NonTrad Medical Schools?

Hey folks,

I apologize again for showcasing my ignorance here, but to those of you who take the time to help out a sap like myself I am truly grateful.

The short and skinny on my story is like this: A multitude of educational requirements are waived for individuals in the Army that are interested in going to PA school and work in the job that I have. While conducting my screening physical for PA school, our battalion flight surgeon, a DO, essentially talked me out of making the easy segway if practicing medicine is truly what my passion is. So here I am.

This all has a point mind you. I am acquainted with individuals who have graduated Wake Forest, and I am acquainted with individuals like my flight surgeon that have wildly contrasting experiences of medical school. The story that stands out in my mind during our 90-minute dialogue on the merits of being a physician, is the one where his friend who was struggling during his first year received what basically amounted to personal tutoring from one of his professors immediately following class. The university he went to was Oklahoma State.

What I’m interested in is a guide or a list or some sort of resource that can point me towards some medical schools that facilitate more academic freedom than the traditional 4.0, crush all your colleagues ethos that seems to pervade medical academia.

It’s sort of hard to sell that without assuming the appearance of a slacker myself, but I think there’s a lot to be said for having time to spend with your family, especially if you can reach the same end state without sacrificing so much time.

Any thoughts, comments, hyperlinks, etc. are greatly appreciated. Once again I apologize for my relative ignorance. We are very fortunate to have a community like this to make the journey a little easier.

Hi hawkunit,

I don’t know if there is necessarily any kind of guide (but of course, I can be wrong!). From what I have read, osteopathic (DO) schools do seem to have a higher percentage of nontrads…probably because of their grade replacement option. Considering there are a number of us that are working on repairing past educational glitches, DO can provide us with a fresher start than the allopathic (MD) schools. However, that is not to say that allopathic are impossible.

Maybe someone can give you more of a better idea, considering I am only a premed.

All med schools will work you hard, and the time sacrifices are very significant. I gather that you understand that.

I don’t think it is as common as you think for the people who actually get INTO medical school to be the same uber-competitive every-man-for-himself gunners that you sometimes see in the pre-med world. My classmates are very supportive and helpful and I feel that the vast majority of them have my back.

I do not think my school is unique in that way. People get cranky, sure, and nobody’s perfect, but on the whole we try to help each other out at my school. And odds are that if I come in one morning and say to a classmate, “I could not get ANYTHING DONE when I got home last night,” he or she will say to me, “Oh, MAN! me, neither!” Humanity abounds.

Your thoughts are very encouraging samenewme! One thing that turned me off as a traditional undergrad was the hyper-competitive, self-focused nature of many of the premed students. I am still somewhat concerned about that, but it’s good to know that folks are a bit more community-minded once they actually get into med school.

Hawkunit, I don’t know much about med schools outside of NJ, but here at the UMDNJ-SOM, they have an educational track that is problem-based as opposed to the traditional “firehose of information” track. I am guessing other schools also have this track, but I’m not certain. The AAMC education section may be useful in figuring out what options are out there.

Don’t worry about being a newbie, hawkunit. We’re all learning on this forum, and folks here are quite welcoming and helpful. Speaking of which, Welcome! If practicing medicine is what you want, go for it, man. You’ll see lots of folks on here who have made it to physician, some with many kids/family duties. It’s very inspiring. Good luck!