Hello sage members of OPM,
I would like to draw upon your collective wisdom and open the floor for advice on questions to ask when checking out full-time post-bac programs.
JHU called yesterday and invited me to interview. I will speak with the program director and coordinator for about an hour, and then will be given a campus tour and have lunch with a current student in the program.
I’ve got the basic questions like class size, how they deal with putting post-baccers in with undergrads, and the like covered. But what sorts of questions did you wish you asked the directors and students when you went through this? I looked through Natalie’s list of 31 questions for med schools, but unforunately, there was not much that was applicable for this step.
The deadline for applications was March 1st, and they called me the 3rd, which was impressive. It looks like they’re on the ball, which is always a good thing. From the literature, I’ve gotten that their program seems well-structured and much more holistic than the “this is what you need to take to sit for the MCAT and get into med school” programs. Which is good for someone like me, I need to have some electives on the side to balance it all out.
Now, I’ll see what it’s like in person!
Many thanks for any wisdom you can impart to someone just starting down the long, strange road…
Hello sage members of OPM,
I wrote some possible questions in another thread that you might find helpful:
Meeting with PreHealth Advisor
HTH, and good luck! Dr. Natalie speaks very highly of the Johns Hopkins post-bacc program.
Susan - Chicago
good luck, Vera! : ) you'll do great.
I'm sure this will be a good match but here are some questions to consider asking:
1. Letters: how do they handle letters? can you choose whose letters accompany your committee letter? is there a committee letter? is there a letter-forwarding service for schools that take letters in addition to your committee letter?
2. How many people drop out of their program before applying to med school?
3. What proportion of people end up not being viable candidates for med school?
4. (esp. for students there): How competitive are post-bacs with each other? How does the program try to foster cooperative attitudes? Is there any concrete evidence (study groups, etc) of cooperation among post-bacs there?
Susan, thanks for the link to your questions! I will definitely be using them, they are thought-provoking.
Beth, thanks for the vote of confidence! The think I’m most worried about is being JHU-heavy on the apps. Work there, got MHS there…if I did a post-bacc there, would the med school just roll their eyes at me and say “again???” ? <!–emo&<_ I will bring this up at the interview.
Boston Joe, you come up with great thoughts, as always. Thanks for sharing them. I’ve heard that the undergrad campus is uber-competitive, and many are pre-med. The level of collaboration and cooperation is certainly of interest to me–especially since I’m always first to share notes, organize study sessions, etc. I find group work very valuable, and will ask the student I meet with about the post-bacc vs the UG dynamics.
One person said to me today “Be sure to go to a place where you can make the best grades.” Intimating that it might be easier to get As elsewhere, and that I should factor that into my decisions down the road. That was slightly annoying. How about deciding to go to a place because you want to, because you think it’s a good fit, or because the program is right for you?
It was kinda like talking to this MD last summer who told me to move to WVa because as a resident I’d have a great shot at getting into their med school, and then started talking ratios of applicants, slots, and in-state slots. Um, how about going to a school that has what I’m looking for and fits me well, rather than doing a statistical analaysis of the best odds ratios of acceptance???
I don’t get that perspective. Maybe it’s because I’m approaching it as an OPM, rather than a traditional applicant. Or, it’s still too early in the process for me, and I can still speak idealistically!!! Only time will tell…
If you are committed to doing excellently on your own terms, it won't matter what school you go to or what state you live in; you'll end up doing well. While it may be that at JHU you might have to work harder for the grades, you also may win more respect for those grades–so there are two sides to that way of viewing the program. The point, as Mary R. so rightfully reminded us in another post, is to enjoy the journey. That's the basis on which you should evaluate the prospect of going anywhere.
Good luck, Vera!