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Should I do a post-bac pre-med program?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by mimi1, May 16, 2002.

  1. mimi1

    mimi1 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 14, 2002
    Medical school
    I graduated from a top liberal arts college a year ago with a major in bio and minors in chemistry and sociology. My GPA was 3.5 and science GPA was a little lower. I got a 27 (9,9,9) on the MCAT 2 years ago and retook it this past April. I have a lot of volunteer experience, clinical experience and am currently doing research at a major cancer hospital. I am planning to apply to med schools a year from now. I'm wondering if it is necessary to take one of those post-bac pre-med programs (such as the one at Georgetown) to boost my science GPA. I would take only the advanced bio courses since I have already successfully completed the pre-med required courses. What do you think? Is it worth the time, effort, and money?? Or should I just keep working in a research/clinical environment for the next two years?
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  3. I'd advise you to check with your pre-med chair from your undergrad school, but my opinion would be to not bother with the post-bac program. I'd suggest 2 main things-- 1) try taking an advanced bio class at an extension school (then you could balance it with work) and/or 2) attempt to restudy for the MCATs and raise your score a bit. I think your GPA is less likely to be a hindrance than your MCAT scores. A 3.5 from a top school is fine, but my premed advisor said they pray that everyone applying from my alma mater gets at least 30, especially double digits on the science sections. I see that you retook the exam in April, so hopefully the scores will increase!

    You could, of course, just apply as you are, and see what happens. But I wouldn't recommend taking lots of time to take a full post-bac course of study.
  4. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    As much as you don't want to do it. . . you've gotta retake the MCAT -- assumiung your score mid-thirties, your GPA will be fine and you should do well in the process. Make sure you do well on the MCAT though!!!!! :)

    I, too, wouldn't think you'd need a postbac course of study since it sounds like you've done all the premed requirements and your GPA certainly isn't low enough to warrant the time and expense.
  5. inanna

    inanna Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Ditto what the guys said...keeping in mind that most post-bac programs are designed for non-science majors, not for those who wish to boost their science gpa's. That being the case, that type of program might not be an option anyway. I, too, think you should focus on that mcat score and you'll be fine, esp with your strong ec's and decent gpa. Good luck.
  6. u2ecila

    u2ecila Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 11, 2001
    VA area
    You may be interested in UMCP's Science in the Evening program if you live nearby or can take the metro. Its not an official post bac program, but the school offers all levels of science courses at night to help improve your application. Plus, their premed office is pretty helpful - there is an advisor just for the post bac pre-meds.

    I took org at night, and it was a good experience.
    good luck,
  7. encee

    encee Member 7+ Year Member

    May 4, 2002
    los angeles
    Hi Mimi,
    I was in a similar situation as you--basically I think your grades are fine, but it is the MCATs.

    I did a post-bacc type program (at BU, similar to Georgetown) where you get a Masters degree though.
    Although I knew that post bacc or not, I still needed to get better MCAT scores, I did the masters to show that I could kick butt in actual med school courses. I think that one or 2 extra bio courses at a university does not do much, plus how can you really show you are going to do well in med school?? You take these courses! The program really helped in preparing me for the MCATs (which I retook and did much better on--I got a 32) and coupled with the good grades from med school courses, I was a much more competitive applicant.

    The drawback is that post bacc/ masters programs are expensive, but I have thought of it as an investment in my future. I also figured that I would have a better chance of getting into a better med school--and hopefully have a choice of schools to go to.

    Good luck!!
  8. efex101

    efex101 attending Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2002
    I agree with all the above posters about not needing a formal post-bacc program. I would just take some upper level biology courses that you have not taken yet and get A's. It seems that the main concern is your mcat and not necessarily your gpa. You did not mention if you applied before, if you did and received rejections call the schools to see how you could improve your application. I know that a (9,9,9) is not competitive but it is also not a death wish so there may be something else you can work on as well. Good luck!
  9. Future_Doc

    Future_Doc Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 24, 2001
    It couldn't hurt. At least it will show that you are still making progress and attempting to improve your app. But plan on taking the MCAT again.

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