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I'm In Nursing But I'm Most Likely Contemplating Going To Medical School.


Bluemoon34

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Hi all, I am in my third year of nursing in Ontario (prefer not to disclose university). When I first got accepted, I never considered going to medical school because I found nursing to be ideal for me. However as I go through each clinical placement, I realize that I like what a physician does.

My sister is a medical student in Ontario so I have a small glimpse of what being a "premed" student is like. However I learned that each medical school has specific prerequisites; for example, I believe U of Ottawa requires you to take a full course load of biology, organic chemistry. I have never taken these courses in my undergraduate and as you go through each year in my program, there is an increasing number of pass/fail course so you don't have a lot of opportunity to boost GPA. My GPA from the previous two years came up to 3.7 with a mixture of A and B. (is it bad to have a single B in each year?). 

 

Any suggestions? In the fourth year, all of the courses are pass/fail so I will need to take courses outside of nursing to boost my GPA if I wish.

 

Thank you very much! 

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I think you've already got a decent handle on the basics. First you need to have an acceptable GPA with appropriate pre-requisite courses (though many schools have no or few pre-requisites). It sounds like you have a GPA which might be acceptable for a few schools, but it's hard to say without more details. It's worth going through all the schools you'd consider and calculate your GPA according to their specifications, particularly lower-GPA schools like Western, McMaster, or Queens. If your GPA is good enough for a few schools, it may make most sense to write the MCAT sooner rather than later - if it's high enough, you might not need any additional schooling at all. If your GPA doesn't meet the cut, or if your MCAT is not enough for the lower-GPA schools, then you will need additional undergraduate education to apply to medical schools in Canada. The rules on additional schooling are a bit complex and vary school-to-school, so it's worth reading up on them on individual schools' websites.

 

It's often easier to provide specific advice if you can list your year-by-year GPA, with the course load in each year and how many courses were pass/fail. Any additional details on your timeline, goals, restrictions, etc, would also be helpful, if relevant.

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Sorry my question is incredibly vague. As mentioned in the title, I'm in nursing but I realize that I would like to go to medical school but I'm not 100% certain yet. If I do want to go to medical school, do you suggest taking the pre-requisites (such as biology, organic chemistry, etc.) NOW even though I'm graduating next year? Or should I wait until I get a job as a RN and decide if I really want to be committed to medicine, then go back to school to take prerequisites?

I am also not involved in extracurricular activities and didn't realize the importance of it until I read forums about it. All I did over the past three years is volunteering for one small organization at my university and this year I got hired by one of the managers who liked my work. 

 

Thank you. 

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Sorry my question is incredibly vague. As mentioned in the title, I'm in nursing but I realize that I would like to go to medical school but I'm not 100% certain yet. If I do want to go to medical school, do you suggest taking the pre-requisites (such as biology, organic chemistry, etc.) NOW even though I'm graduating next year? Or should I wait until I get a job as a RN and decide if I really want to be committed to medicine, then go back to school to take prerequisites?

 

I am also not involved in extracurricular activities and didn't realize the importance of it until I read forums about it. All I did over the past three years is volunteering for one small organization at my university and this year I got hired by one of the managers who liked my work. 

 

Thank you. 

 

If you're asking whether you should be overloading yourself on courses while still doing your RN program, I would strongly advise against that. Overloading rarely works out well and RN final years are busy enough without the extra stress.

 

Once you finish the RN program, if it turns out you need additional undergrad work to be competitive for medical school applications, whether you do that schooling right away or work for a while before starting is really up to you. Doing the additional undergrad work earlier means a faster timeline to applying to medical school, assuming the rest of your application is strong enough by then. You'd have less time to get your MCAT written and your ECs up to par. Working as an RN first has the advantage of letting you have a taste of the working world before considering additional schooling and may be a good opportunity to explore alternative options, such as becoming an NP. It would also give you some extra time to write your MCAT and to work on your ECs, with the downside of taking that many more years before you'd be able to start in medical school.

 

Let's be clear though, if you do consider doing additional undergraduate courses, you'd need to do more than just the prerequisites, as your GPA is below what the prerequisite-heavy schools insist upon. A 3.7 is not enough for Ottawa, they value GPA very highly. If you wanted to apply to Ottawa, any additional undergraduate work would be primarily to raise your GPA, in addition to completing their prerequisites. Again, some schools in Ontario may not require any additional undergraduate education at all, as several have no prerequisites and lower GPA requirements. You should understand where you stand with each school you'd consider attending before trying to decide about when to do more undergraduate work - you might not need to go back to school at all depending on the details of your marks. It's hard to say one way or the other with the information you've given.

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I would definitely look at all the requirements for schools across Canada. I was missing pre reqs for Manitoba and UBC, so I did not apply there. Some schools like UofA no longer have many of the prereqs they used to have. I agree that I wouldn't over burden your last school year as this could hurt your gpa if you are too busy and stressed out. Many schools don't count summer courses as part of the gpa so if you want to take some prereq courses that will help you on the mcat without jeopardizing your gpa potentially, I would suggest taking them in the summer.

 

EC can be a whole range of things from volunteering, working, hobbies, family responsibilities, clubs, sports, music, research etc. As a nursing student you probably have access to a lot of different populations, is there any that are particular interest to you that you would be interested in volunteering with. If so, it's a nice way to do some good in an area that you can actually be passionate about.

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