Hello everyone my name is Brent Adams, I am 26 years old. I have been lurking on these forums the last couple of weeks. Whilst absorbing the collective insight contained therein I realized that many of my fears have often been shared in terms of time investment, money, and the all-consuming fear of rejection. My background is in mental health which culminated in a MS in counseling just six months ago. As I began working in my chosen field I was taken back to my old dream of being a psychiatrist and taking steps to understand the neurology of mental illness and drug interactions with my clients. So in March I began studying for the MCATS and I realized that I might be in over my head. Two months later despite numerous guides and tests I feel no more prepared for the chemistry section than I was before (though I have increased my scores in both the verbal and biology sections) . As I read these posts I noticed that many are taking prerequisites at the undergrad level which makes me panic for my chances on this test. So that said, I wonder if anyone on the forums has overcome poor scores to make it in through interviewing or life experience. In truth I have always been an exceptional student in the humanities and basic sciences but I lack classes in organic chemistry, anatomy, and other classes considered ideal for med school. My undergrad GPA was 3.82 and my Grad GPA was 3.9. I would just like an appraisal of my chances considering my certainty that I will underperform on the MCATS in late MAY. If it becomes apparent that prerequisites and additional years are needed to just get admission into a medical school I might have to re-analyze my decision to embark upon this path. As it is I will push as far as I can to get to my goal and pursue psychiatry as a profession. Thank you for reading my rant and I pray that some of you fine ladies and gentlemen may offer me some advice.
Oh yeah in addition I wanted to put out there that I currently have no attachments to my current area and I am willing to move anywhere to achieve my goal. The problem is I am having trouble focusing on what med schools would be right for me because I have no qualms about moving away from PA if necessary. Does anyone know of particular schools that are particularly friendly to would be psychiatrists? Thanks.
Not only is organic I and II ideal for MCAT, but is required for admission along with Bio I,II, Chem I,II and Physics I,II. The more A’s the better.
Hey Brent, as a newbie myself, I have lots of questions…one thing that became clear to me was that you should examine the exact education requirements for each medical school you have any interest in attending. Some require stats, some calc, for example. I am taking the exact pre-reqs required for the schools I am considering, this gave me real direction in my pursuit. The admissions counselors at med schools “seem” more than happy to give you the info you need as well. Good luck!
Welcome here! My first advice is - CANCEL your MCAT. The loss of money is nothing compared to the negative impact of a poor initial MCAT score and having to repeat it.
You MUST have 2 semesters of Bio, Organic Chem, Physics and General Chem. If you didn’t take organic, and feel you don’t recall general chem well, you should in all likelihood retake General Chem. I think biology lends itself somewhat to refreshing on your own because it is MORE information and less process. I decided to do a full retake of general chem because I had only taken one semester of Organic Chem and remembered nothing.
I echo the advice to check the requirements of med schools you are interested in.
So, take a deep breath, realize that this will NOT be a fast process, assess which courses you need to do or redo to refresh the content, plan on taking MCAT’s AFTER you have the basics down. Then you can start your application process with a good initial MCAT score and greatly improve your chances.
There is NO point in taking MCAT’s before taking the required courses and it will negatively impact you.
Thank you for the advice. I have a tendency to rush things and make snap decisions without really knowing what I am getting into. Interestingly enough my study sessions have reawakened my love of biology and the study of human physiology. Unfortunately chemistry and I are old enemies and my interest and concentration wane quickly when faced with that subject. I guess it comes down to doing things the “right way” and taking those prereqs or taking the long shot by taking the test and applying strategically based off of the results. Each has draw backs and potential gains in terms of both time and money. I appreciate the feedback and I love that there is a site like this catered to older students who want to pursue one of the most prestigious positions our society has to offer. Thanks!
I understand the idea of jumping in and applying strategically. Unfortunately organic chemistry is not just considered ideal for medical school (like anatomy is). It is required - I don’t know any med school that does not require at least 1 semester of organic. A FEW accept biochemistry instead of 2nd semester. Thought you should know.