Dear new friends,
I am new to this website. My dilemma is the following. I am an Emory law grad and practicing attorney. I also teach several MBA courses at a local university. Nevertheless, I yearn to practice medicine. I have taken all required biological sciences.
The problem: I do not have time during the day to take the chem & physics classes. And the only school that offers evening classes is a 2 year junior college. So, I basically have no choice. Please tell me whether you think this will markedly affect the review of my prospective application?
I appreciate the input and advice!
Because of your other qualifications, my guess is that this is unlikely to be a big issue. If you had a poor undergraduate GPA and/or went to a poorly regarded undergrad institution, it might be a bigger issue for you. It sounds like neither is the case.
However, make sure to give the classes the time they require–don't keep your same schedule while you do them b/c otherwise they will bite back, 2-year-college or not.
Thank you Joe-
I am going to try to cut back. But as with most of you-the buck stops here-literally and figuratively.
Appreciate the advice and insight!
I'm afraid I have to disagree with Joe's take on this just a little. I've spent the last two years doing my pre-reqs at a CC (a really great one, where the classes are HARD), AND I went to a decent undergrad, but I'm still having problems with the CC issue at various med schools. The biggest problem I find is that medical schools either change their minds about this issue so frequently that I can't keep up, or they have unwritten policies against it. If I were you, I'd call every school you think you'd be interested in applying to, and get their policy. Email would be a good way to do this, because you'd have a record of what they said.
Wheretever you decide to go, good luck!
Andrea is correct in a sense, that some medical schools will look negatively at folks who do their pre-regs at a community college. You really need to contact the individual schools. A solid MCAT score will be your best evidence that going the community college route is an asset as opposed to a liability.
You really need to start looking into the characteristics of the students that apply to the schools that interest you. I will use UVa as an example. By far, most, if not all, of the students who are successful in gaining admission to this state school have done their pre-medical studies at 4-year institutions. These institutions may be liberal arts colleges but they are not community colleges. On the other hand, Howard has taken some students who did pre-recs at a community college but had awesome MCAT scores.
Contact the admissions office of the schools that interest you and find out what policy is in place. Again, a recurring theme at this year’s convention in DC is the greater number of non-traditional applicants to medical school and the increased number of applicants overall. You don’t want to find yourself in a position where you are at a disadvantage because of where you did your pre-medical studies. You also want to make sure that you apply to a broad range of schools to increase your chances of acceptance. If possible, visit the schools that interest you and chat with some of the students (first and second years). Most folks are very willing to discuss their backgrounds and give you information.
Finally, welcome to the group and enjoy the journey!
I already have one bachelors degree with a 2.85 GPA in Computer Science/Mathematics. I've thought I would need more to prove myself more than to just take prereqs. I would also like to get my GPA up to the 3.2-3.3 range. I was planning at this point to take my prereqs at a community college and then go on to get a Biochemistry degree from a 4 year university. Would my CC prereqs even be an issue if I do well in Biochem, PChem, Molecular Genetics, Histology, etc. at a 4-year school?
Thank you all for your advice and especially keen recommendations.
Having folks like you to bounce issues around with is truly a blessing.
Please give yourselves a hug from me.
As recommended, I telephoned my school of choice to pose the question. I was informed that they highly (needs to be underscored but no clue how to here) recommend taking the classes at a 4 year university. This school happens to be a state university-so to all who dream at night and toil during the day-take your classes at a four year school! I know now that I will.
You must do the thing you think you cannot do!
|QUOTE (mrittman @ Jun 9 2003, 06:13 AM)|
|I was planning at this point to take my prereqs at a community college and then go on to get a Biochemistry degree from a 4 year university. Would my CC prereqs even be an issue if I do well in Biochem, PChem, Molecular Genetics, Histology, etc. at a 4-year school?|
It is probably less of an issue if you use your CC classes as a stepping stone to 4 year degree, particularly in the hard sciences and if you keep your GPA up. But as Dr. Natalie stated in a earlier, some schools frown upon CC and may put you at a minor disadvantage. A full second degree is a little different from a post-bacc, I am unsure exactly how the scoring works on the applications and how the schools would look upon this. It would appear that generally, if you do well in the CC classes and follow that with similar grades in the 4 years schools, it would be, at worst, a minor disadvantage at some schools.
