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BleedinBlue2016

2+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2015
55
29
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello all!
I am a potential non-trad looking for some help on how to plan the journey ahead of me.
For some background, I am a 2016 grad (biology & global health) who was originally pre-med and transitioned over to business/consulting towards the end of undergrad. Currently 23 years working at a large consulting firm, and have been ready to get back into medicine for at least the last 6-8 months. However, I really do not want to have to fully quit my job during the preparation period (given the amount of debt I am subjecting myself to in the future).

I have a ~3.7 GPA from a top 10 university, but am missing 4 pre-med courses. I have heard of some success stories from taking weekend/evening courses at a community college, but I also am very wary that doing this may decrease my chances at the MD schools I am looking into.
Instead, I have done quite a bit of research and have found myself leaning very much towards the Harvard Extension School pre-med postbacc. My plan currently is the below, but I do need some help in terms of finding out whether it is fully feasible (and all is dependent on my ability to be able to transition to Boston while on my current project for work).

Spring 2018 -- Organic Chemistry II (Online lecture + In-person Lab -- Will this class show up as 'online' on my transcript/will that be looked at negatively at MD schools? For those with experience with this class, how do exams work? Proctored/in person?)

Summer 2018 -- Physics II

Fall 2018 -- Biochem

Spring 2019 -- GenChem II + Study/Take MCAT

Spring/Fall 2019 -- Apply

It would be cheaper to go home (no rent) and take classes at my local university, but they do not offer evening/weekend classes and I would therefore have to quit my job. Even with the tuition + Boston rent, I think it would be more economical to go to HES and stay in my job. I am also looking forward to hopefully getting access to some good shadowing/research experience through the HES program.

Would love to hear everyone's thoughts -- especially if you have experience with HES classes! I have heard some feedback that it is not worth moving to Boston solely for HES, but at this point I do feel that this may be my best option and if so, I will have to make the move very soon.

Adding a couple of additional questions below in case anyone has insight:
- What is the average class size of a typical pre-req class at HES and, just out of curiosity, the average age of students in the classes? How many people move to Boston just to take these classes?

- How affordable is the cost of living around the area/any suggestions for affordable places to live?

- I've been slightly confused about the differences between joining the formal health careers program at HES vs. just taking classes. I know that there is a potential to get a committee letter, but is there an additional advising component (for applications/MCAT) that comes with the formal program (or any other advantage)? Does the formal program have an additional cost (other than the committee letter cost)?
 

CyrilFiggis

5+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2014
2,021
3,362
Status
Medical Student
1) many of these classes can be answered by the admissions people at HES. None of this is novel to them and they are a good resource. I have at least 4 people in my class that took some or all of their pre-reqs there.

2) Boston is expensive. You are not going to find anything less that $1K/month even for a room in a shared apt. You're talking about at least 16 months of rent which will put you back $16-20K. If you don't have a car, then a month MBTA pass is ~$80/month which will run another $1,200, utilities, etc, etc. That's not to say this should preclude you doing this, but is it worth the potential financial loses you'll face.

3) Boston is a great city for shadowing and research. There are at least half a dozen hospitals that in any other place outside of NYC, Chicago, LA would be hands down the best in the city.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BleedinBlue2016
Apr 9, 2014
782
739
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Hello all!
I am a potential non-trad looking for some help on how to plan the journey ahead of me.
For some background, I am a 2016 grad (biology & global health) who was originally pre-med and transitioned over to business/consulting towards the end of undergrad. Currently 23 years working at a large consulting firm, and have been ready to get back into medicine for at least the last 6-8 months. However, I really do not want to have to fully quit my job during the preparation period (given the amount of debt I am subjecting myself to in the future).

I have a ~3.7 GPA from a top 10 university, but am missing 4 pre-med courses. I have heard of some success stories from taking weekend/evening courses at a community college, but I also am very wary that doing this may decrease my chances at the MD schools I am looking into.
Instead, I have done quite a bit of research and have found myself leaning very much towards the Harvard Extension School pre-med postbacc. My plan currently is the below, but I do need some help in terms of finding out whether it is fully feasible (and all is dependent on my ability to be able to transition to Boston while on my current project for work).

Spring 2018 -- Organic Chemistry II (Online lecture + In-person Lab -- Will this class show up as 'online' on my transcript/will that be looked at negatively at MD schools? For those with experience with this class, how do exams work? Proctored/in person?)

