Young Pre-Med student w/ a few questions.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by pato7, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. pato7

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    Hi, I'm new to the forum and I have a few questions to ask. First a little bit of background. I graduated high school in '07 with a 3.7 GPA. I was the one touted as the most likely to flourish in college. Unfortunately, I have done anything but flourish. The first semester went well and I had a 3.0 GPA (lowest grade was a C), but it was second semester when things fell apart. Even thought I had an A in English Comp, I struggled in my other classes and ended up failing Chem I (the first time I ever failed a class). Now my GPA sits at 2.2. I know, not good. I'll admit that it was mostly just because of being lonely. I go to a big school out of state where I don't know anyone (still don't) so that kinda threw me off cause even though I'm naturally shy, I did well in high school because I was interacting with people on a regular basis. I don't know why there's a correlation there, but there is. Anyway, I initially thought it was all over at that point, but after talking with some people, I see that it's really just a minor bump in the road. It'll be an uphill climb, but I'm not completely out of the pre-med game.

    Which brings me to today. I've been putting a lot of thought into where I'm going to go from here. I realized that while I can handle the pre-req work for med school, I cannot major in a science and be flooded with the hard sciences all four years. Right now I'm focusing on meeting the university's core curriculum first so I have time to think about the major I choose. I've narrowed my choses to the following:

    -Exercise Science: I've had an interest in nutrition and exercise for a while, but from what I've heard, this major is more about learning to be a personal trainer. Just what I've heard.

    -Psychology: Another major I've been interested since high school. This was originally my first choice and I did well in the introductory course.

    -Radio/Television/Film: I have always had a huge love of films and wanted to learn about the process of making them. I tell most people that if I weren't going to med school, I'd like to make films. The only thing about this one I worry about is that it's so far away from the typical med school major that it may hurt my chances of getting in.

    -Biology: This is really just a last resort.

    So my questions are:
    1. Are those majors viable and would any of them help or hurt my chances of acceptance?

    2. Have any of you made the comeback from a failed course (specifically a science course) early on in college and make it to med school?

    3. Did any of you major in a non-science major and get to med school? What was your experience like (did you enjoy it, was it difficult balancing the two, etc.)?

    And let me add that I'm not opposed to summer school. In fact, my mom has been almost pushing to take summer classes. Anyway, I know these are questions I should ask an academic advisor, but I wanted to get the opinions of those who are where I'm at right now or who've been there not too long ago. Thank you.
     
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  3. TexasTriathlete

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    Buddy, I graduated with a 2.2, and it took me a couple years of post-bac to dig myself out of that hole.

    My degree is in kinesiology (basically the same as exercise science), and I was pretty well-trained there. Then when I went back for my post-bac, all the bio and biochem I learned really tied everything I learned in kinesiology together.

    Just get your **** together and finish strong. Also do well on the MCAT. You're not finished yet.

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  4. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*

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    "Never, never, never quit!"
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    Winston Churchill..
     
  5. TexasTriathlete

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    I should add that I know a girl from work who is doing her internship at my hospital. She went to UTMB for med school, and is headed to Duke for derm soon. She was a spanish major in college.

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  6. Kateb4

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    Hey, welcome! First of all, don't get stressed about one bad semester. Re-take that chem that you failed, and just keep chugging. Does your university have a pre-professional association. I'd join that and make friends with some other pre-meds. Makes it a little easier to keep on track if you can make friends with some like-minded people.

    As for the major, do what interests you and hopefully will include some of the pre-req classes as part of your major (so you aren't taking a ton of extra classes as "electives") I think that exercise science or psychology would both be fine majors. But, I don't think that doing something different will hurt your chances at all. It will give you something to talk about at your interviews that will make you different. I knew an english literature major that was accepted to University of Chicago. Do what you like for undergrad since you are spending 4 years working on it. I think that the only reason most people choose Bio/Chem etc is that the pre-med pre-reqs are included as part of their degree requirements (so it's just easier). Whatever you choose, just make sure that you get solid grades in the pre-med classes and get some medical experience.

    Good luck!
     
  7. 203712

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    Radio/Television/Film ;)

    perfect mate. I think med schools would love a great student from a cool major like that then a great student from a biology/chem major. That being said, i used the word great for both.

