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Post-Bacc Programs

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jzh200, Mar 30, 2002.

  1. jzh200

    jzh200 Junior Member
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    First off, since this is my first post, I justed wanted to say SDN is an excellent place for MDs to be, with some awesome people!

    Ok now to my question. I am thinking about pursuing a postbacc program, but I need advice regarding which university program to pursue. I have done some research and came across Bryn Mawr and Columbia's postbaccs to be best for me. I was wondering if there are any SDNers are currently going there/ went there/ have information. Both programs are quite expensive, and I wouldn't want to end up paying the $$$s and not ending up in med school (my biggest fear). Any thoughts will be appreciated..
     
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  3. Astrid

    Astrid Member
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    hi there. i finished the columbia postbacc last may and wouldn't mind answering any questions you have. in general, it's challenging and fairly competitive, but the results are good. everyone i knew personally got into med school! it's expensive, for sure. but i dont know if i'd have gotten into med school by taking classes at my state school. for me, it was worth it. like i said, ask me any questions you might have. good luck!
     
  4. Mr.D

    Mr.D insipidus maximus
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    Astrid,

    I was wondering if you (or anyone else) could explain how a post-bac program works? Does is help to improve your GPA, or is the post-bac GPA not averaged into your undergrad GPA? Thanks for the clarification.
     
  5. jzh200

    jzh200 Junior Member
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    Astrid, congrats on finishing up the program! I sent you a PM.

    Also, if there are any others who have done or are doing a postbacc, please do post your experiences. Thanks in advance :cool:
     
  6. Zack90

    Zack90 Senior Member
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    I've only heard great things about the Bryn Mawr program.
     
  7. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member
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    I went to the Bryn Mawr Program and thought it was great. The reason I picked it over the Columbia program is that Bryn Mawr's program is really designed to get you in and out in a year (and a summer). Columbia wanted to do the same thing in 2.5-3 years, which at my age is a lot.

    Bryn Mawr is very expensive, but what you are really paying for is a virtually guaranteed entry to medical school (90%+). They won't let you into the program if they don't think you can get into med school. One other thing about Bryn Mawr -- its very difficult, however, if you work your tail off, its a good intro to medical school.

    If you have any other question, just ask. Good Luck,

    Ed
     
  8. chef

    chef Senior Member
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    Hi, I have a friend who wants to do columbia postbacc program, and I have a few q's:

    1. Do you apply after the 2nd yr of studying? What would you do in year 3 other than applying? Do you continue to take classes?

    2. What's the lifestyle during classes? Is it similar to college lifestyle? How much freetime do you get? It must be hard, but after all you are only taking premed courses in 2 yrs, so is it really relaxing ?

    3. when do they recommend taking mcat?

    4. are postbacc classes taught by undergrad profs, med school profs, or TAs?

    5. Where do u take teh classes, and where do students live? Are classes taught in the evening/morning? Do you take classes with columbia undergrad students?

    Thanks much!!!
     
  9. Astrid

    Astrid Member
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    hello again. glad there is such an interest in the columbia program!
    first of all, i'll describe it in general and hopefully answer all the questions.

    jzh200- since likage might be of interest to the others i'll mention it here but feel free to PM me again if you want.

    it's typically a two year program, though some people spead it out over three and i know one person who did it in one year. it depends on how many (if any) pre-med courses you took as an undergrad, how well you did in those courses, and how masochistic you are willing to be. All of the classes are at the undergrad campus and most are fairly large lectures mixed with the undergrads. the one exception is bio., which has separate meetings catered more to postbaccs. all the classes that i took were with full professors, with recitation sections and labs run by TAs. i guess the most classes you take in a semester is four, so you are part-time by official university standards, but the program is so competitive that you feel very much like a full time student. i found that i had enough free time to maintain a life outside school, though i was definitely very very busy. most people have time to work part-time and/or volunteer somewhere (they're good about helping you get medically related jobs) during the school year. though i quit my job second semester of year 2 to study for the MCAT (most people take it during April of the second year, with some waiting until august). Generally you apply at the end of your second year and have a lag year before you start med school. Most people i know (including me) got some sort of research or clinical job for the lag year. some took classes, though i certainly didn't. needed the break.

    chef- every one i knew lived off campus. the housing market is tight in NYC if you didn't already know that, so be prepared. the program says they'll help get university apartment housing but i found that to be BS, as nobody i knew lived in university housing.

    aesculapian- i think that yes, the program is definitely designed to improve your overall GPA as well as prepare you very well for the MCAT, etc. on the AMCAS application, your entire GPA is available to admissions committees, as well as only your premed GPA (post-bacc and undergrad) and also your postbacc GPA alone. In interviews people definitely noticed the "upward trend" in my grades from undergrad to postbacc, so they had to be looking beyond my total GPA.

