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I just graduated with a Psychology degree but I want to go to medical school?

biologynerdbiologynerd Registered User Posts: 377 Member
edited August 2012 in Pre-Med Topics
I just graduated with my bachelor's degree in psychology. I originally started out pre-med but hit a few bumps in the road and changed career paths. I'm contemplating grad school in clinical psych but I am also really leaning towards changing paths back to medical school for psychiatry. The question is, what would be the best way to go about doing this? Since I already graduated, I'm not sure what happens now. I know I can take the majority of the pre-reqs at my community college and then transfer to the 4 year school I just graduated from to finish all the others (if necessary). The thing is, I already started taking some of the pre-reqs when I first started college (chemistry sequence, bio sequence) but I lacked direction and motivation (and was really homesick/depressed) and am not particularly happy with my grades in those courses. Can I just start over at the community college and take those pre-reqs again? I'm just unsure how to go about this? I will be working full time and taking the pre-reqs part time.

Note: I do realize medical school is something you do not decide to do on a whim which is why I graduated with psychology and changed my major. I realize now that medicine is really my passion and because I know this now I am willing to do whatever it takes. I realize that even after all of this I may not be accepted and my plan B will be to go to graduate school for clinical psychology.
Post edited by biologynerd on

Replies to: I just graduated with a Psychology degree but I want to go to medical school?

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,955 Senior Member
    If you're aiming for an allopathic (MD) medical schools, the answer is those grades will always be part of your record and must be included in both your cGPA and sGPA calculations when applying to medical schools.

    You certainly can take the coursework over again, but it will not erase nor will it make up for the earlier poor grades.

    Since you already have a BA/BS degree and already have poor pre-reqs grades from a 4 year, I would strongly recommend against taking your med school pre-reqs at a CC. There is a perception that CC classes are less rigorous than those at 4 year college. Any good grades you earn at a CC may get discounted in light of your poor grades at a 4 year.

    If there is local 4 year college near your work site/home, you can take part-time coursework as non-degree seeking student. That's probably your best option.


    If you're willing to consider it, osteopathic medical schools (DO programs) do allow you to retake coursework and use the new grade in GPA calculations. (You, however, have to send transcripts from every college you've attended so the earlier poor grades will still be seen by admission committees.)


    I would strongly suggest, however, before you make any permanent career decisions, you take some time to shadow several physicians to get a first-hand look at what a physician's career is like. You say medicine is your passion, but how do you know that unless you have personal and first hand knowledge of what the career is like?

    Also shadowing, medical and non-medical volunteering, clinical experience and research are all expected of med school applicants. Both MD and DO. (Yes even for working adults!!)
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,268 Forum Champion
    psychiatry and clinical psych are quickly becoming more and more different. I agree that first you need to wrap your head around which one you actually want to do. For example, a lot of psychiatry is actually pharmacology and certainly if you're doing inpatient psych you also manage many of the medical problems unrelated to the person's psych diagnosis. If you just want talk therapy, stick with clinical psych. Please explore this much more with people who actually practice in either of those fields as I am not one of those people.

    Also, don't forget that you can't "go to medical school for psychiatry." You will have to go through the exact same stuff as the kids who want to be neurosurgeons or radiologists or gynecologists. Do you enjoy the aspects of medicine that do not relate to psychiatry?
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,955 Senior Member
    OP--In earlier posts, you declared your passion for immunology and basic science research. You stated that you were happiest in a wet lab environment.

    Medicine could not be farther from this type of environment. After your first year of medical school, unless you eventually specialize in pathology, you will likely never set foot in a lab ever again.

    You also previously mentioned genetic counseling as career until you learned that genetic counseling involves significant case management. As a psychiatrist, you will also be doing a significant amount of case managment.

    What it is exactly you want to do? Your interests seem very unfocused and based mostly upon a romanticized view of these careers and not on the reality.
  • biologynerdbiologynerd Registered User Posts: 377 Member
    What you both fail to understand and what I haven't posted on here is that I do have experience shadowing ER doctors. I spent three months in the ER working with physicians. I also have countless hours as a volunteer at a local hospital in high school. Also, these posts about immunology and genetics counseling were at a time when I was considering changing my major. I have since graduated with a psychology degree, which in hindsight I should have stuck with my pre-med curriculum. I do not have "a romanticized view of these careers." I have seen first hand what it's like to have a patient die or what it's like to have to deal with medical emergencies.

    I realize that practicing medicine in a clinical environment and researching and working in a wet lab are two totally different things. Do you really have enough time to spend hours combing through all of my past posts (totaling more than six pages) and have covered all four years of my college experience? We all are not completely certain of our majors as a freshman in college.

    I also realize med school involves rotations; I was pre-med and saw a pre-med advisor so I am not completely in the dark about how medical schools operate and what coursework is involved.

    My issue with applying to the four year school is cost. Since I graduated with a bachelor's degree already so I am no longer capable of receiving financial aid. I will be working full time to pay my way through my pre med pre reqs.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,955 Senior Member
    It's quite possible to work full-time and take 1-2 classes/semester in order to fulfill your pre-reqs. My older daughter did almost exactly that. (She held down 2 part-time jobs and worked more than 40 hrs/week. She earned more $$ way and had more schedule flexibility to take her classes.)

    She took her coursework at a local 4 year public university as a non-degree seeking student.

    It took her between 2-3 years to complete her pre-reqs. She is about to start her second year of med school.
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