramedic would not only be awesome but would provide me with a much better back up plan then some government health position that I'm not all too excited for.

Do you guys have an alternate opinions besides attempting to clean my mess? Instead of cleaning my mess, I'd like to excel in something to the point that the mess from before seems insignificant in hindsight. For example, if I go into graduate school and drop a 3.75 GPA, I feel it would look very good. I don't want my undergrad running past these 5 years I've been here. Anything more is just pathetic in my opinion. I could be wrong though.

Also as far as the MCAT goes, I feel like with proper preparation I could land a 28+ and might even hit a 30. Like I said, as far as learning goes, I'm a pretty smart guy. I've just made poor decisions and distributed my focus on all the wrong things.
 

MarshMedic

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Well getting your EMT would derail you even more. Good experience and an employable skill but EMT class is 6mo (part time class) then you'd need to get experience as an EMT (~1 yr) than it's a 1-2yr paramedic class. If you want to be a doctor retake the classes and kill the mcat. I went the paramedic route because I had no idea I wanted to try to go to med school till I was a sr in college. While what I learned and the experiences and friends I have from my fire company are invaluable not going the direct/bio major route has slowed me down considerably.
 
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MarshMedic

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And as far as what I've seen here, on sdn, grad school doesn't do a while lot for admissions unless it is a science or very rigorous masters. It might suck but I think your best bet is to get that gpa up with retakes.
 

heartsink

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So doing everything you guys said (extracurriculars, volunteering, shadowing, clinical experience) is something I plan doing no matter the course I take.

Everyone is also telling me to retake courses but I'm not sure how I feel about that. This semester I'm currently taking 4 retakes (Human Physiology, Biochemistry II, Immunology and Medical Ethics) and I think Medical Ethics is the only course that I'm going to get an A in. I've been in undergrad for 5 years that I feel stuck and I have no motivation to retake the same courses in order to show schools that I'm actually able to score an A. It's also not guaranteed that I'll get an 'A' in these courses, which will hinder the aspect of the retakes. You could mess up just one exam, due to sickness or some other issue and boom, you're now getting a 'B' at best. I really just want to find an option where I can put undergrad behind me, open a new leaf and excel in that. Dwelling on the past and continuing to focus on retakes is doing nothing but stressing me out, making me depressed and slowing me down (in my opinion). This is partly why I wanted to continue to graduate school. I initially thought of pursuing a masters in Biology then I realized that I didn't want that nor would that provide me with an ideal backup plan suited for my needs. I then started to look at the MPH degree and found it a perfect suit. However, I'm currently in this stressful state in which I'm unsure of everything and contemplating becoming a paramedic as a back-up plan while I continue to boost my resume. I also feel as being a paramedic would not only be awesome but would provide me with a much better back up plan then some government health position that I'm not all too excited for.

Do you guys have an alternate opinions besides attempting to clean my mess? Instead of cleaning my mess, I'd like to excel in something to the point that the mess from before seems insignificant in hindsight. For example, if I go into graduate school and drop a 3.75 GPA, I feel it would look very good. I don't want my undergrad running past these 5 years I've been here. Anything more is just pathetic in my opinion. I could be wrong though.

Also as far as the MCAT goes, I feel like with proper preparation I could land a 28+ and might even hit a 30. Like I said, as far as learning goes, I'm a pretty smart guy. I've just made poor decisions and distributed my focus on all the wrong things.

You're not getting a "clean slate". That's gone.

Your best bet at this point, realistically, is D.O. and that's only if you do the retakes that you don't want to do. Everything from your posts tells me you have one foot in the med school plan and one foot in paramedic as a backup. The Dirty Dancing rule for Baby applies to med school; no one puts med school in the corner -- you make it your lone priority or you don't have a serious chance. The reason everyone keeps telling you the same thing is because there is only one thing to tell you; retake your subpar grades. I myself am battling a mediocre sGPA right now and all my concentration is on reassessing what I can further do to limit distractions, regain focus and knock out my remaining sciences.

Find out whether you're ready to commit to this first, and then do what everyone above me just said.
 
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GUH

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MPH will not help you with your GPA or science GPA.
It helped mine somewhat.

However, I would almost certainly have not gotten in if I hadn't gone back and successfully retaken weaker undergraduate prerequisites.
I agree with the posters who said that the best way to go if you are determined to become a DO is to retake your prerequisites.

You could look into a premed SMP, but it will be much harder to succeed in most SMPs than to just nail your retakes.
 
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pericardium

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Just a heads up, having a DUI on your record will significantly reduce and possibly even destroy your chances of getting hired as an EMT or a Paramedic on an ambulance because you are significantly harder to insure. I've been an EMT for 3 years and I'm a paramedic student and I've seen quite a few EMS careers get destroyed by DUI's.

