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1 yr or 2 yr post bac?

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businessmd06

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Hello All,

I am a non trad trying to figure out what is the best route to take to gain first time acceptance. I can either do a 1 yr post bac (June - Aug) at NYU or Hunter, or a 2 year track at these schools or Columbia. I am coming from a very successful career in financial services (ran my own company), however I will need to do the following:

1. Volunteer / Shadow
2. Do well in Post Bac classes
3. Kick butt on the MCAT
4. Apply Early

My questions is will the one year program enable me enough time to shadow / volunteer / study for MCAT and get my apps ready? Also when do schools start accepting apps? If I wish to have the best chance I have read people suggest applying early. Does this mean I may have to take the MCAT before I am done all my post bac classes in order to get an early app? (Gen Chem in Summer) Ochem / Bio - Fall / Ochem Phy or Bio Spring / either all Phy next summer or one Phy one Bio)

With the new MCAT schedule coming out, maybe this would not be so bad... I would prefer the one year track, but obviously everthing is condensed rather sharply. What date is still considered early for application?

I have a 3.4 in MSIS / Compsci graduated 2001 from a tier 1 University.... the post bac should get me close to a 3.5 assuming all goes well. I have strong LOR possible and very strong work experience.

Thoughts?
 

priam18

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It's possible to do all those things in one year, but there are a few things you have to consider.

First of all, have you ever taken any science courses? It sounds (based on your post, I could be wrong) as if you're going into this w/o any science background, which while it's still doable, it will be a lot harder without any science background. In addition, adcoms will take this into account. Busting your ass for a year taking science courses and doing well is okay, but can you do it on a consistent basis? In this scenario, I think a post-bacc for two years would be more adviseable.

Secondly, while it is possible that the pre-med pre-reqs you'll be taken during post-bacc (genchem, orgo, physics, biology) will prepare you for the MCATs, a year might not be sufficient time to prepare for MCAT material simply based on what you're learning in class. Unless you're just a genius with the MCATs, you're gonna need some familiarity and comfort with the material before going into the MCATs. However, it is doable. You could take genchem (1&2) during the summer and physics (1), orgo (1), and bio (1) during the first semester. Those courses themselves cover a great deal of what is on the MCATs (Orgo 2 isn't on the MCAT at all I hear). The remaining topics from Physics 2 and Bio 2 (a list of which is on the AAMC website) you could look up and study by yourself. However, what you have to keep in mind is that all these courses will include labs, which are very important in understanding the material (at least they were for me) and those can take hours. And 3 science courses with labs in one semester is pretty hefty, even for science freaks. Add to that the volunteering/shadowing you plan on doing...again, 2 years might be a better option.

As for the timing of applying early, I'm pretty sure (someone correct me on this if I'm wrong) that you can be currently enrolled in your pre-reqs and apply to medical school. So for example, you could have taken genchem 1 and 2 in the summer, orgo/bio/physics 1 in the fall, and be enrolled in orgo/bio/physics 2 in the spring, and still apply. However, I dont think you can apply unless you've either taken the pre-reqs or are enrolled in the pre-reqs (like, you can't wait till the summer to take a couple and apply before taking them.) However, this is only a problem if you plan on turning in your application very early. What you could do is take the rest of your pre-reqs in the summer of your second year and apply while you're taking those courses. I believe your application will be accepted in that situation and it will still be relatively early.

A few things you should also keep in mind though are dates. MCATs are taken in April and August, and the medical school admissions process starts in...June, I believe. In addition, if you're on planning on going to Hunter (I'll be starting Hunter this coming summer), you should be aware that a pre-med commitee letter will not be written for you until you've completed your pre-reqs (which, if you wont be taking some till the summer you're applying, will not get to AAMC in sufficient time, delaying your application.)

Good luck with everything.
 

priam18

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Correction: Hunter will write the committee letter after completing 6 science lecture courses.
 

ATrim7

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Another thing to take into account is that the MCAT will be changing to CBT (Computer Based Testing) in 2007. I have read and heard many different accounts of how often the test will be administered. I believe I read something on the AAMC website that said the MCAT will be given 22 times during the first year it moves to CBT.

