A prof recommended that I apply to a post bacc with a possibility of admission into a med school (a linkage program).
I will take my last pereq, Orgo 2, next semester. My plan was to focus on the MCAT only during spring 2014 and take it by May. And then, apply to several schools in June. Instead he suggests that I apply and start this post bac (if accepted) in fall 2014 with a chance to start med school in 2015. What do you think? Is it even possible to be accepted to a post bac if you have no other prereqs to take?
There are two different types of postbaccs. Those to fulfill the prereqs for med school and those after you’ve completed the prereqs. Since you’ve completed yours then your recourse is for the latter programs. Linkage programs are the better deals and especially those which do not have you sit out during the glide year, the year after applying to school. How this works is you go from finishing the postbacc after the Spring, being accepted to med school, and starting right up with the next class that same Fall. So you go from postbacc straight into med school no time wasted in between. It’s not a bad deal and one I’m considering for next year myself.
Whether or not you chose this route depends on how strong your app is. I know those who’ve gone this route and loved it because instead of applying to a glut of schools they only applied to one, worked hard, and started med school. Instead of flying all over the place interviewing, they spent money to attend a postbacc, and since they were successful it was money well spent.
The other good thing that some don’t consider is that this also helps make the first semester less daunting because in many instances you’ve already taken the same classes during the postbacc. So the postbaccs have you drink from the fire hydrant of med school but the hydrant isn’t opened up all the way. It also helps you to realize if med school really might not be for you. Not saying this about you but some postbaccs I talked to dropped out because they just didn’t want it and the postbacc helped them to realize this.
It’s a win-win for students and school. You can give guidance to other students because you’ve already been there for a year and know the school and surrounding area. Look into the program and if it looks like a good deal then go for the best decision for you.
Very helpful crooz. I understand better now, and it seems very interesting even though I won’t be able to apply to other schools. The only problem I see now is the cost. I will have to take a loan if I decide to go for, but as you said it’s money well spent provided that I work hard and get into med school. I’ll definitely give it a second thought. Thank you
I am sorry but I don’t get it. What is the reason for going into a postbacc, knowing that your prereqs are done???
Postbacc are recommended because of 3 major reasons I can foresee (and I am not an expert)
1-need prereqs done fast
2-need to demonstrate GPA improvement and academic abilities
3-linkage can help with Med School admission
HOWEVER it is very costly. If your prereqs are done with a decent GPA, then save yourself time and money, prep for the MCAT, biff up the resume and extra-curriculars and apply (wisely and broadly)
But I do not know the particulars of your situation.
I am still trying to understand all this and that’s why I asked the question in the first place. From what Croooz has said, admission to med school is the interesting part. Of course the fact that all the prereqs are done and the program is expensive make me hesitate. This is my situation:
-Overall GPA: 3.5 (maybe more by the time I finish everything next semester. This also include some foreign credentials that have been transferred)
-Science(USA ocurses only): GPA:3.8
-Lab research : 2 semesters
- No shadowing. I don’t know why I have hard time finding a Doc to shadow. Nevertheless I have a lot of clinical experience abroad, but I need some here especially for letter of recommendations for DO schools. I will apply to both, allopathic and osteopathic schools.
- Volunteer and paid experience in working with elderly (caregiving). Other volunteer services in Blood centers.
One of the things that makes me think about a post bacc program is also this lack of clinical experience in the USA.
Your GPA is pretty solid, especially in sciences. I would focus on shadowing and on the MCAT prep. Make sure to secure good recommendation letters.
I think you have a very good shot. A postbacc in your case would be a waste of time and money. Sure it can secure entrance to med school, but I think you are set already if you do well enough on the MCAT. My take is do not do it, save some money (and buy me beer when you get accepted!)
The volunteering is always a good plus, but for older student the realities of life often do not allow such luxury. So if it comes down to a choice, I would shadow and not volunteer. However, you were willing to sink quite some time in a postbacc, why not take a year to pad the resume and try to get in whatever you can. Just a thought.
I agree with redoitall. I made the assumption that the professor was giving solid advice. For you it’s not worth it because your stats are solid. Forego the postbacc and save yourself the money for med school.
My thought was to prepare myself a bit for the intensity of med school. I spoke with my mentor yesterday and he assured me that nothing really prepares you. He equated it to trying to a man trying to prepare for a kick to the family jewels…it happens when it happens.
For the money these postbaccs cost your money would be better spent in traveling the county for all the interviews you will no doubt get. You might want to ask that professor why they recommended a postbacc for you.
I’ve directed two different post-bac programs so can weigh in. Another poster correctly pointed out that there are several different types of post-bac programs and your background doesn’t fit into any of the prototypes. My advice is for you to get some clinical experience in this country–you need to demonstrate your commitment to this path by volunteering, preferably with a set time commitment of about 4 hrs/week or so, or by shadowing–and then apply widely. You don’t need a post-bac program nor are you qualified for one since your stats are too high AND you’ve taken all the prereqs. Save yourself the money you would have spent and focus on building a great application. Good luck!
I struggle with the same decision myself. I wanted to apply to my local post-bac because it would be ideal to get into my local med school. I also had a pretty weak application for my first admission attempt.
But basically all the things I am doing to improve my app to get into med school are the same things I need to do to get into the post bac
upper level science
clinical experience and LORs.
Those are all in work to apply to Med in May. So I wasn’t sure if applying to Post-bac was worth it.
I did consider the preparation for med school, but if it doesn’t really help much it would be a waste of a year and money. (unless I don’t get accepted anywhere, then it would have been good to have)
I also talked to a current med student at that school and she said the post-bacs almost work harder than they do. The program is very competitive and they only take 20 students from the 150 in the program. So even if you get into the program there is still more inherent risk.
Good luck, I am sure you will make the best choice that works for you
- croooz Said:
These are the reasons why I'd do a post-bacc if I were in the OP's situation.
A bird in the hand beats 2 in the bush EVERYDAY,and TWICE on Sundays! A post-bacc with linkage is an almost guaranteed admission depending on the program.
Great stats are and have never been a "guarantee" admission to med school.