Here I am, 34, single, on leave from my job to attend classes full time to bolster the old application…was on the A/B border last quarter and ended with all B's. So reality is setting in. I have over 200 undergraduate credits…200! That's about 2 extra years of credits. Needless to say my cumGPA is below a 3.0. I probably have just at a B average over my last 90 credits. I've taken the MCAT three times with a consistent average score. I've worked as a Nursing Assistant in both nursing homes and hospitals. I've been certified as an EMT-Basic. I've shadowed docs. I used to watch ER religiously. I have a BS in Biochemistry. I've worked in both academic and biotech laboratories. My name is on 4 papers from JBC to Nature. I've volunteered at homeless shelters, served food to homeless teenagers on the street, coached pee wee football.
My timeline…who knows what I need to do or long it would take to get into medical school…4 years of school, 2 years minimum residency, $100K plus debt…sometime soon I'd like to marry and have children. Met someone new and am moving to Texas to be with her. Texas? At least it's the San Antonio/ Austin area. I've met more frustrated docs than supportive ones.
PA or NP might be the correct path for me anyway but maybe I'll have trouble getting into those programs as well? (On a side note, I wonder if we should open up this organization to other career changers into healthcare?)
What's my point? I'm not sure. I think the proof's in the pudding. Maybe it's just simply not in the cards for me. Maybe it's time to let this go and open up to other opportunities.
Just a ramble. Best wishes to all.
So your GPA and MCAT aren’t stellar. So What?
You obviously have loads of experience and dedication to the field of medicine. Don’t sell yourself short! Your name is one papers, you volunteer, you know what day-to-day medicine is about. (You have advantages over those wet-behind-the-ears rugrats on SDN! )
Don’t worry about trying to boost your GPA with more undergrad courses. With over 200 hours, it’ll be impossible to make it budge.
What you need are stellar LOR’s and essay. These things may help the adcoms look past their standard score charts. You may also need to apply for more than one admission cycle to prove that you are dedicated to the MD, if indeed you are.
It’s not time to hang up the towel, it’s time to get serious about promoting yourself as a future MD!
You can do it. Just decide that this is what you want and pursue it!
Best of luck!
It sounds like you’re having a hard time right now… and that your academics aren’t what you want them to be. You’re in a tough situation because Bs aren’t bad–they’re just not exactly what you want. If you were getting all Cs or all As the take-home lesson would be more obvious.
As someone who did well in the premed sweepstakes, I can tell you that even success in that sweepstakes does not inherently bring happiness. I have a friend who’s an NP, who started at around the same time I did, and she’s taking care of patients right now while I’m muddling along in my first year of medical school. If you started next year, you’d still be an independent practitioner before I would. And, I’m not always happy and I often question why I did this. In the end, I’m happy with it, and overall, I’m glad–but most of us aren’t always certain about what we’re doing and why, and there’s no reason you should be either.
This forum is always all about “Don’t give up your dreams!” and positive talk. You’ve already got that here, for which I’m glad. I hope you get some more. I’m all about that too, and I don’t want to tell you to give up. But I also want to do something else, which is to give a word of encouragement for whatever you choose to do. There’s no defeat in changing course. And happiness in life is bigger than work or school. If you’re finding sweetness in your relationship, and you’re starting to imagine a different kind of future than medical school and medicine would provide, there is absolutely nothing wrong with rethinking your priorities.
It’s also worth reexamining what’s going on for you academically. On the one hand, maybe the issue is that you have difficulty learning (getting evaluated for learning disabilities is always a productive thing to do before radically changing course based on academic difficulties), but maybe the issue is that you aren’t always ready to do what it takes to get the A. This might be because you are resolutely determined to also have a life. If that’s true, it may be more a sign of sanity and good sense than anything else; and if that’s true, you should take options other than MD very seriously. Choosing the MD path means–for me, anyway–putting an extremely high value on work and school. Sometimes excessively high. I have made a lot of sacrifices to be in medical school; those sacrifices are sacrifices because they have real costs. There’s no easy choice here, but the good news is that there’s not a bad choice either.
Spend some time talking seriously to people who know you well and support you; consider spending some time talking to some people who don’t know you well (for instance, advisors, counselors, therapists, a priest or a rabbi, whatever) who can help you think things through; spend some time taking a long breath and not thinking about medicine or nursing or PA-ship, but thinking about what matters most to you. Go somewhere that makes you really happy for a few days and be quiet and calm and thoughtful and find out where and who you are when you’re really grounded and happy. Is it imagining a go-go life full of school? Is it taking care of patients? Is it spending lots of time with your future kids? What do you really imagine in your heart of hearts as an ideal future? Try to put aside all your past aspirations and see if you can answer this question anew.
Good luck either way, Greg. I’m rooting for you to do what’s best for you.
I think you need to apply again once you get your Texas residency. It's going to go a lot better for you.
Sorry, I'd write more but I have to catch the bus for jury duty.
