I call bull!!!

Perhaps a few here can help me with my skepticism. I just read at SDN that there are supposedly nontrads taking 4 science classes/semesters equating to 16 credit hours AND work 40+ hours AND come home to cook AND blah, blah, blah, blah…
I know I’m horrible however this just smells like internet forum BS. I just can’t see how this is possible. My classes were from 6-9pm…4 days a week…I guess they could be taking classes from 2-5pm AND 6-9pm or something like that…
5am - 1pm work
2pm - 9pm school
9pm-next morning at 5pm is the only free time…which is 8 hours…so no sleep just study???
In all honesty is this real and what ADCOMS are looking for? I’ve “heard” about adcoms commenting about 2 science courses per semester not showing the level of commitment they are looking for…

I also do not believe that BS unless you do not need ANY sleep wth?

I’ve heard about 2 courses a semester supposedly not being enough as well. That’s insane!!! If you are working 40 hrs a week and have a commute, and still have to eat and sleep, I don’t see very many ways to take more. If that’s really what the adcoms want, then they must only be admitting superhumans or androids…

Guys, you do NOT have to go to school FT and work FT, meaning adcoms are NOT stupid! they understand that working FT and taking one class or two is fine…no need to kill yourself in the process.

What about all the posters over there who are getting 40+ MCAT scores? If they’re working that hard how can they have all this time to post (2000+ posts, for example). It makes me wonder, too.
Then again, I would love such a person for my doctor. I’d just email them a few words about my condition and when I show up for the check-up, they’ll have read 15 books and 45 articles on the subject. I’ll be in good hands!!!

Wheeewwww!!! I thought I was missing something. My friend who is now Dr. Friend, MD, got accepted to 2 allopathic and 1 osteo school with all his prereqs coming from a community college only taking 1 course per semester…it wasn’t easy and it took him 3 tries to get accepted. It was suggested that he take a biochem course at the university level, increase MCAT score, and this plus some of the research we were working on plus his GPA has him as a doctor today.
I know this isn’t the rule but this 16credit/semester and FT work just smelt funny. The other thing that hit me was what are they taking…it can’t be orgo with the other prereqs so then what. I can fathom 12 credits but not 16…because why take 16 when you don’t have to??
Anyways thanks for the replies because I had a moment of “Ohh shooot!” but then had to remember where I was reading this from.

Now in fact I’ve heard the same thing lots of y’all have: that at least one semester of full-time work “proves” to an AdCom that you have The Right Stuff to hack it in med school. Obviously my anecdotes are from just one med school but I honestly do not recall ever having an AdCom discussion about this to any great extent - certainly not in terms of whether they could hack it in med school because boys and girls, there is NOTHING in u’grad coursework including 20credits with labs, that could prove you’ll swim, not sink, in med school.

But anyway, I digress. I have a vague recollection of AdCom scrutiny of a few applications where someone did work through the prereqs one course at a time and invariably this would require some scrutiny. The additional scrutiny would come by looking at the other stuff in the application which would generally show that they were working FT while taking the one course at a time, and the reaction of the committee members would be “OK, then.”

I do have to say that if you are choosing the (ha, ha) “leisurely” route of one prereq at a time that you have NO EXCUSE for getting anything but As - that will be an AdCom’s attitude too. (maybe the one random B in o-chem but seriously, you want to have really, really good grades if you’re taking one course at a time) I would consider working FT and getting an A in o-chem to be at least as good a measure of whether you can hack it in med school as taking a 16-credit science-heavy courseload.

So true, anything less than A if you are “just” taking one class albeit working FT will be a serious red flag. Not saying that a B in some hardcore class will not suffice but A’s are the way to go. Yes, I do see Mary’s point here…at least try to take one semester of FT to prove that you can “hack” it with multiple classes which is NOT the same as just taking one class. But the idea that you have to work FT and go to school FT is not rampant among adcoms.

