Scripps Open House

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15+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2006
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Hi guys,

I had the opportunity to attend the Scripps Open House this past weekend and I thought I'd share some impressions for those of you considering the program.

The place was packed, around 30-40 people. They said they usually like to spend lots of one on one time with prospective students, where each can talk about their plans, backgrounds, and how they got to the point where they're ready to make such an enormous change in their lives. Of course, with that many people, there wasn't enough time for that.

The program coordinators are Jodi Olson and Steve Naftilan. I cannot say enough about what great folks these two are. They really understand and have compassion for the unique situation we're all in. They seem to relate to their students like a family. An example: During graduation, they got a bouquet of flowers for the spouse of one of their students to recognize her for all the work she'd done in the background while her husband spent every moment of the day studying. I was really struck by that.

Class sizes are tiny and very personal. Their largest class is intro bio, which has all of 35 students. Classes are all taught by professors, no ta's. We got a tour of the science building, which was gorgeous. First rate stuff, highest of high tech equipment. You attend class with undergrads, which they feel gives you a good perspective on your studies. As post bac students tend to take everything rather seriously, it's nice to be around a bunch of 19 year olds who're quite a bit more relaxed. But it goes both ways. Post bacs can act as role models and mentors to the kids and help them to understand the importance of hard work and professionalism. I like that.

Be prepared to work your behind off if you get into their program. Two current post bac students came and spoke to us (Steve and Jodi left the room so everyone could ask candid questions) and they pulled no punches about the difficulty and rigor of the program. Both are in accelerated versions of the program, planning to finish between 12-15 months. They also have a 2 year version designed for people who'll need to work part time jobs to get by. One of the students said she worked so hard as to neglect basic hygiene during the last semester! The other said she gives herself one night off a week, but even then she spends the rest of that day studying. They both said that students who graduated and headed to medical school reported that the first brutal year of med school was easier than Scripps! Now there are a couple ways to look at that, and what I took away from it was that if you can get through Scripps, you're ready. You can take on anything. It's great preparation for the long journey ahead.

The hard work pays off. Their acceptance rate into med school for the past couple years is 100%, which is a pretty powerful number. They have linkages to a number of great med schools that can offer guaranteed admission if you perform at certain (achievable) levels. That's something that USC cannot offer. FYI, in order to qualify for the linkage, you've got to take the one year version of the program. You go right from Scripps into med school with no glide.

I came away very, very impressed. The family atmosphere and one on one hands on advising are fantastic assets. My understanding is that their admissions are very competitive, which makes sense, given the unique and superior quality program they offer. Needless to say, I'll be applying and hoping I'll make the cut and have the opportunity to work with these tremendous people. I think any of us would be quite fortunate to attend this program.

David R

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Hi David,

I was at that same open house and I can second everything that was said in his post. Everyone was warm and down to earth. I sent off my application a few days ago. I really hope to be invited back for an interview!!

Hi Wendy,

That's great. I'm glad you seconded the opinion. I was a bit worried that my "review" was overly superlative, but heck, I couldn't think of anything remotely negative to say. It was all tremendous.

Good luck, Wendy. Keep me posted on your app/interview. I'll be applying real soon.

PS - I was the only guy in a suit. :) Glasses too.

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I remember you. You had glasses and wavy brown hair. Right? I was the girl who just had Lasik eye surgery and looked like I had just come out of a bar fight =) I was wearing a bright yellow shirt.

I will keep you updated on my application status. I tried to verify with Jodi that all of my letters of rec had come in A-ok, but am still waiting for her to return my call.

Best of luck,

Not to talk up my own program too much, but Scripps has really been a fantastic place to spend two years preparing for med school. For those with questions, feel free to PM me.