Can anyone confirm this? Will students now entering post-bac programs have the same restriction of the April/August MCAT? I believe this is not going to be an issue moving forward.
 

hokiemon

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oh sweet, i didnt realize that but i looked in to it. seems like the test will be administered about 20 times per year.

http://www.kaptest.com/oneoff/mcat-...l;jsessionid=JAHPHSTOULFSFLA3AQJXBNFMDUCBE2HC


ATrim7 said:
Another thing to take into account is that the MCAT will be changing to CBT (Computer Based Testing) in 2007. I have read and heard many different accounts of how often the test will be administered. I believe I read something on the AAMC website that said the MCAT will be given 22 times during the first year it moves to CBT.

Can anyone confirm this? Will students now entering post-bac programs have the same restriction of the April/August MCAT? I believe this is not going to be an issue moving forward.
 

businessmd06

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Thanks for the replies....

I definitly see the benefit of the 2 year track, what I could do is take all my pre req's as follows: (Summer Session Gen Chem) Fall Session (O CHem / Bio 1) Spring Session (Ochem / Bio 2) and then summer session (Phy 1) and either Phy 2 or wait till fall. This would get me all my pre reqs out of the way with the spring semester to do MCAT prep course, apps and LOR. I would then be able to take the Earliest MCAT and get my app in ASAP in June. This track would also allow me to shadow and volunteer during the fall / spring and also during my application time in the 2nd spring semester. I probably would not do too many EC stuff during the summer session if I am taking classes.

This is my first hard science, as my field (Merchant Banking) does not use it, however, I do have the advantage of having a great tutor (my wife) who is a Micro Bio PHD at Columbia (5th yr) and who also majored in Chem in undergrad :)

I am 27 now, so obviously I would like to get moving, and to wait 3 yrs to matriculate at med school seems far off, but then again whats one year.

If I do this way, I will rule out Columbia, as they require 2 years of classwork for the pre req's with no summer session. This would mean I would still be taking 2 classes and trying to prepare for MCAT etc. There is no advantage to their program as far as getting my plate clean the spring I will take the MCAT. Their only advantage is a 94% placement 1st app to Med School (I am not sure how, with all the students only taking Aug MCAT, and not getting apps in till Sept) but this does count for something. It would leave me with Hunter, or NYU were I can tailor my schedule as I see fit.

Sorry for the long message.. any thoughts with this new info is appreciated!
 

Lindyhopper

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It's possible but difficult. A fair number of programs have 11 month options that regularly get people into med school. But it is intense.
Anyway, to make it work, make sure you take general chem in the summer as it is a prereq. of organic.
 

kayakgirl

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I was accepted into 9 postbac programs and debated for quite a while, but in the end I picked a one year program and I'm so glad I did. While it was more academically intense than anything I had been through before, I definitely had time to volunteer, do a few extracurriculars (ran my first marathon!), and I felt perfectly prepared for the MCAT and did better than I expected.

In retrospect, it turned out to be the perfect preparation for medical school as well, which basicially involves learning huge amounts of information fast (while studying for the USMLE).

So I'm a fan. But at the same time, it is very difficult. If you have any doubts about your ability to pick up the coursework quickly, and to handle the workload, I would stick with a two year program to really give yourself the time to learn the material well, and get the best grades and MCATS you can.
 

businessmd06

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Well I got in to NYU for classes beginning May 15h :) - I am going to try to do it in one year, although we will see how Gen Chem goes in the summer... If it is more difficult then expected I will slow the pace down for the remaining semesters.

Side question: Did the people who took Gen Chem in the summer sessions feel they were able to learn the material to be competant on the MCAT and in Med School? Do they feel the shortened program did not have the same depth as the full semester class?
 

bubbles!

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businessmd06 said:
Well I got in to NYU for classes beginning May 15h :) - I am going to try to do it in one year, although we will see how Gen Chem goes in the summer... If it is more difficult then expected I will slow the pace down for the remaining semesters.

Side question: Did the people who took Gen Chem in the summer sessions feel they were able to learn the material to be competant on the MCAT and in Med School? Do they feel the shortened program did not have the same depth as the full semester class?

Yup- I did a one year bostbac with gen chem over summer and I did very well on the MCAT and I'm doing fine in medical school. It's a lot to learn in a short period of time, but it's certainly do-able, and I don't feel at all at a disadvantage compared to my classmates. If anything, I'm better off since I took my premed courses much more recently than most of them did.
 
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