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PREMEDLIFE

The Magazine For Pre-Medical Students

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March/April 2016

THE POSTBAC ISSUE.

WHY MEDICAL SCHOOLS LIKE NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENTS A look at why medical schools love candidates who are cut from a different cloth

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POSTBACCALAUREATE PREMEDICAL PROGRAMS + Locations. Program Types, and Descriptions.

Advice on how to make the transition to a career in medicine

PREMEDLIFE.COM

FROM CORPORATE TO MEDICAL SCHOOL


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March/April 2016 “Whether you’re just a couple of years or much further into your current profession, the most important initial task is to confirm that becoming a physician is truly what you want to do ” p. 28

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THE POSTBAC ISSUE

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POST BACCALAUREATE PRE-MED PROGRAMS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

WHY MEDICAL SCHOOLS LIKE NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENTS

MAKING THE SWITCH FROM CORPORATE TO MEDICAL SCHOOL

A GENERAL OVERVIEW OF POSTBACCALAUREATE PRE-MED PROGRAMS AND WHAT THEY CAN OFFER

FOLLOWING A DIFFERENT PATH TO MEDICAL SCHOOLS MEANS THAT STUDENTS MAY HAVE MORE LIFE EXPERIENCES

ADVICE TO HELP THOSE LOOKING TO MAKE THE SWITCH FROM THE CORPORATE WORLD TO PRACTICING MEDICINE

March/April 2016 | PreMedLife Magazine |3


contents

MARCH/APRIL 2016

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If you are a “non-traditional” applicant, you are not alone! Recently, more people from diverse backgrounds, often older, with rich life experience, have been entering the medical profession.

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Do What You Love: Deciding If a Post-Baccalaureate Program Is Right For You

Identifying where you need support can help you narrow down the type of post-bac program that is best for you. Use these criteria to determine if a post-bac program is right for you and which type of program will benefit you the most.

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How a Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Med Program Will Help You Get Into Medical School

Many students these days are pursuing a post baccalaureate program (post-bac) prior to going to medical school and there are a couple of reasons why someone would do this. Here are a couple of reasons for why someone would want to pursue this path.

WHAT’S INSIDE...

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Non-traditional.

If you are a “Non-traditional” applicant, you are not alone! Recently, more people from diverse backgrounds, often older, with rich life experiences, have been entering the medical profession. Here’s a closer look at who non-traditional medical school applicants are and the experiences they bring.

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Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Med Program Guide

Among the 52,550 pre-medical students who applied to medical school last year, more than 16 percent completed a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program to gain admission. Here’s a list of 80+ Post-baccalaureate pre-medical programs available in the United States.

4 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016


MARCH/APRIL 2016

Are You A “Real” Premed?

The question warrants asking, considering the high percentage of students who start out their undergraduate careers with a premed designation on their major tracks versus the relatively low percentage of students who actually graduate from undergrad having complete all their premed requirements.

istockphoto © Rawpixel Ltd

Digital

What’s on Premedlife.com? How Hard Is Medical School? It’s long been said that learning information in medical school is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant.

The Zika Virus and Why Premeds Should Care Just a couple of weeks ago I was getting ready for my last interview. It was a wonderful feeling to know that I would be done shortly but I also felt a bit sad because it meant that my fourth year would soon be coming to an end.

Student Column: The Secret to Productivity They say experience is the best teacher. Experience has taught you how to buy the cheapest textbooks, how to order your coffee on campus, and why you should not stay up too late on test nights.

GO BEYOND THE PAGE

You’ll find this icon on selected pages throughout the issue. That’s your signal to grab your smartphone or tablet and go deeper with the content on that page. Here’s how: 1. Download the free Layar app from the Apple or Android store or at layar.com 2. Launch the app and scan any page displaying the icon. 3. Premedlife bonus content will instantly appear on your device.

6 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016


From the

Publisher

PREMEDLIFE the lifestyle magazine for premedical students www.premedlife.com

GO FORTH, CONQUER

Founder & Publisher | Tasheema Prince

forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe in the one reason why it will. -Unknown

Contributing Editor | Njeri McKenzie

There are a million things you could be doing right this minute and you have chosen to spend it here, reading the second annual post-baccalaureate pre-med edition. We’re excited to bring you this very special

issue as it dedicated to those of you who are thinking about pursuing a career in medicine after graduating from undergrad. Yes, post-bac pre-med students are different, in a special and unique kind of way. In many ways, it speaks volumes to their dedication and determination for a career in medicine. Time after time, we meet students who are post-bac pre-meds and are always impressed by how motivated they are to go into medicine and are always moved by their stories behind it all. For me, there’s nothing more gratifying than speaking with a student who has decided to become a doctor for whatever reason and being able to provide them with another resource to help them along the way. When it comes to anything in life, there are two kinds of people - those who want something and those who want something really bad. For individuals who pursue medicine through a post-baccalaureate pre-med program, they want a career in medicine and they want a career in medicine really bad. The number of students pursuing post-bac pre-med programs increases year after year, and medical schools around the country are embracing them with open arms. Why? Because this group of students brings things to the table that traditional students don’t bring. They see things, life, and their pursuit of medicine through a different lens than someone who goes to medical school fresh out of undergrad. In the end, the post-bac pre-med students being accepted to medical schools across the country are diversifying medical school student bodies in the best possible way. In the end, we hope that this special post-bac pre-med issue provides not only non-traditional students with a lot of useful information, but is also helpful for all of our readers. We thank you again for turning to PreMedLife to provide you with nuggets of information to help you get into medical school and pursue your career in medicine.

Tasheema Prince Publisher @PrinceSheem tprince@premedlife.com

Tasheema Prince

VP, Development| Monique Terc

Online Marketing Consultant | Portia Chu Contributing Writers Seemal Awan, Mark Chavez, Marilyn Chu, Carleen Eaton, Joon Kim, Cynthia Lewis, Alicia Nimonkar, Terry Theman, Karen Weissbecker Find us on Twitter @premedlife Find us on Facebook.com/premedlife Here’s How to Reach Us: Kisho Media, LLC P.O. Box 7049 New York, NY 10116 Main Office (347) 857-7491 Have a Story Idea? Email us at editor@premedlife.com Want to Subscribe? Visit www.premedlife.com and sign-up to our mailing list to receive an email when the latest issue is available online Want to Join Forces? (a.k.a. Partner With Us) Email us at info@premedlife.com Advertising Inquiries? Email advertise@premedlife.com PreMedLife magazine is published six times per year by Kisho Media, LLC. and copies are provided to select colleges and universities free of charge. The information in PreMedLife magazine is believed to be accurate, but in some instances, may represent opinion or judgment. Consult your pre-medical/pre-health advisor with any questions you may have about the medical school admissions process and related topics. Unless otherwise noted, all articles, photographs, artwork, and images may not be duplicated or reprinted without express written permission from Kisho Media, LLC. PreMedLife magazine and Kisho Media, LLC. are not liable for typographical or production errors or the accuracy of information provided by advertisers. PreMedLife magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertising. All inquires may be sent to: Kisho Media, LLC. P.O. Box 7049 New York, NY 10116 To reach us by phone call (347) 857-7491 or email us at info@premedlife.com.

8 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016


M I NOS CAN ACH IEVE ANYTHING. We make sure they get to college. Federal Student Aid provides more than $150 billion each year in grants, loans, and work-study funds to make college possible for anyone with the mind to get there. Learn more about money for college at StudentAid.gov.

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PROUD SPONSOR of the AMERICAN MIND '路


Premedlife

S T U D E N T A D V I S O RY B O A R D

The PreMedLife Student Advisory Board is an exemplary group of premed students from a variety of backgrounds who have a wide range of accomplishments. They will help keep us informed about what we need to know to make PreMedLife magazine the go-to resource for aspiring doctors.

Follow us @premedlife

Tisha Berg UCLA Extension

Viven Chen University of Miami

Samantha Culver University of Vermont

Caitlin Draper University of Arkansas

Jared Eaves The University of Texas at Austin

Austin Greer Indiana Wesleyan University

Charis Guinto Evangel University

Hannah Hoekstra University of Minnesota

Lisa Lachhman Pace University

Austin Newsman Georgia State University

James Rock Slippery Rock University

Tyra Turner Agnes Scott College

10 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016


T:8.5”

Dr. Maurie Markman, MD Medical Oncologist

T:11”

WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY,

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Cancer Treatment Centers of America is a proud supporter of Stand Up To Cancer, an initiative designed to accelerate groundbreaking cancer research for the benefit of the patient. Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

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NEWS

“The percentage of faculty and leadership positions filled by women was, on average, higher than the percentage of URMM hired in these positions at U.S. medical schools.” {PAGE 15}

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Critical Thinking Skills Linked To Academic Success Among Residents

Critical thinking skills are linked to academic success among medical residents, say researchers. Critical thinking, as defined by the researchers, is the skill of collecting information, accurately assessing information, and using that information to reach a considered conclusion. There are plenty of studies showing the benefit of critical thinking skills in a number of professions, especially health care. In one study examining the trends of developing critical thinking skills among medical students, researchers found that “the best physicians think critically and problem solve through appropriate gathering and accurate interpretation of information. In another study, those training for a health care career who scored high on critical thinking tests had strong academic clinical decision-making and academic suc-

cess compared to those who did not posses the same level of critical thinking. Unfortunately, however, teaching critical thinking skills to health care professionals in training has been no easy feat. “In some studies critical thinking is unchanged by training programs, while in other studies critical thinking improves with education,” the authors explained. For the study, researchers looked at the critical thinking skills of family medicine residents. To do this, the researchers analyzed four different sets of data, including a critical thinking test (known as the California Critical Thinking Skills Test or CCTST), a family medicine certification exam, MCAT scores, and each resident’s Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS) file which contained information

about rotation evaluations, demographic data, and data from residency applications. The results confirmed that critical thinking skills are associated with better performance and several areas of academic success in residency. And while many residency programs use a variety of criteria and tools to choose students, “the results of this study suggest that [critical thinking test] may be useful as a tool for improving resident selection.” “The findings from this study indicate that high scores on the CCTST predict success on family medicine certification examinations, to a greater degree that CaRMS file review scores or CaRMS interview scores,” the authors wrote. “These findings suggest that the CCTST could be considered as a potentially valuable tool in resident selection.” p

12 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016


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Underrepresented Groups Better Represented At Certain Universities Among faculty and leadership positions at medical schools in the US, women and African Americans are better represented within Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Puerto Rico, according to a recent study published in the journal Medical Education Online. In the general physician workforce and academic medicine, the small representation of underrepresented minorities in medicine (URMM) has been a persistent problem. “Recent studies have concluded that non-white physicians tend to care for minority patient groups, and increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of the physician workforce, including medical faculty, may help eliminate health disparities,” the authors noted. “URMM and women faculty members are thought to play an important role in medical education by establishing mutually beneficial relationships with URMM and women medical students.” For the study, researchers compared racial/ethnic and gender faculty composition at HBCUs and Puerto Rican medical schools with that at 129 allopathic peer institutions in hopes of identifying if differences in faculty composition existed across institutions. The percentage of faculty and leadership posi-

tions filled by women was, on average, higher than the percentage of URMM hired in these positions at U.S. medical schools. Researchers took a closer look and when comparing the percentages of medical school faculty positions filled by women and URMM indicated that HBCU had a significantly higher average percentage of faculty positions filled by women and African Americans. Furthermore, medical schools in Puerto Rico employed a significantly higher average percentage of Latino/Hispanics in both faculty and chair positions compared with schools outside Puerto Rico. “If we are to increase the diversity of faculty and leadership in academic medicine, as well as the diversity of the general physician workforce in the United States, we may need to explicitly broaden the pool of recruitment and matriculation into medical school,” the authors explained. “Cultural and historical differences aside these findings suggests that HBCU and PR medical schools may be implementing policies regarding recruitment and hiring practices, as well as institutional support structures, which promote gender and racial/ethnic diversity in faculty and leadership positions. p


