Sep 7, 2017
11
1
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Pre-Medical
Hey all,

So I'm a 27 year old RT(r) who's been working at a level 2 trauma center for about 4 years. I've been taking courses for about 2 years part time with plans on applying to PA school after completing my bachelors and pre-reqs. However, I've decided to pursue medical school instead at this point.

CumGPA~3.2

I still have, well, basically all of my med school pre-reqs to go. I completed my associates in radiography, and am about 4 semesters away from completing my bachelors through a program which converts my A.A.S. into a Bachelor's in Radiography.

I'm concurrently taking Radiography courses through the 4 year Uni, and taking the few gen eds I have left through my local community college where I received my Associates. I'm a little worried about some of the Med School pre-reqs though.

Is it okay for my to knock out the majority of my pre-reqs at my community college when the time comes? I'm talking Gen Bio 1&2, Physics 1&2, Org Chem 1&2, Bio Chem...

Will it hurt me that I have to retake some of these due to it being more than 5 years at time of application to med school?

I feel like I'm in a particularly non-traditional track, and would greatly appreciate any input.
 
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fourandtwo

7+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2012
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Hey all,

So I'm a 27 year old RT(r) who's been working at a level 2 trauma center for about 4 years. I've been taking courses for about 2 years part time with plans on applying to PA school after completing my bachelors and pre-reqs. However, I've decided to pursue medical school instead at this point.

CumGPA~3.2

I still have, well, basically all of my med school pre-reqs to go. I completed my associates in radiography, and am about 4 semesters away from completing my bachelors through a program which converts my A.A.S. into a Bachelor's in Radiography.

I'm concurrently taking Radiography courses through the 4 year Uni, and taking the few gen eds I have left through my local community college where I received my Associates. I'm a little worried about some of the Med School pre-reqs though.

Is it okay for my to knock out the majority of my pre-reqs at my community college when the time comes? I'm talking Gen Bio 1&2, Physics 1&2, Org Chem 1&2, Bio Chem...

Will it hurt me that I have to retake some of these due to it being more than 5 years at time of application to med school?

I feel like I'm in a particularly non-traditional track, and would greatly appreciate any input.
I'm inclined to say that you will be fine taking CC courses. I feel like DO schools especially are forgiving of that. I'll let a few more people help with that answer tho
 
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Blanky

2+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2017
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I have taken CC courses as well but there does seem to be some things that may not look good. "Health-profession" degrees have lower acceptance rates into medical school and I think they are openly not preferred. Having a health profession bach (radiology) as well as the CC courses and a low GPA may not present well.
 
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68PGunner

CC credits are fine. Goal is t get straight As from now on in order to bump that cgpa to 3.45 or higher. You will also need to do very well on the MCAT as in 510+ in order to have a shot.
 
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holdthemayo

5+ Year Member
May 13, 2014
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Are you applying MD, DO, or both?

CC are fine at all DO schools. Some MD schools do not accept them, and some view them as less academically rigorous. Check school websites or the MSAR for some schools you are considering applying to. Just be sure you get A's.

I took pretty much all of my prerequisites at community college and had acceptances. I have no idea if the CC played a role in other schools choosing to reject me. In the end it didn't matter.
 

Ho0v-man

5+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2014
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I have taken CC courses as well but there does seem to be some things that may not look good. "Health-profession" degrees have lower acceptance rates into medical school and I think they are openly not preferred. Having a health profession bach (radiology) as well as the CC courses and a low GPA may not present well.
I can't remember where I read it bc it's been so long, but "health professions" degrees typically have some of the lowest mcat scores. I don't think it's a matter of schools discriminating against these degrees, just that the applicant pool tends to be weaker applicants that I guess apply thinking healthcare experience will give them an edge.

OP:I'm an RT(R)(CT). CC credits were fine for me. No one cares. The bulk of my prereqs were done at CC. However, it does hold you back with getting research (not as much done typically at the CC level) which is a nice little app booster and depending on your home state, it may be absolutely necessary to get into an MD program. Also, some schools are against online courses as well. Make sure your state MD school(s) isn't/aren't like that.

Above all, go where you think you'll get a good education for your pre reqs. I.e. Physics at my local CC was notoriously harder than my 4 year university. Conversely, bio 1 and 2 were harder at my UG than CC.

Finally, I see this a lot with people I've worked with and I just have to say it: Your healthcare background WILL NOT make up for a sub par app. I've seen too many of my friends think that because they've been a nurse/respiratory therapist, etc for X number of years they should have some luck with a sub 500 mcat. That's not reality. In my personal experience, it was a nice talking point in interviews, but it didn't give me any real advantage. It was basically just an EC to them. Like being a scribe or PCT.

You can PM if you have any questions about the process if you'd like. Best of luck!
 
