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Hello!

 

We are not entirely new to homeschooling. My 15 yo daughter had 6 months of home school through K12.com and did not find their curriculum challenging. She will be a sophomore this fall. She is a good student and had score exceeding 99.5% on PSAT and STAR test last year. We were thinking about more challenging curriculum that would show if she can handle premed courses. I believe in NY state there is enough flexibility with home schooling to allow for AP courses but I am not sure where to start. Ideally we wold like to put together curriculum themselves that would be geared toward premed.

 

Thank you!

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For pre-med you want a strong background in science, math, and perhaps some social sciences.  English never hurts either, of course.  We went with Thinkwell for Calculus (but did NOT do the AP test, opting to retake Calc instead at the 4 year school in order to not mess up GPA), did AP level Stats (w/test), AP level Psych (w/test), a combo of Apologia (both years) and Campbell for Bio - AP level, but without test as again, we wanted him to take that at the 4 year school, Apologia (both years) for Chem - in hindsight - would have added Zumdahl - Apologia was not enough (my guy got an A anyway, but he had to work far more for it than with his other classes), Physics with Apologia, Microbio (200 level class w/lab) at our local CC, and a freshman level English class at our CC. 

 

One other course I highly recommend is a Public Speaking course - my guy did his at the CC.  This is awesome not only for public speaking in general, but for interviews and understanding people/body language in general.

 

With a solid foundation, freshman year courses (even at high level schools) are pretty easily handle-able as long as the student doesn't get too distracted, of course.  With your dd's PSAT score, she should easily be able to handle it.

 

We did our "AP level" courses at home... so technically they weren't "AP" classes, but colleges only cared that the test scores were there.  On the transcript I just put Statistics w/AP test score=5.  Same for Psych, of course.

 

Best wishes to you.  Homeschoolers can definitely handle pre-med.  ;)

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ps  Many homeschoolers from all states use AP or DE (Dual Enrollment with a college - often, but not always, CC) courses, so if your preference is to outsource, that's ok too.  IME, higher level college admissions likes to see at least a couple of outsourced difficult courses to ensure the student can keep up.  They will also want to see ACT and/or SAT scores and some also want SAT II scores, esp if going with the SAT instead of ACT.

 

In short, college admissions want to see that the student has a foundation to succeed and "home" grades simply do not provide that except at more open admission schools (schools that accept almost everyone).  For pre-med, you want to be sure your student is ready to succeed from Day 1, because med school admissions are pretty unforgiving of a low GPA and bringing up a dismal GPA can be difficult.  Transitioning to college all by itself is often a big deal to students, so can hinder their studies as they figure out their schedule (academic, extra curricular, and life) and get introduced to new friends, etc.  We opted to prepare well for Calc, Bio, and tried to with Chem in order to make the academic part (at a tough school) easy.  It worked well for my guy.  Many of his friends wished they had gone that route when they got their first B in a higher level course.  They were actually ready for Calc II (or whatever), but the transitional changes affected their study habits until they learned to adjust.

 

Remember also that pre-med students NEED to have an extracurricular life.  What they do outside of classes is just as important on those apps as a great GPA and MCAT score, so don't try to aim for all studying and no playing.  My guy picked up juggling, dance, sign language, kept up with Christian clubs, and was an RA (Resident Adviser) and TA (Teaching Assistant), plus worked for pay and worked in a lab during his college years.  We're not really sure he slept TBH.  Having that solid academic foundation was critical so he didn't get discouraged or need extra time to catch up to where the other top students were (except in Chem).  A student doesn't need to do all my guy did (he's an exceptional guy if even if I say so myself :closedeyes: ), but they need to be able to do more than study while still getting mostly As.

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Hello!

 

We are not entirely new to homeschooling. My 15 yo daughter had 6 months of home school through K12.com and did not find their curriculum challenging. She will be a sophomore this fall. She is a good student and had score exceeding 99.5% on PSAT and STAR test last year. We were thinking about more challenging curriculum that would show if she can handle premed courses. I believe in NY state there is enough flexibility with home schooling to allow for AP courses but I am not sure where to start. Ideally we wold like to put together curriculum themselves that would be geared toward premed.

 

Thank you!

As you are probably aware, premed is typically not offered as a major at most colleges.  The premed students choose a major and also complete additional classes in order to apply to medical school.  In order to be prepared for the premed classes, I would suggest the following:

 

Physics - if your D is not able to study calculus based physics in high school, I would recommend following the old AP Physics B syllabus which, in my opinion, is much more in-depth than the revised algebra-based AP physics courses.

 

AP Chemistry (ChemAdvantage offers an excellent online class )

 

AP Calc BC

 

Cell Biology and Genetics

 

When I was looking into preparing my oldest for college admission and premed, I was told by both a rep at our local CC and our public school's guidance counselor that the highly selective colleges prefer AP classes over CC classes.  All of my son's classes were taken at home (some "homebrewed" and others through an online provider), but he had a lot of outside validation in the form of AP scores, SAT II's, etc.  He was very well prepared for the classes at his school that has an acceptance rate in the single digits.

 

Good luck!

 

 

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Generally you simply need a solid "college prep" type citric for high school with a high level of demonstrated rigor. She should choose the toughest courses she can take if admission to a competitive college and scholarships are the goals. I would look at her current transcript and build from there: four years each of science, math, language arts, social sciences, and 3-4 years of the same foreign language, rounded out by interesting and challenging elective courses. She should have strong extracurriculars as well.

 

My current college student is studying engineering and is on the pre-med track at Princeton. She did several courses through PA Homeschoolers and used Teaching Textbooks, Derek Owens, and dual enrollment for math. There was some Thinkwell in there and a home grown course or two. The curricular provider matters less than the course content.

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When I was looking into preparing my oldest for college admission and premed, I was told by both a rep at our local CC and our public school's guidance counselor that the highly selective colleges prefer AP classes over CC classes.  All of my son's classes were taken at home (some "homebrewed" and others through an online provider), but he had a lot of outside validation in the form of AP scores, SAT II's, etc.  He was very well prepared for the classes at his school that has an acceptance rate in the single digits.

 

I agree and we were told students looking at a 4 year college should NOT take any Pre-Req courses at a CC (Bio, Chem, Calc, Physics, etc).  They want to see those taken at the 4 year school.  AP is ok (sometimes accepting credit for it is not).  However, taking other classes DE is just fine.  My guy did English, MicroBio, and Public Speaking.

 

Note that any courses taken at a CC WILL count toward a student's GPA and Science GPA for Med School even if not used as credit at the 4 year school, so 'tis best to treat them with the devotion they require.

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Note that any courses taken at a CC WILL count toward a student's GPA and Science GPA for Med School even if not used as credit at the 4 year school, so 'tis best to treat them with the devotion they require.

 

That is an excellent point, and frequently overlooked by homeschoolers eager to rack up college credits for their high schoolers. Those dual enrollment grades stick around, and it's wise to give careful consideration to that aspect of utilizing the community college.

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Consider as well that it may not be in your student's best interest to gain admission to the most competitive undergraduate possible.  Tippy-top name schools also attract very academically strong students, and it can be difficult to compete with them and maintain a high GPA.  (Med school admissions may take the competitiveness the undergraduate into account, but still.)  

 

You may find smoother sailing at a state flagship, and save money on tuition, and by maintaining your state residency, give you both preferential admissions and lower tuition.  

 

This all depends on the state and the medical school and your undergraduate school, so you'll want to start asking around now.  

 

Note that if you take AP science courses in high school, you will be expected to take the college version of those courses (bio, chem physics, calc) in college as well.  But don't worry, more preparation is better than less, when it comes to competing against all the other premeds.  (I even took a chemistry class at a CC and was admitted to a top 10 med school, so go figure.)  Good luck!  