premedlife

NEWS

Post-traumatic growth helps doctors after they have made a mistake while practicing, according to the results of a three-year project published in the journal American Medicine. The project, called the Wisdom in Medicine study, was designed to investigate how doctors cope, learn, and change after making a medical error. Specifically, the study explored whether or not physicians move through the experience of making a harmful error and not just survive but, rather, learn something essential about themselves that promotes growth. For the project, the research team interviewed 61 doctors from the United States who volunteered for the study and self-reported having made a serious medical error. Participants were asked to tell their story and reveal what helped them cope with the experience in a positive way. The results revealed that the doctors who were considered “wisdom exemplars” described what they had learned and how they had changed from their experiences by looking through a lens of wisdom. Among one of the most helpful ways doctors said they coped with their error was being able to talk about it. However, many of the doctors said that at the time of the event in which the error occurred, they were not able to talk with anyone, either because they were too ashamed or were instructed not to by their lawyer. Furthermore, these doctors also stressed the importance not having those close to them dismiss the seriousness of the situation or the reality of the mistake to try to make them feel better. “They noted the tendency of well-intentioned colleagues to minimize, dissolve, deny, or attempt to solve the error, which they did not find helpful,” the researchers explained. “Instead, physician participants said they responded best to someone who simply “held” the feelings that they were expressing- that is, someone who really listened, acknowledged the

seriousness of the situation, and helped them to put it in perspective.” Another factor examined during the study was disclosure and apology surrounding a doctor’s mistake. The findings revealed that disclosure occurred nearly two times as much in doctors who were “wisdom exemplars” compared to the “nonexemlars”. Of note, the great majority of the doctors in both groups reported that they did not received any training on how

to best approach disclosure following a medical error. “Interestingly, through, the participating physicians reported that disclosure and apology were critical first steps toward the possibility of healing a broken relationship and being able to deal openly with the event.” And when it came to forgiveness, doctors did not necessarily expect forgiveness, they did however explain that following disclosure and apology, the chance for a potential opportunity for forgiveness from

their patient, or even from themselves, now presented itself. The study looked at several other factors, such as: professionalism, spirituality, and “doing the right thing,” dealing with imperfection, learning/becoming an expert, preventing recurrences/improving teamwork, and helping others/teaching about it. In the end, the study focused on doctors who responded in a positive way to serious errors they had made. And the implications for medical schools training these doctors? The study asked: “What can physicians and those who teach and support them learn from the accounts of the doctors in our study who made mistakes and emerged with positive new insights?” For one, “the specific forms of ‘talking about it’ that helped doctors can be used to guide discussions within peer group programs. “In addition, participating physicians recommended both directly addressing potential emotional reactions (e.g., contemplating leaving medicine) and guarding against isolation through active outreach.” “We suggest specific steps to help clinicians move through the difficult experience of making an error so that they avoid devastating professional outcomes and have the best chance of not just recovering but actually growing and developing wisdom,” the authors concluded. “ Understanding the factors that help clinicians learn and grow in the wake of a mistake can inform peer support programs and create an environment that fosters continuous learning and improvement, teamwork, relational care, compassion, and wisdom.” The findings from the study were published in the February 2016 issue of Academic Medicine. p

16 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016

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Some Doctors Use Post-Traumatic Growth Following Medical Error


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Shiva Malek, Ph.D.

Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Photo by Nigel Parry.

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Pressure To Be “Perfect” Linked To Academic Burnout, New Study Finds

Pressure from society for medical students to be “perfect” has a negative effect on students and may lead to burnout, say researchers of a new study. For the study, researchers looked at what they called “socially-prescribed perfectionism” and academic burnout among medical students. Socially-prescribed perfectionism was defined as “acknowledgment of unreal and impractical assignment of academic goals not by the student themselves, but by others or by the fear of negative judgment by others. Furthermore, academic burnout was characterized as physical, emotional, and psychological depletion due to fatigue, frustration, distance from studies, stress, helplessness, and cynical attitude as a result of academic overload. Past studies have shown that perfectionism and academic self-efficacy are factors that can affect academic burnout. “A typical representative example of a person who is expected to be perfect not only by himself or herself, but also by parents, teachers, and the community is a medical student,” the researchers wrote. “These individuals socially

experience strong achievement motivation for perfectionism.” Included in the study were 224 pre-med and medical students. The students were asked to complete a questionnaire covering three categories: self-oriented perfectionism, socially-prescribed perfectionism, and other-oriented perfectionism. There were a total of 45 questions and students had to provide a response to the questions based on a rating, ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree” for questions like “My family expects me to be perfect.” To measure “academic self-efficacy” among the students, researchers provided another set of questions covering the following categories: self-confidence (e.g. “I feel anxious when I speak in front of the class”), self-regulatory efficacy (e.g. “I usually make a plan for studying and adhere to the plan”), and task difficulty preference (e.g., “I enjoy challenging complex problems”). Lastly, to get a sense of academic burnout, students were asked about emotional exhaustion, inefficacy, and cynicism.

The findings of the study revealed data in three different areas. When looking at correlations among socially-prescribed perfectionism, academic burnout, and academic self-efficacy, researchers found there to be a positive link between socially-prescribed perfectionism and academic burnout. Moreover, when researchers looked at the effect of socially-prescribed perfectionism and academic self-efficacy on academic burnout, they found that perfectionism and self-efficacy contributed to academic burnout in 54% of the students. Furthermore, a student’s level of perfectionism and self-efficacy could predict whether or not they would experience academic burnout. “The observation that academic self-efficacy is an effective predictor for academic performance,” the researchers concluded. “Therefore, it is of critical importance to have education or counseling programs to enhance academic self-efficacy in medical students who experience academic burnout.” The findings from this study were published in the Korean Journal of Medical Education. p

March/April 2016 | PreMedLife Magazine |19


THE POSTBAC PREMED ISSUE

istockphoto / Š Vimvertigo

A growing number of premed students are turning to post-baccalaureate pre-medical programs to gain admission to medical school. This issue is dedicated to those taking this path to medicine.


Premedlife

POSTBAC

Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Med Programs

22 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016


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What Y ou Need To Know

POST-BACCALAUREATE PROGRAMS have become an enticing option for many pre-medical students and the number of programs, and popularity, have sky-rocketed in the last several years. A post-bac is a great option for applicants who may be lacking the necessary prerequisite coursework for medical school or those with an undergraduate GPA that is not competitive for medical school admissions. The following is a general overview of post-bac pre-med programs and what they can offer you.

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What is a Post-Bac Pre-Medical Program? A post-bac pre-medical program is typically a one year (but can be up to three years) educational program provided by institutions that work to prepare a student for medical school. The program develops a curriculum that offers prerequisite classes for medical school- for example, biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, etc. Some schools allow students to establish their own curriculum while others have set coursework schedules. In addition to the science curriculum, many institutions offer advising, research opportunities, medical volunteer experiences and even the chance to earn a master’s degree. Who is the ideal candidate for a Post-Bac? Although anybody with a bachelor’s degree can potentially apply to a post-bac program, the pre-medical track is ideal for individuals who are considering a different career path or who need to improve their competitiveness for medical school admission. For instance, a student who graduated with a degree in history but later decides to be a doctor would benefit from a post-bac program so that he/she may take all the necessary prerequisite science courses for medical school, as he /she likely did not take these courses under a history degree. Another student who is ideal for the program is an individual who has a low GPA in undergraduate- especially their science GPA. In order for this type of student to be a more competitive medical school applicant, the post-bac program will be another opportunity to excel in science courses and apply with an improved GPA. In addition, performing exceptionally well demonstrates that the applicant will be able to handle the rigorous and time intensive science curriculum in medical school.

more flexibility in taking the coursework. A student on this track may only take one or two courses at time thus lengthening the time it takes to complete the prerequisite courses. On the other hand, a student that is working to improve their GPA may enroll in an “academic enhancer” program, where the curriculum will include more coursework at a faster pace. In addition, one can expect to be participating in MCAT prep and also medical volunteer work as well. With many different post-bac programs available, you can find a program that will fit your situation and meet your needs. Where do I find more information on Post-Bacs? The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC.org) has a listing of all post-bac programs with general information regarding admission criteria and cost of attendance. For more in-depth information on a particular program, the university’s website usually offers specifics on their curriculum and information pertaining to additional services and medical school linkages. Premedlife.com and medschoolcoach.com are sites that you can use to find in-depth information and personal advising to find out if a post-bac program is the right choice for you. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Marinelli graduated magna cum laude from California State University San Marcos with a bachelors degree in Biology. While attending school, she worked for a neurosurgeon where she led clinical trials. Renee attended the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine where she served on the admissions committee and interviewed many applicants. She now is an advisor at MedSchoolCoach, the nation’s leading medical school consulting company.

What are the other benefits of attending a post-bac program? Many medical school applicants do not have sufficient undergraduate advisingthey may have not taken the correct courses or inadequately prepared their application, which can hinder their chances of admission. Post-bac programs frequently offer comprehensive and direct counseling so that each student has an assigned advisor who knows them extensively providing them with exceptional mentorship. In addition, various schools offer MCAT preparation, opportunities to participate in research and medical related activities. Post-bac programs also frequently hold events such as physician speakers to further immerse their students in medicine. Will a post-bac program guarantee admission to medical school? A post-bac program is designed to improve the likelihood of an applicant getting accepted to medical school. Some schools tout a 90% acceptance rate for students that complete a post-bac at their university. However, there is no guarantee of acceptance. Some schools link with a medical school and will guarantee an interview if the student has met specific GPA and MCAT requirements. An interview does not ensure that an applicant will be accepted, therefore, its crucial to use the resources offered by a post-bac program to boost your application. Choosing a Post-Bac Program If a pre-medical post-bac program sounds like the right choice for you, the next step is applying to different programs. As with any school selection, narrowing down choices by location is likely the first place to start. With post-bac programs, considering the location of a possible “linked” medical school is also essential. Inquiring about how many students eventually get accepted to medical school is a factor that should be taken into account. Other considerations for programs are what additional services they offer and their admission requirements. Although admissions are not as rigorous as medical school, post-bac programs want to admit students who will succeed academically and can demonstrate dedication to medicine. What to Expect if Beginning a Post-Bac Program A pre-medical post-bac program’s goal is to prepare you for the academic demands of medical school, therefore the coursework will be reflective of this level of intensity. However, each post-bac program is different. For instance, a “career changer” program, where a student may be currently in a profession or job, can allow for

March/April 2016 | PreMedLife Magazine |25


Premedlife

POSTBAC

Why Medical Schools Like Non-Traditional Students

G

rowing up in this century, it is easy to think that we should all follow one path. If you go back to middle school or high school, there were people who made fun of other people like the nerds because the nerds generally did not follow social customs. This is an extreme example but there are so many different variations however mild that occur in our lives. Because of this, most of us feel that if do not follow the “normal path” to medicine, that we will not make it. It is so natural to assume this but contrarily this is not the case for medical school. Traditional students are those students who start medical school the summer after they graduate whereas non-traditional students are those who took time in between undergrad and medical school. It does not matter what the reason was for taking time in between – whether it was for research, studying for the MCAT, working, etc. – but you end up being classified as a non-traditional student. Medical schools actually love non-traditional students and there are a couple of different reasons why:

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March/April 2016 | PreMedLife Magazine |27


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POSTBAC

DIVERSITY IN THE INCOMING CLASS Generally when we use the term diversity we are referring to different races and ethnicities but in this case it is referring to the diversity in the educational and work backgrounds of students. Why is this even important? This is so important because if you have students from all different backgrounds then their base level of knowledge will be different from other students. Also, the way that people think is based on their environment, educational background, and so much more. The more “types” of students there are, the more varied the discussion. Discussion is a vital part of the medical school experience because there are sessions in which you sit with your fellow peers in small groups and discuss ways to take care of a made up patient. This is called Problem Based Learning (PBL). If you have seven traditional students who all majored in Biology and these students are discussing a patient during PBL, the type of discussion will differ from a mix of traditional and non-traditional students. A good variety of people allows a discussion with more ideas and this paves the way for more learning. Additionally, learning and interacting with all sorts of people allow you to further learn about interacting with future colleagues from different backgrounds but also gives you an edge when talking to patients with backgrounds you are unfamiliar with. Have you ever wondered why medical schools would boast about diversity on their website or during interviews? Honestly, many pre-meds never paid attention to that aspect of medical schools. With time and experience its importance becomes clear. SUB-SPECIALISTS, PRIMARY CARE, WIDE ARRAY OF SPECIALISTS There are a wide array of tracks you can chose to take after medical school all the way from Plastic Surgery to Family Medicine to Urology to Radiology. Each specialty has a personality type that it attracts and various advantages that attract a certain person (this is not exclusive but it is a generalization). For example, Family Medicine physicians are generally very nice and really enjoy taking care of their patients for the long term. A benefit of pursuing Family Medicine is that the residency is three years (the shortest a residency can be) and hours practicing are usually 8am-5pm which provides a stable home environment. On the other hand, if you take a Cardiologist, this is a longer training requirement as it requires three years of residency and three years of fellowship.

