Just decided I want to become a doctor

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Just decided I want to become a doctor

Postby distefam » Thu May 28, 2009 8:16 pm

First, I would like to say hello to everyone on the forum, I have read many threads but this is my first post.

I am just finishing up my second year at the University of California, Irvine. I started out as a major in Informatics (a major within the department of computer science) and completed my first year of university in that major. However, I began to question my decision to go into the field of computer science and started looking at alternatives. The first quarter this year I took a non-major Biology course (I received an A in the course) and realized that I wanted to pursue Biology. I attempted to transfer into the school of biological sciences but was told that it was too late to do so. Instead, my counsellor instructed me to remain a CS major while taking all of the required courses for a biological sciences major. I proceeded on this route, however I soon realized that pursuing a double major in Biology and computer science wasn't feasible. In addition to the copious amounts of work I was not interested in the material covered in my computer science classes and consequently didn't do so well.

During this time I have been studying Japanese. I initially planned on double majoring in CS and Japanese, however my decision to change to Biology has changed my plans. I realized that a double major in Japanese and Biology would be much more enjoyable, not to mention much easier, than a double major in Biology and CS. I will be going to Japan next year to study abroad and will continue my studies of Japanese there. When I get back I will have nearly completed my major in Japanese and will officially switch from CS to a Japanese major. Because I will nearly have finished my requirements for a Japanese major I will be able to focus all of my attention on Biology. Upon graduation, if everything goes according to plan, I should graduate with a degree in Japanese and Biology with a minor in Computer Science.

Unfortunately, my GPA is currently only a 3.3. The past few quarters have brought it down due to the fact that I was taking classes above the unit maximum in order to fulfill requirements for both CS and Biology. I am confident in my ability to bring my GPA up over the course of the next three years, however I'm not sure how much is reasonable.

I am entirely new to this and would welcome any advice on how to proceed to best prepare for applying to medical school. My counsellors have told me that it is not necessary to major in Biological Science to be considered but only to have taken the core biology curriculum. Personally, I would prefer to graduate with a double major rather than simply one in Japanese. Is this desire unwarranted? Would I be better off to just take the core biology courses? Also, while trying to raise my GPA are there any classes I should take that would appear more favorable than others? I have heard that medical schools like a well-rounded curriculum, but I think mine is already quite diversified. Additionally, should I begin looking at extracurricular activities other than studying abroad (I have also gone to Spain and plan on taking upper-division biology labs in Chile)?

Finally, I would like to end up living in Europe. As such, can anyone offer advice in applying to european medical schools? I speak Spanish but would be willing to learn French or Italian to be able to attend schools in France or Italy as well. Should I even apply to European medical schools or simply apply to American ones and attempt to have the MD transfer?

As you can see I really don't know how to proceed, any direction would be incredibly welcomed. Thank you in advance for your help.
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Re: Just decided I want to become a doctor

Postby CaribMD » Thu May 28, 2009 8:40 pm

OK welcome,
I have some questions

Do you want to attend a US medical school?

If so then you cannot do the premed outside the USA.

You must do the Science in the USA at a US university

you can do the year outside the US in Japan sounds very exciting

You do not have to a Bio degree either, you can do just the prereqs for medical school and do well

But you need a 3.5 GPA

so tell me what you want to do.
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Re: Just decided I want to become a doctor

Postby distefam » Fri May 29, 2009 12:12 pm

Thank you for the quick reply and sorry I wasn't clear.

I am currently studying at a US University and plan on continuing my undergraduate studies here. I wanted to look at European medical schools as well as ones in the United States. The year in Japan is during my undergraduate studies and will help me work towards a degree in Japanese.
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Re: Just decided I want to become a doctor

Postby distefam » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:20 pm

One more question if you don't mind.

I have been researching European medical schools and found that in most countries (Italy and France specifically) there is a 6-year program straight out of their equivalent of high school. Students who plan on attending medical school there do not attend undergraduate programs it seems.

Thus, is it a waste of time to complete my biology undergraduate series here in the United States if I intend to enroll in a European medical school? Are there schools there that accommodate students who have achieved an undergraduate biology degree in the United States or would I have to start on the regular six-year program?

Thank you.
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Re: Just decided I want to become a doctor

Postby CaribMD » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:58 pm

distefam wrote:One more question if you don't mind.

I have been researching European medical schools and found that in most countries (Italy and France specifically) there is a 6-year program straight out of their equivalent of high school. Students who plan on attending medical school there do not attend undergraduate programs it seems.

Thus, is it a waste of time to complete my biology undergraduate series here in the United States if I intend to enroll in a European medical school? Are there schools there that accommodate students who have achieved an undergraduate biology degree in the United States or would I have to start on the regular six-year program?

Thank you.
You have many problems there,

Mostly it is near impossible for a noncitizen of European countries to get into medical school over there except for Eastern Europe.

The toughest countries besides the US to get accepted:
Canada
UK
France
Italy
Spain
Germany

You have to be fluent in the language and as a non citizen its if they have a spot ( 99.9% of the time they do not)

If you go to medical school outside the US, and do not do US clinicals, after you are a Doctor in the other country you still have to take all 3 USMLEs and then do a residency in the US these are the rules for all Doctors that come to this country that is why some people that are doctors from elsewhere are not doctors in the US, they have problems getting all this together.
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