In this episode, I talk with Cain, who is not your average nontrad. Cain was academically disqualified from college, took his prereqs at 38 years old, took the MCAT late, and had a less-than-stellar GPA. Still, he got interviews with medical schools and has now been accepted to the University of Central Florida, where he will begin his medical school journey at 42 years old.
Cain shares his interesting journey, going to college with his son and taking the same classes, leaving his engineering career for medical school, and finally getting the acceptance that he wanted to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
Cain’s First Career, Before Medicine
- Getting academically dismissed in college when he was 19 years old
- Initially getting his degree in computer science
- Working as an engineer for more than 15 years
- Getting laid off and demoted
- Working his way back up
His “Aha! Moment” for Wanting to Be a Physician
- His wife initially giving him the idea
- Seeing the whole picture of using knowledge and science to help people in many different ways
Resources He Tapped into as a Nontrad Premed
Choosing Where to Do His Prereqs as a Nontrad
- Getting rejected at University of South Florida
- Going back to school at 38 years old
- Signing up for community college classes
- Taking the classes with his son at the community college
- Getting A’s and reapplying to USF
Being an “Older” Undergrad Student
- Feeling scared and thinking that younger students have stronger minds
- Getting unconditional support from his wife
- Coming across a lot of doubters and naysayers
Shadowing Doctors as a Nontrad
- Meeting a kid at his workplace whose uncle is a doctor
- Meeting up with the doctor and shadowing him twice a month for 6 months
- The doctor testing his resolve and pimping him
Taking the MCAT and Applying to Medical School
- Applying early but taking the MCAT late (doesn’t allow the school to look at your application until later)
- Getting a 513 on the MCAT
- Improving his GPA from 2.59 to 3.29
- Applying to 5 state schools
The Medical School Interview Process
- Getting help from me with 1-on-1 Mock Interview Prep
- Interviewers focusing on who he was
- Being a resident of your state as a big advantage
Getting an Acceptance to Medical School
- Going to the University of Central Florida College of Medicine
- Seeing that the school was the exact fit for him
- Initially at the bottom of his list but later moved to the top
Factors for Picking Your Medical School
- Researching the website
- Performance of the class
- The admission process overall
- Contacting the school, getting their literature, and visiting ahead of time
[Related episode: How to Choose a Medical School & Put Together a School List.]
Advice for Other Nontrad Premeds
- Be careful about whose advice you take.
- Have the drive to do it.
- If you’ve struggled academically in the past, you have an opportunity to become the Cinderella story. And that will set you apart from other typical applicants to medical school.
Links and Other Resources
- Check out my Premed Playbook series of books (available on Amazon), with installments on the personal statement, the medical school interview, and the MCAT.
- Related episode: How Will My Academic Dismissal Affect My Chances?
- Related episode: Can I Recover From a Bad GPA to Get into Medical School?
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” at Next Step Test Prep!
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