Aug 28, 2013
10
0
Status
Other Health Professions Student
I figured I would run my plan of action and see what everyone here think!

I am currently a MSW student at a top university, I graduated with my BSW from another decent state school in CA. I realized after doing social work for a while that it was not for me. My specialization is in health social work/medical social work. I am trying to figure out how to go about my post-bacc program and what ECs I should pick up along the way.

Right now the current plan is, join the peace corps right after I graduate for a whole variety of reasons. (mostly cause it sounds like I can make a real difference if only temporary in peoples lives) . I hope to get into a health outreach program. I have heard that peace corps is a fantastic EC on a resume. After that get into a post-bacc program and work from there.

The nitty gritty:

age:25
Cumulative GPA: 3.75, a couple science classes in there but not many
RACE: Mixed, My question here, does marking down 4 different races help my chances since I am a hodgepodge of underrepresented in health care.
ECs: All sorts of Social work internships, some in hospitals some not.

I am not worried about passing my post-bacc program but I am concerned about if the peace corps will help me with med school admission/post-bacc admission or if it is something that is not particularly useful. (I may do it either way)

To summarize:

1. Post Bacc programs, are they gonna hold my MSW against me?
2.Post bacc programs, are they going to hold peace corps against me?
3. I am guessing 27-28 is not to old to state a post bacc and 29/30 is not to old to start medical school.(I have read yes to this many times on this form but you saying yes will make me feel better)


Thanks for your feedback. I know everyone here is having their own struggles!
 

Petypet

7+ Year Member
Sep 28, 2009
780
691
Ohio
Status
Resident [Any Field], Post Doc
As long as you meet the all expectations for med school admission, your degrees or race really will not influence the decision one way or the other. You need to focus on the mcat and meeting all the requirements for admission (course work, volunteering, shadowing, etc). Joining the peacecorp or any other extracurriculars won't make up for any lack of requirements.

MCAT > grades > volunteering/shadowing/research > extracurricular

One thing to keep in mind about putting off the admission till 30, is that it will be 5 years of increased tuition. That doesn't sound like much on an internet forum, but in reality that will probably accumulate to several thousand dollars in tuition. Some schools have increased 3-4% per year, x4 years, x interest on those loans, you could be looking upwards for 30k? Consider that huge amount of money the money you are paying to be in the peace corps.

If that is worth it to you, then go for it. If it isn't and you want attending salary sooner and help people by being a physician then get into school asap.
 

Quik

7+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2010
397
122
Oregon
Status
Medical Student
Of course 30 isn't too old to start medical school. The consensus however, is the sooner you are able, the better.

With your GPA, you don't need any formal post-bacc or special master's program. Get your pre-reqs completed and make sure you do well in them, while building the rest of your application with volunteering and clinical experience.

As for the peace corps, if you're doing it for alruistic reasons alone, go for it. Of course it will look good on an application, but no one thing will get you an acceptance, and you can gain good experience elsewhere without committing two years of your life exclusively to one endeavor. Remember though, that each year you put of medical school, that's another year of a physicians/surgeons salary you will be forgoing on the other end. It's not all about that, I know, but for some of us reaching that critical age every year is significant. Another thing to consider, is how bad do you want to be a doctor, and are you willing to allow distractions to get in the way of that goal. Two years in the peace corps is a long time, and a whole lot can happen in that period, especially when you're not focusing getting into med school.

I'll share my own experience... two years ago, I started my post bacc work and was on my A-game. I decided to take a job fighting wildland fire, intending to pay for my tuition in the off-season. I decided to travel until school started, circumstances changed, and I stayed in S. America for six months rather than two, and came right back for the next fire season. During the fire season, I meet a girl I fell in love with and I started a relationship and a business, and was not back to focusing on med-school. Another year goes by, and I can't figure out why I'm extremely unhappy, until I realize I've been distracted from my dreams and am putting myself right back in the career I left to pursue medicine. I'm back on track now, happy to say, but I am sort of kicking myself since I could be in Med school now, but instead have a year of post-bacc work left to do... My point is, the longer you put off your matriculation, the more life has a chance to get in the way. Distractions come without you noticing, and in my opinion, it's best to plan for these and limit the interferences that can come and knock you off course.
 
OP
S
Aug 28, 2013
10
0
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Thanks for your quick reply. I had a feeling that was the answer. I am pretty set on the peace corps. 30K is a whole lot of money but in the long run I don't know if it matters. I got out of college basically debt free. Thanks to luck and a scholarship.
 
OP
S
Aug 28, 2013
10
0
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Of course 30 isn't too old to start medical school. The consensus however, is the sooner you are able, the better.

With your GPA, you don't need any formal post-bacc or special master's program. Get your pre-reqs completed and make sure you do well in them, while building the rest of your application with volunteering and clinical experience.

As for the peace corps, if you're doing it for alruistic reasons alone, go for it. Of course it will look good on an application, but no one thing will get you an acceptance, and you can gain good experience elsewhere without committing two years of your life exclusively to one endeavor. Remember though, that each year you put of medical school, that's another year of a physicians/surgeons salary you will be forgoing on the other end. It's not all about that, I know, but for some of us reaching that critical age every year is significant. Another thing to consider, is how bad do you want to be a doctor, and are you willing to allow distractions to get in the way of that goal. Two years in the peace corps is a long time, and a whole lot can happen in that period, especially when you're not focusing getting into med school.

I'll share my own experience... two years ago, I started my post bacc work and was on my A-game. I decided to take a job fighting wildland fire, intending to pay for my tuition in the off-season. I decided to travel until school started, circumstances changed, and I stayed in S. America for six months rather than two, and came right back for the next fire season. During the fire season, I meet a girl I fell in love with and I started a relationship and a business, and was not back to focusing on med-school. Another year goes by, and I can't figure out why I'm extremely unhappy, until I realize I've been distracted from my dreams and am putting myself right back in the career I left to pursue medicine. I'm back on track now, happy to say, but I am sort of kicking myself since I could be in Med school now, but instead have a year of post-bacc work left to do... My point is, the longer you put off your matriculation, the more life has a chance to get in the way. Distractions come without you noticing, and in my opinion, it's best to plan for these and limit the interferences that can come and knock you off course.

Your point is well taken. I have been thinking of that. You don't think a formal post-bacc is required? I heard they make it easier to get into schools/help you get letters you would not normally get.

The peace corps is one of those dreams also. I just don't know which dream I should go back to and which dream I should do now. I guess that is a question only I can answer.

Thank you for sharing. It really has helped a whole lot. I would welcome other advice as well.
 

Quik

7+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2010
397
122
Oregon
Status
Medical Student
nothing formal is needed. There is little evidence that a formal post-bacc significantly helps your chances. You can make a great impression w/ teachers in a DIY (informal) post-bacc and earn their letters of eval. You seem like a solid candidate just make sure you have the pre-reqs complete with some upper-division sciences, and you'll be fine.