Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

Arguably lame post-bac location: thoughts?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by MermaidMD, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. MermaidMD

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    So I've been lurking quite a bit and have finally decided to post a thread about an application concern that's been nagging at the back of my brain for quite some time...

    I graduated from a top-50 UC campus in 2006 with a BA in English, GPA 3.54 (would have been higher but I studied abroad in England junior year and their marking is substantially tougher than in the US). I've spent the past two years piddling around in bottom tier healthcare and have decided that it's time to suck it up and do what I really want: apply to med school.

    Needless to say, I've got to take all my prerequisites. I'm currently at a community college--just finished Chem 1A and Trig (in preparation for Calculus) and received a 4.0 this semester. I'll finish next semester with Chem1B and *hopefully* Calculus (my Trig teacher submitted a petition on my behalf to waive the Precalculus prerequisite because I destroyed the curve in her class...muahahaha).

    I've applied to CSU Hayward for the Fall 2009 term. I wanted to apply to CSU San Jose but with the budget crisis in California, a great deal of the more impacted schools are no longer accepting applications from students who already hold a bachelor's degree. CSU Hayward (aka. CSU East Bay) is the only other school of "commutable" distance, other than SFSU and a bunch of stupidly expensive private schools.

    My question is based on the fact that to this point, I've been kind of a school snob--I went to a UC and turned up my nose at the "state schools" like most UC students. I've learned from this forum the importance of "brick and mortar" schools, and I'm pretty sure there's some of that at CSU East Bay (though it's probably mostly bulletproof metals and glasses--yikes!), but I want to know how likely it is that adcoms will view my post-bac location to be as lame as I do. I'm not too concerned with not being able to pull off a respectable GPA, but I don't see the school's reputation changing in the next 2-3 years. Furthermore, if adcoms do see it as a lower tier school, what kind of scores do I need to get on my MCATs to balance this out?

    I'd especially love to hear from those of you who have applied to med schools from lower-tier undergraduate institutions due to financial constraints.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. gman33

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    493
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Any 4 year school is fine.
    The only caveat is that you need to make sure the classes prepare you for the MCAT. If not, you may have to learn some of the material on your own.
     
  4. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    7,509
    Likes Received:
    2,594
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Take a look at Berkeley extension as well. There's a fair amount of traffic in the postbac forum about doing prereqs there.

    I think the problem I'd have with CSU East Bay is that it's a depressing environment. Given how important it is to get great grades and be set up to succeed on the MCAT, spending a year's tuition at Mills et al might not be that bad an idea. You'll be over $200k in debt on the other side of med school anyway.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  5. RabbitMD

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    Mermaid, I'll be doing a postbac in the Bay Area too... I'm applying to Mills, even though it's expensive. After going to a public high school and then private college, I think a good private school is worth the $$ for the small, supportive environment, quality of facilities, instruction, MCAT prep, advising, etc... I'm sure people will disagree with me, but in my experience to some extent you get what you pay for!
     
  6. MermaidMD

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I'm know that debt is going to be a part of becoming a physician, but I don't want to incur it unnecessarily. I've done really well so far in both a pathetic excuse for a community college and a large, competitive UC. If I start at CSU East Bay and feel that it's not working out for me, I have no qualms about then considering the possibility of a private school. I'm pretty motivated, though, and a very hard independent worker, so I think I should be able to work with something more affordable (read: CSU).

    My concerns are more with the balancing act--how do I show that I could have run with the big dogs at Stanford if I had someone picking up the tab? It seems from what I've read on here, the MCAT is an important way to show adcoms your academic capabilities because it can be weighed directly against scores from other applicants who have attended private/public/community institutions.
     
  7. MermaidMD

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I was actually super gung-ho on the Berkeley Extension until I read the discussion in the SDN forum! It sounds like a lot of schools won't even consider applicants with Berkeley Extension prereqs and I don't want to take any chances there...

    As for the depressing environment at CSU East Bay, I think it's important to have an awareness of what the real world looks like. I'll be doing a lot of my volunteering at a high volume community hospital. Nothing to test your commitment to the profession than dodging bullets on the way to class and watching homeless winos get admitted to the ER...haha.
     
  8. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    888
    Likes Received:
    21
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I have no experience with the UC schools so this is just a suggestion based on experience but I would suggest that you go to a school that has a lot of resources. What I mean by that is, find a school that offers more than just the basic sciences or is affiliated with strong hospitals that will offer you opportunity to enhance your extra-cirrics and experience in medicine. I just think by paying the extra money to go to the post bac that I did, it was well worth it because I got to take a number of upper level sciences that prepared me for the workload and material that I would have in med school. And I had a number of top hospitals at my disposal so that I could gain the necessary experience that I needed to be a strong candidate.

    I just think having these resources at your fingertips will make a better, more diverse and better prepared candidate for med school. Good luck!
     
  9. MermaidMD

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Okay, but assuming my mind is made up on CSU East Bay, at least for 2009, my question is regarding how I can be most successful with the limiting factors the school may place on me.

    Will I need to do something unbelievable on the MCAT? Will adcoms even consider CSU East Bay to be as lame as I do?
     
  10. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    888
    Likes Received:
    21
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Well, then use that post bac to the best of your advantage. Take whatever classes you can to strengthen your GPA, forge strong relationships between yourself and your profs, and maintain a good relationship between you and your advisor and seek their help in finding good extra-cirrics to boost your app. Also, if finances are an issue, perhaps going to a smaller program, with theoretically cheaper tuition, may help you save money for med school. You could talk to your advisor about whether the school has relationships with nearby hospitals where you can get tuition reimbursement. This helped me get through a lot of my classes and gave some peace of mind by doing something else most of the week, and get reimbursed to take classes. Good luck!
     

Share This Page