 

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Consider as well that it may not be in your student's best interest to gain admission to the most competitive undergraduate possible.  Tippy-top name schools also attract very academically strong students, and it can be difficult to compete with them and maintain a high GPA.  (Med school admissions may take the competitiveness the undergraduate into account, but still.)  

 

You may find smoother sailing at a state flagship, and save money on tuition, and by maintaining your state residency, give you both preferential admissions and lower tuition.  

 

This all depends on the state and the medical school and your undergraduate school, so you'll want to start asking around now.  

 

Note that if you take AP science courses in high school, you will be expected to take the college version of those courses (bio, chem physics, calc) in college as well.  But don't worry, more preparation is better than less, when it comes to competing against all the other premeds.  (I even took a chemistry class at a CC and was admitted to a top 10 med school, so go figure.)  Good luck!  

 

   I read this somewhere around two years ago.. A H.S. student should go to a college where he/she  will fall easily in the top 15 percentile of the freshman class. If i recall the theory, there is very little movement in or out of that level. Very few students become that much stronger, and the strong students tend to get stronger.  Health preofessional schools generally don't look lower than the the top 15 percentile.

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Ideally we wold like to put together curriculum themselves that would be geared toward premed.

 

 

At this point, several of my kids are telling me they want to be some form of doctor, so I talked to our friend (who is a medical doctor) to see if he could give us any advice.  He said just make sure they have a good, solid education in high school.  Mine already do a ton of science, so that isn't an issue.  DD15 isn't doing general biology in high school, but she is taking courses in different fields of biology - like so far, she's got human anatomy w/ lab, ethology, and forensic science w/ lab (outsourced class).  I still let them pick what they're interested in.  DD15 will have 3 foreign languages next year (she really likes languages).   :o   So, not really medical-related, but she asked to do those.

 

Other things we're doing - mine do a ton of volunteer work.  They do so much that dd15 was on the local news last year (my kids are weirdos).   :D  We are probably NOT going to do dual enrollment or APs.  Both dd15 and ds14 want to take a gap year and do something like Americorps or mission work.  Ds14 wants to get his EMT certification...which he's too young to do that now - Lol.

 

Another thing our friend said (I guess this depends on where you live) - he said you can just go to a regular college.  You don't have to go to Harvard or something.  He also said it was ok to get your general studies stuff out of the way at a community college (because I asked specifically about that).  I wouldn't take the science med school prerequisites there, though - I'm going to tell my kids to take those at the university.  

 

Anyway, good luck! (to us all   :tongue_smilie: )

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DD15 isn't doing general biology in high school, 

 

Out of curiosity, why would you skip general bio?  There's a ton of info in general bio and all of the "other" students in the freshman weeder bio class are going to already have had it.  Wouldn't your dd be at a disadvantage?

 

My guy did anatomy and microbio too, but neither were substitutes for two years of general bio (two years to get a really good foundation).  I've no doubt he'd have gotten a 5 on that AP test if I'd had him take it.  It gave him a terrific foundation.  Pretty much all of our kids knowingly heading pre-med at the ps I work in do the same (although they might not do the microbio since that was at the CC).

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   I read this somewhere around two years ago.. A H.S. student should go to a college where he/she  will fall easily in the top 15 percentile of the freshman class. If i recall the theory, there is very little movement in or out of that level. Very few students become that much stronger, and the strong students tend to get stronger.  Health preofessional schools generally don't look lower than the the top 15 percentile.

 

I've heard the same - and agree with it TBH.

 

It's a fine balance choosing level of school for college.  One certainly doesn't want to be overmatched (esp if pre-med), but for those of us with top level kids (where they'd be in the top 15% anywhere they chose), undermatching them is rather boring (for them). I've seen both happen from kids at my high school.  It's worth an effort to look at schools - and the student - carefully.

 

No one should take this to mean that private > public.  There are top, middle, and lower levels of both private and public schools.

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Creekland, I have a dd (upcoming freshman) who is interested in becoming a doctor.  Could I pick your brain a little?  How does this high school plan look?

 

She has already had two years of high school Spanish and does not want to continue.  She has had honor's high school biology and is currently studying Microbe, Forensics and Anatomy with Science Olympiad. She is also volunteering weekly at our local hospital.

 

9th: Geometry, American History, American Composition/Literature, Conceptual Physics, Anatomy, Homegrown Psychology (AP test)

 

10: Algebra 2, World History, World Composition/Literature, Chemistry, Homegrown Environmental Science (AP test), US Government

 

11th: PreCal, Statistics, AP Biology, History & English at CC

 

12th: Calculus, AP Chemistry, History & English at CC

 

My dd also plays violin, piano, guitar and voice and is a year round softball player.  I think she may need to drop the softball at some point because travel ball is too time consuming.

 

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Out of curiosity, why would you skip general bio?  There's a ton of info in general bio and all of the "other" students in the freshman weeder bio class are going to already have had it.  Wouldn't your dd be at a disadvantage?

 

I'm trying to say this without sounding pretentious...  Dd15 and ds14 did high school biology during middle school (7th and 8th grade).  They're also both "hobby biologists".  They are constantly reading, researching stuff on their own, etc.  For example, a couple of weeks ago, dd15 made me drive all the way downtown in rush hour traffic and sit outside with ds2 for 3 hours while she sat in on a lecture about monarch butterfly migration in North America.  They actually thought she was lost when she went into the lecture hall.  There was no one under 40 in that room!   :tongue_smilie:  Once they realized she was there on purpose, they were very excited.  They gave her a big box of plants to take home!  (She loves plants.)

 

Anyway, sounds goofy, but that's how much those two love biology.  So, I decided they can specialize or dig deeper with stuff during high school.

 

And, yes, I am worried about what their transcripts are like, but I'm also hoping that colleges are going to somehow recognize that they're a little unusual.   :o  Hopefully? 

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Creekland, I have a dd (upcoming freshman) who is interested in becoming a doctor.  Could I pick your brain a little?  How does this high school plan look?

 

She has already had two years of high school Spanish and does not want to continue.  She has had honor's high school biology and is currently studying Microbe, Forensics and Anatomy with Science Olympiad. She is also volunteering weekly at our local hospital.

 

9th: Geometry, American History, American Composition/Literature, Conceptual Physics, Anatomy, Homegrown Psychology (AP test)

 

10: Algebra 2, World History, World Composition/Literature, Chemistry, Homegrown Environmental Science (AP test), US Government

 

11th: PreCal, Statistics, AP Biology, History & English at CC

 

12th: Calculus, AP Chemistry, History & English at CC

 

My dd also plays violin, piano, guitar and voice and is a year round softball player.  I think she may need to drop the softball at some point because travel ball is too time consuming.

 

I think it looks quite good.  Make sure the college(s) she's interested in don't require foreign language while in high school (last 4 years of school).  Some supposedly do.  If they don't, I'd still include them on her transcript.  I did that in it's own little section on the side labelled "high school courses taken prior to 9th grade."

 

Regardless, it looks good for getting into (and succeeding in) college, then what she does there will matter for med school.  For my guy, only his CC grades counted for med school - and at least one school wanted his ACT scores.

 

One other thing to consider with languages... med schools like Bilingual students.  This is last year's med school profile for URochester:

 

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/medialibraries/urmcmedia/education/md/documents/2019-profile.pdf

 

It says 80% are at least Bilingual...  I've no idea if other med schools look for that or not TBH.  You can change the year in the URL to see other years (same template) and it's the same for 2018 and while no percentage is listed for 2020, they mention several knowing four languages.

 

Anyone (reading) can take a look at those class profiles to get an idea of at least what this med school is looking for in applicants.  The template really is the same each year.  Only the details change.

