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Can I do college in 2 to 2.5 years if I want to go to medical school?
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Hi, I'm a rising junior from CT. I want to major in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut and eventually go to medical school. I will have a lot of AP credits by the time I graduate high school, and I plan to take community college classes over the summer to get to skip the more basic college classes. I want to try to get through college as fast as possible to save time and money. However, I am concerned that my application to medical school might look weaker as a result. Does anyone know of drawbacks to doing college quickly, especially if I want to get into graduate school? Thank you!

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answered on[edited]
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My 2 cents since everyone will have a different answer.

Becoming a Dr. is very expensive for both undergrad and grad school.

Medical school is the bigger expense because you can go to great State Schools or CCs to cut down on cost.

But Top Medical schools are mostly private. To the point, there is not much tuition difference between say UMich or UCLA and Private colleges when you are applying out of state.

So the goal is a.) get into a Top 20 Medical school and b.) to get in with as little cost as possible.

Since you live in CT and within driving distance or train distance to #4 NYU Medical School, I would aim to get into NYU. Even though they only interview 10% and Matriculate 1%, the big point I'm making is that they are the only Top 20 Medical school that is 100% free as of last year.

So while you might be thinking you'll save all this time and money to be able to apply to Medical school by grinding now and forgoing your social life and college experiences to finish 1.5 - 2.0 years early, you are definitely going to end up with less than a stellar transcript and amount of research and work experience that other candidates will have you are competing with.

Remember, this is not a race. Being a Doctor is a lifetime and lifestyle choice and once you are Doctor you die as a Doctor. You can either shake someone's hand and invite them to your office and say "yes I went to Univ. of PR Medical School". or "yes, I went to NYU and I'm part of the faculty." But you get buried with that medical degree 60 years later.

If you are a world-class runner and want to make the 2024 Olympic team, then you have a deadline. You have to get to run an Olympic Standard time to qualify during the year of the Olympics and run a race at U of O to make the team in June of that year. This is not the case for you if you are trying to be the best doctor possible.

In addition, to missing out on all the great opportunities to meet and work with faculty and doctors prior to attending Medical school, you are going to miss out on intangible experiences that make you the best person possible. I have no interest in being doctor but I expect them to be not only smart people but great, kind, funny, caring, and interesting people. I think some of the best learning experiences have nothing to do with what happens in the classroom or in books.

If doctors were graded and rewarded only on merit I'd say knock yourself out. Prove to everyone that you can do it faster than anyone else.

But seriously what's the point? Isn't the point to get trained by the best Medical School in America while building relationships, networks, and a body of work that gives you credibility so you can continue being the best in your field.

Good luck with your decision whatever that may be.

Thanks so much for your detailed answer! A lot of your points make great sense and I will keep some of the new pointers you brought up in mind when I am planning. Thanks again!
[edited]
II didn't know that NYU was Free for Med. School. That's good to know.
You are welcome. Here's a link for the free med school program for NYU. https://med.nyu.edu/education/md-degree/md-affordability-financial-aid/cost-attendance
Thanks so much for the last bit of info, do you know any other top schools that do this kind of thing?
Free tuition no and I’m not 100% sure if it also applies to grad/med school but all of the ivies and some other schools will meet full need. Full tuition likely not
[edited]
Cornell Weill in NYC, WashU St. Louis, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, University of Houston (new college of Medicine), Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena CA, Columbia U (NYC)VP& S, CCLCM at Case Western all have similar programs. NYU is probably the most financially generous in terms of scholarship. So if you want Merit or Need Based Aid, you must have excellent grades like a 3.8+ GPA and an MCAT of 517-525 (95-99% percentile score). Good luck
answered on
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So make sure your college accepts the credit from the CC. If you get an associates degree worth of credit then you get your major that would likely be feasible. As for med school you will likely not have decreased chances.

If you are worried about undergrad cost consider applying to a school that meets full need as that can arguably be cheaper for low income students. Also due to the schools prestige and academics you will be in a great place for applying to meet school.

In regards to drawbacks of going through college quickly is the social aspect and the networking. Networking is professional relationships with professors. Also depending on your med school program they MAY be reluctant to admit someone who went to a CC. I’m not sure but CC rigor is vastly different from a prestigious undergrad state school.

Also look at BSMD programs at schools that meet full need.

Hope this helps and please comment if you need clarification as I’d be happy to help clarify!

Thanks for the answer! I've checked that my college (University of Connecticut is the plan) accepts some classes at my local community college, which I plan to take when I get the time. I'm planning to get into UCONN for undergraduate because I am aiming for a decently prestigious to top medical school placement. I will look into full need schools, and keep your points in mind. Thanks again!
Also while standard credit hours is 15 if you think you can do 18 you can graduate a semester earlier saving on dorm and other costs. But don’t neglect social life!
So 18 credits hours would be like 4-6 classes? Also quick question does the amount of credits per class mean a class is more challenging or not? Thanks!
Typically a class is 3 credit hours but there’s definitely some 1s 2s 4s and possibly even some 5s. As for longer class being more challenging kinda there was an AO who said for every credit hour you should spend an hour studying so kinda but by itself it just means you spend more time in that class. I’d say it’s more effort not more difficult if I’m making sense. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the reply, that makes sense.
Your welcome good luck! Also NYU isn’t the only great NorthEast Medschool