Is a Post Bacc Program Right for You?

Is a Post Bacc Program Right for You?

So you’ve decided to go to medical school but you don’t have all the required classes or the grades. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Every year, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) distributes a survey to matriculating first year medical students and ask about everything from demographics to premedical experiences. Here are some interesting findings from the 2020 survey as it relates to students who do not enter medical school directly from undergrad:

  • 16.2% of first year students were over the age of 26
  • 7.9% reported deciding to study medicine after completion of a bachelor’s degree and 1.7% after an advanced degree
  • 7.4% of students participated in a non-degree post bacc program to strengthen academic skills
  • 7.7% of students participated in a non-degree post bacc program to complete the premedical required courses
  • 8.3% were five or more years out from undergrad

I check 4 of those 5 boxes: I started medical school at 29, decided to pursue medical school while I was completing my Master of Public Health, went to a post bacc program to complete my pre-reqs, and graduated from undergrad 7 years before my first year of medical school.

If you’re ready to start “the journey” to medical school, the next step is figuring out how to complete all of the requirements or boost that science GPA. There are different types of post bacc programs and each fulfill a different need for applicants. The AAMC actually has a database of all the programs that you can sort and filter for various needs. In this post, I’ll go into detail on three of the most common routes to medical school after college: career changer programs, academic record enhancer programs, and a DIY option. Keep reading for some good questions to ask post bacc programs to figure out which one(s) are right for you!

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Deciding Where to Apply to Medical School

Deciding Where to Apply to Medical School

We’re at the beginning of another medical school application cycle so today’s post is all about deciding where to apply! It’s a personal, stressful, and expensive process but I hope my thoughts can help guide you if you’re struggling to start or just don’t know how to narrow down your list! And a quick caveat to start — everyone has their own priorities when deciding where to apply to school. These were mine and it’s ok if yours are different.

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Post Bacc FAQ: Glide Year + Linkage

Post Bacc FAQ: Glide Year + Linkage

Before you reach the end of your post-bacc, there is one big decision you will have to make: pursue a linkage that takes you right into medical school or choose a “glide year” while you complete the full medical school application process. (There was a lot of ice cream and traveling during my glide year!)

Previous posts you may have missed:

Linkage Agreements

Some medical schools have an arrangement with post-bacc programs to conditionally accept some students to medical school for the fall that follows the completion of a post-bacc. Students apply though AMCAS (the medical school application system) in the fall (one year before they intend to matriculate in medical school through the linkage), interview with the medical school if the schools determines they meet specific criteria set forth by the school, and may be conditionally accepted. This conditional acceptance hinges on completion of the post-bacc (and there might be some grade requirements) and achieving a certain MCAT score.

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Post Bacc FAQ: How To Pay For It + Why Program Advising is Invaluable

Post Bacc FAQ: How To Pay For It + Why Program Advising is Invaluable

I posted a while ago about some post-bacc basics and how it prepared me for medical school, but I’ve gotten more questions since then and thought I’d address them here!

Real quick reminder: a post-bacc program allows students that have already attended college to complete all the prerequisites for admission to medical school, physical therapy school, veterinary school, and other health professions schools. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has an extensive list of post-bacc programs. Programs have some variation in extra courses and program length, but they all get you the core basic science classes required for medical school and to prep you for the MCAT.

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Post Bacc Basics + How it Prepared Me for Medical School

Post Bacc Basics + How it Prepared Me for Medical School

I need to thank the Clare at Fitting It All In for blogging about her experiences in a post bacc premed program. When I learned that this type of program existed for people like me — career-changers who wanted to go to medical school (or other biomedical or health sciences careers) with no science background — I got onto Google and typed in “post bacc premed blog.” Her site was one of the first to come up! Now I’m in medical school after five years in the professional and graduate school worlds, a year in a post bacc, and a glorious year spent as a nanny for the cutest two year old. So, I think it’s time to pay it forward.

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