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What are the chances for med school?

mje7996mje7996 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
So, I have the option of graduating a full year early from my college. I'll have a B.S in Interdisciplinary Program with a concentration in Anthropology and two minors, History (minor GPA 3.5) and Geology (minor GPA 4.0). My current major GPA is 4.0 and my current overall GPA is a 3.2, still have to get the grades from fall 2017 and spring 2018 tho. This graduating early thing took me and my adviser by complete surprise, so I have yet to take the MCAT or even apply for med or grad school; so, I'll be taking a year off to work or do an internship, depending if I do plan on graduating early.

Sadly, I have not taken a lot of the pre-req classes because I thought I was no suited for the pre-med track, and even the Biology major when I was one my first year at college. My first year as a biology major was rather ruff, which led to my current overall GPA being only a 3.2. I have completed sciences courses like:
- an intro biology class -- C
-a year of general chemistry (Gen Chem I & II) C & A
-a zoology class -- C

Besides that a lot my course revolve around critical thinking, thanks to the nature of my current major. I have taken numerous anthropology related courses, a course on sociology, a course on gender, etc. However, with the transition to the anthropology major I have yet to get anything lower than an A with my major and a B with my minors. I fairly certain I have what it takes for med school, but without the pre-reqs I'm really scared/nervous because I know that if I were to take the classes at my current school I would overwork myself and tank the courses. Tanking meaning I would at least get a C at lowest, which can be attributed to not testing well at all despite knowing the information rather well (my luck and poor life-story, in which my one professor wants to do a research study on).

Another reason I worry about taking some of the pre-req is due to my job as an RA, which helps me to gain leadership skills, communication skills, working in a team and being independent, while sometimes doing slight medical related things with residents. However, there are numerous nights (or weeks at time) where I barely get any sleep dealing with college drama or a bust of some nature.

I don't know what to do to be honest. My mom would love if I graduated a full year early, and with what I have currently grade-wise and accomplishment-wise it's understandably according to my adviser, who had yet to see a student graduate a full year early with two minors and not taking huge class loads or winter/summer classes. However, I don't know what I would do if I couldn't help people medically because that's all I can see myself doing. I could care less about the money or the stress (I work better with stress for some reason), seeing I would want to work in the E.R or a trauma unit.

So, advice of any kind would be helpful. Pointers, tips.... anything really.

Replies to: What are the chances for med school?

  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 Registered User Posts: 1,434 Senior Member
    As to chances:

    As to the various GPAs you cite, understand how your college grades get reported when you apply to med school. When you submit an application you must self report all college courses you ever enrolled in (even hs). A separate GPA (sGPA) will be calculated for all science courses taken (ie bio, chem, physics math, or BCPM), a separate GPA will be calculated for any non science courses taken (AO), and a cumulative GPA (cGPA) will be calculated for each individual year. In addition an overall sGPA, AO, and cGPA will also be calculated, with both yearly and your overall sGPA and cGPA being most important. Your anthropology, geology courses will be treated as AO courses. Your zoology, chem, intro to bio will be part of your sGPA.

    Go to link below 2018 AMCAS application guide to see how courses are classified

    Med schools are going to ask themselves if an applicant can cut it academically (eg sGPAs, cGPAs, MCAT). It appears you only have completed one premed science req (gen chem). Without grades in other premed reqs and a MCAT score, it’s simply impossible to venture a guess as to your chances.

    In addition although your time as an RA as provided you with skills that med schools value (eg leadership, communication, etc), med schools will expect to see that you participated in medically related ECs.