Summer 2018 -- Physics II

Fall 2018 -- Biochem

Spring 2019 -- GenChem II + Study/Take MCAT

Spring/Fall 2019 -- Apply

It would be cheaper to go home (no rent) and take classes at my local university, but they do not offer evening/weekend classes and I would therefore have to quit my job. Even with the tuition + Boston rent, I think it would be more economical to go to HES and stay in my job. I am also looking forward to hopefully getting access to some good shadowing/research experience through the HES program.

Would love to hear everyone's thoughts -- especially if you have experience with HES classes! I have heard some feedback that it is not worth moving to Boston solely for HES, but at this point I do feel that this may be my best option and if so, I will have to make the move very soon.

Adding a couple of additional questions below in case anyone has insight:
- What is the average class size of a typical pre-req class at HES and, just out of curiosity, the average age of students in the classes? How many people move to Boston just to take these classes?

- How affordable is the cost of living around the area/any suggestions for affordable places to live?

- I've been slightly confused about the differences between joining the formal health careers program at HES vs. just taking classes. I know that there is a potential to get a committee letter, but is there an additional advising component (for applications/MCAT) that comes with the formal program (or any other advantage)? Does the formal program have an additional cost (other than the committee letter cost)?
You have a good GPA, including science course work, from a top university. I don't think it will hurt you at all to take four classes at a CC while you work full time if that's the best option for you financially.
 
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ChopinLiszt

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2016
581
1,301
Status
Pre-Medical
I took 4 classes at HES as a DIY postbacc and I loved it. Classes that are offered in-class that you participate in partially online do not show up on your transcript as online. I put in a lot of effort but didn't have too much trouble getting a 4.0. I thought it was a great value and good education. Feel free to PM me with any more questions.
 
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BleedinBlue2016

2+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2015
55
29
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
HES is by far the best value of the formal postbacs, if you can get over a 3.5. The other Ivies are all billing $3k+ per credit hour for basically no additional services.



All good points.

HES is not the place to go for grade repair, and you should expect every class there to offer extremely rigorous treatment of material and grading.
Right -- definitely not going for grade repair, but also don't want to do damage to my GPA by not being prepared. One of the main pulls of HES is also the fact that there is a community of post-baccs, all highly motivated and with the same goal of getting into medicine. I feel as though this might be something I would miss out on by completed pre-reqs at my local school. I wouldn't really be able to get to know anyone and students would be undergraduates -- seems quite lonely.
 

BleedinBlue2016

2+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2015
55
29
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
You have a good GPA, including science course work, from a top university. I don't think it will hurt you at all to take four classes at a CC while you work full time if that's the best option for you financially.
I have been hearing mixed things about this for sure and am not certain what the truth is -- are there not certain MD schools that will not give applications with CC pre-reqs a second glance, or is this a myth?
If it's just the top, I am not sure how much a shot I have at those schools either way -- but certainly don't want to hinder my chances due to where I have taken pre-req courses. However, there is for sure a huge pull in terms of being able to take weekend/evening classes & not pay a huge chunk of my savings before even getting to med school.
 

BleedinBlue2016

2+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2015
55
29
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I took 4 classes at HES as a DIY postbacc and I loved it. Classes that are offered in-class that you participate in partially online do not show up on your transcript as online. I put in a lot of effort but didn't have too much trouble getting a 4.0. I thought it was a great value and good education. Feel free to PM me with any more questions.
Hey there! I believe you posted on one of the other threads I created and I ended up sending you a PM afterwards -- it may have gotten lost in your inbox, but I can resend because I'd love to hear about your experience (and definitely have a lot of q's!).
 
  • Like
Reactions: ChopinLiszt
Apr 9, 2014
782
739
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I have been hearing mixed things about this for sure and am not certain what the truth is -- are there not certain MD schools that will not give applications with CC pre-reqs a second glance, or is this a myth?
If it's just the top, I am not sure how much a shot I have at those schools either way -- but certainly don't want to hinder my chances due to where I have taken pre-req courses. However, there is for sure a huge pull in terms of being able to take weekend/evening classes & not pay a huge chunk of my savings before even getting to med school.
There maybe be a handful of MD schools that won't give CC pre-reqs a second look, but they are few and far between. Before making such an important decision, you should subscribe to the MSAR and check out which schools accept CC credits and which don't.
 

ChopinLiszt

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2016
581
1,301
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey there! I believe you posted on one of the other threads I created and I ended up sending you a PM afterwards -- it may have gotten lost in your inbox, but I can resend because I'd love to hear about your experience (and definitely have a lot of q's!).
Oh, thanks for letting me know - I'll go look for it!
 
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