    Your average pre-med student does not get into medical school. Even for DO schools, you'll be **** out of luck if you dont score above a 25 on the MCAT and have above a 3.25, I promise you that!

    But your first goal: MAKE FRIENDS. you wanna go to medical school, you'll have a lot of training and have to be friendly with good communication skills, have leadership skills, etc. You gotta be personable. Go do something you like, and find someone to talk too.

    Get good grades. No excuses. The 3.0 was low, let alone your second semester. Good GPA doesn't reflect intelligence as much as it does hard work. The MCAT will show your intelligence.

    Volunteer. Do a childrens hospital, they can be much fun! From there, do little things here at there in medicine. I really enjoyed ambulance ride alongs, etc.

    From here on out those should be your goals, and you will be fine and dandy for medical school. Fail any one of those, and your SOL.

    Goodluck:luck:
     
  8. KateGia

    KateGia OMS-III

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    Take how hard you have to work to be a science major. Multiply that by like 10, and that's how hard you will work for the first 2 years of medical school. I can't speak for 3rd and 4th year because I haven't been through that. It is one thing to major in something you enjoy in undergrad because you want to have fun. There are people in my class with pretty much every major under the sun. It's another thing to avoid being a science major because you don't think you can handle it. If you can't handle that, how are you going to handle medical school?
    Now, after saying that. I think it is very reasonable to come back from a 2.2 if you are willing to work for it. I had a crappy semester where I got a 2.9, I made up for it by getting above a 3.6 from then on, and showing the upward trend in my grades. When i was interviewed, they brought it up, and I said, yeah, i had a rocky semester where I just didn't work hard enough and it showed. I used it as motivation to work as hard as I could for the rest of my undergrad career. They didn't want to hear excuses, no matter how legit they were, so I just admitted to not working hard enough. They liked that.
    Honestly, If you decide to change your major,there is nothing wrong with that, but just be ready to work as hard as you can on anything you do, and if science is what you like, don't change your major just because "you don't think you can do it."
     
  9. madcye

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    So my questions are:
    1. Are those majors viable and would any of them help or hurt my chances of acceptance?

    2. Have any of you made the comeback from a failed course (specifically a science course) early on in college and make it to med school?



    I'd agree with most that has been posted so far.

    1. OP: Exercise Science I think is a plus because it'll be a good foundation for med if that is your interest and you feel passionate about the subject. I also was considering psych but decided against it since I was more interested in the sciences.

    2. I had a 2.75 gpa for my first year of college because I was just pissing around as an Undeclared Business major then I turned it around became a general bio major and the rest is history.

    Its been said already but its really important for you to create some bonds with people at school especially if your cut off from your family and friends from before. I think joining a preprofessional society or any other interest groups/clubs around campus would be a good move. As a side story to emphasize this point. There was a freshman at my school who shot himself with a shotgun in the computer lab because he failed a class. That just shows the lack of balance and isolation he must've been going through. Fortunately, he didnt go on a rampage like some others have. Personally, I think your already heading in the right direction by asking for help on these forums. I wish I knew about SDN when I begen my process (I just joined last year while I was applying).

    Bottom line work hard in your classes, utilize the resources of your school (ie. career centers, talking to profs, and clubs) and have some fun :cool: undergrad once you get your system down shouldn't be overwhelming. You should have enough time to get your work done and enjoy yourself.

    Good luck and feel free to pm me if you have any Qs. :luck:
     
  10. BCLumas

    BCLumas Member

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    Even there I think you're over-shooting. I have a 3.16 and a 27N and I was accepted to 3 schools. Keep working hard and don't get your chin down. What doesn't defeat you makes you stronger! Remember that.
     
  11. Aidan

    Aidan Res Ipsa Loquitur

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    If you're just now becoming a sophomore, you have plenty of time to climb back up to be competitive at D.O. schools. You'll have to work hard obviously, but you can do it. If your GPA is still low after you graduate, you can do a post-bacc. Out of the pre-med game? Doubtful. There's plenty of people who have failed a course and went on to medical school.