Also, depending on the type of Cardiology you go into, you will be required to be on call and come into the hospital during the middle of the night. The trade off is that you make more money. Basically, there is a type of specialty for almost every personality and if medical schools want to fill in different specialties they want to attract different types of medical students. A diverse medical student group provides a rich array of different personalities who will all pursue different specialties in the future.

were “allIfthewesame

with the same types of experiences then life would get really boring.

A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE As a student in a class of 149 other students and many of these students have fascinating paths and stories towards Medicine. Some students have completed a master’s program in various different fields and they come into medical school with a very fresh perspective. A student with a master’s has spent additional time with their education and the take they have on patient’s can be so refreshing. I remember helping to take care of a patient during my surgery block and we were struggling to find ways to help a patient make improvements in their health. The other medical student, previously a phlebotomist, made a suggestion for the patient that none of us had thought of before and it actually ended up working for the betterment of the patient. People with diverse educational experiences can help provide a different outlook on certain scenarios. Also, we can learn a lot from other students as I learned from the other medical student on my team for surgery. THE SAME GETS BORING If we were all the same with the same types of experiences then life would get really boring. Stability is a nice part of our lives but we all look forward to the changes that we go through. By being with a wide variety of medical students, we all change in subtle ways that we hope make us better physicians in the future. Patients come in all sorts of flavors – some that are quiet, excited, talkative, fearful, etc. For each of these patient types we need to be prepared to not only treat them but also be able to mesh well with our patients based on their personalities. By interacting with medical students from all walks of life, we are able to slowly increase our abilities to tackle any patient. It is hard to see the transition that happens in ourselves because it is so gradual and yet when we all finish medical school we are all different from when we started four years ago. However gradual the transition may be, the changes that have overtaken our lives are a consequence of the experienc-

28 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016


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es and relationships we experience in medical school. Medical school admission’s officers have all been there, they know and therefore they appreciate the importance of diversity in an incoming medical school class. A post-bac student is resilient (not that other students are not) in many ways. A post-bac student decides to commit to more time learning and studying at an attempt to go to medical school. Post-bac students do not have a guarantee of getting into medical school and they do place a gamble. The gamble being that they spend time doing a program that will make them a stronger candidate. This level of resilience and confidence placed in one’s future is unique. A student that goes straight to medical school from undergrad merely does not understand that struggle. Things were simpler for students who go straight to medical school. The simplicity of this type of situation does afford the ability for this student to be relaxed during their senior year of college, whereas those pursuing a post-bac do not have that luxury. Applying to post-bacs in itself can be a stressful and difficult time and in surpassing

If my tone has not given it away yet, I admire the students who took time off in between undergrad and medical school

those obstacles, post-bac students learn a lot not only about themselves but about their strong desire to pursue medicine. Students who take time off in between undergrad and medical school is something to admire because it takes a level of commitment and patience that not many students have. From these students we can learn so much and this is one of the reasons why non-traditional students are looked at fondly. So, many students who take time off to do other things before coming to medicine have very different lives from their lives in medical school. To be able to make money and have a real life and decide that you want to give that up for medicine takes a lot of guts and patience. To have something and then chose to not have that something anymore is inspirational and we can all learn something from these types of students. We can learn so much from non traditional students and this is why medical schools also are intrigued by these students. p


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From Corporate to Medical School by Carleen Eaton, MD

I

f you’re in the midst of a career in business, education, or another field, but are contemplating making the switch to medicine, you may be wondering where to start. Like any premed, you’ll be taking rigorous science courses, gaining clinical experience and gearing up for the MCAT. But as someone already established in another field, you’ll also be confronting additional challenges relating to everything from going back to school to finding a new peer group. Below are some thoughts and tips to help you make your dream of a career as a physician into a reality.

Making sure medicine is the right move

Whether you’re just a couple of years or much further into your current profession, the most important initial task is to confirm that becoming a physician is truly what you want to do. Giving up your job or making other major life changes too quickly is a pitfall to avoid. So, start slowly, explore your budding interest in medicine thoroughly, and then ramp up the pace if you decide that medicine is the best career for you.

If you’re coming from a non-science field, you’ll likely have very few of the prerequisite math and science courses completed. Although science requirements may vary from school to school, they are typically as follows: two semesters of general biology with laboratory; two semesters of general chemistry with laboratory; two semesters of organic chemistry with laboratory; two semesters of physics with laboratory; one or two semesters of college mathematics; and two semester of biochemistry.

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Trying out science coursework


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Science coursework takes a different skill set than social sciences and humanities, so even if you were a star in those classes, getting used to science classes may take some time. Therefore, consider starting with one or two science classes to see how you adjust, instead of jumping in immediately with a full load. Note that medical schools prefer that prerequisites be taken at a four-year college or university rather than a community college. Also, avoid online coursework as some medical schools do not accept online classes to fulfill prerequisites. Keep in mind that if you do eventually decide to enter a career-changer post-baccalaureate premedical program, some programs have limits on how many sciences courses you can have completed and still be eligible for admission. If you’re considering doing a structured program, investigate their requirements and don’t go over the limit, which can be as low as one or two classes.

physicians as they allow participants to rotate through multiple departments in the hospital and often include physician shadowing opportunities. Community clinics catering to underserved patients are another excellent place to seek out clinical exposure.

Gaining clinical experience

Stepping up the pace - or not

An important aspect of preparation for medical school is gaining experience in clinical environments. Seek out both physician shadowing experiences, which allow you to see medicine from the perspective of a physician, as well as hands-on experiences interacting with patients by volunteering in a hospital or clinic. Some hospitals offer volunteer programs geared specifically to premedical students. These are ideal for aspiring

Finding a peer group

Traditional premedical students have a built-in group of peers to study with, exchange tips about applying, and for support. As a career changer, you may have to work a little harder to find such a group, especially if you’re not part of a structured post-baccalaureate program. Although many of your fellow premedical students may be younger than you, try to look past the differences in age and experiences and focus on the common goal you share of becoming a physician. You can also find support through organizations and forums for nontraditional premeds such as the National Society for Nontraditional Premedical & Medical Students, Inc.

Once you’ve confirmed that you’re going to make the switch, you’ll face the decision to continue your current career while taking a couple of courses at a time and volunteering a few hours a week, or to dedicate yourself to these endeavors full time. The route you take will depend on how many courses you need to take, the flexibility of your work, and financial and

personal considerations. For example, one teacher and aspiring physician switched to a part-time position to free up time to take more science classes, while a former lawyer left his job to return to school and work as an emergency room scribe. Carefully investigate the various options to see which works best for you as there is no “right” approach for everyone.

Final thoughts

Transitioning from another career to medicine can be both exciting and daunting. Good planning, careful thought, and a methodical approach are essential to overcoming the challenges, but the reward is a career that can be deeply satisfying. As you wade into the premedical world, remember that although you may face some obstacles as a nontraditional applicant, you’ll also be bringing maturity, experience, and professionalism that will help you succeed as a future physician. p ABOUT THE AUTHOR Carleen Eaton, MD is the founder of prehealthadvising.com, which provides personalized advising to applicants to medical school and other health professions programs. Dr. Eaton is a graduate of the UCLA School of Medicine and the author of Getting into Medical School for Dummies, part of the popular Dummies series.

PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT

Tulane University School of Medicine Masters of Science in Medical Genetics and Genomics On the most significant part of an application... We truly try to be holistic in our admissions process and we read every letter of recommendation and every personal statement. So I would say the personal statement – that is really the only thing you have control over by this point.

On pitfalls applicants should be careful to avoid... As a post-bac program we know many of our applicants had applied to medical school and did not get in, but please give us the courtesy of slightly editing your medical school application personal statement to reflect why you are interested in our particular program.

On something seen on an application that they hope to never see again... I didn’t need to know that the applicant had a job as a “bikini barista”– “barista” would have sufficed. Sharing too much information may indicate a lack of judgment.

On applicant’s personal and academic qualities... Of course we want students with good GPAs and MCAT or GRE scores, but we also are looking for students who seem to be independent, mature, caring. We look for volunteer experience and consider other life experiences.

On common mistakes that hurt acceptance... Getting a letter of recommendation from someone whose class they did not do well in, someone who doesn’t know them very well or someone whose lab they dropped out of.

On what makes this program unique... Our program is unique in that it is one of the only ones (if not the only one) whose concentration is Medical Genetics and Genomics – a field of study that is becoming increasingly important in all fields of medicine. Our program allows the students shadowing experience.

As personalized medicine becomes the future of medicine, our students will be ahead of the pack in whatever field of health care they may chose. Many students from our program have gone onto medical or osteopath schools and have done well, but we also have graduates going to dental school, PhD programs, genetics counseling programs and biotech companies.

“Don’t forget the joy of learning while you go through this process.”

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DO WHAT YOU

LOVE WHAT YOU DO DECIDING IF A POST-BACCALAUREATE PROGRAM IS RIGHT FOR YOU by Alicia McNease Nimonkar

P

ostbaccalaureate programs can help you become a competitive applicant to medical school in a number of ways. If you are a career changer, you can take the prerequisite courses necessary to gain admission to medical school. Academic enhancers have several postbac options. There are programs to help you target and improve your undergraduate GPA. Many programs offer additional support in providing clinical, research and volunteer experiences that demonstrate your interest in and commitment to the healthcare field. They can also assist with MCAT preparation. These are three critical areas of the application that postbac programs for academic enhancers address. Identifying where you need support can help you narrow down the type of postbac program that is best for you. There are single-focus programs designed to help you improve your grades and/or complete the prerequisite coursework. Dual-focus programs provide you with unique activities as well as coursework. Multi-focus programs offer support in all three areas: GPA, activities, and MCAT. Use the criteria below to determine if a postbac program is right for you and which type of program will benefit you the most.

LOW UNDERGRADUATE GPA (3.0 OR LOWER)

If you are a career changer or have an undergraduate GPA that is below a 3.0, you may consider a single-focus postbac program that will allow you to take at least one year of a full course load of upper division science courses. These programs often have an academic advisor who will help you select classes and determine the strongest course combinations. The best programs provide learning skills testing with an educational psychologist who can provide students with solid data about their academic strengths and weaknesses. When given concrete feedback on their performance with clear guidance on improving study skills, students can advance significantly and develop stronger study habits. The main focus of these programs is improving your undergraduate GPA and preparing you to excel in med school. If you have a low undergraduate GPA, it will not be as helpful to your application to take graduate level classes. It is best to take postbaccalaureate coursework so that you can directly improve your undergraduate GPA. On the AMCAS application, the GPA is calculated separately for your undergraduate and graduate coursework. Even if you earn a 4.0 in a graduate program, it will have no impact on your undergraduate GPA since those numbers are

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POSTBAC calculated separately. Also, medical schools are aware that many graduate programs inflate their grades. With this information taken into consideration, graduate GPA’s are not valued as highly as undergraduate GPA’s. Medical school selection committees focus on the undergraduate GPA when making admissions decisions. While a competitive graduate GPA will help your application, if you have a low undergraduate GPA, this is the number that may cause rejection. Students who already have a strong undergraduate GPA can consider completing a Special Master’s Degree Program (SMP) or a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) to bolster their application and preparation.