 

I'm trying to say this without sounding pretentious...  Dd15 and ds14 did high school biology during middle school (7th and 8th grade).  They're also both "hobby biologists".  They are constantly reading, researching stuff on their own, etc.  For example, a couple of weeks ago, dd15 made me drive all the way downtown in rush hour traffic and sit outside with ds2 for 3 hours while she sat in on a lecture about monarch butterfly migration in North America.  They actually thought she was lost when she went into the lecture hall.  There was no one under 40 in that room!   :tongue_smilie:  Once they realized she was there on purpose, they were very excited.  They gave her a big box of plants to take home!  (She loves plants.)

 

Anyway, sounds goofy, but that's how much those two love biology.  So, I decided they can specialize or dig deeper with stuff during high school.

 

And, yes, I am worried about what their transcripts are like, but I'm also hoping that colleges are going to somehow recognize that they're a little unusual.   :o  Hopefully? 

 

I wouldn't worry about their getting into college TBH - and as I mentioned before - you only need to list courses taken prior to high school for admissions to know they are there.  I'd be more concerned at having forgotten some of the Bio details - like of the ETC or Photosynthesis or which cell parts do what IF heading to a higher level school where it's assumed that incoming students will have had an AP level course recently, so Bio 101 moves on from there going much deeper.  If heading to a lower level school where the intro Bio course is equivalent to AP Bio, then I'd have no concerns at all.

 

It's not really getting into college that's the difficulty for future doctors.  It's having a solid foundation once there to get the grades needed even with all the other distractions around, esp since they'll need some of those distractions for ECs.  If your students can do well on a practice AP Bio test, I wouldn't worry a bit.   ;)

Edited by creekland
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Thank you Creekland.  I need to rethink the foreign language options.  

 

My concern with my dd are her ECs, she has too many.  I don't know that she will be able to balance the school load with all her ECs.  I guess she will have to choose, it's difficult because she has developed talent in music and softball.

 

 

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Thank you Creekland.  I need to rethink the foreign language options.  

 

My concern with my dd are her ECs, she has too many.  I don't know that she will be able to balance the school load with all her ECs.  I guess she will have to choose, it's difficult because she has developed talent in music and softball.

 

I don't think I'd have her drop anything, unless she wanted to, until I saw how she handled it.  My guy did a ton of things in college and still graduated Summa Cum Laude with two majors and two minors (meaning he often took more than the recommended number of courses too).  Some kids thrive on staying busy.  The "different" things they do give their brains a break they enjoy.  They are fine prioritizing their time.  If she's this way in high school, it would be good preparation.  If she wants to drop something, then by all means, support that.  Keep an eye on the CC classes when she's taking them.  Those will matter on med school apps.

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I have not read the replies, I am in Indiana, I now a family that homeschools and has produced several doctors, they all started at a community college, transferred to a four year school and then went on to the school in the Caribbean for pre-med.  Several are successful doctors now and one is in the Caribbean currently and they have another one coming up that plans to be a doctor.  This family has 13 children and I think at least they will have 5 doctors after the kids are all finished?

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What a great thread!

 

 

 

 I'd be more concerned at having forgotten some of the Bio details - like of the ETC or Photosynthesis or which cell parts do what IF heading to a higher level school where it's assumed that incoming students will have had an AP level course recently, so Bio 101 moves on from there going much deeper.  If heading to a lower level school where the intro Bio course is equivalent to AP Bio, then I'd have no concerns at all.

 

It's not really getting into college that's the difficulty for future doctors.  It's having a solid foundation once there to get the grades needed even with all the other distractions around, esp since they'll need some of those distractions for ECs.  If your students can do well on a practice AP Bio test, I wouldn't worry a bit.   ;)

 

We're covering cellular biology, bacteria/viruses, and genetics with human anatomy (now that I mention it, I wonder if that's typical).  I put this course together myself (I have a degree in biology), but this is the last year I put our courses together from scratch.  I'm just buying curriculum from here on out.  With 5 kids, it's becoming very overwhelming.

 

AP practice tests??  For fun??!  My kids would love to do that!  That's a great idea.  Last year, they were taking the US citizenship practice test for fun.  They both got a perfect score and I missed one question.  Doh!   :glare:  They were teasing me about that forever.  One of them went off and took the British citizenship practice test and passed - yay!  

 

I forgot to list our science for next year (not sure if OP is interested - Lol).  We are planning for Chemistry and Marine Biology. 

 

So, up to senior year, here's dd's list of science courses:

Earth Science (not usually done in high school, but this was a huge black hole in our homeschool - pun intended)

Human Anatomy w/ Lab

Ethology

Chemistry w/ Lab

Marine Biology w/ Lab

We wil definitely do Physics senior year.  And whatever else she wants to do.  After that, they're on their own!

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I have not read the replies, I am in Indiana, I now a family that homeschools and has produced several doctors, they all started at a community college, transferred to a four year school and then went on to the school in the Caribbean for pre-med.  Several are successful doctors now and one is in the Caribbean currently and they have another one coming up that plans to be a doctor.  This family has 13 children and I think at least they will have 5 doctors after the kids are all finished?

 

I wonder if they did it that way because of finances.  I have 3 family members who are doctors and I know they have an unbelievable amount of student loan debt.  They went to very, very expensive schools - for undergrad and med school.  

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I wonder if they did it that way because of finances.  I have 3 family members who are doctors and I know they have an unbelievable amount of student loan debt.  They went to very, very expensive schools - for undergrad and med school.  

 

The finances are appealing that way.  So is the lack of high GPA/MCAT requirement.  I looked into it myself (due to the finances), but what swayed us off that route was the low residency placements, and then most of those are for GP, not specialties.  There are more med schools getting added in the US occasionally putting more graduates into the residency pool and US schools definitely have much higher placement rates, so going the "cheap" way is risky, esp if one is thinking they want a specialty.

 

Then a personal data anecdote... middle son knows some students heading that direction. They were hardly stellar students.  Comparatively he shudders to think of how they will be as doctors if they apply their same dedication to that job as they did to their undergrad courses.  He did NOT want to be in that group.

 

He's aware of the cost he'll need to repay and feels it is worth it.  Time will tell, of course.

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I teach at a public university that has a very high acceptance rate. Not selective at all. The students come from all backgrounds, often small crappy rural high schools. About 50% of our biology majors are pre-med. 90% or so get into medical school.

 

Based on this, I do not see special constraints for homeschool to premed, if the student is not aiming for a selective college. They just need a basic college prep education that allows them to do reasonably well on the ACT and be prepared for college level science and math. *

 

Btw, since creekland mentioned intro bio as a "weeder" class: that is not necessarily the case everywhere. Of the introductory courses at  our school, this does not have the reputation.

 

*ETA: One problem many of my biology majors have is weak math skills. This hinders their success in the required chemistry and physics courses. Make sure your student has rock solid mastery of algebra and prealgebra.

Edited by regentrude
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In some cases, doing 2+2 with starting at the community college doesn't hold you back.

 

I taught a great kid locally who graduated from the community college, went to a "public ivy," maintained nearly perfect grades through college, and is in a selective medical school. His mom is a nurse practitioner, so they knew how to make that work. I don't know all the details.

 

A summer student of mine went to a mid-range state school and lived at home to save money. He was able to work some and saved as much as possible. He went to Harvard Medical School, did his residency at Mayo, and practices in Los Angeles. Periodically I see him on CNN.

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I teach at a public university that has a very high acceptance rate. Not selective at all. The students come from all backgrounds, often small crappy rural high schools. About 50% of our biology majors are pre-med. 90% or so get into medical school.

 

Based on this, I do not see special constraints for homeschool to premed, if the student is not aiming for a selective college. They just need a basic college prep education that allows them to do reasonably well on the ACT and be prepared for college level science.

 

Btw, since creekland mentioned intro bio as a "weeder" class: that is not necessarily the case everywhere. Of the introductory courses at  our school, this does not have the reputation.

