Music Major Undergrad: Formal Post bacc or Second Bachelor's?

Sep 11, 2015
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Pre-Medical
I have a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance. I graduated in 2012 and I am now 25 years old. I graduated summa cum laude with a GPA of 3.94 and won several awards during my time there. I graduated at the top of the music department. I spent the years since graduation recording my album in my home studio and doing some freelance film composition. The instability of this industry is far too stressful for the long term and this week I’ve finally made the decision to return to my other life dream of becoming a MD. I really, really want to go into medical research. My question is, what is the cheapest way to get my prerequisites done that isn’t online/community college? The only science course I took in undergrad was Bio 101 and that was with no lab. Do I have to do a formal post bacc program since I have, basically, no science background? Or can I apply for a second bachelor’s and just drop out when I have all my courses? Or would taking courses a la carte as non degree seeking be cheapest? I currently have no student debt because I had a full academic scholarship to undergrad. It would be nice not to rack up a ridiculous amount of debt before medical school. I also live in Georgia, if that makes any difference, but I could also easily have residence in VA, since my family lives there, or NC, since that’s my fiance’s home state. Any advice for my situation? Also, is it better to knock everything out in a year as a full time student, or is it better to spread it out and work full time? Which looks better on a med school app? Also, should I do anything differently when getting prerequisites given that I want to do medical research (besides the obvious research experience)? Would formal post bacc/second bachelor's/non degree seeking make any difference when aspiring to medical research? Thanks for reading. I appreciate any advice anyone can give me! I'm very excited to begin this new journey!
 
T

trev5150

Cheapest non-online/Non-CC is always gonna be that nearest state school.

If research is your goal, a medical degree isn't really always what you have to do. If you have a specific area of interest, your revisiting undergrad and graduate work doesn't have to be as an MD. You might consider a purely PhD track, or if you're hardcore enough, MD/PhD.keep in mind that a medical degree and the ensuing training means a lot of time (years and years) in a clinical setting.

The reason so many schools stress volunteering and clinical exposure is that candidates understand this fully. Have you spent much time in a clinical environment, with lots of sick people?
 
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Goro

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You don't need a 2nd UG degree, just a post-bac program for career-changers. They're a dime-a-dozen.



I have a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance. I graduated in 2012 and I am now 25 years old. I graduated summa cum laude with a GPA of 3.94 and won several awards during my time there. I graduated at the top of the music department. I spent the years since graduation recording my album in my home studio and doing some freelance film composition. The instability of this industry is far too stressful for the long term and this week I’ve finally made the decision to return to my other life dream of becoming a MD. I really, really want to go into medical research. My question is, what is the cheapest way to get my prerequisites done that isn’t online/community college? The only science course I took in undergrad was Bio 101 and that was with no lab. Do I have to do a formal post bacc program since I have, basically, no science background? Or can I apply for a second bachelor’s and just drop out when I have all my courses? Or would taking courses a la carte as non degree seeking be cheapest? I currently have no student debt because I had a full academic scholarship to undergrad. It would be nice not to rack up a ridiculous amount of debt before medical school. I also live in Georgia, if that makes any difference, but I could also easily have residence in VA, since my family lives there, or NC, since that’s my fiance’s home state. Any advice for my situation? Also, is it better to knock everything out in a year as a full time student, or is it better to spread it out and work full time? Which looks better on a med school app? Also, should I do anything differently when getting prerequisites given that I want to do medical research (besides the obvious research experience)? Would formal post bacc/second bachelor's/non degree seeking make any difference when aspiring to medical research? Thanks for reading. I appreciate any advice anyone can give me! I'm very excited to begin this new journey!
 
OP
S
Sep 11, 2015
23
4
Status
Pre-Medical
Would going back for a second bachelor's and dropping out after I have the courses be cheaper or doing non degree seeking?

Aren't post bacc programs way more expensive? Is the money worth it for the advantage that it gives you?

I'd love to do MD/Phd. That is my ultimate dream if I can make the cut.

My mother was a nurse, so I used to spend everyday at work with her after school. That is what made me want to be a doctor in the first place.

I have spent more time in a clinical setting than the average person, but not as much as I need, obviously. I have some volunteer experience in a local hospital, but I'm already looking into more volunteer experience and shadowing opportunities.
 