LOW GPA AND WEAK ACTIVITIES (3.0 OR LOWER IN COMBINATION WITH LESS THAN 8 ACTIVITIES)

Review your CV/resume. Classify each experience using the following headings: •Clinical experience •Community Service •Leadership •Research (optional for most medical schools)

If you do not have any long-term activities or have not covered the critical areas mentioned above, then dual-focus programs can help you to improve your GPA while strengthening the activities section of your application. Some of these programs have established

volunteer or research tracks. You will not have to waste any time submitting applications or looking for experience in these areas once you are accepted into their program. They will help you obtain impressive experience, often while providing academic support in your coursework. Multi-tasking in a dual-focus program can prove to selection committees that you are indeed ready to take on the responsibilities of medical school.

LOW GPA (3.0 OR LOWER) AND LOW MCAT SCORE (BELOW A 500)

If you need to improve in these areas, a multi-focus program could be your best option. They often offer a summer program or support in preparing for the MCAT. Many of these programs encourage students to focus only on academics during the school year but encourage participation in volunteer work or research during the breaks and may even offer direct connections to opportunities on their undergraduate and/ or medical school campuses. They provide the most comprehensive support in all areas of the application—before and during the process of applying. The best kept secret of postbaccalaureate programs are conditional acceptance programs. For these programs, if students earn a certain GPA by a certain date, they are given acceptance into medical school. There are two well-known programs in this area, the Georgetown GEMS Program and the Michigan State ABLE Program. You can apply directly to their programs on their website. Most conditional acceptance programs

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are more selective and secretive—they only admit students into their program if a student applies to their medical school. These program names are shared by word of mouth. In many cases, students are not required to retake the MCAT. On the other hand, if you are struggling with the MCAT, activities or application essays, there is no need to apply to postbac programs. Most people have difficulty taking the MCAT when they are working full time, involved in other activities and/or taking classes. Use a test prep program and clear your schedule. If you need to bolster your activities, look for meaningful activities that you can devote a lot of time to demonstrate your interest and improve your activities. For assistance with application materials or essays and to submit exceptional applications, consider working with professional editors and consultants. p ABOUT THE AUTHOR Alicia served as student advisor and director of the UC Davis School of Medicine Postbaccalaureate Program for over five years, earning the highest success rates for any program like it in the state of California. She published the first book ever written about premedical postbaccalaureate programs over a year ago, The Definitive Guide to Pre-Medical Postbaccalaureate Programs: The handbook for career changers and academic record enhancers who want a chance at medical school, and works as a consultant for accepted.com assisting students applying to all of the health professions—with an 88% success rate for this past application cycle.

PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT

Keck Graduate Institute

Post-Baccalaureate Premedical (PPC) Program On the most significant part of an application... Obviously the most important factor for the admission process is the academic metric, however, for an actual component of the application itself, I would consider the personal statement to be the most important and thus should be completed with the utmost care.  It is the first opportunity for admission committee to see an applicant beyond just the grades and numbers. On myths about the application process... We hear about holistic review, but it’s a myth to think that everything will be equally weighed at the initial stage.  It’s only after the GPA and MCAT have met minimal standards will all the other variables be considered. On common mistakes that hurt acceptance... Not being authentic but rather trying to present themselves as who they think admission committees are looking for.

On pitfalls applicants should be careful to avoid... Applying late in the cycle.  It’s common sense, with passing time, there are fewer and fewer available seats in the class. On what applicants can do to set themselves apart... We are all naturally unique and different from each other, are we not?  Why then would applicants try so hard to look like everyone else?  Just be yourself and be sure to convey this through your application. On what makes this program unique... KGI is unique because it is a graduate school of applied life sciences, originally designed for students seeking careers in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.  However, it was the idea of “off label use” of our unique curriculum that has benefited our students, now alumni in and beyond medical school.  The combination of science and business within a real world context of solving problems as part of a team takes learning beyond just academics. On advice to someone considering medical school

so they don’t end up regretting their career choice later on... Take your time to learn all you can about the field, both the good and the bad.  Why do students continue to think that there is a timeline to follow?

“Just be yourself and be sure to convey this through your application.”

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L O O H C S L A C I D E M

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How Post-Bacccalaureate Pre-Medical Will Help Your Chances of Getting Into Medical School?

Many students these days are pursuing a post baccalaureate program (post-bac) prior to going to medical school and there are a couple of reasons why someone would do this. But before we go into that, let’s talk a little bit about what a post-bac even means. A post-bac is a program that you participate in typically after you graduate for which you can receive a certificate or possibly another degree that provides additional coursework in a specific area. Now that was pretty vague so let’s apply

it to Medicine. A student that does a pre-medical post-bac completes one or two years (based on the program) of coursework related to Medicine (whether it be premedical courses or actual medical classes). You might be a premed sitting there reading this and thinking well why in the world would I want to do one or two more years after I just completed four years? There are a couple of reasons for why someone would want to pursue a post-bac program. >>>


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A student who did not know they wanted to go to medical school and decided later on after majoring in something completely unrelated to medicine There are many students who pursue degrees such as Art History, Spanish, Engineering, etc and yet still apply to medical school and get in each year. These students knew early on that they wanted to pursue Medicine and thus made sure to take the necessary prerequisites to apply to medical school. These types of students take the MCAT and apply to med schools like any other traditional premed student. However, there is a subset of students who completed a major in which they did not have to complete any of the premed requirements. It is this subset of students who could use the post-bac pathway in order to enter medical school. Many post-bac programs are outlined in such a way that you complete all of your premed requirements in either one year or two years and the program also helps you apply to medical school. These types of post-bac programs are wonderful especially for students who do not have a background in medicine because there are a lot of resources and support to help these students get into medical school. Also, rather than going back to school and getting another degree in order to complete your coursework you can

participate in a post-bac program that allows you to complete your requirements in a shorter time period and most likely cheaper than pursuing a full degree. Another benefit to these post-bac programs is that the program sometimes is affiliated with a medical school which would allow you significant exposure to faculty members at the medical school. This would give you a little more edge than a regular applicant. Also, anytime you complete more schooling, you look better in the eyes of medical school admissions committee’s. A student who did not do as well during their undergraduate years and wants to become a stronger candidate for medical school There are a lot of students who complete their undergraduate career in some sort of premed fashion whether it be doing a traditional premed track in a science or doing a premed track along with a major in something not science. Of these students, many do not feel ready to apply to medical school at the end of their junior year. There are many reasons a student may not feel ready to apply including the following •Did not finish coursework necessary to start studying for the MCAT in time

•Took the MCAT but did not do as well •Decided to switch to premed in the middle of your undergraduate career and still need time to finish the necessary coursework •Did not have a lot of time to do volunteer, research, shadow, etc •Do not feel that your whole application is strong enough These are just some of the many different reasons that someone might not feel ready to apply. But whatever the reason is, I have heard many students say that they did not feel like they did well in their coursework and wanted to pursue a post-bac in order to have a chance to do it again but also to show to medical schools that they improved. A post-bac gives you the chance to enhance your academic record which is like a second chance or a do-over on your undergraduate coursework. You might be thinking well if you did not do well the first time, what makes you think you will do well the second time? Hindsight is 20/20 and when you are motivated, you will be surprised by all the things you could do that you never thought you could do. Maybe as an undergrad you were stuck in the party scene and did not want to get your work done but now you are completely invested in the idea of pur-

PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT

Lehigh University

Healthcare Systems Engineering (HSE) Master’s Program On myths about the application process... One myth about medical school applications is that the candidate must have some unique qualifications (such as working in a remote location for a charitable healthcare organization) in order to be an attractive candidate. In fact, an honest and straightforward application by a person who is dedicated to helping others makes a powerful argument for acceptance. On what they would tell their son or daughter if they were applying,... Having my son apply and be accepted to medical school, my advice was (1) to be straightforward and honest in the application process, and (2) to demonstrate a strong desire to contribute to medical research and to acquisition of medical knowledge. Areas to avoid are (1) expressing a strong interest in the earning capacity of certain medical fields, and (2) asking which medical specialties are the easiest to practice (no on-call, lots of time off, etc.).

On what can applicants do to set themselves apart... To set oneself apart, tell a personal story that is relevant to your desire to study Medicine. On advice you would like to give prospective post-bac pre-med applicants... Keep an open mind during both the pre-medical education phase and in medical school. Do not decide on a career path too early, for your experience as you go through the education process will likely push you onto a path that you had not previously considered. (It did for me). Take as many courses that you find interesting as you can. They will be invaluable to you in later life in ways that you cannot imagine when you are younger. On what makes this program unique... The most unique aspect of the HSE Program at Lehigh University is that it provides the future doctor with (1) the “engineering approach” to problem-solving (i.e. a disciplined and structured method of approaching complex problems), and (2) knowledge of the “tools” that Engineers use to provide well-considered solutions.

On advice to someone considering medical school so they don’t end up regretting their career choice later on... Take your time to learn all you can about the field, both the good and the bad.  Why do students continue to think that there is a timeline to follow?

“There is no one ideal candidate... what is required is a keen sense of interest in the healthcare field.”

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suing Medicine. A post-bac would give you a second chance and allow you to do better in your coursework. Although it may seem that medical schools would not look fondly on those students who did not do well initially and then pursed a post-bac, this is actually the opposite of the truth. Many medical schools are very intrigued and interested by these students because they are completely invested in the idea of pursuing Medicine. I mean who would want to do one or two more years of extra coursework unless they were actually committed to Medicine? This does not mean that you will easily get into medical school because you have done a post-bac, it just means that it looks favorably and might be more of a foot in the door than you had previously. You did not get into medical school Everyone knows all too well the struggle of trying to get into medical school and how our anxiety about it stems from the fact that so many people apply each year and yet so many students get rejected. It is the rejection that really drives our anxiety because we are so high-functioning it is hard to imagine otherwise. Many students who applied and did not get into medical school if they still want to pursue Medicine will consider a post-bac. Many people do not recommend

a post-bac program to those students who have an average GPA and average MCAT because a post-bac program is good for those students who really struggled in undergrad or who decided to change their plans later. So it is important to evaluate why you did not get in. Is it because your resume was not strong enough, weak letters of recommendation, low GPA, or low MCAT? Each of these reasons warrant a different discussion but the main one that would have you thinking about doing a post-bac is if your GPA was low and you want to pursue a post-bac in order to rectify that. •Weak resume: A post-bac could help with a weak resume but other options that would be better include taking a year off and doing something like research, a year abroad doing volunteer work, working in any field (medical if you do not have a lot of medical extracurriculars and non-medical if you have a lot of medically related extracurriculars and want to do something different), and teaching. These are ways to build up a weak resume. •Weak letters of recommendation: Although this is something that generally does not happen because it is hard to know if someone gave you a good or bad letter of recommendation, you can easily fix this by asking other people for letters. If you do not have other peo-

ple to ask, you can participate in some extra activities such as shadowing or research and that way get better letters. •Low MCAT: If this is the only thing that is bringing your application down then it is actually a pretty easy fix. Take the MCAT again. A post-bac will not necessarily overcome a weak MCAT if you did well in your premed course requirements. You should plan to take your MCAT again and only take it if you really feel like you will be able to improve your score. A low initial score on the MCAT can be overcome by doing well the second time around. A low initial score may keep you from going to an Ivy league medical school but many other schools will be interested in you if you can improve your score. If you got a 20 on your first attempt then you should be aiming for high 20s or low 30s. What I mean is, don’t think that getting a 20 on the first try and then a 24 the next try will help you get into medical school. Also, trying an alternate approach to the MCAT rather than what you did the first time is always a great approach. If you decide to take a year off in order to take the MCAT again, you will have time to try different approaches if one approach is not working for you. p

think med school.

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nontrad

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ditional. I

by Cynthia Lewis

f you are a “non-traditional” applicant, you are not alone! Recently, more people from diverse backgrounds, often older, with rich life experiences, have been entering the medical profession. Non-traditional applicants fall into three categories:

Post-baccalaureate students Many students earn degrees not preparing them for medical school, such as in humanities, social sciences or engineering. Others have completed pre-medical requirements, but earned marginal science grades, or took sciences so long ago as to have forgotten them. To be “non-traditional,” the applicant should have been out of college at least two years.

