Is A Post-Bac Program Right For You?

As someone who took a few years off after college, I am a huge proponent of attending a post-bac pre-med program even if you have the slightest interest in it. Every student’s intentions and motivations are different. There are some students in my class that pursued combined programs. This means that they enrolled in their university’s medical or any other health professional school program after a certain number of years.

Other students in my class are older (in their 30’s) and pursued other interests before matriculating in our program, such as being a flight attendant, attending culinary school, or working in investment banking. Despite what seem like “crazy” paths, we all ended in classmates. We will all become doctors.

If you’ve heard about or want to know more about this route, read on. AAMC has a list of post-bac programs, but this list is not all-inclusive. Most programs geared towards students who have graduated college with or without science courses. There are grade-enhancing programs that help boost your science GPA and these programs are NOT considered post-bac programs. If you’re confused or the website is clear, it is perfectly acceptable to call the admissions office to double check if the program is the right fit for you.

There are two types of post-bac programs. Some programs are more structured and formal and have a list of their own requirements, such as hospital volunteering or community outreach, that are usually not “recommended” but not “required” by medical schools for admission.

Numerous medical schools “recommend” doing research, but flocks of students get in every year without having any research experience.  So, even if these program lure you in with their admissions statistics, keep that in mind. There’s no perfect applicant and doing all the “right” things won’t guarantee admission.

Other programs are more laid back with no requirements at all. Some of these programs may include ones at state schools or local universities that let you take undergraduate sciences courses at your own pace as long as you pay. Often times there is no post-bac class or community to work with. You would be working alone. And faculty at the schools are mostly focused on helping the undergraduate students. Even though your goal is to get into a medical school, you are not their first priority.

After doing your research and determining your goals, you will find a program that is the perfect fit for you. If you need some inspiration on which graduate or post-bac programs you’d like to pursue, learn about the top five graduate programs for aspiring professionals.

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Sonal Kumar

Sonal Kumar is passionate about combining science and storytelling. She has vast experiences outside of healthcare including marketing and advertising, print and broadcast journalism, including TV/radio production. Sonal is an alumna of Columbia University. She tweets @sonalkumar2011.