 

It definitely helps being in a state that has a med school (one or more) that cater to state residents like Missouri does.  (Texas is probably the best, but I haven't compared their higher population to percent of med school seats available to that population.)

 

That said, I seriously doubt all the freshmen coming in thinking they are going to be Pre-Med have a 90% acceptance rate 4 (or 5) years later.  Many of those don't end up applying.  Of those who don't, lack of high enough grades is generally one of the major reasons.  This doesn't show up in "acceptance rates" because those only look at the end - those who apply.  I know plenty of students leave our (average) high school thinking they are going to be a doctor (usually heading to state schools) and return after a year or two telling me they quickly figured out they didn't have what it takes.  This can happen in Bio, Chem, Calc, Organic Chem, or wherever they meet their competition.

 

On the flip side, some who do well in those courses change their minds and consider heading to med school, esp as graduation looms and they are looking for what they want to be when they grow up.  They realize they are competitive and med school is a viable option.

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That said, I seriously doubt all the freshmen coming in thinking they are going to be Pre-Med have a 90% acceptance rate 4 (or 5) years later.  Many of those don't end up applying.  Of those who don't, lack of high enough grades is generally one of the major reasons.  This doesn't show up in "acceptance rates" because those only look at the end - those who apply.  I know plenty of students leave our (average) high school thinking they are going to be a doctor (usually heading to state schools) and return after a year or two telling me they quickly figured out they didn't have what it takes.  This can happen in Bio, Chem, Calc, Organic Chem, or wherever they meet their competition.

On the flip side, some who do well in those courses change their minds and consider heading to med school, esp as graduation looms and they are looking for what they want to be when they grow up.  They realize they are competitive and med school is a viable option.

 

I don't think it is the percentage of incoming freshmen who think med school, but rather the percentage of students who are late in the premed track or who actually apply to med school. I have the  number from my students who talk about their prospects and are very optimistc, based on the placement of their predecessors.

 

Of course there are people who flunk out.

 

My point was more that a good student does not need to attend a highly rated college to get into medical school.

Edited by regentrude
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I don't think it is the percentage of incoming freshmen who think med school, but rather the percentage of students who are late in the premed track or who actually apply to med school. I have the  number from my students who talk about their prospects and are very optimistc, based on the placement of their predecessors.

 

Of course there are people who flunk out.

 

My point was more that a good student does not need to attend a highly rated college to get into medical school.

 

But this thread is talking about high school students who want to head to med school.  I think it's vitally important for them to know what ends up affecting many from their POV.  It's usually not being prepared enough in foundational academics and then "competing" with students who are.

 

No one has ever said (on this thread) one must go to a highly rated college to get into med school.  I suggested matching students to their ability (while keeping them in the top 15% stats-wise for their college), but that's as close as it's come.  My suggestion comes from seeing kids who had been overmatched or bored - pending extreme.

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Back in the late 70's there was a small liberal art school in S. Calif.  that boasted of a 100% medical school acceptance for graduates of its pre-med program.  The catch,  They aggressively weeded students out of the program.  Completion of the program was getting the dean's recommendation. Students weren't deemed to have completed the program w/o the recommendation. The boasting stopped after some investigation of the school's practice.

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But this thread is talking about high school students who want to head to med school.  I think it's vitally important for them to know what ends up affecting many from their POV.  It's usually not being prepared enough in foundational academics and then "competing" with students who are.

 

Yes - and I have addressed what factors I see affecting my pre med students: most importantly, a lack of math. 

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Back in the late 70's there was a small liberal art school in S. Calif.  that boasted of a 100% medical school acceptance for graduates of its pre-med program.  The catch,  They aggressively weeded students out of the program.  Completion of the program was getting the dean's recommendation. Students weren't deemed to have completed the program w/o the recommendation. The boasting stopped after some investigation of the school's practice.

 

This still goes on - usually found in most schools that boast higher than an 80% acceptance rate.  They limit who can apply.  I suppose technically they don't limit it, but they withhold (or grade) their recommendation of you as an applicant.  That kills the application's chance at acceptance, so no one wants to throw away money applying.

 

It's pretty well known (among those who have looked into it) NOT to really consider a school's med school acceptance rate as odds of any particular freshman coming in getting into med school.

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The one thing I have heard loud and clear from the WTMF is the importance of math, especially Algebra skills.  

 

Thank you! My dd is not a math fan but I am making sure she understands math so she can do all the sciences.

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This still goes on - usually found in most schools that boast higher than an 80% acceptance rate. They limit who can apply. I suppose technically they don't limit it, but they withhold (or grade) their recommendation of you as an applicant. That kills the application's chance at acceptance, so no one wants to throw away money applying.

 

It's pretty well known (among those who have looked into it) NOT to really consider a school's med school acceptance rate as odds of any particular freshman coming in getting into med school.

Good to know. I think on the other end, it is good to ask about how many students from a college actually applied and were accepted to med school (or law school or grad school schools for particular fields etc.) because there are lower tier schools in which literally no one, or next to no one, has ever been accepted to med school (or other desired path) after doing undergrad there. I would be really cautious of the stories of starting out at community college or a low ranked or unranked regional university and going to a top medical school or other grad school. I assume those stories are very very atypical.

 

IMO the most important factors for doing well in science majors whether premed focus or not, aside from innate capabilities and motivation, are math preparation and study habits.

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Good to know. I think on the other end, it is good to ask about how many students from a college actually applied and were accepted to med school (or law school or grad school schools for particular fields etc.) because there are lower tier schools in which literally no one, or next to no one, has ever been accepted to med school (or other desired path) after doing undergrad there. I would be really cautious of the stories of starting out at community college or a low ranked or unranked regional university and going to a top medical school or other grad school. I assume those stories are very very atypical.

 

IMO the most important factors for doing well in science majors whether premed focus or not, aside from innate capabilities and motivation, are math preparation and study habits.

 

  I wouldn't be overly critical/cautious about the the tales of cc success. Probably, because California has some outstanding cc's. I know because I went that route and ended up with two highly selective degrees. 

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I would be really cautious of the stories of starting out at community college or a low ranked or unranked regional university and going to a top medical school or other grad school. I assume those stories are very very atypical.

 

With CCs it appears to depend upon the state in many cases as to how common it is.  In many cases I've seen or heard about (around here), the student didn't know ahead of time that they wanted pre-med.  They decided later.  Their decision to start at CC (even in a state where it isn't as common) wasn't held against them, but then again, they were also very talented students - not terribly typical of most CC students around here.

 

When we went to a couple of med school information sessions something like 6 years ago now, we were told by people making med school decisions for their school that what they didn't want to see was a student choosing the "easy" route to try to get into med school.  That was a trait they didn't want to see (trying for "easy") and was more an indication of that than anything else.  They want to see students who willingly take on challenges and succeed doing so.  They freely admitted that the criteria they looked for from a student who knew they wanted to be a doctor from the beginning was different than someone who decided later in their lives (later in college or even post college).  One can choose certain things looking forward, but can't change them in hindsight.

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In some cases, doing 2+2 with starting at the community college doesn't hold you back.

 

I taught a great kid locally who graduated from the community college, went to a "public ivy," maintained nearly perfect grades through college, and is in a selective medical school. His mom is a nurse practitioner, so they knew how to make that work. I don't know all the details.

 

A summer student of mine went to a mid-range state school and lived at home to save money. He was able to work some and saved as much as possible. He went to Harvard Medical School, did his residency at Mayo, and practices in Los Angeles. Periodically I see him on CNN.

 

Same same.  I was chatting with a surgeon who was on the admissions committee of a highly selective med school.  He was raving about a kid who did 2+2 at cc then state U because he was so smart to get the individual attention at cc and avoid the big crowds at state U, while also saving money.  He got in. 