Re-Entry students Some students never finished undergraduate degrees, and now need to complete coursework to become a doctor. Career Changers Some enter law, teaching, engineering, computer work, etc., or become an entrepreneur or an artist, dancer or musician. Then, some important event like a family member or friend’s struggle with illness or death, or their own health, or a meaningful service experience, inspired them to become a doctor. The medical profession wants a “strong, diverse and interesting” class:

istockphoto / © dan4

1. In 2016, America is diverse ethnically, culturally, by sexual-orientation, religion, and rural vs urban, to name some of the most obvious. Doctors must serve this population and need to understand those perspectives. 2. Doctors today work in “Inter-professional Teams” of doctors from several disciplines, nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, podiatrists, optometrists, dentists, etc. Doctors must know how to be a team leader and a team player, and how to solve problems with others under pressure. 3. The medical profession values “thinking outside the box” for problem-solving. Coming from a completely different perspective

than the standard premedical science major background can be a very positive attribute.

Traditional undergraduates applying to medical school can be a first generation immigrant, have a non-Christian religion, not be heterosexual, live in a rural area and have teamwork and problem-solving skills. What the non-traditional applicant, however, brings to the medical school application process and to the profession is greater depth, breadth, perspective, experience, maturity, insight, commitment, self-knowledge, and often, great communication skills. Non-traditional students usually have developed some passion, like being a competitive ice skater, speaking several languages, or having traveled to distant lands. Sometimes, they bring specialized skills like the critical thinking of a District Attorney, or the culinary skills of a chef. They also have spent significant time in introspection establishing this whole new life direction, which may mean having to quit a job, move to another area for college, take out loans, support a family while “returning to college”, etc. In other words, non-traditional students are often in the “middle of a life path”, now taking a 90-degree turn. The key to success for a Non-traditional applicant is to discuss all of your journey, which is typically non-linear. Explain why you entered the military right out of high school, or joined the family business, or became a chemical engineer. Then, explain why you would like to be a doctor now. What are the specific factors surrounding your decision? What inspires you now? What is so compelling as to change course in your life? What special attributes do you bring to your application? How do they fit with a medical career? Here is a great example of a man whose path to medicine opened up at age 38 (edited): My journey before medicine I did not always want to be a doctor. From my father’s example, I acquired an early respect for medicine and an admiration for physicians, but I had a tendency to turn white watching clinical procedures. Eschewing formal education after high school, I chose instead a ‘road less traveled’, and in step with my generalist nature, I’ve garnered a wide variety of skills and a concomitant breadth of outlook.

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Inspiration Growing up, I was taken by my parents to visit Tijuana orphanages and hospitals, but became more appreciative of my visits to Mexico, years later. What proved to be a valuable lesson in humanity began with a drive to Tecate with my brother to deliver food and clothing to an acutely poor community of tile makers. I became acquainted with Jose and Maria, whose wealth of spirit and generous character defied their outward poverty. One of their sons had a congenital hip problem and couldn’t walk unaided. I had my father meet them, and he arranged for surgery through a medical charity. I was struck that this unlikely intervention had resulted in something of a miracle for this family. My thoughts about these people over the years contributed greatly to my interest in family medicine. Witnessing my first child’s Cesarean birth stimulated me to consider ,medicine as a career. No work or interest I previously had seemed so vitally important or of such lasting value. I also spent much time with my wife in the hospital during her second complicated pregnancy. The physicians we came to trust had integrated their knowledge with a common sense approach, and respected our concerns. I was motivated by their example. Passion The central and driving interest through most of my twenties was my pursuit of the “perfect note”. As a self-

taught guitarist, I composed music and formed a series of bands. My interest in sound recording and textural composition led me to construct “quiet” rooms for exploring new sound sources and recording techniques. The Turning Point During my telephone career, the most enjoyable part was making friends. I liked spending time with my clients, which balanced the technical aspects of my job. But, despite this balance, I felt there was no fundamental meaning in my work. I needed full involvement with work having intrinsic human value. What do I bring to medicine? As I’ve reconsidered medicine through more mature eyes, I see I can bring an effective and unique set of attributes and receive a sense of meaningful work and higher purpose. My musical group experiences served as a crucible for developing interpersonal skills and I gained a sense of accomplishment by conceiving challenging projects and teaching myself the necessary skills to complete them. For 7 years, my career as a field technician installing and repairing sophisticated telephone switching equipment was, in one sense, an extended and demanding exercise in problem-solving. The unpredictable, yet frequent crises, taught me to stay calm and clear-headed under pressure.

What am I doing to prepare for a career in medicine now? I volunteer in a local hospital ER, which brought me face to face with the reality of an unending line of sick and injured people. My empathy for children is particularly strong, as I recall my own 2-year olds’ ordeals. Occasionally, I help hold children during tough moments; even these small efforts are met with real appreciation. I also took an externship with a family practitioner. I enjoyed patient contact as I took vital signs and administered ultrasound and other therapies. I’ve seen the importance of taking enough time to understand the patient, so as to understand the problem. It was while sitting in as my doctor–mentor talked with her HIV patients, that I learned what is meant by being the “patient’s advocate”. p ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Cynthia Lewis was a marine biologist faculty and researcher, and has been a Premedical Advisor for 31 years. See www.lewisassoc.com to learn more about new Advising Books coming soon.

PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT

MD Prep

Non-Traditional Educational Consulting On the most significant part of an application... The primary application which includes the personal statement and background questions about the applicant’s life and unique situation. Most students neglect spending enough time thinking these questions through and having someone who has gone through the process give them honest feedback on the application before submitting it. On myths about the application process... Yes. That doing more is better. For example, many applicants believe that the more activities, clubs, volunteer experiences and extracurricular activities that they demonstrate on their application then the better their application will be viewed. This is not true. It is far more important to demonstrate a small number of consistent quality focused activities than simply listing everything that the applicant has ever done or superficially participated in.

Is there anything you’ve seen on an application that you hope to never see again? Yes. Listing excuses for poor academic performance and tests scores. On most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted... Not having a mentor to help navigate them through each step of the year long application process. On what applicants can do to set themselves apart... Create a memorable story about a significant experience/ event in their life that shaped who they are and how that event set them on the path to achieve their goals. Any general advice you would like to give prospective post-bac pre-med applicants? Find a mentor that you trust and has your best interest in mind that has gone through the medical school application process to help you through the entire year long application process. Do not go through the process alone.

On advice to someone considering medical school so they don’t end up regretting their career choice later on... Take your time to learn all you can about the field, both the good and the bad.  Why do students continue to think that there is a timeline to follow?

“Start your application early and stay on schedule”

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2016 guide to

POSTBACCALAUREATE PRE-MEDICAL PROGRAMS Last year, there were 52,550 applicants to medical schools across the U.S. and more than 16 percent of entering medical students completed a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program to gain admission. The following is a list of several post-baccalaureate pre-medical programs available across the US.

EXAMPLE Post-Baccalaureate Program Name College/University | City, State

Website: www.premedlife.com Program Type: The type of program or student focus (i.e. Career changer, Academic Enhancement; Underrepresented minority students, Economically or educationally disadvantaged students) Description: Provides a brief description about the program and any unique features or opportunities available to students enrolled in the program.

ARIZONA MS in the Science of Health Care Delivery Arizona State University | Phoenix, AZ Website: chs.asu.edu/shcd Program Type: Career-changer, Academic enhancement, Underrepresented minority students, Economically or educationally disadvantaged students Description: Designed for career-changer students (those who lack prerequisite math and science courses). Students enroll in the appropriate undergraduate courses with non-matriculating graduate student status. The undergraduate coursework, coupled with the advisement resources of the pre-professional advisement office is designed to help prepare students for the application process to medical school.

Professional Studies in Health Sciences, Pathway Scholars Program The University of Arizona | Phoenix, AZ Website: phoenixmed.arizona.edu/pathway Program Type: Underrepresented minority students; Economically or educationally disadvantaged students Description: The program is intended to identify and retain students who are fully expected to meet the rigors of the College of Medicine – Phoenix curriculum. Guaranteed admission is granted for the next academic year to students who meet the set criteria.

MA in Biomedical Science Midwestern University | Glendale, AZ Website: midwestern.edu/az-biomed/ Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: A full-time, one-year, coursework only

program designed to help those who are already good candidates for professional school improve their academic credentials. The curriculum culminates in a Capstone Project.

MA in Biomedical Science Midwestern University | Glendale, AZ Website: midwestern.edu/az-biomed/ Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: A full-time, one-year, coursework only program designed to help those who are already good candidates for professional school improve their academic credentials. The curriculum culminates in a Capstone Project.

CALIFORNIA Chapman University Post Baccalaureate Program Chapman University | Orange, CA Website: chapman.edu Program Type: Career-changer Description: Designed for students who already possess a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field of science, who now desire to change their career path toward a healthcare profession. The program offers the student an opportunity to take various courses required of: medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician’s assistant, and nurse practitioner schools/programs.

UC Irvine School of Medicine Postbaccalaureate Program University of California, Irvine | Irvine, CA Website: meded.uci.edu/admissions/postbac.asp Program Type: Academic enhancement, Economically or educationally disadvantaged students Description: Designed to assist disadvantaged applicants in gaining acceptance to medical school, with the ultimate

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goal of increasing the number of physicians in underserved areas. While in the program students are provided with an environment to: strengthen their learning skills; show proficiency in the sciences; prepare for the MCAT exam and to become a more competitive applicant.

Pre-Health Professions Certificate California State University | San Marcos, CA Website: csusm.edu Program Type: Career-changer Description: Designed to provide a student with the Science and Math courses they need to prepare for entrance into various Health Professions programs. This program will prepare students who have completed a non-life science degree in areas such as Anthropology or English to gain the knowledge base required to become competitive applicants to health professional schools

MS in Biomedical Imaging (MSBI) Program California State University | San Marcos, CA Website: csusm.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: The program is intended for students with Bachelors degrees, advanced pre-doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, residents, researchers and faculty members who wish to master biomedical imaging and research methods to enhance their research designs and broaden their investigative projects. The degree can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.

University of California, San Diego Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program University of California, San Diego | La Jolla, CA Website: postbacpremed.ucsd.edu/ Program Type: Academic-enhancement Description: he UC San Diego Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program is a full-time intensive experience offering a rigorous curriculum within a supportive, cohort-based environment to individuals who want to strengthen their academic record for application to medical schools across the country.

UCLA RAP Program David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA | Los Angeles , CA Website: medstudent.ucla.edu Program Type: Underrepresented minority students, Economically or educationally disadvantaged students Description: A comprehensive, structured re-application program designed to assist students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have been unsuccessful in gaining admission to any U.S. medical school.

Loyola Marymount University Pre-Medical Post-Baccalaureate Program Loyola Marymount University | Los Angeles, CA Website: cse.lmu.edu Program Type: Career-changer Description: The program is geared for career changers who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine or dentistry. The program provides an opportunity for students to acquire the academic competencies to prepare themselves for the rigors of medical or dental school.

UCSF Interprofessional Health Post Baccalaureate Program University of California, San Francisco | San Francisco, CA Website: meded.ucsf.edu/outreach Program Type: Academic record-enhancers; Underrepresented minority students; Economically or educationally disadvantaged students Description: The UCSF program is designed to help individuals increase their chances of gaining admission to medical school by offering intensive MCAT review, assistance with medical school application preparation, science courses at UC Berkeley Extension, seminars on health care issues in underserved communities, and academic skills workshops.

UC Davis Postbaccalaureate Program UC Davis School of Medicine | Sacramento, CA Website: ucdmc.ucdavis.edu Program Type: Academic record-enhancers; Underrepresented minority students; Economically or educationally disadvantaged students Description: A one-year program designed to help educationally and/or socio-economically disadvantaged students become more competitive applicants to medical school. The program accepts first-time applicants to medical school and reapplicants.

Post-baccalaureate Premedical Certificate Program Keck Graduate Institute | Claremont, CA Website: kgi.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: A one-year program give students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to succeed in a rigorous graduate environment and to learn unique knowledge and skills from biomedical industry to offer medical schools. The program is best suited for students who are looking to improve upon their credentials.

