Jul 23, 2009
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Hi All,

I will keep this short and to the point. I am a recent graduate with a BS in chemistry. I am now pursuing medicine and have been doing a lot of research on post bac pre med programs. I was looking for any kind of feedback as to what kind of programs I would best be suited for, solely based on my academic coursework background. Obviously with my chem degree I took gen chem, orgo and physics. I do not have any biology, psychology, anatomy, etc. I have read that some programs can be very personalized, while others have a more strict/guided curriculum. I was assuming that I would be best fit for the programs that are more personalized where I could really focus on other science areas that I am missing for medical school.

Any kind of feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time.
 

NewmansOwn

10+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2007
792
23
Status
Attending Physician
Hi All,

I will keep this short and to the point. I am a recent graduate with a BS in chemistry. I am now pursuing medicine and have been doing a lot of research on post bac pre med programs. I was looking for any kind of feedback as to what kind of programs I would best be suited for, solely based on my academic coursework background. Obviously with my chem degree I took gen chem, orgo and physics. I do not have any biology, psychology, anatomy, etc. I have read that some programs can be very personalized, while others have a more strict/guided curriculum. I was assuming that I would be best fit for the programs that are more personalized where I could really focus on other science areas that I am missing for medical school.

Any kind of feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time.
The only prerequisite you haven't taken is biology, so you're ineligible for the formal postbac programs that offer the support you speak of.

You're in a sort of "no man's land" where, honestly, it would be better to just take bio and maybe biochemistry while working part-time (or at night while working full-time) -- in fact, that's probably your only choice as no formal program will take you. Use the adviser at your school to keep you on track and you'll be ready to apply in a year, with significantly less work than those who do postbacs.
 
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TyrKinase

10+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
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Depending on your GPA, you might be in a very good place. You're still in need of:

- 2 semesters of English (if you haven't had to take it as a GE requirement)
- 2 semesters of general biology with lab

This is assuming you already completed labs in general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics.

Other courses are often "highly recommended" (read: treat them just below pre-requisites) and include:

- Biochemistry
- Genetics

Anatomy, physiology, psychology and other courses are not usually required. You will also need to plan on taking the MCAT, but you should probably hold off on that until you complete biology.

If I were in your shoes and you already have decent grades, I would opt to take those courses at a four-year institution as either a second baccalaureate student or an open campus student. State schools with such options are great because they usually charge a lot less than attending a more formal program.

Also, you probably want to make some time to do some medically-related volunteering if you can. Are you able to be a full-time student, or do you have to work as well? If you are able to focus solely on studies and you don't need to do an immense amount of GPA repairing, you should be able to wrap up all of this in one academic year.
 
OP
H
Jul 23, 2009
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In response to the feedback:

Yes, if it came to it, then I would definitely take the remaining coursework independently at a university. I was really interested in the postbac programs because it seemed like they really prepared you for medical school outside of just allowing the student to take needed coursework (i.e. advising, seminars, etc.). What would some suggestions be for getting that crucial advise and getting more involved if a postbac program wouldn't fit?

Again any response/opinion is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

TyrKinase

10+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
256
20
Below Sea Level
I've been around the post-bacc block so to speak, and it has been my experience that the advising that you will receive can range from helpful to downright incorrect. In short, it has been my experience that the advising isn't what 'makes' a program; it's your performance and grades coming out of the institution.

An example: I had an adviser at a California State University campus who didn't know about osteopathic medicine, other than that it was an "alternative" for students interested in pursuing an MD degree. It is now my opinion that applying to DO schools is a great idea for a great number of post-bacc students, but I only learned about that because of SDN.

As far as being prepared for medical school goes, I would not worry too much so long as you're earning good grades and get a good MCAT score. Admissions committees are generally pretty good at picking out who will be successful. If they choose you, you can rest reasonably assured that you have what it takes to be successful in becoming a physician from an academic standpoint.
 

NewmansOwn

10+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2007
792
23
Status
Attending Physician
State universities offer advising and seminars as well -- just for larger groups of people. If you really want to spend some serious money on advising, you can hire a private adviser. I don't know any personally, but there have been a couple threads on the subject; do a search and you'll find more info. These people are paid to be at your beck and call and their reputation depends on your acceptance to medical school. This option is out of the question financially for many applicants, but if advising is your absolute #1 priority, it can be considered.

Personally, I'm inclined to agree with the enzyme on this one. There really isn't any secret to getting into med school -- and I sat through many seminars and personal advising sessions at the Bryn Mawr program. In the end, if you a) have good grades, b) have a good MCAT score, c) can write an interesting personal statement and d) can sound mature during an interview, you've got as good a chance as anyone of getting into med school. The only exception to this is the linkages that formal postbac programs offer -- those really do offer you a chance to stand out from the pack. But, as I've already been regretful to inform you, those programs don't fit your academic history.