16 hours and FT work…can it be done? Its possible for a semester or two, but not likely. The most I have tackled in 1 year is 14hrs first semester (Ochem1, MedMicrobiology, EMT-B certification course) then followed it up the second semester with 10hrs (Ochem2, Cell Bio, A&P2). I worked hard to receive A’s in all my courses. Working FT nights (5pm-2am) was the key, it allowed me to have a more flexible schedule when signing up for courses. It was the most insane year I have ever had though. I pushed myself to the edge, which I do recommend in a weird sort of way. I had to find my limits. That year was my “prove it to the adcoms year.” Up until then, and even now, I take only 2 science courses a semester. There isn’t alot more a person can do than work 5pm-2am, out to school from 8am - 3pm, then back to work by 5pm. Toss in our family time, our study time, our TO DO LISTS around the house… :slight_smile: and there isn’t a whole lot more you can squeeze into a 24hr day.

I’ve still been thinking about this and have come up with some rhetorical questions:
Why as nontrads are we required to show that we can handle both school AND work while trads are not? It would be insane for an adcom to tell traditional students “Sorry, but your 3.5GPA and 35MCAT don’t prove you can handle medical school…you should’ve had a FT job as well” It just doesn’t make sense.
I understand trying it for a semester or an adcom saying they, at their particular school, or he/she personally prefers to see a full science class load with good grades but it isn’t required.
It just seems assinine to me that nontrads would be held at different standards. Now I do agree that students who are taking 1 course at a time might want to emerse themselves in more science classes to catch a spark of what is to come. My friend had a very tough time in medical school because he didn’t go from undergrad to medical school but instead from an unplanned break of 2-3 years of no schooling to the fire hydrant.

Well… first of all, the “prove yourself by working and attending class” thing is mostly speculation on our part. I was given that advice, by someone NOT involved in the admissions process, and I know of people who’ve been advised it by folks who WERE involved in the admissions process, but the fact remains that we really don’t know that this is something being kicked around by adcoms. I can tell you that I never heard it brought up in AdCom meetings.
I honestly am not sure what weight adcoms put on our work experiences in terms of how we balance them with school and family. Work experiences that might have relevance to med school (e.g. related health field) certainly tell them that we have some sense of what we’re getting into. But if I tout the fact that I continued working full-time as a Realtor while attending school full-time (I’m making this up, guys, I am not a Realtor), I think the response of AdCom members would be a collective “So what?” I honestly think that going to school full-time makes an impression regardless of what else you might be doing.
You ARE expected to gain some life skills as you age, you know. God knows I wouldn’t expect any of my kids (who are all college or post-college age now) to be able to multi-task the way I did when I was a pre-med. That’s a life skill that takes waaaaay longer to learn.
I truly don’t mind being held to what might be perceived as a “higher standard” as a pre-med in terms of maturity and sense of purpose. After all, I touted my maturity and sense of purpose in my application - can’t have it both ways.
This question is an interesting discussion topic over a couple of beers but not particularly enlightening, I have to say. My AdCom experience indicated that every candidate was considered on his/her own merits - there weren’t “non-trad standards” and “traditional standards.” I recall discussions that took into account specific features of an applicant’s portfolio but nothing about their non-trad-ness per se. I think you are oversimplifying when you assume there’s one set of standards for trads and another for non-trads.
Finally let me say that the traditional students are AMAZING. They don’t have to have full-time jobs to be doing extraordinary stuff in college. I envy them their clear vision about their future and their dedication to that goal. I sure wasn’t that focused in college, that’s for sure.

Mary I agree with your comment about traditional students being amazing. I personally know two that took the MCAT at the end of their sophmore year and did quite well. They carried 16 hours over the summers and will be graduating at the end of this year as a junior. I look at my schedule compared to theirs,even with FT work, and it does not compare. It makes me wonder how they can do it? They can do it because they are truely amazing students and deserve the reward ahead of them. I think a big difference is the level of education they have achieved during their high school years. Another hill some of us 40+ have to climb is the standard of education taught at the time we were in school 20 years ago. It is my opinion that more is expected and more is required in todays classrooms. I base this on the level of work I see my 4th, 6th and 9th grader bringing home. I wish I was exposed 20 years ago, to the amount of information that is available now to kids.