Sep 25, 2017
17
4
New Jersey
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey all,

So I'm a 27 year old RT(r) who's been working at a level 2 trauma center for about 4 years...
Hey Matt. I'm glad I found someone like you. I'm coming from a similar background.

I'm 25 and I just graduated with a BA in English and Poly Sci. Senior year I decided to dual enroll in a PTA (physical therapist assistant) program. Basically I want to be in the medical field and I need a job. I need a stable job. A job in demand that's not going to lay me off, overwork me, force me to commute an hour, or not pay me a living wage.

However, I'm an ambitious guy. I want to be a doctor too. I'll keep working at it even if it takes me until my 40s to get into a program.

In the meantime I'm spending my evenings with chemistry, biology, physics, and MCAT books. I'm not going to assume that being in a health profession will give me a leg up. I intend to get 99th percentile. I'll study for 5 years if I have to.

I'm not sure though what else I should be doing. Perhaps looking for post-doc programs that will give me more opportunities to build up an application.

Anyway, it's nice to see there's another guy out there like me.
 
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OP
M
Sep 7, 2017
11
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Are you applying MD, DO, or both?

CC are fine at all DO schools. Some MD schools do not accept them, and some view them as less academically rigorous. Check school websites or the MSAR for some schools you are considering applying to. Just be sure you get A's.

I took pretty much all of my prerequisites at community college and had acceptances. I have no idea if the CC played a role in other schools choosing to reject me. In the end it didn't matter.
When the time comes I would prefer an MD school simply due to a wider pool of residency opportunities (from what I've gathered talking to DOs and MDs, along with reading here). However, if I'm honest, I'm keenly aware of the things working against me. So I know I need a good MCAT just to have a chance at a decent school with the ~3.5 I will end up with. Ideologically I like the DO route and am definitely open to it.
 
OP
M
Sep 7, 2017
11
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I have taken CC courses as well but there does seem to be some things that may not look good. "Health-profession" degrees have lower acceptance rates into medical school and I think they are openly not preferred. Having a health profession bach (radiology) as well as the CC courses and a low GPA may not present well.
I saw someone below you mention a lower average MCAT score on allied health people who try to get into med school. Do you feel this is the cause, or do you think there's a marked bias against this demographic? I hadn't heard of this issue, so I'm really glad you brought it up.
 
OP
M
Sep 7, 2017
11
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I can't remember where I read it bc it's been so long, but "health professions" degrees typically have some of the lowest mcat scores. I don't think it's a matter of schools discriminating against these degrees, just that the applicant pool tends to be weaker applicants that I guess apply thinking healthcare experience will give them an edge.

OP:I'm an RT(R)(CT). CC credits were fine for me. No one cares. The bulk of my prereqs were done at CC. However, it does hold you back with getting research (not as much done typically at the CC level) which is a nice little app booster and depending on your home state, it may be absolutely necessary to get into an MD program. Also, some schools are against online courses as well. Make sure your state MD school(s) isn't/aren't like that.

Above all, go where you think you'll get a good education for your pre reqs. I.e. Physics at my local CC was notoriously harder than my 4 year university. Conversely, bio 1 and 2 were harder at my UG than CC.

Finally, I see this a lot with people I've worked with and I just have to say it: Your healthcare background WILL NOT make up for a sub par app. I've seen too many of my friends think that because they've been a nurse/respiratory therapist, etc for X number of years they should have some luck with a sub 500 mcat. That's not reality. In my personal experience, it was a nice talking point in interviews, but it didn't give me any real advantage. It was basically just an EC to them. Like being a scribe or PCT.

You can PM if you have any questions about the process if you'd like. Best of luck!
Man, thanks so much for the reply. Nice to see another rad tech. I have to say you give me hope.

I've heard the online class issue with some schools, and thankfully I'm at a point where I haven't sunk time into online prereqs that I may have to retake. So I guess the late start paid off in that small way, hah. I'm definitely not looking to limit my chances even beyond the current handicaps.

Thank you for the humbling point in the last paragraph. I already feel that a sub 510, even, would cripple me. But I have to admit that I'd like to think the talking point of at least having medical experience (as opposed to a 22 y.o. who has shadowed for 150 hrs) counts for something. Which I'm sure it does, but as you pointed out- viewing it as an EC is a very realistic way of framing it and I'll carry that with me.
 
OP
M
Sep 7, 2017
11
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey Matt. I'm glad I found someone like you. I'm coming from a similar background.

I'm 25 and I just graduated with a BA in English and Poly Sci. Senior year I decided to dual enroll in a PTA (physical therapist assistant) program. Basically I want to be in the medical field and I need a job. I need a stable job. A job in demand that's not going to lay me off, overwork me, force me to commute an hour, or not pay me a living wage.

However, I'm an ambitious guy. I want to be a doctor too. I'll keep working at it even if it takes me until my 40s to get into a program.

