Frustrations (summer scheduling, other non-trad issues)

Current semester is going good, solid A’s so far in Orgo 1, A&P 1 and Micro. Trying to stay ahead of things, I had a talk with the pre-med advisor about scheduling courses for the summer. The only remaining pre-reqs I need are Genetics and Organic 2, and I was planning on taking those over the summer (yeah, I know about doing Organic 2 in the summer, but things would work out for the best if I could get it done then).

After taking a look at the class schedule for the summer, both Genetics and Organic 2 are offered in the second half of the summer. Would have preferred to split it up, but I’ll take what I can get. The kicker is that the Genetics class overlaps the Organic 2 lab by 30 minutes. So, I won’t be able to schedule both of those classes unless I get special permission from the Organic prof to show up late to lab. They haven’t assigned a professor yet, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that or not.

As an alternative, I decided to look at other universities in the area. There are 2 public unis within about 45 miles, so I went to check their schedules, and no luck there. They both offer Genetics and Organic 2 in the 2nd summer session and their schedules aren’t any better.

To top all of this off, I found out that our local med school (where I wish to attend) is holding a short 2-week MCAT prep course following the spring semester. I thought this would be a great chance to review, plus an opportunity to interact with medical students and faculty there. The kicker is that they want an academic letter of recommendation to apply to their course. Well, I’ve only been doing post-bach work for 1.5 semesters now, and last semester was at the local CC. My pre-med advisor, who is also one of my current professors, declined to write me a letter because their policy is to only write letters once a student has completed one of their courses (which is understandable). Going to see if one of my CC profs will write the letter, but I wonder how much weight that will carry.

Anyway, I’m frustrated with being a prisoner of whoever makes the course schedules and not having a clear path forward. Double-frustrated because this wouldn’t have been an issue if my local uni would have accepted my undergrad credits for Gen Chem, and let me into Organic Chem in the fall like I had originally planned. Plus, I might not get into that MCAT review course. Feeling stymied at every turn these days.

Nothing to be done now except try and work through it, though. Thanks for listening to me vent.

Hi bennard,

No it is not crazy to take Orgo2(+lab) during the summer, but it is crazy to take it with Genetics (+lab too?) during the same session. Don’t forget that you need As.

After all you are your best judge. If you feel that you can manage both courses during this SHORT session go ahead!..hmmm rethink about it.

If you have to choose one, register for orgo 2 which is a required pre-req., while genetics is a recommended one (it can wait lol); and then adjust your plan for fall 2013. In the meantime, continue trying to get a letter of rec. for the MCAT review session. If you are selected for this session, great! If you are not, fine life goes on.

I am taking Orgo 2 this summer too, and hopefully I will be taking the MCAT by September.

I know how frustrating this process can be at times. Take it easy, breathe, relax and keep up the good work.

Good luck!


I found the Organic Lab to be very time consuming, not “difficult” but time consuming. With that said, it may not be possible to start the lab 30 minutes late and still finish in time for lab to be completed. Don’t quote me, but all of my medschools listed Genetics as recommended and not required so I believe you will be fine waiting to take Genetics in the fall while you are applying. I took Genetics and genetics lab in the fall of my application year and was accepted before my grade was finalized for that course. I don’t believe it will hurt your application cycle to wait to take genetics until the fall. Best of Luck, Cheers.

The prior posters have given good advice! Only take Organic 2 this summer; wait to take Genetics, if you take it at all. You shouldn’t miss 30 minutes of an organic lab; it’s just not done. So forget about that option.

By the way, almost all of the post-bac students I advised over 20 years did NOT take genetics before going to med school. You do not need genetics to be admitted unless it’s specifically required (some schools in CA require it while others might recommend it). It’s helpful in the first year of med school, content-wise, but it’s not essential. Put it off and focus on Organic 2.

If you don’t get into that MCAT prep class, don’t sweat it. A 2-week MCAT prep class is severely limited, anyway. If you do get in, soak it up and enjoy the environment (but also realize you’ll have to prepare for much more than 2 weeks on your own or in another class).

And take a deep breath. It will all work out!

Thanks for all the advice. Spring break is next week and I think the time off will help calm me down.

Unfortunately, Genetics is required at the med school I’m interested in (although the lab is not). The local uni does offer an online Genetics in the fall, which would be ideal, but the local med school won’t accept online courses for pre-reqs. So, I may just have to put it off till the fall and take it in person.

I was really hoping to go back to work full-time in the fall to help the family get ready for the coming 4 years. Maybe I can find someplace that will let me take an extended lunch break 2 days a week so that I can knock the Genetics out.

Depending on where you are, you may be able to find a university that offers Genetics at night–some schools do, although it’s a little rare. And there are employers who would be understanding and allow you to have a long lunch break to take the class, as long as you make up the work. I have had many students who took “add on” courses after their post-bac work (such as Biochemistry) while they were working and were given leeway by their employers to take the class. Have faith, it will work out!



Sorry to hear about your frustrations. I agree with Liza that things will work out eventually! Another thing that you may already know is that by taking the MCAT in July, your application will be relatively late. Do not underestimate the damage of a late application. After this application cycle, I am now a firm believer of applying as early as possible, and preferably no later than the first week of July. There were people around me who have a pretty decent application but applied late and have not yet to receive any interview invitations. Have you considered postponing your application and apply next year? That way you will have sufficient time to finish your prereqs and prepare for the MCAT. Just my thought, and I don’t mean to criticize your plan or offend you in any way. Med school application costs a lot of money and energy, so it is better to not rush it and do it right the first time.

I know that my application will be a little on the late side. However, I’m only planning on applying to the local state med school, and they guarantee interviews to in-state applicants, so I’m covered on that end.

Awesome. Good luck to your studies.