Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Classes

Ochem and Physics.  Everything else is done :)

Sooo... looking into my magic crystal ball:

ochem this semester, physics over the summer, MCAT in August, late app in August?

or...

I could take physics next year, slow and steady, take extra biochem and genetics classes, apply in 2012?

eek... that scares me tho.  I'd be almost 48.

(edited to add)

And I'm volunteering for the American Red Cross eventually being trained, I hope, to head overseas when disasters strike.  It is a long process to get to that point, part of a journey that I hope includes me adding some fancy initials at the end of my name.

Oh, and I'm publicly speaking on behalf of the Ronald McDonald houses.  Given my propensity for the gift of gab, it fits nicely with my overall approach and medical field of interest AND my personality.

2011 IS going to be a banner year!

7 comments:

Danielle said...

What I ALWAYS tell people when they are applying is to apply early!! It seriously is one of the biggest indicators of how many interviews you will get. I'm not going to tell you what to do or not to apply in August, but as someone who talks to people applying & interviewing often and as someone who applied twice (once early, once late - basically same application --> 3x as many interviews with early app) I can definitively say late applications really hurt you. Just my 2 cents, for whatever it's worth.

A Doc 2 Be said...

Thank you! That helps frame my thoughts which were:

slow and steady to apply in June 2012 now... rather than rush and apply late.

thank you - it helps to hear from those who have gone "there" before :)

medschoolodyssey said...

I'll offer you up my advice, for what it's worth.

First, I'm glad you've been able to get back on the horse and continue working towards your goal.

Second, I'd recommend that you take your time with physics and organic chemistry. They can both require a lot of work. My recommendation is to take physics first before starting organic chemistry, but I realize that isn't always practical. Regardless, work through it steadily and you'll be fine.

Of all the information I've found, early application is crucial, since many schools have rolling admissions. Do whatever you can to make sure that your application is the best it can be before you submit it. If that requires taking an extra year to pull it all together, then so be it. I'm not sure that an admission committee is going to care about an extra year if the quality of your application is that much better.

I actually decided a while ago to postpone my application by a year for much the same reason. Here's a snapshot of what my thinking was at the time:

http://medschoolodyssey.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/reconsidering-the-timeline/

A Doc 2 Be said...

Thanks MD Od!

I think for me taking ochemis more critical since it does take into consideration some ot he aspects of gen chem that I had a year ago. I'd rather not have to relearn kinetics, pKa/pH etc while learning o-chem. Also, I sat through ochem and it made sense to me.

With physics, I can take it at the university over the summer - 1 and 2 - and be done with it. the instructor is highly rated so that would be ideal.

I agree with waiting a year and having s stronger application. It won't matter to anyone but me that I'm going to be 2 years beyond what I should have been during app cycles, it will only matter that put the grades on my transcript that get me into the "box" for interviews.

What I'm thinking is that if I can do ochem 1 now, ochem 2 in fall, then I can take biochm in the fall as well, and genetics during the spring before applying... and of course, the MCAT. Can't hurt to have extra science background for it, right?

medschoolodyssey said...

Sounds like you have a pretty well-thought out plan. You might think about taking the MCAT earlier rather than later, that way you can retake it if you need to without impacting your application timing.

I'll be applying the same year that you are, and my intention was to take the MCAT in September, using the summer to study for the exam. Lots of different advice is out there on MCAT preparation, but it's not a foregone conclusion that one must take advanced coursework in order to do well on the MCAT, although some feel differently. The exam is written with the understanding that students will have only been exposed to certain classes, so my suspicion is that upper division courses (biochemistry, A&P, and others) only help by giving students more exposure to things they didn't understand when they took the classes the first time.

If you're taking a full physics sequence over the summer, I would recommend not doing anything else academically related. I took first semester physics over the summer and it was probably one of the most intense 8 weeks I've ever had. Cramming two semesters into one summer sounds pretty hellish to me and I wonder as to whether they're going to have to omit some of the material to fit it all into a compressed timeframe.

I'd also start thinking about how you intend to prepare for the MCAT. It sounds like you've got other non-academic full-time commitments, so it might be a good idea to decide now when you want to the exam and how intensely you intend to prepare for it. Full-time commitments plus school plus intense MCAT preparation are probably a recipe for poor performance in all of them.

A Doc 2 Be said...

MSO,

When I started thinking about the journey, I bought the EK series and started making note cards (I'm a geek).

Then Kaplan gave the free pre-test and I did pretty good despite not having had biology or ochem yet. Physics I started and was getting an "A" in but had to drop for RL issues (in the blog).

The physics sequence offered is specifically geared to pre-meds in my situation. It teaches everything that is required for the MCAT.

Anyway, my fako MCAT from Kaplan garnered me a...

with diagnosed test anxiety AND beta blockers BUT NO time extension (that's only for real exam)...

I got a 31 - :D (remember, I'd been reading EK and doing note cards - I'm no freaking genius!!)

Anyway, I do hear what you are saying and it is exactly the same message I give to others, just having a hard time heeding for myself... but I must.

No 3rd chances for me - that is why I was not in school this past fall. I knew my limitation and did not want to get another "bad" grade (bad = <A-)

Great ideas, MSO!

(now for the contract to get finalized!!)

Speculative Speculum said...

I'll be applying in 2012. Might as well join the fun!

"31" is pretty darn good. You're going to be rocking when you take the actual thing! :)