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First Post---Completely Lost

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by meliora27, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. meliora27

    meliora27 Physician 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    Hi All,

    A little background: In May 2006 I graduated with honors from a small, well-regarded liberal arts college with a major in political science and a minor in philosophy. All my life I've wanted to be a doctor but after taking an into poli sci course my freshman year of college I was absolutely fascinated by the material. As it was a liberal arts college I had to take a lot of elective courses and in the three science courses that I took I received A's in all of them. My overall GPA was slightly over 3.6. Always being interested in healthcare but being a political science major, I completed an honors thesis examining the effects of market privatization on healthcare in China. I'm now working in finance and still feel deep down that being a doctor is the only thing that would truly satisfy my intellectual curiosity and inquisitive nature as well as interest in science and medicine. I'm only 22 so I feel like I still have time. A few friends of mine who are in medical school suggested looking into "post-bacc" programs. What exactly would I need to do to become a competitive applicant for medical school or am I completely out of luck?
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  3. Sol Rosenberg

    Sol Rosenberg Long Live the New Flesh! 10+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2006
    Living in America
    Your GPA of 3.6, while not exceptional by Medical School standards, is about average, so it shouldn't hold you back. You will need to take the medical school prerequisite (science) courses and take the MCAT. You need to do well in those courses and on the MCAT. You can take the courses through a post-bac program, or just take them informally at your local 4-year University. You are not out of luck, it's just that you are on step 1 of a 100+ step process, so you need to do some more research and come back with more specific questions, but I hope that my response was somewhat helpful to you.
  4. Kateb4

    Kateb4 7+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2006
    Agreed, your GPA should be fine, so long as you can maintain good grades in the prereq classes GPA should not be an issue. The MCAT will really be important for you, keep that in mind when taking the prereqs also, since that is the material that you will be tested on mostly.

    As for doing a post-bacc, I'm not sure what you are looking for. There were several friends of mine doing post-bacc work at my university to complete their prereqs, but it was not a special program and they didn't earn any special degree for it. They were just taking undergrad courses post graduation with their bacc degree. There are some SMP's or grad programs that you could consider, but again those may take longer depending on your previous work, since alot of these have the same science pre-reqs. (Hopefully someone else will post of more programs that they are familiar with)

    Really, you aren't that far off. It may take you 2 years to complete the pre-reqs depending on what you have already taken, but if this is what you really want it is certainly do-able, and you have a good base to start with (your GPA is not going to hurt you at all, there are many of us on here working with much less) so do some more research. Look into schools that you may be interested in and look into their programs. Read these boards thru this years application cycle and you'll be fine.

    Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.
  5. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection Physician Faculty SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Inside the tesseract
    To be competitive, besides maintaining your GPA or improving it, and getting a good MCAT score, you need to work on obtaining appropriate extracurriculars, like volunteering (preferably with patient contact), shadowing docs, and possibly working in a clinical environment. You need to demonstrate that you know what being a doc is all about. Many medical schools consider that research experience makes a candidate more attractive. You can get a lot of excellent and more specific advice by reading through this forum and pre-allopathic.
  6. sidewalkman

    sidewalkman 10+ Year Member

    Jun 11, 2004
    Yep, you need to enroll in a post-bacc program that focuses on the pre-req classes for medical school. Your GPA is good; no worries there. Now you have to choose a program. Some questions to consider are:

    Would I be willing to move to complete a post-bacc program that appeals to me, or do I have to stay locally?

    Do I want to be part of a formal program? Am I OK taking the classes on my own with little support structure?

    Do I want to be in a program that offers linkages? Are they worth considering?

    Do I have financial restrictions?

    Hang out on the post-bacc section of SDN for a while. You'll get a better sense of direction after reading some posts there.

    Also, consider adding a little volunteer experience now. Yeah, you have a FT job, but opps on the weekend do exist.
  7. CJC

    CJC Post Bacc 2+ Year Member

    Dec 22, 2006
    I believe I'm in the same boat as you...I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but the humanities of undergrad really interested me. I didn't even really think that after graduating I could go back so I'm very thankful to a Peace Corps buddy who pointed me out to both this website and to post-bacc programs. Earlier in my research I found (and saved) this link to another thread:
    The thread is extremely helpful and gives links to two other sites that have post--bacc info on them.
  8. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS 7+ Year Member

    May 22, 2005
    It sounds like you are at the very beginning stages of this road. The FIRST step is to buy the MSAR. This book is available on Amazon, and is the official book that tells you how to navigate the application process. It includes detail on post-baccs too. It will be the best $25 you spend in this whole process.

    After you read the book - you will likely feel reassured about your chances, and know what to do next.

    Good luck.

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