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Hello! I was wondering if you could give me methods of raising my GPA. For instance, can I take classes at a community college after I've graduated? Thanks so much!
This answered question should help. You can definitely take classes at a CC or through a university’s extension program too. Remember that your science GPA and your cumulative GPA will be calculated separately in your AMCAs so focus on taking science classes for higher grades.
Hello, I just wanted to say that the blog you guys/gals have up is amazing so thank you for that! I have a question about frustration.. did you guys ever feel frustrated from some of the basic science classes? I feel as if the subject matter is very difficult for me but some medical students are telling me that after the 2nd year of medical school it will be mostly over. Is this true and what do y'all think about built-up frustration over basic science classes?
First, thanks! :)
I def feel this way a lot of the time (in fact, I have an exam on Friday that I’m clearly not studying for).
I find it helpful to engage in activities that provide me with patient contact. I spent my summer pursuing a health-related internship and shadowing. During the school year, I volunteer for health fairs, free clinics, community events, community service projects at school, and other types of outreach when I have time. Simple things like helping with health education at community events or taking blood pressure at the the health clinic help me stay focused on why I chose this profession. I even learned how to draw blood at a health fair during my first year (at my school, we learn this during orientation before 3rd year)!
Despite all this, staying focused on the basic sciences is still tough for me. Studying in groups makes the process bearable and even fun! Regardless, it is a work in progress, even for a med student. Hang in there!
do you retake chem, ochem, and bio classes in post-bacs to strengthen your record? or how does the program work?
Most programs have you take a typical med school’s prerequisite science courses or the classes that you would take during year 1 of med school, all for a grade. They also provided personal statement workshops, interview help, and other academic counseling services to help with your application.
What were your favorite Neuro upperdivs? do you have any specific profs to definitely take or avoid? thanks!
I loved NS 102 (Neuroanatomy) w/ Dr. Schiebel (who has since retired) and all the classes taught by Dr. Chandler Module 1 of NS 101A and NS M145 (Mechanisms of Movement). The NS 101 series was interesting b/c it was the first set of classes that focused on the details of neuroscience. I also took an unexpectedly interesting NS upper div on research methods & neurodegenerative diseases. I wasn’t very interested in research methods, but I liked how the professors emphasized the clinical application.
I go to UCLA and i feel like sometimes the professors don't want you to succeed, specifically in the science prereqs. Does it get better in the upper divs? (plz say yes haha)
Lower div science classes are tough in general. I like to maintain a positive outlook on my professors, but I did think that it got better with upper divs. For me, I think it got better because I was more interested in the subject matter presented in the classes.
One thing I noticed is that many professors are much more approachable and supportive when you take the time to meet with them one-on-one. Try reaching out to your professors and TAs!
Hi! I recently graduated from UCLA, and I didn't decide I wanted to pursue a career in medicine until the end of my third year. I didn't do so well in my upper divs (I was an MCDB major, lots of B's with a couple C's), and I didn't do any research, aside from taking the MCDB research lab course (104 AL/BL). I have no idea what the next step is. Do you have any advice? Thank you for your help!
The answer we gave here should help. With a few C’s, you could definitely benefit from taking more science classes to help boost your GPA through a post-bac or special master’s program. You could also look into finding a job ER scribing for the clinical experience or a research assistant position while you’re still in the UCLA area.
The next step is always tough, but you have lots of options!
Hi there, I am in a similar situation with the last anon where I struggled in my pre-req science classes (not a single A but lots of B's and a few C's). I am thinking about doing a MPH as both a backup plan and a way to boost my application (it's also something I want to pursue in addition to a MD), however I've heard caution against it because a non-science Masters would not do much to remedy a bad science GPA. Would it be better to do a post-bacc instead?
Best option? Find a program that incorporates both. A few of my classmates did such a program in Boston before coming to med school. They now have MPHs and received the benefits of the post-bac program.
Either way, taking time to further your goals always looks good. Another word of advice, only apply when you are 100% confident with the entirety of your application. Applying only once when you are totally ready will save you lots of time and money of having to reapply later.
I'm going to be an incoming freshman in college. I'm taking anthropology 101, calc 2, chem 101 and bio 101. I took ap bio, ap chem, and ap calc in high school. Do you think I'll be able to do well this semester or do you think I should take easier classes? I want to do well and I'm not sure what these classes entail. Thanks
Hrm, every school & every class is different, so I really can’t say if you can or cannot handle the classes you’re describing. Personally, I enjoyed taking 3 classes per quarter at UCLA with only 2 being science classes. I did take 2 quarters of 4 classes (3/4 being science classes), but those quarter were challenging.
Having AP credit should help, but every teacher is different, so be prepared to work no matter what. If you have flexibility with the number of credits you take per quarter, perhaps you can try taking all 4 for the first week & then drop anything you think you can’t handle.
Hi. I'm graduating from UC Berkeley this summer but my gpa is terrible. I've researched, volunteered, had clinical experience and everything else that I feel a pre-med student should have but I've gotten Cs and Bs in almost all of my premed requisites :( My cumulative gpa is a 3.1 but my science gpa is a 2.8. I want to be a doctor but I just seem to struggle in science classes. Should I even continue pursuing medicine or is there anything I could do to raise my gpa significantly?
Definitely do a post-bac program or master’s program. These programs focus on science classes & on helping you prepare for medical school. Many programs have you take the classes you would take in your first year of med school during the post-bac or master’s year. People who are in your situation typically benefit from these programs not only because it helps them to prove to medical schools that they are capable to succeeding in the rigorous academic environment of med school, but also because it helps you gain confidence in your abilities while learning important techniques that can help you succeed in medicine.
Hope this helps!
I heard accepting AP credit for subjects like chemistry and biology will hurt a medical school application. Is it true?
Not sure about whether medical schools even accept AP credit for required classes. Some may, others may not. Definitely check with your school’s advisors/career center before using your AP credits to skip required classes.
how do you suggest studying for physics 6A?
This was soooooo long ago now. I think doing practice problems after lectures and using practice exams are always helpful.
Also go to office hours! Sometimes having different people explain to you how to do problem will help you understand it better!
"Don’t even get me started on where a pre-med student can stand…(in the corner, not touching anything)." No please, get started on where a PRE-MED student can stand in an OPERATING room, besides the fact that a pre-med student has no business in the room whatsoever. Everyone else in the room is there to help, or learn, pre-med students do not have anything to learn yet and they definitely have nothing to contribute. It's post like these that make "pre-meds" look like they think their entitled.
I am sorry you had bad experiences with pre-med students. While some can definitely come off as entitled, the majority are hardworking and grateful to have the opportunity to observe. Most pre-med students know their place and are careful to not get in the way of anyone.
It is true that pre-med students do not have anything to contribute, but they are there to LEARN! They may not know all the medical jargons, but they will learn what it is like to be a medical professional, even by just standing in the corner of the OR. If pre-medical students are never allowed in the OR, how will they know if the field is right for them? Should they base their career choice purely on the OR depiction on TV shows?
The caption, along with the original post, is meant to lightheartedly poke fun at the hierarchy in the OR. It is not a post to protest or complain. Everyone has their place in the OR, may it be the attending, resident, medical student, surgical tech, or the pre-med student. While not everyone has something to contribute, everyone has something to learn from the experience. Even neurosurgeons were once pre-med students.
when did you guys take your MCATS? and when did you apply to med school? (months) thanks!
MCATs: September of the summer before 4th year
AMCAs: June/July after graduation
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