Dismiss Notice
SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

What to do for a year....

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Om5, Aug 2, 2001.

  1. Om5

    Om5 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi everyone,
    I could use some advice. I applied to med this year, and am unfortunately still waitlisted. Arghhh... I am probably going to have to apply again, but was wondering what suggestions any of you may have regarding what I can do for a year. Anyone who has gone through the process of reapplying, I'd be interested in hearing what you did. Also, if you start another program, is it true that they won't accept you until you're done (masters etc).
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. why don't you apply for a technician position at a lab during that one year, or take the post-bacc program at Columbia or Penn?
     
  4. gmendese

    gmendese Porn Star

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    5
    Basically, do whatever you need to do. If your GPA was weak, take a post-bacc class or two. If your GPA was really weak, enter a grad program (and they WILL consider your application to med school even if you haven't completed a grad program). If your MCAT was the weak part, take it again.

    Other than that, work, do SOMETHING in a hospital, whether it's working or volunteering, and then enjoy your year. Don't waste it stressing. Enjoy the most of it.

    Feel free to email me if you have any other concerns or questions. I've gone through this before...
     
  5. Om5

    Om5 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the quick replies. By the way, what's the difference between a post-bacc and a grad program? Also do you know if it's too late to go to the Upenn or Columbia programs, and are there any other 1 year programs out there?
     
  6. Georgey

    Georgey Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    Friends that have gone through the reapplication process have told me that it is absolutely essential to improve you rapplication or you stand little if no chance of being accepted the second time around.

    I would address any weaknesses you might have directly in the year to come. If you did not break thirty on the MCAT consider taking it again this month--although I guess it might be too late to register. Not much you can do about grades at this point but you might want to at least list some "attractive" classes on you trascript for the spring and if you get an interview go ahead and take them come spring. If you are a college graduate, this is going to being a downer, but work as a Medical Assistant, a Public Health Specialist for your state or the city in which you live, or almost any healthcare related that you can talk about in an interview. Without a nursing degree or another advanced degree nothing in healthcare that you will be allowed to do is going to be fun. I've been doing scut work since I graduated from college fours years ago. I still only make 15 bucks an hour but hey if you want to go to med school I guess its all about sacrifices. If by December you have not gotten an interview look into UPENN's postbac program for people in your situation. I think you may be able to start mid-year.

    Incidentally, postbac means undergraduate classes taken after the BA/BS degree has been granted. Graduate school is a level higher.
     
  7. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think the difference between post-bacc and grad school is whether you are heading toward a specific or generalized degree. Post-bacc programs can lead to a Master's in something (usually general topics like "medical sciences," etc.). They're usually geared toward people who want to go to med school, but need a GPA or experience boost (i.e., the students are not planning to use the degree in a specific discipline to go further in that career path). In other cases, a post-bacc can be done simply by taking all the course required for entry into med school. So, it depends. With regard to grad school, it is a formalized program with research (usually) that leads to a specific degree (Master's or Ph.D. in a specific scientific discipline - say, microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, pharmacology, etc.) Hope that's helpful. Other posters, please feel free to correct anything I may have said incorrectly. Good luck!

    -- Becky
     
  8. Georgey

    Georgey Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    Becky, you may be right, but I have always known master's degree to be equivalent to the grad school. Postbacc programs, or at least the postbacc program I attended, and all the ones I researched, have offered only classes that would otherwise lead to an undergraduate degree (e.g. BA, BS). But in a postbacc program they don't lead to a degree because a degree has already been granted to the individuals in the program. And when I say degree I mean a real degree. Columbia issued me a "certificate" in the premedical sciences, and they call me an alumnus when they send mail asking me for endowments, but I pretty much take all that with a grain of salt.
     
  9. kris

    kris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2001
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    0
    OM5,
    There's been a lot posted on other threads regarding whether you would have to finish the grad degree to be accepted to med school.

    More often than not, the answer is yes, you need to be finished by the time med school starts. This means you can apply during the last year of your grad program as long as you can clearly show that you will be done.

    I think if you only have this one year ahead of you, then I'd probably not start a grad program--unless you start one that only lasts a year--if there is such a thing. If you started a two year program and applied this year, it'll be obvious to the med schools that you would not be finished with the program in time to start med school. This can be a huge obstacle.

    I'm all for playing it safe and making your application as easy for the adcomms to accept as possible. This means that I would opt for taking classes as a post-bacc rather than attend grad school for just one year. In some cases you don't have to be enrolled in a "program" to take classes as a postbacc. Does that make any sense?

    I was a grad student, and then I did the postbacc route for two years to study the sciences in more depth.

    --kris
     
  10. kris

    kris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2001
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    0
    P.S.
    You may want to seek advice from the med school admissions offices. Sometimes they're very friendly about telling you what you need to do to make yourself competitive next year. I got that kind of advice, and it was invaluable. It guarantees that you change the right things.

