Itâ€™s been almost one year since I started on my post-bacc adventure! When I began taking classes again I made January 2008 a checkpoint, where I would decide whether or not I have any actual aptitude for medicine (or more so, to survive the rigors of medical school), since I recognize that wanting to be a health professional and having the academic record are 2 separate things. I didnâ€™t want to be a crappy doc irrespective of what my dreams were, so if things didnâ€™t work out, I would have gone back to work and pretend this little excursion never happened. Things academically did turn out much better then I had expected. I did a quick strengths and weaknesses run down, and was wondering if I could get some feedback on my strategy:
- As previously stated my science courses on the basic BCPM prerequisites have turned out well. Thus far got Aâ€™s in BIOI/II, GChemI/II (lab included), Physics I, and Organic I. From my undergraduate days, I guess I could tack on a B+, A, and B in Pre-Calc, Calc I, and Calc II respectivelyâ€¦ these math courses are a bit old, were taken between 2000 and 2001.
- Graduated from top ranked undergrad business program at University of Michigan with respectable GPA.
- Had a somewhat successful career in Systems IT Consulting from when I graduated in 2003 to 2006. Got promoted once, got a few raises, left on good terms. During that time had challenging assignments, occasionally worked 70+ hours/week with constant travel.
- Can speak fluent Spanish and Chineseâ€¦ I hardly think this counts for much, but I guess itâ€™s useful in our current geopolitical status quo
- My undergrad cumulative GPA was 3.5. Iâ€™ve been told that by my premed advisor in the past few years, the average has been like 3.7.
- All my post-bacc science courses are being taken at a different school then where I got my undergrad. This state school is slightly less competitive then my alma mater. But I graduated from Michigan, the next best thing was probably the Ivyâ€™s. Anyways, I was told this could come up. I didnâ€™t go back to Michigan because Ann Arbor is prohibitively expensive, and I reasoned that Orgo is the same all over the world.
- During the 2 main semesters (also a spring) Iâ€™ve been back, I stayed maybe 1 or 2 credits shy of â€œfull-timeâ€ Each time, however, I took 3 courses. Also related to this, I took a huge risk by going back to school full time as opposed to taking courses part time and continuing to work. With the travel required in my industry, this would have been an impossibility though. This will probably diminish my application against someone who did manage to work full time and get all the courses done.
- BIG FLASHING RED ALERT here. I earnestly feel that my EC/Shadowing/Patient Contact etc experience has been dismal. I did a volunteer gig at the ER at a local hospital for like 30 hours earlier this year. I basically restocked rooms. Honestly, I feel this is just a scam for hospitals to get free labor lol. The extent of â€œpatient contactâ€ was just to make sure patients needed a pillow, blanket, etc, and listen to how their in-laws are mistreating them. The most intellectually satisfying thing I did was checking the pressure level for O2 tanksâ€¦ yeahâ€¦ sad I know.
- Been frantically trying to find a doc to shadow. Finally thought I found one, but Iâ€™ve been rescheduled so many times, that I think I might need to start my search anew.
- No research experience. Professors seem to be picky about this, and are seeking candidates with late junior/senior science courses completeâ€¦ and to complicate matters worse, Iâ€™m taking courses at a smaller university, so not that much relevant research going on in the first place
The Plan for 2008:
So Iâ€™ve decided to go full speed ahead with this despite some of the above problems. Taking MCAT in June 08 and submitting AMCAS at the same time. After thatâ€¦ Iâ€™ll probably try to find a full time job somewhere that will occupy me through the application process since my coffers are like starting to run dry.
Coursework-wise, finishing up Orgo II, Physics II, and Orgo Lab this coming semester.
Also focusing on getting some more volunteering and resuming search for a shadow-able doc. Sorry for the long post, if anyone has good feedback on my situation, please post them.