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MSK9's Medical School Thread & Guide
#1
Information 
**Preface / Disclaimer**:
This thread is intended to be helpful for those interested in pursuing medicine as non-traditional students. It is not intended to spotlight anything I've done academically or otherwise. My coursework, lists of programs applied to and/or related data are only mentioned when it might be helpful for others. I'll update this thread as I receive new information from the schools I've applied to and will do my best to promptly answer questions anyone might have about my application or information on the process.

 Exclamation Long post ahead. Exclamation

Undergrad:
I came to this forum in November 2017 looking for help on how to finish my undergraduate degree. While I wanted to pursue medicine, I didn't know enough about the application process to know if it was something that was feasible for me as thirty-something working full-time in law enforcement.

With the help of our DegreeForum community, I scraped together a TESU Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies: Humanities & Literature using a combination of old brick and mortar credits, independent course provider ACE credits and CLEP tests (paid for by Modern States).

I finished my liberal studies capstone around July 2018 and began my post-baccalaureate online science prereqs. After some research, I discovered many medical schools were accepting online, regionally-accredited science courses for the required "hard science" prerequisites and more still were preparing to accept them in the coming application cycle. I also learned that some schools were accepting Advanced Placement, and other forms of credit too.

After researching the topic through a major pre-health online community and reaching out to medical school admissions directors for verification, I chose the University of New England just ahead of TESU commencement in September 2018.

Post-Bac:
Through the University of New England's Science Prerequisites for Health Professionals program, I began Medical Biology 2 (BIOL 1011). It took me a week or two to get used to the format and it was basically a "run and gun" -type course where you could finish as quickly as you wanted to, or within the window of time they gave you (three months if I remember right). The courses start certain times of the month and the schedule can be found on their site. This course (and other UNE courses) utilized ProctorU for testing and featured heavily-weighted mid-terms and finals. It also featured a physical lab component which requires a separate science kit to be ordered. The labs are conducted at home and results are entered into a companion website.

After completing Medical Biology II, I began Medical General Chemistry with Lab (CHEM 1010 & 1010L). Like with Biology II, a lab kit (Hands-on-Labs) was required and experiment results were entered in the same type of companion site. Tests were administered by ProctorU. I found the pre-recorded, audio-only lectures extremely dry and not helpful. After finishing the course, I began to wonder if there were any alternatives to UNE's offerings.

I came across Doane University's Open Learning Academy. Doane University is a private Christian University in Nebraska. Doane had a wide selection of online, regionally-accredited science prerequisites in the same vein as UNE but with a different and more consistent format. I gave them a try, beginning with General Chemistry 2 with Lab (CHEM-126). While the course exams were not proctored, the coursework was more demanding and more challenging, with some assignments taking hours and hours to complete and others requiring you to record presentations on class topics. Unlike the UNE equivalents, Doane classes were/are on a much more regimented and tightly scheduled 8-week timeline. Assignments are due nearly every day of the week and getting behind in the class is not an option if you want to pass.

I passed Doane's General Chemistry 2 and began Organic Chemistry 1 with Lab (CHEM-205), followed by Biochemistry with Lab (CHEM- 330) and Physics 1 with Lab (PHYS-107, algebra-based). At the time of this writing, I am finishing Organic Chemistry 2 with Lab (CHEM-206) and Physics 2 with Lab (PHYS-108, algebra-based).

Tests:
After finishing Organic Chemistry 1, I signed up for and took the CASPer, a Canadian social judgment test used by certain medical schools as a pre-screening tool (6/2019).

While still in Biochemistry and Physics I, I signed-up and began studying for the MCAT, or the Medical College Admissions Test, administered by the American Association of Medical Colleges. The MCAT is mandatory for medical school admission.

I, like many others, didn't have the luxury of being able to study full-time for the MCAT. As a full-time student and cop on a permanent night shift, I did the best I could with the time available. I took the MCAT in September 2019 and scored on/near the national average score. While not impressive overall, I did well on the section often judged the harshest by admissions committees (CARS - 90th percentile) and scored high enough to apply to plenty of programs (side note: applying and acceptance are very different things!).

Applications:
As of this first post (10/20/19), I've applied to twenty-two programs and may apply yet to a twenty-third. While I'll leave admissions requirements research to the reader, the best tools one can use to find this information are: 1.) The school's own admission page, 2.) AAMC's MSAR 3.) AACOM's ChooseDO Explorer.

When applying to medical school during an admissions cycle, a person needs to first fill out the respective centralized applications of whatever type of school they wish to attend. For example, AAMC administers the allopathic applications (AMCAS) and AACOM does the same for osteopathic applications (AACOMAS). Once the applications are completed (transcripts ordered, etc.), the applicant adds their chosen schools to the application, attaches any relevant letters of evaluation/recommendation and submits the application, paying a total made up of application fees from each individual school. The application is then verified by each service prior to being sent to schools.