In the meantime I'm spending my evenings with chemistry, biology, physics, and MCAT books. I'm not going to assume that being in a health profession will give me a leg up. I intend to get 99th percentile. I'll study for 5 years if I have to.

I'm not sure though what else I should be doing. Perhaps looking for post-doc programs that will give me more opportunities to build up an application.

Anyway, it's nice to see there's another guy out there like me.
There are all kinds of late 20s who would like to take the plunge. It's just a matter of moving past the fear of starting "too late" for me. Sounds like the same goes for you too which is awesome. I do think that "overworked" is likely to be a defining characteristic for us if we make it through to the end, though :) You sound like you have a good attitude, although I'd say you have a few years head start on me, haha. Hell, I'm only now finishing up my BA!!! You're on your way
 

Ho0v-man

5+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2014
2,137
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Status
Medical Student
Thank you for the humbling point in the last paragraph. I already feel that a sub 510, even, would cripple me. But I have to admit that I'd like to think the talking point of at least having medical experience (as opposed to a 22 y.o. who has shadowed for 150 hrs) counts for something. Which I'm sure it does, but as you pointed out- viewing it as an EC is a very realistic way of framing it and I'll carry that with me.
510 is fine. Don't get too caught up in the crazy scores you see on SDN. It's really more about your home state. I.e. A 505-507 as a Florida resident is probably fine for MD. That's a death sentence in California though. Be familiar with what kind of state you're in and if possible consider moving to a "lucky" state a year or two before applying (again, if possible).

One more thing before I forget: being an X-ray tech isn't even that great of an EC sadly (it's infuriating). I worked 2-3 rad tech jobs while going full time in UG and I still got some sideways glances because I didn't have more ECs. Sadly, working with physicians in a hospital 70 hours a week wasn't as highly valued being captain of the chemistry club or whatever. Not trying to scare you or anything, I just wish someone would have told me about this before I applied. No premed committee so I kind of flew in blind to applying.

As far as the DO/MD thing, you got the right idea. I'm at DO school and I really wish I was at an MD school just because of cost.
 
OP
M
Sep 7, 2017
11
1
Status
Pre-Medical
510 is fine. Don't get too caught up in the crazy scores you see on SDN. It's really more about your home state. I.e. A 505-507 as a Florida resident is probably fine for MD. That's a death sentence in California though. Be familiar with what kind of state you're in and if possible consider moving to a "lucky" state a year or two before applying (again, if possible).

One more thing before I forget: being an X-ray tech isn't even that great of an EC sadly (it's infuriating). I worked 2-3 rad tech jobs while going full time in UG and I still got some sideways glances because I didn't have more ECs. Sadly, working with physicians in a hospital 70 hours a week wasn't as highly valued being captain of the chemistry club or whatever. Not trying to scare you or anything, I just wish someone would have told me about this before I applied. No premed committee so I kind of flew in blind to applying.

As far as the DO/MD thing, you got the right idea. I'm at DO school and I really wish I was at an MD school just because of cost.

I'm actually in the process of moving now. As I'm going to go into a post-bacc premed program at one of a handful of schools. I'll have to look at each state to see which school is in a lucky state. Do you know of a good succinct resource on what the average accepted mcat scores are in each state for md vs do?
 

WhiteCoatWonder

doin' it for the culture
10+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2009
176
102
Status
Medical Student
hey OP,

as a non-trad student myself, i did allied health work for quite a few years before deciding i wanted to pursue medicine. i splashed a few required courses in at 2 CC's, but my completing my undergrad degree in something science-related helped me not have to do SO MANY credits that way. i also finished a 2yr post-bacc while working full time in my field, which i think was weighed more heavily than a few interspersed CC courses.

if youre interested, id also recommend reaching out to admissions committees (or any professional contact who'd have specific info for schools that you want to go to), in order to determine what the actual schools youre interested in think about CC credits. i sort of did this too, but i had already been in communication with some of those folks before i decided to apply.
 
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Ho0v-man

5+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2014
2,137
5,457
Status
Medical Student
I'm actually in the process of moving now. As I'm going to go into a post-bacc premed program at one of a handful of schools. I'll have to look at each state to see which school is in a lucky state. Do you know of a good succinct resource on what the average accepted mcat scores are in each state for md vs do?
MSAR for MD. DO is a little different. It's mostly on the website of each individual school. When I applied, there was a list floating around on SDN but it's probably out of date already.

DO is kind of weird on this front anyway. I.e. 5 years ago my school would happily accept someone with a 26 on the mcat. You probably couldn't get an interview here today with that. The flip side is that new schools have opened up that will take applicants in that score range. I know right now a 504-505 is pretty decent for most DO schools but who knows what it will look like when you apply. In the same period of time, most MD schools have become only slightly more competitive if they have at all.
 
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