Working in EMS has been nothing short of amazing, but as others have said, its GPA and MCAT that get you into school.
 
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Deranged Medic

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Just a heads up, having a DUI on your record will significantly reduce and possibly even destroy your chances of getting hired as an EMT or a Paramedic on an ambulance because you are significantly harder to insure. I've been an EMT for 3 years and I'm a paramedic student and I've seen quite a few EMS careers get destroyed by DUI's.

Working in EMS has been nothing short of amazing, but as others have said, its GPA and MCAT that get you into school.

I was getting ready to write this exact post. I know many fellow medics/EMTs who have had careers derailed due to DUIs.
 
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The fact that the MCAT is only mentioned once in your post and that is just in passing is a problem. Your plan should be based on taking the MCAT. It shouldn't be an aside. Once you take the MCAT you can then decide whether med school is even an option still. For instance if you get a 15 then you're clearly living in a fantasy world and you should pursue a more realistic career but if you get a 35 then some/many DO schools might be willing to overlook your low GPA and DUI. A score in the high 20s is going to require the course retakes you are trying to avoid because when you apply with that big of a red flag you have to be at least an above average candidate to be worth the risk.

EDIT: I'm talking about the "old" MCAT scores. Convert to new scores as necessary.
 
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bcurtis

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Doesn't sound like OP wants it bad enough IMO.

Twice I've read posts from OP arguing against taking retakes bases on what if possibilities. If I'm honest, you're fretting UG classes (that are retakes) sooo what makes you think you can tackle med school courses?
 
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AM508

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Grade repair is key at this point. An MPH will just get your more debt with little to show for it. Your best bet is retaking those classes that are a C or less.

As much as I would like to recommend paramedic(I was an EMT for 2 years and a paramedic for 8) it would not be an efficient use of your time. If you just get an EMT-B cert and then move on to paramedic, chances are you will be a sub par medic, and that won't help you any. I was a field preceptor for paramedic students and most of the ones we got fresh out of EMT-B class with no field experience as a basic were pretty lousy. The EMS training builds on itself, so if you don't have a good basic foundation (which comes from experience) you will unlikely be a good medic. It would take at least 2 years to even get to starting the medic path. Its a great job, but it takes a few years. Plus, as others have mentioned the DUI could hurt your ability to get a job with an EMS agency due to driving requirements.
 
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CanadianCamel

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"Twice I've read posts from OP arguing against taking retakes bases on what if possibilities. If I'm honest, you're fretting UG classes (that are retakes) sooo what makes you think you can tackle med school courses?"

You guys are making it seem as if grade deletes/retakes are my only option. If this is the case then I will go ahead and graduate but continue to retake all the basic and introductory classes that I got a C or under. I just want to go with my best option and I thought that paramedic might have been a good one. It seems as though you guys don't think so.

I'm fretting over UG classes because I feel as if I don't HAVE TO do it to complete the process. However with Med school classes, It's a necessity to tackle the courses. If I find that retaking classes becomes a priority and a necessity then by all means I will do so. You guys don't think that going in after 5 years and graduating in order to retake courses like Elem Chem, Gen Chem, Bio 1, ect. will look bad? Also, if paramedic is out of the question, would going for the EMT-B certification be worth it or would it better to spend my volunteer hours elsewhere?
 

AlteredScale

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You guys don't think that going in after 5 years and graduating in order to retake courses like Elem Chem, Gen Chem, Bio 1, ect. will look bad? Also, if paramedic is out of the question, would going for the EMT-B certification be worth it or would it better to spend my volunteer hours elsewhere?

I won't look bad retaking classes. So as long as you do them well.

If you need a job and don't have any current clinical exposure, then I'd say go for the EMT-B.
 

pericardium

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You should try to find out if a DUI will make you uninsurable and hold you back from getting hired as an EMT in your area. I live in an urban area in California, where EMTs are dime a dozen, so having a DUI on your driving record will eliminate your chances of getting hired.

On the other hand, scribe is not a bad idea and might be a great experience
 

bcurtis

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It seems to me that have have your mind made up. Nothing we say is going to make you see any different. You're receiving really good advice from this thread, but (no offense) you're being quite stubborn.

If you must, go get EMT-B; it's what I did. I have a good deal of clinical experience that will help. But guess what,

GRADE REPLACEMENT HAS MADE MY APPLICATION BETTER!

There are a lot of smart, advisable people on this forum. I understand it's just a forum and no one can tell you what will make you happy.

Have a good day.


