Opinions, please! Retaking classes for medical school?

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  1. As many of you know, I was laid off of my job in September. I turned 24 years old recently.

    Now, I want to attend medical school. Unfortunately, my grades in the important classes (i.e. math, chemistry, and biology) are less than impressive. I passed, but it certainly does not say much. I did excellent in my second major, which is the only reason why my cumulative GPA is as high as it is. The admissions officer advised that it would be a long shot given that I do not have any experience in the medical field to make up for my bad grades and their applicant pools is in the thousands (with some applicants with Ph.D.s in some science field) and they only admit 100+ students a year. She advised if I wanted to be serious about it, I should retake those science courses first and get As in them and then apply. She was being honest, and I knew that myself -- I just needed to hear it from someone else who does the admitting. The problem with this is it is going to take up literally one year and a half of my life to retake the courses to SEE if I could get into medical school. I will be 26 by then. If rejected from medical school, there is a huge possibility that I will be 26 and be in the same place as I am now career-wise at 24. Is it worth the gamble? What would you do?
     
  2. I would not recommend it... I'm being honest here. There are so many bright young people who get A's the first time around. You know what I mean? It's just too competitive to take such a chance.

    Perhaps apply for a 2 year RN program, Respiratory Therapy... or maybe look into occupational therapy, speech pathology, or some other health related field if you REALLY want to be in a hospital.
     
  3. Would you be interested in applying for post-bac programs? A lot of medical schools have post-bac programs associated with them, and you kind of have a jump start on getting accepted to their medical school.

    Here's some info to help you search for programs:
    http://services.aamc.org/postbac/
     
  4. I am really torn on the advice to give you..

    1 - if this is very important to you and you feel you will regret not persuing this then you really owe it to yourself to give it a go, and seriously BANG down whatever doors you have to until someone says "YES". I give this advice because when you are in your 20's you really still have so much life left and you don't want to be 50 with regrets. People of all ages go to medical school - DON'T let your age restrict your dreams.

    MORE importantly - DON'T let the challenge of admissions deter you either - write a kick butt essay - 20 if you need to - NETWORK like crazy - start to get to know the doctors/professors in the program you want to apply to - do whatever it takes.

    2 - If this is NOT your dream, and just something you would do to fill time, then DON'T. Don't undertake this task if you heart is not truly in it -you will burn out and you will regret it.

    I did grad school - 3 weeks of it - then I realized it wasn't for me - I BUSTED my hump to get into the program too - between the essays, a**kissing, reading professor's research studies, emailing, tests, more tests, more interviews, oh and some more interviews - I thought I was following my dreams - I am glad I did it to know I didn't want to do it - and I would have had regrets had I NOT tried!

    Don't live your life with regrets - that is really the best advice I can give you.
     
  5. :woohoo:

    I just graduated from residency this past June and am now in private practice. Medicine is not a field that you go into unless you are 100% committed to it. It's a lot of work, and you will burn out if you don't enjoy it. I absolutely love my job (well, except for the weeks I am on call :P ) so I wouldn't change anything for the world, but it's a huge undertaking if you're not completely into it.
     
  6. Have you considered graduate school, maybe a degree in public health? That way if you do really well you stand a much better chance of getting into medical school, but if not at least you have a masters in the field your interested in, so it would not be a complete waste.
    But if your questioning if retaking the classes is worth it or not then maybe being a doctor isn't right for you. I'm a senior in college and I would do absolutely anything to get into medical school, like the person above said you have to be extremely committed.
     
  7. There are a lot of medical professions that don't require medical school, but still pay well. I read on CNN that ultrasound technicians make a great salary and it doesn't require a lot of extra schooling.
     
  8. Loganz, thank you so much for your thoughtful response. The truth is it was my dream, but the concept of spending almost two years of my life retaking classes to fulfill the dream had me deter it until now when I am in between jobs. At 24, I feel I am not particularly young or old -- but I feel I am too old to go back to a junior college to take a chemistry class. The "could haves, would haves, should haves" always get me, so I try to not think of the things I could have done when I was 22. My pride got in the way then, but my fear is getting in the way now.

