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Will my ignorance in the past hurt me?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DrewFromVA, Oct 16, 2001.

  1. DrewFromVA

    DrewFromVA Member

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    First of all let me say I will greatly appreciate anyone who will reply. I know most, if not all of you are way beyond where I am and this post may seem like a waste of time to read and respond to. Well here's my story. I am 22 years old and attending community college, finishing there this spring. My insecurity comes from the road I've traveled to arrive where I'm at today. I graduated from high school without a clue as to what I wanted to do with my life and even more clueless about how important it is to dot your i's and cross your t's just right when it comes to going to college. I sat out one year of school and just worked. Then, I attended the same comm. college I'm currently attending, and took about 6 credit hours each of my first two semesters.
    The next year I was at the same school, but took 15 credit hours both semesters. It was late that year I decided I wanted to become a doctor. Well, the next year(last year), I(still uninformed about the importance of my undergraduate years), decided to go to an unaccredited, Christian school. So, last year was more or less an academic waste. Now, I am back at the comm. college I started at, working hard to finish up my first two years, but I am afraid that I've already ruined my chances for med school. Though my grades here at the community college are good(3.8 gpa), I still feel that an admissions committee will take one look at how scattered I've been the past few years and say no way! I also had to take a few remedial math courses to get up to speed, and I am just now taking calculus. I do expect to graduate with my associates with a 3.9 gpa, and I also volunteer each week in the ER. I know that when I transfer I must keep my gpa up, but is it already too late for me? Is there anything else I should be doing to help my chances. I don't know...sometimes I feel that one must be superman to even get an interview, and to be accepted requires a one-in-a-million person. Sorry for the long post, but I thought the details of my story were important for the sake of context. Any comments or suggestions would be great.
    -signed: a depressed pre-med student
     
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  3. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    hey Drew,

    well, I'm sure lots of other people will tell you this too but of course it's not too late for you. People decide to go to med school at lots of different points in their life. The important thing is not when you deicided to do this, but communicating to the admissions committee that this is a mature and well-considered choice on your part. You should have a clear idea of how to answer the question "why do you want to be a doctor?". You should be able to demonstrate that you have a realistic idea of what a doctors life is really like. The easiest way to prove to them (and to yourself) is to get clinical exposure ie shadow a doctor, volunteer at a clinic, emergency room, hospice, etc. If you don't find this activity engaging you might want to reconsider your motives for being a doctor. If you do get into it, you'll have a firm and clear explanation of your motivations for entering medicine coupled with evidence. But you say you are already doing this so - great! You seem to be doing everything you need to...you may be surprised by the many and varied different 'premeds' out there (and including on this board).

    We're all pretty much in the same boat as you - imperfect people, with 'blemishes' on our history, academic record, arrests for state but not federal offenses (oh..scratch that bit)...imperfect applicants hoping med schools will see the best that we can be..and accept us. And for those of us willing to keep plugging away at that we will eventually succeed. So can you...just be sure of your motivation, be able to demonstrate it, and don't give up. Some of us will be family practioners, some will be surgeons...med schools are looking for diversity in their class because they don't need us all to be the same.

    ;)

    good luck!

    onwis
     
  4. Thumper

    Thumper Senior Member

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    First of all, it is never too late to do anything. Look at all the real "Non-Traditional" students around! Those people are in their late twenties, thirties, or even forties. Some have started a family, been out of school and working for more than ten years, and may have had a completely off-the-wall degree, yet they are still here giving it their all. You should definitely look up to them and their perserverence! In my opinion, it is not important what you did in the past, but how much you want something now! I know it is very discouraging when you read posts about people who are seniors at 20, but not everyone is like that. I just turned 22, and I am graduating this year. I too transfered from a community college, and would recommend it to anyone who asks. I think your main focus now should be studying hard and getting the best GPA and MCAT scores possible. Don't look at the last year (at the christian school) as a waste; look at it as a learning experience. You are in your early twenties. If you work hard, you will graduate w/ a BS by 24-25. Add four more years of med school, and you'll be a doctor before 30! Now is the time for you to really think about how badly you want to become a doctor. If it is truly what you want and you are willing to give it 100%, then by all means ignore all these nagging thoughts, because I am sure you will do a great job in the next few years and become the doctor you want to be! ;) ;) Good luck in your future endeavors, and keep us posted! :p :p
     
  5. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    ps you seem to think you have made 'academic mistakes' in the past...I suggest you contact the pre-med advisor of the college you will be transfering to for the baccalaureate and discuss pre-reqs etc with them. Some premed advisors are not very good, but if you find a good one they can be worth their weight in gold in helping you avoid mistakes, get into the right classes, and handle your recommendation letters...seriously it's never too early to make contact with the pre-med advisor (and if they turn out to be unhelpful, which sometimes happens...just read lots of posts and ask lots of questions on here!)
     
  6. jargon124

    jargon124 Senior Member

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    Drew,

    Listen up man. You are not in as bad a position as you seem to think you are. But you need to make sure you do several things in the coming years. If you follow Jargon's Guidelines for Success, I can guarantee admission. Just kidding, but do this stuff and you will have a great shot.

    -Keep your GPA up where it is. It will be imperative that your GPA stay in the 3.5-4.0 range when you get to the university level.

    -Study your butt off for the MCAT. Do well. Show that you are capable!

    -Your personal statement will be important. When you write your personal statement, don't try to cover up your personal history and/or mistakes. Use every opportunity to SHOW that you have LEARNED from your mistakes and that you are a BETTER PERSON because of them. Start drafting your personal statement as soon as possible...put it away for a while...revise...revise...revise.

    -When you transfer to a university, I would recommend taking advanced science electives (biochem, molecular bio, cell bio, etc) or if you dont want to do that maybe take the basic sciences again if you are allowed to do so.

    -Get invloved in some community service activities in addition to clinical experience. It is dumb to stand around in a busy ER for 3 hours a week and try to play that off as clinical experience (im not saying that is what you are doing - but some people are in this type of situation). Do things that make a DIFFERENCE somehow. That's what will make you stand out - remember that the number of your committments is irrelevent, it really is the quality that counts.

    GOOD LUCK!

    Again, be confident...it's definitely not too late.
     
  7. none

    none 1K Member

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    You haven't done anything that medical schools would be bothered (or really care, for that matter) about. They don't expect you to come out of the womb knowing you want to be a doctor and you're still very, very young.
     
  8. jlsrn

    jlsrn Senior Member

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    It's never too late to start...My hubby was in the same boat as you...he graduated from High School a year early..had no idea what he wanted to do..he did a year at a community college and messed that up..and then went to a non accredited Chritian college...got married, had a baby a year later, and at the same time went back to community college, got a 3.9, and then transferred to a 4 year college...got a 3.8..and here he is now applying to med school at age 24...so keep up the good work...you can do...don't let anyone tell you that you can't. :)
     

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