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Can a B high school student survive as a premed?

homerdoghomerdog 4839 replies88 postsRegistered User Senior Member
edited June 20 in Science Majors
I read so much about how med school is a hard admit these days. Given that a premed track in college generally includes a bunch of weed out science classes, can a pretty average high school student succeed and get good grades? Or are only stellar high school students giving premed a shot? If a B high school student has his heart set on being a doctor are there certain types of colleges would give a student the best chance of success?
edited June 20
19 replies
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Replies to: Can a B high school student survive as a premed?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6589 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I also think it matters why the student is getting Bs in HS. If a student is working super hard, doing a ton of studying, and still struggling to get Bs, I think pre-med courses are going to be super challenging. If it's because a student is bored and isn't trying, that can be turned around if they are really focused on that med school goal. IMO though, bored/not trying/poor study habits should be addressed ASAP while still in HS. Getting As in the college intro courses requires a lot of effort and the self discipline to study long hours..

    You may also want to consider schools that are on a trimester schedule so you aren't taking more than 4 courses/semester.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41497 replies446 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^ very true.
    Except for a trimester system: not a good idea because it goes too fast.
    Some private colleges have semester classes and 4-credit courses so full load is only 4 courses.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6589 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    To clarify, not a school on trimesters that are really like a quarter system without summer, but a school like St Olaf where there is a short January term.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4839 replies88 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes. I was thinking that a liberal arts school may be the way to go. Maybe those science classes won’t seem like such weed out classes and a smaller school would be less likely to have a student fall through the cracks. Lots of think about.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 3559 replies40 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    IMO if the kid isn't working very hard in high school where it is easy to get an A, what changes when he gets to college? All this motivation is intrinsic. The reality is many kids say fantastic things out loud about being a Dr, parents don't have to really say anything much as they really self select out. Just make sure his major has potential for earning a living.
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7146 replies7 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think that there will always be some B students who rise to the occasion and do really well in college...and eventually apply to medical school. There are a lot of variables to consider.

    There are other routes to take as well...PA, nurse practitioner, DO school ( somewhat less competitive than MD school), etc
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4839 replies88 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Just FYI - this is not about my kids. Just a general question as I hear kids we know talk about being doctors and they aren’t the best students. Made me wonder if these types of students end up making it when they aren’t top of their high school classes.
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7146 replies7 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 21
    In my opinion and from my observations, most average ( as well as above average) HS kids end up switching to a different major or health care career. Premed ...as well as everything that comes along with it ( volunteering, shadowing, high mcat, high gpa, research, etc) is tough, even for the strongest students.

    Many of these kids figure that out with time. My own D (recent grad) will likely apply to medical school within the next few years, and I see what she has had to accomplish. I have a hard time believing that students who aren’t that strong/driven etc can do it....but...some surprise us I guess.
    edited June 21
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  • SybyllaSybylla 3559 replies40 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    HS kids talk a lot of nonsense. But it is the least likely kids that talk the loudest. Smile and nod.
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7146 replies7 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 21
    Smiling and nodding is actually a good skill LOL. It’s not easy...it’s like when these same kids had a list of unrealistic schools...and didn’t get in. Similar concept.

    edited June 21
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4839 replies88 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 21
    @Sybylla lol!!! I did have one friend ask me flat out if her daughter stands a chance at getting to medical school and I guess I should just say “sure” and move on! I’m sure they’ll figure the whole thing out sooner or later. It just made me really curious if a late bloomer could make it happen. But it does seem unlikely.
    edited June 21
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7146 replies7 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 21
    It’s hard to be premed and a late bloomer...you need to hit the ground running right away and you need the study habits to go along with it...among other things.

    Some late bloomers do eventually attend medical school, but they might not do it right after college graduation ( gap years are very common for many). They enroll in programs to improve their gpa, and they spend time volunteering etc.





    edited June 21
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7146 replies7 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 23
    I have a family member who was a B student in HS and went on to college as an education major. Senior year of college he applied to Teach for America and did not get in, but he did get accepted to another similar type program in a city. After one year of doing this program he quit...hated it. He didn’t last through the entire 2 years of the program.

    At the age of 23 he decided that he was interested in medical school. He spent the next few years taking all the prerequisites for medical school, shadowing, volunteering, etc. He took the mcats and at the age of 27....he was in medical school. I spoke to him recently and he was very happy and doing well in school.

    This is how some (not many) B students in HS ( and even in college) gain entry to medical school. As noted earlier, it is becoming more and more common for most premeds to take a gap year...or more. I think I just read that the average age now to begin is 24. I suspect that this age will continue to rise.
    edited June 23
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  • SybyllaSybylla 3559 replies40 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Non trads with some kind of trust fund might be able to meander for sure.
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7146 replies7 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes the process is very expensive.
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  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 1527 replies18 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    can a pretty average high school student succeed and get good grades?
    Adding to @twogirls (#14,15) I don’t think that the question can be answered as there are just too many parts to becoming a successful med school applicant. Med schools receive 1000s of application, some over 10k applications to fill perhaps 1-200 seats. Hard decisions get made. Weakness in any application area can be fatal.

    I’d to the above list
    Doing well on interview
    Applying broadly
    Some luck.
    As to gap year(s): med school application process is year long meaning that if one wants to start med school after senior year, they need to submit a strong application in all respects at end of junior year. I think the pressure to jam a lot of stuff (eg premed reqs, ECs, etc) into three years often results in premed hopeful dreams ending and their moving on to Plan Bs, or submitting an otherwise weaker application hoping they will somehow be the one. Slowing down and taking an extra year(s) to strengthen one’s application can be a very wise strategy for any student, stellar or not. There’s a saying about the process that it’s a marathon not a sprint.

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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41497 replies446 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    More and more students apply senior year or even after - I think the average first ear is now 24.
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