Taking the plunge

Not really, just dipping my toes in the water. I signed up for Gen Chem I at the local CC this morning and start class on Wed. I figured with my full-time job and my wife expecting our first child the second week of February, I didn’t want to overload at the beginning of this journey. Wish me luck!

Plunge! Plunge! I can’t imagine doing it with a full-time job and a baby, but I think it’s much better to start off at your own pace than decide you can’t do it at all.

Good luck!

Thanks. That’s what I thought. I figured I would get started slowly and build momentum after taking Chem II over the summer, if possible.

Good luck!

My mentor took one class/semester. The only drawback he had was in studying for the MCAT. He opined he was essentially relearning the material studying for the MCAT since it had been years since he had taken it. However he was accepted to school, graduated, matched, and is now an attending. It was and is a long road but it must start somewhere and as long as you continue to move forward you’ll get there. The only rush I see is in not allowing too much “life” to get in the way. FUD seems to be an exponentially greater problem for those of us who’ve taken it too slow. One class/semester is not too slow. Keep at it and if you’re able take two but not more than that.

I once thought that I had to take 15+ credits at a University, work a full-time job, volunteer with the destitute, write a Pulitzer prize winning novel, etc.

Yea…that philosophy only lasted one semester.

“Take what you feel comfortable taking, study your ass off and keep a positive attitude.” - Best advice I’ve received in a long time!

Thanks. My plan is to take this class this semester, Chem II this summer and Org Chem and Biology in the Fall. I have AP credit for Physics but I am going to take those during the time I’m studying for the MCAT as a refresher. Hopefully, it will work out. I’ve also thought about finding a part-time teaching position at a community college so I can quit my current job and take a full load, but that would have to wait until early 2014 as my employment contract ends at that time.

Not sure how much sense it makes to quit at that time. Next year this time all you’d have left is Orgo2, Bio2, and Physics. So if you quit you would only be adding Physics? You could do that, I guess, but it doesn’t really help anything. Even if you were able to take Physics over the summer you would be taking the late MCAT and applying very late in the cycle which for us nontrads is a big no-no.

The way it looks to me is that you will spend the latter part of 2014 studying for the MCAT and then take it at the first opportunity in January 2015. This will give you the opportunity to apply early in 2015 and get accepted, so you would start med school 2016. By taking it in January if you do not do well for whatever reason you would still be able to retake it in time to apply early.

(Notice a trend here?) There is a secret to getting into med school for nontrads and it’s APPLY EARLY. Full course loads do not impress an ADCOM as much as a high GPA (3.75+) & good MCAT (30+).

Oh, I wouldn’t quit just to take Physics. The only reasons I would quit is to take a full course load of sciences including Physics, Anatomy, Biochem and Calculus. I have some GPA repair to do, but if I can take 40 hours at 4.0, I can have a GPA of 3.35 and sGPA of 3.70. I’m willing to delay a year of applying to take more courses for GPA repair, if only to give me more confidence going into app season. And yes, I have drunk the Kool-Aid on apply early and often.

(My low GPA is because I didn’t try the first two years of undergrad. And when I say didn’t try, I mean just went to class and tests, except I didn’t go to class a lot. Last 60 hours of undergrad GPA was 3.8 and MBA 3.83).

Not sure it’s worth the trouble. Adcoms expect to see improvement and understand a poor start to college. A “trick” some use is to take additional math courses to increase the sGPA. Your MBA proves you became serious about your studies so I think going fulltime for you might be a waste of time along with those additional courses. If it adds anything to helping with the MCAT then go for it otherwise just take what you need and keep it moving.

  • croooz Said:
...studying for the MCAT and then take it at the first opportunity in January 2015...

Another factor to consider is the "new" MCAT 2015 which includes psychology, sociology, etc. Good or bad, I don't know. But it'll be a hoop you have to think about and have an adequate plan to help you jump through.

Noted. I’ve read about that, but I’m not overly concerned. I was a Psych major for a couple of years and ended up with a minor in Psych when all is said and done. Thanks for the headsup though.

  • croooz Said:
There is a secret to getting into med school for nontrads and it's APPLY EARLY. Full course loads do not impress an ADCOM as much as a high GPA (3.75+) & good MCAT (30+).

This is very sound advice, imo!

Trust me you'll beat yourself up for days wishing you had higher this or better that. The above mentioned points are things that you as an applicant can control.

The past accomplishments and failures are yours to spin in a way that shows you as unique, competent, excited and eager to become a good physician.