Greetings! I am new here and looking at my options for going back to school. A little background about myself; I graduated back in 2008 with a BBA in business economics (overall gpa was 2.8) from a 4 year state school. I switched my major a lot in college as I was very lazy and lacked any direction. I was actually a pre-med/bio major at one point. In fact, I have already taken about half of the prereqs. I have always been an intelligent person but when I was younger I was ignorant and lacked any self discipline. I am a little older now and I really feel that if I went back to school I would be able to do considerably better. My question is what would make me more attractive to medical schools? Should I go back and just finish the prereqs, should I look for a post-baccalaureate program, or should I pursue a second degree (i.e. bs in biology w/ premed emphasis)? Also, I have a family member who is a nurse and she thinks it would be good for me to get a bsn. This would take longer to complete than just a degree in bio. I know everything else is equally important, volunteer/intern/work exp/mcat scores/interview/letters, but right now my biggest concern is my academic history.
I’m not an adcom but generally speaking you can have a degree in whichever area you choose as long as you meet the course requirements for the med school. Often, premed students will major in Bio because of the coursework overlap. Your GPA would be the biggest concern in my opinion.
AAMC and AACOM publish statistics related to GPA and MCAT scores for prior years’ applicants and matriculants.
That is why I was thinking about the second degree. More classes means more opportunities to raise my GPA. On the other hand, I hope that by doing well in the prereqs, schools would be more forgiving of my older grades.
IMHO getting a second degree (ESPECIALLY bsn) is overkill. I believe that my nursing background enhanced my med school application, but because of my years and depth of clinical experience, not because of my education. For you, you want to show that you can do well in the science prerequisites. Setting your sites on doing 2 years of classes would be reasonable to allow you to cover your needed prerequisites and also to take some more advanced courses to enhance your preparation (biochem, genetics, perhaps anatomy or physiology, microbiology).
Generally focusing on your overall GPA is less productive than demonstrating that you cna do consistantly well in content related to your medical school aspirations. Your grades (in addition to being averaged in to your undergraduate GPA) will also be reported as a separate post-baccalaureate GPA, so that will give adcom’s something to consider.
You might be well-served, however, by enrolling as a bio major in a 4 year college as if you were going for a second bachelors. That will give you the same priority in registering for the classes you need as normal undergrads, which otherwise might be hard for you to get into. There is no negative stigma about not completing the degree, generally. This may also get you access to premed counseling through the school.
I actually met with an academic advisor last week. I am going to start by finishing the courses I would need to have and then take the MCAT. It turns out by doing that I would only be two classes away from a major in biomedical science so I will probabaly just finish the degree after applying to school.
The next thing I am going to focus on (besides class) will be work expierence, internships, volunteer and research opportunities. I know there is a ton of info out there already for this stuff but if anyone has something specific that I should be looking at while I’m going to school it would be really helpful.
Thanks again everyone for all of the advice.