    As for majors, I'd pick psychology (I'm biased, because that's my major.) I really love it, and to be honest, it's not a difficult major. At least not for me. Plenty of time to do your major psych requirements and your pre-med coursework on top of that.
     
  12. PBL DO

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    This is salvageable. I got a 2.7 my freshman year of college because I joined a fraternity and skipped class a lot. After I realized I needed to put more work into the classes I was pulling 3.8s and got into every school I applied to but one. The important part of this message is medical schools look at grade trends. You get a 3.4+ next year, 3.6+ the following year after that, etc. it will make a significantly positive difference on your application.


    Kateb4 mentioned pre-med clubs and other university organizations (maybe a fraternity is not the best option, heh) but that is a great idea and as others have mentioned, very important to make friends.

    The majors you listed are certainly viable, and many medical schools look at a non-pre-med major more favorably than a pre-med one. Some schools like to see more well-rounded candidates for acceptance to medical school. Be careful though because the less of a science major you chose, and the fewer science classes you take, the more work you will have to do to do well on the MCAT.


    Never failed a class but I withdrew from one I wasn't doing great in off the bat, retook it and got an "A-". When medical schools figure your final GPA some won't even look at that class as an "F" if you retake it, but make sure to do VERY well the second time around. Everyone stumbles now and again, and being exposed to college for the first year can account for a sub-par starting GPA, so you can still make it.


    If you can afford it this is highly advisable. I took some classes 2 different summers. Summer classes tend to be a little easier than the same classes during the regular school year, and because its only one class (usually) that you're taking you can get the "A" in it over a "B" or "C" perhaps in the school year. Besides that, it makes the regular school year that much easier if, say, you take a class like Organic Chemistry or Physics over the summer. That translates into better scores in all the classes you take in the regular school year. Expensive, but generally a win/win.

    If you'd like more information you can PM me, like I said I walked out of freshmen year with a 2.7 frustrated, scared and wondering about a lot of the things you are going through now. It's still early, but it is certainly an uphill battle.
     
  13. pato7

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    Thank you all for your help. I have taken everything that's been said into consideration and I feel a lot more optimistic. I'm leaning towards majoring in Exercise Science because it may give me more hands on experience with the human body, plus it may help me finally get and stay in shape lol. Once again, thank you.
     
  14. GreenShirt

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    Don't worry OP...you'll have plenty of time to turn it around. However, I would consider one thing strongly: How talented are you in the sciences? Did you take a lot of science classes in high school? Did you fail chem because it was difficult or was it just due to adjustment?

    I ask because, personally, I struggled through my pre-med and somehow muddled my way into medical school. In retrospect I realize that people are born with certain talents and in my case that talent was not science. You can bust your butt, get by, and even make it into medical school, but would you not be happier doing something in which you naturally excel in the long run?

    The Exercise Science and Psychology Majors are pretty much "fluff" sciences and will be significantly easier to complete than a basic science major. It may result in you just hiding behind these "easy" sciences and you may never find out if you have talents in other disciplines. I would almost advise you to try out the Film major, if you truly enjoy this field, and hold off on the pre-med reqs. This way you'll have a chance to recoup a little from first year and try out something different. The pre-reqs will always be there if you want to do them junior, senior or post-graduation.

    I apologize if this sounds like a bunch of rambling, but these types of stories always resonate with me, because I too once told myself that the reason I was bombing this pre-req or that one was because I had "some adjustment issues". Now I'm sitting in Medical School wondering if I could have excelled at something else. Of course, now I'll never know what that something else was.
     
  15. pato7

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    Thank you for your help. I have thought a lot about pursuing this career. Granted this was something my parents have been pushing me towards for a while (like most foreign born parents), but at the same time, I don't feel like it's something that would be out of reach for me either. I have somewhat of a deductive nature and would be pretty good at diagnosing. But I'm really just waiting for school to start so I can meet with the school's pre-med advisor to discuss things. I really want to explore my options and not limit myself to a path that may be the wrong choice.
     
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  17. PBL DO

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    101 Things You Wish You Knew Before Starting Medical School


    I recommend exploring this whole site, it's a great way to learn more about medical school in general from a student's perspective. May give you some incite in what you are getting yourself into and help you make your decision if you really want to pursue this career.
     

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