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CBA300

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I have always ruled-out pursuing medicine as a career because of low confidence in my academic ability and a crippling lack of belief in myself. With time however, I have overcome those obstacles and realized that such thinking has been entirely irrational and unfounded. Unfortunately, that irrational thinking has placed me on a less than ideal path to medical school. Here is where I stand:

I recieved a B.A. in psychology in 2005 from a large state university. I did well, with a 3.9 gpa and a good deal of research experience. After graduating, I spent one year in a Ph.D. program in psychology and quickly discovered that research was not for me...I want to work with people! While looking for something different during that year, I discovered the field of audiology (a relatively new area of health care that studies hearing and balance). I applied to and was accepted into a 4 year graduate program in audiology, of which I am just completing my first year. Audiology is a great field...there are plenty of opportunities to make people's lives better and it can be very rewarding. However, I have a strong passion to learn and treat the entire body (not just hearing and balance). Every bit of my conscience tells me I should be sitting in medical school and not audiology school. However, part also tells me that I should play it safe and stay the course with what I am currently doing. I'm currently 24 years old, and very uncertain about what decision I should make. To pursue medical school seems overwhelming... it would mean leaving my current program (and second grad program overall) to complete physics and o-chem (gen chem and bio were done with my psychology degree), and all of the other application requirements (letters, MCAT, interview, etc.), all to risk the possibility of not being accepted. I've thought about working on the admissions requirements while still pursing audiology, but that too seems overwhelming (scheduling alone would be a nightmare) and would involve a lot of wasted time and effort studying audiology if it is not something I am going to practice.

I am curious to know what others might do in my situation, or if anyone could offer a few words of wisdom to help guide my decision. What would you do?
 
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Having come from a similar situation as a returning student, leaving grad school, etc. I can understand your concern.

I always had a voice in the back of my mind saying "go for it, become a doctor, do it" and I ignored it for some of the reasons you mentioned; mainly because it is a huge pain in the ***, you can help people/ make money doing anything etc.

Once I finally conceded to the idea, my mind was at peace. Decision made.

I say go for it, and go for it with everything you've got.
I'll see you at graduation.
 

nu2004

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i think you'll raise more than a few eyebrows in admissions office 'round the country if you drop the audiology program and apply to med school. essentially, they'll see someone who has bounced into and out of not one but two graduate programs -- what is to assure them that you won't drop out of med school? graduation rates are near 100% for just about every med school, and schools have a very "leave no student behind" mentality. if they can't have some assurance that you won't leave med school without graduating, they may not be willing to offer you a spot.

now, you have a couple of options.

1- you could try to tackle this problem head-on and write about it in your personal statement. that is, you would have to craft an extraordinarily convincing argument that you have put your indecisiveness behind you and have a genuine interest in medicine... wanting to study the "whole body" is not going to cut it.

2 - you could ignore this history and try to simply craft a personal statement that describes why you believe you would make a great physician, and then apply REALLY broadly to see if anyone will take a chance on you. you should also be okay with going the DO route.

that said, you could do it. if you ace the MCAT (11+/section), with your GPA you'll have the numbers. you should get some clinical experience (like, a solid year in a level I trauma center) to make sure that medicine is the field for you. no offense, but your history paints you as a little immature and indecisive, as though tomorrow you could wake up and think that some other career was "the one" for you. see if you can get at least some shadowing or ER volunteer experience before you really decide to drop out of another grad program.
 
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CBA300

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Any other comments or suggestions? Don't be shy.
 

gman33

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Dropping out of 2 grad progams will look bad.
However, there is no reason to stay if you don't want to pursue audiology as a career.
You can try to spin the experiences in a positive light by stating that it helped expose you to research but you realized that you wanted a career that involved more patient contact.

If you do well in the remaining prereqs and MCAT, you should get interviews. Try to get as much clinical experience as possible in the meantime.

Also, make sure you apply very broadly in case some schools want to shut you out.
 

gman33

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BTW - If you start now, you will still be done residency at about the same age I'll be when I START med school.
 
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Personally, I would not waste the time on getting the audio degree.

You could take Phy I and Org chem I during the summer and the second rounds in the fall. Then, you would have all the major prereqs out of the way and could have plenty of time to study for the MCAT in the spring and then apply in the summer of 09.

You would also have time to work in volunteering, etc.


If you want it, go and get it!! Then, do something else if it does not work out.


BTW, I have been at for ten years, I am 28 now so I have been there and done it several times.
 

CBA300

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Just as an addendum, "wanting to treat/cure the entire body" is certainly not anything I would ever think about including in a personal statement...it's just a thought that seems to enter my head when sitting through ear lectures. I would say it's probably less than 2% of my overall case for thinking about pursuing a seat in med school. I do appreciate your comments, please keep them coming!
 
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