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I am 15 months out from graduating and have a full-time job working in the tech industry since graduation. Currently I am working full-time, coaching youth soccer at a high-level, and taking a course at a time for my prereqs for med school. I am considering doing a Post-bacc, but that would require me to quit my full-time job, which would put added financial pressure on my family.

Any thoughts or advice of Post-Bacc vs On my own for the pre reqs are welcome. I plan on quitting my job and working as a medical scribe while preparing for my MCAT once my prereqs are completed.

Thanks!
 

tryptamine

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If you were a strong student the first time around and have a history of enjoying and doing well in science coursework, I think full time is definitely the way to go if you can swing it financially. If you know this is what you want to do, fully committing really helps immensely with the mindset and the sense of mission.

If this will be your first pass through this sort of material or if your undergrad record isn't strong, I'd recommend continuing taking a class or two at a time alongside work until you're completely comfortable so that you can get a sense of what to expect and can refine your study habits accordingly to ensure As before making the leap. I'm eight years out of school and trying to come back from a 3.1 cGPA/ 2.9 sGPA, so I felt it was prudent to take this path. I'm doing DIY post bac work full time right now, but I tested the waters while working first to make sure that my discipline and resolve to do this were intact. After chalking up 2 A+ grades in upper div science courses, I went ahead and pulled the trigger.

Keep in mind the ways that financial stress might affect your performance and mental health-- you're much better off doing this slowly and well than quickly and poorly.
 

aformerstudent

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If you take your pre req courses one at a time or a few at a time, that will work against you. You should be doing those at least 14-16 credits at a time otherwise it really means nothing.

If you want to become a doctor, quit the soccer coaching, quit the job and give 100% towards this goal. Whether you should or should not do that will require a lot of thinking on your part.
 
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If you take your pre req courses one at a time or a few at a time, that will work against you. You should be doing those at least 14-16 credits at a time otherwise it really means nothing.
Untrue. Many people take the courses 1 at a time or 2 at a time given they work 40+ hours a week.

I did, friends did, family did - they're all med students, residents or physicians. I'm still a wanna-be.
 

WhiteCoatWonder

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if you have a mentor established in the field (preferably somewhere in admissions), you could ask them for tips on how to optimally strategize.

im a nontrad student who didnt have the luxury of quitting employment to pursue medicine. thankfully, my undergrad degree and subsequent occupation were healthcare related. i definitely pursued a Master's full time days while working full time nights at my Real Job, so im not sure how its perceived to take pre-reqs on trickle flow. the advice i got over and over again from admissions folks was "we need to make sure you can handle the workload." if you can do that with 5 kids, a full time job and an ice cream stand, cool. if you can do that with never working a real job, carrying 2000 credits a semester and a volunteer gig, apparently that works too. my class is made up of both types. during interviews/in your personal statement, how YOU spin what you got out of your pre-med time makes a difference too.

i dont know if i agree with 100% quitting the soccer coaching thing. that seems to me like it would show leadership and team oriented thinking, which is super important around these parts.

EDIT: also, if you do a formal post-bacc, you may be eligible for some degree of financial support. scholarships, govt aid, etc.
 
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aformerstudent

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Untrue. Many people take the courses 1 at a time or 2 at a time given they work 40+ hours a week.

I did, friends did, family did - they're all med students, residents or physicians. I'm still a wanna-be.
Ok, but which is the better advice for better results?
 

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Ok, but which is the better advice for better results?
A 3.7+ is better no matter which way.

But most non-trads, where you are posting, already have full time jobs so to tell them they're at a disadvantage due to job is not true.
 

aformerstudent

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A 3.7+ is better no matter which way.

But most non-trads, where you are posting, already have full time jobs so to tell them they're at a disadvantage due to job is not true.

The job is not a disadvantage but I would ask you to verify...this -->
A 3.7+ is better no matter which way.
with an adcom member. My understanding is that they want to see a demonstrable effort that you can handle a heavy science course load. I don't think anybody really cares whether or not you can complete the pre-req's. According to your theory, someone can get 10 W's in Orgo and then get an A and they should still be good and we know that is absolutely not true.

