I am considering medical school, I am curious to know how I will likely do in the application procress.
Here is a bit about myself.
I’m 25 right now, with a BA in Music 3.0 GPA from a regional school. I am confidant I can do very well in the premed course work and would be surprised if I don’t get a 4.0 if I take it at a community college.
I test pretty well and have an LSAT of 170 and GRE of 530/790 but never applied to any post grad programs, came close to law but I don’t like the market for lawyers.
I’ve spent the past 4 years since undergrad traveling and playing online poker professionally, I’ve been successful but don’t want to be a professiaonl gambler my whole life.
What type of medical school options would likely be open to me?
Thanks a lot.
PS any other advice is apprieciated as well
Here is some quick advice.
- I would first volunteer in a hospital to see if it is something you really want to do. This will give you some exposure to it. I volunteered in a Level 1 Emergency Department to see if I could handle the Blood, Urine, and other body fluids you will be exposed to often. Some people are in love with the idea of the being a doc until they actually get exposed to it. It is nothing like TV.
- From music to science is a huge difference. I have a 3.9 GPA in my non-science BS degree however I am just averaging around a 3.3 in the sciences. It is a much different way of thinking. I am in a community college and it is not as easy as some people think.
- How bad do you want it. Once you start, there will be very little traveling and much studying for the next 4-7 years (Depending where you are at). Are you ready for your freedom to be taken away? My social life now is almost non-existent due to school and work. Get ready for that type of life for a while.
I am not discouraging you at all. If this is what you really want, then go for it. Just make sure you know what you are getting into.
Can you express to yourself and to us on why you want to be a doctor? what is the narrative? BTW, one of the first speakers I heard at an OPM conference in 2003 was a Dr. Alan Kirk, a leader transplant surgeon at NIH who went into medicine from being a professional tuba player on the Boston Symphony Orchestra
“why I want to be a doctor”
Mostly I think I would find it rewarding and there is a market for Doctors anywhere in the world. I feel I’m a pretty smart guy and want to do something more with it. I got used to a relatively high standard of living with poker and would like to continue making six or near six figures. Medicine and law seem to be the two post graduate fields I can do and the law market looks terrible now and for the forseeable future, plus I don’t like the kind of work I would have to do to work in big law.
I’m really not concerned about blood and urine and mutilated bodies and such. I think I would prefer not to work in ER where that is most commonn just because of the stress.
The things I could see being potential negatives are
- I don’t LOVE science. I do like it and find it interesting though, but I can say that about most fields.
- I like to think through problems more then memorize things. I can do both but am much better at the former. I am not sure how many options Doctors have when solving a problem.
I agree with thomasfx10. You should try to volunteer at a local hospital so you get the behind the scenes view. Medicne is highly analytical while also being intuitive. If you like to solve problems and think them through, it might be for you. I work in the lab and more often than not we get the not so textbook case that does require alot of thinking through. The path forward requires alot of focus. I’m planning on starting my prereqs this summer knowing how much I have to give up to make this work. Good luck.
I think that before you commit yourself to one path or another, you need to do a lot of research on both law and medicine. Research involving talking to people in both fields, shadowing (particularly in medicine), reading, etc. If you decide that medicine is for you, I certainly encourage you to go for it, but you will need to work on your “why medicine” answer. Your answer above is not going to fly with admissions committees.
If your main concern is maintaining a 6 figure salary, medicine is not necessarily best way to go about it. For law school, you likely would have minimal courses to take (if any) before applying. So, you would be able to start law school relatively soon (assuming that you get accepted). 3 years of law school, maybe an extra year doing an internship or something, but then you are practicing.
Compare to medicine: as a music major, it sounds like you need to take most, if not all, of the pre-reqs. It will take you a MINIMUM of 2 years (more likely 3) from the time you start pre-reqs until the time you start medical school, and that assumes acceptance to med school the first time around. Then, 4 years of medical school. After med school, you have 3+ years of residency (depending on what field you want to go into) working ~80 hours a week for about $45-50k a year. So, realistically, you would have about 10 years before you’re making 6 figures in medicine. Unless you have a ton of money saved up to live on, most medical schools expect you to live on about $25k a year while in school.
Another very real concern is what the job market will be like for physicians in a few years. Yes, there will definitely be a need for physicians, especially in primary care, but many people predict that overall salaries will decrease. With the current healthcare situation, there is a great deal of uncertainty about how physicians are going to be affected by the changes.
As for law - I can’t say that I’ve heard that the job market for lawyers is poor. It may not be as good as it used to be, but I don’t have the impression that there are hundreds of law school grads out there begging for jobs and working at McDonalds to get by. The reason I urge you to consider further research on it is because there are HUGE variations in legal practice. I admit to once thinking that law didn’t interest me at all, but after taking a class with some law students, I was really amazed with the wide variety of opportunities to practice law. Just as medicine has become more and more specialized, so is law. There are fewer and fewer general lawyers as more people specialize in things like elder law, estate planning, real estate law, healthcare law, financial law, and the list goes on . . .
So, I encourage you to keep researching. If you decide that medicine is the path for you, you’ll certainly find support on here to help you out. But, I do think that you need to do further research before starting down the path.
I am compelled to jump in here.
I am finishing my second year of a 2 year Master’s in Music performance program (vocal) right now.
I was further drawn to medicine after taking vocal pedagogy and studying the mechanism of larynx/ vocal physiology. I had previously considered medicine, and studying the science of the voice just rekindled that desire.
I would like to become and otolaryngologist and hopefully work directly with singers. I know that ENT residencies are extremely difficult, so I am going to have to kick butt on Step I and II.
I just started taking the pre-reqs this past fall and have 4 classes left. I can tell you that the science classes are distinctly different from music classes.
Long story short, I understand the difficulty of making the transition from the music world to the science world. It ain’t easy (for me anyway) but it’s doable. Math and music go hand in hand, and much of Gen. Chem. is primarily math, integrated with concepts.
Like others have said, I think you need to find the impetus for your desire. I don’t think money can be the driving factor for wanting to become a physician. You have to discover your fascination.