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Career Changer: Requesting help picking a Post-Bacc.

May 15, 2020
9
4
1
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey all! New to this forum and everyone's been beyond wonderful so far. The amount of helpful information is awesome!

I've been reading old threads for hours.

I'll get right to it: I'm in my early 30's and aspire to become an MD. I have BS in Computer Science and originally wanted to be a programmer, but more and more I feel like it is not the right fit for me. I don't want to sit in front of a computer screen all day, I don't feel directly helpful to anyone, I don't want to work for a corporation simply to make money for shareholders. The pay is good and possibly a good amount of free time but I don't know if it's worth having a career that I have zero passion for in exchange for a good out-of-work lifestyle.

Stats:
Undergrad GPA: 3.25 Bachelor of Science in "Mathematics: Computer Science" (one major, that's the title) from local private liberal arts school
No science classes / no pre-reqs
Limited volunteering, no shadowing, no clinical experience, no research, no leadership. Basically nothing.

Looking for suggestions on a post-bacc program. I would prefer some structure but cost is a factor as well. I'm guessing I won't be able to get into Scripps, BrynMawr, Goucher, etc.

Is there an FAQ or list of career-changer post-bacc programs and their pros and cons?

Will it hurt my chances at success if I go full-DIY and just hope that I can get in the required courses each semester?

Is Harvard Extension school realistic? What about Adelphi, Hofstra, or a SUNY? I prefer New York, if possible, and if not New York then NY/NJ/CT/PA/MA area, unless there is some program or school that is a perfect fit for me.

I just don't know where to begin. What should my first steps be?

I really need all the help I can get and I'm beyond grateful for anyone willing to provide advice.


THANK YOU!
 

GreenDuck12

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
2,107
2,271
226
  1. Medical Student
Hey all! New to this forum and everyone's been beyond wonderful so far. The amount of helpful information is awesome!

I've been reading old threads for hours.

I'll get right to it: I'm in my early 30's and aspire to become an MD. I have BS in Computer Science and originally wanted to be a programmer, but more and more I feel like it is not the right fit for me. I don't want to sit in front of a computer screen all day, I don't feel directly helpful to anyone, I don't want to work for a corporation simply to make money for shareholders. The pay is good and possibly a good amount of free time but I don't know if it's worth having a career that I have zero passion for in exchange for a good out-of-work lifestyle.

Stats:
Undergrad GPA: 3.25 Bachelor of Science in "Mathematics: Computer Science" (one major, that's the title) from local private liberal arts school
No science classes / no pre-reqs
Limited volunteering, no shadowing, no clinical experience, no research, no leadership. Basically nothing.

Looking for suggestions on a post-bacc program. I would prefer some structure but cost is a factor as well. I'm guessing I won't be able to get into Scripps, BrynMawr, Goucher, etc.

Is there an FAQ or list of career-changer post-bacc programs and their pros and cons?

Will it hurt my chances at success if I go full-DIY and just hope that I can get in the required courses each semester?

Is Harvard Extension school realistic? What about Adelphi, Hofstra, or a SUNY? I prefer New York, if possible, and if not New York then NY/NJ/CT/PA/MA area, unless there is some program or school that is a perfect fit for me.

I just don't know where to begin. What should my first steps be?

I really need all the help I can get and I'm beyond grateful for anyone willing to provide advice.


THANK YOU!

I did the premedical program at Harvard Extension and liked it. They don’t have any requirements for taking classes but the premedical program that offers advising and a committee letter requires an application. I’m not sure where you are located but if you’re in the Boston area you’ll be hard pressed to find a more affordable program. That being said, I’m not sure I would relocate to take classes at HES as opposed to a local university.

The things that I looked for in a postbac program was:
1. Classes that were available and were offered outside normal work hours. This allowed me to continue teaching while pursuing a career change.
2. Cost. I knew that if I made it to medical school I would be looking at a significant amount of debt and I wanted to make sure I didn’t add to that with postbac classes.
3. Advising. I wanted to have access to advisors who could help me prepare a strong application for medical schools.
 
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lumya

Indoor Cat
2+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2018
704
1,402
126
  1. Medical Student
Hi! I am also a career changer and I did a DIY post-bacc. It won’t hurt your chances as long as you do well on your courses. One of the reasons I chose to do it myself is because a lot of structured post-bacc programs would’ve made it impossible for me to continue to work full time. Perks of those is that someone helps you pick the classes and a lot have other things structured in like volunteering and shadowing that might help your application. Generally you will need two credits of each course: biology, physics, general chemistry, and organic chemistry. Most places might also require English, social behavioral courses, and biochemistry.
You can check out this page on the AAMC website and they have a database of post-bacc courses.

In addition to just classes it’s important to do other things like volunteering and shadowing. Research isn’t that heavily emphasized for non-traditional students. If I was starting over what what I know now this would be my order of steps:
1) Decide if you have the finances to do a formal post-bacc or if you need to keep working. Both are doable and it depends on your life situation.
2) If doing a your own post-bacc enroll at your local community college or 4-year university. I actually used to work at a university and that covered the cost of tuition which is great if you’re able to find something similar. Most admissions offices have special departments for non-degree students so you don’t have to apply.
3) I would recommend taking just one or two classes because it’s incredibly important to have a good GPA. Since you have no science GPA right now, if you can get a 4.0 on your post-bacc it will really help your chances. It took me over 2 years to finish all my classes. Be okay with this taking a long time.
4) Sign up to volunteer. You need clinical and non clinical. Clinical includes hospitals and clinic volunteering, or places like the Red Cross where you will see patients. Non clinical will be things like a food bank or a homeless shelter. Start soon because the longer your commitments are, they better they will be.
5) Find shadowing. This was something I struggled with because a lot of hospitals have relationships with schools to offer positions to students first. Check what university you enroll with if you’re able to find something. Be bold. I’ve asked my personal doctors for contacts of their coworkers or asked family friends.
6) You will need at a minimum 1-2 letters of rec from science professors and 1 from a non science professor. So make sure you go to office hours and establish that relationship with them.

I’m sure there’s tons of things I’m missing but I hope this provided some information. Best of luck!
 
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Reactions: 1 user
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