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Can't Take Calc in High School, should I bother applying for Pre-Med courses?

CantUseRealNameCantUseRealName Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
Forgive me if I do anything wrong, I am new to this.

I am a High School Junior, and I have great grades so far. However I did not plan my schedule well, and cannot take Calc. I thought I wanted to be a politician, so focused on history/social studies, but have lately decided that I wanted to become a Psychiatrist, etc etc.

I read online that you "must" take Calc to be accepted into Pre-Med, is that an actual requirement, or a strong recommendation? Also, do I have to take Pre-Med to be go on to Medical School, or could I major in Psychology or something related to my specific goal? Thank you.

Replies to: Can't Take Calc in High School, should I bother applying for Pre-Med courses?

  • scmom12scmom12 Registered User Posts: 2,952 Senior Member
    Pre-med is not a major in and of itself. You can major in anything - biology, engineering, religion, etc. as long as you take the pre-requisites that med school requires. Often schools have pre-professional offices or programs to help you stay on the right track with coursework. So you may need to take calc, but no requirement to do it before college unless the college or your major as a whole requires it. Lots of kids start college with just pre-calc under their belt.
  • usualhopefulusualhopeful Registered User Posts: 1,627 Senior Member
    Pre med is not a major or a department. You can major in anything. It is just a series of courses and some clinical experience which must be completed in order to apply to med school. One of those courses is a full year of college-level math, at least one semester of which should be calculus.

    Look around on Google, maybe Student Doctor Network has an FAQ. Hopefully that can clear up some of the most basic questions about the pre-med track.
  • CantUseRealNameCantUseRealName Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    edited July 2016
    Amazing. Forgive the ignorance; I am new to the college search as well and incredibly anxious about it, and of course, thank you for the responses.
  • user4321user4321 Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    College calculus is a requirement for med school. You will probably do better in your college math course if you have already seen the material in high school. But in 2016 there are a lot of alternatives that were not previously available like Khan Academy, et al
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 83,930 Forum Champion
    <<<online that you "must" take Calc to be accepted into Pre-Med, is


    No one gets accepted into "premed". Where did you read that nonsense???

    What are your stats? What is your home state? What is your likely major?

    How much will your parents pay??
  • CantUseRealNameCantUseRealName Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Not sure the site, but I read somewhere that calc was a must for the pre-med path. Keep in mind I did not quote the site (except for that one word), it was my own mistake; I thought Pre-med was a course you took (but it is not, I realize that now).

    Stats: 4.0 GPA, haven't taken the ACT yet (will this upcoming year), in Academic bowl, and will probably become active in the community with school clubs and such this year as well.

    Home state is Oklahoma, and I will probably major in Psychology. My family will likely pay for very little to none of the expenses.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,629 Senior Member
    edited July 2016
    You live in a "good" state, OP!

    Take the PSAT this year. UOklahoma offers very generous scholarships to National Merit Finalists. (So good, in fact, that my optometrist's daughter who was a NMF passed up top scholarships at her in-state options to to go to OU.)


    U Oklahoma's med school has very strong in-state bias in admission and in-state tuition is that is only $22K/year. (A bargain!!!)

    Here's OU SOM admission requirements--it doesn't require calculus (or any math classes, for that matter)!

    http://www.hippocrates.ouhsc.edu/comweb/pdf/OU COM Brochure.pdf

    OU also offers advising to those who are interested in attending OU COM
    We provide an advisory option for individuals interested in applying to medical school. To optimize our time spent advising applicants, we are going to hold informational sessions and will provide an overview of the requirements, process, and statistics. We will have a question and answer period followed by a brief medical student led tour. We hold this advising session on the first Monday of the month. If the first Monday is a holiday, we will hold the session on the second Monday of that month. It is very important that applicants know their attendance at one of these sessions is not required and does not influence their application result.

    Oklahoma also has a extremely highly regarded osteopathic medical school. Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa. It also give strong preference to OK residents in admissions.

    It also does not require calculus (or any college math) for admission.

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 83,930 Forum Champion
    calc was a must for the pre-med path.

