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Medical Should I do a DIY Postbacc?

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Mr.Smile12

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Hey all,

I am currently trying to decide between applying to a postbacc program or going to community college in order to complete my prerequisites for med school. Here is a little bit about me.

I graduated from HS in 2012 and had worked various jobs and in 2016 I joined the Philadelphia Police Department. I then graduated from college in 2018 with a 3.94 GPA in Criminal Justice. I worked as a police officer for the last four years and recently deployed with the United States Army; I return back to the states in later on this year. I have been trying to figure out the best route that is also cost effective for me. I cannot quit my job, right now, but am set on pursuing medicine as my career. I want to know what your guys' opinion is of DIY postbacc program?

Also, I am aware that a CJ major is not as challenging as a science major but in my defense, it made the most sense at the time. lol
First, thank you for all the service and work you have done to guard our community and nation.

I don't know about your eligibility for armed-forces-friendly policies like the GI Bill or any other scholarships by being a first-responder. You may want to check on that first because that will help us determine the rationale behind any decision you take. I also don't know what your options are with military medicine.

Ideally you should try to start with a traditional four-year college/institution, but I know many people have to take CC coursework because of expense or even seat availability. You should investigate how CC advisors will help you transition to a 4-year institution because ultimately you will need to consider taking classes at that level.
 

MusicDOc124

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Honestly, since you're already in/around Philly, I'd suggest looking into Temple's BCMS program. It's a post bacc designed for career changers with a guaranteed acceptance if you get above a certain GPA and MCAT. It's not a competitive one like others in the sense that if everyone in the program meets the requirements, everyone goes. Other programs are competitive in that they admit only a certain % and skew grades in either direction to create the curve they look for.

I know this isn't DIY, but for the post bacc, guarantee, and location, it could be a really good idea. Plus if you do a DIY, it will take you about 2 years, and even if you take the MCAT in like april and do well, you'd have a 3rd year as an app year. If you do a program with a linkage (such as what I mentioned), it's a direct admit. So you wouldn't need another year for apps.

I'm assuming here, but it sounds like you're reserve or guard since you're a police officer but deployed. How much time on active duty do you have, not including basic training? That amount of time will determine what % of GI Bill you get versus if you get a reserve version/lesser %. Since you're still in, also assuming here, it's unlikely you have a VA rating, unless you served previously (unmentioned) and went back into the reserve. So with that said, IF you get a rating when you get out, Voc Rehab may be a potential option as well.
 

MusicDOc124

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I am definitely looking into Temple's postbacc program and I do believe that I will apply for it. The only issue that I had was that it is during the day. I could work overnight as an officer but I am not sure if that will allow me to put my best foot forward but it is an appealing program and I appreciate it's guaranteed acceptance. Temple is one of my schools. I am National Guard and I have, going on, three years of active duty. I do not have a VA rating. Can you explain Voc Rehab to me? Of course I will look into it on my own as well. I have seen it mentioned in a few threads but never looked into it.

I will add more later, but just wanted to say that if you’re using GI bill at the 100% rate, then to put your best foot forward you shouldn’t be working and allow the BAH to cover expenses. You’re looking at applying to the most competitive field for school with a non-science degree. Working overnight should not be an option. Your job in a post bacc is to study. If it was DIY at a slower pace (taking you like 3 years) you could squeeze it in, but if you do one at a regular pace, you most likely shouldn’t be working - again, especially due to your lack of exposure to the sciences with a CJ degree.

IF you were going to work or something, I’d suggest a per diem job in healthcare to get experience, especially as a career changer. Work as an EMT, tech, CNA, scribe, etc, or shadow otherwise adcoms might not take your app as seriously.
 

MusicDOc124

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As for voc rehab. It's meant for veterans who were injured or have some sort of ailment that led to a VA comp and pension. Having VA C&P >/=10% is a requirement to use the program. It works similar to GI Bill, but pays 100% of costs (different than uptown 100% of instate tuition like the GI bill does), so effectively it covers more costs, it covers more materials, gives you a computer, and adds 12 months of benefits to your allowable time, and is extendable. But everything needs to be approved by someone, it makes changing hard, and it needs to be approved in the first place, and while some people have gone to grad schools and professional schools on it, many have also been denied who then resort to GI Bill or loans. Besides, using GI Bill in your case won't make MUCH of a difference. There is a new STEM extension/scholarhsip through the GI Bill which also adds like 12 months and can be used for medical school/training. Since you have 3 years of active duty WITHOUT counting bootcamp, then you qualify for 100% GI Bill. Since you have a bachelors already, and you're looking at just pre-reqs, with the STEM scholarship, you could probably get through 3rd year without loans or anything.
 
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