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JMagnet626

2+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2017
9
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I’m a practicing lawyer wanting to make the switch to medicine. I’ve worked full-time for over a year and can’t suppress the nagging feeling that I made a mistake. While my job is not horrible, the bulk of my day-to-day work is also unfulfilling. Whether I gain admission to medical school or not, I won’t be able to move past this unless I try.


My Situation


Personal: White, male. (Not sure why adcoms would care but also gay)


State of Residency: North Carolina


uGPA: 3.3 (really low, but upward trend and circumstances that can be explained)


Undergraduate: Top public school


Interest in Rural Practice: Yes


Volunteering


· I volunteer my legal services for various events in NC, such as an event to provide military service members with free wills and other forms of life planning. Roughly 75 hours a year total for 2 years.

· I started volunteering at a medical clinic that provides care to a limited number of recipients free of charge and I perform both clinical and non-clinical tasks.


Shadowing:


· I am set to begin shadowing with both a cardiologist and a neurosurgeon during the start of next year. My schedule is relatively flexible so I managed to make this work.


My Thoughts on the Situation


Obviously, my cGPA is really low for medical school admissions. In terms of sGPA I took only 3 courses for a total of 9 hours and pulled an even 3.0. Also, since I don’t have many required courses I know that a post-bacc will be needed and potentially a SMP on top of that. I have already contacted many of the top post-bacc programs and the majority said that three science classes are fine since I am actually changing careers.

After running my cGPA through an improvement calculator the roughly 30 hours in most post-baccs would bring my GPA between 3.4 and 3.5 but not to a 3.5. With my low GPA I know that I will need to kill the MCAT to have a real chance and have been studying with the bulk of my free time for a few months.

My view of my situation is that I have a slim chance if I manage to do well on the MCAT and develop good relationships during my post-bacc to get strong letters. On top of that, even if I do amazingly on the MCAT, I will need to be realistic and apply to schools where I have a decent chance of admission.


Lingering Questions


1) Is it worth the money to do a formal post-bacc or would I be better with a DIY? I’m leaning towards the formal because I have no letters of rec and need virtually all of the classes.


2) Even if I pull a 4.0 (or close to it) in my post-bacc, will a 3.4-3.5 be enough, or will I likely need to then do a SMP?


3) I’ve been trying to save money for while I’m in post-bacc/ medical school (I have a decent salary and no loans because I got a full ride to both undergrad and law school). Should I keep saving or try to change jobs to be something like a medical scribe or EMT?


4) I have considered the option of DO schools but I had in the back of my mind that I might one day transition into teaching at a university. Would it be impossible to teach at a MD school with a DO?


5) I have no research experience or publications. Since I don’t have a science degree and don’t live near a research university is there some way to gain this experience? How important would it be to do this in my case?


Sorry for the wall of text. Thank you to those who made it this far.
 
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gonnif

Only 88 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
22,608
35,930
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
Just one quick thought. Dont focus on your overall GPA. Put together an AMCAS GPA Grid and lets see trends
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,121
13,505
The Other Side of the Portal
Status
Attending Physician
I’m a practicing lawyer wanting to make the switch to medicine. I’ve worked full-time for over a year and can’t suppress the nagging feeling that I made a mistake. While my job is not horrible, the bulk of my day-to-day work is also unfulfilling. Whether I gain admission to medical school or not, I won’t be able to move past this unless I try.


My Situation
Personal: White, male. (Not sure why adcoms would care but also gay)
State of Residency: North Carolina
uGPA: 3.3 (really low, but upward trend and circumstances that can be explained)
Undergraduate: Top public school
Interest in Rural Practice: Yes

Volunteering

-I volunteer my legal services for various events in NC, such as an event to provide military service members with free wills and other forms of life planning. Roughly 75 hours a year total for 2 years.
-I started volunteering at a medical clinic that provides care to a limited number of recipients free of charge and I perform both clinical and non-clinical tasks.

Shadowing:
· I am set to begin shadowing with both a cardiologist and a neurosurgeon during the start of next year. My schedule is relatively flexible so I managed to make this work.

My Thoughts on the Situation

Obviously, my cGPA is really low for medical school admissions. In terms of sGPA I took only 3 courses for a total of 9 hours and pulled an even 3.0. Also, since I don’t have many required courses I know that a post-bacc will be needed and potentially a SMP on top of that. I have already contacted many of the top post-bacc programs and the majority said that three science classes are fine since I am actually changing careers.

