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Losing My Mind!


faithrl
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I'm only in first year undergrad. I'm sure this is normal but I'm having serious doubts about my ability to get into a medical school. It's just now hitting me how difficult it actually is to get in. I'm only a social science major, I can't even do grade 12 calculus. Never took grade 12 chemistry. I had a plan to make this up over the summer. 

I guess I'm just lost! Medicine and science was always my passion but I feel like the competition is so much better than me, and already so much further ahead. Do you think it's possible for me to catch up in math, maintain a high GPA in psychology, and still get into medical school? 

I'm hard working and motivated but I'm having serious doubts in myself.

Any advice? 

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11 hours ago, faithrl said:

I'm only in first year undergrad. I'm sure this is normal but I'm having serious doubts about my ability to get into a medical school. It's just now hitting me how difficult it actually is to get in. I'm only a social science major, I can't even do grade 12 calculus. Never took grade 12 chemistry. I had a plan to make this up over the summer. 

I guess I'm just lost! Medicine and science was always my passion but I feel like the competition is so much better than me, and already so much further ahead. Do you think it's possible for me to catch up in math, maintain a high GPA in psychology, and still get into medical school? 

I'm hard working and motivated but I'm having serious doubts in myself.

Any advice? 

Not sure what school you're at, but my advice would be to take grade 12 chem over the summer as you planned and then take 1st year university chemistry and organic chemistry/biochemistry in 2nd year. If you can, I would avoid taking anymore math that you are not good at. I'm currently in med school and any math that has come up either in school or on the mcat was extremely basic (essentially I have never used calculus since taking it in high school). Physics is a bit more relevant for the mcat. If you took that in high school, I would not take anymore physics courses. If not, it will be a big learning curve for the mcat, but is doable to learn on your own/ through prep course books. Good luck  in school. I did my undergrad in psych too if you have questions. 

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I remember feeling the exact same way you did when I was a first year undergrad many years ago. First year can be overwhelming with all the life adjustments that you go through. But you’re right that it’s normal and you’re definitely not alone in feeling that way. As you adapt, things will eventually get better. It just takes some time. 

When we look at our peers, we usually don’t see their anxieties and flaws on the surface, so it’s easy to think that everyone else around you is doing a lot better. But in reality, everyone has doubts about themselves and may probably be thinking the same thoughts as you. 

My advice is to ignore the competition and just focus on doing your best. 

Regarding math, as a child, I almost had to repeat grade school due to my horrible math skills, so I wouldn’t worry about it at all. You can make it to med school without any advanced math. 

I would also focus on doing a degree with courses that interest you. Nowadays, most med schools in Canada don’t have prereqs anymore. But if you’re aiming to apply widely, then of course make sure you have your prereqs covered as well.

Don’t give up! Good luck! 

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On 11/2/2018 at 11:32 PM, faithrl said:

I'm only in first year undergrad. I'm sure this is normal but I'm having serious doubts about my ability to get into a medical school. It's just now hitting me how difficult it actually is to get in. I'm only a social science major, I can't even do grade 12 calculus. Never took grade 12 chemistry. I had a plan to make this up over the summer. 

I guess I'm just lost! Medicine and science was always my passion but I feel like the competition is so much better than me, and already so much further ahead. Do you think it's possible for me to catch up in math, maintain a high GPA in psychology, and still get into medical school? 

I'm hard working and motivated but I'm having serious doubts in myself.

Any advice? 

Other than people here giving you fairy tails and telling you what you want to hear, there isn't much help anyone can provide you at this moment in time. You claim to be passionate about medicine, yet never even took Gr.12 chemistry. If medicine and sciences are your passion, then why didn't you even take basic high school sciences? 

Do I think it's possible for you to get into medical school? Who knows and who cares what I think. Come back here with some grades and then we can tell you. There is literally nothing in your post to suggest that you can get into medical school. Simply saying that you'll catch up in math (and chemistry), maintain a high GPA (easier said than done), and get into medical school, is not enough. These are fantasies at this point in time.

