College Junior interested in going to Medical School

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College Junior interested in going to Medical School

Postby Guest » Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:04 pm

I am in desperate need of some advice......i'm a junior at RPI and am pursuing a dual major in Electrical and Computer Engineering and I have an overall GPA of 3.8 and am thinking of going into medical school because I hate engineering. Does anybody have any advice for me? Do you think I should apply to medical school right after I finish my bachelors or would I have a better shot if I did my masters in biomedical engineering and then go on to medical school? I'm just worried that I won't get into medical school my major has nothing remotely close to medicine.....what should i do to increase my chances (volunteer, etc. etc.)......and do you think its too late for me because I'm already about to start my junior year and only decided to go to medical school now.....so i haven't started studying for my MCATS...while most students who want to go to medical school would be well prepared during their junior year and probably know what medical school they are going to by the end of junior year......also, i have no idea how I would meet the requirements of medical school because my curriculum is has nothing to do with medicine....HEEEELLLLLLPPPP!!!!! ;-)
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Re: medical school requirements

Postby Guest » Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:58 pm

Sit down. Take a deep breath. Consider your situation. You will graduate with a degree from a good college. If you want to go to med school, you have only to take and do well in the prerequisite courses. Your major is unimportant, except to the extent that you will be asked about it on interviews. Perhaps the more important question is whether you really do wish to go to med school, whether you really wish to be a physician. It is a significant undertaking, one not advisable to initiate in a moment of panic.
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Re: medical school requirements

Postby DrDave » Wed Aug 11, 2004 11:46 pm

I completely agree - no need to panic whatsoever.

Do you think I should apply to medical school right after I finish my bachelors or would I have a better shot if I did my masters in biomedical engineering and then go on to medical school?


Adding the masters most likely would have little effect on your getting into medical school, and I personally think it would be a waste of time, unless you plan on having a career where that additional training would be helpful to you. I suppose in some areas of radiology, radiation oncology, or orthopedics, the extra knowledge could be useful and might be an asset for both getting into medical school and getting one of those residencies. To summarize, the masters is good if you plan on doing something with it - it is inefficient use of time (in my opinion) if you are doing it just to have a better chance of getting into medical school.

I'm just worried that I won't get into medical school my major has nothing remotely close to medicine


Your major doesn't matter much - as long as you take the required pre-med classes. My sister was an economics major and decided her Junior year to go to medical school - took all her premed classes then and got accepted.

.....what should i do to increase my chances (volunteer, etc. etc.)......


Do well in your classes, especially your pre-med classes, and do well on MCATs. That will help you more than volunteering, doing research, etc (although those are things that can help some)

and do you think its too late for me because I'm already about to start my junior year and only decided to go to medical school now.....so i haven't started studying for my MCATS...while most students who want to go to medical school would be well prepared during their junior year and probably know what medical school they are going to by the end of junior year......


See above comments - take your pre-med classes, and take your MCAT as soon as you are done with those classes. You can apply to the med schools and have your application waiting for your MCAT results. I'm not exactly sure how my sister did it timing-wise, but she started med school right after senior year of college like everyone else.

also, i have no idea how I would meet the requirements of medical school because my curriculum is has nothing to do with medicine....


Well, you'd have to make sure you could take the required classes - if they aren't part of your required curriculum, you'd need to take them during your elective time. If you don't have enough elective time, you may have to add an extra year to college. If you could get your masters during that time while completing your required pre-med classes, that'd be a worthwhile thing - but I wouldn't take extra time to get your masters if you don't need to. As an engineering major, I'm sure you've taken care of your year of physics. The main things you'd need to focus on are the year of biology, year of chemistry, and year of organic chemistry.

HEEEELLLLLLPPPP!!!!!


Hopefully the above info helped. Also, if you have a 3.8 at RPI with that dual major - I'm assuming you'll do well in the other pre-med classes and well on your MCATs. Overall, I think you'll make a good candidate for med school. In fact, now that I think about it, I think one of my med school classmates went to RPI. I'm thinking she may have had a career in engineering after college before she went back to med school though.

Next time I talk to my sister, I'll ask her how she scheduled her time junior and senior year, and figure out when she took MCATs and applied, if she remembers.