    --kris
     
  11. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2001
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    1
    i second kris's reply. i first applied two years ago to only a couple of schools in the area and wasn't accepted anywhere. i spoke to a few adcoms at a few schools where i thought i stood a decent chance of acceptance and all instructed me to not even bother reapplying until i'd fixed up the weak spots in my application. the reasoning is that i was rejected for a reason and i needed to address that reason. so i've spent the past year doing pretty much everything (full-time research with several publications, full-time grad student with 4.0, more volunteer work, more rec letters, etc, etc) except for retaking the MCAT, as i was told that my scores are not what hurt me. i'm now reapplying, and we'll see how it goes!

    also, the difference between formal post-bacc programs and grad school is that post-bacc is designed for people who haven't taken the pre-med prereqs during their undergrad and have now decided that they want to go into medicine. it's not really a grad school program; the grades count as an extension of your undergrad as they are basically the undergrad premed courses, just within a program designed for older people. also, just taking random undergrad courses after you've graduated will count as post-bacc work. grad school, however, leads to a degree within a certain subject and one should pursue this route only if they have already taken the premed courses but need to bring up their GPA. you've obviously taken the premed courses if you've already applied to med school, so based on the advice i was given, you should take the grad school route to improve your app. you don't have to apply and matriculate into a formal masters program if you don't want to, though, and could just take random grad school courses instead--although i've been told that it is more impressive and demonstrates commitment if you go for all the marbles and enter a degree program.

    hope this helps.
     
  12. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
    Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2000
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    AT our local med school they have a post-bac certificate program. You can take a number of different paths from Physiology, anatomy, microbiology, etc. It is 27 credits that must be taken fall and spring semesters and must earn a 3.0.

    I really am interested in the microbio one and have given serious thought to not applying this year and taking that program instead. I guess the august MCAT will make up my mind as to what I will do.
     
  13. Kevo

    Kevo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    i suppose you you could pursue a second undergrad degree. this would not be much different than a post bac program. btw, if you already have one undergrad degree, adcomms won't make you finish before you matriculate
     
  14. tucker

    tucker Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2001
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    With regards to taking grad level classes as a non-degree seeking student, I had several admissions directors suggest only taking programs that you are interested in. They all stated that they don't want to see you only pursuing something that you think will get you into med school. However, if your science gpa was low, this would help to pull it up. I suggest calling the schools you are interested in applying to and see what they think- most times you will get pretty good feedback- and it's awesome if they get to know your name & know that you are interested!
     
  15. together

    together Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2000
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all:

    Great thread!

    I was actually in the same position a few months ago. I was torn between taking a research job at MGH while completing post-bacc courses at Harvard and a grad program (Master's in Biomedical Sciences) at the Boston University School of Medicine. I have since decided to pursue the latter and am very much looking forward to the program, which will take one year to complete. The beauty of the program is that if you're interested in biomedical research -- be it in biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, immunology, neuroscience, or any other host of medically-related disciplines -- you have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research while taking the courses necessary to boost your GPA and demonstrate your academic abilities at the medical school level! The drawback is the expense and the "gunner" nature of your classmates, of course. However, with graduate assistantships and/or private funding, you can work your situation out to make ends meet (parents help, too!) ;)

    For my purposes -- I want to pursue a career in clinical medicine and research, this program is an ideal first step. Every person's case is unique, however. You have to evaluate all the variables and then make the best decision for yourself.

    Feel free to e-mail me.

    Together :cool:
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2000
    Messages:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Om5, if you don't get in off your waitlist, try to schedule an interview or meeting with one of the Dean's at a school that interviewed you, and ask how to specifically improve your application. Like other posters said, use this year to address whatever weaknesses there are in your application.

    Personally, I took a couple of years off between undergrad and med school and used the time to work in a hospital, first in an administrative position, and then as a research coordinator running clinical trials. The experience was excellent, and I think it was very helpful in helping me in the application process.
     
  18. I don't know how mobile you are, but Colorado State offers a one-year M.S. program in Anatomy and Neurobiology. I just finished this program, and while I haven't been accepted yet, our program filled 25% of the in-state seats for the CSU vet school, and 4 out of the 60 in the program were accepted to medical school. Also, I have some friends from the program who just finished their M1 year, and they said they were so well prepared that it was almost boring. All of them were in the top 5% of their class.
     
  19. castaway

    castaway Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    As you will see from filling out the AMCAS (and if you're Texan, the TMDSAS) application, post-bacc courses are clearly distinguished from grad courses in that "post-bacc" is taken to refer to undergrad courses taken after graduating whereas "grad" is taken to maen that it is leading to an advanced degree in a given area. As many have indicated above, a grad prog can be completed in one year, but it seems you'll really have to focus and may not have a chance to work (if that's a concern). Main thing is, have you found out why they did not accept you? If you can address weaknesses pointed out by adcoms, reapplying would make sense. But do not re-submit the same application as last year's.

    After being waitlisted at various schools in my state (TX) I went and discussed my app with any school that would entertain a visit from me. I got solid feedback from two of the schools, and got to work on my weak points right away. It turns out one school thought I did not have enough volunteer work. I have now put in about 200 hrs of volunteer work at a clinic for the homeless and on an ambulance (I am not an EMT but luckily the one in my area accepts non-EMTs for such things as CPR and vital signs on the ambulance). When I applied last year I had no upper level bio or chem courses (I took the MCAT after one year bio and one year of gchem and broke a 30), so I made sure to take orgo, physio and biochem before reapplying. Also, I made certain that the schools did not have a problem with my grades or MCAT (I asked point blank and they said I was fine in that respect).

    I guess what I am trying to say is that remedying your situation is not as daunting as it may seem. Heck, if I can do it so can you. Good luck.
     

Share This Page