 

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11 hours ago, Avatar Aang said:

Other than people here giving you fairy tails and telling you what you want to hear, there isn't much help anyone can provide you at this moment in time. You claim to be passionate about medicine, yet never even took Gr.12 chemistry. If medicine and sciences are your passion, then why didn't you even take basic high school sciences? 

Do I think it's possible for you to get into medical school? Who knows and who cares what I think. Come back here with some grades and then we can tell you. There is literally nothing in your post to suggest that you can get into medical school. Simply saying that you'll catch up in math (and chemistry), maintain a high GPA (easier said than done), and get into medical school, is not enough. These are fantasies at this point in time.

 

So many people don't realize their passion for medicine until after high school. Crazy amounts of people major in something completely non-related. Everybody needs some motivation every now and then. Of course, this post isn't going to get me into medical school, but it allowed me to get into contact with somebody who completely changed their life from business and is now in medical school. 

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15 hours ago, Avatar Aang said:

Other than people here giving you fairy tails and telling you what you want to hear, there isn't much help anyone can provide you at this moment in time. You claim to be passionate about medicine, yet never even took Gr.12 chemistry. If medicine and sciences are your passion, then why didn't you even take basic high school sciences? 

Do I think it's possible for you to get into medical school? Who knows and who cares what I think. Come back here with some grades and then we can tell you. There is literally nothing in your post to suggest that you can get into medical school. Simply saying that you'll catch up in math (and chemistry), maintain a high GPA (easier said than done), and get into medical school, is not enough. These are fantasies at this point in time.

 

That's a bit harsh lol.  There could be many reasons why OP didn't take Grade 12 Chemistry.

@faithrl Take a look at my comment in the other thread which you've started.  To answer your question plain and simple:  Yes, it is possible to get into medical school and catch up with your science and/or humanities subjects, while maintaining your ECs.  It all comes down to planning your time and being consistent in whatever you do.  But remember, every now and then, you need to do a self mental check-up and prioritize certain things so you don't burn out.

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15 hours ago, Avatar Aang said:

Other than people here giving you fairy tails and telling you what you want to hear, there isn't much help anyone can provide you at this moment in time. You claim to be passionate about medicine, yet never even took Gr.12 chemistry. If medicine and sciences are your passion, then why didn't you even take basic high school sciences? 

 Do I think it's possible for you to get into medical school? Who knows and who cares what I think. Come back here with some grades and then we can tell you. There is literally nothing in your post to suggest that you can get into medical school. Simply saying that you'll catch up in math (and chemistry), maintain a high GPA (easier said than done), and get into medical school, is not enough. These are fantasies at this point in time.

 

OP also asked for advice, which is what everybody else has been kindly offering. 

OP, marks are not everything, but you need good marks to get your file looked at in most if not all places, as you know by now. I took courses in math throughout high school and undergrad, got good grades, but didn't retain much of it because I didn't need to. The math you need in medical school is fairly basic. Do whatever you need to do (take summer courses, self study the MCAT, take a MCAT course) to get yourself a good MCAT score, and take whatever courses that interest you AND get you a good mark (assuming they go hand in hand - I enjoy whatever I'm good at, definitely doesn't have to be math/science). It's good that you are cognizant of the challenges ahead, because then you can find ways to fix those problems and improve. 

TLDR: Nothing you mentioned is going to make or break your application. It is what you do in the next few years that is going to matter going forward. Don't compare yourself with others. Recognize your strengths.

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20 hours ago, Avatar Aang said:

Other than people here giving you fairy tails and telling you what you want to hear, there isn't much help anyone can provide you at this moment in time. You claim to be passionate about medicine, yet never even took Gr.12 chemistry. If medicine and sciences are your passion, then why didn't you even take basic high school sciences? 

Do I think it's possible for you to get into medical school? Who knows and who cares what I think. Come back here with some grades and then we can tell you. There is literally nothing in your post to suggest that you can get into medical school. Simply saying that you'll catch up in math (and chemistry), maintain a high GPA (easier said than done), and get into medical school, is not enough. These are fantasies at this point in time.

 

Dont need to be so hard on OP.

Passion for medicine can start at any time for any one. Students don’t have to take chemistry or science courses to get into med school.