    Also, Columbia has "linkage" with certain medical programs where postbaccs can apply for spots in the next entering class outside the normal applicant cycle and skip the lag year. i think the schools they have linkage with (contact the school for sure, b/c i didn't do linkage) are Brown, Jefferson, Temple, MCP Man., Trinity (in Ireland), SUNY Downstate... not sure about other places.
    jzh200- i knew four people who tried to do linkage. two of them got it. one at Brown, one at Downstate. they both had strong GPAs, i think.. but i never asked exactly what their numbers were. the way the process works is at the start of your second year there will be a "linkage meeting" where anybody interested gets a general application. it's due before christmas break. then you go visit the school you;re interested in. after reviewing your application, the postbacc. office decides on a few number of people to nominate for each linkage school. then only those people go on in the process and fill out an application to the actual school. all of them except Brown require MCAT scores and interviews, so most people do that and find out if they got linkage in the early summer and start school at the end of the summer. with Brown you find out a bit earlier.if you dont get in through linkage then you still have plenty of time to apply in the regular cycle.

    did that cover it all? that was a long-winded response i know. FYI, i've also heard great things about the Bryn Mawr program and i think they have linkage with certain schools as well.
    like i said before, the columbia program was a great expereince for me. BUT I WORKED VERY HARD!! it was not an easy ride!! good luck and feel free to ask any more questions.
     
  10. jzh200

    jzh200 Junior Member
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    Thanks a million!! :)

    Astrid: Wow, you answered my questions and then some! If you don't mind me asking, what med school are you attending currently? The reason that I am asking is because at the info session, they mentioned that P&S gives "strong" considerations to the postbaccs, would you say that is true?

    Good Luck with your studies!!

    EdMadison: Bryn Mawr certainly sounds like a competitive post bacc program. I have a question regarding housing: does the college help you? or does everyone live off-campus?

    I do like the fact that Bryn Mawr's program of study takes about 1 year, but from the info I have, they expect you to take 3 premed courses at the same time! was that the case for you? If I do attend the program. I would rather do 1 class in the summer, 2 classes in the fall/spring, while the last class over the summer. It would mean MCATs in August.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  11. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member
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    If I recall correctly, at Bryn Mawr we were on our own for housing. I can't recall what my rent was, but it was cheaper than where I came from: NYC.

    As far as the program is concerned. You must take three classes a semester. It is totally doable. I found the Bio and Physics challenging but not too intense and the Orgo very difficult: lots of synthesis problems. The lab write ups were quite time consuming.

    Even with the high work load there was plenty of time to relax.

    Also, don't underestimate the value of the "linkage" programs with med schools. This saved me a year of my life and I didn't have to take the MCAT. I'm very happy as an MS2 at Rochester. Bryn Mawr's linkages are with Rochester, Dartmouth, Brown, Temple, MCPH, Jefferson, SUNY Stoneybrook and SUNY Downstate. For some of these you must take the MCAT and get a minimal score (9-9-9, I think).

    My favorite thing about the program was that it was quick and dirty. You get you premed req's done and then its off to medical school!

    Ed
     
  12. medicine2006

    medicine2006 Happy Pisces
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    The Chicago Med/Finch program traditionally has lead alot of its post-bacs into the medical school. That is a good thing. The bad thing is that almost all of these people wind up with just the single acceptance, so unless Finch is your dream school I'd recommend MCP's post-bac program. Their students have always gained multiple acceptances.
     
