After in depth and honest discussion with my wife she is 100% behind me, in front of me, beside me, hell just with me on this arduous path I am about to step onto. While my wife has always been uber supportive, I was nervous before we talked and now I feel like an extreme weight has been lifted off me just knowing she STILL supports me. Now I have to decide exactly which path in the forking road to take. I am a year or less (depending on course load) from finishing my bachelors. I have plenty of financial aid left, so I could complete my pre-requisites undergrad, or I could go post bacc and comeplete it that way. While undergrad would be much cheaper, the post bac programs I’ve looked at have linkage agreements with ALLO/OSTEO schools, which seems like a huge plus. Another factor is my school. I attend a small not well known state school and it seems to me that a post bac from a little flashier school could benefit me when applying. One of the post bac I looked at even included Princeton Review MCAT prep. I’m sure its easy to see the direction I’m leaning but would appreciate some advice. Any ideas? Thoughts? Experiences?
- RomanGrace Said:
Postbac programs vary widely in how useful, effective, and worthwhile the linkages maybe. The linkages often have the affect of bringing in students to the postbacc (at their expensive cost). Personally, if you have the aid left, have classes left to finish, have a bachelors degree to still get, then I would suggest you stay where you are
Also I don’t know what your major/minor is in, but I know the post-bacc at my school won’t let you in if you already have most of the pre-reqs.
The Postbac I have been most drawn to is at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. They have linkages with LECOM and Temple. It SEEMS pretty up front about whats required to qualify for the linkages and says the linkages eliminate the glyde year. My UG GPA (especially with AACOMAS calculation) won’t be bad, just not stellar. The glyde year thing is probably most appealing to me since at 32 I already struggle with feelings of being “old” and needing to get a move on.
I am a non science major so I have none of my pre req’s done. I can finish my degree in 3 semesters and move on to PB or stretch it out another year and kill my pre req’s.
I would recommend just sticking to your program and finishing your pre-reqs there. I’m not sure if the year you save is worth the extra cost and the linkage programs tend to be quite competetive so there is no guarantee that you’d benefit from it either.
Besides, most post-bacc programs tend to be two years in lenght so if you are able to graduate in 2.5 years from your school with all pre-reqs done, it may not even benefit you in terms of time.
At this point you should focus on getting stellar grades in all your science courses to raise your GPA. Just my opinion…
Well thats consecutive answers of do it in undergrad, so I guess undergrad wins! If I stay at my current school and do pre req’s I will finish Spring 2013. I guess a big advantage to this would be I could also snatch up some of the supplemental classes like genetics, biochem and so forth when I have holes to fill and all at 1/3 of the price. Thanks to all of you that replied/advised, I really do love this forum, and am wondering more and more why I lurked so long without opening my mouth. Being able to tap into the knowledge and experience of people with similar goals is priceless. OPM ROCKS!
- RomanGrace Said:
I think those of us in are 30s are considered the kids in this forum. I wouldn't dwell too much on a single year more - although I used to - because it can be used to your advantage. By doing 'regular' classes you can be sure to ace them, and have time to do volunteering in your community, as well as taking those other classes (like Biochem) you mentioned.
I’m glad you found it helpful. Does your school offer to write committee letters? it’s something that could be quite benefitial and which is one of the pluses of doing a formal post-bacc. I would recommend you see your school pre-med advisor (most school have them) and I’m sure they will be helpful.
Your right many people on this forum are much older than we are, thats probably why they can exhibit that much needed patience! As far as volunteering goes the extra time will be great. I don’t have any formal medical training so I will be volunteering at the local hospital chain. Luckily their a large group and have an entire volunteering website, and from what I hear a great program.
If you have none of the prereqs done, it sounds like finishing up your undergrad where you are makes sense. What trad students do is have their prereqs done by the end of their junior year, take MCAT’s that spring, apply in the summer for the following year in the fall, then complete their senior year of courses prior to med school. You will end up (because of the need for gen chem before O chem) not finishing your prereqs till 2013. But as you say, that will give you a chance to take biochem and genetics, that sort of thing, which will only help you in medical school. You could also increase your volunteer experience.
Plenty of time
I haven’t met with the pre-med advisor at my school for fear of being laughed at. I really need to get over this of course, and it would be a great step in overcoming my axieties about my age and choice of studies. I have seen postings around campus and on the school website for a medical interest club which is chaired by the A&P instructor. He’s a retired surgeon, so probably would be a good thing to do. I’m beginning to wonder if I should have called my post “Help! I need a support group!”
I’m sure you wouldn’t be the first ‘older’ person to talk to your advisor That’s what s/he is there for. Don’t let negativity deter you from your goal. My whole family is very much against me changing careers and I have seen some shocked faces when I shared my plans with others. You’ll get used to it
Don’t be surprised if some of the most negative folks are doctors you know. I have had more than one ask me “why I would want to do that?”
- RomanGrace Said:
Laughed at? Well, I took the math placement test for the state-school and scored so horribly I couldn't even take the lowest level of math offered, but instead had to complete two less than 100 level courses via the community colleges. I still strolled into the advising office the next day and said "HEY! I wanna be a doctor. What degree do I need?"
I didn't discover SDN until last year, and OPM a few months back. That advisor, who later moved on to create a separate pre-professional (med/law) advising office, was virtually my sole source of info for 3 years. GO TALK TO YOUR ADVISOR. They are a precious, precious goldmine.
Finally... you can do this. The only thing that can stop you is doubt. One of the first questions that advisor asked me was what my backup plan was. My response was "Backup plan? I'm not planning to fail." (He hates when I say that, BTW, but quit asking me by the 2nd or 3rd year).
Thanks so much EVERYONE for the encouragement, advice and support! Didn’t expect so many replies from so many awesome people!