Jan 10, 2010
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I was recently accepted into a 12 month, pre- med post bacc program. I know its going to be an intense program and I was wondering if any other non-trads on this board have gone through a 1 year post bacc. I am 25 years old with no kids (unless my crazy puppy counts :)

My courses will be as follows:

Summer:

Chemistry I, II, labs

Fall/ Spring:

Bio+ lab
Ochem+ lab
Physics + Lab
MCAT prep

I'd love to hear about your experiences, advice, etc.
 

zebalong

10+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2007
524
28
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Did something similiar, finished in 12 months while working full time. If you're focused it should be no problem. The only time that kind of sucks is your last semester (i did the same orgo2/physics/MCAT prep) if you are working full time, it was painful for me. If your not working full time there is no reason its not doable.. not easy but definitely possible.
 

phltz

7+ Year Member
May 13, 2010
889
30
Status
Medical Student
Many postbac programs specialize in non-traditional, career changing students. Keep on top of your classes, and try to make time to do some sort of medical volunteering. Your program may even help you find volunteering opportunities. An organized program will lay out a clear path for you to follow that will give you pretty good odds of getting in somewhere. My main piece of advice would be to relax and enjoy yourself a bit before you get started - doing Gen Chem + lab over the summer will likely be very intense.
 

Micahfeld

10+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2009
82
0
Mississippi
Status
Medical Student
As a non-traditional MS1, I can definitely relate to your situation. I was in your shoes not very long ago, and I was able to put together a competitive application in a very short period of time. My story is not at all typical, but I think that you will find it encouraging.

I'm 31 and married with 2 children (number 3 is on the way). I have a bachelors degree in business administration, and I worked full-time as a manufacturing supervisor responsible for a 3-shift operation (~50 hours per week) while I was taking the prerequisites and preparing to take the MCAT.

From the beginning of my post-bacc to my acceptance was 9 months. Professors and advisors told me that it wasn't possible, but I'm proof positive that it can be done.

I had taken Calculus I/II and Chemistry I/II as a freshman back in 1998. Since my chemistry courses were over 10 years-old, I retook Chem II to refresh my knowledge and get back into the academic game.

Here was my "informal" post-bacc (I began in Jan. 2009):

Spring '09 (9 hours):
Chem II w/ lab
Bio I w/ lab
MCAT Prep (Examkrackers)

Summer '09 (18 hours):
1st term
Organic I w/ lab
Physics I w/lab

2nd Term
Organic II w/ lab
Physics II w/ lab

Fall '09 (12 hours):
Biochemistry I w/ lab
Physical Chemistry I w/ lab (thermodynamics and kinetics)
Biology II w/ lab

Spring '10 (12 hours):
Histology w/ lab
Physical Chemistry II w/ lab (quantum mechanics)
Anatomy and Physiology I w/ lab

I took the MCAT on June 18, 2009, and I applied early decision as soon as I got my score back in July. I was accepted on Sept. 9, 2009 with the remainder of the prerequisites to complete.

Don't depend on your coursework alone to prepare you for the MCAT. Use Examkrackers materials (books and 1001 questions) to study, and don't be afraid to work ahead of where you are in your coursework. Take the AAMC practice tests online to get familiar with the test and its mechanics. Do the free one early so that you know what type of beast the MCAT is.

Good luck with your coursework and MCAT preparation. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't accomplish your goals. Surround yourself with people that believe in you and want to help you achieve your goals.

Micah
 

fmhernandez

Postbac Student
Oct 13, 2009
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Congratulations on your acceptance! I'm a current student in the 12-month program at Scripps College, which does mean I haven't finished yet, but I hope you'll still be happy to hear it's doable.

My schedule is very similar to the one you outlined: two semesters of gen chem in the summer, now I'm about to wrap up my first semester of intro bio, ochem and physics.

Like people before me have told you, it's hard, but it is doable! In addition to classes and labs, I also volunteer and work, which just means I have to be really structured and deliberate about my study time. What works for me is to schedule study time: Unfortunately I have to study about four hours outside of class for every hour I'm in class, but it may be less for you.

Even with all this, I still get to sleep about seven hours a night, work out two-three times a week, have dinner with my husband, and see my friends one evening almost every weekend. I have even done some pleasure reading this semester!

I have heard, though, from a friend who just finished the program the year before that the spring semester, when you add MCAT study to the mix, is brutal. It'll just have to be something we get through!

Good luck with your program, and just try to stay positive!
 

spiderpete

dontstartalandwarinasia
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 6, 2008
284
3
Chicago
Status
Medical Student
Same as other posters, hard but doable. I did 2 six week semesters over the summer, bio and chem plus labs. Then I had orgo and physics fall and spring. I studied for the mcat continuously, with extra concentration on winter break and 1 month after spring. I am 48, married, 3 little kids, a part time business (gotta pay the mortgage), and live an hour away from school. Still I managed to be home for dinner with the family most every night and managed to get the grades needed for med school.

gl. Stay positive.
 

