It was my last semester of undergraduate studies and I’m sitting there talking to a pre-med asking her if considering my GPA, research, and other extracurriculars if I have a chance of getting into medical school. Her reply was, " You’ll have a chance but you won’t be competitive". Interesting…
As a result of that, in addition to family issues I felt that I would not be in the most competitive point in my life to finish the pre-medical requirements for medical school. I figured maybe taking some time off would be good, it would allow me to develop some clarity, and ruminate on the idea of becoming a doctor. After all, becoming a doctor should not be something that people should consider arbitrarily.
So, a couple of years after volunteering at a local hospital I feel like going to go ahead and try again. I graduated with my B.S. in Psychology with minor in Biology. My original intention in college was to be a Psychologist. I had conducted a year of research on people with OCD and anxiety disorders with a renowned Psychologist. Towards my senior year, I began to feel that the methods that Psychologists implement are not as a scientifically tenable, than that of a Psychiatrist. This is probably because I began to take more in-depth Biology courses. So no surprise, I want to be a Psychiatrist.
My overall GPA is 3.52. BCPM GPA: 3.63
The prerequisites courses that I have taken and their corresponding grades are Intro Bio-1 B, Intro-Bio A, Genetics A (I was a preceptor for the class), Comparative vertebrate Physiology B, Evolution of Terrestrial plants+lab A, Cell Biology A, Medical microbiology+lab A.
Calculus 1 and 2 B,
English comp 1 and 2 A.
Inorganic Chemistry 1-B, Inorganic Chemistry 2-A
I took all of these courses in residence at UT Austin.
I going to take Organic Chemistry 1 and 2 at a local community college, and Physics 1 and 2. I’ll be taking Biochemistry 1 and 2 through UT Austin’s university extension program. So with the amount of upper-division biology I’ve taken would it be okay if I take these prerequisites at a community college. It’s much cheaper for me and more convenient and I plan on doing well on the MCAT. What do you guys think?
I could get another degree in Biology, but I thought I’ve taken enough upper-division science and I did well enough in them to show adcoms that I can handle “university” science. I just feel like it would be much cheaper and it would fit my schedule better. Any advice would be appreciated.
I am at a community college now taking my sciences. I believe the MCAT is the equalizer. Do well on that, and it will show the adcoms that “you get it”.
You will hear many opinions on this subject.
Hey, I appreciate the advice. The MCAT is definitely a double-edged sword in that it is a great equalizer for those who took their prerequisites at CC’s, provided of course, they do well on it.
I’m certainly well aware of the debate against CC’s, but honestly it’s about how well one can learn the material, as some CC’s do a good job of preparing students for understanding the subject matter. Again, it’s all about the MCAT.
Let’s hope medical schools do actually care about life experience, which I believe many older premeds bring to the table. Regardless, good luck, I’d like to know how it goes.
- wutangryder Said:
Ah, if it were only that simple. There is much misperception and myth by both students and admissions committee in the medical school application process. Whether or not CC actually prepares a student for the MCAT or the rigors of medical school is not really the issue. The question is how students who do prerequisites at at a CC are PERCEIVED by adcoms. The answer generally is less competitive than a similar student who takes the same courses at a 4-year school. This also goes further in comparisons in perceived rankings of 4 year schools, courses in the summer, etc.
I’m aware of that, however if it’s a choice between taking the prerequisites and applying and just not doing it at all, I’d rather at least try. I live in Texas and there are no post-bacc programs that I am aware of here.
I’m also aware of the issue of taking prerequisites at a CC as it appears to be a not-quite antiquated contentious issue, but there are other ways to strengthen your application. As I said before, life experience does play a role, and it’s naive to assume that every individual with a desire to go to medical school has a preternatural calling from birth, or even after their undergraduate studies for that matter.
Whether Adcomms really care, well we shall see…
One more things I’d like to add, if it really counts for anything. I’ve taken ALL of the prerequisites in residence at UT Austin, with the exception of O-chem 1 and 2, and Physics. Most schools here in Texas “recommend” Biochem, which I can take in residence at UT Austin through its extension program and I will. Also, I will take Biochem 2 to make up for CC courses. I also took a fair amount of upper-division Biology which I did very well in.
I’d like to think that it counts for something, but when it comes to adcomms I’m not going to make any assumptions.
Hello! I am from Austin too and I am taking course at ACC as well(Physics 1 this summer). I took Chem II at ACC and I had such a tough professor that all UT students were saying that the course was harder than any science courses they have taken at UT. So quality wise, I believe a lot will depend on the strength of your professor. And it seems to me that you have a lot of courses from the upper level sciences at UT to show your ability to handle them ,and with good grades! Good luck! Thank you for this site for doing such an amazing work!