Advice Requested.


I wanted to introduce myself, share a little about me, and get some advice from this forum. I’m a 28-year-old professional, working in Accounting and Finance. During the tax season, I have a second job as a tax site manager. I graduated with a BA in Psychology and minor in Justice and Peace Studies In my undergraduate studies, I took only 1 course in Biology and it did not come with a lab. I have been out of school for 6 years and have recently decided that I want to pursue becoming a psychiatrist. I have done some research and below is what I understood my options to be.

  1. Apply to Post-bac program.

    Pros: If accepted, this would be a structured program with a cohort and may provide resources that I may not be able to obtain otherwise.

    Cons: This program may require a full time schedule, which requires that I stop working. This program has scholarships specific to universities. If I don’t apply to a school that has scholarships or don’t receive external scholarships/grants, I would have to fund the program with my own money.
  2. Get my prerequisites at a community college or university

    Pros: I would be able to manage my own schedule (example, take one class at a time).

    Cons: I would not have the advice I could be getting from a post-bac program. I would have little structured support system. I still have to fund these classes myself.

    Extracurricular activities: Gain experience in a health-related setting to show that I’m serious about medical school.

    Other Experiences: Leadership (management) experience and volunteering in various roles at various organizations (I love to volunteer as a way to help out)

    After completion of either option, take the MCAT and apply to medical schools.

    I don’t know what my psychology gpa is or if that is even applicable in this case. While I know the above, I’m just lost as to what my real next step is. Perhaps the steps I listed above is all that there is to it?

    I welcome any feedback, comments, and questions.

    Thank you.


You’re pretty spot on with the way ahead. You seem to have a good grasp on the pros and cons of the options of getting the pre-reqs, and only you will be able to make that decision for you.

If you opt for the DIY option, there’s a ton of information for “advisement” you can glean from this site. I did it all myself with this site and a couple of not-recently-graduated docs to help me clean up my personal statement. In reality, an adviser is only as good as their experience, and I’ve heard both helpful and horror stories about advisers. (not saying that you shouldn’t consider a formal program)

Your 'old" undergrad GPA will indeed follow you and have an impact on your application. Since you have been out of school for awhile, it’s likely that your post-bacc courses will carry a good deal of weight on how a human application screener will view your competitiveness (computer will see you as a number most likely). I would recommend shadowing at a minimum, and you may want to branch out to explore other interests in medicine if you can (ie don’t just shadow a psych) to see what you might be missing out on.

Too piggy back on Kennymac, I do believe that if you look at the AAMC site there’s a “request an adviser” for non-trads. I did this just to bounce some ideas off of somebody’s head. I didn’t want to go back to my alma mater because my current employer is closely associated with them, and clearly, I don’t want to let the beans out of the bag. It was helpful, and the volunteer adviser was actually a faculty member and dean at the state medical school to which I am applying.