IamAriDO

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 26, 2008
172
0
Ft. Lauderdale Part Duex
Status
Medical Student
Did essentially the same thing,

Graduated in 2007 with a BA in Psych with none of the pre-reqs. Immediately enrolled the next fall and ..
Fall Term
Bio I W/Lab
Physics I W/Lab
Chem I W/lab (at a school an hour away from the other one, d/t course scheduling issues)

Then took the next sequence all at the same school luckily
Spring
Chem II W/Lab
Physics II W/Lab
Bio II W/Lab

Then over summer I took a 12 week Orgo I/II class. I did not do the lab until the following fall/spring. This let me focus on MCAT and I figured I could still work near full time with a 4 hour lab once a week during the year. Took the MCAT the week after finishing orgo II. Applied....and GOT IN. So ya.... from the moment I decided at the end of my senior year of college to do it---->acceptance was about 18 months. You are 25 (so am I) so just do it. My dad started Med School at 41. Go for the gold

IamAriDO
 
Nov 10, 2010
19
0
Status
Did essentially the same thing,

Graduated in 2007 with a BA in Psych with none of the pre-reqs. Immediately enrolled the next fall and ..
Fall Term
Bio I W/Lab
Physics I W/Lab
Chem I W/lab (at a school an hour away from the other one, d/t course scheduling issues)

Then took the next sequence all at the same school luckily
Spring
Chem II W/Lab
Physics II W/Lab
Bio II W/Lab
How difficult did you find that Fall Term to be? I'm enrolled in Spring '11 (my first semester working on prereqs) and was looking at a similar schedule. I'm a little cautious about jumping into Chem I/Bio I/Phys I plus labs being that this is my first semester back in school and I'd hate to sabotage my GPA in my first semester. If you or anybody has any feedback on this course load, I'd like to hear it.
 

SFO-IST

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
522
3
Status
Medical Student
It's doable. I did the same thing.

- volunteer in a clinical capacity during your post-bac not because you want something on your resume, but because it will motivate you. Classes can sometimes seem abstract and pointless.

- don't work while doing a postbac if at all possible. make that the sole focus of your life. cut social activities down to 0.

- workout regularly to up regulate metabolic activities and improve study retention.

- apply really, really early to MD and DO schools (note DO schools start in May).

- go crazy on your personal statement. I did 15 drafts. Be sure to have people who don't really care about your application (like overworked premed advisors) look at it. The idea is to get someone slightly burnt out take just 30 seconds to look at it and go WOW! This will simulate the admissions person who must read through thousands of essays each year.

good luck!
 

TriagePreMed

Membership Revoked
Removed
Apr 28, 2010
6,216
32
Status
I wish I could have done a quicker schedule, but my school barely has money for 2 sections a semester. They purposely made the big sciences conflict so nobody takes more than 3.

My schedule has ended up as follows:

Summer
-Human Anatomy w/lab
-Human Biology

Fall
-General Chemistry 1 w/lab
-General Physics 1 w/lab
-Medical Terminology

Spring
-General Chemistry 2 w/lab
-General Physics 1 w/lab
-General Biology 1 w/lab

Summer
-Probability and Statistics

Fall
-Organic Chemistry 1 w/separate lab.
-General Biology 2 w/lab

Spring
-Organic Chemistry 2 w/lab
-Applied Calculus
-MCAT Study

I could have had this bad boy done by Fall if they didn't announce that they won't be offering any advanced chemistry or biology or calculus this summer (only the remedial one for incoming high schoolers).
 
Nov 23, 2010
55
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I'm very curious about the responses here. In another thread I just posted people said that 2-year post-bac was much preferrable to a 12 or 18 month program. Is this only because of the difficulty?

I've just come to the full decision to make this switch - I'm 26 (27 in March) and will not NEED to work in order to support myself during the process. I would like to start my classes as soon as possible (i.e. January if I can). The one bummer is that I am pre-committed for this summer, so June through August I need to be in Southern New Hampshire. But the rest of the time I'll be in the Bay Area of California and there seem to be a few post-bac options there.

If I can't get into a formal post-bac for Jan '11 can I at least start taking the courses at, say UC Berkely (I know I can apply to their extension classes in December for the Jan. start). And then apply to finish my courses through a post-bac?

Is doing a post-bac of a great deal more value than piecing the classes together on your own?

Anyone have recommendations for Bay Area programs?

Thanks all! Learning so much reading these boards.