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Informal(DIY) Post-Bacc starting in Spring

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by KanGaHru, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. KanGaHru


    Oct 30, 2014
    Hello future and current doctor e-peoples, this is my first post so I shall try to make it brief and to the point.

    I am a career changer with a BS in Business.....I am about to start a do-it-myself postbacc at my local university in the Spring. My goal is to be accepted into a med school in order to graduate in the class of 2021. Anyways, my question is regarding the "Glide Year" ....I know ordinarily it is considered nearly impossible to avoid without a formal postbacc with linkage if I were to start in the Fall of 2015. However, since I am starting in Spring 2015 will the extra semester afford me the time needed to accomplish my goal of acceptance into the class of 2021?

    In Summary - 5 full semesters and 2 summers of classes (from Spring 2015-Spring 2017)
    Is this enough to avoid a glide year or will I have to sit out until class of 2022?

    Thanks you all for your insight
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  3. kraskadva

    kraskadva ... 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    in a bubble
    Whether or not you will have a 'glide year' is totally up to you. And depends in large part on what you still need to take, and what schedule you go with. The application cycle will take a year, no matter how you play it, so what you do in that year is up to you.

    There's not a right or wrong thing to do during that time (within reason), so it's largely a matter of personal preference.
    Just as an example, I started my DIY postbacc in Fall 2012, finished all the pre-med classes I needed this spring, took the MCAT and applied this summer. So I'm technically in a 'glide year' now. But since I was 2 years into a biochem degree and only needed a few classes to finish it out, I decided to just keep taking classes, so that's what I'm doing now while waiting to hear back from schools. I'll have a 2nd bachelor's in May 2015 and hopefully start med school next fall.
    Other people finish their classes and work during that year, or do something else.

    If you're not going to get a 2nd degree, and you're only going to take the necessary coursework, then you'll have to figure out something else to do for that year, since you pretty much need to take everything required before you sit for the MCAT. And you have to take the MCAT before you can, then you end up with a 'glide year'.
  4. KanGaHru


    Oct 30, 2014
    Thank you for the reply and good luck on your application cycle!

    I currently have zero pre-med reqs completed and am done with all non science reqs. I was thinking my cycle would (theoretically) go like this-

    Spring- Gen Chem 1 , Basic Bio 1, Physics 1, * any Labs needed with these
    Summer- Intro to Psych, Intro to Sociology
    Fall 2015- Organic Chem 1, Basic Bio 2, Gen Chem 2, *Labs as needed
    Spring- Organic Chem 2, Genetics, Physics 2, *Labs as needed
    Summer- MCAT study+take
    Fall 2016- Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Other?
    Spring - Pre-reqs complete so upper level science classes?(I don't know, maybe this would be like a 'glide semester')

    Fall 2017- Start Med school
  5. brainnurse

    brainnurse Inquisitor, Assassin, High Summoner 2+ Year Member

    Sep 6, 2014
    I just wanted to comment on a few things:

    1. Gen Chem 2 is a prereq for O. Chem. On that note, take a look at all the classes and the prereqs for them in order to have a better idea of how appropriate your plan is.

    2. Are you planning to work while taking these classes? Labs are timesinks. It might be very difficult to take so many labs with classes and full time work.

    3. Why not utilize your summers for some of these science classes? For example, take Gen Chem 2 instead of Psych and Sociology (which are pretty easy).
    3.5 Speaking of Psych and Sociology.. are you sure your business degree hasn't covered equivalents to these already?

    4. Biochemistry is going to be a (big?) part of the new MCAT. I have been advised to take it before taking the MCAT.
  6. Apollo1

    Apollo1 Deciding between MD/DO and PA 2+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2013
    Concur with the above responses. If you're not working during this post-bac period, then I'd say you can manage the amount of classes you listed (you still need to amend your listing to account for pre-reqs). If you do have to work during this time, I'll paraphrase @QofQuimica : "Start off with one class. Do well in it, then slowly expand." Also, take the MCAT after you've completed the pre-reqs.

    Finally, a glide year doesn't have to be a negative thing. You can always take Cell Bio/Genetics/MicroBio during this period, and use it to supplement your application if necessary.
  7. KanGaHru


    Oct 30, 2014
    1. Oh ok. Good to know about Gen Chem 2. I will hopefully be speaking to an advisor about everything very soon regarding pre-req order.

    2. I am not planning to work, but I will be planning on volunteering and other EC whenever possible since I know how important it is for my application cycle.

    3. I was under the understanding that med schools looked down on taking pre-med reqs over the summer so I figured socio and psych would be best during this time? However, if I can take Gen Chem 2 over summer without a negative view from med admissions then I would definitely do so.
    3.5 I am unsure if my Business degree covered these so thanks for the idea! I will definitely look into this :)

    4. Good point! I will definitely try to find a way to get biochem in before the MCAT.

    Thank you so much for your advise! Very helpful.

