Feb 8, 2013
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Right now I have a horrible GPA of 2.6. I am a second year at UT majoring in Human Biology and pre-med. I'm currently retaking chem 2 (because somehow I ended up with a D+) and biology 2 because I got a C because I messed up on my final. My goals past today are to graduate with a biology degree, go off to medical school and become a pathologist.

So here come my questions.
1. Do I stand a chance? I work two jobs to support myself, so I have limited time to join groups on campus and volunteer or job shadow. However, I plan on doing some job shadowing and volunteering this summer and hopefully spring break. i also plan on retaking classes which leads me to my second question
2. Does retaking classes look bad? Is this an option or should I rethink my career path. These classes being bio 1 and chem 1. I know of the mistakes I made when taking these classes and at the time I didn't know what do to fix it then, but now I do. However, I don't know if this is a good enough claim when medical schools see I took classes over.
3. My main goal is to work in a laboratory setting involving medicine, hence the goal of a becoming a pathologist. However, is there a possibility of reaching this goal by graduating with a biology degree and finding a job? What are my other options with a biology degree?
4. What should I do?!!? I feel completely lost and going to my advisor was a waste of time as she didn't answer my questions. I'm not asking for someone to reassure me, more like someone to tell me the truth. I really need some truth from people as I have no idea. I am just a student who doesn't really know anyone to ask these questions to.

Any help is completely appreciated.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
52,561
76,203
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Not currently. What I see is someone who's overstretched and whose work is preventing him/her from performing at the level needed. Suggest switching to a part-time student status, or work exclusively for a few years, save up some money, and then go to school full time.

1. Do I stand a chance? I work two jobs to support myself, so I have limited time to join groups on campus and volunteer or job shadow. However, I plan on doing some job shadowing and volunteering this summer and hopefully spring break. i also plan on retaking classes which leads me to my second question


The MD programs want you to do it right the first time around, so if your heart is set on that route, they probably do look bad, but re-taking isn't 100% lethal. You do need to show you can master this material. For DO, re-taking replaces your lower grade with the newer, so you can salvage your transcript.

2. Does retaking classes look bad? Is this an option or should I rethink my career path. These classes being bio 1 and chem 1. I know of the mistakes I made when taking these classes and at the time I didn't know what do to fix it then, but now I do. However, I don't know if this is a good enough claim when medical schools see I took classes over.


Not my area of expertise. Perhaps ask at your college's career center. better yet, head down to your local hosptial, find out if the have a pathology dep't, and chat with some Pathologists. But why Pathology. Do you not like touching patients?

Better yet, google is your friend:
http://education-portal.com/become_a_pathologist_technician.html

A biology degree is useful for technician level jobs, provided you have the lab hands. So, if possible, find a research lab to volunteer in. I've known people who got PhDs by starting out as glassware washers.

Another idea, just off the top of my head would be a vet techs. But if you're really serious about a technician/research associate/lab mgr job, then a masters degree would do the trick. Knowing what a hard road it is to medicine, this is what I'd tell my own kids.

3. My main goal is to work in a laboratory setting involving medicine, hence the goal of a becoming a pathologist. However, is there a possibility of reaching this goal by graduating with a biology degree and finding a job? What are my other options with a biology degree?


Think about changing your major. There are a number of science-based jobs that are in high demand and hard to fill because there are few people with those skills. Go do some research and you may find that when one door closes, another opens up.

And under no circumstances major in Art History or Philosophy!
 
Feb 8, 2013
18
0
Status
Pre-Medical
The best thing to do is try to pick a major you wouldnt mind doing as a backup plan in-case medical school doesn't work out. I was environmental science, but decided to switch to chemistry because there is more hard science involved. Taking more hard science classes and actually doing well will go a long ways.

If you can try to look into minor programs at your school, those can offer additional training in other related careers. I'm actually a minor in environmental science. Bio is a pretty good major as far as options.

Though the above poster is probably right, there are better majors out there that are in high demand. Biology majors are pretty high in population in comparison to other science fields. I'm not 100% on this, but this is just what I have observed at my school that has such a huge plethora of biology students.
 
Last edited:
OP
S
Feb 8, 2013
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Not currently. What I see is someone who's overstretched and whose work is preventing him/her from performing at the level needed. Suggest switching to a part-time student status, or work exclusively for a few years, save up some money, and then go to school full time.

