What classes should I take for a DIY post-bacc as a non-trad applicant who has already completed the prereqs and needs academic LORs?

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Mar 2, 2024
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Sorry in advance for the length.

Goal Cycle: 2025~2026

Demographics: F/27 (28 by the time I start applying next year), East Asian, Illinois resident
Major: Biology BS (was originally interested in biomedical research), graduated 2019

Stats: cGPA 3.55, sGPA 3.28

Upward trend Freshman~Junior year with a drop in my senior year because I got a BC in Anatomy/Physiology in my very last semester, the only science course I took that second semester. My sGPA for senior year was 2.8…

BCPM classes: biology (5/10 credits are AP), chemistry, organic chemistry + lab, physics, life science statistics, microbiology + lab, immunology, biochemistry, infectious disease and bioterrorism, fundamentals of human physiology. No calc because I transferred 9 AP credits. I also have credits titled “Independent study” and coded as a Genetics course from when I worked as a lab assistant in the medical genetics department.

Other kind of related classes I’ve also taken are psychology, abnormal psychology, extinction of species, history of science and medicine (bodies, diseases, and healers), and public health ethics.

Taking the MCAT this September.

I’m non-traditional because I taught ESL overseas for 3 years right after college and also did a language program in my third year. I became interested in practicing medicine when I worked as a lab assistant at a hospital after I returned to America, and now I’m a medical assistant and scribe at an anesthesia pain clinic. Now I know for sure I want to be a doctor.

I plan on applying to every school in the Chicagoland area, Loyola in Maywood, and Rosalind Franklin. I don’t care about the school’s prestige or if the degree is MD or DO, I just know I want to be a pathologist or infectious disease physician one day. I’m open to other non-surgical specialties, but these are my top two choices at this time. I will also apply to some out-of-state schools to cast a wider net, I just don’t know where yet.

I have no potential academic LORs, so that is my primary reason for doing a DIY post-bacc this fall and maybe even next spring if necessary. However, I am limited financially so I don’t want to take more than what is enough. I understand that my GPA is also lacking, especially my sGPA. The lowest grade I got was a BC in my second semester of O Chem, O Chem lab, and Anatomy/Physiology. I do have A’s and AB’s in most of my BCPM courses. Should I retake an Anatomy/Physiology course? What classes should I take and how many? Do I still need a non-science class even though I can get LORs from the physician I scribe for and my supervisor from the ESL academy I taught at?

My state university does not have a formal post-bacc program, nor does it have biological/biomedical classes for me to take as a non-degree student, so I will have to look into private universities.

I’m afraid AdComs will just laugh me out the door when they see my transcript. But I would regret not at least trying to pursue medicine before I reconsider my career goals.

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Update: I just read about doing an unfinished second degree so I can get financial aid. Does that actually work? It won't be looked at unfavorably if I drop out after just 1 school year?
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