"Twice I've read posts from OP arguing against taking retakes bases on what if possibilities. If I'm honest, you're fretting UG classes (that are retakes) sooo what makes you think you can tackle med school courses?"

You guys are making it seem as if grade deletes/retakes are my only option. If this is the case then I will go ahead and graduate but continue to retake all the basic and introductory classes that I got a C or under. I just want to go with my best option and I thought that paramedic might have been a good one. It seems as though you guys don't think so.

I'm fretting over UG classes because I feel as if I don't HAVE TO do it to complete the process. However with Med school classes, It's a necessity to tackle the courses. If I find that retaking classes becomes a priority and a necessity then by all means I will do so. You guys don't think that going in after 5 years and graduating in order to retake courses like Elem Chem, Gen Chem, Bio 1, ect. will look bad? Also, if paramedic is out of the question, would going for the EMT-B certification be worth it or would it better to spend my volunteer hours elsewhere?
 
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darkeon

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As the other 200+ people said, retakes. You stated you were still enrolled in your bachelor's..so you haven't graduated yet. I would recommend postponing your graduation until you graduate to keep priority in class registration. However, if there are classes you can retake at a CC.

Your MPH idea won't help here. Typically there are little to no science classes that would be added in to your sci gpa for DO schools. As for MD schools, I'm sure you know that no master's gets added with your u-gpa.

If undergrad classes truly torment you, then as mentioned above, do an SMP. 1 year of med school-like classes that makes you competitive for medical school. You would fit the profile for a candidate who can benefit from it (low gpa). you might need an mcat score for a good number of them though.

If you need money, be an emt (also as mentioned above). You seem to want to rush things to get titles and degrees and that won't get you far. Take a few steps back and correct your defeicts in whatever courses needed OR take the shot at a SMP. Those are your more viable options, completely outweighing any master's program you are considering.
 
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xBODOMx

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phenobb

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I'll go ahead and be the mean person. I can already tell you you're done. Find something else.

The amount times all of your replies say "I have no motivation.." "I don't want to retake" and how you gloss the MCAT + your DUI. No research experience, no clinical expierence, no volunteering experience? What have you been doing for five years. In reality, I think you should retake your poor grades and then 100% focus on the MCAT, but I think you'll just waste your time. Your DUI was only one year ago, which means you only just recently finished the court hearings for that. Plus your obvious mention of using marijuana. You haven't matured enough. If you really want to be a physician, find something else to do for the next few years, come back when you're more mature and retake your classes and do well on the MCAT.

Just my two cents.

Would like to agree with this poster. You seem to be all over the place, and have wasted lots of times chasing unicorns and rainbows. No one cares how many languages you speak. Do not take a year off to pursue this meaningless passion. Medical school is not the peace corps.

You need to take a weekend and ruthlessly reassess yourself and the choices you have made. I suspect that you already know what you need to do, and will find the "motivation" to do it if you decide that medicine is REALLY your goal.
 
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Vespasian

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About a year ago, I got a D.U.I right before turning 21.

I have no research experience as this is not something I would like to do and doing something purely to buff my CV is not in my interests.

I'm about to graduate with a bachelors in Biology and my GPA will hopefully be just a hair above 3.0 when these grade deletes go through. I


Option 1)
Pursue a Masters in Public Health which would take 2 years. This will also give me 2 years to attempt to buff my resume a little bit. I'm currently working in obtaining the Recommendation Letters but I'm starting to second guess this option.

A DUI, no research or demonstrated public health interest, ~3.0 GPA... Not sure you'll be accepted at any non-degree mills. Even if you were, spending $30,000+ (minimum) to buy yourself more time isn't a brilliant move.

Being an undergrad can suck. Retaking classes and maturing is smart. Spending a ton of money on a degree in a field you aren't interested in is dumb.
 
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NontradCA

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This is not complex at all. You're a mediocre student who has made poor choices in the past. You have to do better. :shrug:
 
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DocWinter

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You come here asking for advice, and then state you don't want to go back and take UG courses (the advice). Dude you have a DUI and a no go application. You don't have drive and motivation and you don't want to do the hard work, you keep trying to find the easy way.
You're not going to become a physician that way, nor should you
 
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CanadianCamel

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I appreciate the posts guys, especially the "meaner" ones. Some of the assumptions are wrong but some of them are spot on. I'm definitely going to spend this summer reassessing everything as well as preparing for the MCAT. I'm going to graduate in 2 weeks but I will come back to retake a few courses next year. I have thought about the advice in here and I've gotten a second opinion and it seems to be my best option. I was looking for the most "comfortable" route and that's just not how it's going to work, especially since I've been going the "comfortable" route for the past 4 years.
 
