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Worried about undergrad

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by chip2dale, May 2, 2012.

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  1. chip2dale

    chip2dale 2+ Year Member

    May 2, 2012
    Hey guys,

    I currently am a freshman in undergrad and I am really intimidated by the thought of applying to medical schools in the future. The reason is that I see all these posts here about people with 3.9 or 4.0 GPAs and high MCATs getting scared about getting into any medical school, and that is my biggest fear. I want to be a doctor so bad!

    The problem is that I go to a university known for grade deflation, and am also in a very challenging engineering major there. I love my major and don't want to switch it, but I am terrified about getting a lower GPA than I would with a major where I could take fewer credits per semester and really focus on them, especially since my school is known for grade deflation.

    What advice can you guys offer me? I'm scared :(
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  3. 235788

    235788 God Complex 2+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2008
    The Slab
    Come to the realization that the DO road is ALWAYS open if GPA is your only problem (thanks to grade-replacement), so worst case scenario you still become a doctor. You'll feel better when you realize this.

    so just work hard and let the chips fall where they may.
  4. EBTrailRunner

    EBTrailRunner 5+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2011
    I think you need to take a breath and relax. You don't need a 3.9 to get into an MD school. There's no point in stressing over how these next 4 years will turn out. Work hard, always do your best, make time to enjoy your college experience, and you'll do fine.
  5. Abagnale

    Abagnale 5+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2011
    Just because of that right there, you will be absolutely fine. The best thing you can do for your GPA is be in a major that you enjoy.

    To give you some perspective, I was exactly in your shoes at the end of freshman year. My school is known but not notorious for grade deflation, and being a ChemE I was terrified after reading on SDN that engineering is sometimes referred to as "pre-med suicide." I stuck with it, however, because I can't see myself doing any other major, and I'm happy to say that I'm doing a lot better than my non-engineering pre-med friends in terms of academics.
  6. NeuroLAX

    NeuroLAX Discere faciendo 2+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2012
    Engineering is a tough major. I almost did nuclear and radiological engineering during undergrad because I was interested in radiology. But I'm glad I didn't put myself through that sort of major because it's a big risk to hurt your GPA with all those tough courses. In the end, if you like it and you can do well then stick with it. There is always another major that would interest you with less risks to your GPA, but it's your call.

    To address what I have put in bold, please do not listen to those people groaning about having a 3.9/4.0 and worrying about getting into medical school. Those people are the people you would be better off avoiding for your own mental health. There is no need to stress out about this. Relax, take a deep breath, and do your best.
  7. theseeker4

    theseeker4 PGY 1 5+ Year Member

    My question is, if your goal is to be a doctor, why get an engineering degree? Engineering is a stand-alone career, you won't practice any of the specified skills you developed when you are actually a doctor, so why become an engineer if you don't want to actually be an engineer? There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an engineer, obviously, but engineering-to-medicine only makes sense if you are toward the end of your college career or already working as an engineer when you decide to pursue medicine, or you actually want to take a several-year gap between graduating from undergrad and applying to med school.

    Limit your time on SDN. It will only serve to under-cut your confidence and make you even more neurotic. Come here as often as you need to to answer specific questions, at least until you are actually preparing your application (or prepping for the MCAT.) People posting about having a 4.0 and worrying about getting in are trolling, or so neurotic they should be ignored. Average matriculate GPA is 3.67, so you can get into med school easily with a GPA well below the 4.0.

    Can you maintain a high GPA with your current major at your current school? If not change majors and/or change schools. It is as simple as that. Any boost a known-to-be-difficult school will give you will be wiped out and then some by a B average. Your goal is med school, so do what you can to ensure you can actually be accepted into med school. If you doubt you can do that with your current plan, change your plan.
  8. nysegop

    nysegop Banned

    Apr 15, 2012
    Somewhere Cold...
    Don't worry, as long as you have a couple of extracurriculars, some volunteering/shadowing, get a score at or above 30 on the MCATs, and maintain above a 3.5 you should be fine. You can always apply DO if you don't get MD. And in worst case apply Caribbean.
  9. NeuroLAX

    NeuroLAX Discere faciendo 2+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2012
    I hate to be that guy, but it's the MCAT, not MCATs.
  10. mirimonster

    mirimonster Class of 2017 5+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Rocket Scientist
  11. theseeker4

    theseeker4 PGY 1 5+ Year Member

    I never said I didn't like engineering. There are, however, many higher-yield and lower-risk ways to score well on the MCAT, there is no reason the specific skills taught in engineering are necessary to be a doctor if practicing clinical medicine is your goal, and pursuing a demanding major has hurt a lot of students who could have upped their chances significantly by choosing something less demanding to major in. If you absolutely love engineering and can get the grades, by all means go for it. Engineering may even be moderately useful when you are a doctor, but worth the risk to GPA? That is a personal decision. Don't take my advice to the OP to focus on his/her ultimate goal and change from engineering if they fear it will hurt their GPA and they don't want to actually work as an engineer as an attack on your major; it wasn't in any way. :)
  12. jesse120

    jesse120 Zanarkand Ruins 7+ Year Member

    +1 and nice first post ;) We engineering majors, although probably foolish, have to stick together! It's a demanding undergrad major, but was totally worth it for me. No regrets working my butt off.
  13. zherussianbear

    zherussianbear 2+ Year Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    Get As, A-s, and a few Bs. More importantly, do well on your MCAT. More importantly still, volunteer/shadow a lot, do some ECs you really care about it, and never get arrogant. I'm sure you'll be fine if it's what you sincerely want.
  14. MedBound1

    MedBound1 2+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    My advice would be to stick with it. There's a reason you ended up in the major that you did, because you enjoy it. I think the engineering perspective is a diverse one to bring to a future in medicine and I think the challenge will most certainly turn out positive for you in the end. I went to an engineering school and managed to get a 4.0 in biomedical engineering. You will find that if you put the same passion that you have for attending medical school into your classes, it will turn out just fine. I think one of the biggest things for me was getting to know my professors. Once I got to know them, I understood their teaching styles better, would more readily ask for help when I needed it, and was more motivated to do well in their class. Best of luck with whatever decision you make,
  15. mirimonster

    mirimonster Class of 2017 5+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Rocket Scientist
    Fair enough. :) sorry for the rant. I just always get the "engineering? But don't you have to be a bio major to apply to med school? What does engineering have to do with medicine?" Every time I mention I'm applying to med school. It definitely can be killer on the gpa, but if OP loves engineering like he says he does I say go for it, rock it and enjoy what you do instead of slogging through something you don't enjoy just to do something you think will make an adcom happy.

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