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Post-Bacc Pre-Med

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by Bentley143, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. Bentley143

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    Psychology Student
    Hello everyone,

    I am currently in graduate school pursuing my M.A/Ed.S in counseling psychology and I am considering going for a post-bacc pre-med program. The reason being is psychiatry is my true interest and passion but I have never taken any of the pre-med classes. My undergraduate GPA was a 3.1 in business but my graduate GPA is 3.9 in counseling psychology. I am also interning at a psychiatric hospital where I will be running group counseling and having my own clients. Would I be a competitive applicant for a post-bacc pre-med program? I am looking to go somewhere in the Tri-State area but am really open to any opportunities. I appreciate everybody's help and look forward to your feed back.
     
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  3. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
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    There are something like 14 places in the US that call themselves the tri-state area.

    3.1 in business says you're not yet ready for the prereqs, and that number says you are a few years from being ready to apply to med school. You have to redeem your undergrad performance with a stronger undergrad performance, including the prereqs. You'll need more than one full time year of hard undergrad, mostly science, followed by an above-average MCAT, to get into med school.

    A 3.9 in counseling grad school is great for counseling, but it's not preparing you for the prereqs. And that nice high number won't be averaged into your overall GPAs for med school apps. I encourage you to use your 3.9 momentum to keep you motivated to do a whole lot of GPA redemption, if you want to go to med school.

    So the first thing is to take one pertinent class: a reasonably difficult math/stats class or medium-intro science class. Get an A. If you can't get an A in one reasonably difficult pre-prereq class, don't proceed to the prereqs. If you can get an A, then you can start thinking about options for getting the prereqs done.

    With your GPA, you can't get into a competitive formal program with linkage such as Bryn Mawr, Goucher, Scripps etc. But there are lots of ways to get the prereqs done.

    My suggestion is to review one of the formal program websites (Bryn Mawr or Goucher or Scripps) to get an idea of what you're supposed to do as a "career changer". Then start looking at the schools where you live to see which ones have postbac premed programs, or have extension/open access. And then come back and ask for feedback on your plan after you've made a preliminary list and are conversant in the prereq coursework.

    Meanwhile, you'll need clinical experience other than psychology. Generally I advise a 4 hr/wk volunteer gig in an ED or a free clinic. Psychology experience is good, just not good enough to serve as a basis for a med school ambition.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  4. Bentley143

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    Thank you for your feedback and advice.

    By tri-state I meant the northeast. Lived here my whole live so I was not aware there were any other tri state areas.

    I have taken biological basis of behavior and statistics in my graduate program and have received As in both classes. Would that help when applying to pre-med post-bacc programs? I am looking at programs that are for career-changers and for people who have as little science experience as possible. Schools will not look at my graduate GPA as an indicator that I could handle a tough workload?

    For the pre-req classes I am aware of what is needed for medical school and the programs that are offered in my area. I am interested in ones at Rutgers, Columbia, Temple, and a few others.

    Also, my internship involves treatment planninng, knowledge of medications, and more than just counseling the patient but I will try and get some more volunteer experience.

    Any other advice that you may have? I was wondering if a good GRE score would help since they look at SAT scores
     
    #3 Bentley143, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
  5. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
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    Nobody in med school or in med school prep is going to be impressed by psychology grad work. You'll find the intensity and crushing volume in prereq coursework to be entirely different than what you're used to.

    I recommend not skipping over the "take one class as a warmup" idea. You really, really need to know what you're getting into, and you really, really need to know if you can do the work. Everybody who does meh in undergrad and then decides they want to go to med school is 100% sure that they're now, suddenly, an A student and that academics of course won't be a problem.
    You'll want to get good at finding this info on program websites.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  6. Barker Posey

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    Not sure if you're still checking this thread, but I would go ahead and apply for career changer programs, including the ones you mentioned, with the addition of Bryn Mawr. I applied to the programs you listed (and Bryn Mawr) in the spring of 2012 and am now a second year med student. I don't see anything in your history that indicates that you cannot succeed. None of the material is particularly challenging--it's purely a volume game. If you're dedicated enough, you will succeed. I had never taken a science class but very quickly learned new study methods. Many of the one year programs start with summer chemistry, so if that ends up being an overwhelming prospect, then you could theoretically drop out of the program at that point without an enormous financial commitment. I included my GRE score in my application, along with the SAT. My undergrad grades were a little better (though not hugely), and I did attend a top tier undergrad and grad program. Make sure you read through the threads to get a better picture of the different programs. Some programs are more supportive than others.
     

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