Official: Penn Pre-Health/Special Science 2006

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by Chrissy, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. Chrissy

    Chrissy Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello all,
    I've never done this before but I thought I'd go ahead! I will be starting the Penn prehealth/special science program this summer (06). Is anyone else gonna be there? Perhaps we could share info and advice. Also, does anyone know any resources to find part time jobs in healthcare? Thanks.
     
  2. stiffany

    stiffany Hurry up and wait...
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Messages:
    996
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student

    Hi Chrissy. I started the Special Sciences program at Penn this fall after attending Penn for my BA and MS. This summer, I'll be finishing up Phys II and then taking the August MCAT. Afterwards, I'll apply (hopefully), take orgo lab (since Penn does orgo lab separately from the course), and another bio class during Fall 2006.

    I'm not sure what you want to know about the program though, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to pm me or respond here. Classes are offered during the day and at night. However, it seems like most post-bacs take the night classes through CGS and then do something else during the day like work, volunteer, etcetera.

    In terms of finding a part-time healthcare job specifically in the Penn community, there are a few great resources: www.upenn.edu/curf lists undergraduate oriented jobs under a research heading. However, I've had luck getting research positions there even outside of undergrad. Career Services at Penn also has a good job listing website (www.upenn.edu/careerservices) called PennLink. You'll have to register with a PennKey and stuff in order to use the service though (I'm not sure when new students get this access information - used for registration, email, etcetera). I think the best bet for finding jobs (especially if you don't care about pay) is just to ask your professors or people you socialize with about openings, etcetera. You never know when an opportunity could pop up!
     
  3. Chrissy

    Chrissy Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    0
    wow. thank you so much for the links. I will definitely check them out!

    I also did my BA at Penn ('04) and just completed a year of work in an urban health clinic....did you find the difficulty and competition to be the same as our undergrad days? My plan is to begin in the summer (CGS 12 week) taking cell bio and another upper level....then orgo/phys in the fall and spring....mcat HOPEFULLY in April but I will see how things go....Thanks for the info! Best of luck to you. Anything else at all that you can or would like to share I'd be most interested in hearing. take care!
     
  4. s2kray

    s2kray Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    heyyy... nice! i was waiting for this thread to start.. uhm i plan on applying to UPENN's special sciences program next fall after i graduate. how good is the program? whats the atmosphere like over there? how accessible are the professors? also is there any nearby facilities where i can put my soon to be EMT license to use?
     
  5. stiffany

    stiffany Hurry up and wait...
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Messages:
    996
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hi Chrissy. Sorry for not responding sooner - studying for my orgo and genetics final took away most of my free time! ;-)

    I think the difficulty and competititon depends on which classes you take in terms of format and also in terms of whether they're CGS or just in the regular School of Arts and Sciences (i.e. day classes). I took an
    evening (with approximately 90% postbacs in the class) genetics class and found that, while some of the people in it were really hard core, it was a much less intense experience and the professor gave us a lot of leeway in terms of dropping a couple of quizzes (out of 7) and our lowest test grade (Although I thought the tests were difficult, most people nonetheless did well on them since the class was graded by percentage points (90-92 being an A minus for instance and not on the bell curve). On the other hand, I took orgo during the day because I wanted a particular professor (same one I'd had for gen chem) and found that the exams were difficult and the competition was really hardcore - thanks, probably, to all of the high-hopes sophomores in the class.
     
  6. stiffany

    stiffany Hurry up and wait...
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Messages:
    996
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    As far as the professors are concerned: Even as an undergrad (and then masters student) at Penn, I've always found the professors to be accessible. Most invite questions via email, have office hours, and you can almost certainly set up an appt with them for a particular time. My genetics prof had office hours online through a chatroom like system and was constantly available on email. I've also heard good things about the professor for the night section (CGS) of organic chemistry in terms of availability and the like. I think in terms of accessibility, most of it is usually up to the student taking the initiative to contact the prof.

    Atmosphere - see the above post. I didn't really get involved in the social aspect of the postbac program since a lot of my friends from undergrad are still on campus, but I know there are groups that get together, but it's easy to meet people both in classes, through events, and just in the greater Penn community through GAPSA and the like.

    Finally, I'm not sure about the EMT licensing regulations for Philadelphia, but Philly is saturated with hospitals even in the Center City area (Jefferson, HUP, CHOP - children's hospital, Penn Hospital down on 8th street, Graduate Hospital, Hanneman, and others that I'm forgetting).
     
