med school after engineering

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med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:24 pm

i completed my engineering in india with an average gpa but i realized that an MD was my calling
What courses or degree do i have to take in the US before taking up my MCAT so that my gpa will depend on those courses
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:14 pm

No matter what you take now, your GPA from your undergraduate school will still count. You'll need to take the required pre-med courses. If your grades in the pre-med courses are significantly better, and you have an explanation as to why your original undergraduate grades were not better, then you would want to make sure you explain that in your med school application.

The required pre-med courses are:

1 year biology with lab
1 year general chemistry with lab
1 year organic chemistry with lab
1 year physics
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:29 pm

where can i take those pre med courses ?
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:39 pm

Those courses would be offered at most if not all 4 year undergraduate colleges (in the US). You would need to take the level of course that someone majoring in that field would take. In other words, you take 1st year biology for biology majors and general chemistry for chemistry majors, etc.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:31 pm

so do i have to take 1 year of each or 1 year of all of them together ?

when my undergraduate gpa is considered then will it be subject specific because in engineering i take over 50 courses.
if so then what subjects do they consider ?
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:59 pm

You take 1 year of general chemistry, 1 year of biology, 1 year of organic chemistry, and 1 year of physics. Most people who are taking the courses while studying to receive their undergraduate degree, take the courses spread out over 3 years. Most people who take the courses after receiving a bachelors degree take them over a 2 year period.

As for your GPA, the application has it divided into a non-science GPA and a science GPA. Your engineering courses may fit into the science category. Traditionally, the science GPA is considered to be BCPM - or Biology, chemistry, physicans and mathematics courses. Based on your AMCAS application, your science and non-science GPA will be calculated. From what I understand, they take the department that offers the course as well as the title of the course in determining whether it is part of your science GPA.

Med schools like at your overall GPA, your science GPA, and your non-science GPA. It is not broken down beyond that.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:40 pm

the courses spread out across 2 years... what universities offer those and do they accept international students because most schools ask for permanent residency..
What are the admission criteria

the GPA of my undergraduation... how is it calculated because we have a percentage based scoring system

what the approximate cutoffs of undergrad GPA's and what do i need to score in my premed and MCAT to make my chances better
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:40 pm

I can't really offer you much help as to which colleges will accept international applicants and would let you take the required pre-med coures. Most people I know who did that were working one job during the day and then taking night classes and summer school to meet their pre-med requirements. I think they were able to complete their requirements over a 2 year period. I'd suggest you just search around the web for different colleges in whichever area you think you'd be living and see what they offer.

As for how to calculate GPA, you get 4 points for each A, 3 points for a B, and 2 points for a C. You add up the total points and divide by the number of courses. For example, if you have 3 A's and 1 B for a semester, then your GPA that semester would be 3.75 = (4+4+4+3)/4.

As to GPA and MCAT score requirements, you can find more info in my thread of frequently asked questions about medical school requiements and the thread about GPA and MCAT requirements. Basically, to be competitive you should have a 3.5 GPA and 10's on your MCAT sections. Even with that GPA and MCAT, there are no guarantees as medical schools are very competitive.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:52 pm

well we dont have grades wither to calculate GPA
we have scores of a total of 100(Percentages)
Well in case my GPA wasnt great in undergrad in India..
I am planning to do a course in the US... what would you advice to make up for it
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:17 pm

Typically, the letter grades are:

90-100 = A
80-90 = B
70-80 = C

So - I would say a gpa of 3.5 would probably be the same as a 92.5% overall maybe?

