Help! Non traditional applicant trying to pick between two non traditional masters.

whereto

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I'm just including the help tag because it seems pretty popular on here...

I'm trying to decide between a postbac program, masters in pharmacology, and masters in complementary and alternative medicine. I was curious to hear the peanut gallery's thoughts on the matter.
 
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DocJanItor

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Jun 6, 2017
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First off, I really hope you enjoyed the last 6 years because the game has only gotten more competitive. I've never really encountered a re-admit situation, but I'll chime in.

I'd go for the post-bacc program. If you're trying to go to med school, these programs are specifically designed to facilitate that path. Pharmacology is nice, but it's pretty focused. CAM is probably not going to be helpful at all. So much of med school is focused on evidence based medicine that CAM may not be favorably viewed.
 

CyrilFiggis

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Post-bacc, but only if you didn't have As in those courses before. To re-apply to DO, you can use the grade replacement options to help bolster your GPA and make you more competitive. The other degrees don't provide much help to you as an applicant. Pharm would only be an option if you want to do that as a second career option.
 
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You're applying to medical school. If complementary and alternative treatments were real, they'd just be called "medicine". I think that's a pretty silly degree to get if you're interested in applying to real medical schools.

You should do a post-bacc to raise your GPA and prep for the MCAT again - you will definitely need to retake it as most schools follow a 3 year expiration policy, and even more are no longer considering the old format MCAT.
 
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whereto

7+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2010
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
First off, I really hope you enjoyed the last 6 years because the game has only gotten more competitive. I've never really encountered a re-admit situation, but I'll chime in.

I'd go for the post-bacc program. If you're trying to go to med school, these programs are specifically designed to facilitate that path. Pharmacology is nice, but it's pretty focused. CAM is probably not going to be helpful at all. So much of med school is focused on evidence based medicine that CAM may not be favorably viewed.


Thanks for the reply! Yep I'm a weird case - and i get that it's more competitive.

I'm strongly leaning against the postbac - the program I'm in to leads to a certificate and generally matches to DO schools. The CAM program strangely has placed students at some bigger name schools, has a linkage, and is taught by professors at the Med school. It includes a pharm course, a physiology course, a survey in cam methods, a diet course, a biostats course, and a bunch of other random things. The pharmacology ms is through the physiology dept and includes two physiology and two pharmacology courses. The postbac has physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, and biostats.

Coursework wise I'll be able to grab the same core science courses in any of the programs. But I am curious about the "being able to package oneself" aspect.

Is CAM too fluffy? And would pharm be completely unhelpful if it's as narrow as you suggest? I've gotten different advice from everyone I've talked to.
 
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whereto

7+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2010
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
You're applying to medical school. If complementary and alternative treatments were real, they'd just be called "medicine". I think that's a pretty silly degree to get if you're interested in applying to real medical schools.

You should do a post-bacc to raise your GPA and prep for the MCAT again - you will definitely need to retake it as most schools follow a 3 year expiration policy, and even more are no longer considering the old format MCAT.

Yep! Retaking the MCAT. Pretty excited about it too - it's really fun relearning the material. I missed it.

Postbac program I got into is actually my least favorite option. CAM and pharm are through the same physiology dept (with different electives). Both include pharm, physiology, biostats, etc. what's your second choice?
 

DocJanItor

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Jun 6, 2017
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From your description, it sounds like you're talking about Georgetown's programs. From their CAM website, they have linkages with one DO; everything else is naturopathic, chiropractic, or IMG. While they show a list of (real) medical schools their students have attended, they don't say anything about matriculation rates.

The MS in Pharmacology doesn't give a lot of information about its program except the courses and job listings. This seems much less geared towards med school admission than the CAM program. This would be my last choice if I were you.

Even though it's too late for this year, you should check out the Georgetown SMP site. There is a huge amount of information regarding courses, medical school application help, etc. And they give stats about matriculation rates.

Anyway, if you just love the idea of CAM then I would go for it. I don't think it's the absolute best path that you could choose, but it doesn't look like it would hurt you as much as I thought. Plus if you love it, you might perform better than at a post-bacc program that you're less passionate about.
 
May 11, 2016
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Yep! Retaking the MCAT. Pretty excited about it too - it's really fun relearning the material. I missed it.

Postbac program I got into is actually my least favorite option. CAM and pharm are through the same physiology dept (with different electives). Both include pharm, physiology, biostats, etc. what's your second choice?
If it's the Georgetown program, I'd say physiology. I have classmates that did that one. Literally anything but CAM.
 
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