Comp. Sci needing post bac advice

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by bestofluck, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. bestofluck

    bestofluck Junior Member
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    Hey all,
    I'm a newbie here. I 'm a 23 year old with a M.S. in Computer Science and have been working for about a year as a programmer(yawn). I've been pondering the thought of going to medical school and have finally come to a decision. I know I have to go post bac because I've perused through some of the questions on the practice MCAT and found it quite strenuous. My question is, as an undergrad I took bio and physics, for my sciences, but I would like to take them again. Would post bac schools allow me to do this, because I really don't remember too much of bio and physics. Also any other advice or comments or anyone else in the same boat as me? I'm glad I found this site.

    Thanks
     
  2. OmahaMX80

    OmahaMX80 Senior Member
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    Hey you... I know exactly how you feel. My bachelor's is also in Computer Science. However, it only took me 2 months as a programmer to realize I would never be happy with a career in computers. :) If you have taken all of the traditional premedical science courses (Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, & Physics) then I would recommend preparation specifically oriented to the MCAT. I took Kaplan's MCAT prep course and while the teaching was not noteworthy, they give you comprehensive science review material which is fairly complete. Not to mention 5 full length proctored practice tests (and as many as you want to take on your own). I don't mean to sound like I'm doing a plug for Kaplan, but I think if you retake science you've already had, you'll pay a lot more in tuition than is necessary and your real goal is to do well on the MCAT... so, I would say simply take a more direct approach and focus on prep'ing for the MCAT. If you do decide to take additional coursework, take something you haven't taken already, like anatomy & physiology, biochemistry, genetics, etc. Let me know how it goes!
     
  3. bestofluck

    bestofluck Junior Member
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    yeah but besides the review I also need letters of recommendation from the science staff. I can get letters of rec from my old comp sci teachers, but I don't think it'd do any good. it took me a year and a master's degree to realize that computers aren't best suited to me. So what's going on with you now? Did you apply to Med school? How was your overall experience in taking the mcat coming from a comp sci bg?
     
  4. OmahaMX80

    OmahaMX80 Senior Member
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    I'm on the alternate list at 4 schools right now. I'm still hopeful about getting in this year but if I don't then I'll reapply. I like my job right now and I've got great friends and a good life. Not getting in this year wouldn't be the end of the world for me. :)

    If I were you I'd approach your old science professors, if that's possible. I am lucky to live where I went to school so I had the benefit of being able to request a number of letters in person. The other thing to consider is that you have a Master's degree which will be favorable, believe it or not. It may be that your strongest letters won't come from science faculty. Most medical schools only want letters from one (or two at the most) science faculty anyway. They usually want one from a professor in your major area too, which wouldn't be a problem for you. And then a lot of schools allow you to send in other letters that you think will enhance your application. Most professors, furnished with your personal statement, CV, and transcript, will write you a letter. Your stronger letters will come from your old CS professors who know you, and doctors you know, etc. In your shoes, I'd consider everything... true, getting a good letter from a science faculty may be a challenge... but you WILL be able to get really good letters from CS faculty and others in your life, and you do have a Master's degree. If you're that concerned about it, I would take a science course you haven't had, and then solicit a letter from whoever teaches it. I just think it would be a waste of your time to go through classes you've already taken.

    But then, I haven't been accepted anywhere so take it for what it's worth. :)
     
  5. samenewme

    samenewme Senior Member
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    You'll have to ask at the individual formal postbaccs if they'll let you do it. I'm doing a DIY postbacc, and since I'm enrolled as a special student (no degree program and therefore transfer credits for them to evaluate), they won't stop me from retaking. They won't even know (much less care) that I took Physics I in 1983 and would like to to take it again.

    I had a C in the course back then, but my real reason for retaking is just to transition smoothly into the second semester, having had time to get used to how the faculty here teaches and grades, and having one more A (I hope) to help kick my total undergrad GPA over 3.5. Knock wood.

    If you take it at the same school where you took it before, you may have to jump through some hoops to retake for credit, but if it's been that many years you ought to be able to get permission with sufficient polite persistence.
     
  6. dhooppi

    dhooppi Member
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    I also travelled down the same path.

    BS in mathematical sciences, worked for 2 yrs in industry as a programmer, went to grad school for CS to try research, didn't like it and took orgo and the MCATS over the summer while in grad school. Ended up with 5 interviews, 1 rejection, 2 waitlisted, 2 acceptances.

    If you've already taken the pre-reqs and did well on them, I wouldn't recommend retaking them, but rather take some upper-level courses and bust your ass in the course to get good letters of rec from the profs that taught you.

    Feel free to PM with with specific questions.
     

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