I would still give the advice to finish the pre-req's in under two years.
 

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The job is not a disadvantage but I would ask you to verify...this -->
with an adcom member.
Which ones would you like me to ask? My family who are at a very good school? or the one at a mid-tier school? or how about the ones I know that were professors of mine... or the ones that assist us here...

Which ones, exactly would you like? Do you think that at my age, I would waste my time and $$ if I thought that taking one class at a time would ruin any chance I had?

The advice I give is typically always based on what I've personally experienced, seen exemplified by others who are likewise nontrads, read on here or reddit or the other old farts site, and from conversations I've had with people who matter (those that admit students).

According to your theory, someone can get 10 W's in Orgo and then get an A and they should still be good
CARS not your strong suit, is it ;) I never said a word about getting 10 W's and that being okay nor in any statement did I infer that or use by reference that it would be okay.

BUT I will say that taking gen chem only while working 40+ hours a week and getting an "A" is >>>>>>> than taking 14 credits and getting a "B" ...
 
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Them There's no reason for this -->
Be more mature.
Okay, so let's point things out here:

1. you failed out of a Carib school, right?

2. you come back to SDN and proclaim to know what people should do?

3. you called me immature?

What is your point here? You cannot, did not, will not get into a US based medical school and are giving terrible advice. Why?
 

aformerstudent

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Okay, so let's point things out here:

1. you failed out of a Carib school, right?

2. you come back to SDN and proclaim to know what people should do?

3. you called me immature?

What is your point here? You cannot, did not, will not get into a US based medical school and are giving terrible advice. Why?
Have you even taken one medical school course lol? That's big talk right there for someone who hasn't.

Nobody failed out...I think you must know that and I suggest you get that correct next time. I'll gladly keep reminding you however.

I only called you immature because I can't swear at you and belittle you and tell you what I really think of you lol.
 
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Nugester

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Depends ...family = spouse + kids? If yes, I would keep the full-time job and do the DIY option. Even better if your full-time job is related to science/medicine. I'm married, working full-time, doing a part-time masters, and studying for the mcat. I am tired all the time but it is possible.
 
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Do a postbac in the evening. Cancel youth coaching.

It'll take 18 months and many of those will suck but the alternative is being an indebted bum leeching on family

Also postbacs fall apart for a dozen reasons, you don't wanna eat the cost of a postbac and then have it not work out. Hello 40k in debt and an 18 month awkward gap to explain to employers.
 
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QofQuimica

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Speaking as someone with extensive experience as both an applicant and a former adcom, the answer to whether someone needs to take FT postbac is: it depends. Different people take postbacs for different reasons.

For those who were good students in college and already have a strong GPA but just need to complete the prereqs, a FT postbac isn't as important as getting good grades in those postbac courses and preparing well for the MCAT. However, for those who are attempting to overcome a poor prior GPA from college, a FT postbac or SMP is often very helpful or even possibly necessary in order to demonstrate the ability to successfully complete a medical school curriculum.

It is not clear from the OP's post which category s/he falls into. But in general, one should consider the purpose of taking postbac coursework and adjust their postbac strategy accordingly in order to accomplish that purpose. Other life circumstances (supporting a family, being deployed abroad in the military, etc) may sometimes make it difficult to do the "ideal" thing. In that case, you should do the best you can with what you have to work with.
 

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I am personally doing a full time post bac, and I much rather enjoy it this way. I did do a few classes while employed full time as well, but I prefer full-time post bac. But what works for me is not works for someone else, you definitely have to decide for yourself.
 

aformerstudent

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The purpose, IMO, of the pre-req's is to get you ready for the course load that you will encounter in medical school. It's not about checking off requirements. Go ahead and take the pre-req's one or two at at time and see what lies ahead.

If you really want to get ready for med school, take the pre-req's 16-18 credits at a time and do it in a year. You'd be doing yourself a favor in the long run. The equivalent of Bio I and II would be covered in less than 10 days in med school.
 
