Can I get an MD? What's the best way?

Hello! First of all, I wanted to say that I love this site. You guys give amazing advice.

Next, I have some questions. I am 23 and am supposed to graduate in December from Oklahoma State University with a BA in Studio Art. I’ve had a few different majors in my past five years at OSU, but never really felt like I was doing what I would really want to do with my life. I’m now considering changing my path and going pre-med. Last year was a very interesting year. The most important events were finding out about multiple learning disorders and spending the last month of the semester with my father in the hospital after a very serious accident. I was taking my first medical related course (human heredity) at the time of the accident, and was loving it. When everything happened with my dad I spent every moment with him. I learned a lot while I was there. I was constantly doing research about the procedures and such and ever since then have continued to learn everything I can about medicine. My grades are definitely less than desirable, but are improving rapidly as I deal with the learning disorders. If I graduate in December, I will probably graduate with a 2.8-2.9 (embarrassing to say, honestly). This semester has the potential to be my first semester to make a 4.0. I would have never thought before that I would be capable of going to medical school, but since things are starting to go well at school and the interest is still there I have been seriously considering the possibility. Is it possible for me to get into a medical school with this less than flattering undergrad record? Should I try to shadow to decide if this is something that I would love as much as I think I would? I haven’t had any of the pre-reqs, so if I decide that it is a possibility I would need to decide what path to take to get there. I could stay at Oklahoma State and get a second degree (which would take about 3 years) or I could attend a post-bacc program. What are your thoughts? Please be straight up with me and don’t worry about hurting my feelings because you wont. (Sorry this is very long and scattered.)

If it were me, I would attend a post-baccalaureate program rather than spending the extra time to obtain a second bachelors. You’re looking at 10-12 courses in a postbacc vs. 16-24 to get the second bachelors. You will have enough to do in this process without taking classes you don’t need, and a second bachelors offers no particular advantage that I’m aware of (other than perhaps financial aid status, which varies based on the program). I also recommend taking no more than two classes at a time which is another reason to limit the number of courses and go with a postbacc program over a second bachelors. A 4.0 (or close to it) in your postbacc work would be extremely helpful to your cause. Again, if it were me, I would focus on doing very well on the classes you have left, take some time off from school when you graduate, travel, shadow to make sure this is really what you want to do, figure out what you need to change about your study habits, understand your learning style, etc., then apply to a postbacc program with an early assurance program or conditional acceptance relationship with one or more medical schools. Of course, if you can’t relocate, your options may be more limited.

You can also take these classes through a University Extension or Open University program where visting students and members of the community can enroll in classes on a space available basis. Not sure if OSU has this. That said, I think the structure and support of a formal postbacc program would be helpful to you given your age and background.

I would also guess that most of us here would agree that your situation is not particularly concerning and that you most certainly can go to medical school if you plan effectively, excel in your postbacc work, and remain dedicated to the pursuit.

Lucky you,

Oklahoma has many of the same problems as we do (your neighbors to the north)

OSU even has a medical school with a GREAT reputation…

Take a look at “Richard rules”,…

get a good advisor, make a plan and get cracking… you will never know what you can do until you take some of the hard courses involved and find out!

Also, do not forget there are a whole batch of us out here who will be cheering for you. Furthermore, if I can be of help do NOT hesitate to drop a line!


If possible, demonstrate that you can do well in rigorous courses with a full courseload. All other things being equal, As in sciences w/ 15 credits a semester looks better than As in sciences w/ 8.

Of course, that’s just not feasable for many non-trads, and that’s ok, too. I guess my advice is to focus on doing the best w/ what’s possible, and don’t lose too much sleep worring about what’s not.

I am torn. There is a part of me who wants to tell you stay in school and take a full year w/ a full courseload and get the classes out of the way but there is another part of me that is with lapointe and do a post-bac.

I would say stay because as a post-bac student, I know how difficult it can be and I am not talking about the coursework. I am talking about juggling life and the coursework. Its a lot more manageable while you are still an undergraduate. But by the time you would graduate it will be six years of college you have taken to graduate. I am no expert but I do not think medical schools would be happy about that. Thats why I would do a post-bacc and maybe even a post-bacc with a linkage program. Schools like Georgetown, Wake Forrest, Rutgers, Duke, University of Chicago - Loyala (not sure if its the Loyola campus) all have linkage programs to their medical schools. To get in can be difficult but they do accept students with GPAs in your range (well at least a few of the schools do). If you do get accepted not only are you presented with rigorous coursework so you get used to the medical school lifestyle but you are guaranteed an interview at their medical school as long as you get a certain GPA and MCAT score (which are reasonable if you want to apply to any medical school). I know if I was doing this all over again, thats something I would have considered more strongly doing. Now, if you don’t get accepted to one of those programs, you can still do a post-bacc but if you are going to do one, why not try to get into one of those programs, right?

I think the best advice given so far was by Richard. Go to your pre-health office and get yourself a good advisor who will stick with you along your journey. You, I, and everyone else here (except Ms. Colwell) only know so much about getting into medical school. Assuming you get a good counselor s/he can put you on the right path to what you need to do to get this goal of yours accomplished.

Good Luck!

hmm… best way is determination…