|I already have one bachelors degree with a 2.85 GPA in Computer Science/Mathematics. I've thought I would need more to prove myself more than to just take prereqs. I would also like to get my GPA up to the 3.2-3.3 range. I was planning at this point to take my prereqs at a community college and then go on to get a Biochemistry degree from a 4 year university. Would my CC prereqs even be an issue if I do well in Biochem, PChem, Molecular Genetics, Histology, etc. at a 4-year school?|
If I were you I'd call the medical schools you're interested in applying to. I'd make sure to talk to an admissions counselor at each school, and preferably more than one if possible. If any one person at a school expresses reservation about accepting credits from a CC, then I'd keep that in mind as you make your decision about where to do your prereqs. Beware of secretaries who answer the phone and say "cc's are just fine for pre-reqs"--that happened to me at one school. Later an admissions counselor told me that it's NOT entirely fine, at least not in his opinion.
Med schools seem to have opinions on this issue that they don't always communicate clearly in their application literature. I'm not sure why this is. Having a blanket policy against all schools of a certain "kind" (without acknowledging the vast differences that exist among them) might not be something they want to broadcast. It's possible that they look at each student's case a little differently. Also, if a _school_ does not explicitly have a policy against CC's, that doesn't mean that members of their admissions committee won't be biased. So if I were you, I'd call. I wouldn't assume anything. Don't trust the MSAR either--it doesn't address this issue.
As far as getting a second degree, that sounds like a great idea, as long as you've got the time. Don't hobble yourself by being less than informed about the expectations of the med schools you're interested in. Call them and get their advice! If they're fine with your current plan, then you can be all the more assured that you're doing the right thing.
Good luck to you!
Many med schools will not accept CC credit. Some will accept it IF you have advanced [upper division] work in the same area (e.g. biology). Many many schools use Baron’s rankings of ugrad institutions to evaluate work. To keep your options as open as possible, take as many classes (if not all) at a 4 yr. institution. And, strive for outstanding grades in your work to indicate that your former gpa was “then” and your excellent academics reflect the you of "now."
I live in the Philadelphia Area and there are at least 3 post-bacc premedical programs here with evening classes designed for career changers. The AMA has a list of post-bacc programs in all areas of the country. To me, that seems like the best option for your situation. Sometimes they are not too easy to find. So unless you are sure there are no such programs, I would encourage you to keep looking. I don’t even think the AMA has a full list.
|If I were you I’d call the medical schools you’re interested in applying to. I’d make sure to talk to an admissions counselor at each school, and preferably more than one if possible. If any one person at a school expresses reservation about accepting credits from a CC, then I’d keep that in mind as you make your decision about where to do your prereqs.|
I have sent email to various medical schools but no one is responding. Any suggestions of what is the best way to get a response from these schools?
I’ve been able to get responses from schools either by emailing or calling. It might depend on which schools you’re contacting. Here in my home state of Minnesota, we can actually make an appointment with an admissions counselor at the med school. I’ve found that route to be very helpful. Check with your own state schools to see if you can do something similar. Or see if they sponsor an open house, where you usually get a chance to ask questions. As far as cold emailing, I’ve noticed in general that the more thoroughly I’ve explained my situation, the more thoughtful a response I’ve gotten. I always try to be as brief as possible though.
I’m not really sure what to suggest beyond that. If you can’t get a response, then you have to decide on your own. I know I’ve already said this, but my personal advice is not to risk it. In my situation, I was planning on attending the cc just for one semester, while my student loan applications for the university got processed. But I really fell in love with the cc during that semester! They can be wonderful places.
Another thing to consider is what part of the country you currently live in, and where you’re hoping to go to med school. Here in the midwest, for example, there is not as much stigma attached to cc’s. Since cc’s are valued, they’re funded, and they have REAL classes. And regional medical schools seem to recognize this. The reason I’m saying this is because for me, at least, after calling 5 or 6 schools (from all over the country) and learning that they accepted cc credits, I would NEVER HAVE THOUGHT to pursue the matter further, since it seemed only proper and normal to me that they should do so. Anyway, if you want to apply to med schools in parts of the country where you don’t live, it’s all the more important that if you can’t talk to them, that you assume they have stringent requirements. Because otherwise you just don’t know WHAT they expect.
Ok, that’s my longwinded answer to your question–but keep us posted on what you decide to do! If you go to the CC, I want to hear what it’s like!