Hey guys, finishing up my 4th year of electrical engineering and decided I want to get into the health care field. My question is, I have a 3.5 CGPA, but I have a few Ds and one F on my transcript from first and second year. I also repeated a whole semester in 3rd year which was like 5 classes. In total, I repeated 7 classes, 2 from first and second year, and then 5 from 3rd. Additionally, I have like 2 classes where I opted for a letter grade of P/F (Pass/Fail) and doesn’t affect GPA, it was a grading scheme my school offered during COVID. It wasn’t until 3rd year where I turned things around and bought my cumulative GPA from a 2.5 to a 3.5 by getting 90+ in all my classes. After graduation, I plan on doing a post baccalaureate program to gain clinical experience, boost my GPA, and do all the pre requisite science courses. My goal is to apply to DO schools since they look at repeated courses, but I’m worried that a lot of my grades on my transcript from first and second year will be off putting despite the turnaround that took place after 2nd year. I know that DO schools look at repeated courses as first try, but since I repeated so many courses, would that be something of concern as well? would appreciate some opinions
Have you taken the MCAT yet? I am guessing not. That will be a helpful metric.
Have you done significant shadowing, volunteering with under privileged folks, and do you have any hands on medical experience?
A post bacc is an expensive program and my understanding is…you will need really all A grades to move forward.
Have you checked this site for additional health care related jobs?
And read this. It looks like all DO schools do not allow grade replacement. I don’t know how a post bacc affects this.
Will these be retakes of any of the required courses for medical school admission?
Well…sort of. You said you had to repeat a full semester your 3rd year. Getting better grades the second time one takes a course is partially because you already knew the expectations and course content.
DO schools no longer allow grade replacement so those 7 repeated courses will be included in all GPA calculations. This means your GPAs are likely lower than you are calculating.
Med schools also do not accept P/F grades for any required courses (with an exception for Covid-era mandatory P/F grading that some colleges had). Any pre-reqs you took P/F will need to be re-taken.
Use an unofficial copy of your transcript and follow the instruction on this calculator to find your AACOMAS GPA:
Now post your GPAs–both cumulative and science.
You will probably need a post-bacc to improve your GPA. You will need about 30 credits (8 classes) of upper level undergrad biological science classes to prove your academic fitness for med school. You can take these through a formal GPA post-bacc (AMCAS List of Postbaccalaureate Premedical Programs–choose gpa enhancing as the type) or by doing a self-directed post-bacc at a 4 year college.
Formal programs vary widely in price and effectiveness. Colleges have discovered these can be real money-makers for the bio dept so they have proliferated lately. Do your research before choosing one. Post-baccs may or may not include MCAT prep and clinical exposure/physician shadowing as part of the program. Again, do your research before enrolling in one.
A self-directed post bacc involves taking 8 upper level bio classes at a 4 year college. These classes should be related to medical school topics (IOW not ecology/environmental science) such as neuroscience, immunology, genetics, anatomy & physiology, biochemistry, embryology, etc.
Besides clinical exposure, medical schools want to see applicants with a service-to-others orientation. (This is one the 15 Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students.) This mean doing hands-on community service with disadvantaged/disparaged groups. Adcomms prefer to see long term service with one group/organization to lots of one-off experiences. Start volunteering now.
As a non-traditional applicant aiming for DO schools, you don’t need to have research lab experience to apply.
Once you have completed your 30 credits of post-bacc coursework and taken your MCAT, then you can start developing your application list.
One more thought–med schools require 2 semesters of writing skills classes and most require courses in social sciences (intro sociology and intro psychology specifically). Psych and sociology have their own test section on the MCAT. So if you haven’t take all of those those classes, you’ll need to take them as part of your post-bacc coursework.
Edited to add: https://explorehealthcareers.org
Honestly, I would combine your interests. Google both electrical engineering and medicine and see what comes up. You can have a huge impact on people’s lives being an engineering working in a Healthcare setting or manufacture etc to help people. I wouldn’t waste your engineering degree. Just a different view point.
I would suggest you make an appointment with career services at your college, and with the health care advising folks to get some guidance in terms of what might be your next steps.
There are many many health care careers that are not doctor. Perhaps one of those might be of interest to you.