Bio Degree to RN to MD

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Session 328

This Nurse is ready to pursue their dream- how can they tackle their academic past?

We have a great new way for you to submit questions. Just call 833-693-4279 and leave your question in the voicemail. Also, please be sure to check out all our other podcasts on Meded Media as we try to bring you as many resources as you need on this journey.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[00:57] The MCAT Minute

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[01:46] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“I’m a nurse and have about five have been for about five years. But prior to that, I received a biology degree with a 2.8 GPA with lots of C’s and B’s. Before that, I had poor grades on my first attempt at nursing school with 1.8 GPA. My recent nursing grades are a 3.5 GPA for Associate and a 3.8 for Bachelor’s. 

Now given that the science grades are 10 years old, should I retake all prereqs? Even the ones I got a B and above for Bio I, Bio II, Chem I, Physics II, O-Chem, Calculus, and Stats. I wasn’t disciplined then. So I did get some Cs in higher level courses in Chem II, Ochem I, Physiology, Biochem, and a D and Physics I. Should I just be retaking all of my classes because they’re old?”

[02:36] How Old is Old?

Prerequisites for medical school are a common concern among premed students. It’s important to note that the specific requirements and recommendations may vary among medical schools. However, there are some general guidelines to consider.

Typically, a grade of C- or lower in a prerequisite course is considered not passing for medical school admissions. While your college institution may accept such grades, medical schools usually require a C or better in these courses. Therefore, if you received a D in a prerequisite course like physics, it would be necessary to retake it.

“In general, for prereqs, a C- is not passing.”Click To Tweet

If your prerequisite courses are significantly old, it is advisable to retake them to have the widest range of options when applying to medical schools. Many schools have rules regarding the time frame within which prerequisites should be completed. The Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) may provide information on the specific requirements of each medical school.

For DO schools, the information may be more limited, but it’s worth exploring their websites for any additional guidelines.

“If you want the widest options of going to medical school… the best bet is to retake your courses, especially if they're 10 years old.”Click To Tweet

It’s important to stay updated with the latest information, as admission requirements can evolve over time. Consulting with academic advisors and researching individual medical school websites can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information on retaking prerequisites for medical school.

[03:53] Navigating Prerequisite Requirements for Medical School: Considerations and Tools

Individual School Analysis

When planning your medical school applications, it’s crucial to consider the specific requirements of each school on your list. Factors such as location and target schools play a role in determining how to approach prerequisite courses. Taking the time to research and analyze the prerequisites of each institution is essential.

Time Limits for Prerequisites

One key aspect to examine is whether the schools you’re interested in have any time limits for completing prerequisite courses. Discovering this information will help you determine the best course of action.

If there are time limits, retaking the courses may be necessary to meet the requirements. However, if no time limits exist, other aspects of your academic record will need consideration.

Demonstrating Academic Capability

Besides fulfilling prerequisite requirements, it’s important to showcase your academic capability. While a strong GPA and a Bachelor’s degree in nursing can indicate academic proficiency, it might be beneficial to explore additional ways to demonstrate your abilities. Hence, it’s helpful to explore your options within the context of your academic history.

Utilizing Mappd for Guidance

Navigating the complexities of prerequisite requirements and academic planning can be challenging. This is where tools like Mappd can provide valuable assistance. By inputting your course information, you can use Mappd to assess your grades, trends, and computed GPAs. During a trial of Mappd Pro, you can also seek guidance from advisors who can help evaluate your academic profile accurately.

Tailoring Your Approach

Given the intricacies involved in assessing prerequisites, it’s difficult to provide specific recommendations without detailed information. The specifics of your academic trends, calculated GPAs, and credit requirements are crucial factors that need consideration. Utilizing tools like Mappd can facilitate a more tailored approach to meet your individual goals.

Ultimately, with prereqs that old, you’re probably best off just starting from scratch. Retake those prereqs. Prove yourself academically. Help schools understand that you’re not that student anymore. And now, you’re this other student who’s more dedicated and more disciplined. But again, it really just depends.

[06:04] The Importance of Researching Medical School Requirements

Allow me to share an intriguing anecdote about a physical therapist who recently reached out to me. After expressing gratitude for the resources provided, she shared her unique journey with me. This experienced physical therapist, who had worked in the field for two decades, decided to embark on a new path by applying to medical school.

What sets this story apart is that she was able to gain admission without having to redo any of her prerequisites. How did she accomplish this? Well, as an older, non-traditional student with established responsibilities in her community and a family to care for, she had a limited number of schools she could consider. Fortunately, the schools she was interested in understood her situation and were willing to accept her older prerequisite coursework.

The Power of Research

This tale highlights the importance of thoroughly researching individual medical schools as you construct your list of potential institutions. Understanding what each school expects, wants, and requires is crucial. Often, these expectations are outlined in published information, which serves as a reliable guide. It’s important to remember that schools are typically bound by these established rules and cannot easily deviate from them.

However, there may be instances where schools do not have specific information readily available. In such cases, it is advisable to reach out directly to the admissions offices to inquire about their requirements. They may have some flexibility or additional insights to offer in unique situations.

Therefore, as you’re preparing your medical school applications, take the time to meticulously do your research. Understand the expectations, rules, requirements, and guidelines of each institution. Remember, the level of prerequisite flexibility can vary depending on numerous factors. By tailoring your approach to align with the specific needs of each school, you can increase your chances of success.

[06:59] Final Thoughts

Find the classes you need.

When transitioning from nursing to medical school, it is crucial to understand the specific biochemistry classes required by medical schools. Many nursing programs offer biochemistry courses that may not meet the prerequisites for medical school.

To ensure a smooth transition, it is important to research the exact classes you took and determine if they align with the expectations of medical schools.

Doing thorough research and understanding the specific requirements of each institution is essential for non-traditional students embarking on this career transition. It is advisable to dig deeper into the coursework you completed and determine if it meets the level and depth expected by medical schools.

Seek the kind of help you need.

If you require further assistance or guidance during this journey, personalized one-on-one advising services are available. These advisory services often have experienced professionals, including former deans and directors of admissions at medical schools, who can provide valuable insights and support.

Remember, comprehensive research and understanding of the requirements will help ensure a successful transition into medical school.



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