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DIY "Post bacc" success stories?

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jp104

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Hello,

Just wondering if anyone has decided to take the requirement classes a la carte as opposed to a more formal Post Bacc program and if they were successful in getting into med school.

Pros of a DIY program:

- More flexible for the non-trad student
- In some cases, considerably less expensive

Pros of a formal Post Bacc:

- Pre medical advisement
- Structured classes
- Recommendation letters easier to obtain?

Generally speaking, one could just take courses at any accredited college and take the MCATs?

Any information would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

LilyMD

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I think a lot, if not most, of non-trads do it the DIY way, in part, bc many of them are older and have families/spouses and need to consider in terms of costs (to continue working) and geographic location. Check around on the past threads in other sections on this forum and search for "non-traditional" or "post-bacc" and you'll see that they're a lot of DIY post-bacc success stories.

From what I've heard money and the ability to attend part-time while keeping a job is a big plus when it comes to the DIY route. As far as formal programs, a lot of these programs are full-time and can be completed within a year, which many consider beneficial. Also, it's more than just easier to get recommendation letters - many of the formal programs were created and geared completely towards creating competitive med school applicants out of post-baccs. So you don't just get a really personalized and well put together recommendations from the school automatically. Many public, state schools do have premed committees but they're is not that kind of personalization in my experience. Also, some smaller colleges may, but more often than not, they are private and won't save much money from the formal programs. Plus, don't forget the linkage programs that a lot of the formal post-baccs provide (some which allow you to bypass the MCAT). But then again, if you are driven you can get your professors to know you, impress them, and get a great score on the MCAT, so you can make yourself a competitive application for a lot less at a state school and a lot of the DIY success stories can attest to that.
 

hilikus

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I'm going the DIY way. I am married and have a full-time job so it's really the only way right now. but it's going well and I have an advisor who works pretty closely with me. I like the experience and I really enjoy being able to pick and choose.
 

LoneCoyote

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I guess I am a success story. I did my post bac at a state school after getting a degree in history and working in the legal field, took 2 years to do it and actually ended up getting a 2nd bachelor's degree in biology in the process. I'm a Californian so the med school admissions process was fairly maddening since the UC system is tough to get into. But 2 days ago I got into one of my top choices for med school, UC Davis. It was the end of a lot of work, but it all paid off.

For me the "do it yourself way" worked out best. I did not want to spend the money on a formal program at a private school or to have the stress of being in a competitive environment like that. I am easily able to motivate myself to do well though, so if you do better in a competitive environment, you might want to do a formal program instead. The state school was great for me, I got to connect well with professors and to do some awesome research. There were plenty of clinical opportunities available for volunteering. I had use of the universities premed advising and letter services as a post bac. It really worked out well for me. Think about the kind of environment you want to be in when you are thinking about where to go. If you're in the right place for you, it'll help you to do well in your classes.
 
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jp104

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Hey Azpremed,

Congrats on getting into UC Davis!
 

LoneCoyote

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Originally posted by jp104
Hey Azpremed,

Congrats on getting into UC Davis!

Thanks jp! I hope everything works out well for you and that you find a good post bac place to do it :)
 

LoneCoyote

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Originally posted by mjf
What state school in Ca did you complete your pre-reqs at?

i left the state and went to the university of arizona. but i would have gone to csu hayward to do it had i not decided i needed to get out of here for awhile for personal reasons. i'd encourage you to look into that program. i was impressed with it... it was structered and cheap and rents are more reasonable in the east bay now then they were when i was looking to get started.
 

mdforlife

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I guess I am a success story. I did my post bac at a state school after getting a degree in history and working in the legal field, took 2 years to do it and actually ended up getting a 2nd bachelor's degree in biology in the process. I'm a Californian so the med school admissions process was fairly maddening since the UC system is tough to get into. But 2 days ago I got into one of my top choices for med school, UC Davis. It was the end of a lot of work, but it all paid off.


I thought that you can only get one bachelors degree.
I am currently a postbac student and since I'll have to do it for the next 2 years, I was actually wondering if I could get a 2nd bachelors degree. I am doing postbac in columbia u. Do you know if it's possible to get a 2nd bachelors there? Will I have to apply separately? How does this process work to switch from postabc to undergrad to get a 2nd bacc.?
 

LoneCoyote

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Originally posted by mdforlife
I thought that you can only get one bachelors degree.
I am currently a postbac student and since I'll have to do it for the next 2 years, I was actually wondering if I could get a 2nd bachelors degree. I am doing postbac in columbia u. Do you know if it's possible to get a 2nd bachelors there? Will I have to apply separately? How does this process work to switch from postabc to undergrad to get a 2nd bacc.?

i am not sure how it works at columbia. i had a friend in their post bac program and from what she said about it seemed like it was just for doing the prereqs, not a 2nd degree. don't they have some school of general studies or something like that for adults? i've seen it advertised in the ny times. maybe you could do another degree thru that. it was very easy to do at state school. you just declared a major and took the classes. and they tranfserred in all the gen ed stuff from my 1st degree so i didn't have to touch any of that. talk to an advisor and see what they can do for you. good luck :)
 

tahitian3

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Don't forget about Drexel. They have their classes in the evenings (and not everyday I believe). So it is still possible to maintain a part-time job. So far, they are the only linkage post-bacc that I currently know of that let's you do that. Anyone know of any more?
 

LilyMD

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I think U. Maryland has this post-bacc program called "Sciences in the Evening" specifically catered to those who would like or need to continue working.
 

vtucci

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I found a program that is in between. I considered Columbia and a few others but ultimately choose City College of New York for three reasons: (1) cost; (2) excellent advising; and (3) diversity of student body.

For most of my post-bac experience, I have been working as an attorney and I found City College's numerous evening classes to be a tremendous help. I did not have to take off from work like I would have if I went to Columbia.

Also, the tuition at City was roughly $6000 for a year (2 semesters and summer session) and I will be done this summer so the total cost of my program will probably be $9000-10000.

The advising is also fantastic. Lolita Wood-Hill and Emily Rosario are excellent resources and really in tune with the process and the students. They (along with others) form a pre-medical committee and coordinate letters of recommendation, MCAT advising. They review our AMCAS and secondary applications to medical school. As a post-bac, it is nice to have a professional to speak with about this process.

Also, I noticed some misc. comments about 2nd degrees. You can get a second BA. At City College, you can get a second degree in one of the sciences but it usually will take you beyond the two years (or 1 1/2 years in my case) to finish the pre-reqs.
 

mophead

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I did my post-bacc at the University of Maryland in College Park (finished in 2000) for cost and convenience reasons. I was signed up as a "second bachelor's degree" student but never actually obtained the degree, nor did I intend to. Some of the classes were in that "sciences in the evening" thing, some were the regular undergrad classes. The advising system there was pretty good (they collected rec letters for you and then sent them out to the med schools). I can't see any disadvantage of having done it that way at all. I'm now a third year med student, so it worked for me!
 
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