Hi! This is my first post…as you can tell. tongue.gif and I would like to ask a few questions about the app process
1.Do the pre-reqs have to be completed before you apply?? I know they have to be completed before you matricuilate,but would it be okay if I have to finish say orgo and phys. and I send out an application anyway.
2.What happens if you are a class or two short of completing your major and you are already accepted into med school?
3.Because opf family commitments my list of schools is limited.I would like to make my app as strong as possible.If I do not get in the first time my other option was to apply to PA school or dental school.The only problem is the schools here both the dental and the pa school -as luck would have it-are both linked to the med schools I wish to apply to.How would I explain applying to both medical and PA school? Or is this just a bad plan overall?? sad.gif
I would appreciate any input that you can give me.
thank you in advance

More information will help us give you a good answer. For example, are you doing your undergraduate degree or a post-bacc? What’s your major? When do you expect to graduate, when are you planning to apply to med schools? When are you taking the MCAT? (You won’t want to take it until you’ve taken all of orgo and physics, generally.)
Right now the answer to a lot of your questions is “It depends…” on the answers to the questions I’ve listed above! For example, someone who’s a bio major with lots of science courses may be able to get away with completing prerequisites after starting the application process because they’ve got a lot of other grades on their transcript that show they can hack the sciences. OTOH someone who majored in English Lit. 20 years ago and is now just doing the prereqs is going to have to show every one of the new grades to be considered.
You say you want to make your application as strong as possible. One way to do that is to have all the prereqs done, obviously with excellent grades, and of course to do well on the MCAT (and have strong recommendations, etc. etc.). My own strong belief is that it is worth an additional year, if necessary, to put together a really first-class application rather than hurry into the process and risk coming up short.
I appreciate your desire to have back-up plans in place even as you apply but I don’t think it’s a good idea. If you really want to be a doctor, throw yourself into the one application process for medical schools and don’t think about PA. I can’t say anything about pursuing a DDS instead, I don’t know how that might be received. I would speculate that the various programs (MD/DO, PA, DDS) at one school may not even talk to each other - but you would be well advised to try and find out more about how they handle applications.
Good luck!

Thanks for the reply…
I am a microbiology major.(The rest of my story is prolly too long and boring!!) I will not be finished with orgo (unless I can somehow take gen. chem 1 and 2 at the same time!) by the spring of 2004.I wanted to apply for the incoming class of 2005 with plans to take the April MCAT 2004.
But something you said really seem to make me think: “throwing yourself into the one application process.” I guess I never really thought about it that way.I have heard so many horror stories about non-trad students “not” getting in that I had actually started putting more effort into my backup plan than I was my med school app.Sounds odd but I realize now that that is what i have been doing.
I believe waiting one year to get a really good app is prolly the best thing for me to do.
Thank you,you have certainly given me food for thought.

Like Mary said to present yourself in the best light, I would also have all my pre-reqs done before I apply. With the thousands of qualified applicants and also your non-trad status why risk someone on the adcom questioning how come you have not completed your pre-reqs yet? also to do well on the MCAT (although I am sure some people do well w/o having all the pre-reqs) IMHO you need all the pre-reqs done before you take it.

CassiD, I took the April MCAT while completing the second semester of both o-chem and physics. It actually worked really well, I thought, in that the hard work I put into my classes did double duty as MCAT prep. I would definitely NOT ever recommend taking the MCAT without being pretty close to the conclusion of those classes, though.

Hi there,
I went to Howard, a school that has a dental school and PA school that are not linked but on campus. The dental students took systemic pathology and ethics with us, the PA students took ethics with us. I don’t think that the admissions committees of the other professional schools will care that you are applying to other schools. The problem might be when you have to explain that dental and PA are your “second choice” because you didn’t get into medical school. The way to avoid that is to have a good explanation that indicates your interest in health professions.
As a second-year medical student, the dental school hired me to tutor their first-year student in both Gross Anatomy and Biochemistry. I found their occlusion labs quite interesting. The whole focus of Biochemsitry for dental students is totally different from medical biochemistry and quite interesting too. As far as Gross Anatomy is concerned, the dental students do finer dissections and more detailed head and neck dissections that medical students. They were my best colleagues when I was dissecting head and neck during first year. In return, we shifted over to their cadavers to dissect abdomen and pelvis while they were doing head and neck dissections. It gave us a preview of our dissections and a good review before we actually had to take the exams.
The PA students did not cross paths with us until ethics during our third year. As medical students, we had to take this class on a Pass-Fail basis while the nursing, PA, dental, and pharmacy students were required to achieve a grade. That put ethics on a pretty low profile for us. We did just enough to pass and no more. We did not have to take the final exam, just write a paper and be done with the whole thing.
I did get an appreciation for the differences between the allied health professions and medicine when we were taking ethics. The medical and dental students did far better on the exams than the other students. At this point, we were pretty efficient at the “study thing”. We also learned that the Deans of the various schools do not cross-react with each other. Each school was very separate and very different. Actually, the allied heath schools, nursing and PA had to put up with more “junk” than dental or medicine and in the end, at graduation, they marched us through with them on both sides and sat us in the front. Just like a bunch of doctors and dentists! smile.gif