I am new to this site and very glad I found it. I am 37 (almost) did not finish college (about half way) and really want to follow my dream and head to med school. I am fortunate enough to have saved enough in my current career to devote the time and money to the effort, even with a wife and 5 year old. My question(s) are I have mostly online and clep credits from a an accredited college, which are business/humanities related, will these be discounted? I plan on taking the prereq science classes in person and will probably take 2 more years to finish my bachelors or 4 if my online classes will not count, I currently carry a 3.7 gpa. I will be roughly 40/42 when finished with school and applying to med, will it be hard to find a residency at 44/46 years old, I live in nj and am very commutable to nyc. I am sure their are other folks here in the same boat. Any advice, opinions are greatly appreciated.
- mcata Said:
I'll let the others answer on the issues such as age and residency, however, as far as online classes go, they should show up the same on your transcript so there shouldn't even be an indicator that they were online to begin with. The first two years of college I did was entirely online because I did it while working full time at Blue Shield of California and they show up on my transcript with no mention of being online. The CLEP classes I'm not sure on; you'll have to ask someone else. I don't think adcoms likes to see anything other than a letter grade, however, outside science classes and the pre-reqs, I'm not sure how much they care. Awesome job on the GPA though, you definitely have an advantage there!
Colleges view CLEP and online courses differently, but if your coursework is accredited by an approved accreditation body, they will likely be accepted. Many school do not accept CLEP however. I would contact the admissions office of the school and request a transript evaluation. There is usually an expiration on coursework as well–10 years in many cases. There are also typically requirements to transfer directly into a specific major, and requiremetns to transfer in as an upper division student. You would probably want to meet most of these before applying.
I’ll let some of the MDs/DOs comment on your age related concerns.
Schools can tell the difference between on-line and in classroom… I spoke to several Med School advisors and they suggest keeping on-line classes to a MINIMUM and not related to major…OH and most frown upon CLEP or prior learning credits.
I would avoid taking any of the pre-reqs online. But, you state that your online courses are mostly humanities and business courses. As long as an accredited institution counts them towards a degree, you are probably fine, but you may want to call a couple of med schools just to get their input.
I think online courses for prereqs are a big no no.
I may not agree with the Medical Schools but thats what has been the case.
- In reply to:
This is a pet peeve for me, if you are really dedicated to becoming a Physician, IMHO it takes sacrifices, residency and medical school all in neat package in one area of a state most times is not possible. To get accepted to medical school in the 21st century USA takes applying to 5 to 10 schools for most people, residency in the match may mean that you get matched to a program across the country.
While there are stories of those who have gone to medical school and residency in the same town the reality is that this is the few not the many.
As far as Age and Residency, I will let you know, I'm supposed to be prematched into a FP residency at my age of 45 when I finish next June.
I really take exception to the assumption that someone who wants to stay within a particular geographic area is somehow not “committed enough.” Committed to what?
When I started pre-med, I’d invested 22 years in a marriage and 18 years in motherhood, had aging and ill parents who lived near me. If I had not been able to get into a local medical school, I would have worked to find a “Plan B.” Doesn’t mean I wasn’t absolutely dedicated to the idea of practicing medicine, but I wasn’t going to throw out my husband’s hard-won success at his career, uproot my kids, or move away from my parents.
Everyone is going to have a different “push point” and I am not disparaging your choices, Bill. But someone else’s situation is going to be different and questioning their dedication simply because they don’t want to move is just silly.
And for the OP – I started med school at 44, graduated from residency last year at 51.
Mary I understand, You and I do have different opinions on this.
What I have seen with Medical school in the 21st century is , Hard work is not enough, you can be smart and work hard but this does not always lead to
Medical school, some students I have come across have decent GPA and MCATs and are turned down as many as 3 times or more for medical school that was close to home. The fact is that no one can predict what an ADCOM will do. How can someone who is 40 accept that if they want to be Doctor, work hard and have the grades and MCAT and other things for the app, that they may have to wait 3 or 4 more years to get in because they feel that moving is too much? Residency is certianly not easy to get in one area, its not a given.
SO IMHO when older and you want to do this, you have to go all the way ( I have moved 3 times)
If you have to move to do this then you have to accept that. It is my take on this and opinion,
I just cant post to people they can and will be able to stay where they are go fir it, IMHO there may be a chance but I do not think a good one.
I think the few who have done this are the Lucky.
