Hello everyone. I am not new to the forum, but this is my first time posting in a forum. I have enjoyed reading a lot of people’s success stories and hope that one day I am on this forum posting my own success story. Anyways, enough of the babbling and here is my story and question. I am a 35 year old male who just recently received my B.S. in Psychology. I want to complete my goal/dream of becoming a doctor but I am kinda having trouble on deciding wether to complete the prerequisite courses or to go back and get a second degree in premed. I want to go the fastest route but I know that sometimes might not be the best route. My question is: Which route might be the best route prereq courses or second degree? I am open to all suggestions. By the way some statistics are : 3.67gpa, just grad in December,Troy University, wife (stay at home mother) and 2 kids. I really value all of your opinions and I really appreciate any feedback (positive and negative). Thank you.
Personally, I don’t think a second degree is going to increase your odds. My suggestion would be to go back and do the prereqs independently, but be sure to focus on those courses and get A’s in all of them.
One thing to keep in mind is registration priority. Non-degree seeking students are often at the bottom of the pile, which can make scheduling of some courses quite difficult. If possible, you may see about registering for a degree program and just complete the core classes you need (note: not all universities are cool with this plan).
Another option would be to go through a formal premed post-baccalaureate program designed for carrer-changer students. They are more expensive, but you avoid the non-degree low priority status. Depending on the program, some offer guaranteed interviews with med schools, committee letters, etc.
Thanks for the info Bennard. I was thinking about the same route, but wanted to hear from people who have had more experience in this area than myself. Good luck on your goals and dreams!
Vtgrad24, I will have to do a lot of research on that option because I live in Alaska and they don’t have that option here, which will definitely mean a major move. I know that sacrifices come with a career change so I will weigh the pros and cons of both options and make a decision. Thanks for the input because I didn’t know that some post-baccalaureate programs offers those incentives.
I did a DIY post-bacc using online courses. Had a bachelor’s degree with about half the prereqs, then took orgo I/II, Bio II, and biochem online. Has pros and cons which can be found in other posts. Depending on the school, the transcript doesn’t mention online (though I didn’t try to hide it on the applications), and you get the same level of credit as you would in a traditional classroom. 3 of the classes I took included lab credits using lab-sim software. I went that route because I have a full time job that requires constant and often unscheduled travel for weeks at a time. It worked out for me, but it did limit where I could apply (didn’t eliminate any of my top choice schools). I ended up with 6 interviews courtesy of the “holistic” approach of the schools I applied to.
I took courses through UNECOM (DO school) and a local state school that made me show in person for exams. I didn’t run into any problems as a non-degree student at the state school.
I wouldn’t do a second degree program just for premed. Schools advertise that they want you to study what you like because it reflects who you are and you’ll typically do better in classes you like. They do supposedly weigh course load, difficulty, school, etc, but it’s a little late to change the past… As long as you meet the prereqs you should be fine as far as academic requirements are concerned. I had the same GPA as you, just rock the MCAT
Your GPA is fine, there’s no need for a second degree. I would just take a couple years to do the prereqs. Keep in mind that the MCAT is changing in 2015 and so will the prereqs required I believe.
You can take the classes at a local 4-year school. I don’t think there’s a need to go to an expensive program. Many students in my city opt to go to my school, which is a city school, over the one state or Ivy league school that are more reputable to do their postbacc formal or informal.
I would just try to ace the classes you will take to fill the requirements for application and take the time to volunteer in medical and non-medical settings while you finish the coursework. Do your best on the MCAT when the time comes and you should be competitive.
Thanks Kennymac and Docorbust. I really appreciate your inputs and will definitely take your words to heart. I do have one question, Kennymac, I thought that schools didn’t accept any pre-requisite courses completed online?
Depends on the school. I highly recommend going to AAMC and purchasing a subscription to the MSAR. That way you can research schools much more easily. I did it in the opposite way and had to find specific schools that do take them and had an average mcat score close to mine. Wasn’t an issue. Like I said, your transcripts will probably only have the main campus on them, but I think schools are smart enough to figure it out. I mentioned it in my essays to show I can be self motivated and handle science classes with little teacher interaction. The path is yours, it’s just one way you can go. Let me know if you have other questions about it.