Glad to be back and Questions

My name is Kevin, and I first found this site before it was even on SDN. I have been away for a couple of years, but my passion has been and always will be medicine. I met some of you when the convention was here in Dallas.
Here is my scenario. I am a medical lab technician with over 9 years experience ranging from family practice lab manager(twice) to long-term care hospital(currently). My medical lab training came from the Air Force Reserves, and few traditional colleges will give me the credits (72 hours) that I earned. However, The University of Cincinnati has an online MLT to MT Bachelor of Science completion program that will accept my credits. Now, my question to those who have gone before into medical school is, can I take the pre-req science classes at a community college and still have a fighting chance, or do I need to just buckle up and go to a local university for those ? I would appreciate any feedback.

Hi Kevin,
Congratulations on your decision to pursue this path!
You may get different opinions regarding Communty college vs. Univ.
I started on this process last summer and from what I’ve seen, as non trads who have been out of school for a while, its in our best interest to prove that we are still as academically competent as any other good traditional candidate to med school. Attending a competetive state, private univetrsity and making good grades is certainly a good way to prove that. If you can, why not make your application solid? Some universitites give tution breaks if you are employed even on a part time basis.
People have attended community colelges and secured admission to med schools. But there are far fewer in number than those who attended established universitites.
So, if you can work around financial and geographic constraints and find a good school you can go to, i’d say go for it. It’s worth the investment. The bottom line is to make a solid case for yourself and get into a med school. Good Luck!

I am not in medical school, but still applying. I was waitlisted last cycle and met with the admissions office to discuss my package. I, too, have a lot of clinical medical experience and I did my prereq’s at a community college. The admissions office stated it was fine to take my classes there but I needed to have A’s. Schools look highly on previous medical experience since it reflects you know what you are getting into and you are/should be pretty grounded. I know every med school will be different especially the top notch schools.

You don’t have to take them at a university but it doesn’t hurt. Regardless which route you chose “A’s” are important. The GPA of a non-trad is important in proving that you’re taking your studies seriously. Not sure how a B or C translates into being a slacker but that seems to be the consensus at the schools I spoke to. The 3 I’ve spoken to while not negative against CC they sure weren’t positive about them either.
I’ll say this. If you can afford a university which will teach you what you need then go to it. If you find a CC is better suited for you then go to the CC. It’s your choice and a solid GPA as well as MCAT will demonstrate your commitment.

Welcome back Kevin! Long time, no see since Dallas.
Yes, this is one of our most common questions - CC vs 4-year school. To be perfectly frank, the overwhelming majority of CCs simply are not as academically rigorous (there are rare exceptions) as 4-year schools & most AdComs will view this in a less favorable light. Now, that does not mean that CC courses are a death sentence - I, myself, took my physics sequence @ a CC. However, if you have the option to go to a 4-year school & it will not relegate you to living in a fridge box eating beans & weinies, then bite the bullet & go to a 4-year program.
If avoidable, why add in a question mark? As a non-trad, there are already enough additional hurdles - do not unneccessarily make it worse. But, if a CC is your only option, for what ever reason, then by all means pursue it with vigor. Just be aware that in an interview, you may be asked why. So, be able to articulate why you chose to attend a CC.

Thanks all…Glad to see your doing great OldManDave…congrats on the baby and the residency…another question OldManDave…UTA or Tarleton State ? Both are about the same distance from where I live…I was looking at KCOM just yesterday…really want to go the DO route…TCOM would be the first because of in state, but KCOM would be my second choice…

Don’t know too much about Tarleton. I was equi-distant b/t UTA & UTDallas - chose UTD. UTA was too big for me - preferred the more intimate setting of UTD. Harder to get to know professors for strong letters when you’re only 1 of hundreds in a class, in my humble opinion.
When the time comes to do your applying, feel free to drop me a line & we can chat 1-on-1 about KCOM. I can give them an enthusiastic endorsement! Also have heard excellent things about TCOM too.

I put together a mix of 4-year and CC classes to accomplish what I needed to do. My main constraint was what was being offered as evening classes, since pre-med school I felt like I needed to stay employed, which eliminated the day slots. The local CC here was accredited such that one could start there and go on to the State 4 year school with full transfer of credits, which makes them a bit more acceptible.
Steve Y - UNECOM MS4