Advice on advice

Hello all soon to be, and current, M.D.'s and D.O.'s out there. I have a question on some advice I received. My school’s “pre-med” advisor had told me that I needed to take a more rigorous course load so that medical schools will see that I can handle the work, and that taking 2 core science classes per semester would be frowned upon. With this advice I enrolled in, and am currently taking Orgo I, Cell biology, Vertebrate Zoology, and Statistics (chemistry, zoology, and biology have the accompanying labs). I graduated with a degree in Philosophy from the same 4 year university that I am attending now with a low GPA, 2.7 I think. Since enrolling as a post-bac 3 semesters ago I have maintained a 4.0 GPA, and am keeping my head above water in the classes that I am currently in. Should I have taken her advice? Thank you for your time.

hi Tuffgone…while I dont have a knowledgeable answer to your question since I am so new to all this, I do remember seeing some really good posts on this question in various places with the forum.

I too had a 2.7 that I am attending to.

Hope this helps…

I think the advice to take a rigorous course load is usually good - provided you can manage to do well. Doing well helps bolster your case that you are capable of med school (especially if you have a poor ugrad GPA to make up for). If you end up not doing so well, then it ends up not looking like such good advice.

Your course load will be taken in context of what else you’re doing in addition to knocking out these pre-reqs. Are you working? Doing a 100 mile commute between work/school/home? Taking care of family responsibilities? If yes to any or all, two core courses with labs per semester is an admirable chunk. Conversely, if you are doing your post-bacc work full time, then yes, the more advanced courses will help bolster your application. Regardless, a 4.0 on your pre-reqs negates the poor undergrad GPA. If you can score well on the MCAT, you’ll be competitive.

Generally agree with above. Keep in mind that you are competing with many others for that one seat to get into med school. So whatever you can do to show that you’ve got what it takes will be good. For those of us who came out of non-science degrees it becomes even more important to show we can handle the rigor. That being said, you do want to maintain that awesome GPA, so if you’re not hitting the mark and you can do so without a W, you may want to split the difference between what you were taking and what you are currently taking. Of course the degree to how much any of this will matter is somewhat dependent on the types of schools to which you’ll be applying.

Best wishes!

Just be mindful not to sacrifice good grades for more classes.

First off, thank you all for the advice. In response to your post jmdmd, I was working part time, but had to drastically cut back my hours to try to start accumulating volunteer experience at a local hospital. Yet, I never thought it would be this hard to obtain a volunteer position in the health care field. In addition, I am trying to shadow a M.D. on the weekend who is a friend of the family. I have no family obligations, and my lady friend is in nursing school 6 hours away (which she is doing fantastic in btw!). So, yes I do have some free time to spare for now. MD2B2010, I have no lofty aspirations to attend an elite medical school. I know that the path I walked for the first part of my life has partially determined where I can go and what I can do. My ultimate goal is to eventually become a GP, and work with/for MSF/DWB. I know that this path is going to be hard enough as it is, so any road that gets me there is fine by me. Once again thank you for your time.