- cancerdogs Said:
This is just flat out wrong. Unless you take the online classes from a program that is only offered online, such as DeVry, etc. there is no "special notation" on transcripts to denote whether it was taken online or not.
Ask around, the answers you get will confirm what I said. To the OP, I wouldn't worry about your online classes providing they do it the same in your state as they do in California and do not distinguish between online and in-person on your transcripts. You can find out easily enough whether they do or not by getting an unofficial transcript from the school you went to and looking at it; I'd be very surprised if from viewing that document there'd be any indication of which class was online or not.
One more thing About MARY R.
I have the upmost respect for her, in fact one day at one of the OPM functions I hope to meet her in person,( when I have more time and more then 0.10 cents in my pocket) She is an inspiration to me as well as other persons, she is honest and straight shooter on her posts.
I would take what she says as a good decent real opinion.
I have not said something like this for a awhile and its nice to give praise where praise is due.
(I may not always agree with you though LOL)
LOL thanks, Bill!
I think we’re probably just looking at the same situation from two different angles. In my own life, as much as I realized I wanted to be a physician, it was NOT the #1 thing in my life - and actually despite the fact that my work is pretty much consuming my life at this point, it still isn’t. My family and my humanity come before my work.*
But I do absolutely agree with you that no one should be encouraged to just look locally, and I wouldn’t do that either. Certainly it makes a lot more sense to recognize that, realistically, you’re going to have to cast a pretty wide net in order to have a good shot at getting in.
*edit: I do not mean to imply that others don’t also have “family values” as priorities. (given my political leanings I am sure there are folks who would assume that I don’t HAVE family values LOL) Different folks are going to be true to those values in different ways. Given that I really wasn’t willing to move AT ALL, it’s a damn good thing everything worked out for me, 'cause my backup career would probably be as a Realtor and that would suck right now. (my sister’s a Realtor)
Anyway thank ye kindly for the kind words, Bill, you’ve brightened my day!
- DRFP Said:
Based on my own personal experience, I'll also have to respectfully disagree that you can't sucessfully "target" a school/area from premed through to residency.
Ironically when I think about it, all the folks I know/know of that were able do this were all women. So maybe the moral of the story is to NEVER doubt a woman with a plan, lol!!
LOL Yea I know, I’m not saying not to try but what if you cannot get to together, all this work to give up because you may have to move to a different city or state? That would be a ashame!
- Mary Renard Said:
I think we're probably just looking at the same situation from two different angles. In my own life, as much as I realized I wanted to be a physician, it was NOT the #1 thing in my life - and actually despite the fact that my work is pretty much consuming my life at this point, it still isn't. My family and my humanity come before my work.*
But I do absolutely agree with you that no one should be *encouraged* to just look locally, and I wouldn't do that either. Certainly it makes a lot more sense to recognize that, realistically, you're going to have to cast a pretty wide net in order to have a good shot at getting in.
*edit: I do not mean to imply that others don't also have "family values" as priorities. (given my political leanings I am sure there are folks who would assume that I don't HAVE family values LOL) Different folks are going to be true to those values in different ways. Given that I really wasn't willing to move AT ALL, it's a damn good thing everything worked out for me, 'cause my backup career would probably be as a Realtor and that would suck right now. (my sister's a Realtor)
Anyway thank ye kindly for the kind words, Bill, you've brightened my day!
No problem I meant them, One of my problems is I like to debate, some do not understand its not fighting but Socratic method of learning.
Anyway I just posted I would try for the local area but all this hard work to not be able to get in and get going is ashame, I want every great person here that strives to be a Doc to succeed we need good people in our profession!
I live in New Jersey too. And if you said you are very near New York, I am going to assume you are very near Rutgers-Newark. Have you considered taking your courses there? They offer a lot of night science courses. Right across the street is NJIT, and they too offer a lot of night science courses. Also, I think its been discussed already that online courses are not looked too favorably upon. I think what is most important for you to do now, is to finish up your degree (it might be possible for whichever college you enroll in, they accept the online courses for credit) and finish up those pre-requisites as well. Good luck dude.
To clear up something that Tim alluded to…informal transcripts do not necessary mimic the exact information on a formal transcript. If you want to see exactly what AMCAS is going to see (and therefore the med schools), you need to look at your formal transcript. And when you are filling out the AMCAS (and AACOMAS) applications, you should always use the information on the formal transcript.