Rec Letters for a career-changer for a Post-Bacc program - also general post-bacc advice!

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Mar 18, 2024
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Hey all - posted a couple days ago about making a transition from an analyst working in investment banking/private-equity to eventually going to med-school. Super helpful and really appreciate the advice. I wanted to ask how one would go about thinking about recommendation letters. I'm about to start a new job investing in healthcare infrastructure and I'd imagine in ~2-years, I could get a strong rec letter from one of my supervisors. I also plan on finding a consistent volunteer or perhaps research activity in the next 2 years that I could potentially get a rec letter from. Other than that, I stopped taking pre-med classes relatively early (only took chem, physics, a bit of orgo, etc) and don't really have any faculty I am close with in that department. I have other faculty members - a healthcare public policy professor and a healthcare operations professor - that I am not necessarily close with but I could likely "cold-outreach" them and see if they'd be willing to write a rec. Not sure what else I should be thinking about or the best way to navigate these rec letters.

Also if anyone has any general advice on best post-bacc programs to consider or if I should go DIY or a structured program. For some general context on my background, graduated from Stanford in '21 with a 3.8 in Economics and have been working in investment banking/private-equity since, with some focus on healthcare businesses. I took some pre-med classes early on (bio, chem, physics) and did relatively well but it's been a very long-time and it was a family and mental health situation that really pushed me to reconsider medicine.

Thanks so much!

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Re: Letters of rec - the general rule of thumb is you need at least 1 from a faculty in the sciences who taught you (specifically biology, chemistry, physics, or math — or courses that would qualify as such under AMCAS). I think you may need to bite the bullet and cold-email some of your old profs for a letter no matter how generic. I would also look closely at schools you're interested in; many detail the types of letters of they want. Some may ask for a physician letter too, so just keep that in mind.

I don't believe you are so far removed from pre-med courses that you would need to retake any of them (I think that only becomes a concern 10+ years out of undergrad), and your overall GPA is fine. I think the question here is have you done/accomplished the following (approximately):
-2 terms of a writing intensive/English class
-2 terms of math (1 term of Calc/1 term of stats)
-2 terms of biology with labs, generally covering cell bio, genetics, and anatomy in some combination
-2 terms of general chemistry with lab
-2 terms of organic chemistry with lab
-1 term of biochemistry
-2 terms of physics with lab
-1 term of each of psychology/sociology (not required, but helpful for MCAT).

Others may know more about formal post-bacc vs. DIY, but my impression is choose the one that you need most. If you're only missing a pre-req or two go DIY; if much more than that, then maybe consider a formal post-bacc. I'm sure there's also a financial element to this as well.