    That isn't talking about high school. That is advice that a college premed student should take Calc in COLLEGE. Calc in college isn't required for all med schools. However, since a person applies to many med schools, the suggestion of taking Calc was likely given to cover a possible req't or recommendation at some med schools.

    Someone in high school isn't on a premed path. A premed path occurs in college.

    Home state is Oklahoma, and I will probably major in Psychology. My family will likely pay for very little to none of the expenses.

    Well then....be sure to take the PSAT in October and study for it. If you can't get your hands on a PSAT prep book for the New PSAT, then use a prep book for the New SAT. If you score high enough on the PSAT, then you could be a National Merit Finalist and Univ of Oklahoma has a very large scholarship for that.

    Is your family low income? Either way, if your parents can't pay much, then you need to seek out certain colleges that will provide most/all of your education funding either because of high stats/NMF standing or low income.
  • Helen13Helen13 Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    edited August 2016
    It is easier to make NMF from Oklahoma than from neighboring Texas (less well qualified applicant pool, less overall numbers.) If you get NMF, then go to OU, which will give you a full ride plus overseas study, plus any monies left over from undergrad can be applied to OU's grad school, including their med school.

    From what I understand, if you are NMF you are guaranteed an OU full ride for undergraduate, plus you can use the funds to pay for OU medical school. A unique deal in the United States.

    For med school, you can major in anything you choose. In fact, a non-science major such as music catches the committee's eyes. All they care is that you meet the pre-professional programs.

    Don't take other health professions like dental off the table yet. Consider nurse practitioner in psych, as well. DEFINITELY don't exclude OSU Osteopathic in Tulsa. It's easier to get in, a highly ranked program, prefers kids from small towns. Most docs in rural OK and many in big cities OKC and Tulsa are DOs. The training these days is basically identical with DOs receiving a slightly more holistic education including things like physical therapy and nutrition. And yes, DOs have specialties, like psych.

    Are you an Oklahoma Promise scholar?

    Contact a DO and MD NOW and see if you can get in some shadowing. If there a psych nurse practitioner (master's level, advanced practice nurse) you can speak to and shadow? Specialty psych nurses abound in psych hospitals' out patient programs and rural mental health clinics tend to be full of them. Nurse practitioners can treat and write scrips.

    For med school admissions/interviews, it will help if you have a hook/rationale/passion for your degree; maybe you have a heart for rural medicine, or Indian health, or gerontology psych (very, very needed and well funded in school.)

    My brother decided on dental rather than med because it was a shorter time to degree, with more time with family afterwards. He graduated from OK Health Sciences with $0 debt, and a professor hooked him up with a retiring dentist's practice, which he acquired with $0 debt. His wife went to Health Sciences as a dental assistant, works insane hours and she makes close to 6 figures with a bachelor's degree. My brother never graduated from OU undergrad; he got in to dental school as a junior. He did a few semesters at Rogers State (then a community college) and transferred.

    There's a huge need for mental health professions, dental and general practitioners in OK everywhere outside OKC and Tulsa. There's also places like Carl Albert Hospital in Ada where you can practice without regards to insurance billing and you make a nice living practicing your craft as a federal employee.

    I won't advise you to get an MSW or clinical psych PhD; expensive programs that aren't well remunerated after you get out AND you'll still need to work with an MD/DO for meds and oversight.
  • CantUseRealNameCantUseRealName Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    edited August 2016
    I like to think that I would would make the NMF, because, as you mentioned, it is easier to make in OK, and I like to think I am good in test situations (not to sound arrogant), but for the sake of preparedness, what would I do if I don't make NMF? Given my GPA, I would probably receive some sort of small academic scholarship, but not near enough to pay for even one year. If this is the case would I apply for aid? Should I apply for a loan?

    Is there any reason you would recommend OU as opposed to Okstate? I was planning for the latter for some non-academic reasons, but if the pros outweigh the cons I would definitely consider OU instead.

    I am open to other med-based careers (though I would prefer a psych-specialty/psychiatry, because it interests me the most), but not dentistry (not a big fan).