 

I think like anything else, you need to take fullest advantage of the opportunities you are given.  There are a lot of fields that prepare you for medicine that aren't bio.  I would guess CS majors and EE majors would be in demand, particularly if the student is doing medical research, say in prosthetics.  That sort of background would be a tremendous asset.  

 

Also want to add that at my college, it was chemistry that was the weeder class.  Bio was relatively benign.  

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Same same.  I was chatting with a surgeon who was on the admissions committee of a highly selective med school.  He was raving about a kid who did 2+2 at cc then state U because he was so smart to get the individual attention at cc and avoid the big crowds at state U, while also saving money.  He got in. 

 

I think like anything else, you need to take fullest advantage of the opportunities you are given.  There are a lot of fields that prepare you for medicine that aren't bio.  I would guess CS majors and EE majors would be in demand, particularly if the student is doing medical research, say in prosthetics.  That sort of background would be a tremendous asset.  

 

Also want to add that at my college, it was chemistry that was the weeder class.  Bio was relatively benign.  

 

Chem was also the toughest for my guy, but I still think that was mainly because he wasn't as prepared as in the other subjects going in.

 

I'm curious to know if this 2+2 kid was from CA (or another state with highly regarded CCs).  Data points make a difference IRL when kids ask me for info at school.  Of course, in our state, if it's a high level kid, going to CC first won't always save them $$ compared to scholarships available at other schools - just like private schools were less expensive than state schools for 2 of my 3.

 

With majors, any major works.  Most heading to med school choose a Biological Science of some sort or another, but not all.  Here's the "official" AAMC list of applicants and matriculants by major - along with their MCAT scores and GPAs:

 

https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/factstablea17.pdf

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ps  If anyone wants any other "open to the public" facts list regarding applicants/matriculants from AAMC, here is the link:

 

https://www.aamc.org/data/facts/applicantmatriculant/

 

Here are individual state numbers:

 

https://www.aamc.org/download/321466/data/factstablea5.pdf

 

That last one shows odds of getting into an in-state school.  When those numbers are higher, it often means an in-state school favors it's citizens like in WV (the winner odds-wise).  Then there are the states without med schools (though some of these are supposedly considered "in state" in other states? - or so I heard a rumor at one point).  

 

Note that 60% of applicants do not make it in (or at least start) anywhere.  In my state (PA) it's 57%.  In MO it's 59%.  In CA it's 60%. In TX it's 63% (so yes, from one of my pp, their multiple med schools helping applicants is offset by their high population).

 

Getting into med school can be difficult (look at the average GPA needed).  In some states it's easier due to an in-state med school that favors citizens, but it's still often difficult.

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For pre-med you want a strong background in science, math, and perhaps some social sciences.  English never hurts either, of course.  We went with Thinkwell for Calculus (but did NOT do the AP test, opting to retake Calc instead at the 4 year school in order to not mess up GPA), did AP level Stats (w/test), AP level Psych (w/test), a combo of Apologia (both years) and Campbell for Bio - AP level, but without test as again, we wanted him to take that at the 4 year school, Apologia (both years) for Chem - in hindsight - would have added Zumdahl - Apologia was not enough (my guy got an A anyway, but he had to work far more for it than with his other classes), Physics with Apologia, Microbio (200 level class w/lab) at our local CC, and a freshman level English class at our CC. 

 

Thank you all for this thread -- so helpful! Hope it's okay to tack on another question, specifically for Creekland or anyone else who has insight on using Apologia for someone who wants to go the pre-med route.

 

My DD (9th) will be enrolled at a private classical school this year and they currently use Apologia for all their science courses. I've been hearing more and more that the Apologia texts aren't enough. She'll be taking biology this year. Should I go ahead and plan on her supplementing each year? And how did you do that? Is it just a matter of additional reading? Also, the school currently makes the students choose between anatomy and physics their senior year (offered at the same time) -- should we plan on her taking one or the other online so she can have both? Will she need a good physics background for undergrad? We're already outsourcing her foreign language with TPS and now I'm starting to wonder if we need to outsource science as well.

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I'm curious to know if this 2+2 kid was from CA (or another state with highly regarded CCs).  Data points make a difference IRL when kids ask me for info at school.  Of course, in our state, if it's a high level kid, going to CC first won't always save them $$ compared to scholarships available at other schools - just like private schools were less expensive than state schools for 2 of my 3.

 

 

 

Yes, this particular student is from California, but I don't know much else about him.  There are many routes to med school and as long as the student can articulate their path in a way that makes sense to the admission committee.  

 

I haven't seen research discussed much on this thread, but I think it's very important to admissions to be involved.  It doesn't necessarily need to involve "bench" lab work either.  There are lots of fields that are potentially applicable to medicine, and the most important thing is to choose a field that interests and excites the student.  For example, research in prosthetics might appeal to "makers" in a way that washing test tubes might not.  

 

Med schools are graduate schools after all, and the faculty themselves are researchers, so they will instantly relate to your scientific curiosity, no matter what the field.  

 

Great thread!  

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Thank you all for this thread -- so helpful! Hope it's okay to tack on another question, specifically for Creekland or anyone else who has insight on using Apologia for someone who wants to go the pre-med route.

 

My DD (9th) will be enrolled at a private classical school this year and they currently use Apologia for all their science courses. I've been hearing more and more that the Apologia texts aren't enough. She'll be taking biology this year. Should I go ahead and plan on her supplementing each year? And how did you do that? Is it just a matter of additional reading? Also, the school currently makes the students choose between anatomy and physics their senior year (offered at the same time) -- should we plan on her taking one or the other online so she can have both? Will she need a good physics background for undergrad? We're already outsourcing her foreign language with TPS and now I'm starting to wonder if we need to outsource science as well.

 

I suppose it all depends upon what level of college she's going to attend TBH.  I wasn't thrilled with Apologia's Bio by itself because they put a bit of emphasis on classification - far more than normal texts (today) do, and of course, they don't cover evolution well (but today's texts don't spend that much time on it either).  However, I liked that what they did cover on some other things they did in more depth and more easily understandable than the textbooks used at the high school I work at.  Therefore, we used them, but added Campbell's AP book to get even more depth (+ evolution, etc).  My youngest who went to ps would pull out our Apologia text to get more depth in Bio in 9th grade.  

 

That was their first year book.  Their second year book (A&P) was very good.  Middle son loved how it prepared him for his neuroscience classes and felt he was much more prepared than others at his school.  Our school offers Anatomy, but TBH, I never compared those two courses.

 

Chem goes in a different order than our book at school - it covers more in their second year, but one has to do two years to get that - and even then, middle son didn't feel he was all that well prepared TBH.  I didn't add to that one, but wish I had.  Apologia is not AP level IMO.

 

I would definitely have Anatomy & Physics prior to college if I were going Pre-Med.  Both are needed topics and it's far easier to learn them in college if one has been exposed to them first in high school.  Anatomy works from Apologia's second Bio year.  Physics is a Physics "light" with Apologia, but it's decent for getting an overview if one does both books.  It is not AP level either, but I didn't mind as much with that subject and since my guy was already taking a heavy load, we settled for Physics light.  I wouldn't have if his major had been Physics dependent.

 

Personally, I wanted my pre-med guy to be at an AP level (completed AP level) before going to college to take Bio, Chem, and Calc again at his four year school (since his courses in those subjects were tougher than AP level - more or less assuming students coming in had already had AP classes).  Apologia is not enough IMO to be at that level.  Thinkwell worked well for Calc though, and Campbell worked fine for Bio.

