Over the last decade there has been a surge of college students who major in the sciences in the hopes of applying to medical or dental school. To be successful, high school students need to select the right undergraduate program, one that provides the support and resources they need to be a successful applicant. Read more about how to select a premed program here.
Although choosing the right undergraduate premed program is critical, throughout the year I receive calls from worried students and their parents because students are not getting the support they need from their college. Although I am not particularly surprised when this happens at large public universities, I am seeing more of this phenomenon occur at highly selective private universities. Students with anything less than stellar grades are told to ‘get in line’ for a letter of recommendation, consider ‘alternative career paths’ and even more directly ‘you are not cut out for medical school.’
Doing College and Beyond specializes in helping high school students find the right match for premed programs, but many students did not have this good guidance in the first place. And, frankly speaking, some that do get sound advice, choose to ignore it and select a school based on the rankings and brand name alone. Rankings and a recognizable name, even for Ivy League schools, does not always translate into good support for premeds. For these students, a post baccalaureate program may be the investment that helps them reach their goals.
What is a Post Baccalaureate?
There are several different types of post baccalaureate programs. If you were not premed and are currently in or headed toward a career other than medicine, a career changer program may be right for you. If you are completing or have completed premed undergraduate work, and need to strengthen your premed profile, a post baccalaureate program aimed at this objective may be a good choice for you to consider. The rest of this article pertains to the latter type of program.
A post baccalaureate program begins sometime after earning an undergraduate degree; it supports the transition from undergrad to medical or dental school. These programs address deficiencies in your medical school application, such as completing certain premed requirements, enhancing your GPA, and helping with MCAT preparation.
Is a Post-Bacc program worth it for me?
Who Should Do It
Sounds like a good fit for me. Where do I begin?
A Closing Thought
Remember, medical school is very challenging, so you want to prepare yourself well in both high school and college for the level of rigor that you will face. Likewise, medical schools want evidence that you are well prepared. Selecting the right premed program is the first and best step; if this step is flawed in some important ways, or you have had a change of heart about career path, a post-bacc program may be just right for you!