Hey all, I just registered and am a nontraditional premed, I work part-time will be taking 11 credit hours, have kids, I do have 3.7 GPA, but the thing is, I cannot find time for extracurriculars other than my volunteering on an as needed basis for the hospital, is this going to drag me to the bottom of the barrell?
Welcome! Glad you found us. What’s your whole picture in the volunteer/community service department? Do you have significant experiences in your past?
It’s not critical to do everything all at once, but it is necessary to do it with some significance.
You must show that you are fully aware of the field of medicine. There are any number of ways of filling this req.
You should show that you are community-minded and have a history of and spirit of altruism (this is more or less important depending on the specific med school). It does not have to be medical. In fact you should be able to demonstrate interests outside of medicine. My school rates community service history VERY highly. They rate it as more important than a letter of recommendation from a practicing physician even!
I did not volunteer more than a few total hours when I did my most intense school-stint of pre-reqs. When I did, I was a volunteer educator at a nature center, something my kids could do also. Had nothing to do with medicine. But, I had a long and varied history of community service and previous allied-health degree and experience.
So, it depends!
The thing that will drag you to the bottom of the barrel is low grades! You need to do well, and working and kids means you don’t have time to volunteer much if at all. People understand this as a temporary limitation of your stage of life. They’ll look at your long-term record of experience.
Thankyou for your response, I followed your link and read your story. Very inspiring–I totally knew what you meant with the math phobia, the same happened to me, I ended up acing pre-calculus 1 and 2. I am finishing my last prereqs this year, physics and Ochem. So far, so good, I have received straight A’s. Fall semester starts in a week. Dont be fooled though, my undergrad GPA hasnt always been magnificant. Anyway, to answer your question, I have 5 years of experience as a nurse, as far as volunteering, I have volunteered as a translator since my employment before starting back to school, I have done many things for these non-english speaking patients at all times of the night working or not. I have an associate’s degree of science and like, you, am culminating that into a Liberal Studies, so I guess that makes me a dbl major also! Oh, and I have 2 times as many kids as you–thus no extra time after all of this for extra-curriculars.
Well, I’d say you’re covered with experience and volunteering. 6 kids? Wow. There is someone at my med school who has 6 or maybe 8 of them. I haven’t met her though.
Just so you don’t get the wrong idea: My double major is not an Assoc and a Bachelor’s. I have an Associate’s and a (separate) Bachelor’s with a double major. Not that it’s important, cuz it really makes no difference to anyone. I did it for reasons of academic politics, and like most politics it’s meaningless but looks good on paper. Having both an Assoc and Bachelor’s isn’t a double major by itself.
Glad you found my story useful. I know how much it meant to me to find someone who’d done it, though at the time, I’d found inspiration in the story of a man with kids who’d done it.
Looks like you are in a very good position. If you have any doubts lingering, don’t hesitate to call and visit the admissions office of a med school and ask their opinion.
Thanks for clarifying that. I wasnt told at my school that I was a double major, but when I confused your story, I thought maybe I was.
Thanks for your replies. Sometimes I dont know if applying on top of it all with that amount of kids will be good, bad, or indifferent. Either way, I wont hide it. Sometimes I just feel maybe not as competitive as other applicants. I have never called a med school, do you just give them a round down, and ask them what you can do to better more competitive? Are they nice about it? Or do schools in general, feel you are just another task to add to their list of things to do when you call? I just dont know what to expect. I suppose if a school was short with me, I would not want to attend that particular school.
Thanks sooo much for your reply!
Hey, no problem, glad to help. Gives me something to do while I wait for school to start!
You just call a med school and ask to speak to someone in admissions who can help you decide how to make the best possible application. They should be happy to do so. Different schools do it different ways, but you should be able to arrange a meeting of some sort. I did do this at one school and met with the dean of admissions. I’ve heard of schools offering self-evaluation forms, phone consultations, and visits with other admissions staff.
You can’t get this feedback once you’ve applied though, so do it early in the game - before application.
Nursing is no shoe-in, but it shows you are familiar with medicine. Grades are important of course. They understand those who majored in “beer” early on but later got it together. So, your recent school work must be very good, and can mediate a lower overall GPA.
As for children. It “shouldn’t” matter, but that doesn’t mean it won’t matter. There are more and less family friendly schools out there.
Thanks for the info, I really do appreciate it, glad I could give you something to do. Haa-the beer major, too funny…I only wish that were my problem back then cause it would be more an easily fixable issue. My problem was that a) I was the first to ever go to college in generations so I was dumbfounded about how it works b) a bit immature c) had to work to support myself and my dtr at age 18. So basically I had to learn how to succeed in not so ideal circumstances. No excuse though, I still could have done better, but I feel I have made up for that as far as the GPA goes. In fact, having gone through that, made me a hard worker, I was learned how to survive relative to education, finances etc. Okay, Im babbling now, so I’ll stop. Thanks again!