Unfortunately, there isn't really a way to get rid of low grades. They will always show on your transcripts, as far as I'm aware. If you have a good reason why your grades were low, and you get good grades on all of your courses now, then you would explain on your application why your grades were initially low and why you feel you are someone who will do well in medical school. It is definitely an uphill battle.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:39 am

well my GPA wud be around 3.2 then.... Overall but many subjects were multiple attempts because i was actually not into engineering
Does that make a difference
And if i am taking a full time course then would i be doing something like a postbaccalaureate premedical program ?
how long does that take and is that worth it or should i do a special masters program or a masters program in something like biomedical sciences ?
will that fix my GPA issues
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:44 am

It won't make much difference whether you do one of the programs you mentioned or if you take just the required pre-med courses. A 3.2 GPA isn't horrible, but that alone would not be good enough to get you into medical school. If your GPA in your pre-med classes that you are now going to take is much better, then you can possibly bring your average GPA closer to 3.5 which is what most people think is pretty typical to be considered for medical school, assuming your MCAT scores are decent as well.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:15 pm

i am an international student and here we have fixed coursed for fixed degrees and we cant take course separately...
i dunno how it works over there...
how will i take those premed course and how do i apply...
do i have to take up an entrance exam ?
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:16 pm

There are dozens of websites (although I don't know if any of them are legit, or if they are just trying to take people's money) that specialize in helping international students get into US colleges. I'd have to do a lot of my own research before I'd be comfortable providing too much information. This is something with which I am not familiar.

If I were you, I'd read what I could find for free on the internet geared towards international students taking college courses in the US. You may also want to select a city where you think you would want to live. See what colleges are in that area and check out those college's websites. See if they have sections for international student applicants.

For example, if I look at University of Illinois in Chicago (Chicago is the nearest big city to where I live), they have a website for international students:

UIC International Student Website

On that website, they have resources and contact information. You can then contact their office with all of your questions. I am guessing most universities get a lot of questions and they might be slow to respond.

I just randomly picked another university, NYU, and did a google search for "undergraduate international student application NYU" and that led me to this page which has information for international applicants <link broken as of 11/22/12>. They have links along the left side of the page with more information for international applicants.

I would suggest you start with this route of contacting a few universities in cities where you would like to attend. Find a contact email address for international applicants. Ask all of your questions in an email.

I would appreciate if you could update me on what sort of responses you get, as I'm sure that would be helpful for others with similar questions. I'm guessing most of the websites devoted to helping international students are just companies that take your money in exchange for giving you advice and helping you navigate the application process. My guess is you can do it yourself with the help of an advisor from a university that accepts international applicants. Perhaps if there is an experienced company, they could maybe help direct you towards the proper college based on your goals. I don't know enough about the field to be able to recommend such a company.

Best of luck.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:19 pm

i actually don understand how it works...
Sorry for bothering you so much..
I was checking on this link http://services.aamc.org/postbac/
it was giving the courses of premed available....
is this also an option and i was looking to study in chicago or philadelphia
how are these postbac courses different from taking courses separately from universities
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:22 pm

I'm not personally too experienced with the advantages and disadvantages of a post-bacc program, but we did have a discussion on post-bacc pre-medical programs here a few years back. I think Corpsman-Up did make some good comments that you may find helpful. Basically, the post-bacc programs provide additional structure and pre-med advising compared to doing it on your own. Most people are able to set things up on their own and can save money in the process. For people who do need more structure, a post-bacc program is maybe a good idea.

Again - I would suggest you direct your questions towards an international student advisor at one of the colleges you would consider attending. They can provide you with specific instructions on what you need to do in order to apply to a program in the US, and they can also advise you on whether you should pursue a post-bacc program or just take the coursework on your own.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:54 pm

there are mainly certificate premed courses and there are special masters courses and there are traditional masters courses... which one is the most suited ?
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:44 pm

If you are sure you are going to medical school, then I don't think it makes any difference which course you do. If you may not go to medical school, then I would think a traditional masters degree may help you out in another field.

In order to get accepted into medical school, most schools require a bachelors degree - which you already have. Another degree does little to add to your application. The schools are more concerned with your GPA and your MCAT scores. Again, this is my opinion only and a medical school advisor may think differently.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:42 am

well which of these degrees would help out my GPA the best ?
i am focussing only on med school
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:58 am

Your GPA is helped by getting A's in your classes. It doesn't matter which program you are following, as long as you get A's in your classes.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:03 am

i was interested in this program
www.science.psu.edu/premedcert/
whats your advice on that?