 

If one is going to a school where the Pre-Med reqs are the equivalent of an AP class, then just having the high school "typical" prep classes (not AP level) should work out fine.  Bio 101 is simply not the same course everywhere so it's worth it to check into the level at the school of choice.  As stated before in this thread, almost any level school can get one into med school if one is a good student.  No one has to go to a more difficult school.  My guy simply wanted to - he's always loved academics and he thrived at his deeper level school, so no regrets TBH.  (Our only regret came from his pre-med advising at his school, but he's loving where he's at now - med school - so that's all in the past.)

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Thank you all for this thread -- so helpful! Hope it's okay to tack on another question, specifically for Creekland or anyone else who has insight on using Apologia for someone who wants to go the pre-med route.

 

My DD (9th) will be enrolled at a private classical school this year and they currently use Apologia for all their science courses. I've been hearing more and more that the Apologia texts aren't enough. She'll be taking biology this year. Should I go ahead and plan on her supplementing each year? And how did you do that? Is it just a matter of additional reading? Also, the school currently makes the students choose between anatomy and physics their senior year (offered at the same time) -- should we plan on her taking one or the other online so she can have both? Will she need a good physics background for undergrad? We're already outsourcing her foreign language with TPS and now I'm starting to wonder if we need to outsource science as well.

 

My daughter is only going into her sophomore year as electrical engineering/pre-med, so take this with a grain of salt, as she hasn't achieved med school admission. Her high school science was light by some standards. Apologia physics and Apologia chemistry, AP Homeschoolers Biology and AP Homeschoolers Comp Science (which is considered a math rather than a science, really). That was it. No science extracurriculars, no awards, nothing. She did take the SAT subject tests for chemistry and physics and the AP exam for Bio and Comp Sci.

 

She has had zero problems with the initial college science courses for engineers, which were two semesters of physics, a semester of chemistry, and a semester of comp sci (again, that is more math-ish.:-) ) Her grades were right at the top, with all "A"s in science coursework at her very tough university, and she held her own in a student body comprised of top scholars.

 

Preparation is going to be different for each student, as learning styles vary, BUT, I really do believe that ultimately learning how to learn is the most important thing to be gained from the high school coursework. I would not worry about supplementing science coursework if that time could be better used in another way (if she wants additional science activity, that's different, of course). I'd probably focus on making sure she is making the most of the information and opportunities she is given at school.

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My daughter is only going into her sophomore year as electrical engineering/pre-med, so take this with a grain of salt, as she hasn't achieved med school admission. Her high school science was light by some standards. Apologia physics and Apologia chemistry, AP Homeschoolers Biology and AP Homeschoolers Comp Science (which is considered a math rather than a science, really). That was it. No science extracurriculars, no awards, nothing. She did take the SAT subject tests for chemistry and physics and the AP exam for Bio and Comp Sci.

 

She has had zero problems with the initial college science courses for engineers, which were two semesters of physics, a semester of chemistry, and a semester of comp sci (again, that is more math-ish.:-) ) Her grades were right at the top, with all "A"s in science coursework at her very tough university, and she held her own in a student body comprised of top scholars.

 

Preparation is going to be different for each student, as learning styles vary, BUT, I really do believe that ultimately learning how to learn is the most important thing to be gained from the high school coursework. I would not worry about supplementing science coursework if that time could be better used in another way (if she wants additional science activity, that's different, of course). I'd probably focus on making sure she is making the most of the information and opportunities she is given at school.

 

Definitely agree on the bolded!  Kids who haven't learned to study and learn things that don't come easily to them often have the most difficulty in college (or wherever they meet that wall of something they don't instantly "get").

 

Your daughter and my son had pretty much the same high school foundation - AP level Bio, Apologia Physics and Chem.  Yours had Comp Sci (mine didn't), and mine had A&P + Microbio.  They both got As in their intro classes (though I believe Physics was one class my guy got an A- in, but he also didn't take Physics until his junior, maybe senior, year so could easily have been rusty no matter what foundation he had as far as high school knowledge is concerned.  A&P helped my guy with his intro neuro course.  That's not one pre-meds in general need to take.  Microbio was just extra - a class he took because he loved it and because it was a lab science to help with college admissions.

 

Still, for me in hindsight, I'd have had my guy do AP level Chem.  That's the only class he told me he felt behind the other students in at his college (where most would have had that level in high school).  He got his A because he put the work in and studied.  It merely would have been easier if he'd had a better foundation.  It wasn't impossible without it since he knew how to and had the dedication to study and reach that point.  (He also impressed his prof enough that he was offered a TA position in Chem the following year, so in reality, he did just fine.)

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Thought I would share the 2021 Class Profile for UR's med school.  They shared it with my guy's class earlier this week.  I honestly suspect it's not unusual for any med school, so if any of you "guidance counselors" out there want to see it and/or discuss it with your kids, feel free.  Grades and MCAT scores are only a part of one's application.  Students need to be prepared to handle the academics at school while still having a "life."  There are some very impressive students in med schools.  They don't have to come from ps though.  ;)

 

CLASS PROFILE - MEDICAL CLASS OF 2021

 

The class profile is a Rochester tradition and is an effort to help you

“connect†with each other, especially during this first week of medical

school when everything is so new, exciting and daunting, all at the same

time. Each year’s class looks like the best class to ever matriculate at

Rochester and your class is no exception.

 

This year we had over 6000 applications from AMCAS and reviewed

5857 applicants who completed our supplemental application. Of the

completed supplemental applications, 2804 were from female and 3053

were from male applicants. About 22% of the applications were from New

York State residents and the remainder from out-of- state applicants. The

admissions committee, faculty, and students interviewed 604 applicants

this year for our 104 places in the class. Your class includes 55 women, 49

men and ranges in age from 20 to 35. The average age of your class is 25

and 63% of your class is 24 years old or older.

 

You have 3 Michelles, 3 Daniels, and 3 Davids in your class, along

with 2 Jennifers, 2 Jessicas, 2 Johns, 2 Julias, 2 Kevins, 2 Michaels, and 2

Stevens.

 

About 49% of you identify as non-Caucasian and 24 of you are

underrepresented in medicine. All of you are citizens or permanent

residents of the United States, but 18 of you were born outside the United

States. Places of birth include: Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, England,

France, India, Jamaica, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Serbia, and

Ukraine.

 

Thirty members of your class are New York state residents, although

many of you attended colleges outside of New York state. Twelve hail from

California, 8 from Massachusetts, 7 from Washington state, 6 from New

Jersey, 5 from Texas, 4 each from Ohio and Pennsylvania, 3 from

Colorado, and 2 each from Connecticut, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota,

Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. Twenty-six different states are

represented in your class, and other states of residence include: Florida,

Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode

Island, South Dakota, Virginia, and Vermont.

 

About 35% of you majored in Biology or some variation of that major,

13 of you majored in Neuroscience, 8 of you majored in Public or Global

Health, 8 in Psychology, 7 in Biochemistry, and 5 in Chemistry. Two each

majored in Economics, English, Mathematics, Microbiology, Music, Political

Science, and Sociology. Other majors included Anthropology, Business,

Computer Science, Emergency Medical Services, Environmental Studies,

Foreign Languages, Geology, Government, Mass Communications,

Nursing, and Philosophy. Fourteen of you have Masters degrees, several in

Public Health, and 1 of you has your PhD in Biomedical Engineering.

 

Among our special matriculation programs, 7 of you entered under

our Bryn Mawr, Johns Hopkins, or Associated Medical Schools of New

York Post-Baccalaureate Programs, 8 are part of our 8-year Rochester

Early Medical Scholars Baccalaureate/MD Program, 6 are part of our Early

Assurance Program, and 6 of you join 2 current medical students in our

MD/PhD NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program.

