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? for fellow post-bac ers

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Rhys, Oct 16, 2001.

  1. Rhys

    Rhys Member
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    Hi everyone! As somebody who made the decision to attend med. school after completing a B.A. and M.A., I am not able to utilize student loans for my required undergrad science classes (and want to save the rest of my loan amounts for med. school anyhow.)

    I want to work full-time and take my science courses as quickly as possible. For you other post-bac ers out there, how has your experience been? How many classes have you found you can comfortably fit in while working full time? Any other advice/tricks?

    Thank you very much!

    --Rhys
     
  2. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
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    I've taken the rather slow route: working full time while taking 1-2 classes a semester. After three years, I'm applying. There are much faster programs, but you have to have a pretty flexible schedule.
     
  3. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member
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    Before I had my kid, I took two classes per semester. One summer, I took one class in each summer session (Bio I and Bio II). Since I had my kid, I've only been able to handle one class at a time. You could probably take three classes at a time if you don't mind having no life.

    Also, I took Kaplan this spring and didn't take any college classes. Studying for the MCAT took all my time.

    It took me about two years to knock out all my prereqs (I already had physics, chem, and calc). I delayed the MCAT a year because my son was born in March and I figured it would be very hard to take the MCAT three weeks later. That gave me a chance to take a few more classes this year.

    Good luck!
     
  4. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member
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    I worked for a little while when I first started my post-bac program. It was hell. I'm with Space cadet. It's possible if you don't want a life. And if you want constant pressure and stress. Two classes and a job is more manageable. Some other factors involved are how much of a stranger you are to science, which will determine how much effort and time required to keep up, and how flexible/demanding your job is. It also depends on which classes you take when.
     
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  5. silverline

    silverline New Member

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    Good question Rhys! It's also one that I am seeking to answer as well.

    I've made to decision to pursue medicine after completing my BA. After some rocky pre-med grades, I will be looking to re-take the classes one by one, preferably in a schedule that will fit with my full-time work.

    It will be difficult, but it's a decision that I'm determined to follow through on. I'd be curious to know what you decide to do. :)
     
  6. tBw

    tBw totally deluded
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    Well, I work full time ( ~50 hours a week) and take 2 classes per semester (eg last semester Bio+lab + Chem+lab). Some of the other posters suggest they think this is manageable but for me I find this TOUGH. I would suggest you find your own balance - start with one class/semester and ramp it up (or not) each semester as you see fit. For me the biggest challenge is that I have to find the classes I need at times I can go. There are 3 major universities and 5 community colleges close to me so you would think I would have no problem...but it's not easy when you have to schedule around a fairly inflexible job schedule (I can only take classes after 6:30pm or on weekends). If you can take classes during the day at all you will find scheduling much easier to work out.

    As far as 'tricks' are concerned - If you need all your science classes I suggest you start with chemistry as you need 2 gen chem and 2 organic chem and you will need to get these in sequence, so it's the longest part of the pre-reqs. Another thing is that while science pre-reqs must be taken with lab and so there is no way around going to class, if you are applying places that need english or behavioural sciences and you don't yet have these (though with a BA and MA I expect you do) there are plenty of semi-online ones run through my local universities which then don't require me to be at a certain class at a certain time.

    Perhaps I'm stupider than the average SDN-er but I really think two science classes with lab and a full time job is a tough thing to do...start with one and see how you feel. Good luck!!

    :)

    onwis
     
  7. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
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    It was rough to take two lab courses and work full time, no doubt, but do-able. Luckily, my work schedule is fairly flexible; I've had to take two day classes.
     
