Trying to figure out if a post bacc is the best option for me??

Hey everyone, thanks in advance for any advice!

Last December I graduated from a state school with my B.S. in Biology and a 3.2 GPA. My sophomore year I had an adviser who told me I would never get into med school based on my freshman biology grades, and basically said I shouldn’t even try. I listened to him, and continued to pursue my degree in biology (because I love science), but forgot any ambitions to join the medical field. It was something I wanted to do when I was younger, but started looking into other career options.

Following graduation I began working at a hospital as a lab tech with the intention to take a year off from school, and then go back to earn my M.S. in clinical laboratory science.

I hate working in the lab. I can’t even begin to describe how much I do not want to become medical technologist. I miss working with people so much, even the difficult people. I want to help people, but not in this way.

That being said, I love working in a hospital, love how much I have learned about patient care by talking to the nurses who I interact with/know, and love how much I have learned about the human body/diagnosing diseases. Thus I have come to the conclusion that I want to pursue a career as a medical professional, just not in the lab.

I have begun to seriously think about applying to a couple post bacc programs to take the pre-requisite courses I did not take as an undergraduate student and to get more relevant hospital experience. I’m just not sure if this is the right path for me.

I recently took anatomy and physiology at a local community college and received an A. I guess I’m wondering if it would be more beneficial to apply to post bacc programs or to continue to take the pre-requisites in this manner.

Thank you again!

Purely anecdotal, but I have gotten the impression that formal post-bac’s can be more beneficial as they often have advising, MCAT prep, and are associated with medical schools (sometimes with admission agreements). That being said, formal post bac’s usually require a full time commitment, so it would be very difficult to work during that time. They also tend to be quite expensive (20-30K for 1 year programs). For that reason, I decided to do a DIY post bac at a local college. I work full time and am taking ~ 2 classes a term. This is what makes the most sense for me, as I do not wish to double my student loan burden before even entering med school. However, if you live close to family and can make full time school work for you (maybe live at home etc) a full time post bac can show med schools that you can handle full time hard science material, which looks really good for admission committees.


Post Bacs are more expensive and a bigger time commitment, but if you can swing it, they can be very helpful.

@bullockkn wrote:

Purely anecdotal, but I have gotten the impression that formal post-bac’s can be more beneficial as they often have advising, MCAT prep, and are associated with medical schools (sometimes with admission agreements).

Formal postbaccs typically do not take in people with a science degree. They are looking for rock stars from other professions who have not taken science classes. Law, art, history, etc majors with high GPAs. Basically guaranteed success for the postbacc.

If you’ve taken most of the science pre-reqs, then formal postbaccs are typically not an option, and DIY is the only choice. Some publics have formal postbaccs but tend to save them for URMs and economically disadvantaged applicants. And there are a few (very few) formal postbaccs that will take anyone, but through a competitive application process.

There are two flavors of post bacc: career-changer and academic record enhancer. A great place to start would be the AAMC post bacc list (I recommend just googling it). You can actually filter on the programs in terms of what type of program it is! I had to look for both because I’m in a bizarre limbo between the two. In other words, there are formal post bacc programs that are designed for those who have already taken the pre-reqs.

You would be looking for a record-enhancer program but this will also depend on the premed requirements that you have (or haven’t) taken. As another poster has advised, you should look through the AAMC’s postbac database to identify programs that might be a good fit. Some programs (like the Harvard Extension School) are more flexible and fit the needs of both career changers and record enhancers. Good luck!