 

You’ve attended 64 different colleges and universities as

undergraduates. Twelve of you attended the University of Rochester as

undergraduates, 5 attended Amherst, and 4 each UC-Berkeley and Cornell

University. Three each attended Bowdoin, Brown, and Johns Hopkins

University. Two each attended Boston College, Brigham Young, Carleton,

Harvard, SUNY-Buffalo, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Whitman College. At

least 23 of you participated in a Post-Baccalaureate program prior to

matriculation. Most of you graduated with Latin Honors, including a large

number who were Summa or Magna Cum Laude. Additionally, many in

your class graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi and/or

with departmental or university Honors. Congratulations to all of you.

 

In addition to personal or family travel experiences, many of you held

volunteer or work positions overseas. Twelve of you served as AmeriCorps

volunteers, several were Teach for America participants, and 3 of you were

in the Peace Corps, serving in Ethiopia, Senegal, and Zambia. One of you

is a Gilman Scholar, spending a service and education year in Thailand

under the sponsorship of the US Department of State, and others have

worked with the National Health Corps or other agencies in our inner cities.

Countless others have volunteered in various outreach or medical mission

trips abroad, either independently, or as part of various groups such as

Global Brigades and other college or religious sponsored organizations. I

hope many of you will take advantage of our International Medicine

programs over the next 4 years and continue to expand your horizons while

reaching out to those most in need.

 

You've done many of the standard volunteer experiences, both in

clinical settings and community outreach, which we've come to expect of

medical school applicants. Hospice, Habitat for Humanity, volunteer

ambulance service, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, Planned

Parenthood, nursing homes, camps for the disabled, Big Brother and Big

Sister mentors and, of course, numerous hospital, shadowing, and

ambulatory clinic experiences, some rural and many in underserved inner

cities. Many of you are EMT, CPR or Wilderness Training certified.

 

Interestingly, you've been elementary or high school teachers,

phlebotomists, tutors for your university athletes, waiters and waitresses,

actors, paid researchers, and little league coaches. You enjoy craft beer

brewing, have worked in a French bakery, worked for NGO’s, have been a

manager for your NCAA Division One basketball team, which by the way is

a perennial top 10 team, or a home healthcare assistant. One of you was a

member of the Mississippi State Marching Band, another an American

Conservation Trail Crew member in South Lake Tahoe (a really tough

“gigâ€), a member of the Rural Health Service Corps, a Human Rights

Investigator in Eastern Europe, and a LGBTQ Rights Advocate. One of you

toured with a professional golfer for a year, was a tutor for his children, and

has been to 31 different countries in the last 5 years. Others among you

have been farm workers, medical interpreters, a military medic, a practicing

nurse, one of you has assisted Agent Orange victims and taught monks

English in Southeast Asia, and others were, and continue to be, politically

active. One of you worked in a circus camp and was a member of our UR

Strong jugglers program, and juggles fire torches, knives, clubs, rings, and

balls. Next week all of you will be juggling classes and your first-year

medical school curriculum! Finally, you’ve volunteered in the PICU, NICU,

SICU, ICU, CCU and have accumulated some large IOUs, most in the form

of student loans! Welcome to the real world.

 

For most of you, your resumes suggest you really care about the

underserved residing in our local communities, as well as those nationally

and internationally. You are a well-traveled class and I hope you will

continue to explore new ideas and places, engage in critical thinking, and

expand your boundaries as you begin your medical journeys. Remember

Mark Twain’s advice, “Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice, and narrow

mindedness.â€

 

Of course, almost all of you have done research in some capacity or

another, most in the natural sciences but many others in the social

sciences, humanities, and engineering fields. Equally impressive are the

number of you with published peer-reviewed articles and meeting

abstracts. Many of you are at least bilingual and one of you speaks 5

different languages! I’ve been impressed in general with the number of

pianists, musicians and vocalists in this class. Additionally, many of you

enjoy cooking, cycling, painting, photography, traveling, meditation, and

dance including at least one belly dancer but also Bhangra, ballet, tap, jazz,

salsa, and modern dancing.

 

 

Most of you are athletic in the conventional way, while others have

been members of your college varsity athletic teams including 4 swimmers,

one of whom was Captain of her National Championship team. We have an

All-American diver in the class, 2 varsity soccer players, and a softball star

and All-America Scholar Athlete who played for two different NCAA-

Division One softball teams, and then coached a Division One team while

completing her Master’s degree.

 

Eighteen of your parents are physicians, 16 are nurses, 8 are

pharmacists, and 3 are physical or occupational therapists. Also, many of

your parents are teachers across the spectrum of our educational system.

For many of you, your parents are truly an inspiration, if for no other reason

than they were always there supporting you. It is truly remarkable and

inspiring to see all that you have achieved in such a short period of time

and, for some of you, against all odds. Your presence here today confirms

that you have excelled; as students, as volunteers, as young parents, and

as humanists, ready to begin careers in private practice, or academic

medicine, teaching and research, and hopefully always as advocates for

your patients.

 

In your biographical sketches, you listed some of your weaknesses,

spanning everything from being shy to being confrontational. Some of you

are concerned about stress, motivation, multitasking, hubris,

procrastination, or being distracted by tweeting, texting, Facebook,

YouTube, and Snapchat. And, we have a “neat freak†in the class. But,

most of all, I want to focus on your list of eclectic strengths. Your resilience,

empathy, integrity, discipline, patience, work ethic, flexibility, curiosity,

inclusivity, compassion, optimism, and humility.

 

Finally, I’ve read many essays that open or close with a famous

quotation, so let me close with this one from Sir William Osler. “The

practice of medicine calls equally for the exercise of the heart and the

head.†I encourage you to “bloom where you are planted†and make the

most of this opportunity, and learn all you can as you owe it to those who

someday will place their trust in your healing hands.

 

I think it is best to end here. You are truly a diverse medical school

class and an interesting group of young people. Time only permits me to

capture a superficial glimpse of who you really are. So, I hope during the

weeks ahead that you will take the time to seek each other out, get to really

know each other, and establish friendships that will last a lifetime. If you are

not already, please strive to become collaborative learners. And, be nice to

the person sitting next to you because there is a fair chance that some of

you will form lasting partnerships, professional and personal. You are in

medical school, so RELAX, LEARN, and ENJOY the journey. Ultimately,

our hope is that you will marshal all of your unique talents and interests for

the benefit of your patients and for the profession of medicine.

 

Welcome, congratulations, and Meliora!

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  • 1 year later...
On 8/13/2017 at 9:59 PM, creekland said:

For pre-med you want a strong background in science, math, and perhaps some social sciences.  English never hurts either, of course.  We went with Thinkwell for Calculus (but did NOT do the AP test, opting to retake Calc instead at the 4 year school in order to not mess up GPA), did AP level Stats (w/test), AP level Psych (w/test), a combo of Apologia (both years) and Campbell for Bio - AP level, but without test as again, we wanted him to take that at the 4 year school, Apologia (both years) for Chem - in hindsight - would have added Zumdahl - Apologia was not enough (my guy got an A anyway, but he had to work far more for it than with his other classes), Physics with Apologia, Microbio (200 level class w/lab) at our local CC, and a freshman level English class at our CC. 

 

One other course I highly recommend is a Public Speaking course - my guy did his at the CC.  This is awesome not only for public speaking in general, but for interviews and understanding people/body language in general.

 

With a solid foundation, freshman year courses (even at high level schools) are pretty easily handle-able as long as the student doesn't get too distracted, of course.  With your dd's PSAT score, she should easily be able to handle it.

 

We did our "AP level" courses at home... so technically they weren't "AP" classes, but colleges only cared that the test scores were there.  On the transcript I just put Statistics w/AP test score=5.  Same for Psych, of course.

 

Best wishes to you.  Homeschoolers can definitely handle pre-med. ?

Thank you, lot of very useful info! So one does not need to buy an online school package and can just pick an choose courses such as listed in this thread?  

Edited by rads
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16 hours ago, rads said:

Will attending a public high school significantly improve chances for scholarships in comparison to home schooling?