  13. Astrid

    Astrid Member
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    i think it's true that P&S gives the postbaccs a lot of consideration in the application process... most people that i know from the program that applied at least got an interview. of course, columbia interviews a lot of people anyhow. and i dont know how many people got accepted (i didn't!). I certainly wouldn't use entrance to P&S as criterea for doing postbacc at Columbia. the connection is not as strong as perhaps the postbacc office wishes it was.

    to answer your question, i haven't decided yet where i'm going for med school (i'll start in the fall). Either Vanderbilt, University of Kentucky, or University of Louisville.
    good luck!
     
  14. jzh200

    jzh200 Junior Member
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    Ed: Bryn Mawr is sounding better and better. I'll have to take your word on the housing, as a native New Yawka myself, paying less $$ in rent would be welcome sight. Also my eyes lighted up when you mentioned Dartmouth being part of the linkage, it is one of my choice schools. If it isn't a bother, can you describe the linkage process? Things like what sort of grades, procedures you had to follow? I do like linkage very much, because I don't have the time to wait the lag year.

    Astrid: Wow <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> you have been an excellent resource! I mean I knew the "literature" info, but you really filled me in on the details. For P&S, I do agree with what you mentioned and I'm certainly not basing my decision to attend postbacc for P&S. I had a chance to talk with Dean of Admissions Dr. Frantz (sp?), who was raving about the Postbacc program, and I just wanted to get an experienced viewpoint. Best of luck in your decision!
     
  15. HippocratesX

    HippocratesX Member
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  16. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel
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    Hey, for those of you looking to improve your GPA instead of taking those prereqs, check out georgetown's one year SMP - <a href="http://www.go.to/physio" target="_blank">http://www.go.to/physio</a> I am applying to it right now - they are SO nice, their main goal is to get you into their med school and they are predominantely for people who just want a GPA boost and a chance to prove themselves.

    Also, here's a list of (I think all) of the post-bacc programs: <a href="http://www-hobbes.syr.edu/hpap/LISTPB.HTM" target="_blank">http://www-hobbes.syr.edu/hpap/LISTPB.HTM</a>

    Good luck :D
     
  17. pipper

    pipper Member
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    As a Bryn Mawy alum, maybe I can give you a little insite to back up Ed. There is limited on campus housing for postbacs, but it is expensive and you can live more cheaply elsewhere. There are several apartments within waling distance, and in nearby Ardmore and Rosemont. I lived in the Haverford apartments one summer and although they were a little ghetto, they were roomy and about 400 bucks for a two bedroom. As for the program itself, it is intense, but totally doable and designed to get you in to med school. The postbacs are a tad anal in their drive for success, but they also band together and help each other out. Also, the profs are very approachable and are there 100% to help you succeed. The program also has you overlapping some classes/labs with undergrads if that kind of thing annoys you. The program is tough, but prepares you well for the rigors of med school. Plus, the Bryn Mawr environment is really nice.
     
  18. jzh200

    jzh200 Junior Member
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    Pipper :) I appreciate the info.
    I'm not too worried about the classes with undergrads, instead taking 3 of the 4 required sciences is troubling me, as I don't have a science background.

    For a NYCer that $400 for a 2 bedroom sounds sweet!

    Since the Bryn Mawr Alums are here, I hope you folks can provide some insight on their acceptance rates & policies. As far as I understand theyre looking for a 3.0 or higher GPA, a few letters of recommendation, healthcare experience and they invite a select number to the interview. Am I missing any requirements? The program does seem very competitive, however would any of you have an idea as to what their aceptance rate actually is? I mean will it mirror med. school acceptance rates?

    Also, to other folks dropping by with some info on the other programs: Thank You !! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />

    Eventhough I may not be eligible or interested in some of the postbacc programs, I'm sure others will certainly be more interested and your doing them a great favor.
     
  19. medical mind

    medical mind Junior Member
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    COFFEECAT :
    hi ! I'm also looking into the georgetown smp for when i'm done w/ my post-bacc work....(another 2yrs?)
    you say they are nice and helpful..... were you able to speak to anyone there? I have some questions I'd love to ask them and am interested in a basic preliminary opinion from them regarding my past stats and how i can improve my background. do you know if their screening is tough for the masters? I liked the program b/c they seem to really look at the student as a person, rather then cutoffs. a nice prospect ! :p thanx so much for any info! --MM
     

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