  8. lilninja

    lilninja Senior Member
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    oldernotwiser... it's really tough to hold a full-time job and study for anything (classes or the MCAT), so I think you're awesome for hanging in there. I think the misconception is that people who work don't have to do anything when they get home - unlike students, who have homework - but if there's anything I've found from working, it's much more taxing than going to class because it's for the whole day, every day, and some people have more than one job. Your doing both things just goes to show how hard you work overall. When I was studying for the MCAT, everyone told me to quit my job and take a few months to study, but I though it would be weird to explain some gap in time where I did nothing but study for the MCAT (I do know people who did this though), but I ended up holding my full-time job, volunteering and tutoring and still did okay. Perhaps not as well as some people, but it all works out in the end. When you do nothing but study, people expect that you ace it, and when you have other activities going on and do well, people are pleasantly surprised at how organized and well-rounded you are. What you do is not easy, keep it up.
    :)
     
  9. tBw

    tBw totally deluded
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    ...oh, I guess I should add, that it of course depends also on what your full time job is like...if you work in a library or something which allows you to read notes, do homeworks, prepare labs etc in 'down times' obviously that would be a big help, so something worth considering even if it earns slightly less. My job on the other hand allows no such down times but has the benefit that it is the kind of job that probably looks good on my med school application...
     
  10. tBw

    tBw totally deluded
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    hey, thanks lilninja ;)
     
  11. Mary Jane Watson

    Mary Jane Watson Senior Member
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    I'm also a post-bacer! I took one class (chem+lab) for three semesters and worked about 55 hours/week. I then quit my full-time job and work about 25 hours a week, while taking org. chem, phys and labs for three quarters (I also drive about an hour (one way) to go to school. This past summer almost killed me, as I was also taking Kaplan, and finishing orgo and physics, working, volunteering and living in two different cities (I'm also married). It was hell, but I made it with As in orgo, Bs in physics and a 29Q MCAT. You can do it - and it's worth it. I'm applying this year, so hopefully I'll meet many of you in the future! ;)
     
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  12. goldie

    goldie Senior Member
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    I did the Harvad post-bacc and have only raves for it. It was CHEAP, of great quality, and the support network was outstanding. Might I mention how CHEAP it is...about $660 for a four-credit science (w/lab) class.

    I finished it when I was 31...at first I was discouraged about being an older applicant, but I've had plenty of interviews so have faith!
     
  13. E'01

    E'01 1K Member
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    I also did the Harvard post-bac - it was awesome. It took me two years: I went part-time for 3 semesters while working several PT jobs then my last semester I went to school FT and worked FT which was actually bery manageable. Good luck!

    Goldie when did you finish? I finished in Jan of this year. We probably took some classes together!
     
  14. audeo

    audeo Senior Member
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    If you work full time at a laboratory here at Penn, the tuition is free for two courses. What one of my fellow is doing is getting enrolled at postbac here at Penn and working full time as lab tech. He takes two classes per semester tuition free and seems fine.
     
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  15. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum
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    I've been changing my schedule to fit the courses I'm taking, but I have overscheduled myself a couple of times. I generally take 2 courses a semester. I say take because I was told by some admissions people to continue taking courses until I get in. It can't hurt since my company pays for it. Tuition reimbursement is the best. :)
     
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  16. kzh

    kzh New Member

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    Hi -- I'm new to this forum, this is my first post. I came here because I'm doing the Harvard Post-bac right now and I was looking for a little support. I think I found the right place!

    In my opinion, for people new to the science industry, post-bacc programs are hard. But, what I'm learning is that every single person is as unique as their situation. I come from a business and english background, have two jobs that total more than 60 hours a week, and haven't seen science since high school. Therefore, even one class right now is hard for me. So it depends on you. Take heart in the fact that there are many people out there trying to do it, and there are just as many that have succeeded! There is a web site for post-bacc programs around the nation if you haven't seen it already: http://www.aamc.org/students/considering/postbac.htm

    Good Luck!
     
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  17. Sugar72

    Sugar72 Senior Member
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    Hi. I worked about 30 hrs a week and went to school full time for my post-bacc work. I went to a local (cheap) university. It helped to have a boyfriend (now husband) to pay for many meals and bills! I am 29 now and finished my post bac work in 1997.
     

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