  7. Chrissy

    Chrissy Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Stiffany

    Thanks so much for the info. Through those links you sent me I've already scheduled interviews early in the new year with several labs. I think I will be working about 15 hrs per week....if you have the time (and you've already done more than enough) do you mind commenting on where post baccs normally live? I really really wouldn't mind finding someplace in center city...i mean i love campus but unlike you, i feel like I dont know many people in the area and wouldn't mind a different atmosphere than my undergrad days. Also one last questions i have is course load....dr.ceccatti recommended to me that i take 2 course per semester plus some volunteering/work....not to downplay the rigor but is that enough you think? thanks! i hope finals went well and you have a great holiday break!!! thanks again for all your help.
     
  8. stiffany

    stiffany Hurry up and wait...
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Messages:
    996
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I actually live in Old City and then just commute in with the subway or the bus every day. After several years on campus, I needed a break! :) I think most postbac students live in West Philly or Center City west of Broad (same as 14th street). It kind of depends on your budget though, because Center City tends to be a bit more expensive.

    A few months ago, a new employee wanted some information about apartment searching in Philadelphia relative to Penn so I typed up a bit of info...I'll cut and paste that in here.
    "A lot of students (plus staff members and some professors) live in this area from 15th-25th. My friends that live in this area really enjoy it. I find that Chestnut-Delancey or so is fine from 20th-25th. Once you get further east (15th-20th or so), it makes sense to go further south in terms of prices (so around Spruce Street-Delancey.) This area is often referred to as Fitler Square or Rittenhouse Square on classified ads. There are lots of bus routes and a subway in this general area (15th-22nd or so) that take you to Penn's campus. Sometimes you can also find more reasonably priced apartments in the "Art Museum" district, but public transportation tends to be spottier (requiring more transfers) up there.

    Once you go further east in Center City (so from 1st (also called Front) -14th (also called Broad), there are lots of other nice neighborhoods and options. However, this area requires an additional commute to campus (around 15-20 minutes on the subway or 30-35 on the bus because of all the stops).

    Anyways, hope that helps. I found the following websites had helpful apartment listings (I found my apartment on the first one):
    www.philadelphiaweekly.com (Classifieds - Rental) This site is updated every Wednesday morning at 5am.
    www.craigslist.com (Philadelphia rental section)
    Penn also has an off-campus living website (it's geared for students, but is still pretty helpful and includes landlord ratings): http://www.business-services.upenn.edu/offcampusliving/"


    Hope that helps in terms of housing.

    As far as the workload, I guess it kind of depends on you. I took two classes this semester and worked full-time plus tried to do a little bit of unpaid research. While my job isn't that demanding, I still found that to be a lot and really had to section out time to study. I think if you're really dedicated to both your studies and to volunteering (doing upwards of 20 hrs per week/doing some kind of labwork or public health research), then that can be enough. For the summer, classes tend to be more intense (especially the six week sessions), so that's when I think two classes plus volunteering and everything else becomes more than enough! :)
     
  9. UCIke

    UCIke Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Hey Chrissy,

    I just wanted to pass along some job ideas in Philly. A friend of mine in my postbacc program is a EMT and seems to have no problem finding work. The only problems she faces are the weird late-night hours and that she has to drive around the county to different places to find work. I guess I wouldn't recommend being an EMT unless you have a car (and then again, I wouldn't recommend having a car especially in Center City because of the high cost of parking).

    Another job that many postbac students might overlook (at least I did) is substitute teaching. The pay is >$100 a day (this is what the School District of PHilly told us) and the days you work are up to you! I know specifically Benjamin Franklin High in Philly is currently having a shortage of teachers and substitutes. Also, you don't have to HAVE a teaching certificate to substitute, but you DO need to be working TOWARDS one (I don't know exactly what this means, but they were ready to hire my friend who was not enrolled in any teaching classes nor did he have any prior experience, so I think they are in desparate need of teachers :oops: ).

    Finally, work-study jobs at your campus that allow you to study while you work are the absolute BEST (librarian, information desk, etc). I can't tell you how great it feels to be studying and realize that you're being paid at the same time too!
     
  10. UCIke

    UCIke Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Here is the volunteer phone number and e-mail to Thomas Jefferson Hospital's Volunteer Program:

    215-955-6222 or email
    [email protected]
     
  11. riceman04

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    8,505
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Yeah, I have to second that!!! I work at Sansom Place West as an information assistant and all I do is study pretty much
     
  12. riceman04

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    8,505
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    So they are offering genetics online in the spring...same prof and everything...but I was wondering how the class was.
     
  13. twinkiee

    twinkiee Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm in the cell bio/biochem class this spring semester. Just checking to see if anyone has had loudon or is currently enrolled in that class as a post-bacc.

    Thus far, I have found the class to be very straightfoward.

    As for jobs, I would guess that having an on-campus work-study position would be very useful. I hear the pay is pretty good for parttimers on campus.

    I'm currently working full-time at the university... this gives me some tuition benefits, which I find rather helpful... but full-time work definitely limits my time for studying.
     

Share This Page