I know you are all busy people, and I know what I’m about to post is very trite and redundant, however, I need some direction.
My background is quite scattered: I went to a community college and did miserably. I didn’t want to be there; I failed courses, and withdrew from many, too, including the few science classes I did take. After writhing in academic probation for three years at the community college, I met my wife and we were pregnant very quickly and unexpectedly. I was 21, had completed a year’s worth of courses, and had a baby on the way with a woman I hardly knew. I did what I had to do, I got my grades up enough to transfer to Seton Hill University. My first semester there was rough. I moved out, was working 30-40 hours a week as a bartender, and going to school. After my child was born, I took about a year off to get organized. I went back to Seton Hill, and after seven years and a child, I graduated with a 3.25 with a B.A. in history. Now, I have contemplated medicine since I was 5 when I would go to the hospital with my father, but I didn’t take myself seriously, or school for that matter. After graduating, in an awful economy, I decided to just take a year or so and think things through. I worked odd jobs and we got by; now, I started a job in sales, but it isn’t what I want, however, we have two children and money is a concern; my parents are not wealthy, and I don’t have piles of money laying around, so I don’t know what to do, or how serious a candidate I am. I have shadowed a couple of times in the last year, and I want to go to medical school. I am 27 now. From what I have been told, working full-time while taking classes and shadowing, etc… is nearly impossible. Plus, none of the local schools offer courses at night only. So, due to money, I would like to begin at a CC. Is this ok? Should I plan on taking a few upper-level courses at a university? And, aside from shadowing, what other EC’s should I be considering; I do have children, and work, so time is limited. Also, do I realistically have a shot in the future, or is my seven years to get a B.A. and a 3.25 too overwhelmingly abhorrent? If I do have a chance, should I only look at D.O. schools? I do not have anything against osteopathic schools; actually, I am close to LECOM-Seton Hill and I love the idea of PBL’s flexibility. I apologize for the novel, the platitudes, and I am grateful to anyone who takes the time to read this and help me.
Sounds like a long journey to where you are now!
The first question - “do I realistically have a shot” - yes, you definitely do.
You will need to show that you can handle the science coursework, and because it took you a long time to get through a BA, adcoms may question CC credits - but never say never.
A post-bacc program may be perfect for you, but you definitely shouldn’t work while doing one. It’s meant to show you can handle the rigors.
It’s possible, but will take a lot of work - but it’s totally worth it!
Thank you for responding, Doc Gray. I have looked into local post-bac programs and have found it best to do it informally because of cost and scheduling. I have another question: I recently was told that the 3.25 that appears on my graduating school’s transcripts will not be what the adcoms see. I was told they will look at all the courses I took at the CC years ago and take that into account. Is that true? If so, my 3.25 is actually about a 2.2 because I failed several courses when I was at the CC 10 years ago. Again, thank you for your time.
Yes, that’s true in regard to grades and GPA; everything will be added to an overall GPA calculation. There will be a science/math GPA (BCPM = biology, chemistry, physics, and math) and all other (AO) GPA, in addition to a cumulative which combines those two. Any and all courses you took at the college level will be counted in the AMCAS GPA. If you repeated classes the most recent grade is computed for the DO application.
Thank you for your input. So, just to clarify, my community college transcript from 10 years ago will affect my transcripts from the school I transferred into? I really messed up at CC out of high school. Literally, I had a 2.0 gpa, had 5 or 6 F’s, and withdrew from many courses over a 4-year stretch. I got my stuff together enough to transfer to a university, where I graduated with a 3.25 gpa. I haven’t taken many science courses; I’ve only taken bio 1 and got a C. Also, my degree is in history. Is this situation irreparable? As a father of two, and money not being unlimited, I’d hate to invest the time, money, and many other resources into such a long, arduous endeavor, and it not pay off.
Also, if I do pursue my pre-med courses, is it ok to take some courses at a CC? As I mentioned, I am a parent, I already have incurred quite a bit of student loan debt, and I want to save money where I can. Again, Liza, thank you for your time and advice.
- lizat Said:
Yes, that's true in regard to grades and GPA; everything will be added to an overall GPA calculation. There will be a science/math GPA (BCPM = biology, chemistry, physics, and math) and all other (AO) GPA, in addition to a cumulative which combines those two. Any and all courses you took at the college level will be counted in the AMCAS GPA. If you repeated classes the most recent grade is computed for the DO application.
Do these GPA’s also include graduate level work or do the adcoms just look at undergrad work?
Also, when they compute the BCPM GPA do they count ALL of these science courses, even those taken for allied health degrees (ie nursing) ?
The medical schools look at all grades, including graduate work. Biology, chemistry, physics, and math courses go into the BCPM GPA. If a class was taken for an allied health degree and it was in one of those fields it will count. It might help to look at this AMCAS document and refer to page 2; you can see there the grade grid that the medical schools see. It includes the BCPM GPA, which is looked at year by year, along with “AO” courses (representing all other). The “total” is the cumulative GPA.
I hope this helps.
Thank you Liza for responding. I am a bit frustrated because I am trying to see where I stand, please forgive my ignorance.
I have graduate courses titled “Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology” HSC 6611. This was most definitely a biology course but was not named a “BIO” course. Will this grade be counted in the BCPM average?
you could always go to intl med schools that dont look at your gpa… you just have to pass the entrance exam … and there are pretty cheap programs you can do that guarantee you to get into a school… i know of one called MD International that has a 100% success rate so fr…you have to look into european schools tho and see if thats something that you want to do
It would probably help you to look at the course classification guide from AMCAS; look at the left, where it lists what’s usually included in Biology. The courses you’ve named are usually included in Biology and thus are part of the BCPM GPA.