Once primary applications (1*) are verified and submitted, some schools automatically send out secondary applications, some schools review primaries before sending out secondaries. Secondary applications (2*) have an additional cost for submission. Once schools have reviewed submitted secondaries, they may grant you an interview invitation (II). From here you will receive either a rejection ®, WL (waitlist) or Acceptance. At this stage in my application (which is late for the allopathic cycle but still decent for the osteopathic cycle), I've received and submitted eight secondary applications.

Based on everything I mentioned above, here are my 2020 applications:

Osteopathic (D.O.) Medical Schools - 17, Allopathic (M.D.) - 5:

PCOM South Georgia
Primary

UIWSOM
Primary

NYITCOM @ ASU
Primary, Secondary

WVCOM
Primary

UP-KYCOM
Primary, Secondary

MUCOM
Primary

OUHCOM
Primary

LECOM-Bradenton
Primary

PCOM Georgia
Primary

MSUCOM
Primary, Secondary

ARCOM
Primary

UNECOM
Primary

DMU
Primary, Secondary

LECOM
Primary

ACOM
Primary

PCOM
Primary

VCOM at Auburn
Primary

U. North Dakota MD
Primary

WV MD
Primary, Secondary

U. Oklahoma MD
Primary, Secondary

Michigan State MD
Primary, Secondary

Tulane MD
Primary, Secondary
[-] The following 4 users Like MSK9's post:
  • docmarvin, jamshid666, sofinel, tesu-acct-student
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#2
Thank you for sharing! While I'm not interested in medicine, I look forward to hearing about your journey.

I intend to start a similar thread for my law school application process, so I'll also be taking queues from your thread in terms of format.
Link to all credits earned: Link
[-] The following 1 user Likes mysonx3's post:
  • MSK9
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#3
(10-20-2019, 11:57 PM)mysonx3 Wrote: Thank you for sharing! While I'm not interested in medicine, I look forward to hearing about your journey.

I intend to start a similar thread for my law school application process, so I'll also be taking queues from your thread in terms of format.

Thank you! Hopefully the information will help someone who's at square one like I was in November, 2017.
TESU BALS Humanities
Post-Bac: Doane University - Complete: 3/2020
CASPer Done MCAT Done
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#4
all potential applicants must go through a secondary process ?

like, is there a chance you'll get from primary applicant to interview right away?
Reply
#5
(10-21-2019, 03:36 AM)nyvrem Wrote: all potential applicants must go through a secondary process ?

like, is there a chance you'll get from primary applicant to interview right away?

1.) Yes, 2.) No.

Some schools send out automatic secondaries, some screen the applicant more before they send a secondary (or won't send a secondary at all - the applicant will go no further in that school's process) but either way, there will be a secondary prior to an interview invite.

There are a few schools out there that utilize more of a "supplemental" application than an outright secondary (which usually have questions related to why you want to attend that school), but it still isn't primary-to-interview.
TESU BALS Humanities
Post-Bac: Doane University - Complete: 3/2020
CASPer Done MCAT Done
Reply
#6
(10-21-2019, 03:44 AM)MSK9 Wrote:
(10-21-2019, 03:36 AM)nyvrem Wrote: all potential applicants must go through a secondary process ?

like, is there a chance you'll get from primary applicant to interview right away?

1.) Yes, 2.) No.

Some schools send out automatic secondaries, some screen the applicant more before they send a secondary (or won't send a secondary at all - the applicant will go no further in that school's process) but either way, there will be a secondary prior to an interview invite.

There are a few schools out there that utilize more of a "supplemental" application than an outright secondary (which usually have questions related to why you want to attend that school), but it still isn't primary-to-interview.

ah ok. that's good to know. 

keep us updated ! and good luck !
[-] The following 1 user Likes nyvrem's post:
  • MSK9
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#7
Update:

U. North Dakota MD
Primary, Secondary

LECOM / LECOM-Bradenton
Primary, Rejected
TESU BALS Humanities
Post-Bac: Doane University - Complete: 3/2020
CASPer Done MCAT Done
Reply
#8
Oh, I forgot to say, good luck!
Link to all credits earned: Link
[-] The following 1 user Likes mysonx3's post:
  • MSK9
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#9
(10-21-2019, 09:47 AM)mysonx3 Wrote: Oh, I forgot to say, good luck!

Thanks!

Update:

ACOM
Primary, Secondary

UNECOM
Primary, Held for Further Review

UIWSOM
Primary, Secondary
TESU BALS Humanities
Post-Bac: Doane University - Complete: 3/2020
CASPer Done MCAT Done
Reply
#10
Update:

ATSU-KCOM:
Primary, Secondary

ATSU-SOMA:
Primary, Secondary
TESU BALS Humanities
Post-Bac: Doane University - Complete: 3/2020
CASPer Done MCAT Done
Reply


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