Hi all, I’d like your opinion. To give you background:
I am 26 years old (will be 27 in the fall) and have just decided that I want to apply to med school. I skipped my junior year of high school and entered college when I was 17. After my sophomore year, I took 2 years off to serve as a missionary for my church. My undergrad is in biomedical engineering (biology classes + mechanical engineering), I graduated in 2006. My overall GPA was 3.85. I have been working full time in a medical device industry full-time as an engineer for 4 years. While working full-time, I also went to school part-time and graduated in 2008 with my MBA. I graduated with a 4.0. I am married and have a 2 month old baby. I’ve always kept a busy schedule and have always managed to keep a healthy balance between work/school and family. I went into undergrad intending to go to med school, but when I graduated I didn’t feel it was the right time.
Would it be totally unrealistic and naive to try to take the MCAT in August and apply to the Fall 2011? One other thing: I have not taken organic chemistry but will take it this coming school year. I would really like to do this, as I am not a “traditional” applicant and would like to start as soon as possible.
Your thoughts/advice/suggestio ns would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
- In reply to:
Yes, it's pretty unrealistic and naive for several reasons. First - the application: people can start filling out applications and submitting them in the very near future. With an August MCAT, your application will not be complete until after your score is in. Most schools do rolling admissions and you will be well behind the curve.
Second: the MCAT. You're proposing taking the MCAT without any of a course that is heavily tested on it. I wouldn't recommend this. Taking it without one term of one of the core pre-reqs can be done, but I wouldn't do it without taking any of the course.
Third: no organic grades on your application. Med schools look pretty closely at organic grades. It's widely known as a weed out course. Even though your overall GPA is good, it's hard to tell how schools will view an application without any organic chemistry grades.
Fourth: the combination of the above puts your application at a substantial disadvantage.
Other miscellaneous items: how does the rest of your application look? Can you easily get academic letters of recommendation? You have volunteering, do you have shadowing?
You would be far better off waiting a year, taking organic chemistry, a apring MCAT, and submitting an early application than risking a poor MCAT (w/o organic), less than ideal application and having to reapply.
Welcome to the forums! It sounds like your story and your perspective can make good contributions to your application (and to things more lasting and important than an application, of course ).
Beyond that, I second what Emergency! has said. You’ve got a good start (better than most of us had, I’d say) - don’t spoil it by jumping the gun. Check the pre-reqs for application, and make sure you have the preparation necessary to make the MCAT an asset.
Also, many schools require (or at least prefer) that prereqs have been completed within some number of years; I think that number is often 5, give or take. This may be something to consider in your preparation as well. Just don’t rush things, and enjoy the ride
- thejmanalive Said:
Would it be totally unrealistic and naive to try to take the MCAT in August and apply to the Fall 2011? One other thing: I have not taken organic chemistry but will take it this coming school year. I would really like to do this, as I am not a "traditional" applicant and would like to start as soon as possible.
Is your goal to get into medical school or to get into medical school quickly. Many students with your intentions suffer from what I call Rule 8: Premature Application. They apply before they are ready. before all classes are taken, before they have studied for the MCAT, with the idea that their might be a chance. Often these students do no realize that a rejected application will flag your next application for scrutiny, thus potentially making your chances worse on a reapp. Delay your app, finish your classes, blow the MCAT away, and apply next year when you be a top notch candidate.
Thank you all for your input. I will definitely wait to apply until next year!
As OMD says, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Do it right the first time.
Age is on your side. Not sure if your organic GPA is strong or not. 3.85 overall sounds good. But how much is the organic/science part of this? (After stripping out all the As in Art History 101/201) !
As you have figured out by now, August 2010 MCAT is bit early. Have you seen samples of MCAT questions? It is not necessarily something you can crack with 3 months of preparations.
If you google ‘medical school gpa mcat’ you will get some sites that list the average overall/science/MCAT scores of incoming class from all medical colleges