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    I’m not sure what to do! I am 26-years old and I am working on my undergrad…second year. Here’s the problem..I had to drop three courses this semester because of (1) illness in my family (2) financial strain. I am not sure how med schools look at the amount of credits you carry per semester. So far, my GPA is ok…but I am afraid that they’ll just look at how long I’ve been out of school and that I’m only part-time…Should I be concerned or I am being pessimistic? Sometimes I feel like I should just give up my dream! :confused: 🙁


    Don’t give up on your dream! It is my opinion that if you believe in your dream you can get there…but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. During undergrad I had some bad quarters and setbacks, including my own illnesses, children illnesses, my father’s heart surgery, etc. etc. Medical schools generally want to see that you don’t give up. If you take a light quarter here and there it won’t hurt. BUT: medical schools do want to be sure that you can handle medical school curriculum, which is generally full time, full go, 4 years. If you try to do the whole education part time, they may question your abilities to handle the full load. A friend of mine found this out when he returned to school part time while he worked to support his family (3 kids + wife). Because he hadn’t handled a full load, the medical school accepted him contingent upon his completing a year of upper level science courses (microbiology, genetics, etc.) full time and with a good GPA. When he finished this (they paid his tuition, by the way) he went right into med school and is now a third year student. You’ve got to achieve your dream the best way you can. There’s nothing wrong with dropping classes during a crisis. However, do your best to keep up with a full load. This shows perserverance, dedication, and good academic ability–all qualities sought in a medical student.

    Good luck! :p

    Yours, Elise Sadoun


    This post makes me wonder what a med school would consider a full-load? I have been taking two tough classes and one or two easy classes every quarter–averaging about 17 credits.
    Example, Freshman:
    Gen Chem, Anat&Phys, Foreign Language
    OChem, Math, English/Writing
    Physics, Biology, whatever?

    Does that look wimpy for a pre-med? I like to throw in that easy 4.0 class every quarter to keep my gpa up there, but if I need to, I can boost the difficulty level. Anyone have an opinion on this? I see Tangee and others taking HUGE courseloads and just think YUCK! I prefer to maintain my sanity if at all possible 🙂 I know I won’t have that luxury once I get into med school.




    Don’t despair!!

    Hang in there and keep going.
    I was in a similar situation last spring term when someone very close to me had a stroke, lost sight and was in terrible suffering untill her death. I had to go to school part time, and even that was a struggle. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t find a reason to keep studying. I was loosing someone so close to my heart, it was like part of my soul was being ripped out of me.
    At her funeral, it was like a dream. Everything around me seemed entirely unreal. My brother (a minister) did the service, and he read the story of her life as told by family and friends. An awareness of the frailty of life permeated my being and had been with me ever since. Somehow, my ideas about doing medicine seemed more real at that point. I began to realize that the only thing holding me back was myself. In her death, I found something akin to life. It has inspired me more than I can ever write.

    Sometimes life circumstances dictate our capabilities to carry our dreams, but, we should never drop them. Sometimes in that despair you will find your greatest victory, and you will only discover that if you keep going.

    I would not worry; you are doing what you need to do to get and keep good grades. That is the primary factor. You are only a sophmore (so am I) and you have a couple years yet to go full time and demonstrate that you are capable of taking a full load of diffucult classes and do well.
    Many non-traditional people cannot finish undergrad work in 4 years. Kids, family, work, trying to squeeze volunteering in….all of these things contribute to the whole picture of your life.
    I have been telling myself something that I will share with you, this encourages me.

    I say: Angel, keep going untill you come to a total and complete, inpenetrable brick wall, an absolute dead end. Keep trying untill circumstances outside of your control make it impossible for you to go any further. Untill then, it is a choice that you make to keep going. Much of our fate is written in our beliefs about ourselves and the choices we make out of those beliefs.

    Be encouraged!



    Okay about the full course load, I honestly do not think that adcoms have the time or the will to go through individual amcas to see what course load each student took, there are waaay to many application. On the other hand you do not want to take 10 years to get your u-grad (unless you are working ft,single parent, etc) with baby courses. I am pretty sure that all the women that frequent this board are overachievers and have plenty on their plate including classes, jobs, families, etc that adcoms will not look remotely down if you took lets say 12 or even some semesters 9 hours. I would not worry at all, now if you can still kick a$$ with a huge load then by all means try it, it may be good practice for med school 😮 I tend to take at least 15 hours, most times I take 18 but I thrive on doing a ton of stuff. But I truly do not think that taking less classes will be really frowned upon, but hey what do i know (lowly pre-med here).


    Okay, ya’ll have officially made me paranoid now! 😮 I’m only taking 2 classes (genetics and biochem) this semester and Orgo II next semester. The main reason being financial. I can’t afford daycare 5 days a week so I can take more classes. 🙁 Besides, I only need these 3 courses. (already have BA) I’m volunteering once a week and shadowing a doc. once a week along with being the primary parent to 3 young kids.(husband works in Seattle during the week) Is that too wimpy??? Are the Adcoms gonna look at my SLOW and halting process to premed (on and off over 6 years and 3 babies!) and write me off??? Ack!!! :confused:


    I would not worry at all, you have your hands full and like I said they more than likely will not pour through these applications trying to see what everyone took each semester. If you work FT, have a family, one or two classes are a lot on top of all that. Everyone will present a different application so I would not worry.

    Brenda MayBrenda May

    Don’t worry about only going part-time or if you balance your load with some hard classes and some easy ones. Adcoms want to see that you can handle a difficult load but they also want to see that you are smart enough and mature enough to know your own limits and not get in over your head! Even if it does take you 10 years to get your undergrad degree while raising 3 kids, on a single salary as a single parent or taking care of a sick family member, etc., etc. Life is full-time for non-traditional students and if your are committed to getting to the end goal of medical school, then there will be a school out there that will reward you for your determination with an acceptance.



    Did you take a full-time load when you did your BA? If so, that will be enough to satisfy many medschools that you are able to handle a heavy load.


    Whenever I doubt if my post-bacc stuff looks good enough (f/t work plus two classes!) I just look at my undergraduate transcript which shows semesters filled with 19 credits and a pretty good average (at an Ivy); plus I paid my own way through school. I really value my classes and my goals as well as paying my mortgage and being able to eat; I’m sure adcoms are people too, and will see the bigger picture. :p


    Mimicat, I’m sorry I never saw your question until today! 😮

    I carried a full load as an undergrad. Matter of fact, I graduated with my BA in 3 years due to AP courses in high school and having a minimum of 15 credits a semester. I also spent a semester in Sydney, Australia. I wonder if the Adcoms will pay much attention to that, though, it’s been 11 years since I graduated! :rolleyes:

    I’ve been a busy girl since then! 😀

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