After running my cGPA through an improvement calculator the roughly 30 hours in most post-baccs would bring my GPA between 3.4 and 3.5 but not to a 3.5. With my low GPA I know that I will need to kill the MCAT to have a real chance and have been studying with the bulk of my free time for a few months.

My view of my situation is that I have a slim chance if I manage to do well on the MCAT and develop good relationships during my post-bacc to get strong letters. On top of that, even if I do amazingly on the MCAT, I will need to be realistic and apply to schools where I have a decent chance of admission.


Lingering Questions

1) Is it worth the money to do a formal post-bacc or would I be better with a DIY? I’m leaning towards the formal because I have no letters of rec and need virtually all of the classes.

2) Even if I pull a 4.0 (or close to it) in my post-bacc, will a 3.4-3.5 be enough, or will I likely need to then do a SMP?

3) I’ve been trying to save money for while I’m in post-bacc/ medical school (I have a decent salary and no loans because I got a full ride to both undergrad and law school). Should I keep saving or try to change jobs to be something like a medical scribe or EMT?

4) I have considered the option of DO schools but I had in the back of my mind that I might one day transition into teaching at a university. Would it be impossible to teach at a MD school with a DO?

5) I have no research experience or publications. Since I don’t have a science degree and don’t live near a research university is there some way to gain this experience? How important would it be to do this in my case?
1) Either path will get you where you want to be. DIY has the advantage of being (usually) cheaper and more flexible with timing of classes. There's no reason you can't ask your teachers for LORs and store them with a letter service until needed. FORMAL has packed-in classes, and faculty who can mentor you through the process, and who can give you opportunities for ECs you need to accumulate, if you can't find them on your own.

2) Cross that bridge when you come to it. With a very high BCPM GPA and strong MCAT, probably not.

3) Keep your job and continue to gain volunteer active clinical experience for 3-4 hours per week and you'll have enough experience accumulated by the time you apply. What you're doing now is perfect. Side note: be sure to shadow primary care docs, too. And plan to spend a week or two doing some rural shadowing, perhaps during a vacation time [Brody, especially, will love this]. Also, continuing to engage in some form of nonmedical community service that helps those in need will be important to your application.

4) It would not be impossible. I've seen examples listed on this forum.

5) As a nontrad, you do not need research. If you really want to do research, wherever you take your postbac classes, there will be faculty engaged in research whom you can solicit for opportunities. A summer or 1 term of this activity would be sufficient, as you will not be a candidate for the highly-selective, research-oriented med schools.
 
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Xavieous

2+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2017
68
80
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I might of missed it, but I don't see much clinical experience. I think this should be first and foremost to make sure the 'glamore' of practicing in healthcare isn't the reason for your change in career. You need to know what you are really getting into. My recommendation on that since you have a job and hopefully a small disposable income: get a CNA or phlembotomy license/training. Get into a hospital on the weekends and actually work with patients on different floors. Give it a few months and see if the altruistic mysticism of medicine falls away. If not you may come to be even more motivated and that will only help you. After that, start taking the core 8 classes and get As in them. Take MCAT. Get in. Suffer through for 8 years....................profit?
 

PreMedMissteps

The Great West Coast
2+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2017
1,674
1,779
Yes, see if you can shadow a couple of docs.....family practice and IM or ??

Don't focus on GPA past...med schools are more forgiving to non-trads with upward trends. And you don't have much BCPM yet, so your science GPA should go up.

You're still in NC correct? A good state to be in. At least one of the public meds heavily biases towards instate. If I remember correctly, one only accepts instate.
 

CyrilFiggis

5+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2014
2,021
3,362
Status
Medical Student
You say that the bulk of your day to day is unfulfilling. I really hope you work with some physicians so you don't spend all this money to eventually be charting at 8pm instead of at your kids dance recital and realizing that the grass isn't necessarily greener. I have friends who are practicing lawyers or doctors. Thankless/unfulfilling cases/patients is just part of the career.
 

cantankerous

5+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2015
344
380
Status
Medical Student
If you only worked a year, you probably have a huge amount of student debt already. Medical school is going to add another $300k+, not to mention the undergrad tuition costs for a post-bacc. Unless you have a sugar daddy who can foot the bill, I wouldn't suggest medical school. Maybe PA school? It's less expensive, and the role is not too far from a physician.
 
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