I have to agree with Pam on this one. Go ahead, get moved to Texas and see what develops with your lady friend.
Then, once you’ve established residency, apply to all those Texas schools. I can’t believe one of them wouldn’t feel lucky to have you.
Or, if you choose to go elsewhere, consider WVSOM. They love us nontrads and appreciate our years of experience!
You are planning on coming to the conference, aren’t you? I think you could use a good dose of support, camaraderie, advice, and just plain fun. . . . and I know you can get it there!!
After reading your post all I could think of was DO NOT GIVE UP!!!
After taking the mcat X 3, did you apply anywhere at all??
I heard UTSan Antonio is an excellent med school, once you become a resident of Texas, the tuition at the state schools is very reasonable. Have fun, chill out, go to the riverwalk, learn to two-step, eat great Mexican food, develop that "everything is big in Texas attitude’ and kick a$$ with the next application cycle, you will get in!
Hey all! Thanks so much for your support! Yes, I have applied twice although I don't really count the first time I applied directly out of college…only two schools, really late in the cycle, etc. I applied cycle before last to 18 schools…mostly DO…no interviews. I contacted all the schools and was told that my grades are a concern as well as the academic probation I was put on after my first year of college…17 years ago! Statute of limitations? I don't know about learning disabilities. I do put a lot of time in but I'm not obsessive. I do have some problems with the way some multiple choice questions are asked and with certain professors…I've had all sorts of crazy profs that you may have heard about if you've read my other posts. Regardless, I'm fascinated with this B thing…I get B's in tough classes like Physical Chemistry and Advanced Genetics as well as easy classes like History of Jazz. It's funny, sort of.
I'm interested in international health care or rural primary care. I think that I would be very happy as a practicing physician but I doubt my happiness with school and residency. More importantly, I really don't have a clue what to do next with myself. I'm moving to Texas for a relationship and to establish residency. I have tons of research experience but would really like to try something new…I'd like to work somehow in a hospital but will need some sort certification to do so. Any thoughts?
I am excited about UTHSC in San Antonio for both medical school as well as PA school or maybe even nursing. Although it's hard sometimes I do know that my happiness is not entirely defined by my career. I can't think of anything that I'd rather do, however, than take care of patients. I'm also really excited about River Walk, floating the Guadalupe, driving a truck, wearing cowboy boots and talking funny. The conservative, gun toting, Bush supporting is another story.
This is a great group filled with all sorts of success stories. Best wishes to all!
Since I’ll be starting my first year at UTHSC-San Antonio in a couple of months (wow, that’s a big ol’ DOSE OF REALITY), I’ll be happy to report back to you and anyone else interested in how things are going there. I’m moving down there around the end of May. I also know someone who just graduated from their PA program back in December and she had really nice things to say about the program. The PA program is still relatively new, but I think they’re getting things together in rapid-fashion, so you should definitely check out whichever program you decide to pursue.
With that said, like some of your other fellow OPM’ers, I want to encourage you to do the Texas application cycle once you get your residency established. At the very least, you should get an interview(s), giving you the chance to get past that initial “numbers” screen and allowing you to showcase your experience, desire, etc.
Good luck, and a pre-mature “WELCOME TO TEXAS” to ya!
Hey Kevin! Thanks! Are you starting medical school? Congrats! Are you a Texas resident? Does it get hot there?
To answer, in order: Yes, Yes and YES. Our white coat ceremony is on June 29th, just around the corner according to my calendar. I’ve lived in Texas my whole 36 years so yeah, definitely a resident. As far as the heat goes, it’s bearable. If you’re coming from a cooler climate then I’m sure there’s going to be some period of adjustment, but by all means it’s very do-able (is that a word?). San Antonio ,along with the surrounding area, has plenty of trees and a decent amount of water recreation just in case you start to overheat. Oh, and don’t forget those wonderful spring-fed rivers nearby, at a constant 72 degrees F I think.
Hey Kevin! I’m a Coloradoan living in Seattle. My family disowned me as soon as I told them that I was moving to Texas. I just returned from spending 12 days down there in New Braunfels…the Guadalupe River is right out the back door of my lady’s place and I’ve heard the cool thing to do is to float the river and with a cooler of beer tied to your tube. I met this cool ol’ cowboy in Gruene, Texas, who told me that come July I’ll be standing under a tree drinking a beer with the other fellas and wondering why the hell I moved down there and then I’ll here that sweet southern twang and I’ll remember.
Best wishes to you! I’m definitely going to work my way into some volunteer time at UTHSC…maybe I’ll see you around…any chance you’re going to the convention in DC?
Congratulations on your acceptance. I hope to attend a Texas med school in a few years. Report back and let us know how UTHSC- SA is.
“Does it get hot here?” A few years back we hit 100 degrees F in May if that tells you anything. July and August are the killers though. It’s the humidity that does you in. But if you’re in Austin, you can always hit Barton Springs with it’s cool 68 degrees F temp year round.