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Non-Trad (need help to start the journey)

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Hi everyone,

I have thought about going to medical school and becoming a physician for a long time but I chose a different career path and I have regretted it every single day. A bit about me: I'm 29 years old, I have done my undergrad in Bsc (Psychology) with cumulative GPA of 3.66 and recently got my JD (GPA not so great 3.0 but is on the law school curve and average for law school) and I'm currently doing my clerkship in Canada. I took one semester of Bio, general chemistry and Calculus in my first year of undergrad when I had just immigrated to Canada and did poorly (3.2). I don't have a lot of clinical experience other than some shadowing I have done. I am confident that I can perform well on MCAT (if I study properly) and get good grades in my pre-requisite courses and bring up my science GPA. I'll be looking at lower tiered US med schools and DO schools. I am also interested in Pediatrics, having said that I understand that my interest might change. I have done some research and in Canada there is no Post-Bacc programs similar to what US schools offer. My questions are as follows:

1. Can I take my pre-requisite courses on a part-time basis as a non-degree student? Or do I have to take on a full course load? It would be great if I can continue working. 

2. What are some suggestions to gain clinical and research experience in my situation?

3. Should I retake those science courses since they are old or I can take more advanced level courses to bring up my science GPA?

4. I'm not exactly sure how I can get my letter of recommendation from a science faculty member, any tips would be appreciated. I have no problem getting recommendation letters from my Psychology and law school professors as well as my current employer. 

5. How negatively will my JD be viewed by admission committees? In other words, because I'm a non-traditional applicants, do they expect more tangible and related clinical experiences? 

P.S. Sorry for too many questions. Also, I would appreciate if posts don't suggest I stick with law. I've already considered and weighted my options carefully as I have worked and interned in different areas of law and will practice to sustain myself until (hopefully) I get into medical school. I understand that I'm older than average applicants and will be in my early 30s when I actually start medical school. 

Thanks in advance! 

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1. You can take them part time, many people do. Especially with online universities such as Athabasca.

2. Honestly, med schools don't care so much about clinical experience. They want you to pursue extra-curriculars that you are passionate about and stick with them for quite some time. As for research, look for positions online kind of like when you are looking for a job. You can also contact professors at a university asking if they need assistants for their research.

3. If you have already graduated, most schools don't allow you to redo prereqs to bring up the gpa. Your gpa is pretty much set after you graduate. You can take prereqs to meet requirements but it will do nothing to your gpa. 

4. Letters of recommendations do not have to be specifically from science faculty members. They can be from any prof, employer, supervisor, etc. 

5. No, lots of people switch paths and go into medicine. It will not be views negatively, if anything they may see you as more matured and it will work in your favor.

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@Premedstudent0307Thanks for your response. I have tons of non-clinical extra-curriculars.

Regarding question (3) I have already graduated in 2015 from UG and I have only taken half of the course requirements with mediocre grades in them. My understanding was that on AMCAS (again I'm not considering Canadian schools only American  MD/DO) they calculate your science GPA separately and that will include all of your courses including the ones I will be taking part-time. Without those courses my science GPA will be very low, I think my cumulative UG GPA is just okay for the schools I'm considering. If my science GPA will not change despite taking more science courses I won't be a competitive applicant even for DO schools. 

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