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phenobb

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Sounds like a plan. Now make it happen. And stay away from the booze and drugs. That part of your life is over. Permanently.
 
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DO2015CA

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Sounds like a plan. Now make it happen. And stay away from the booze and drugs. That part of your life is over. Permanently.

Wrong... Coffee is the only drug you'll need for the next decade of your life :)
 
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bcurtis

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This is the type of post I've been hoping to see from you OP. This shows maturity, in place of doubtfulness. Stick to it and as I've said before, this forum can be a great place to seek advice, and to kill time while talking to some pretty cool people.

Wish you the best of luck! Feel free to PM me any time for other questions.

I appreciate the posts guys, especially the "meaner" ones. Some of the assumptions are wrong but some of them are spot on. I'm definitely going to spend this summer reassessing everything as well as preparing for the MCAT. I'm going to graduate in 2 weeks but I will come back to retake a few courses next year. I have thought about the advice in here and I've gotten a second opinion and it seems to be my best option. I was looking for the most "comfortable" route and that's just not how it's going to work, especially since I've been going the "comfortable" route for the past 4 years.
 

Fedekz

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Good luck finding employment in he near future as an EMT-b with a DUI on your driving record. The sole job of the basic is to drive. You would look like an insurance nightmare, not to mention no experience. Most decent and accredited paramedic schools require x amount of years or hours as a basic before accepting you into their paramedic program. The ones around here require 2 years experience minimum. There is one school locally that allows you to go from zero to hero in a fast tracked program requiring no basic experience but the drawback is they aren't CAAHEP accredited so you can't work in the state. It's meant for oil rig workers to get their paramedic, pass nremt then work on an oil rig.

So, you would spend 5 months getting your basic, 2 years working as a basic to get into paramedic school, 2 years in paramedic school then you're free. By that time you might as well just buckle down and get into medical school
 
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CanadianCamel

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I appreciate the help guys. I have a question on the cycle though.
When would I need to have my MCAT done by and when would I need to submit my application if I hope to get into Medical School for the year of 2016.
Ideally, I would love to fix myself up during the summer and the following semester and then begin the application process.

And would it worth the time to retake bio/chem labs if I got a C- ? Or should I just focus on the main courses. For example, I'll have to retake Elementary Chemistry, General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II. I already have a few retakes in the process this semester(Human Physiology, Biochemistry II and Medical Ethics). I could add a higher level elective to those classes next semester and I might even take Anatomy (since It is recommended on my top choice's website WVSOM). Let me know what you guys think.
 
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CanadianCamel

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Looks like It ends on February 15 and it opened a few days ago >.<
If I finish my MCAT and only have one semester full of retakes left, would I still be on track?? I could possibly have my application done around December.
 

NonTrad16

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I appreciate the help guys. I have a question on the cycle though.
When would I need to have my MCAT done by and when would I need to submit my application if I hope to get into Medical School for the year of 2016.
Ideally, I would love to fix myself up during the summer and the following semester and then begin the application process.

And would it worth the time to retake bio/chem labs if I got a C- ? Or should I just focus on the main courses. For example, I'll have to retake Elementary Chemistry, General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II. I already have a few retakes in the process this semester(Human Physiology, Biochemistry II and Medical Ethics). I could add a higher level elective to those classes next semester and I might even take Anatomy (since It is recommended on my top choice's website WVSOM). Let me know what you guys think.

You're out of commission this cycle. The more time between your dui and application, the better. And you cannot rush this process. You NEED to ace your retakes. You need to do well on the MCAT. This alone will take a year or more.

Seriously... Stop trying to make it easier/faster. The 7 years (min) of medical school and residency will be a mountain to the molehill of this year, but this is not going to be a cakewalk either. Look at it from the schools perspective: they have thousands of people with grades higher than yours, no record, and a history of commitment to the pursuit of medicine. Why will they choose you, now?

As for GPA: you have all your grades at your fingertips. I'd suggest calculating how many retakes you need to get within .1-.3 of the average GPAs of the schools you're looking at.
 

CanadianCamel

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I will be within .1 of the average of WVSOM's GPA if I land A's in Elementary Chem and Gen Chem 1/2. I will be around the 3.2 region.
This will only take one semester. One semeter + 3 months of summer = more than enough to study for MCAT.

I can have my application in by December/January and continue doing shadowing/other things from January until Fall of 2016.

The application deadline for WVSOM is February 15. I feel like that should be more than enough time. I already have completed some retakes and went from a C/C- to a B/B+. Next semester, I will retake the previously mentioned classes(Elem Chem/Gen ChemI/II) and possibly one elective and I WILL get As in them as well as get my priorities straight this summer leading up to the fall.

