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Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by ootsocsid, Apr 9, 2007.
Is anyone else here starting UPenn's pre-health post-bacc program this May?
I am probably going to start at UPenn this summer. I really like that UPenn has so many linkage schools and has a high success rate for people who finish the program. On the other hand, I understand that a lot of people don't finish the program, possibly due to the intensity of the program and/or the curve. I haven't been able to get many solid answers out of UPenn re: how many post-baccs are able to link to one of the linkage schools, and just how many finish the program.
Has anyone looked for housing in Philadelphia yet, or heard of any good places to live?
I also believe I will be goin to Upenn, have not made my final decision yet. I may start in the fall rather than the summer however.
What are your backgrounds? Right out of college, coming from work, etc????
I graduated from UVA in 2005 (philosophy/bioethics major), thought I wanted to do health law/policy, but found out after 1 1/2 of law school that this is not what I really want in life. I think I'm young enough and dedicated enough to make the switch; I'm really excited about getting back into the sciences. I'm working at the ER in my hometown right now. Will probably start at UPenn in May, but I am keeping open the possibility of going to UVA (application deferred).
I really want to do the UPenn program in one year, but I am hearing from people on SDN that most (if not all) UPenn postbaccs choose to do the program in two. I didn't get the impression from the new director at UPenn that so many students choose the two-year plan, so I'm eager to find out just how doable the one-year plan is. Any thoughts on this?
I was also planning on doing it in a year, or a year and a summer since I have a few prereqs already. I am an engineering major, so I have all my calcs and my physics done. I am thinking about taking chem 1 again since I haven't had it since 1st semester.
I know you PMed me and as promised i will write back I just saw your post and thought i'd jump in....
i'm glad this forum is anonymous....the new director is questionable. On paper she an immense asset to the program, yet I have not found one student (exception those accepted or with extremely high grades) that like her and find her informative. She is new so we are all waiting to see, but for the most part she sounds like a "how to get in to med schook book" as i have heard...very general, kinda BS answers to very important, specific questions. I can't speak from experience however, I have not yet met her. Her credentials are very impressive so i'm sure she knows what shes talking about maybe just not fully disclosing her knowledge- why i dont know.
anyway, the purpose of my post: she is a lot different than the previous director dr. hunter. Hunter was very open to DO schools whereas hershman is not apparently. additionally, she has told people to quit their jobs and focus on grades....which is empty, useless advice for, i'll go out on a limb, everyone who needs to work!....dr. hunter on the otherhand was the one who boasted how successful the full-time workers are while taking 2 classes. so all in all you'll get the advising you want, but you'll have to go after answers a bit more veraciously than first assumed. ok back to work!
When did you guys apply to the penn program? I applied at the last minute - March 30, but have yet to hear anything. The program starts on May 21 and I want more than a week or two to make my decision if I am accepted. Thanks guys!
I'm in the same dilemma, and have some other schools I need to reply back to soon regarding their programs. I called their office today, and the person I spoke with said their reviewing process has been slower because they changed admins this year, and one program coordinator is replacing two. There has also been an influx of applications that were sent in the last week of March before the deadline, mine included, and they are still trying to sift through them. I was informed that I should be hearing back within the next few weeks, but in the meantime, I think I've made the decision to attend Northwestern in June instead. Hope this is a bit of help.
i applied a while back & still havent heard anything. maybe they're still waiting to get my SAT scores. ugh
I need to warn you.
I applied to the UPENN pre-health post-bac program, I believe it was in January 2006, but definetly pre-deadline last year. I recieved a letter saying that they recieved my completed application sometime after that (unsure of when exactly). Well now, over 1 year later, I STILL have never recieved anything from PENN as far as an acceptance/rejection/waitlist. It is a moot point as I was accepted to and enrolled in another school that I preffered over UPENN. I didn't follow up with that much zeal, but I did make a phone call that was answered with something like, I am unsure of the status of your application (this was something like July '06). Either way it is quite ridiculous that I have never recieved an answer from penn.
Hmm, sorry to hear the new director isn't as helpful as Dr. Hunter. While Dr. Hunter was very nice, I actually also found her to be a bit discouraging since I had a low science GPA and wanted to apply anyway. I ended up going against her advice and I'm glad I did since I'll be attending med school come fall. However, I do agree that she was very open to the DO option since she mentioned it as one for me.
I think the Penn program is really what you make of it and you do kind of have to go out on your own a bit to seek out opportunities or advice. Personally, since I went to Penn for undergrad I already had my barrings about me and only occassionally used advising appointments or things like the interview workshops to find out more. The most helpful resource I had was the applying to med school guide that the post-bac program gives out. I also think the committee letter service was well done and I know my LOR packet certainly helped me get into medical school.
In terms of working during the program, I think you can do it if you limit yourself to two classes per semester and find a position that isn't too stressful (i.e. allows you time to work on school work during the day or time off right before a set of exams). I took two classes each semester while working full-time. The only really stressful semester was when I was taking both physics and organic chemistry at the same time. Since physics was a difficult subject for me, I really struggled to keep on top of my classes plus full-time work. Plus, if you work full-time at Penn two classes get paid for (either day or CGS nighttime) which was a huge bonus!
anyone know where to live or lookin for roomates around UPenn?
I am going the housing fair at UPenn on Thursday the 19th to check things out. I might be interested in a roommate, since I've heard the places closer to campus are pretty expensive.
let me know how it goes
Got a call from Penn today - my interview is over the phone tomorrow. Very excited to get an interview! But I've spent the day in Richmond checking out VCU (Virginia Commonwealth) and I took a chem placement exam (got out of remedial chem - whoo hoo!). I have to say - I really like the campus and Richmond. Cool, old city and cheap, too. If I could get into MCV...that would be awesome. I met with an admissions Dean at GW yesterday and she said that the Penn name means alot (especially since Penn has a link to GW), but I didn't get the impression that doing Premed at VCU would be the worst thing in the world. She also said that 34-years-old isn't too old at all to be starting premed, and that made me feel great, actually. I shouldn't worry about it, but I do!
