Hi everyone! I have been reading through several of the forums and I have found really great information. To start, I am 31 y.o, married, no children, prior Army Captain, and currently working as an Operations Manager for the #1 electronics retailer in the country. Sadly enough, while I am in a wonderful position with an amazing company, making an excellent salary, my one true desire has always been to go to medical school. I received my Bachelor’s (Biology) degree 7 years ago and I have a Masters in Human Resource Management. I recently completed a CNA course so that I could work part time or volunteer in either a hospice setting or hospital setting to gain clinical experience and develop a local network. I feel that there are so many things that I have to do in order to apply to medical school but I don’t know where to begin. I completed all of the pre-reqs during my undergrad years but mostly with B’s and C’s and some A’s here and there. What advice do you have as far as retaking pre-reqs, the amount of clinical experience necessary, the best courses to take, shadowing, etc etc etc!!! I apologize for being so long winded but I do appreciate any advice you can offer!
Welcome to OPM.
Getting ready to apply might take you a couple of years, so I think you’ll have enough time to get some exposure to the clinicial side of medicine. Even if you volunteer once a week for few hours you will ‘accumulate’ a good number of hours. I personally enjoyed volunteering for a hospice much more than in a hosptial. But if you’ve never worked in a hospital, you might want to do some of it too.
As far as education goes…Cs are not good! Lots of Bs aren’t either. With increasing competition you want to get mostly As, few Bs and no Cs if possible + do well on the MCAT.
Since you already have a degree in biology, I think it would look better if you took some higher level science classes, or formal post/bac program (I’m not sure where you are located, but there should be some in your area). Retaking basic sciences might not be enough.
Hope it helps,
And never say that it was your dream to go to medical school!!!
Your dream is to BECOME A PHYSICIAN!
Welcome :). Kasia gives good advice! One other thing I’d add: I don’t think your one true desire is sad at all.
Sure, it may be non-optimal that you’re doing something you don’t love - but that’s the path you’ve taken to get here, and you’re learning where to go from here. Enjoy the ride ;).
Kasia and Adam, thank you both for the feedback! I am planning to start my prereqs in the Spring and I will also look to add upper level courses in future semesters. I have been reading about the Kaplan MCAT prep course and wonder what feedback, if any, you have on the quality of the course and the degree to which it will prepare one for the actual MCAT. Thanks again for your advice!!! I AM ON MY WAY!!!
You’ll get different feedback about each of the MCAT prep courses, and it’s all valid in its own way.
I won’t recommend for or against any prep course or company. What I will say is that, regardless of whether you choose to take any of these - your best preparation for the MCAT will be your coursework. Learn the stuff. Understand it. And try your ass off to understand it in a way that lets you parse new information and play with it creatively.
In your case, you’ve already taken the pre-reqs. Higher level coureswork of some sort would probably be the best route for you. This would force you to refresh your knowledge of basic bio and the like, and understand it as discussed above. This and the MCAT would also provide you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to excel.
I’ve done an informal post-bacc, and I think it’s been the best thing for me. By that, I mean that I’ve simply enrolled at a local university and taken the courses that I needed. Look into this and other options for yourself, and let us know how it’s all going for ya.