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What makes difference? Grad school work or Post-bacc work?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Challenge, Jul 7, 2000.

  1. Challenge

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    Hi I'm 24 pre-med student and clinical technician who recently turned my life around and decided to become a doctor. I graduated last year with BS in Nutrition and Exercise degree with only overall 2.8GPA
    [​IMG] (too much sociable)
    So I'm taking second chance.
    Starting this fall, I'll be retaking some of science classes at a state Univ and planning to enter graduate school either in MPH program or Biomedical Science program next year.

    However, I've been hesitating whether I should go for master program to boost my GPA or get a good pre-med post-bacc program to improve my GPA. What shall I do?
    The pre-med post-bacc program at a private university near my house seems well organized and has many relevant courses (high-level undergraduate biomedical courses) to prepare for medical school. The curriculum for MPH program at any univeristy doesn't seem to have many biomedical courses which is excellent course preparation for pre-med students.
    Biomedical graduate program is great but I feel like I'm jumping to the super high level biomedical courses because I have not yet taken enough high-level science courses.

    By the way I'm preparing for GRE and recently I looked into myself noticing that I don't have much motivation to study math or analytical part other than verbal part. I feel like I'm wasting time studying GRE math and analytical part after knowing that I can go for post-bacc program and still can take many more high-level science courses.

    I would really appreciate any of your sincere advise. Thank you.
     
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  3. surg

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    A good post-bac program is your quickest and most time-efficient route to med school.
     
  4. zolie

    zolie Member

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    I second that. Grad programs are great if they are something you want to do in addition to medicine. ie I got an MPH (b/c I wanted that training, not b/c it was going to get me in to med school)... but when it comes down to it, med schools can more reliably assess your ability relative to other people applying when you do post bacc work.

    [This message has been edited by zolie (edited 07-08-2000).]
     
  5. I personally have spoken with an admissions officer. I currently have a 21 MCAT (I'm retaking the test this August-wish me luck), and a 3.0 GPA. I know I'm not a stellar candidate for the MD program, which is exactly what I said to the admissions officer. I very openly and in a sort of helpless way said, I know I don't have the credentials to attend your school as of right now, but what would you like me to do to prove myself a worthy candidate? He looked me dead in the eyes and said, come back after you have a Master's degree. So now my plan is to do a 1-year non-thesis masters in Chemistry and reapply (hopefully my MCAT will have increased to a more reasonable score by then.) In any event, you must demonstrate competence in either the MCAT or GPA, but this is just my personal opinion. Each person's medical school admissions journey is different, and each person must adjust accordingly. Good luck to you!

    -imtiaz
     
  6. whynotme?

    whynotme? Senior Member

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    One thing you need to take into consideration is that medical schools will not even look at you if you have not completed a program. You will have to actually get your Masters, as opposed to just taking classes at the Masters level. I know this first hand, as I am obligated to finish my Ed.S. before even applying to medical school. I think I would go to a good post-bac program. Just my $.02
    Good Luck
    Kelly

    ------------------
    "Nothing ventured, Nothing gained"
     
  7. There are three options for obtaining a Master's degree:

    • Do research and write a thesis for an M.S.
    • Take the required courses and a comprehensive exam(s).
    • Take only coursework.

    I choose option 3. So in a year I will have a Master's degree in Chemistry, and hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in a good year of research which can only benefit me. But thanks for your advice, I would still rather just get a Masters rather than do post-bac work. Maybe because I don't know much about post-bac programs, if anyone does, please post some information.

    -imtiaz

     
  8. hakioawa

    hakioawa Junior Member

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    This may be a bit had to considder, but think about you fallback position. If you do post-bac work, and do not get in you will have wasted a lot of time and money. If you do a master's and do not get it at least you will have a master's degree to fall back on.
     
  9. True...you will have something to "fall back on" but med schools and employers prefer to look at individuals who have done more than just coursework...if you are going MS, research is really a must!

    Finishing up my research MS in Molecular Genetics,

    Kristen
     
  10. Well, it's a question of why you wanted to do an MS in the first place. Is it because your GPA is low? If it's because of a less than stellar undergraduate GPA, then it makes sense to take courses that are going to be graded and a GPA compiled from them. There is no GPA for research, and this is why I personally am not taking the research-only option towards an MS. Plus, there is always the opportunity for research. If you're a graduate student research opportunities open up to you, you work with professors, just find one you like and ask to help him or her out in their research, and that should be sufficient. Keep in mind that you don't need to find the cure for cancer to get into medical school, just demonstrate competence, and that can be done by taking coursework and doing well in that coursework, coupled with doing some entry-level research stuff. If the rest of your file is good, you should be A-OK! Good luck to everyone who's pursuing this route, I'm using it as a fallback if I don't get in this cycle! [​IMG]
     
  11. Futuremd03

    Futuremd03 Junior Member

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    Future doc,
    I think that some people out there have had a different experience than myself. I went to grad school after college and b4 applying to med school. After a year, i couldn't stand watching "Gross Anatomy" (movie) anymore and dreaming of being a med student. I went ahead and applied and got in the fall class. Some medical school want to see improvement and maturity, not just a degree.
    There is one catch, i did receive my Master's degree by December of my first year in med school. My advice: Go bust your butt in a Master's degree program taking the hardest classes to prepare you and start applying. I took about 60 hours of graduate courses for a clue on a semester system. Good luck and stay focused on the M.D. or D.O.
     
  12. Challenge

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    Thank you all for your salutary advises. [​IMG]

    Well, I think deciding to go either grad school work or post-bacc work depends on the situation you are in.
    I figured out it's going to be a little hard for me if I just go head and start MS program in biomed with my poor fundamental science grades because I think I'm not ready for it. (And I can't even guarantee that I'll be accepted to graduate school because of low GPA) I think getting good grades on all the basic-science requirment for getting into med school can be important for taking grad-level science courses and will be much more helpful on MCAT. I'm just afraid I might do poorly on grad-level science courses because of lack in knowledge of basic science.
    Starting this fall, I'll be a part-time student(retaking some courses) and full-time as a clin tech. spending more time studying English, which is my 2nd language, for a year.
    Then, I will be a full time post-bacc pre-med student for another year and apply for med school.
    After that I'll be going for 1 year MS program while I wait for acceptance to med school so that I can reapply in case I get rejected from med school. [​IMG]
    Any more advise to add? I would appreciate!


     

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