Need pre-med advising please--parents especially welcome!

Hello friends,

Find myself in a bind, and have gotten a lot of useful help/feedback in the past.

I graduated BS 1998, with just shy of 3.5. I took Biology with lab and Chemistry with lab as undergrad. Didn’t do fantastic in the Chemistry, as it was my first year in undergrad, which reflects the 3.48 I had. I then did very well the remainder of my time at undergrad.

I do have a master’s degree, and did very well in my nursing masters.

Now, I am back in school. I am taking Ochem with lab, and will take the second semester next semester.

I followed folks advice to re-take basic biology, but choose to do it w/o lab just to refresh material. Feels like a mistake b/c the teacher is awful, and feel that I would have been better served by doing cell biology or molecular biology.

Now, planning for the next year or so, I need some feedback.

Like I said, I will be taking second semester of Ochem next semester with lab. Summer, I think I will be taking biochem. Has anyone done a biochem class over summer, or is this one not advisable in 8 weeks?

I plan to take MCAT 2013, apply that July. I want and need to to have 3-4 months of full-time study to prepare. I will need that to do well, and don’t want to take it more than once. I don’t think it’s smart to take a class then–unless it’s just a lab section…(at my school, you can divide lab/class)

Is it doable to take Physics II with O Chem I/lab, considering that I have two young children, commute to the school that I am attending, work 10 hours a week…or would it be ok to split up the lab from the course and do Physics II and Physics I and II lab simultaneously next fall. This would mean O chem II an lab next semester with Physics I.

How important are genetics, upper level bio to take?

I’m really struggling with any pre-med advisement at my school that is useful, and need some feedback from more experienced folks.

As those of us with partners and young children know, it’s really a tricky balance and so I would especially appreciate feedback of parents.

Finally–is it worth it to get a copy of the MSAR now?

Thanks everybody!

Ooooh, boy–I can relate! I am currently taking OChem 1 (with lab) and Physics 1 (with lab), work 50 hours a week, and have a husband and a small child…

I have to admit…I’ve always been confident in my ability to get A’s. But right now? I feel like I’m at terminal velocity with life in general. My professors make it more difficult, because they are NOT good teachers–which adds hours of needless time onto my school work (trying to teach myself.) Combine that with the fact that my overall motivation level for the subject matter is pretty low (I’m just more of a bio girl), and I am finding it very difficult to keep it all together. We are surviving. But if my family gets any kind of additional curve ball in the mix, we may lose our sanity. We are stretched to the utmost capacity right now.

Based on my Phys I/Orgo I combo, I would caution against splitting up your physics lecture and lab. With this particular subject matter, at least in my experience, the lab really helps drive home the concepts. So it’s a practical application/tutorial process for me. (Again–my opinion only).

I’ve also heard that Phys II and Orgo II require a lot more time and effort–so consider that as you do your combinations.

Based on the chaos of my current existence? I can tell you that just about anything is possible (though not always advisable) IF: 1) you are naturally an excellent student, 2) You have an UBER solid support system in place to help out and assume responsibility for things at home, and 3)You are willing to bend and flex in areas that you might not have had to thus far.

Bottom line? Those classes are hard and time consuming, no matter how you combine them.

But it’s a season. And it won’t last forever. And honestly? My husband and I can already feel the foundation of our family growing stronger as we survive each new day. (Because if it doesn’t kill you… right?)

Good luck figuring it all out…

At the risk of adding to the confusion, I’m going to reiterate a point that’s been addressed in other postings. If you’re not working full-time, you should consider taking on more school work, probably minimum 2 classes with concurrent labs per semester until you’re through the basics (I agree with carrieliz it’s better not to split them up).

Adcoms are going to give you some leverage as a non-trad and working parent. They won’t table your application soley because you didn’t take a full course load, but you still have to prove you’re capable of the kind of time management and committment that will be required of you in medical school.

That being said, if it comes down to risking good grades for a heavier workload, choose the grades. It’s imperative that you have a high post-bacc GPA and good single effort on the MCAT. A solid transcript will speak for itself, and you will have the opportunity to address what you did with your time in the personal statement and (hopefully) the interviews.

I did biochem in a 5-week summer semester – tough but doable – but that was quite a few years back. Maybe somebody else has done it more recently and can offer an opinion?

Good luck with everything. Sounds like you’re off to a great start.

Thanks for the feedback folks. I am working part-time, commuting to a school 1.5 hours away, taking 3 classes, and raising my beautiful children while retaining a deep commitment to sanity, love, and spiritual practice. That’s the best I can do