Postbacc choice and disability/chronic illness

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2021
Reaction score
I am 29, and I graduated in 2016 with a 4.0 in neuroscience and journalism. I have ten years of clinical research experience at well-known institutions and two publications, one in Nature, and I am the CTO of a biotech company. After taking care of many things to manage a genetic condition, I am able to go back to school. However, I still need support with physical tasks/it’s important to be near specialists in the area. I live in NYC. I was going to apply to Bryn Mawr, but I just don’t think it would actually work because of the distance. The other option I am looking into is Columbia. I am wondering if it is as bad as some people make it out to be. I am someone who usually nails down information quickly as long as I study. I also noticed a potential plus of being able to link without the MCAT. I think I could do well on the MCAT, but it seems like a very stressful process that takes up an extra year of time. So, I would love some input on this program. The other option would be to take the classes at my alma mater, SUNY Purchase. I am trying to avoid the CUNY system because I tried to take one class at a CUNY school and it was a nightmare. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.

Members don't see this ad.
Hello! I am also disabled/non-trad and had to do a postbacc in the area. I will say that Bryn Mawr is great with how many linkage opportunities there are and since you already have a good GPA, then its a good fit because they are not a repair type of program. But it is a very demanding one so the distance may be an issue, I agree with that. I will preface that most linkages work like a gentleman's agreement. You will apply via AMCAS/AACOMAS, interview, get a preliminary acceptance, and still have to take the MCAT. It is usually a matter of getting either a minimum overall score on it or a cutoff for each section. If you can do that, you can get the prelim A into a real deal A plus the cutoffs aren't as high as what you might need general pool. For the one I was interested in, I just needed a 125 in each section. I know of very few schools that accept a postbacc linkage without an MCAT, although there are things like BS/MD/DO programs that don't require it for their linkages.

PA does have a lot of medical schools/medical facilities so if finding a new provider is something you're willing to do to move, it is an option. I haven't met many people who did the Columbia program so I can't speak to that, but Philly definitely has some top tiered postbaccs and some less then awesome ones too. In some ways, they are major moneymaking programs for schools so what I try to do is get an idea of how many people who graduate from a postbacc actually move onto whatever it is they're interested in be it medical school or PA/NP/PharmD stuff. Hard to find that info but it is out there. Some schools compile it on their websites, some come from forums and such. Not a perfect system by any means. Generally, anything above an 80% was a place I applied to, but I ultimately wanted to go to the school I did for the supportive environment that the student body/faculty had for us career changers. It is a really tough thing to switch careers when you're older, have a family, or have gone through something that slows down your timeline, so that was important to me. Feel free to PM me with any questions.