    I hope your dog is responding well to the chemo!
     
  9. ImASadGiraffe, your response was very much appreciated. The problem is if I was going after pay, I would be perfectly content with going for some other degree, like an MBA, to give my salary a little push. My cumulative GPA is still very respectable although it could have been amazing had I not pursued my medical school dream in the first place. I do not feel like settling for something else because of my age or because it could be easier, but in some respects, I feel like it is my only choice at the moment.
     
  10. jaylee1001, thank you for your response! I have considered getting my MPH with an emphasis in possibly biostatistics. As far as retaking classes, I am more concerned with whether or not it is a smart decision for me at this point in my life. I could retake the classes and get a shot at getting into a medical school and risk wasting away two years of my life with nothing to show for it, or I could spend my time fulfilling something I know I could definitely accomplish, like getting my MPH or continue working full-time. I am just torn between the two options.

    Good luck in your last year of college :smile:!
     
  11. Hey I have only one thing to say to you, this is your dream then follow it!
    It doesn't matter what age you are or will be if you have a dream then go for it, study, get the grades! You only get one shot at it in this life which is wayyyyyyyyyyyy too short to be miserable in what you are doing. NEVER settle for second best!
    My kids both chose to pursue their dreams with my encouragement all the way. Life has been/will be that little bit tougher for them to get a leg up than if they had chosen mundane degrees & were prepared to sit in offices doing 9-5pm jobs like accountancy or whatever but they are happy & that's what it's all about!
    Me? I took the easy way out did an education degree, became a teacher probably because my mother was practical lol! I HATED my job, I stroked off the days on a year planner - no way to live!
    Get off your butt, get the grades & do what you want to do! Forget the second rate alternatives!
    Nothing worth having comes easy so if you are serious, do it, if you are too lazy then settle! Sorry if this sounds harsh but you have got to be motivated to follow your dream, it just will not happen!
     
  12. stacmck, congratulations on graduating! Thank you for the link. I will definitely look into it!
     
  13. scarlett13, I am definitely looking for honesty here and I really appreciate it when people tell me straight off the bat that something is unrealistic to pursue. If I was as serious then as I am now about medical school, I would have definitely spent more time double checking my answers for those stupid three hour long science labs I had to endure.
     
  14. This is almost exactly my BFFs scenario from a few years back. She LOVES medicine - like LOVES it, but she's shaky in the courses needed to get her there. She did pretty horribly in them, actually. She tried retaking inorganic chemistry and did a bit better, but still... In the end, she got a master's degree in public health administration and became a paramedic later. (after working awhile in public relations at a hospital).

    She was again a couple years ago taking courses to become a physician's assistant (basically a lot like a family doctor practice). Again, she needed to retake courses and so she did - one at a time while working. But... she's now 38, with a baby and has she taken the last prereq's to get in? No...

    Sometimes people have the passion but not the skill/knowledge. She is very bright, don't get me wrong, but not in the sciences. Every time her medicine dream would come back up I know we all just held our breath and waited to see. We all supported her, but I think we all knew she was hitting her head against a brick wall.

    I'm not knocking medicine, but really, really look at the future ahead of you - 1.5 years of prep work, then med. school. if you make that, then residency. It's a LONG road and you better be passionate about it to make it through besides having some luck and the know how to get you through.
     
  15. #15 Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
    Good advices so far. If you have your heart 100% set on becoming a doctor, then I urge you to go for it. Extremely challenging, but worth it if you really want it.

    If you feel like it's something not practical or you're not willing to put 100% into (including sacrifices, time, commitment, etc.), then perhaps halt and think about pursuing something else.

    A Physician Assistant (not medical assistant) collaborates with physicians and performs some of the tasks of physicians, so if you're interested, check that out. Other possibilities include CRNAs, NPs, PTs, OTs, STs. Research all the different kinds of health care careers.

    Oh, also, have you thought about going DO instead of MD. It is slightly less competitive and it's starting to become more and more similar to the MD. Except you still have to do prerequisites...so maybe not. Whatever you decide, best wishes from me!