Hi, my name is Ben and I’ve decided to start to pursue a medical career and become a physician. I was curious if I could get some advice on general questions I have in creating the best possible med school app.
So I would really appreciate your input because there are a lot of knowledgeable people on this forum.
My outcome is to get accepted into the best possible allopathic school.
I have read through threads here and on studentdoctor.net for about 5 hours and have a good feel on what I need to do, but still I have a some specific questions, first though I will give you some background on my academic history/work history.
-1st Year attended University in CA.
-3.4 overall GPA
2nd year got pretty ugly, moved back home and took both community college and local university classes. (I decided to become an actor and was enrolled in acting/theater classes)
-GPA very low, didn’t really attend classes so there were a lot of W’s (withdraws) yet a few profs kept me enrolled, giving a few Fs… Overall 1 semester with 1.9 GPA (at local university) and a couple Fs at comm college.
Moved to pursue acting in NYC, then LA. This was a few years, eventually I just went back to school to get a degree.
Return to school around 23 years old. Had 4.0 at community college (60 units) then went to local university, had excellent grades for 1 year then slacked off, ended with a 3.2 and a B.A. in communications. Graduate at 25
That gives a good summary of my academic career. I would say my GPA is around a 3.0 to 3.3, which is inflated because of those Comm Coll classes.
So, now I went to work for 2 years as a salesperson/consultant. I’m in the home mortgage field right now, and I have done well but now I am BORED with my career. This makes me 27 and DESPERATELY wanting to do something that MEANS SOMETHING at the end of day.
I enrolled for my sciences at a comm college but after reading how they are viewed I am withdrawing from O Chem and Phy tomorrow. I guess I will have to wait.
Even after all my research I have a few questions still.
- If I want to move my undergraduate performance from par 3.0-3.3 to excellent, is a post bacc program or informal post bacc best (even masters)?
(I have read the answer, it doesn’t matter, the program is what you make it)
- I want to have the best possible shot at getting into a school, I live in AZ but am willing to relocate to ANYWHERE. Where would you guys go? I see that Maryland/Washington DC is a rich area with Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Maryland Univ and a few other strong universities in one area.
I understand a common answer is, “it doesn’t matter. It is what you make it.” So my real question is, if you guys could move/go to any undergrad which one would it be, or what areas have the strongest medical communities (Boston? MA)
- What are you guys doing for work? My problem was that most course at Universities in AZ were only offered during the day, that is why I originally was enrolled in CC. If you are taking classes all day, what are you doing for money at night, or are you just living on loans/savings?
- My fears are that I go take classes and then I don’t get in. Then I start saying, “do I take a masters for 2 years? Enroll in a clinic for another year? Keep applying while improving the little areas I can?” I guess I’m saying, what do you do if you don’t get in the first time?
It is a gamble with the amount of time/money involved in the quest to apply. Years and $ go into this, so you don’t want to start this journey without a well crafted plan that almost certainly ensures success.
- I had a B in 2nd semester biology, would you guys retake that?
- What general advice would you give someone in my shoes? Focus on volunteering? Post Bacc vs informal post bacc, does it matter? Do I have a better shot getting into a great school like Hopkins if I go do my pre-reqs there and get a letter of Rec from a professor there? Am I over thinking it in moving, should I just try to get pre reqs at ASU (local university)?
I want to put together a well rounded app with volunteering, improved GPA, Great MCAT, Great LORs, but I need to know where to start. Are your chances better with the better undergrad schools esp since you can get LORs from that university(i.e. hopkins, georgetown, etc)?
- Does it matter where you go to med school? I want to specific do surgery, do I have to go to a great school or is it better to go to a less known school and finish higher in your classes. I’ve tried to educate myself on how applying to surgical residencies works. I guess you take “boards” and if you do well on those you have a better shot at being a surgeon. How does getting into good residency programs work after you are in medical school?
- Is it hard to get into these better schools with a B.A.? If I wanted to attend science classes at Johns Hopkins with a 3.2 BA, do they just let you in or do they have a stringent admissions process?
Any all all comments are appreciated! Sorry for the verbosity.