The only person that can judge whether or not OP can get into medical school is OP themselves. They’re just in first year undergrad, the possibilities are endless.

I did a degree in Commerce and worked 6 years full-time in industries completely unrelated to medicine and now I’m in medical school. Never took a science course in undergrad either. Doing just fine.

You have to dream

before your dreams can come true.

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On 11/2/2018 at 8:32 PM, faithrl said:

I'm only in first year undergrad. I'm sure this is normal but I'm having serious doubts about my ability to get into a medical school. It's just now hitting me how difficult it actually is to get in. I'm only a social science major, I can't even do grade 12 calculus. Never took grade 12 chemistry. I had a plan to make this up over the summer. 

I guess I'm just lost! Medicine and science was always my passion but I feel like the competition is so much better than me, and already so much further ahead. Do you think it's possible for me to catch up in math, maintain a high GPA in psychology, and still get into medical school? 

I'm hard working and motivated but I'm having serious doubts in myself.

Any advice? 

 

I think the other poster was pretty harsh in his words but to an extent I agree with him. Are you really sure you're passionate about medicine? If so, why? I personally never really took many sciences in high school either besides some basic biology and chemistry which were ok but frankly medicine was never on my mind until well over half my degree was already completed, and I discovered my love of the medical field through direct experiences. There is absolutely nothing in your post that indicates to me medicine is beyond your reach. A sizeable amount of non science students get into medical schools (although usually they take some science courses and write the MCAT). While it's easy to compare yourself to others it's also incredibly detrimental and unhealthy if you do so frequently. Keep working hard, keep your grades up as much as you can, do things you enjoy and you should be a fine applicant. But really, my honest advice is keep an open mind. Medicine is not some sort of holy grail. It's a lot of tough work, and you'll probably be underappreciated by a lot of people. You may very well discover later on in your academic path that maybe you like something else (i.e psychological research). But if I had to give advice to someone in 1st year, it's utilize the resources you have available to do well. My first couple years were very overwhelming and stressful due to life circumstances and as such my grades are not very good from those years (about a 3.1 GPA or so).  Talk to your professors, TA's, counselors, academic advisers and such. In other words, don't be afraid to ask for help. Good luck, I am sure you'll do great.

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25 minutes ago, VigoVirgo said:

 

I think the other poster was pretty harsh in his words but to an extent I agree with him. Are you really sure you're passionate about medicine? If so, why? I personally never really took many sciences in high school either besides some basic biology and chemistry which were ok but frankly medicine was never on my mind until well over half my degree was already completed, and I discovered my love of the medical field through direct experiences. There is absolutely nothing in your post that indicates to me medicine is beyond your reach. A sizeable amount of non science students get into medical schools (although usually they take some science courses and write the MCAT). While it's easy to compare  yourself to others it's also incredibly detrimental and unhealthy if you do so frequently. Keep working hard, keep your grades up as much as you can, do things you enjoy and you should be a fine applicant. But really, my honest advice is keep an open mind. Medicine is not some sort of holy grail. It's a lot of tough work, and you'll probably be underappreciated by a lot of people. You may very well discover later on in your academic path that maybe you like something else (i.e psychological research). But if I had to give advice to someone in 1st year, it's utilize the resources you have available to do well. My first couple years were very overwhelming and stressful due to life circumstances and as such my grades are not very good from those years (about a 3.1 GPA or so).  Talk to your professors, TA's, counselors, academic advisers and such. In other words, don't be afraid to ask for help. Good luck, I am sure you'll do great.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that? OP said they are passionate about medicine, why are we questioning them? That's between OP and their interview panel or at least whoever that's going to read their essays. I'm sure OP has their own reasons, just like all of us. We don't really have a metric for passion for medicine, and it certainly does not include whether someone is confident in their math skills or the ability to do well in a math course in a psych major. 

OP, I do agree with everything else. Work hard. Keep your eyes open for all options available to you. You have more doors ready for you to open than you imagine. 

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19 minutes ago, sangria said:

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that? OP said they are passionate about medicine, why are we questioning them? That's between OP and their interview panel or at least whoever that's going to read their essays. I'm sure OP has their own reasons, just like all of us. We don't really have a metric for passion for medicine, and it certainly does not include whether someone is confident in their math skills or the ability to do well in a math course in a psych major. 

