Seeking advice on choosing a program

Regmata

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    A little background information about me:

    I am 25, have a psychology B.A. from SUNY Buffalo. 3.3 GPA. Some volunteer experience in a psychiatric hospital and nursing home. I have been out of school for about 2years. Have bartended and done medical marketing/sales. I took very little science while in school.

    I want to become an MD. At present, I plan to become a rural doctor. I will probably seek a residency in Internal Medicine/Psychiatry.

    I can go to SUNY Buffalo for my science courses and have free room and board. Although the school doesn't have a regimented program.

    What do you guys think I should do? Stay in my home town and take the courses at SUNY Buffalo or seek out another school?

    If another school, any suggestions of a program that will more than likely accept me and fit my needs?

    I also don't plan on practicing in NY, it is way too cold here.

    Are there any programs that give extra aide to students who plan to practice in rural areas?

    I know I have a lot of research ahead of me, and I am hoping that I am not too late with the applications for these programs. I'd like to start ASAP. I am hoping that you guys can help me get started in the right direction. I have the AAMC book and have looked at those post-bacc programs. Anyothers?

    Thanks so much...
     

    TiggidyTooth

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      I'm pretty sure one of the SUNY schools actually has a formal pre-med post bac kind of like the one at UPENN. I believe they even have a linkage deal. Starts with an...H? Bah...I can't remember. I will let you know in about 5 mins.

      Tooth
       

      TiggidyTooth

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        I think it's Hunter, but I can't find a web page. Anyone out there in computer land know anything about Hunter specifically? Maybe I am think of City College...hmm...

        Anyway, here's my take on the entire deal. Apply to formal post-bac programs if you want a cozy feel good linkage program. If you do well you have a serious shot at getting into medical school. The only con is mucho $$$. If you don't feel like shelling out the coin then the plan you have established should suffice. Work hard and get nothin but A's!!

        Good Luck

        Tooth
         
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        LoneCoyote

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          A couple of thoughts....

          If you really do not want to stay in New York you might look into moving to another state and working there and establishing residency before starting the classes. A lot fo states will not let you become a resident if you just move there and start school. You would have to look into the residency requirements for that state. Some states that come to mind that have med schools good in rural medicine are Mass, New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, Vermont, and Oregon. You can always apply to some of these schools later on, though it is much harder to get in as an out-of-state resident and some schools like Arizona and UMass only accept state residents. But UVM and OHSU seem to take a lot of out-of-staters.

          Personally, I would just do the state school route and save your money. It worked for me but it really depends what you are looking for. The formal programs at private schools can be expensive and offer linkages. But it could be a more competitive, stressful environment than doing the classes on your own. That is the complaint I have heard most about those programs. On the other hand, it could motivate you and put you in a good position. You can't relly go wrong either way, it just depends how comfortable you are with the cost and whether you want to leave your hometown. Good luck.
           

          Halcyon440

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            Hunter and City College are part of the CUNY (City of New York) not SUNY (State of New York) system. Buffalo is very far from Manhattan. Those two CUNYs do indeed have formal postbaccs but not sure if any of the SUNYs do.

            Find out about those residency requirements and if there is no problem with you doing your coursework at Buffalo I'd lean towards that. You'll be incurring so much debt in med school that it would be nice if you don't go into it with postbacc coursework debt.

            Then again if you're willing to splurge you may as well look into moving now. That way you won't have to be dealing with the stress of med school at the same time that you're trying to find your way in a new town.
             

            Regmata

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              I can stay in Buffalo, live for free, attend UB, work in a hospital, and go to Kaplan MCAT courses for free. I guess that I am leaning towards going this route.

              What negative repurcussions might I encounter in the future should I decide to stay in New York for my schooling? I ask this because I am looking to become a rural doc, in a state other than NY.

              I feel like I am missing something lol. Want to make sure that I make the right choice.

              Thanks again!
               

              LoneCoyote

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                If you want to do primary care in a rural area there is a scholarship from the National Health Services that pays your way through school and then after your primary care residency you go to an area with a shortage of physicans for I think 4 years to pay backthe funding they gave you. That would be a way to get a rural job in another state. Certain states have similar programs for attracting doctors to underserved areas. I know California has one. You could look and see if the states you are interested in do too.
                 

                turtlepower

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                  Here is my take on your situation after having done a "formal" program...

                  I did the American University program in Washington, DC, which is not such a formal program as it turns out. I am in HUGE debt from this experience and would most likely choose to find a more cost effective way to take my classes if I could do this again. It is extremely hard to finance these programs because most do not lead to a degree. Therefore, you are only eligible for around $5000 in subsidized stafford and $5000 unsibsidized stafford per year. The rest of the cost has to be covere by private loans unless you are rich. This can lead to substantial debt.

                  This is what I think is important about your premed classes - others feel free to disagree.

                  1. Learn the material well
                  2. Do well in your classes grade-wise
                  3. Get to know some of your professors well and let them get to know you beyond the grade you got in their class so they can write you a detailed recommendation

                  I do not think that the school matters as much as your performance in your classes. The MCAT is the great equalizer and is, in my opinion, the most important part of your application.

                  Save your money now so you have more flexibility in the future. Where you go to med school should not limit where you choose to practice...
                   
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