spiralgalaxy

7+ Year Member
Nov 18, 2010
21
2
Status
Occupational Therapist
I have been a lurker of The Student Doctor Network since I've begun the process of considering med school. For years, I have had the idea burrowed away, because I thought I might have only been considering it based on my parents' expectations of me. My brother is a med student at UPenn, and has always been in the limelight of my family. He naturally excels in the sciences. I felt going into medicine would be my poor attempt to follow in his footsteps. Because of this doubt, I dove into psychology. I currently have a 3.9 GPA and will be graduating next semester from a state university in California. I have research experience in the field, and intern at a state hospital. While I love the field, I don't think I want to end up a clinical psychologist. I realized I don't want to settle for less than what I desire. While I haven't come to the ultimate conclusion yet (some more soul searching and hours of research is the plan), I believe I want to attend medical school.

I struggled with mathematics and the physical sciences in high school. I never even got up to trigonometry. I took chemistry twice, as well as Algebra 2 and Geometry. My cumulative high school GPA was 2.4. I simply didn't care or try. I changed that all around when I started college, but avoided taking rigorous math and physical science courses for fear of doing poorly. I viewed these areas as weak points, and have no college coursework that shows that I could do these courses if I really exerted myself. I have no evidence to myself that I would really succeed if I tried.

Now, I am researching post-bacc programs. If I make it into one, I fear I will mess up once the physics and math courses come along. Do you suggest I pursue an unstructured completion of premed prereqs, such as attending a community college, so that I am able to feel things out? This would also prevent my pocket from burning. Would med schools look down upon the fact that I completed prereqs via the community college system, or does my good undergraduate GPA level that off? While my preference is for a structured, formal program so that I may receive resources and guidance along the way, I would like to do what is most logical in my situation.

Thanks so much in advance if you choose to reply. I did a thorough search on related topics and have come across some help, but otherwise haven't had much luck getting this information from resources at my current university. I am very open-minded to any options you may provide me with.
 

NewmansOwn

10+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2007
784
3
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Definitely try for one of the top formal, structured postbac programs -- Bryn Mawr, Goucher or Scripps. I went to BM and it made getting into medical school as easy as such a process could possibly be.

Aptitude certainly helps, but it is by no means the end-all-be-all of doing well in the prereqs. I was also a poor student in high school and did not do as well as you in college, either. I somehow found my way into Bryn Mawr, did very well and linked to a good medical school, where I'm quite happy.

There's no magic to the prereqs -- they are just a series of algorithms that can be learned, memorized, intuited...whatever works for you. You don't use the prereqs in medical school, so just get through them in the most efficient way possibly, use what little you need for the MCAT, then forget everything.
 

EJS1979

10+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2008
68
0
Status
Medical Student
To add to NewmansOwn, attending one of the smaller, more structured programs will make your harder classes more manageable. Because the programs are so small, you have a ton of resources at your disposal, particularly professors who know and care about you and are willing to spend the extra time to help you succeed. (This is definitely true for Goucher, and I imagine BM and Scripps students would say the same thing.)

I was petrified about my lack of science background when I started at Goucher, but it was quickly clear that 95% of my classmates were in the same boat, and we all ended up doing very well. Like NewmansOwn, I ended up linking to medical school and couldn't be happier.

Good luck!
 
OP
spiralgalaxy

spiralgalaxy

7+ Year Member
Nov 18, 2010
21
2
Status
Occupational Therapist
Thank you both! You've eased my nerves a little bit. I have looked into all of the programs mentioned, and will consider applying to some/all of them at the start of the year. I have decided that I will try to stick to a formal program (and, of course, with good linkages if possible!)