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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Doctorpop, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. Doctorpop

    Doctorpop New Member

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    I am writing on behalf of my son. As many students are, he stays pretty busy but needs an outlet for information and advice. Hopefully, this will be a good place for him to go.

    His current situation is this: He has been taking fully loaded semesters (2nd year) but between work to pay for living expenses and what he can't get through scholarships, he is feeling the pressure. I suggested he take a lighter load to get a break but he says his guidance counselor at school is pushing a full load else it look bad on him in the future, either at a higher University or employment wise. Any comments would be appreciated.

    Doctorpop
     
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  3. leahmaria

    leahmaria Senior Member
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    I know that it is difficult to be a part time student for certain reasons at my university (housing, scholarships, etc), and full time requires 12 credits...which isn't that heavy of a load.

    There have been questions asked her before about how med school admissions committees look at light semesters, and it seems that they do consider course load along with gpa...

    Also, taking lighter loads might mean spending more than four years in college--is this something your son is prepared for?

    Overall, though, if the pressure is really affecting his life, I can understand the desire to take lighter loads. I withdrew from a class one semester and ended up with only 11 graded credits (still 6 pass/fail, so i stayed a full-time student), and I was much happier for doing so--it was the right choice

    best of luck
     
  4. Oculus Sinistra

    Oculus Sinistra Finish it.
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    Your son's college may be one of those that are adamant about getting people out in four years, which is really unfortunate because of the stressful situation you described. If not, he should definitely look into taking a lighter load... a bad GPA will look a lot worse in the future than lighter semesters...

    Guidance counselors do not always know what is best.
     
  5. doktadoom

    doktadoom Junior Member
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    what do you do for a living?

    even though he is an adult, and if you can afford it, you should think about giving him some money so he can stop working and focus on being a STUDENT (i.e. getting good grades and bs ECs).

    seriously, chances are you make much more than he does hourly. so just throw him some bones. the time and effort he puts into work could be better utilized towards making his app stellar. you do want him to become a doctor, right?





     
  6. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Not the answer. If the kids old enough to go to college, he's old enough to hold down a job.

    OP- If your son is really having trouble with the hours, he can always take out student loans. More money for him to pay back, but he can work in the summers. He can also try to cut back on expenses. You do not need as much money in college as you think you do.
     
  7. TMP-SMX

    TMP-SMX Senior Member
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    Do you really wonder what the difference between many Middle Eastern/Indian students and most American students are? We grow up in a culture here that says we should work for every penny we spend. So we are forced to work to pay off our tuition and books, and our grades suffer. I hear successful (money wise) lawyers and doctors say that I had to work to get through school so so can my son/daughter. Little do they know that back in the day most average students working two jobs could get into law/med school. Now it's much more competitive and there is little room for error. (Computers screen you out of the process based on numbers before a person looks at your application) I wonder why we have so little time to devote our life to our studies? So unless you are in the upper middle class, you have to work two jobs just to be able to go to college.
     
  8. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    One word: loans. You can take out very manageable loans if you're willing to live on a tight budget. You can have those loans paid off in a few years after graduation (assuming you don't go to med school). It's entirely do-able.

    The kid working full-time while going to college is living in a very small minority. Most college kids I know work a few hours a week if at all.
     
  9. Looque

    Looque Bob Loblaw
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    While I certainly respect your opinion, you are several years disconnected from undergraduate studies.

    EDIT: However, I do agree that loans can be a great solution to free up time for studies, and obviously one must be prepared to take out loans if they wish to make it to/complete medical school in general.
     
  10. dynx

    dynx Yankee Imperialist
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    Location?
     
  11. novawildcat

    novawildcat Senior Member
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    If his grades aren't suffering than I would say let him keep doing it. it will toughen him up for the real world. when i was in college I had some 21 credit semesters while working 20+ hours per week and still managed to stay afloat; no one but me was going to pay for my books, grocery, or electric bill. if you can manage a full course load while working a decent amount, it will teach you how to manage your time very well (which would be a good skill to learn for medschool).
     
  12. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Did a full-time postbac at an undergrad college that wrapped this year. So my info isn't as old as you'd think.

    Not talking about my undergrad years first time around. When we couldn't pay the full tuition with war bonds, we found ourselves a barn and just put on a show!
     
  13. DoctorPardi

    DoctorPardi In Memory of Riley Jane
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    If his grades are suffering it is not worth him taking so many hours. He can do about 12 hours a semester and do summer classes and be on time to graduate in four years. Also if he is working full time and supporting himself then he will have a good reason for why he is taking less hours.

    Also, consider sucking it up and helping him out a little. He shouldn't have to work full time, maybe give him a gas and food budget so he can cut out so much work.
     
  14. Looque

    Looque Bob Loblaw
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    My apologies.

    ...and I'm always up for a good barn bash!
     
  15. TMP-SMX

    TMP-SMX Senior Member
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    I'm not saying I've had this problem, because my parents invested money. However, our culture also has a taboo against debt... So loans are a good option, but most of students now try to avoid them if possible.
     
  16. akademiks1989

    akademiks1989 Senior Member
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    Are you Middle Eastern?
     
  17. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    What kinda money is he making? You can find pretty decent tutoring jobs on campus paying much more than your regular burger flipping gig. It's also something that can go on a resume.

    Secondly I'd weigh the cost/benefit of his working while in school. Is his work causing damage to his academics so much that he will have trouble getting into medical school? A small loan might be worth it, if he gets into medical school by having the free time to enhance his studies and experiences.