Being a public university do they accept international students ?
Whats te entrance exam i need to take up ?
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:10 am

I am not familiar with individual programs. You should direct your questions towards the contact person at that school.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:21 am

i did but its the holidays so no reply as of now...
But i just wanted to know if theres any reservation against out of state or international residents
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:25 am

Let me know what they say. If they say they don't accept international graduates, be sure to ask them if they have any suggestions of programs that may fit your needs.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:50 am

and as for financing for med schools and residency guidelines...
are international students allowed to attend residency and obtain fellowships or do they have to get some work permits or different class of visa ?
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:41 am

I'm not very familiar with the process for international students. There seems to be some good information along the lines of what you are seeking on this page at University of Georgia's website relating to international students looking to go to medical school in the United States.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby ssgodspeed » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:58 am

everywhere in that link it is said that it is not possible for international students to join an MD program
my profile in a gist is tht my Engg GPA is about 3.1
consider i do a postbac premed certificate program and have a GPA of over 3.5
i have to apply for an international student loan for med school...
Is it possible ?
Do they accept international students who have applied loans ?
Whats the deal with an escrow account ?
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby neuro » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:37 pm

ssgodspeed,

-- I strongly suggest that you should direct all you numerous questions to the medical school that you would like to attend. Make an effort to list all of your questions before you email or call them.

-- Most post-baccalaureate premed programs require US citizenship or permanent residency.

-- Before you apply to any US premed or medical schools, you need to assess your financial status first because you will be required to show proof of financial capability to the US immigration for your student visa application. Otherwise, you will be denied in attaining a student visa, even if you are accepted by a US school.

-- Take into consideration that there are few US financial institutions that will provide student loans to any international students. I suggest you to ask international students from India on how they financed their US education including medical school, if applicable.

-- Be realistic.

Here's one of your options:

You need to apply for an H1B visa for your engineering experience and work for any US company until you get your greencard. While working, you could also save money for your medical school including application fees, post-baccalaureate premed tuition fees, etc. Remember, medical school is very expensive especially for a private institution.

Eventually, you will get a US permanent residency (greencard) or even a US citizenship. You will also be eligible for various federal/state student aid/grants. In this regard, it will be easier for you to get into any medical schools due to your permanent residency status, provided that you will have an excellent post-baccalaureate premed GPA (>3.5), MCAT(>10), interview, and reference letters.

Again, you need to be realistic with your dream to be a US educated medical doctor. Good luck.


BTW, I was also an engineering grad (BSEE/MSEE) who went to a prestigious medical school in CA.
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby areej » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:34 pm

ok i found this forum today.
im in a similar situation and i have completed my second year of bachelors degree in biotechnology. i have had courses like cell biology, micro biology and microbial biology of genetics in my coursework. will they be accepted as biology pre med coursework or do i have to start over?
and ive completed chemistry and bio chemistry separately each in one sem. similar question for that and as for physics ive had it for one semester.
im thoroughly confused. this idea of doing medicine has been nagging me at the back of my head, i didnt know i cud revert back till i stumbled on this post.
i also want to know for MCAT the scores last for how many years and apparently the pattern is changing!
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Re: med school after engineering

Postby DrDave » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:07 am

areej,

I'm not sure what to advise you based on the courses you've taken. They are no the typical pre-med courses, but it is also possible that some medical schools would accept some of them as meeting their requirements. The typical med school course would be the same course taken by someone majoring in the particular field - for example, the one year of biology would be the same as a biology major would have to taken. If your biology courses were higher level courses, a medical school would be more likely to accept it as meeting the requirements.

As for your chemistry and physics courses - I am guessing they may not be the same courses that chemistry and physics majors would have taken, as the intro level courses for someone majoring in those fields would be a one year course.

The only way you will get a reliable answer would be to contact the medical schools and see what they say. You can start by picking the 2-3 med schools you think you would be most likely to apply to and try to get an answer from their admission's committee.

As for how long MCAT scores are valid - I think the general rule is 2-3 years. As you wouldn't want to take the MCAT until you have completed most of your required pre-med courses, there would be little reason to be applying to medical school that long after you took the exam.
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