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gonnif

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Would going back for a second bachelor's and dropping out after I have the courses be cheaper or doing non degree seeking?
It may be and it has the tactical advantage of registration priority as opposed to a non-degree student

Aren't post bacc programs way more expensive? Is the money worth it for the advantage that it gives you?
You dont need a formal post bacc; just the course work. If you do the above, you would simply use the advising on campus as a regular premed.

I'd love to do MD/Phd. That is my ultimate dream if I can make the cut.
That is extremely difficult as they are looking for students with indepth and proven research experience. These spots are uber competitive. You also can do much research with a PhD.

BTW, the surgeon in chief at Emory was a professional with the BSO and I just helped an Opera singer into medical school
 
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OP
S
Sep 11, 2015
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Pre-Medical
Ok, awesome. That's what I was thinking.

As far as MD/Phd goes, I know it would be extremely competitive and difficult. That's why I was wondering what steps I should take to make myself into a competitive candidate. Would actually getting a second bachelor's degree be to my advantage? Should I apply to more competitive schools for a second bachelor's? Or will my state school be ok? I live in Atlanta, so my state school options are GSU, Georgia Tech, and even UG if I moved closer to Athens.

Wow, that's awesome! That makes me feel a lot better about my decision lol.
 

SLLN

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I really, really want to go into medical research.
What kind of research do you want to do? Basic science? Clinical? Computational? You might be surprised at the amount of research produced by non-PhD physicians. I suggest waiting until you've taken a lab course before getting too fixated on the idea of spending 4-5 extra years in the lab 70hr/wk.

I also live in Georgia, if that makes any difference, but I could also easily have residence in VA, since my family lives there, or NC, since that’s my fiance’s home state.
Just my personal opinion, but I'd highly recommend NC residency. Both UNC and ECU are (relatively) cheap programs and incredibly friendly to in-state applicants (both interview ~50% of NC applicants). UNC is definitely not a bad program to have as your cheap in-state option!
 

Trismegistus4

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I was a music major in undergrad, and I did a post-bacc. I wasn't looking for a research career, though. I don't know how people without an undergraduate background in biomedical science might go about getting into an MD/PhD program.
 
OP
S
Sep 11, 2015
23
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Status
Pre-Medical
Awesome! I will look into the NC schools. Does anyone have any info on how good the VCU Post-Bacc Health Sciences Cert is? Or what the cost of it is? VCU is where I got my first bachelor's degree, so I'm hoping if I apply there I'll be favored since I was already there for my bachelor of music.
 

operaman

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I was a music major too with a lower gpa than you have. Worked for a decade as a professional musician and then decided I wanted to be a doc. My only science background was sophomore year of high school.

I did things out of order: took the mcat, applied, and then started taking some pre reqs with the plan of retaking the mcat and reapplying the next year, but lo and behold I actually did well on the mcat and got in. <1 year from last professional engagement to first day of M1. I just took classes at a small 4 year liberal arts school that was cheap. Did it as non degree seeking.

I think with your gpa and a smarter plan for applying than I had - I got very lucky - you're a shoe-in. The sciences and the mcat are way easier than music. I say that not to diminish the work it takes, but if you approach learning it the same way you did your senior recital or a professional job, it won't be any trouble.

Medicine is an art and its learned like all arts. Much like a second language, the first one is the hardest. So just like with your voice degree, you'll have to put in the time singing your Vaccai and your 24 Greatest Italian Hits, but youll be shocked at how easily everything falls into place.

Let me know if I can help in any way. Residency keeps me pretty busy but I'm always game for helping artists get into medicine.
 
Mar 12, 2016
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Sorry to revive an old thread but I didn't feel like it deserved a new one for a quick question: Is the consensus that an arts / liberal arts degree with a decent GPA will hold up well enough for a non-trad's med school apps, all other things equal?

I have a 3.804 with 189 credit hours (multiple semesters at 20-21 credit hours), and hopefully that will go up as I finish my pre-reqs with a DIY post-bacc.
 

gonnif

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Sorry to revive an old thread but I didn't feel like it deserved a new one for a quick question: Is the consensus that an arts / liberal arts degree with a decent GPA will hold up well enough for a non-trad's med school apps, all other things equal?

I have a 3.804 with 189 credit hours (multiple semesters at 20-21 credit hours), and hopefully that will go up as I finish my pre-reqs with a DIY post-bacc.
Yes, its fine
 
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