    Now I'm not saying finance the whole thing, as Americans tend to have the wrong attitude towards credit, but something to help him cut back his hours would pay for itself in the long run I think.

    Also, you'd be surprised how much even $50-$100 helps out here and there to a college student. Try to send some money his way if you can scrape it together. Make Birthday and Christmas presents practical etc.
     
  18. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Most students borrow better than six digits to make it through med school - far more than you can earn with a part-time job. If your culture makes this taboo, and you don't have a wealthy family, I really don't see that you have a realistic chance of making it down this road. I suppose you could work for a while right out of college, invest soundly and then apply as an older nontrad, and be able to pay cash. But it's a better percentage play to set aside the taboo and succeed the way everyone else will. Leverage is the American way.
     
  19. Doctorpop

    Doctorpop New Member

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    Thanks to all who replied. I do give my son $100 now and then when he asks which is rare, TG. I also pay for his car insurance. That I do for all three kids. He is keeping his grades up, near 4.0 and is doing great in that department. I plan to share these replies and this site with him tomorrow...this seems like a good place for him to go. He also belongs to a med student type club and also trying to get hours as a volunteer at a local hospital.

    Doctorpop
     
  20. coco11

    coco11 will settle for roses
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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    The american culture does not have a taboo against debt. I don't know what country you're living in - but certainly not the same one that I am- with mortgages, people living off of credit cards, people leasing cars they can't afford, students taking out major loans for school, bankruptcy abounding- yeahhh there's a real taboo vs. debt. :laugh: :laugh:
     
  21. MinnyGophers

    MinnyGophers Senior Member
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    If your son working part time or full time?

    If it's just a part time job, he needs to suck it up, as he's not close to being the only one who has to work through school while maintaining a full load...

    His GPA is close to a 4.0, so he can't be doing that bad. Working hard builds character and teaches you to manage your time properly and set your priorities straight.
     
  22. TMP-SMX

    TMP-SMX Senior Member
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    Lol... For some there is. Like I said. It's not the whole country. And yes... Now many people are living their life through debt.
     
  23. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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    Tell him to slow down. As a freshman, I've felt the pressure with an 18 credit course load. If I had taken 1 less class to 15 credits, I would have gotten better grades across the board, for 3 extra credits to take later.

    Edit - I feel like a sophomore already. 24 days. CAN'T WAIT.
     
  24. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet
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    I don't know all of the circumstances, but it seems reasonable to me to maintain a light to average full-time course load (12-15 credits) and still work part time. That also also even recreational time as well. Loans can make up for any financial deficiencies. If he is having difficulty doing this, he probably needs to re-think his study and time-management strategies. If his course load is consistently 17+ credits a semester, maybe he should consider lightening it up, even if it means taking some classes in summer school. Med school willl be significantly more demanding than the typical college experience, even factoring in part-time employment. So it is something he should also consider. Plus, he will need some additional free time to pursue significant and relavent extra-curricular activities as well to be a well rounded applicant. More loans is the answer here to free up time I think.
     
  25. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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    My mom helped a bank "targeted" for Chinese Americans (not only accepted, targeted, as a small private bank, etc), but then they found out a major problem. No one borrowed cash! So then they had to target non-Chinese Americans who would actually take loans. :eek:
     
  26. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Actually, I think our culture is too for debt. But if you really find you don't have time in your curriculum to do everything that you need to do, quit a job and take out a loan. It's a pittance compared to what we need to take out for medical school.

    I'm not convinced at the notion that students today are so much busier than they were 30 years ago either. Read "Faster" and similar books. We have a conception now that free time is so much less than what it used to be, but every study I've seen has shown it's a perception thing.
     
  27. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Well, I'm Chinese and there is also a tradition of taboo against borrowing...in fact, Asian societies like Japan and China used to have one of the highest saving rates in the world.

    It's not that my parents are against borrowing, but they are against having to borrow when it's not viewed as necessarily. My parents only borrow for school (subsidized loans only) and for their house.

    Also, in Chinese families at least, it's considered the parents' responsibility to fund their kids' education, just as it is the childrens' responsibility to take care of his parents in old age, so no free lunch for anyone here. :D

    FYI, my parents are charging me interest with my loans for med school but they are paying for half of it. They are nearing retirement and they believe investing in my education and getting a 5% ROI within five years is a nice, quick way to make money. My mom said the money would either go to the government or to them, and she figured I'd be happier paying back my parents than the gov't.


    To the OP, I would ask myself this: how much is loans from you or from gov't going to cost you vs having to have him repeat an extra semester due to excessive load and/or not getting into med school? Most college students don't earn much more than minimal wage in school, but the extra semester of tuition and/or applying to many schools or reapplying may be costly, and he may end up spending more money later on than what he's making in college. I suggest redoing his financial aid so he can cut back on his hours, and if possible, help him pay his way through college. Med school is a long term investment, cutting corners now may really hurt him in the future.
     
  28. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    I understand the frustration. I worked fulltime when I was doing my post-bac. I took eight to twelve credit hours (two courses with associated labs usually). I never had a problem with an of the ADCOMS questioning whether I could handle the course load like Org 1, Chem 2 and Physics 1 with labs and working fulltime. It is much harder to maintain high grades than the individuals who have nothing else to worry about besides studying. I was fortunate and worked as a lawyer and adjunct professor and made a decent salary.

    As the OP's son likely does not have that kind of option, I would suggest he get a job waiting tables. Even a bad waiter can make more than $10/hr at a crappy chain restaurant and if his son has a personality a lot more. I made $20+/hr working as a waitress and did it through undergrad and law school and before medical school. More money per hour--> less hours worked.
     

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