    I’m not saying you have no chance but you want to apply with the strongest application possible as 60% of those that actually apply fail to start at any med school. Your question as to chances is too premature as you are probably two or more years away from having a competitive application. You should have completed premed reqs before MCAT. Keep in mind that there’s a saying about applying to med school, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Also understand that there are many different opportunities in health care, besides MD. Good luck.
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 3,284 Senior Member
    More and more colleges are offering "pre med" classes as packages after you graduate. The Harvard Extension school has it as well as others. It may be worth graduating, then taking the extra year to do the pre med work over to show you can do well in these classes. Will concentrating just on these sciences make it easier or harder for you? You'll need a full year of Organic Chemistry.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,710 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    As @Jugulator20 explained it's just not yet possible to assess your chances for med school admission. You've taken too few of the core science pre-reqs and haven't sat for the MCAT yet.

    I have some questions for you--

    First: are you attending college on a scholarship or is your family paying out of pocket/taking out loans?

    While there are plenty of post-bacc programs out there, if you're attending college on generous FA, it's more advantageous to you to delay your graduation and take your pre-reqs while you're still a full time undergrad. Once you graduate, you'll lose your scholarship/grants (including Pell if you're eligible) and your ability to receive subsidized student loans. Post-bacc programs offer little if any financial aid. This means you'll be taking out big $$$ in unsub loans or will need to work full/part-time to pay for your coursework/post bacc.

    It's also to your advantage to take your pre-reqs while still a full time undergrad because as a upperclassman you'll get first crack at enrolling in the professors/sections/times you want. As a non-degree student (which is how you'd be registered after graduation), you are last in line for class registration.

    Here's a searchable database of post bacc programs: https://apps.aamc.org/postbac/#/index
    Choose Career Changer as the type.

    Second:, why do you want to become a doctor? (You don't need to answer this publicly.) But think hard about your reasons. Have you done any clinical volunteering? Physicians shadowing? Do you understand the kind of life you'll be signing up for? It's not at all like you see on TV. It's often dirty, grungy, tedious, unrewarding and occasionally dangerous. (One of D1's co-residents recently had his arm broken in 2 places by a belligerent patient. D1 has been assaulted by patients, including one who escaped from his restraints, grabbed her by the throat & tried to choke her before security arrived.) You'll be interacting with angry, unhappy people, often on the very worst day of their lives. Most people who say they want to be doctors have only very limited exposure to what a physician's life is really like. I strongly suggest that you get involved in some clinical volunteering ASAP so you can determine if this is really what you want to do.

    While you're to be congratulated on your successes so far, nothing you've accomplished is going to impress med school admissions officers. Med school adcomms really do not care one bit about how many majors or minors you have, what your majors/minors are or how long it took you to graduate from college. Once you've demonstrated you have the basic academic ability to survive the furnace that is med school, adcomms are more concerned with other attributes and accomplishments rather than your grades/majors.

    Pre-meds & med students are expected to be able to juggle multiple commitments. It's a critical skill. If you can't take your pre-reqs, maintain your grades and manage your job as a RA, then you're going to have a tough time with all the multiple projects/classes/other time commitments expected of all med students.

    Lastly remember that 60% of all med school applicants fail to gain a single acceptance and 60% of applicants with GPA >3.8 fail to get accepted to med school every year.


    tl;dr before you go down this road, make sure you really want to do this and that you have a viable Plan B because most med school hopefuls don't make it.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,710 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    ETA: in your other thread, you mention having failed gen chem 2.


    If so, your sGPA is in a deep, deep hole (well below 3.0). Since medical schools do not allow grade replacements, all your science classes will be included in GPA calculations. It's going to take you substantial time & effort to raise your sGPA into a range that med schools will find acceptable. Keep that in mind also when you make your decision about whether to pursue pre-med or not.

  • fivesagesfivesages Registered User Posts: 228 Junior Member
    edited November 2017
    As @Jugulator20 said it, medicine (MD and becoming a doctor) in this country is..."a marathon, not a sprint". Not discouraging you, but I have seen too many take that path, only to drop off at some future point. Not just pre-med science courses are difficult, but MCAT and MD are too. Redesigned MCAT is 7 hours and 30 minutes long. It doesn't end with MCAT...more tests in the future...USMLE I/II/III, board exam. It is a noble profession, but not for everyone. It is doable, but requires a long commitment.
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