bachelor's and Master's and now what to do?

I’ve got a bachelor’s and Masters degree in a very unrelated field. I am working full time, but I’ve really decided its time to do the med school thing. All I need are the basic prerequisites - bio, chem, org. chem, math, etc. I am in a rural area - so, how can I fit this in? If I could just finish these pre-req’s, I think I’d be in med school no problem and could leave my current job.


Welcome aboard!

There are programs called post-baccalaureates which cater exactly to people like you. They also typically come with premedical advisement- professional assistance in the application process- and some will offer MCAT prep. Your main challenge is that you’re looking for a brick-and-mortar school with such a program- generally, this means a university with either a medical program or a graduate program (or both). The AAMC has a nifty tool to search for such programs with here. Under Special Program Focus, choose “Career-changers.”

Your challenge is the rural area part. A good program is going to require physical attendance at a brick-and-mortar school. If you mean rural area as in Bucks County PA (major metropolitan area in easy commuting distance with such programs available), this won’t be a big problem. If by rural you mean the middle of North Dakota, you’ll almost certainly need to move. Although, this may or may not be an issue, as you’d have to move later for medical school anyway. If your existing record is good and you get into a post-bacc program which gets 95% of its students into medical programs, then relocating may not be a risky proposition. You just need to be comfortable with it.

Moving is not an option. I have 3 young children and my wife has a good job here. There is simply to much risk to uproot yet. Once I get accepted to med school that is different.

I am accepted for pre-med to a brick and mortar school with a med school, but it is just over an hour drive away - pretty daunting with gas a $4 a gallon. I am hoping to do some summer hybrid classes - not ideal, but got to do what I can.

Not sure if things will work out. . .we’ll see, I guess.

I am open to suggestions. Unfortunately, I cannot come to the conference this summer. I wish I could.

First off, if you’re going to do correspondence coursework, ask how it appears on your transcript. I took a few courses as an undergraduate that were correspondence (e-mail in homework, watch lectures on DVDs, come in to school for the initial meeting plus two exams). However, they went on my transcript as normal courses.

If your short-term finances are secure (the cost of commuting to school notwithstanding), then I’d say to definitely do coursework in the school you’ve been accepted to. I think your plan of action hinges on whether the cost of gas is an inconvenience or a significant problem. If it’s an inconvenience but not an impossibility, then I think the best idea is to suck it up and go with it. As long as you aren’t driving a semi, the cost of gas is going to be somewhat minor compared to the full cost of becoming an MD.

If the cost of gas is an impossibility, see what other options exist. Does the program require you be in and out in one year? Or can you go at your own rate? If the latter, then perhaps plan to spread things out over 3-4 semesters. Look at which semesters offer which classes, and determine when you need which classes done by. Look at your class options for Fall (I assume you begin in the Fall) and take the most classes you can commuting the fewest days. If this is a school with an undergraduate program, then oftentimes course X will have a section that meets for 3-6 hours only once a week. If you have to be there five days a week and can’t get around that, then check Craigslist and see if you can find someone looking for a roommate at around $300 a month- it might end up being cheaper.

Alternatively, see if you can find a program like the one you’re in now that has an articulation agreement with a medical school. That could make the prospect of moving now less formidable if success in the program will involve acceptance to medical school built-in.

What is your closest school?