Premed Question

Hello,
So I have too many credits so I have to graduate in 1.5 or 2 years for financial reasons and the schools reasons.

I wanted to apply to med school so I was thinking I could finish my degree in 1.5 years, then take that half of the year to do my mcat by the end of traditional “sophomore” year for me.

Then I could take a gap year, gain volunteer hours and clinical experience as well as earn some income for med school and apply in the next cycle, so technically I’d be a year ahead of traditional applicants who are going straight through.

Is this a horrible idea? What should I be aware of/have I not considered?

Thank you!’?

Explain this.

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If I understand you correctly, you are a high school student applying to college with a lot of credits earned in high school? You have limited money, and want to zoom through college due to finances? You plan to apply to medical school after college?

If you are a high school student choosing colleges in this situation, and are NOT poor and hence are NOT possibly eligible for a major amount of financial aid, even a full ride, you need to choose your local 4 yr state college, live at home and commute, and get done as quickly as you can. Med schools will not look favorably upon premeds completed during high school with dual enrollment; in fact, they may not look at you at all if that’s the case. Some might consider you if you also have A’s in college in higher level sciences. But you probably will need to show all 4 yrs of science (Bio, Chem, Organic, and Physics) done at the 4 yr college. But yes, if you can compile a record at a 4 yr college with all 4 yrs of science taken at the college, and you can graduate very early because you have so many AP and dual enrollment credits that you can manage a major and all the premeds and all your gen eds in 2 yrs, then yes, you could get your degree in 2 yrs, then take the MCATs, and then do the clinical and research and whatever hours right afterwards, and apply.

If you are a high-achieving high school student who is poor, and get an offer of fantastic financial aid at a 4 yr college, take it, and go the standard route of 4 yrs at college, then med school.

Forget about working before med school to earn and save money for med school. The money you’d earn is so little compared to how much med school costs, that it would be worse than worthless to do this. The only reason to work in this scenario is if it’s getting you clinical exposure; in other words, if you could be a medical scribe in an ER, you’d get paid while rapidly accumulating valuable clinical hours.

If you are a high academic achiever, come from a poor background, and especially if you are poor and are any of the following: Black, Hispanic, Native American, neither parent went to college, then you might very well be eligible for a very substantial scholarship, even a completely free education, for all four years of college. If this were the case, this would be, by far, the best route for you to take.

Keep in mind that med schools consider the applicant’s maturity and life experience. The only way that they’re accepting people who are very young is if they show truly extraordinary achievement in fields that make them interesting to the med school.

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“Traditional applicants”- not so traditional anymore. There are lots of med school applicants who do not go straight through- Military service, a research/lab position after college grad, another type of job, a post-Bacc program… if you are asking will you be unusual- the answer is no.

There is no advantage in being a year ahead (just like there is no handicap in being behind). But you need to put your best foot forward and be the strongest applicant you can be-- AND have enough experience to know that you really really really want to be a practicing physician.

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@WayOutWestMom

I see some issues with this plan

  1. Dual enrollment/cc credit may not be accepted by the college you plan to attend.

  2. Not all med schools will accept CC credit for fulfilling admission requirements, Many limit the number of CC credits they’ll allow or expect applicants to have taken an equivalent number of upper level [science] college credits in the same areas as the CC credits. See this pinned FAQ about AP/IB/DE and med school: FAQ Pre-med courses, AP/IB/etc. credit and college/DE courses, etc.

  3. Only about 1/3 of successful med school applicants are “traditional” (straight from undergrad) applicants. The majority of applicants today take 1-4 gaps year before applying to improve their ECs. So please understand you will be compared against them and their accomplishments.

  4. College is not just about getting the right classes for med school, you need to develop relationships with your professors since you will need LORs from at least 3 professors to support your med school application. Also be aware that many colleges have a health profession committee that writes a committee LOR for med school applicants. These committees usually won’t write one unless you have attended that college for minimum amount of time (usually 2 full years). If your college offers a committee letter and you don’t have one, that can be a black mark against your med school application.

While’s possible to use DE credit to accelerate your academic programs, it’s not usually the best idea. Med schools will be looking at the rigor of your science classes, and, rightly or wrongly, CC classes are viewed as “lacking in rigor” (i.e. easy). You’ll need top grades (all As) in your UL science electives at your 4 year college to show you can handle the rigor of med school classes.

Can you accelerate your undergrad program, graduate early and still get into med school? Yes, but you will need to be an exceptional candidate and do everything just right. And you’ll need more than just one gap year.

RE: gap years & timing. The med school application process takes more than year from submitting your application in June and starting med school in August of the following year. If you want only 1 gap year between undergrad and med school, you will be applying immediately after you finish undergrad. Any gap year activities will only be “theoretical” when you apply since you won’t have done them yet. If there are no actual completed ECs on your application to support your desire to become a doctor, then your application is likely to get tossed out.

Med school applicants needs to have much more than just a good GPA, good MCAT score and having completed the pre-req classes. They are expected to have engaged in activities that show their commitment to medicine. These activities include: community service with disadvantaged groups; clinical volunteering or employment, physician shadowing (especially in primary care specialties), leadership roles in your activities, lab bench or clinical research.

fFor community service and clinical experience, aim for several hundred hours of each. For shadowing, aim for 50+ total hours in multiple specialties. For research, aim for a year (or more) in the lab or on a clinical project.

These activities need to be done BEFORE you submit a med school application.

If you do plan to graduate early, plan on taking 2-4 gap years to get these activities done.

Applying to medical school is a long, expensive (several thousand $$$) and emotionally fraught process, you’ll want to do it once and do it right.

EDIT: Med school adcomms understand that individuals may not have the same financial resources as other wealthier applicants. CC credits will not doom your application, but adcomms expect applicants using CC credit to enroll full time in a CC first before transferring to more expensive 4 year college. And once at a 4 year college to demonstrate academic excellence to prove any CC grades weren’t a fluke or as a result of lesser competition/lesser academic expectations.

Financially disadvantaged med school applicants are not excused from the volunteering and other EC expectations. Those still need to be done.

Also when it comes to med school–younger is not better. Younger-than-traditional age applicants will face some extra scrutiny about their maturity, their reasons for pursuing medicine, and other areas of emotional, intellectual & cultural competence. Proving their fitness for medicine is entirely on the shoulders of the applicant.

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From what I read and guess. OP is a High School student who had done a lot of AP/CC credits so that he/she could be graduating from a 4 year college in 1.5-2 years? Op you need to clarify this before we go any further.

And I don’t think ANY med school will take High school AP credits from ANY applicants.

In my mind, you have NO WAY to finish a 4 year college in 2 years with all those med school requirements, let alone 1.5 years.

A more detailed explanation is needed.

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