Plan B

  • Post Baccalaureate Programs

    Getting into medical school is not easy: the competition is fierce, and sometimes events do not work out as planned. Your GPA may be a bit soft, or your MCAT scores weak, or you haven t been able to hook up with a research or medical service opportunity. Or perhaps you are considering a change in career: you already have a baccalaureate degree, but need the prereqs for medical school.

    If you find yourself in one of these situations, you might consider applying to a post-baccalaureate program. Some of these programs are oriented towards academic record-enhancement, some towards career changing, some toward underrepresented groups, some towards economically or educationally disadvantaged groups.

    The AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges) has a search pagedevoted to post baccalaureate programs. From this search page I have listed the California postbac programs oriented towards career changing, but several of these bill themselves as record enhancement programs as well. Another California post-bac program oriented towards the economically or educationally disadvantaged is the California Postbaccalaurate Consortium. This program mostly caters to UC graduates, but does admit a small number of CSU students each year.
  • Caribbean Medical Schools

    There are two medical schools in the Caribbean that might be considered Plan B options: St. George s University in Grenada, West Indies, and Ross University in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Students admitted to St. George s have an average GPA of 3.34, and an average MCAT of 28. At Ross, the average GPA is 3.4, with a range of 2.7 - 4, but for early admission they require at least an overall GPA of 3.0 and a science GPA (BCPM) of 3.25, with an MCAT score of at least 24.

    A recent CSUF graduate has written me a not too flattering account of his experiences at Ross, and implies it should be a last-place choice of those who simply have no other options. He writes "The highest success rates [of graduates of off-shore schools] are for those desiring to go into specialities like internal medicine, family medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, and perhaps OB/GYN. For people who want to go into popular and competitive fields, like surgery, emergency medicine, plastic surgery, orthopedics, or ophthalmology, the best bet is to not go offshore." He also said that the school administration was poorly run and not very helpful, a sentiment shared by others on Web reviews ( here and here). You should do your homework to get other points of view; others have written more favorable reviews of these off-shore schools.
  • Other Health Careers

    After you have explored the cost and time of becoming a practicing MD (or DO), and have assessed your chances for success in a very competitive and very rigorous field, you may want to investigate these health related careers:podiatrist, pharmacist, veterinarian, optometrist, physician assistant, Nurse or clinical Lab Technician, Ph.D.