Bet you got a call, too, Tiramisu?
Heinz57 - when did you send in your app for Penn? is it for summer admission? i applied the last week in march for summer admit and haven't heard anything. good luck on your interview!
Thanks, LM - just finished my interview. I don't think it went well! I am sick and feel pretty loopy, so I think I sounded scattered. But I did the best I could. She said I'd be notified within 1.5 weeks, so that's good. When I asked, she said that some classes are graded on a curve and some aren't. She also said that they admit 70 people per year and that almost all of them get into med school. Classes are mostly with other Pre-Health students and are at night. I guess all of this has been said before on SDN. Although, I thought you could take day courses with undergrads, too, if you wanted.
Anyhow, that's the scoop for now.
Oh - and my app was complete on 03/29.
I'll be attending the program this fall and I have no idea where to live! I would like to find a place within walking distance to campus, and ideally it would be a sublet for only fall semester (I have a roommate lined up in December/January). I have no idea how to look for an apartment because I'm currently living outside of the US and am completely unfamiliar with Philly. Do you guys have any suggestions or info? I've tried the Penn housing website and Craigslist, but I haven't found anything yet...
Crissy, maybe you should not just "jump in" especially if you are so misinformed. Mrs. Hershman has been at UPenn for roughly 11 weeks. Of course the students are displeased with her currently because she is new and at the same time she is trying to interview and prepare for the incoming class. Thus, she doesn't have the time the current students would like to have to spend with her.
The previous advisor for the last class was there for them and at their beckoning call. Especially at a time (i.e. now) that they need an advisor the most, since the application process is soon approaching. Because Mrs. Hershman is not available, doesn't mean she is "questionable."
Additionally, I would hope that you are not that dense to see that your statement "On paper she an immense asset to the program, yet I have not found one student (exception those accepted or with extremely high grades) that like her and find her informative." is from a blatently biased point of view.
Maybe because these students that are not happy are not in the same situation as those accepted, thus indicating the need for an advisor that isn't able to meet with them...
Also, "I'll go out on a limb" and say since I have talked with her personally, in now way did I get the feeling that I should "quit my job."
Enough of my harangue, back to the subject at hand.
Actually you should refrain from making such disparaging statements about Crissy since some of what she says is COMPLETELY TRUE!!!!
She has practically told many of the people in the program, who I know work, to quit their job or take a leave of absence so that they can focus more on their school work. This is extremely unreasonable and frankly kind of dumb!
And yes, in many ways she IS like some admissions booklet b/c she tries her hardest not to give any personal advice.
Many students currently feel as if she has neglected to accept the role of as an advisor...and I think much of what she says in these general meetings speak volumes to that viewpoint.
Godspeed: My post definitely seemed to strike a nerve so i apologize. A poster asked about the advising and since no one responded, i thought I'd jump in stating everything i've heard sitting in classes. I actually thought I did a good job of admitting I wasn't the best source because I've yet to meet her. I'm very early in the post-bacc process so I don't know personally what she's like come application time. All that I said and know, is from listening to many many students who are applying and meeting with her frequently....That being said, I don't know how she manages to do everything she needs to and I'm sure she is working as hard as she can at this most stressful time. With due respect though, I think it's important to use forums like this to convey such thoughts and opinions to prospective post-baccs. There are people who might really want or need close advising at their future post-bacc which is something that is currently difficult to get here at penn. Like you said though, I agree she is basically running the entire program herself and the system is likely to change fot the better once things settle down; she was really thrown into the fire. I do think that ultimately, she will be an amazing asset to the program. Again though, I was just reiterating the consensus from the current applicants.
I'm wrapping up the prehealth program at Penn right now, and I did it all in one year (Gen Chem, Physics, Bio, Orgo, and Orgo lab, because I'm linking). There are a bunch of us who started a year ago and who stuck it out and are finishing right now. I've done very well, as I know some of the other one-year people have. It's definitely doable, but you must be very focused, and expect to have little time for anything else.
Chrissy, frankly, I thought your posting very much rang true. My discussions with the new Director left me feeling a little shaky about my decision to go there. From what I can hear, she has a very touchy temperament that hints at insecurity. I just dusted it off as the fact that she's new, but I am a little concerned about the advising, since we are, after all, shelling out $10K or more for the program. I think there's some merit, however, in reserving our judgment until we meet her in person. Being suspicious of her before starting won't help our cause....
RichHoos, I am also starting the UPenn program this summer. Which class(es) are you taking? I'm planning on taking Cognitive Neuroscience since it's the only course offered in the summer that's not a pre-req (I've done all of those).
How are you picking your classes? And when do you plan on matriculating? I'd like to start med school in 2008. But without enough classes taken by then, how can the admissions committee make a decision? Also, when do we take the MCAT? These are questions for the Director, I suppose, but given that she's questionable, I'm taking the initiative to get answers elsewhere.
you guys are crazy. She's a nice lady, and a good advisor.
I've found Mrs. Hershman to be really helpful.
Does anyone know if there is an orientation this Friday for the prehealth program? I remember hearing something about this, but haven't heard anything more about it.
ya there is. I would give her a call.
Agreed. Just had a meeting with her last week and she was very helpful. I'm applying to schools this summer and I think that this is certainly her specialty. My feeling is that a lot of the initial trepidation (mine included) is related to the rough transition we encountered with the change in advisors. Mrs. Hershman knows what she is talking about.