quigleyadam9

10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2008
12
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Big Rapids, MI
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Pre-Medical
I am a newly decided pre-med, going into the second semester of my sophomore year. I have to max out credits (16-17 fall and spring semesters, 12 for summers) in order to graduate on time (5 years). I go to a very small public university with very limited research opportunities. What should I do about the lack of time to shadow doctors, conduct outside research, etc., in order to have a legit shot at med school?
 

TooMuchResearch

i'm goin' to Kathmandu...
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10+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2008
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Townsville, USA
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Attending Physician
Do it anyway...I found a clinical volunteer position that let me come in at night (i.e. between 11 pm-7 am) because I didn't have any time during the day. I'm not sure about the research, though.
 
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URHere

10+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2007
1,783
567
Status
Attending Physician
I am a newly decided pre-med, going into the second semester of my sophomore year. I have to max out credits (16-17 fall and spring semesters, 12 for summers) in order to graduate on time (5 years). I go to a very small public university with very limited research opportunities. What should I do about the lack of time to shadow doctors, conduct outside research, etc., in order to have a legit shot at med school?
It may not seem like it right now, but there will definitely be time in your schedule. With 16-17 credit hours, there is no way your schedule will be 100% booked. You will either have free multi-hour blocks throughout the day, or you will get done with courses early enough on some days to give you enough time to get out and volunteer. Also, you may want to think about taking a heavier load one semester and leaving one summer free - summers are the easiest time to hunt down off-campus research experiences or to commit consistent time to clinical work.

There is no way to get around it, you need clinical work (research, as much as I hate to say it, is more expendable). You'll either find a way to fit it in during your college career or you will take extra time off afterwards to make it work.
 

tdittyx2x3

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2008
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OP, just curious, but what ugrad major requires so many credits? At that rate, you shouldn't need 5 years to complete your degree.

I started the pre-med track exactly at the same time, second semester sophomore year. I went abroad for a semester, graduated on time, and did all the regular extracurriculars and volunteering.
 

quigleyadam9

10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2008
12
0
Big Rapids, MI
Status
Pre-Medical
OP, just curious, but what ugrad major requires so many credits? At that rate, you shouldn't need 5 years to complete your degree.

I started the pre-med track exactly at the same time, second semester sophomore year. I went abroad for a semester, graduated on time, and did all the regular extracurriculars and volunteering.
I'm actually a second semester junior, just switched from history major to biochem and will be starting out cold...and it will take 2.5 years from now to graduate...i'm essentially a sophomore in terms of timeframe
 

fusionx22

10+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2008
64
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Status
Medical Student
I'm actually a second semester junior, just switched from history major to biochem and will be starting out cold...and it will take 2.5 years from now to graduate...i'm essentially a sophomore in terms of timeframe
Why did you deceive us? Why must you make this a house of lies?
 

tdittyx2x3

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2008
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Alright so you plan on applying between your 4th and 5th year of undergrad then? If so, that leaves a year and a half to get most of the pre-reqs done, volunteer in a clinical setting, shadow a couple docs, take the MCAT, and possibly do some research.

Volunteering is easy. Find a local hospital that will allow you to work in the emergency department. It is what you make of it. If you actually pass those warm blankets out, talk with patients, and try to learn or thing or two, you'll have fun. Typically a four hour shift is great for a weekly gig.

Shadowing: Use all of your resources. Maybe your mom or Aunt Janie knows someone. Maybe you met a young doc in the ED at that place you volunteer and he's willing to let you follow him around. Personally, my adviser set me up with a doc so you could look there too. What's great about shadowing is you can see some reallllllly cool stuff for a pre-med. The two guys I shadowed were surgeons who eventually let me scrub and practically treated me like a medical student.

MCAT: Don't underestimate it. It's an enormous test that requires months of preparation. Leave yourself ample time to take care of business, because its just too important. Be wary of taking this without all of the pre-reqs btw.

Research: Never did it due to a lack of interest and time. Stlll going to be a doctor. Though I must say it seems pretty important to top schools, so if your aiming high than I would get it done.

One last point. You mentioned you were a newly decided pre-med. You need to experience some of this stuff before truly "deciding." Use the volunteering and shadowing as real measures of whether or not this is what you want to do. My point being that although this seems like a lot of hoops to jump through, they aren't without purpose. Good Luck!
 
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