Pre-Medical and General Science Studies Certificate UCLA Extension | Los Angeles, CA Website: uclaextension.edu/premedcert Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: The program is designed for individuals returning to school on a part-time or full-time basis.

The program is approved for the Guaranteed Student Loan Program and will assist post-baccalaureate students who are completing medical or other health related studies, to become eligible for financial aid which is not usually available to students who have already completed undergraduate degrees.

Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program University of Southern California | Los Angeles, CA Website: chem.usc.edu/postbacc/ Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: The program enables students who are beyond their undergraduate studies to complete the science core classes required for medical, dental and veterinary school in a supportive environment. The program accommodates both recent graduates and career-changers.

Post-Baccalaureate Program in Pre-Medicine Charles Drew University | Los Angeles, CA Website: cdrewu.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: The program gives college graduates and professionals the opportunity to take courses required for admission to medical, nursing, osteopathic, pharmacy, and dental schools. In an environment of academic excellence and personalized attention, the program enables students to competitively apply to health professional schools. The certificate program is flexible and tailored to suit each student’s specific goals and background.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program for Pre-Health Professionals California State University | Los Angeles, CA Website: web.calstatela.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement; Underrepresented minority students; Economically or educationally disadvantaged students Description: Provides an opportunity for pre-health career students to strengthen their academic background prior to application for admission to a health professional school. The program is designed to make post-baccalaureate students more competitive for admission through a combination of coursework and health science activities.

Pre-Professional Health Academic Program Cal State East Bay | Hayward, CA Website: ce.csueastbay.edu/certificate/Pre-Health Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: Specifically designed to provide you with the competitive advantage to enter into health professional schools and, ultimately, a career in the health care industry.

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POSTBAC GUIDE

Post-baccalaureate Pre-Med Program Mills College | Oakland, CA Website: mills.edu/premed Program Type: Career-changer Description: Designed for students with bachelor’s degrees who lack some or all of the basic science courses to pursue study in the fields of allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacology, veterinary medicine, or optometry. The program is flexible and can be tailored to fit a student’s specific background in science and mathematics.

Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program Scripps College | Claremont, CA Website: scrippscollege.edu/postbac Program Type: Career-changer Description: Provides individuals with the opportunity to change the direction of their professional lives in order to pursue a career in medicine. By offering an intensive 13-month or two year part-time curriculum of prerequisite science, the program enables returning students to prepare for admission to medical, dental, and veterinary school. The women and men in the Post-Baccalaureate Program comprise a diverse and interesting group of people who are characterized by their intelligence, motivation, maturity, and commitment to increasing their own knowledge and life possibilities.

Formal Post-Bac Program San Francisco State University | San Francisco, CA Website: online.sfsu.edu/~brothman/formalindex.html Program Type: Career-changer Description: In June, 2010, the school split the Program into two components, the original Career Changer Track (CCT), and a new Academic Enhancer Track (AET), for those retaking some pre-requisite courses and upper-division science electives and taking for the first time a number of upper-division electives. CCTs tend to have not been natural science majors as undergraduates, whereas “Late-Arriving” CCTs and AETs tend to have been Biology majors as undergraduates.

MS in Medical Sciences (MSMS)

Western University of Health Sciences | Pomona, CA Website: prospective.westernu.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement; Underrepresented minority students; Economically or educationally disadvantaged students Description: 12-month Master of Science in Medical Sciences (MSMS) program designed to provide students with the critical evaluation skills and research awareness necessary for you to become a well-informed, evidence-based professional; something that is impossible to achieve exclusively within the time constraints of most professional degree programs.

COLORADO Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Courses

Colorado State University OnlinePlus | Online courses Website: online.colostate.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: The post-bac pre-health courses are designed to provide students the opportunity to gain knowledge of fundamental science concepts, build an understanding for the integration of life science theories, complete prerequisite courses, and improve your grades in previously taken courses. After successfully completing the courses of their choice, students will have a more competitive application to submit to a health professional program admissions committee.

MS in Biomedical Sciences Regis University | Denver, CO Website: regis.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: The Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences nine month degree program is designed to provide record enhancing post-baccalaureate studies for students who wish to pursue a career in healthcare fields such as medicine (DO, MD, PA) and dentistry. The program provides a team-focused, academically intensive and supportive environment in which to prove readiness for future study. It includes a hands-on externship component in the Denver healthcare community, culminating in an integrative capstone project.

MS in Modern Human Anatomy University of Colorado | Aurora, CO Website: ucdenver.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: Designed to integrate traditional anatomy with modern medical and scientific technologies, the program offers a unique blend of classical anatomical education with an introduction to medical imaging modalities. Students also cover major medical and scientific imaging modalities and receive instruction in advanced digital image processing and 3D modeling using industry-standard software.

Post Baccalaureate Health Professions Program University of Colorado Boulder | Boulder, CO Website: coted.colorado.edu Program Type: Career changer Description: Designed for “career changers” who were academically successful as undergraduates and have completed a bachelor’s degree, but have not completed the prerequisite courses needed to apply to medical and other healthcare-related professional schools. This intensive yearlong post-baccalaureate program is appropriate for students who are either recent college graduates or experienced professionals seeking a career change.

Master’s of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) University of Northern Colorado | Greeley, CO Website: unco.edu/biology Program Type: Academic enhancement Description:  This one year post-baccalaureate premedical program is designed to provide academic enhancement for strong students with a background in biology who want to improve their application to a professional or other biomedically-related graduate school.

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (1 year) Colorado State University | Fort Collins, CO Website: csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement Description:  he Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (1 year) prepares students for the rigors of professional school by offering an analogous curriculum. Core courses feature extensive laboratory instruction, hands-on dissection, and recitations with problem-based learning exercises.

CONNECTICUT Master of Health Science Medical Laboratory Sciences

Quinnipiac University | Hamden, CT Website: quinnipiac.edu/gradmedlab Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: Provides students with the cutting-edge skills they need to manage the more complex operations carried out today in hospitals and research facilities as well as allowing students to develop their critical thinking skills and knowledge of the biomedical sciences, sought after by PhD programs and medical schools. Students also will have the added benefits of working closely with faculty mentors and the guidance of Quinnipiac’s director of pre-health advising as they prepare to continue their biomedical education.

Post Baccalaureate Program

University of Connecticut | Storrs, CT Website: med-dent.postbac.uconn.edu Program Type: Career-changers; Academic enhancement; Underrepresented minority students Description: The University of Connecticut School of Medicine developed the program in 1990 to assist the School in recruiting a more diverse medical school class. The program originally featured and continues to emphasize the Program A Track (for non-traditional applicants who typically pursued non-science collegiate plans and who have since decided to prepare for a medical career). Opportunities have also been provided (to a lesser degree) through the Program B Track (for students needing enhancement of upper division science courses and experiential activities).

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Certificate Program

Georgetown College | Washington D.C. Website: premed.georgetown.edu Program Type: Career-changer Description: Designed for qualified students who have finished their undergraduate degrees, but lack all or most of the core pre-med science courses (Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, or Math). The program is not appropriate for those who have completed the basic pre-med courses and wish to enroll only in advanced coursework. The program is also not intended for those who want to improve their GPA by repeating basic pre-med courses that they have already completed. Students in these categories should consider the Special Masters Program offered by the Georgetown University Medical Center Department of Physiology or the GEMS program offered by the Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Post-Baccalaureate Pre-medicine Certificate Program The George Washington University | Washington , DC Website: smhs.gwu.edu/post-bacc Program Type: Career-changer Description: Designed to provide future physicians with the foundational coursework, standardized test preparation, and access to real-world experience necessary for a successful medical school application, the one-year program offers a unique opportunity to build a strong foundation towards a new and rewarding career path. The program benefits those who want to apply to medical school but have not yet taken the courses necessary for admission. Students will also be well prepared to take the newly revised MCAT2015 through a course offered on-site by the Princeton Review.

Pre-Med Academic Enhancer Post-Baccalaureate Programs The George Washington University | Washington , DC Website: Smhs.gwu.edu/anatomy/education/ pre-medicine Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: The Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Biology of the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences offers two pre-medicine academic enhancer programs for candidates interested in applying to medical schools, physician assistant programs, or biomedical sciences Ph.D. programs. Both programs are designed to enhance competitiveness of applications to medical school or physician assistant programs or to transition to an advanced graduate degree in the biomedical sciences. Based on their level of readiness for admission in a health professional school, applicants apply to either the Graduate Certificate in Anatomical and Translational Sciences (GCATS), a one-year pre-med program with a total of 18 credit hours or the Master of Science in Anatomical and Translational Sciences (M-ATS), a two-year pre-med special Master’s program with a total of 38 credit hours. An MCAT preparatory course is offered in both pre-med programs.

Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate American University | Washington , DC Website: american.edu/cas/premed/CERT-GPMD.cfm Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: Designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree and either lack the prerequisites required by health professional schools, or wish to strengthen their credentials. The program offers guidance and assistance in preparing for health professional school, helping students polish essay-writing and interviewing skills and prepare for entrance exams (MCAT, DAT or GRE). Each student emerges with a composite letter of evaluation, which can be sent to health professional schools along with individual letters of recommendation.

DELAWARE Premedical Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program

University of Delaware | Newark, DE Website: pcs.udel.edu/pre-med Program Type: Career-changer Description: The University of Delaware has developed a new Premedical Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program to help those with a non-science related bachelor’s degree to prepare for medical school or other professional schools like dentistry, physician assistant, physical therapy, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and more. Students work closely with UD’s Center for Premedical and Health Profession Studies to develop an individualized program of study that addresses requirements for admission into professional schools in their desired field.

FLORIDA MS in Biomedical Sciences

Larkin Health Sciences Institute | Miami, FL Website: larkinhospital.com Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: The Masters of Science in Biomedical Sciences program has been designed with the Pre-medical and Pre-dental applicants in mind. The curriculum contains coursework similar to that experienced in the first year of medical or dental school. The Biomedical Sciences Program at Larkin University has a unique advantage due to its partnership with Larkin Community Hospital, one of only 8 teaching hospitals in Florida.

One-year Master of Science in Medical Sciences

University of South Florida | Tampa, FL Website: gradaffairs.health.usf.edu/masters.html Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: Developed to provide a novel interdisciplinary and concentrated program of study that is designed for students interested in either future doctoral or professional programs in the biomedical sciences and who value the interdisciplinary approach. The rigorous program is designed to allow students to demonstrate their full academic ability and suitability for future careers in healthcare in either academic or clinical environments.

MS in Medical Science with a Concentration in Interdisciplinary Medical Science (IMS)

University of South Florida | Tampa, FL Website: health.usf.edu/medicine/mdprogram Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: Designed to provide qualified students with advanced training in the sciences basic to the practice of medicine. Students successfully completing the program will have a foundation that fosters opportunities in the private sector, teaching, or the pursuit of further advanced degrees.

Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate Program

University of Florida | Gainesville, FL Website: clas.ufl.edu/prehealthpostbac/ Program Type: Career changer Description: Offers dedicated and motivated students an opportunity to complete academic pre-requisite courses for admission to medical school, dental school, and other health professional graduate programs. This program assists students in developing academic skills, application skills, and professional competencies necessary for the application to professional healthcare schools.

Bridge to Clinical Medicine MS in Biomedical Sciences

Florida State University | Tallahassee, FL Website: med.fsu.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement; Underrepresented minority students; Economically or educationally disadvantaged students Description: The Bridge to Clinical Medicine major of the M.S. Program in Biomedical Sciences is designed to expand the pool of successful medical school applicants from medically underserved, rural, and inner-city communities. It is a 12-month program that provides both education in medical knowledge and experiences in clinical practice. The Bridge to Clinical Medicine M.S. major provides disadvantaged students with a bridge to medical school or a career in healthcare. While preparing students for the rigors of medical school the Bridge to Clinical Medicine also provides training appropriate for a graduate degree and a career in healthcare-related biomedical sciences for those students who elect not to continue toward a medical degree.

Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate Career Changer Program

University of Miami | Coral Gables, FL Website: miami.edu Program Type: Career changer Description: The Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate program at the University of Miami is specifically designed for career changers, not for pre-health course enhancement. Students applying to the post-baccalaureate program cannot be currently enrolled in any graduate program, must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited four year college, and must have earned a 3.5 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in the last four semesters of academic work (undergraduate or graduate).

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Premedlife

POSTBAC GUIDE

MS in Biomedical Sciences

Barry University | Miami Shores, FL Website: barry.edu/biomedical-sciences Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: The Biomedical Sciences Program has been designed to prepare students to advance as biomedical scientists or health care professionals. Specifically, the curriculum has been designed to educate students through rigorous, graduate level science courses in order to strengthen their application for graduate and professional school.

GEORGIA MS in Preclinical Sciences

Mercer University School of Medicine | Macon, GA Website: medicine.mercer.edu/admissions/preclinical/ Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: A one-year curriculum of science courses addressing concepts that are foundational to the practice of medicine and to research in the biomedical field. The two main goals of the MSPCS are to prepare graduates for careers in science teaching, academic laboratory research, publishing or policy-making, and to enhance the scientific knowledge of graduates who desire to pursue a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences, a medical degree through either a MD or DO program, or other degrees in healthcare, such as in Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, or Dentistry.

Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program

Agnes Scott College | Decatur, GA Website: agnesscott.edu/academics/post-bac Program Type: Career-changer Description: Open to highly motivated men and women with successful undergraduate academic careers in non-science fields. The post-baccalaureate pre-med cohorts are a lively mix of new graduates and seasoned career professionals. The program has admitted attorneys, individuals with doctorates, ordained ministers, public health professionals and several recent graduates with majors that span the social sciences and humanities. The 12-month program—the only one offered in Georgia—features comprehensive studies in pre-medical laboratory sciences available through our undergraduate departments.

ILLINOIS Post- Baccalaureate Biomedical Sciences Certificate Program

Lewis University | Romeoville, IL Website: lewisu.edu/academics/post-bac-pre-med Program Type: Career-changers Description: Students who aspire to enter medical school or pursue graduate-level education in the health sciences may complete a certificate program

in lieu of the Bachelor of Arts with 32 semester hours of advisor-approved coursework from major-level offerings in the departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. This program will help students prepare for the next step in their education by giving them the tools they need to become more competitive for entry into medical, dental or other professional schools. In addition, the faculty and staff will provide guidance to assist students with applications and interview preparation.

Master’s in Medical Physiology (MSMP) Program

Lewis University | Romeoville, IL Website: stritch.luc.edu/physio/education/ms Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: Designed for college graduates who are interested in strengthening their understanding of medical physiology with the intent of enhancing their academic credentials to succeed in future applications to medical schools. Students interested in attending medical school will be guaranteed an admissions interview at the Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine by achieving a GPA in the MSMP Program of 3.5 or higher and whose most recent MCAT score is 30 or higher.

MA in Medical Sciences

Loyola University | Chicago, IL Website: luc.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: Designed to help students enhance their understanding of the biological disciplines that are the intellectual foundation for medical school curricula and to help them develop formal skills in analysis of the biomedical literature and of ethical questions that impact the medical profession. The program is a good fit for students with a good overall medical school application package who need an additional opportunity to demonstrate their ability to master challenging coursework. Students benefit from instruction from faculty members who are well-respected leaders in pre-medical education.

Post Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Studies Program

Loyola University | Chicago, IL Website: luc.edu Program Type: Career changer; Career enhancer Description: Designed as an academic bridge for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree and who intend to pursue a degree in the medical sciences. The program is appropriate both for students who have never before taken introductory natural science courses (career-changers) and for students who need to improve their grades in the science pre-requisites before applying to a professional program (career enhancers).

Medical/Dental Education Preparatory Program (MEDPREP)

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine | Carbondale, IL Website: siumed.edu/medprep/ Program Type: Underrepresented minority students; Economically or educationally disadvantaged students Description: Provides assistance to educationally and/or economically disadvantaged students, preparing them to achieve success in the health professions. The program operates on a year-round basis, beginning in June of each year. Students complete the program in five semesters (summer, fall and spring in their first year; fall and spring in their second year). Most students enroll in MCAT/ DAT preparation courses during the first academic year and in upper-level science enrichment courses during the second academic year.

Post-baccalaureate Program in Pre-medicine

Northwestern University | Chicago, IL Website: sps.northwestern.edu/program-areas/ post-baccalaureate/premedicine/index.php Program Type: Career-changer Description: Students in the program have the opportunity to meet their educational goals at a world-class university. The program admits post-baccalaureate students seeking the laboratory science courses in biology, general and organic chemistry and physics required for the application to most medical and related professional schools. The highly regarded Northwestern University curriculum and faculty give students an in-depth science foundation. The flexible schedule allows students to prepare for advanced study at a pace that meets their individual needs. This program is designed for career changers and students who have not completed the coursework needed to apply to medical school.

MS in Biomedical Sciences

Rosalind Franklin University | North Chicago, IL Website: rosalindfranklin.edu/Degreeprograms/BiomedicalSciences.aspx Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: The mission of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program is to prepare students to continue their graduate education in a variety of healthcare professions including allopathic and podiatric medicine, dentistry, healthcare administration & management, and physician assistant studies, by providing a rigorous background in the biomedical sciences. This challenging one-year course of study includes a number of graduate-level courses in the basic medical sciences and the choice of educational concentrations in a variety of healthcare fields. Students in this unique program take classes with students in other degree programs, including various graduate programs, allopathic and podiatric medicine, nutrition, physical therapy, and physician assistant studies.

52 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016


INDIANA MS Pre-Professional Degree Program

Indiana University | Indianapolis, IN Website: physiology.medicine.iu.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: A unique, one-year Master of Science, non-thesis degree program. This program is specifically designed for graduates with B.S. degrees who wish to improve their academic credentials and their chances of successful admission to medical and other professional school applications.

KANSAS Post-Baccalaureate Program

The University of Kansas | Kansas City, KS Website: physiology.medicine.iu.edu Program Type: Underrepresented minority students; Economically or educationally disadvantaged students Description: A 13-month structured academic program designed to strengthen the biological and social sciences foundation for students preparing for careers in medicine. This is a conditional admission program; as a result of the successful completion of the program with a 3.0 G.P.A., each participant will matriculate into The University of Kansas School of Medicine the following fall. Eligible students have applied to the University of Kansas School of Medicine and been granted an interview, the student may then receive an invitation to apply to the Post Baccalaureate Program (Post-Bac) if admission is not offered.

KENTUCKY Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Med Program

University of Louisville School of Medicine | Louisville, KY Website: louisville.edu/medicine/degrees/postbacpremed Program Type: Career-changer Description: Specifically designed for career changers with a bachelor’s or advanced degree who desire to become a physician, but lack the pre-med requirements to apply to medical school. This program is available for Kentucky residents and out of state residents. The program has been successful in matriculating the majority of our students to medical school; not only at the University of Louisville School of Medicine,but medical schools throughout the United States and abroad. The program currently have an 80% matriculation rate which includes some re-applicants. Each student has a program plan tailor made just for them based on course offerings each semester and their availability. Students attend school either on a part-time or full-time basis. Some students must work while in the program. Our students may take a minimum of six credit hours per semester (summer courses are optional). Most classes are available morning, afternoon and evening

LOUISIANA

courses, and reasonable tuition; students need rigorous coursework that prepares you for graduate school and demonstrates your competency to admissions committees; students are seeking a program that has a strong medical school placement record.

Masters in Medical Genetics and Genomics

Pre-Health Professions Certificate

during the week. Classes are taken with the general student population, including current undergraduate students.

Tulane University School of Medicine | New Orleans, LA Website: tulane.edu/som/hayward-genetics/education.cfm Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: The program is unique in that it is one of the only ones (if not the only one) whose concentration is Medical Genetics and Genomics–a field of study that is becoming increasingly important in all fields of medicine. The program allows the students shadowing experience in a genetics clinic. The role of genetics in clinical care, the ethical and policy issues related to genetics in medicine is discussed and students are encouraged our to critically assess new research. Many students from the program have gone onto medical or osteopath schools and have done well, but the program also has graduates going to dental school, PhD programs, genetics counseling programs and biotech companies. An estimated ninety percent or more of students who apply to allopathic or osteopathic school get in in subsequent years.

MS in Microbiology and Immunology

Tulane University School of Medicine | New Orleans, LA Website: tulane.edu/som/departments/microbiology/education/ms.cfm Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: This one-year post baccalaureate program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Microbiology and Immunology has been designed to prepare students for careers in biomedical sciences and to provide an in-depth educational experience to improve the probability of gaining admission to a postgraduate professional school such as medical, dental, veterinary schools or Ph.D. programs. Class size is limited to 15 students. Some courses are taken with first-year medical students or doctoral graduate students enrolled in the Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences Program.

MASSACHUSETTS Premedical Program/Health Careers

Harvard Extension School | Cambridge, MA Website: extension.harvard.edu/degrees-programs/ premedical-program/admission Program Type: Career-changer Description: The Premedical Program is a good fit if: students have an undergraduate degree but need to complete premedical coursework before applying to graduate school; students are looking for flexibility and affordability, including part-time study, evening

University of Massachusetts | Dartmouth, MA Website: umassd.edu/premed Program Type: Career-changer Description: Designed for any student who already has completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution but needs to complete the professional program undergraduate requirements before applying to the allied health program of their choice.

Post-Bac Premedical Program

Elms College | Chicopee, MA Website: elms.edu/academics/graduate-studies Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: Open to students who have earned a B.A. or B.S. from an accredited college or university, the program is designed for those who need further undergraduate course work to meet professional health program prerequisites. Students seeking to improve their GPA and enhance their academic and extracurricular record can complete the postbacc premed program in 2 semesters (less than 1 year). Students seeking to change their career by taking premed prerequisite courses for the first time can complete their studies in 4 semesters (less than 2 years).

Post-Baccalaureate Program

Worcester State University | Worcester, MA Website: worcester.edu/Pre-Medical-and-Health-Professions-Advisory-Programs/ Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: This program is expected to meet the needs of students interested in medical, dental, and veterinary school as well as those interested in pharmacy, physician’s assistant, physical therapy, and optometry programs. This program is part-time and classes are offered primarily in the evening. It is designed for students who need the basic science curriculum either as new courses (career changers) or as repeat attempts (GPA enhancement). A GPA of 2.75 overall is required for admission into the program. Students wishing to take an advanced curriculum are advised to seek a second baccalaureate degree through the undergraduate school. The basic courses are offered throughout the academic year, primarily in the evening. Summer courses are also available.

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March/April 2016 | PreMedLife Magazine |53


Premedlife

POSTBAC GUIDE

MAINE Premedical Program/Health Careers

Lawrence Technological University | Southfield, MI Website: ltu.edu Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: Designed for college graduates who are interested in pursuing a professional medical career but have taken few or none of the science courses needed for admission to a medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy, or other allied health school. The first such program in Michigan, the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Premedical Studies provides the specific, rigorous preparation in English, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics that medical schools require. The program also offers students intensive academic advising, help preparing for the MCAT, and substantial support in assembling your portfolio for application to professional schools.

MAINE Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Program

Northwestern Health Sciences University | Southfield, MI Website: nwhealth.edu/undergraduate-health-sciences/post-bac Program Type: Career-changer Description: The program allows students with a bachelor’s degree to complete the prerequisite requirements for a healthcare professional school. The program offers a comprehensive curriculum for students who are seeking Post-Bac Pre-Med or other pre-health coursework. Students can tailor coursework to fit individual needs and goals by choosing from a range of courses in Human Biology as well as our Health Professions Core, which includes relevant Social Sciences and Humanities courses with an emphasis on health care.

for students who have taken the prerequisites, offers upper level biology courses to enhance a previous academic record and demonstrate science mastery.

NORTH CAROLINA Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

Meredith College | Raleigh, NC Website: meredith.edu Program Type: Career-changer Description: Designed for individuals with bachelor’s degrees, the program offers two distinct tracks. The preparation track provides non-science degree holders the opportunity to earn prerequisite coursework needed for admission into health programs. The enhancement track is designed for students who need to enhance their academic credentials for re-application to medical school. Each track offers a flexible program. Small classes. Shadowing and clinical experiences. Individualized advising. And MCAT preparation is available if you’re aiming for acceptance to medical school.

Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Program

MISSOURI

Guilford College | Greensboro, NC Website: guilford.edu Program Type: Career-changer Description: The post-baccalaureate pre-medical and pre-health studies program is designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree and now wish to prepare for graduate study in the health professions such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physician assistant, pharmacy, physical therapy or occupational therapy. The post-baccalaureate pre-medical & pre-health studies program provides a coherent, individualized course of study that allows students to complete or retake the required science and social science courses to prepare for admission to a graduate program in the health field of their choice.

Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program

Premedical and Predental Post-Baccalaureate Program

Washington University | St. Louis, MO Website: ucollege.wustl.edu/programs/postbaccalaureate/premed Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: Offers a curriculum that not only helps fulfill program admission requirements but is also tailored to a student’s needs. Whether a student is seeking to establish a strong premedical foundation or to enhance your eligibility, the program includes a robust offering of premedical courses; clinical and nonclinical volunteer opportunities; research opportunities in the top-ranked Washington University School of Medicine and in the College of Arts & Sciences; MCAT preparation; one-on-one advising; and a supportive, active community that will share in a student’s goals. The Traditional Curriculum offers a strong foundation in the introductory lab sciences for those who need the standard medical school prerequisite courses. Additional electives are also available. The Enhancement Curriculum, designed

The University of North Carolina | Greensboro, NC Website: biology.uncg.edu Program Type: Career-changer Description: This program is designed for career-change individuals who have not yet completed the courses that are required for applying to medical, dental, or other health professional schools. It can also serve students who have earned a science degree, but now desire to enhance their academic records. Even post-baccalaureate students who lack any science background can, within 15 months of summer matriculation, complete the prerequisite courses for the MCAT or DAT.

NEW JERSEY MS in Biomedical Sciences

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School | Piscataway, NJ Website: rwjms.umdnj.edu/education/gsbs/msbio. html Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: designed to meet the diverse needs of talented individuals who have an interest in pursuing a career in the biomedical sciences or a health related profession, especially medicine. The comprehensive curriculum is tailored to students who have a solid undergraduate record but require additional coursework and guidance to achieve their goals.

Pre-Medical Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program

Caldwell University | Caldwell, NJ Website: caldwell.edu Program Type: Career-changer Description: Designed for recent college graduates as well as those who explored other interests or careers before choosing to pursue a career in medicine or other health professions. The program assists individuals with a bachelor’s degree seeking to change careers to a healthcare field and need to complete the science courses required for medical school application. It also serves those who wish to strengthen their academic records to prepare for application to medical school or other health professional school.

NEW YORK Premedical Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program

Hofstra University | Hempstead, NY Website: hofstra.edu Program Type: Career-changer Description: This program provides the opportunity for students who hold a bachelor’s degree and who have not previously studied the sciences to prepare for entrance into a medical profession of their choice. Students may also retake science courses to demonstrate an improved mastery of those subjects.

Postbaccalaureate Premedical Studies

Purchase College | Purchase, NY Website: purchase.edu Program Type: Career-changer Description: Designed for the college graduate who desires a medical career, but has little or no preparation in the sciences, or whose science courses are outdated. The program provides the basic course requirements to enroll in professional schools in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and allied health. Additionally, students complete internships and clinical experiences individually tailored to complement their background and interests. The program focuses on achieving success on the appropriate entrance examinations and attaining acceptance by the professional school.

54 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016


Post Baccalaureate Pre-Health (PBPH) Program

Manhattanville College | Purchase, NY Website: mville.edu/programs/post-baccalaureate-pre-health Program Type: Career-changer Description: Geared toward students interested in applying to graduate or professional programs in the Health Sciences, particularly in the fields of Medicine. The program is designed for two types of students: Students who have earned a Bachelor’s degree with a major and/or minor outside of the sciences and are now seeking to complete the necessary pre-requisite core courses required of most graduate programs in the Health Sciences; and Students who have earned a Bachelor’s degree with a major or minor in the sciences and are currently seeking academic enhancement of existing science courses by repeating course work already taken and/ or enrolling in upper-level science courses.

OHIO Post Baccalaureate/M.D. Path

Northeast Ohio Medical University | Rootstown, OH Website: neomed.edu/admissions/medicine/csu Program Type: Academic enhancement; Career-changer Description: Offers students the necessary pre-medical courses and a reserved seat at the College of Medicine. This program is intended for students who are interested in urban primary care. The students will complete a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with an Urban Health Concentration at CSU prior to matriculating to Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). The curriculum is designed for those who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university. The program is open to both career changers and those in need to academic enhancement who have an interest in a primary care specialty and urban medicine.

MS in Physiology

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine | Cincinnati, OH Website: med.uc.edu/physiology/MS-program.htm Program Type: Academic enhancement Description: The one-year program is designed to help college graduates strengthen their academic credentials in preparation for application to U.S. medical schools. The cornerstone of the MS program curriculum provides our students with a significant integrated experience with first-year medical students at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

OKLAHOMA Post Baccalaureate Prehealth Certificate Program

Northeastern State University | Broken Arrow, OK Website: academics.nsuok.edu/prehealth/ Program Type: Career-changer Description: The program targets students who have earned a non-science bachelor degree and provides them with the opportunity to obtain necessary prerequisites for competitive entry into their health professions program of interest. The post bac curriculum

provides the rigor that the professional programs require, which will enhance your competitive edge for admission. The post baccalaureate programs primarily targets second career individuals with little or no science background.

PENNSYLVANIA MS in Biology

Chatham University | Pittsburgh, PA Website: chatham.edu/msbio Program Type: Career-changer; Academic enhancer Description: The MS Biology-non-thesis track is available as a one-year, accelerated degree, primarily for students heading to medical school, dental school, pharmacy school, physician assistant programs, etc., who wish to improve their credentials and/or complete requirements. The MS Biology-thesis track typically takes 4-5 semesters to complete and provides the research experience needed for students who wish to apply to Ph.D. programs or who wish to teach.

Health Sciences Post Baccalaureate Program

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine| Erie, PA Website: lecom.edu Program Type: Career-changer; Academic enhancer Description: Offers a rigorous curriculum centered on the basic medical sciences to prepare students for medical, pharmacy or dental programs.

Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical and Health Professions Program

Duquesne University | Pittsburgh, PA Website: duq.edu Program Type: Career-changer; Academic enhancer Description: Designed to assist students, both those who decide later in their undergraduate programs but who lack the basic requirements, or those who hope to enhance their record, in gaining the necessary course work and preparation to achieve higher scores on entrance examinations (e.g., MCAT, DAT, GRE, OAT) needed for admission.

Master’s (M.Eng.) in Healthcare Systems Engineering

Lehigh University | Bethlehem, PA Website: hse.lehigh.edu Program Type: Career-changer; Academic enhancer Description: The most unique aspect of the HSE Program at Lehigh University is that it provides the future doctor with (1) the “engineering approach” to problem-solving (i.e. a disciplined and structured method of approaching complex problems), and (2) knowledge of the “tools” that Engineers use to provide well-considered solutions. This program is invaluable since it ensures that the student is familiar with statistical methods, simulation modeling, optimization methods and experimental design. In our experience most medical practitioners do not possess these skills, in spite of the fact that these engineering techniques have proven their value in solving complex medical practice systems issues. Some students choose the HSE program to strengthen their application to medical school,

whereas others choose it because -- although they wish to contribute to the healthcare process -- they do not want to practice Medicine as physicians or nurses but wish to interact with the systems used. As a result we have students who are “pre-med” applicants and others who are seeking to become healthcare consultants, or to work in Industry or in Hospitals as Systems Engineers.

Post Bacc Medical Program

University of Pennsylvania | Philadelphia, PA Website: sas.upenn.edu/lps/postbacc/pre-health Program Type: Career-changer; Academic enhancer Description: The Pre-Health Core Studies program supplies students who have little scientific background with key concepts and the rigorous training necessary to succeed in the health professional school of their choice. The Pre-Health Specialized Studies program is for students who possess a background in the sciences, but who are seeking to bolster their academic credentials and extend their scientific studies.

VIRGINIA Medical Master’s Program

Eastern Virginia Medical School | Norfolk, VA Website: chatham.edu/msbio Program Type: Academic enhancer Description: The Eastern Virginia Medical School Medical Master’s degree is a one or two year special master’s program. The majority of the courses are medical school courses taken with first year medical students. This post-baccalaureate program is an academic record enhancing program designed to make students more competitive for allopathic and osteopathic medical schools as well as dental schools. ‌The Medical Master’s Program is now offers a new two-year option which will include MCAT Preparation, MPH Courses (to help with MCAT preparation), Physician Shadowing, and Volunteer opportunities. The program also offers: majority of classes taken with medical students; practice medical interviews and feedback; exposure to standardized patients; assistance with medical school applications; volunteer/community service opportunities; committee letter; and more. Unique to the 2-year program: structured clinical opportunities, structured volunteer activities, and MCAT/DAT test preparation.


Premedlife

THE GOODS

Lampster

Lampster uses an actual tractor headlight for the robo-lamp’s head, with two light sources inside – one that throws out a focused light beam (perfect for use as a task light) and another that creates diffused illumination (perfect for ambient lighting at home), with the option to switch on both for maximum illumination.

u

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Chalkboard Coffee Cup

This ceramic Chalkboard Coffee Mug features a chalkboard surface that you can personalize to your heart’s content. Mark down your coffee order, jot down notes, or decorate with some sketches

Orbit Key Finder For Your Phone and Selfie Remote

u

Can be used to find your keys or find your phone Also functions as a selfie remote

56 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016


Albert Einstein Genius Bald Headed Magnetic Paper Clip Holder

Have fun creating gravity-defying hairstyles on this desktop genius!

u

u Eureka! Shower Idea Board

Your best idea is only a shower away! with Eureka shower idea board your genius shower idea’s won’t wash away. Capture your shower wisdom, leave messages and love notes to others, write shopping lists, to-do lists and show off your drawing skills

Sticky Page Markers

While these Sticky Page Markers do, pretty much, the same thing as regular sticky notes, they add novelty to the process by coming in the form of miniature objects that help you create entertaining scenes and landscapes.

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March/April 2016 | PreMedLife Magazine |57


Premedlife

LAST WORDS

3 THINGS TO DO BEFORE ATTENDING

YOUR NEXT MEDICAL SCHOOL FAIR

Medical school fairs are always tough because you want to make a good impression and you also want to get a good idea of what the school is like. There are a couple of things to remember before you attend a medical school fair:

If you like a medical school, be sure to make an impression. You are probably thinking, well, that is easier said than done. Yes, that is true but with a little bit of preparation you can be better prepared for your next Medical School Fair. So, if there is a program that you are looking at and really think that it is for you, make sure you look into that program and have a list of specific questions to ask about the program to the program director. Most people that stop by each booth will not have questions prepared, they will just think of questions right on the spot. It is easy to determine if someone has thought about a question and then the program director will be more likely to remember you. The icing on the cake after a really good discussion about the program is if the person you are speaking to gives you his/her business card, email them with a follow up question and thank them for their time. The number of people that actually do this last step is so few that a Program Director will definitely remember you if you email him/her but do not go overboard with emails. The program director will definitely remember you and remember your enthusiasm for the school when it comes time for reviewing your application.

Write your full name on a tag For those of us with unique names, we do not necessarily need a last name to remind Program Directors who we are. But there are many more of us whose first names are shared by others so always put your full name on the name tag because you do not know what part of your name the program director you speak to will remember.

58 | PreMedLife Magazine |March/April 2016

istockphoto / Š omgimages

Make sure to answer why you are interested in the school. Tons of medical students walk by a booth for different medical schools during a fair and your job is to find a way to stand out. A Program Director most likely will not directly ask you why you are interested because they like to save that question for interviews. So why not get a step ahead and have that answer prepared for some of your top schools and find a way to include that in your conversation with a program director? This will be a great way to connect with the program director and will be a great way to continue your conversation.



March/April 2016