Oct 18, 2020
6
2
Status
  1. Non-Student
Hi, everyone! First off, thanks to anyone who takes the time to respond to this. I am grateful for your consideration in these trying times.

I am a recent college grad. I graduated from an Ivy League school ~6 months ago with a degree in applied math and economics. I have a 3.92 GPA (cumulative). I am currently slated to start full-time in a consulting firm in January, but over the past six months have deeply shifted my focus to changing careers to medicine. I considered medicine out of high school, and I have lived with a chronic illness for 12 years, so I have a personal connection to healthcare. I've volunteered in hospital settings, interned for health tech startups, and mentored kids with chronic illnesses.

I am thinking of applying to career-changer post-baccs in a year. My only doubts:
  • I went to a school with a very liberal pass/fail policy, and in the spirit of liberal education, I ended up taking one class pass/fail each semester. Will this negatively impact me? Will I not get into any competitive post-bacc as a result (e.g., Bryn Mawr, Goucher, Penn, etc.)? The only reassurance is that the rest of my grades were great and I snagged a 3.92.
  • I have yet to accumulate enough volunteer experience. So should I wait to do that first and then apply?
Any thoughts on this are greatly appreciated!
 
Sep 22, 2019
25
17
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
This might be in the obvious/needless to say category, but since I attended a school that also has a very particular curriculum and grading policies, I have found it to be incredibly helpful to reach out to fellow graduates of my college who did well at postbacs. I'd be shocked if you weren't able to find some people who fit the bill if you went to an Ivy (I assume Brown since you mentioned pass/fail?), and I think that most people are really happy to give advice.

That said, having a 3.9+ is awesome, and it sounds like you've already put a lot of thought into why you'd like to pursue medicine. You mention that you have some volunteer experience already, so I wonder what you consider the cut-off to have enough. Remember, you'll be able to volunteer throughout your postbac year (and glide year, should you take one), so I wouldn't think that you need as many volunteer hours as you might want by the time med school applications roll around.
 
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Oct 18, 2020
6
2
Status
  1. Non-Student
This might be in the obvious/needless to say category, but since I attended a school that also has a very particular curriculum and grading policies, I have found it to be incredibly helpful to reach out to fellow graduates of my college who did well at postbacs. I'd be shocked if you weren't able to find some people who fit the bill if you went to an Ivy (I assume Brown since you mentioned pass/fail?), and I think that most people are really happy to give advice.

That said, having a 3.9+ is awesome, and it sounds like you've already put a lot of thought into why you'd like to pursue medicine. You mention that you have some volunteer experience already, so I wonder what you consider the cut-off to have enough. Remember, you'll be able to volunteer throughout your postbac year (and glide year, should you take one), so I wouldn't think that you need as many volunteer hours as you might want by the time med school applications roll around.
Got it, thanks this was really helpful! Yes, I've reached out to some alums to see what advice they can potentially offer. But I'm just hoping that I don't dig my own grave with the pass/fail grades despite having a really high GPA. I am not sure how much volunteer/clinical experience one should hope to get for post-bacc applications as opposed to med school apps (the latter being much higher, naturally I'll do more volunteering and such in the post-bacc itself and in glide year possibly).
 
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Feb 25, 2020
10
6
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
Many of my classmates at BM went to a very specific Ivy League school with that exact pass/fail policy. Don't worry about it unless you failed a class.

If you're a recent college grad, the common question asked is "Why not pre-med in undergrad?" They're looking for any and every answer that isn't "because pre-med in undergrad is really hard" even though for many that is exactly why they did not go down that route. So, have a good answer for it.

Everyone has volunteering, clinical experience, and good grades for the most part. Everyone has a compelling reason why they want to pursue medicine. Everyone grew bored with their previous career. Everyone wanted to do something more meaningful. What can you tell a program director that will indicate to them that this change is not just a phase especially since you are on the younger end? Be genuine, sincere, and candid. The program directors have been doing this for a long, long time and can sense when applicants are just selling them the party line.

Finally, let's keep it real here. These top programs don't want to accept anyone who will put their 99%+ acceptance rate to medical school in jeopardy. If you get an interview, the odds of acceptance are in your favor because your records have already been screened. At that point the program just wants to make sure you didn't spend your whole life in a library and can actually effectively communicate with others. The hardest part is getting an interview since it is all a numbers game with so many qualified applicants each year.

TL,DR: Your stats and background are fine. If you get an interview, just don't be weird.

Best of luck and let me know if you have any other questions.
 
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