So would completing a degree in 4+ years not look horrible when applying to med school? But this is definitely an option I have considered. To take it slow and focus on getting the grades better.


The MD programs want you to do it right the first time around, so if your heart is set on that route, they probably do look bad, but re-taking isn't 100% lethal. You do need to show you can master this material. For DO, re-taking replaces your lower grade with the newer, so you can salvage your transcript.

DO? I'm lost what this means. And I understand that re-taking does look bad, but as I see it as a battle lost but my overall war will be won on getting into med school. I'm not looking to go to John Hopkins. I just want to get in. I'm hoping that I could prove to a medical school that yes, I made mistakes, big, horrible mistakes, but I learned what they were and fixed them and kept fighting. I know med schools are big on accepting people they see that will finish the program in four years and not drop out. I would hope that my constant fight would prove this to them. I could be wrong though.


Not my area of expertise. Perhaps ask at your college's career center. better yet, head down to your local hosptial, find out if the have a pathology dep't, and chat with some Pathologists. But why Pathology. Do you not like touching patients?

Better yet, google is your friend:
http://education-portal.com/become_a_pathologist_technician.html

A biology degree is useful for technician level jobs, provided you have the lab hands. So, if possible, find a research lab to volunteer in. I've known people who got PhDs by starting out as glassware washers.

Another idea, just off the top of my head would be a vet techs. But if you're really serious about a technician/research associate/lab mgr job, then a masters degree would do the trick. Knowing what a hard road it is to medicine, this is what I'd tell my own kids.


I plan on getting in contact with a pathologist. Being in Austin really opens a lot of doors because it is a bigger city to find a hospital with a pathologist. And it's not that I don't want to touch the patients, I just don't want to deal with them! :laugh:


Think about changing your major. There are a number of science-based jobs that are in high demand and hard to fill because there are few people with those skills. Go do some research and you may find that when one door closes, another opens up.

And under no circumstances major in Art History or Philosophy
![/QUOTE]

I've thought about this. Perhaps switching to a kinesology degree or economics. A problem I'm just running into is my advisors give generic advice and don't really try to cater to my specific circumstances, so when I go to ask them these questions I have about switching majors, they give me an answer that doesn't answer my question.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
52,561
76,203
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
No, it's not.


So would completing a degree in 4+ years not look horrible when applying to med school?



D.O. = Doctor of Osteopathy. Start doing some research, because your chances of being one of these right now are greater than one of being an MD. And yes, DO's can become Pathologists.

DO? I'm lost what this means.


Get yout GPA up ot about 3.4-3.5, and do well on the MCAT, and you'll be competetive ffor the low-tier schools like NYMC or Rosy Franklin.

And I understand that re-taking does look bad, but as I see it as a battle lost but my overall war will be won on getting into med school. I'm not looking to go to John Hopkins. I just want to get in. I'm hoping that I could prove to a medical school that yes, I made mistakes, big, horrible mistakes, but I learned what they were and fixed them and kept fighting. I know med schools are big on accepting people they see that will finish the program in four years and not drop out. I would hope that my constant fight would prove this to them.


In all reality, do NOT give off any sort of vibe like this in your PS or interview. Wanting to major in Path right off the bat says you don't like patients, and if interviewer sense this, he'll reject you on the spot.

I plan on getting in contact with a pathologist. Being in Austin really opens a lot of doors because it is a bigger city to find a hospital with a pathologist. And it's not that I don't want to touch the patients, I just don't want to deal with them!

Find a different advisor or talk to your school's career center.



I've thought about this. Perhaps switching to a kinesology degree or economics. A problem I'm just running into is my advisors give generic advice and don't really try to cater to my specific circumstances, so when I go to ask them these questions I have about switching majors, they give me an answer that doesn't answer my question.
 
OP
S
Feb 8, 2013
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
In all reality, do NOT give off any sort of vibe like this in your PS or interview. Wanting to major in Path right off the bat says you don't like patients, and if interviewer sense this, he'll reject you on the spot.

The vibe of not wanting to work with patients or the vibe of losing some battles along the way? It's not that I don't specifically want to work with patients, I just enjoy the other side of medicine better, the actually diagnostics. I'm a people person, don't get me wrong.