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Southern California Post Bac Pre-Health/Med Programs?

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by chazell, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. chazell

    2+ Year Member

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    Does anyone have any knowledge of PostBac Pre-health/med programs in Southern California? I've done some research and the ones I've been looking at include the list below. Are there any I'm missing? Is the information below accurate? Does anyone have any additional insight to these programs? I'm trying to determine where to go next fall for my PostBac pre-reqs for med school. Thanks.

    1. Cal State University, Fullerton - appears to be a good program, has linkages, about a 7% acceptance rate into their PostBac Pre-Health Program. Have been helpful thus far answering questions. Decent acceptance to med schools.

    2. Cal State University, San Marcos - good to get the pre-reqs done, but doesn't seem as well organized as CSUF, also has no linkages and no information on acceptance to med schools.

    3. Chapman University - no cap on students, usually a much smaller pool of applicants due to it being a private school and twice as expensive as the CSU's. I know they're not known for sciences, but does anyone know anything about their pre-health postbac program?

    4. Scripps - a very good program, very rigorous and very difficult to get into. Several linkages and usually a 100% acceptance rate into med schools.

    5. Cal State University, Los Angeles - I haven't really read much. Doesn't appear to have any linkages.

    Thanks for any insight.
     
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  3. chazell

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    I'm looking at these in lieu of completing them at a community college.
     
  4. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
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    Look for the postbac forum for commentary from current & former students.

    USC has a postbac. UCLA Extension offers the prereqs.
     
  5. chazell

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    Oops, I apologize. I'm new the forums, didn't even see that section. I searched for so cal post bac's but didn't see there was a subsection for those topics. Also I did see UCLA has the extension program, but unfortunately it doesn't really work with my schedule since I'm about 90 minutes away from the campus.

    I'm not sure if a moderator can move the thread over there for me.
     
  6. Dullhead

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    I think the CSU San Marcos program started recently, and this year's class might be the first (not 100% sure). Also check this link: https://services.aamc.org/postbac/. Are you going to be working full time while doing the postbacc?
     
  7. chazell

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    Yeah, San Marcos is on the list above. Didn't know they were new though, maybe that's why they don't have much information on the website and they weren't very helpful when I contacted them.

    Yes, I will be working full time during postbac. I currently work Monday-Thursday nights, which would allow me to attend school during the day. Due to this, I'm unable to take evening courses, such as UCLA Extension, unless I might my work schedule to Friday, Saturday, sunday nights, which is possible, but not ideal.
     
  8. Zo_FutureDDS

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    Hey! It's been over a year since your last post. Did you find a program? I am currently in the process of finding one myself. I was looking at the San Marcos one since it's close to me (I live in SD) and like you said they don't provide much statistics or info about acceptance into med/dental etc. schools or how many ppl apply or get into their program. I called and none of my questions or concerns were addressed. I have no choice but to attend this unless I find a better program :/
     
  9. frizzle87

    frizzle87 SDN Bronze Donor
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    Hi All!


    I just wanted to share some info about the USC PPP for those of you considering it. Please note that this is just reflective of my experience, which could be different for others.


    First off, I will say that I had some excellent professors and some awful ones. That is probably pretty universal in terms of “weeder” courses, but might still be worth mentioning. I did like that you typically only take about 2 courses per semester, which gave me time to pursue research and extracurricular opportunities. That said, the research with which I was involved was not facilitated or organized by the program. I individually sought out my research projects, and coming in with a research background may have helped me to secure those positions. Some students are involved in research during the program, and others are not – but it’s difficult to say how many of those found opportunities on their own vs. through the PPP.