Also, here's a long thread about requirements for med school
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Re: medical school requirements

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:44 pm

thanks for your advice everyone, but I still don't know how i'd fit all these pre-med requirements. Since i'm taking a dual major, I pretty much have no free electives so I have no idea how I would fit all of these classes in (and I realllly don't want to take an extra year just to do my pre-reqs)....do you think it's wise to not worry about my pre-med classes during the academic year and then take pre-med classes during the summer at a state school like SUNY Albany or maybe a CUNY school? Or does it matter where you take those pre-med classes? And even if I did take it during the summer at a state or CUNY school, does it matter what I get in those classes because when those grades are transferred into RPI, it will only say PASS or FAIL....where a pass is anything above and including a C. Or, would the medical school request those grades from the CUNY or SUNY school anyway?

Yes, because I'm an engineering major....I think I already have my one year of physics. I took one semester of Chemistry and Principles for Engineers and Material Science for Engineers. I don't have any bio credits...but I did take AP biology in highschool and scored a 3 on it. I've taken a few semesters of psychology. For the english requirement, would a Literature class be suffice?

Also, I've been away from biology and organic chem and pretty much anything that is tested on the MCATS.....so I have no idea how long it would take me to study for the MCATS.....just curious, how long did it take you guys to study for the exam? I'm just asking because I have a full load next year in terms of classes, and need to set out some time to start studying for the MCATS..

In addition, I don't know how this "let the school wait for my MCAT scores" will work because my score on the MCATS would probably be a deciding factor in which medical school i'd apply to.....so if i didn't know my MCAT scores already, how would i know which medcial school to apply to ( a really good medical school as opposed to an average medical school)
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Re: medical school requirements

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:40 am

You're gonna have to have a little patience if you want to do this. It'll take a while. Patience. You take the prereq's. It'll probably mean not being done by the original 4 year college expectaion point you had prior to the change in plans. That happens when you change your plans. You can't necessarily complete the new plan in the time frame you intended for the old one. Yes, I expect med schools will want to see the actual grades in the prerequisite classes.
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Re: medical school requirements

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:10 am

For the english requirement, would a Literature class be suffice?


In order to take Literature, you should have already taken English Comp I and II. If that's the case, your english requirement is met.

Also, I've been away from biology and organic chem and pretty much anything that is tested on the MCATS.....so I have no idea how long it would take me to study for the MCATS.....just curious, how long did it take you guys to study for the exam?


I'm far from the best person to answer this, but I think the pre-requisites should prepare you well enough for the MCATS.

A friend of mine just took his, and he says I should take Organic Chem and Physics right before taking the MCAT, because a large portion of the test comes from these two subjects.

He also used the Kaplan Study Guide




In addition, I don't know how this "let the school wait for my MCAT scores" will work because my score on the MCATS would probably be a deciding factor in which medical school i'd apply to.....so if i didn't know my MCAT scores already, how would i know which medcial school to apply to ( a really good medical school as opposed to an average medical school)


Again, I'm far from the best person to answer this, but I think you can only take the MCAT's once or twice a year (not sure which). Also, you may only be able to apply to med school once or twice a year.

That said, your best option is to take the MCAT's ONCE, in my opinion. Take it while those courses are fresh on your memory. Study hard and you'll do fine. Apply to a wide range of med schools, from the one you think you'll least be able to get in all the way to the one you wouldn't be caught dead at.
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Re: medical school requirements

Postby Corpsman-Up » Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:25 am

Hey there.

First things first... CHILL. Things will be fine. :-)

You say that you will not be able to fit in the pre-med courses because you are a double-major. Why are you a double-major if you hate engineering (if your majors are both in engineering)? Just a thought. If you picked the major that you enjoy the most, and dumped the other one, that might free up some room on the schedule for the pre-med classwork.

As another individual pointed out, if you are changing your goals to include med school, it might entail a longer time period than you originally planned. Contrary to standard, type-A personality, engineering-and-pre-med-student thinking, that is NOT necessarily a bad thing!

Some of us even started med school as (gasp) a second career, and we are doing just fine. I think the most important thing right now is to meet with your pre-med advisor at RPI, get a NEW plan with the pre-reqs factored in, and figure out the best path for you to get to medical school.

I wish you lots of success and some really enjoyable times along the way.
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