Post-Bacc Program or chance doing it DIY

Hi there,

I’m excited to be here. My head hurts thinking so much about this thing, so I decided to consult the forum. I’m excited about embarking on this journey, but also extremely nervous and doubtful.

My city, Atlanta, has a PBPM program. It is at Agnes Scott College. The program is one year and guarantees you entry into Mercer Medical school upon completion. You get to skip the glide year. Essentially, I would start in June, gain early acceptance and as long as I do well this acceptance would be guaranteed and I will start medical school in 2015. The caveat to this is that you must agree to practice in an underserved area of Georgia. That’s no problem. The second caveat is that you must practice primary medicine. I absolutely do not want to practice primary medicine.

Alternatively, I can still go to Agnes under the PBPM program, but I would apply to medical schools like normal. However, that means I won’t be able to apply until 2015, and I won’t start until 2016. Definitely a negative for me. I’m getting up there in age!! I just don’t know what to do.

My other option is to go to a community college here and take the science courses on my own. One con is I’d lack the support and advisement of a PBPM program. The other con is the risk of not getting into any medical school when I apply.

Just a second ago I thought maybe I’d apply to PBPM programs out of state that are linked to more medical schools or without conditions, such as the Agnes Scott Program.

Help! Talk me through this. Thanks!!

I totally get that you would like to skip the “glide year”. I talked myself into a med school that was probably not the best choice for me because I had the chance of skipping the glide year (thus graduating one less year old). As it turns out, they closed the program and I had to wait it out a year.

I got a good job, was in stronger financial shape afterwards, and got to spend a year much nearer my mom and stepfather, got to spend time with family (which does NOT happen as much after med school starts) and started at the med school I wanted, a year later.

I would NOT commit to a medical specialty you don’t want for the sake of the glide year. Also bear in mind that most linked programs do NOT guarentee you entrance - generally there are GPA and MCAT prerequisites. Read the “label” carefully!


Thank you! You really put a lot into perspective for me!! Yes, I’m aware I’m throwing around the guarantee word. I know it depends on grades, service and MCAT. I’m really gonna look at my community college options and see if I can make that work.

Great question!! I’ve been wondering the exact same thing myself. Go into a PBMS program and take advantage of the linkage and the “updated grades”, or focus efforts on self-study to smoke the MCAT and going onward from there…

I’ve taken the middle path - refreshing courses on Coursera, and in the meantime whining at consultants about how I should proceed.

I did all but one of my post-bacc courses through UNE COM distance learning. (I needed orgo, bio II, and an “upper level science” to complete prereqs). Down side is it’s online, upside is its through an accredited college of medicine (DO).

Other downsides: nearly impossible to get a teacher LOR, some schools don’t take online courses, actually kind of expensive

Other upsides: on your own schedule (I spent between 3-8mo/course), includes virtual labs

Having distance learning courses definitely shrunk the pool of schools that I thought I had a chance at getting into. I still ended up getting 3 interview invites (still waiting for file to be reviewed at some) to MD schools and am waiting for a possible invite to a DO school. Granted, I applied to like 15 programs, but who is to say that it was strictly the online courses that got me on the “we’ll let you know in March” list. If I could do it again in an ideal world, I would’ve done all of the courses in the traditional classroom…