    In terms of academics, some classes are curved and others aren’t – it seems to depend largely on the professor and how they choose to structure their courses. For the most part, grading seemed pretty fair, but some of the exams were also extremely difficult with an average grade of 40% on a few Ochem tests! I’m not sure if that is the same everywhere. It is also worth mentioning that there was some gossip regarding a “tutor” who many of the other post-bacs hired to help with coursework, but we were also warned that his methods are unconventional and several other students who had hired him (for thousands of dollars!) were sent to administration for instances of cheating when they listed two separate and correct answers to a test question without showing work. It may just be a rumor - but concerning nonetheless. That said, I did just fine without hiring outside help. MCAT prep is “on your own” and students select courses from different providers (i.e. Kaplan, Smartwood, Princeton Review, etc.) but the school DOES give a subsidy to cover some of the cost. Of course, this really just means that you end up getting $2,000 “back” from your (admittedly high) tuition payments, which you can redirect toward a prep course.


    The PPP does hold regular meetings where students can share info about classes, research, ECs, etc. This can be helpful for some students who are looking for ideas about what to pursue outside of classes, but I didn’t find ECs mentioned to be particularly unique since many/most of the students in the program seem to gravitate towards the same activities or activities that other post-bacs have done in the past. I also often felt as if the meetings had a tendency to become stressful because students seemed to feed off of each other’s anxiety. I was able to find a few other post-bacs to have regular study sessions with, but some other students were standoffish and competitive. It is likely the same everywhere, but there seemed to be quite a bit of variability in students’ willingness to work with one another collaboratively.


    During the second year, there is some guidance in terms of selecting potential medical schools and navigating the application process, but there was definitely not as much as I expected or would have liked. One PowerPoint presentation by a former student just didn’t seem to prepare me for the MASSIVE undertaking which is the application process. Looking back and knowing what I do now, I wish I had applied to a more diverse range of schools (the importance of which was not emphasized very strongly in the presentation I attended).


    What is most concerning to me about the whole program is the “alumni placement” list. Maybe I interpreted the list incorrectly when I first saw it, but I assumed that each of the schools listed with corresponding numbers indicated the number of students who MATRICULATED into those institutions. I quickly realized that the list of “placements” indicates ACCEPTANCES. So, at first glance, it seems like a large volume of students have been accepted, when in reality, one student might have garnered five different acceptances and four others might not have been accepted at all. Still, that one student is “counted” five times for all five different schools to which they were accepted. This makes it extremely difficult to tell exactly how many students are really being accepted and matriculating into medical/dental/other programs after completing the USC post-bacc. Keep in mind, the list also does not indicate the number of cycles that students have to complete in order to make it onto the list. I have a friend with exceptional qualifications who was not accepted last cycle but is re-applying. If they are accepted to schools this year, they will undoubtedly be included in the “placements” list, but it will have taken TWO application cycles to get there. Based on that list, we also don’t know WHEN those placements occurred, so there is no way to tell if 90% of the acceptances happened last year, or if 90% of the acceptances happened back in the 1990s when the program was started and competition was less intense.


    Also worth noting is the fact that Keck has given out 42 acceptances total to USC post-bacs (which, like I said, does not mean that all 42 students matriculated there) - but this has been over the span of about TWENTY YEARS. That means that there are about two acceptances to Keck per year from the post-bac program, but the number of placements to Keck has not changed at all over the past couple of years. From what I can see, there were NO acceptances from the USC PPP to Keck at all last year, and if I remember correctly, the year before. It is quite possible that USC used to take a lot of post-bacs every year and has now tapered off and doesn’t accept any (or only very few). I would certainly keep that in mind if you are considering this program to increase your chances of being accepted at Keck, since there does not seem to be any organized loyalty agreement to USC post-bac students. Also, it appears in the past few years that VERY few were accepted to California schools in general, likely because CA schools don’t seem to prioritize local applicants like some states do (i.e. Nevada, Texas, etc).


    I hope this is helpful to those of you considering the program. Best of luck in your future endeavors!
     
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  10. amielnic

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    Hi there, @frizzle87 !! Thank you so much for all the information. I have a USC interview tomorrow and I was hoping you could enlighten me on the interview process and if I could ask you more questions.
     

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