Planning for Plan B

My background is very similar Adam’s diary that I just read. I am also interested in becoming an MD and I am also interested in biotechnology. I am beginning my post-bacc work this fall. What suggestions do you have regarding taking post bacc classes for medical pre-reqs and taking some biotechnology courses (Plan B) in case I don’t get into medical school. I currently have a BS in Computer Information Systems and have been working in the healthcare IT field for the last 20 years so I could leverage my existing computer science knowledge for a Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics. If I am successful in entering medical school, I have also learned that there are educational opportunities for physicians who specialize in biomedical informatics. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Definitely not a bad idea to have a plan B. On many occasions I’ve heard that it is usually when you need to have a plan B, that one doesn’t. Considering that you need to take your prereqs and then you will have that glide year to take a few of the biotech classes. I would suggest though that you don’t actually matriculate, but go as a non-degree seeeking student. Usually you can transfer up to 12 graduate credits before having to matriculate.

Hi Jerilyn,

I will chime in. I don’t really know much about bioinformatics or how you could pursue it alongside your post-bacc classes, but I have been heavily researching biomedical engineering at X school (product development track). Their bioinformatics PhD program track is through the engineering school as well, so I’ll share what I found.

The speciific bioinfo prereqs are as follows:

-Proficiency in at least one applied programming language and Software Engineering concepts.

-Algorithms, Data Structures, Fundamentals of Analysis of Algorithms

-Automata Theory, Grammars, Theory of Computability

-Probability and Statistics

They also require math through DiffEQ, physics i, ii, chem i, and bio i, ii.

It appears to me that there isn’t really a lot of overlap between bioinformatics and what might be the content in a u/g biotech program. The u/g programs I am familiar with seem geared towards training people to be clinical lab research techs, although I’m sure there are other programs with more options. I think your best bet would just be taking the standard med school prereqs and applying as-is. I think you would be a great candidate with all your CS experience. Also, some MS programs will let you enroll as a non-degree seeking student for 1-2 classes (that’s all that will “count” if you change to degree-seeking). You might look into taking an actual bioinformatics class along with your post-bacc.