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Post-bacs

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by solitude, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. solitude

    solitude Senior Member
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    OK everytime I read about somebody doing a post-bac, they got a 4.0 GPA or very near it. I'm not contemplating one of these programs, but I am curious how they work. Do pre-meds just pay a university a bunch of money for guarenteed A's and application process advising? I have a hard time believing that every single student that does a post-bac has matured so much that they ace all of their courses.
     
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  3. Elastase

    Elastase StanfUrd bound!!!
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    It probably depends on the post-bac programs. I know some schools keep track on the grades that come out of certain schools and know how well they do at their school. So I guess med schools could gauge the post-bac programs that are "easier." By no mean are these programs giving you As because you are paying them. I know some programs are very competative (SF State) also.

    I believe that people that are doing post-bacs are HIGHLY motivated to do well. Why waste your time doing a post-bac if you are not going to give it your all?
     
  4. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    You rarely find postbac places where anyone gets easy As. Class averages tend to be significantly lower than that. Most of the time people who do postbacs take a schedule they can handle, spend far more time per subject than you would in college, perhaps get tutors or help. Some tend to be a little older and thus sometimes more focused on the end game and less distracted by social stuff. But most importantly, postbac programs tend to have very high attrition -- i.e if it's clear that after a semester or so they aren't getting the numbers they need for med school, they often bail. Thus those that make it through are a small subset of those that start. And those that post are the ones that have done well.
     
  5. Will Ferrell

    Will Ferrell Senior Member
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    Some of the post-bacc programs are hosted by real uncompetitive schools. I doubt the students doing them at Columbia or Johns Hopkins are all pulling off 4.0s.
     
  6. Chrissy

    Chrissy Senior Member
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    Also, I have a thought that may raise some debate here....

    my disclaimer is I'm NOT just bringing this up because I will be starting Penn's program but rather from personal experience and conversations I have had with people in med school admissions offices.

    I think that reputation and perceived difficulty of a school holds slightly more weight when coming from a post bacc....i.e. a 3.4 from bryn mawr post bacc might do the same or more than a 3.6 from Podunk U. Granted many more factors go into an ad com decision but speaking solely on grades I get the impression this is true....I have been comtemplating for almost a year whether to go to my local city college to finish up or return (grad 04) to Penn for post bacc knowing my grades will be lower AND I will prob have to work harder....I get the impression it might pay off so long as I do "well"....maybe not stellar...but well. any thoughts on this?

    as for my personal experiences....i have spoken with people in admissions offices from Penn Med, NYU Med, and Jefferson MC,.....Penn told me they dont care where you did your post bacc because anyone who is being considered for admission is an overall "exceptional student"....NYU told me they "highly prefer" post baccs from programs they are familiar with such as Columbia, Bryn Mawr, and Penn.....Jefferson was in between...i was told that "while you can do post bacc coursework anywhere, the level and rigor you demonstrate may be taken into consideration provided you do well".....hmmm

    anyway just my thoughts what do you think? I had around a 3.0 as an undergrad at Penn....i Like to think that maintaining around a 3.4-5 as a Penn post bacc will do me more good than if i got a 3.7+ from a city college. thoughts please?

    thanks
     
  7. Lorrayne

    Lorrayne Senior Member
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    I did my post-bacc at a relatively unknown state school, and have done well this application cycle. When deciding where to do my post-bacc, I initially had some concerns about not attending a well-known program, but I just tried to do well on the MCAT to prove to med schools that I could handle the work. So far, no interviewers have challenged my choice to go to a less prestigious school.
     
  8. mferronibc

    mferronibc Junior Member
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    I think Lorrayne hit it on the head by saying "I just tried to do well on the MCAT to prove to med schools that I could handle the work". The difference in going to a "more prestgious" and in most cases an unbelievably expensive post-bac program is it takes slight pressure off the need to have exceptional MCAT scores.

    This is not to say a competive MCAT score is not necessariy if you do well at a more intense post bac program (it absolutely is), but performing well in one of these programs is a way to counteract a sub-spectaculatar test score - especially when it comes to spinning this in an interview. If you do your premed work at a state school or informal program, you put alot more pressure on yourself to do superior on the MCAT to "prove" to med schools you did learn the same material at the same depth and that your 3.7 at the state school is comparable to the 3.7 at Columbia, Tufts, or Bryn Mawr.

    If you have no worries about the MCAT and know you will be prepared and do well, I say it absolutely doesnt matter where you do your post bac work as long as you do well. But if standardized tests are not your forte and you think you may have trouble scoring in the high 20's-30 regardless of how much you prepare, than a formalized intense post bac is probably the way to go to prove you can at least handle the workload and day to day rigors.

    Just my opinion.
     
  9. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Some of the formal postbacs you mentioned (and a few you didn't) have program directors who actually meet with med school deans periodically and "market" their graduates to the med school. That kind of relationship tends to help a ton, along with the prestigious name. And that tends to be the kind of thing you can't replicate in a "do it yourself" postbac, and thus if you aren't in one of those you really have to shine with the numerical stats. Prestige helps, but doesn't outweigh big GPA differences. So, as for whether a 3.4 postbac will be good enough since it's from Penn (following a 3.0 ug), in my opinion, I think you really have to shoot for something more in the A- range to have any sort of comfort zone, unless you can score crazy high on the MCAT. You really want to get "mostly" A's from here on out to give yourself a solid shot.
     
  10. NapeSpikes

    NapeSpikes Believe, hon.
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    We didn't pay the postbac to give us A's, but the money may have played a part, to be perfectly honest. I mean, going into $30,000+ in debt for a brand name postbac is great motivation to do well--you only have one chance to get a good science gpa, and to not throw away all that you've invested, financial or otherwise.

    That said, I couldn't pull off a 4.0 for the life of me, so the A's were definitely not freebies.
     

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