Introduction of myself and question about my plan

Hi everyone,

I’m currently two years out of graduating from a top 20 university with a degree in mathematics and economics. I wasn’t premed in college and wasn’t really interested in it until recently.

I graduated summa cum laude w/ a 3.9+ GPA (suffice to say, I studied a lot), and took some science courses while I was an engineering major for a year and a half (took 1 semester of physics, 1 year of general chemistry, a whole lot of math, a year of english/writing) and got A’s in them.

I’m thinking about learning more about going into medicine. I’ve worked in investment banking for a year (specifically, mergers and acquisitions, but hated it) and in economic research for a year. I’ll be going into a PhD program next year. However, my experience in economic research has led me to question whether it’s really for me; while I find economics interesting, I often question whether I’m really making any difference in the world. I like science, I’m interested in health issues, and I like interacting with people.

What can I do in the short-term to learn more about medicine? Can I find shadowing opportunities while I’m doing my PHD?

Given that I am now two years out of college, should I look into official post-bacc programs or just try to take organic chemistry, biology, and possibly biochemistry?

I’m pretty good at taking tests, so I’m hoping that I can do well in the MCAT. Will my PhD grades matter (PhD courses are often graded fairly weirdly, since grades don’t actually matter for the purposes of the PhD.)? Will my undergrad GPA still help me if I apply?

I have economic research experience, but no medical or bio lab experience and mediocre extracurricular experience. Will I probably need some lab experience before I apply?

My plan would most likely be taking additional science courses during the next two years (while doing the PhD), doing the MCAT in early 2012 and applying that summer.

Thanks all for your help! I know I asked a million questions, but I’m eager to learn. I’m also going to post this on student doctor network so sorry about the double post.

A formal post bac program is probably the most focused way of getting to med school, but there have been plenty of folks here who have gone the diy post bac route and gotten acceptance. If your target is matriculation by 2013, then you should just make sure that all of your required classes and MCAT are done by Aug. 2012.

I don’t think you need clinical research experience, but you will need some volunteer experience at a hospital. I work in a hospital lab and we get volunteers all the time who are applying to medical school. I’m sure your local hospital’s volunteer office could point you in the right direction.

I would say before you take the leap, get some exposure volunteering so you know what you are getting into.

shadow and volunteer. you recently graduated… but before flying into more years of school, see how medicine works.

To answer a couple of your questions: Yes, your undergrad GPA will help you when you apply, and yes, your PhD grades will also count (as far as I know) - med schools look at ALL of your grades, in addition to your MCAT score, medical field experience (volunteering, shadowing, and/or research), letters of recommendation, etc.

I do agree with some of the previous posts - get some experience, i.e. volunteering in a hospital, before you take the leap. Find out whether this is really what you want to do. It’s a long road, and you want to make sure it’s right for you.

The issue with your PhD is that if you start and then try to apply to medical school while in the program, adcoms will question your commitment and motivation to medicine and to finishing what you start. If you are truly considering medicine you may want to add this in to your equation