Im a 25 year old woman, currently working in a hospital as a mental health counselor.Ive got my BA in psych in 2004, with an undergrad GPA of 3.036 (freshman year was horrid…very upward trend though, my senior year was a 3.6 and a 3.8, for example).
So far, my post-bacc premed has been taking while I work full time, so I can only financially and time-wise afford to take one class per semester, but to be honest, only taking one class i am working and going to school upwards of 15 hours a day, so its not like Im taking the easy way out by taking one class at a time, I have no other choice! Ive taken one year of chem, one year of bio and physics and one semester of orgo. Im taking my second semester of orgo now. My science GPA with these classes is about a 3.6.
Herein lies my question: I went to see the health professions advisor at the school Im taking the class at now, and she ws horrid! I mean, the first thing she did was start to berate me for taking my science classes at several different schools. Mind you, all the schools are within the same City University system, but I digress. I tried to explain to her that because of my work schedule, I had to take classes wherever they were being offered inthe evening, which resulted in my having to take four of them at the current school, and bio and physics over the past two summers at two other schools. She didn’t want to listen to ONE word I had to say.
Then she goes on to say that this is going to look “very bad and weak” on my application. She bitches me out for not having enough extracurriucular activities or volunteering at the hospital.UM HELLO??? I have to WORK FULL TIME IN A HOSPITAL and go to school, the only way I have time to asl volunteer at the same hospital woudl be if i gave up on sleeping or eating altogether. This woman has the balls to tell me I should have quit my job “if I was serious” about med school. Is she serious? Does she want to come pay my rent and my bills?
This woman claims she gets nontraditional applicants in her office, but Im not sure that she knows what the eff she is talking about.
Someone please tell me, does it really matter that I took my science courses partially over summers, or that the summer classes were taken at different schools than the “main” college in which I am enrolled?
And won’t med schools realize that I don’t have volunteering experience because, well, for god’s sake I WORK in a hospital??? I would imagine the fact that I actually HAVE MY OWN PATIENTS that I treat would mean more than some 20 year old kid who volunteered to do paperwork in the ER three hours a week? Or am I just crazy?
sigh this woman really got me down. I work so hard,and its been really hard and i feel like there’s this light at the end of the tunnel now that im on my last pre-req class and am taking the MCAT next year, but this woman really got medown. I dont have time to take a full course load while Im working, it is PHYSICALLY impossible, I cant even shcedule it in. This woman is crazy,someone please tell me she’sa nut and I shouldnt be soworried about the things she was saying…
Makes you think that she could be one of your patient’s, huh?
Look, you are doing what you can and when or if you are questioned on this during your interviews, you’ll have varying responses and this will most likely be the most bizarre. Whatever is going on with her is her problem…let it go…you are the only one who can control what you are going through.
Don’t worry and keep going the way you are!
KismetGirl, I agree with Krisss; what you are doing is a normal and reasonable approach to completing your premedical requirements. I would just avoid this pre-health advisor who obviously has little experience with nontrads.
People in their mid-twenties are very marketable to medical schools. They actually prefer that applicants get some “real world” experience prior to entering medical school and you are right in the sweet spot, age-wise. I wouldn’t change a thing; you should proceed just as you are doing.
As for so-called extracurricular activities, your current hospital experience obviously is going to be very useful. You might try shadowing some docs in specialties that you find interesting, to get some perspective of what they do, and this experience should be listed in your vitae. Many medical schools expect applicants to have shadowed a doc in the hopes that they’ll gain at least a little understanding of what they’re in for. Anything else you can add to your vitae, e.g. sports, community organizations you belong to, amateur writer, music, etc., is all to the good. They want to see that you are a well rounded, humanitarian and community-minded person.
As you move down the road toward applying to schools, you should be articulating your reasons for changing careers and what drives you to undertake this particularly brutal and lengthy training program. I’m sure you’ll have an outstanding personal statement to present to schools and your grades and work experience all suggest you will be successful. Best of luck,
FIRE HER and get another!
I just posted this exact topic the rest is HERE:
When, I decided to “go for broke” back in 2000, the only person(s) on the planet who shared my vision was my wife and family.
Indeed, even when I went over the plan to myself, it was pretty outlandish, (at the time) 38, married 16 years, father of 6… and about as likely to make it as I did sprouting horns, but nothing ventured nothing gained!
Looking retrospectively (I ignored it at the time), it would be interesting to see just how tall the odds really are… how many high school kids enroll as freshmen in college in “Pre-Med” actually go the distance. I can anecdotally note the numbers are probably not good, (much less someone at my station).
After all I did not blame the official “Pre-Health Professions” advisor who “suggested” “Health Admin”… more than thrice, despite being firmly, but gently informed “no thanks” (I had just LEFT a six figure “Admin” job which I hated) as “possibly” being “more appropriate” (read attainable).
He was only “trying to help” and he could not have possibly understood “my stuff” on the inside. I certainly though the best of his intentionsâ€¦ I fired him anyway and found a semi retired professor who DID get it, saw it and felt it…