    @Apollo1 I agree that the glide year does not have to be negative in any way, but I want to give my best shot towards saving this year if at all possible. I am already 28 and am hoping to start med school while I am 30 if I can :)
  8. TheRhymenocerous

    TheRhymenocerous 2+ Year Member

    Oct 3, 2014
    I started my prereqs my last semester of undergrad (spring 2014), will finish them this spring (spring 2015), and will (knock on wood) be part of the class of 2020. I think that sounds like what you're trying to do, and it only took me three semesters and a summer, though I am only taking the bare-bones requirements for now (so not sociology, genetics, cell biology, or biochem). Also, make sure you've got math and English requirements covered.

    As far as summer classes go, it really depends where you're taking them. A lot of them are really short sessions, so it's better if you can find schools that offer 8 week sessions. The only issue I see for you is that if you're planning on taking the MCAT in the summer of 2016, your application is going to be pretty late.
  9. KanGaHru


    Oct 30, 2014
    Summer 2016 would be late for Fall 2017 start? Damn! Well ok, I'll put that on the list of further things I need to look into. Good luck on your app cycle and thanks for the advice!!!
  10. AliciaAccepted

    AliciaAccepted Exhibitor 2+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    SDN Exhibitor
    Many medical schools have dropped a lot of their required courses. The premed requirements at most schools look like this now:

    1 year of Biological Sciences
    2 years of Chemistry (General and Organic Sequence)
    1 year of Physics

    *Biochemistry as required for MCAT

    No English or math classes needed. Given these changes, it's much easier to meet the requirements. You'll still need to gain the leadership, clinical, community service and research experience to be a competitive applicant. Based on the schedule you provided and this information, I recommend that you take two years to complete all the requirements as well as to take the MCAT. You could apply to med school during your second year. It's more important to take your time and earn A's in all of your coursework than to rush through it without building on your activities.

    For more information about completing postbac coursework to matriculate into medical school, I have just published a book on the topic, available on amazon, titled, "The Definitive Guide to Premedical Postbaccalaureate Programs: The Handbook for career changers and academic record enhancers who want a chance at medical school." I hope this is helpful! I wish you all the best.
  11. KanGaHru


    Oct 30, 2014
    I had no idea that the requirements had changed so much for most schools. Obviously that is the bare bones minimum reqs, but it is definitely very good information to know. Thank you so much for sharing!

    In light of this, would you recommend maybe taking less classes and focusing more on the extra curriculars or do you think that it is more important to keep the reasonably heavy course load to show med schools I can handle the kind of hard work that med school will surly provide? Either way, thanks for the info :)
    AliciaAccepted likes this.
  12. kraskadva

    kraskadva ... 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    in a bubble
    1) You're replying to a robot.
    2) The pre-reqs are changing, but not as drastically as the robot suggests. The change is more a move to "competencies" i.e. a year of bio classes, but not Gen Bio 101 & 102 specifically.
    Even so though, that isn't the case at the majority of schools (from what I've seen). Most still require the Bio, Physics, Chem, Orgo sequences, plus English and Math (type of math variable by school). And all of these are necessary for the MCAT. Biochem and Psych/Soc are also required for the new MCAT and may ease their way into MS pre-reqs as well.
    And depending on your previous GPA, a heavier workload may be needed to show you can handle the academic rigor.
  13. KanGaHru


    Oct 30, 2014
    Well that was embarrassing! Clever forum robots.....Thanks for qualifying what the robot said as I will definitely need to show I can handle the academic rigor in my opinion. I have a very poor (3.0) undergrad gpa from back in the day and after my pre-med diy postbacc it will only improve to around a 3.25 cgpa. On the bright side I should have an amazing science gpa :)
  14. kraskadva

    kraskadva ... 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    in a bubble
    Meh, you're new, no worries :)
    There's a sub-3.0 gpa thread on here that you might find useful for tips/success stories.
    And if it's any reassurance, when your grades are calculated by AMCAS, they not only give overall, but also break it up by year and by BCPM/non-BCPM. So schools will clearly see the improvement you show in a post-bacc. That said, not all schools recognize reinvention, but there are certainly many out there that do.

    Also, to address the MCAT scheduling you mentioned above...
    You obviously need the MCAT score before your app is complete. And taking it in the Spring/early Summer of the app cycle is not a deal breaker. However...
    1) You want to leave yourself a time buffer in case something goes wrong and you need to retake (like you get the flu, the score is way below expected, etc.) so that your whole app isn't hanging on that one thing. Though of course you want to prepare well and only take it once.
    2) AMCAS can first be submitted at the beginning of June every year. You want to submit as close to the first date as possible. This is a continuum where earlier is better, and later is not, mostly because interview invites are handed out on a rolling basis even when acceptances aren't. So even though October is the drop dead date for most schools, you don't want to be the one submitting at the last minute.
  15. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident 7+ Year Member

    I had a glide year, and I continued to work during part of it. Until I was laid-off and then I sat on unemployment for my remaining 6 months and chilled by the pool. Btw, if you have the means, I HIGHLY recommend that plan.

    If you can continue to work while taking your classes, try to continue to work until you start school, if not, see if you can find a temp job or something...

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