OP, I do agree with everything else. Work hard. Keep your eyes open for all options available to you. You have more doors ready for you to open than you imagine. 

 

I think it's more of a case of assuming lack of  exposure to the field just because of being young.  While OP might have a lot of good reasons, in my own experience a lot of premeds don't have enough experience to know if medicine is the right path,  or a real good reason for wanting to go into medicine. The generic one is "I want to help people'" for example which is great but when you ask them why they can't help people being a nurse,  priest, social worker or counselor they can't really give a real good reason. I think a lot of premeds have many misconceptions about the profession. But if someone has done their research and has gotten direct experience in a medical environment and they still want to pursue med school then more power to them as far as I'm concerned.

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6 hours ago, VigoVirgo said:

 

I think it's more of a case of assuming lack of  exposure to the field just because of being young.  While OP might have a lot of good reasons, in my own experience a lot of premeds don't have enough experience to know if medicine is the right path,  or a real good reason for wanting to go into medicine. The generic one is "I want to help people'" for example which is great but when you ask them why they can't help people being a nurse,  priest, social worker or counselor they can't really give a real good reason. I think a lot of premeds have many misconceptions about the profession. But if someone has done their research and has gotten direct experience in a medical environment and they still want to pursue med school then more power to them as far as I'm concerned.

I do understand where you're coming from. It is important that I do have the passion for medicine, and its good that you're bringing it up. I do have my own stories/experiences that have developed my passion and interest in medicine. I don't really look at medicine as the holy grail, but for me, it is haha. I know that I would be an amazing physician, I just had doubts after really looking at admission statistics. People would tell me in high school, "you know there's only a 5% chance of you getting into medical school", and I always ignored them, until last week! I don't mind the dude's harshness, this field is very harsh and competitive and there might be something in there that can help me.

 

Thanks, everyone else for the comments and advice, I'm really taking everything said into consideration :)

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21 minutes ago, faithrl said:

I do understand where you're coming from. It is important that I do have the passion for medicine, and its good that you're bringing it up. I do have my own stories/experiences that have developed my passion and interest in medicine. I don't really look at medicine as the holy grail, but for me, it is haha. I know that I would be an amazing physician, I just had doubts after really looking at admission statistics. People would tell me in high school, "you know there's only a 5% chance of you getting into medical school", and I always ignored them, until last week! I don't mind the dude's harshness, this field is very harsh and competitive and there might be something in there that can help me.

 

Thanks, everyone else for the comments and advice, I'm really taking everything said into consideration :)

 

Best of luck to you then :)

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Yea, I think I may have been too hard on the OP (didn't realize I posted on a new account). To put this in some context, I've already completed a professional degree at a highly competitive school. I see cases like the OP's all the time, and advise a lot of high school students and university students on this topic. Most of them say the exact same things to me as the OP has done here, but almost none of them make it into medicine or "insert another competitive professional program" here. The acceptance rates ARE less than 10% for most professional programs in Canada (the vast majority of posters here, including myself, are/were in the top 10% of their class in undergrad). This will be your competition. Don't focus on being the average. They don't matter. Focus on the students performing at the top of your classes, as they are the ones you need to beat or match up to to reach your end goal. 

I'll reword things differently here. As people mentioned above, get a better understanding of the medical school admissions process, medical education, and life of  doctor/surgeon. If you still want to pursue this path, then get the best grades you can in undergrad - it can be in any program. You want straight A grades to be competitive. Since you're in first year and know already that you want to pursue medicine, you should be working hard to get grades in the top of your class, right now. Again, it can be in any program, so major in an area that you're interested in and are good at. My close friend did a commerce degree and got into U of T's medical school, so anything is possible. Get involved in activities that you enjoy and allow you to engage in some self-learning and reflection. Volunteer with some health organizations and hospitals. Become a research assistant for professor/s. Focus on your goal and give your life to it because those are the people who make it. Yes, it's possible for you to get into medical school, but nothing is certain until you create a plan, motivate yourself, and work towards achieving this goal. Good luck. 

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