    No I am not an Oklahoma Promise scholar.

    How would I go about doing this? I simply contact the local general practitioner, dentists, etc and ask to shadow? There is a mental health clinic nearby (I live in Claremore, about 30 minutes NE of Tulsa), and several therapists, psychiatrists, counselors, etc around.
  • CantUseRealNameCantUseRealName Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    edited August 2016
    Obviously I wouldn't be able to shadow for therapists and such, but maybe for me to speak to them and learn more about what it is like and how to get into the field.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,629 Senior Member
    edited August 2016
    Here's a resource to help get you started researching about how to finance your college education from the Oklahoma Dept of Higher Education


    You should also speak with your high school counselor since some of the available state scholarships require your high school to nominate you for consideration.

    There are a lot people who are willing to help you and give you sound advice in the Financial Aid sub-forum:
    Try posting your situation there.

    I don't think OU vs OKState will make a huge difference in your ability to gain an admission to medical or other professional school. Minimizing debt is important for pre-meds. Go to the college where you can get the best deal. Even if you need to start out at community college for financial reasons, you can still go to med school.
    How would I go about doing this? I simply contact the local general practitioner, dentists, etc and ask to shadow?

    Yes, that's exactly how you go about it. You contact individual practitioners and ask if they will allow you to shadow them. Expected to refused. Expect to be refuse A LOT. It's best to start with practitioners you know and network outwards from there. If you have a primary care provider or if you regularly are treated at a particular clinic, ask them. If they say no, ask if they can suggest someone else who might.

    When you get to college, check with the health professions advising office. Some advisors maintain a list of physicians and other healthcare professionals who will allow students to shadow them. Some pre-health profession (pre-med, pre-dent, pre-PA, etc) clubs do too.

    Another approach is start volunteering at a healthcare facility--hospital, nursing home, group home. summer camp for disabled children, etc. Once the providers get to know you personally, they are usually much more willing to let you shadow than if you are a complete stranger to them. (Cuts down on the creepy factor.) This is probably the most effective approach.

    The AOA maintains a database of osteopathic physicians who are willing to have students shadow them. (Update--the webpage has moved and I can't find it now.)

    Be professional when you approach or call a provider to ask. Be direct but be polite, dress appropriately (i.e. neat & professional), have a prepared resume you can offer them. Include personal character references w/ their contact info on your resume. If you use email, make sure your subject header and text body reads "professional" (maybe have a trusted adult or teacher look over your email first) and be sure to attach your resume to the email. Treat asking to shadow like applying for a job.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,255 Senior Member
    @whenhen : any opinion on theOU vs OSU matter?
    My -outside - impression is that OU is stronger academically and attracts better students, with a wider variety of majors and interests. Also, the town is better :) .
  • GoldenRockGoldenRock Registered User Posts: 1,158 Senior Member
    @CantUseRealName Parent of a freshman who started in OU last week in the combined BS/MD program from CA. Here are few points though already folks have responded with incredible information.

    1. Prepare well for tests (PSAT/SAT) and become National Merit finalist. Yes, OU gives full tuition plus some more (not full ride but close to full ride). Very unusual, OU gives 5 years of free tuition. So you will get 1 or 2 years of medical college free tuition. So don't miss that opportunity. This year there are 275 National Merit Scholar (#1 university in terms of max number of national merit).

    2. Apply for the combined BS/MD programs in both OU and Tulsa (Tulsa started only this year). OU takes 6 and Tulsa 5 students.

    3. Tulsa also gives a great scholarship. FULL RIDE Presidential scholarship (My D got it but wait listed in their BS/MD and hence decided to go to OU)

    4. It is not uncommon some students may not be able to do Calculus in high school. But make sure you do at least 2 semesters of Math Calculus in college at least. OU Medicine has that requirement. Since you may have to apply to other medical schools (besides OU), they may need including some of Texas medical schools.

    5. Try to get involved any volunteer activities related to health care and shadow physicians or other health related professionals. That not only enables your application as a strong candidate, more it helps you to know and decide whether that is a career you want to pursue in your life.

This discussion has been closed.