 

Not unless you homeschool in an area that doesn't offer many opportunities outside of school for extracurriculars. High GPA and high ACT or SAT scores are the baseline for the majority of scholarships. Lots of schools have merit available based on those alone. Competitive scholarships require something extra; this could be leadership, general involvement, special talent, lots of things. 

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16 minutes ago, katilac said:

 

Not unless you homeschool in an area that doesn't offer many opportunities outside of school for extracurriculars. High GPA and high ACT or SAT scores are the baseline for the majority of scholarships. Lots of schools have merit available based on those alone. Competitive scholarships require something extra; this could be leadership, general involvement, special talent, lots of things. 

Thanks, do you feel that 16 yo needs to attend a formal online school or good grades on courses listed above would be as good or better?

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56 minutes ago, rads said:

Thanks, do you feel that 16 yo needs to attend a formal online school or good grades on courses listed above would be as good or better?

 

In my opinion, a formal online school is definitely not needed, and is often less challenging than a thoughtfully put together homeschool mix. If you can back up the mommy grades with at least one or two outside courses, that's excellent and can be helpful for more competitive schools. SAT subject tests and AP tests can also serve this purpose. Both of my kids did some dual enrollment at the local university in junior and senior year; in our area, DE at the community college does not equal DE at uni (in quality) and would have been a step back from our homeschool courses. The cc credits are accepted for transfer by state law but do not prepare the students well enough, particularly in math. This varies by area and you just have to research the local choices. 

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On 8/26/2018 at 6:48 PM, rads said:

Will attending a public high school significantly improve chances for scholarships in comparison to home schooling?

We are a scholarship seeking family. Homeschooling has been to their advantage bc they have been able to take courses designed for their level, not having to adapt to courses offered.

My recent college grad (now attending grad school) attended on full scholarship. His scholarships were based on test scores/GPA, (guaranteed admissions scholarship), resume (admitted to their competitive research honors program with one of their few scholarships) and a physics competition (placed 1st and was awarded an additional equivalent to instate tuition scholarship plus their top dept scholarship.)

My current college sophomore is attending on close to a full ride.  She was awarded one of her U's top competitive scholarships (awarded to 20 students) plus their NMF scholarship. She did almost every single class at home (Russian was the exception.That was outsourced to By the Onion Sea....fabulous.) She took no APs and only 1 DE class spring semester of sr yr. That does not mean her classes were at a low level by any stretch. She also had numerous Russian awards including an international Olympiad. (She was also accepted to URoch with scholarship $$. So Rochester did not hold her lack of outside courses against her.)

Fwiw, one of my ds's close friends during UG at Bama (also part of the honors research program) is now at Harvard's med school in their MTSP program.https://www.hms.harvard.edu/md_phd/admission/funding.html  She, like my ds, had excellent opportunities to excel and receive great mentoring. She was a Goldwater Scholar. (She was directly involved in nanotechnology reseach.) https://www.ua.edu/news/2017/04/four-ua-students-named-goldwater-scholars-in-2017/

In programs like they were in, UGs are mentored by overseeing research professors (not grad students).  They present their research, etc. These top kids on lower ranked campuses can have outstanding outcomes. (Our ds is now at a top 5 grad program for his desired field.) 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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On 8/13/2017 at 8:30 PM, rads said:

. I believe in NY state there is enough flexibility with home schooling to allow for AP courses but I am not sure where to start. Ideally we wold like to put together curriculum themselves that would be geared toward premed.

 

On 8/27/2018 at 12:21 PM, rads said:

Thanks, do you feel that 16 yo needs to attend a formal online school or good grades on courses listed above would be as good or better?

 

On 8/26/2018 at 6:48 PM, rads said:

Will attending a public high school significantly improve chances for scholarships in comparison to home schooling?

I went back through and read this thread. It sounds like you are in NY. Is she planning on applying to NY Us? If so, you need to understand NY homeschooling law and how NY Us handle homeschool transcripts. Every state is different.  The states I have lived in and the Us where my kids have applied to college have not had additional hurdles for homeschoolers. Some NY Us are not homeschool friendly. I don't know any details, just vaguely remembering things I have read. So the answers to some of your questions might depend on your state.

I wanted to mention a couple of other paths as well.  First, kids don't have to major in biology or pre-med. My ds's friend I mentioned in the post above majored in physics. I know creekland stated boredom is a factor in kids above the 15th%. I know neither my ds nor his friend (both physics majors) would ever have use the word bored to describe their UG yrs. They were both incredibly involved in research. My ds spent a minimum of 18 hrs/week on research. They took grad level classes, etc.

The other option I wanted to mention is the bs-md path. My dd's roommate is in a bs-md program. Students are admitted as freshman. If they are accepted into the program and maintain all of the requirements, they are automatically accepted into the med school. My dd's friend has the same scholarships Dd as do a couple of other kids who have also been accepted into the bs-md (7yr program). Dd attends USC and the program there is called BARSC MD. It is mentioned in this bulletin. https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/undergraduate_admissions/connect_with_us/high_school_counselors/counselor_handbook_17_web_version.pdf

Fwiw, according to USC's website (this is about Honors College students in general, not BARSC MD) 

Quote
  • In Fall 2016, 72.6 percent of those Honors students who applied to at least one medical school were accepted at one or more medical schools. The schools included all three medical schools in the state (USC-Columbia, USC-Greenville, MUSC), as well as Vanderbilt, Drexel, UNC-Chapel Hill, West Virginia, East Carolina, Louisville, Baylor, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, and Mercer.
  • The average MCAT score of all South Carolina Honors College students applying was 508. The current average GPA of all SCHC students is 3.81. Our highest medical school admissions rate for a particular year over the past decade, based on our internal data, has been 84 percent.

Anyway, lots of different path options. If one U's door is closed due to homeschooling, you can always look for other ones with doors wide open and welcoming to homeschoolers.

ETA: I wanted to note that under their admissions requirements it's says American and English lit or English I-IV. My dd's transcript was not labeled in any similar manner and she did not take American or British lit. Her English courses were intense and her course descriptions included a booklist which far exceeded any standard high school level lit course, so I am assuming that they just checked the I-IV box. 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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On 8/29/2018 at 7:09 AM, 8FillTheHeart said:

 

 

I went back through and read this thread. It sounds like you are in NY. Is she planning on applying to NY Us? If so, you need to understand NY homeschooling law and how NY Us handle homeschool transcripts. Every state is different.  The states I have lived in and the Us where my kids have applied to college have not had additional hurdles for homeschoolers. Some NY Us are not homeschool friendly. I don't know any details, just vaguely remembering things I have read. So the answers to some of your questions might depend on your state.

I wanted to mention a couple of other paths as well.  First, kids don't have to major in biology or pre-med. My ds's friend I mentioned in the post above majored in physics. I know creekland stated boredom is a factor in kids above the 15th%. I know neither my ds nor his friend (both physics majors) would ever have use the word bored to describe their UG yrs. They were both incredibly involved in research. My ds spent a minimum of 18 hrs/week on research. They took grad level classes, etc.

The other option I wanted to mention is the bs-md path. My dd's roommate is in a bs-md program. Students are admitted as freshman. If they are accepted into the program and maintain all of the requirements, they are automatically accepted into the med school. My dd's friend has the same scholarships Dd as do a couple of other kids who have also been accepted into the bs-md (7yr program). Dd attends USC and the program there is called BARSC MD. It is mentioned in this bulletin. https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/undergraduate_admissions/connect_with_us/high_school_counselors/counselor_handbook_17_web_version.pdf

Fwiw, according to USC's website (this is about Honors College students in general, not BARSC MD) 

Anyway, lots of different path options. If one U's door is closed due to homeschooling, you can always look for other ones with doors wide open and welcoming to homeschoolers.

Thanks you, we are planning for college in NY or TX

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