I am confused. I thought all these comments were about doing retakes and enhancing my resume next year and being in medical school the year after that.

You are telling me that I need to take 2 years off now ?
 
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NonTrad16

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To clarify: you want to apply to the cycle opening now? Submitting your application in December/Jan? 7 months from now? Postive side: your application verification would likely be very quick! (If I misintrepreted this, and you mean apply in 19 months, see last paragraph).

Truthfully, I think that sounds like a bad idea. You would be late in the cycle, with a big red flag, a GPA below average and unknown MCAT. My previous question still stands... Why do you think they would pick you over someone else? Medical schools are risk averse.

You previously suggested an MPH (costing 2 years and tuition), so being able to work (make money, gain experience) and create a strong application seems delightful by comparison.

Given the extra year (applying June 2016) you can apply early, get a higher GPA, assure you study well for the MCAT (less pressure), show your continued commitment, and distance yourself from your red flag (dui), which is a big deal. That seems like a win-win.
 

CanadianCamel

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I am starting to see your point but I'm just dreading on the fact that it will have taken me 7 years to get from freshmen year to medical schools ASSUMING I get in the first year.

I also only have enough retakes for one semester. I would have to add some higher level courses if anything. Meaning semester 1 would be Elem Chem, Gen Chem 1 and a higher level elective, while semester 2 will be Gen Chem II, and any additional higher level electives.

Let's assume I apply June 2016, what would I be doing from June 2016 to Fall of 2017. That's an entire year :(
I was hoping I could do what I needed to do this year, apply for the fall of 2016 and if I don't make it, continue with the same plan you are mentioning and re-apply for 2017. The majority of this will really come into play when I start to realize how long it'll take me for the MCAT (it might take me 3 months but it might also take me twice as much)
 

NonTrad16

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I graduated with a BS in 2010, MS in 2012, and I'm applying in 2015. It will have taken me 9 years from starting college to applying, so I have friends who matched last March. I had an undergraduate student from my lab also match. It happens. Focus on your journey to get there, and do not worry about "what could have been". That's exhausting, and quite toxic.
 
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CanadianCamel

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Ok let's assume that I apply June 2016. What would I possibly be doing from June 2016 until the fall of 2017?
 

change4med

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Ok let's assume that I apply June 2016. What would I possibly be doing from June 2016 until the fall of 2017?

Working? That's up to you man, what are you doing in your daily life currently?

Honestly if you want to apply this cycle, go for it. NonTrad16 is giving the exact same advice I would give, but if you don't want to listen to it, by all means apply in December and hope you get in somewhere.

1) Earlier in the cycle= better chance at getting an acceptance. Cycle to get in Fall 2016 STARTS next month; ENDS Feb. The people who get interviews/acceptance after submitting their application later in Jan/Feb are ones with much higher stats than the average person who gets in earlier in June.
You have a DUI and low stats, tbh I'd be really surprised if you got in anywhere applying June, let alone that late in the cycle.

You can always apply this year and reapply again if you don't get in. Just know you have to significantly improve your app if you're a reapplicant. People have already told you it's going to be at least a year (IMO it'd be longer than that) before you should apply (June 2016) to get in the year after (Fall 2017), not sure why you thought you'd be in somewhere 2016*.
 
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kalat

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My few cents:

First, you only want to apply once; the application process is very taxing financially/psychologically. Second, being an EMT/paramedic is a career (or part of a career) for most people doing it, not a "stepping stone" to medical school as many seem to view it as. Third, the majority of us (myself included) are not special; the application process is very much a complex lottery that owes as much to circumstance and luck as much as it does merit - did I mention you only want to apply once? Finally, don't consider yourself fit to apply until your take the MCAT and receive your score. I think the single biggest mistake I made was not having my MCAT score before I started applying. It means a lot as far as your application strategy is concerned. Don't bet on long odds unless you're willing to lose.
 
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el_duderino

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From *now* until Fall 2017 you should be volunteering and leading. Fix your grades, get a job. Real-world work experience is valuable and can help establish and show maturity, which is something you need.
 

jsmith522

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Everyone has summed up pretty well. As a paramedic going to medical school don't become a paramedic to become a physician. One you most likely will get burned out on medicine, especially paramedicine. Two if I listened to a good friend I would have sucked it up and studied my ass off to become a physician. Instead twenty one years later I am going to school. I lost that becoming a paramedic and working a crazy career. Ok so I am dragging on. I would retake classes find a grad program that is a strong science program and build up those life experiences that show people why you want to become a physician.
 
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