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The purpose, IMO, of the pre-req's is to get you ready for the course load that you will encounter in medical school. It's not about checking off requirements. Go ahead and take the pre-req's one or two at at time and see what lies ahead.

If you really want to get ready for med school, take the pre-req's 16-18 credits at a time and do it in a year. You'd be doing yourself a favor in the long run. The equivalent of Bio I and II would be covered in less than 10 days in med school.
Take ochem concurrently with chem and biochem? Nope
 
OP
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Thank you all for your responses! Although it does still seem pretty divided, I did get many good points out of this.

More about myself, I have a 3.3 cGPA, and that was in a math and mechanical engineering dual degree program. I was taking 18-20 credits every year in my undergrad until my senior year, where I was working 29 hours a week. I also played college soccer at a top 25 D3 college.

Although those days are behind me, I work 50+ hours a week at my day job on top of the coaching. I should also mention that I have been able to shadow attending MDs and DOs whenever I can, probably a total of 40 hours so far (over about 3 months and plan to continue)

Follow up question for discussion:

Since I am barely out of college, would schools see my ability to handle a demanding college schedule too far into my past to count for the 'being able to handle the course load'?

And, although it is not academic work, will the work schedule along with taking classes demonstrate the ability to handle the course load enough?

Also, would by low GPA be counted the same as an 'easier' major, meaning do schools care only about the number or does the major you chose carry any weight?

Thanks again for the responses!
 
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Uh, biochem is not a requirement for all schools genius.
So just gen chem and ochem (typically hard gated with a gen chem prereq) concurrently. Got it.

It's at least a 15 month process with taking an accelerated series in the summer.

Thank you all for your responses! Although it does still seem pretty divided, I did get many good points out of this.

More about myself, I have a 3.3 cGPA, and that was in a math and mechanical engineering dual degree program. I was taking 18-20 credits every year in my undergrad until my senior year, where I was working 29 hours a week. I also played college soccer at a top 25 D3 college.

Although those days are behind me, I work 50+ hours a week at my day job on top of the coaching. I should also mention that I have been able to shadow attending MDs and DOs whenever I can, probably a total of 40 hours so far (over about 3 months and plan to continue)

Follow up question for discussion:

Since I am barely out of college, would schools see my ability to handle a demanding college schedule too far into my past to count for the 'being able to handle the course load'?

And, although it is not academic work, will the work schedule along with taking classes demonstrate the ability to handle the course load enough?

Also, would by low GPA be counted the same as an 'easier' major, meaning do schools care only about the number or does the major you chose carry any weight?

Thanks again for the responses!
3.3 is very low for MD, not probable unless extreme high MCAT. Median matriculant non-URM is 3.75.

DO it's on the low end of fine

I don't know that adcoms look at individual grades outside of BCMP
 
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QofQuimica

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OP, what is your science GPA, and what is your year by year trend? If you bombed freshman year, improved sophomore year and then made a 4.0 your last couple of years, that is very different than if you started out with a 4.0 and then squeaked by in your upper level classes. The latter situation is going to hurt you in terms of showing ability to handle a med school curriculum, while the former not so much. Given that your cum GPA is so far below the mean for most allo medical schools, a FT post bac or SMP for a year wouldn't be unreasonable for you to consider, especially if you had a downward trend in GPA during your college years.

The major you choose does not carry much weight compared to your science and overall GPAs. People come to med school from all kinds of backgrounds, and engineering majors (including engineering majors with 3.8+ GPAs) are a dime a dozen. If anything, a humanities major with a 3.8+ science GPA and a high MCAT would stand out more simply because there are relatively few of them.
 

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18-20 credits per year? that's about half time.
 
OP
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I meant 18-20 credits a semester, sorry. And there was a massive upward trend and have a sGPA of 3.6.

Thanks again all for the responses
 

Blanky

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That's a solid credit load my friend. I would advise two at a time and certainly start chem asap as that's the longest series.
 
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Yup 18-20 at a time with labs will occupy literally all of your time, unmanageable if you get an aggressive deflator in there.
 
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