Post Bacc Programs

She earned an M. A. in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, focusing on Tibetan and East Asian Buddhist. Was that any background for going on to medical school?
No, of course not. But it doesn't matter anymore.
"Eventually, I realized that I was more interested in a service-oriented profession than a purely scholarly one," recalls Jennifer Carnahan.
After graduate school she had various jobs such as working for the public library system in Madison, Wis., before concluding that what she really wanted was to become a doctor.
In years past, she would have found it difficult to acquire the specific science and other courses required to be accepted to medical school. But today, in common with many others who decide later in life they want to become doctors, Carnahan found a school offering what is usually known as a pre-med post-bacc program.
"I entered the post-bacc program at Goucher College [Baltimore, MD] where I spent a year completing the basic science prerequisite courses for medical school," she says. She went on to the University of Virginia's School of Medicine.
Her story is not uncommon.
A growing number of post-baccalaureate programs are "designed to give the requirements or additional experience and competitive edge you need for entering a graduate health professions program," says the Association of American Medical Colleges (AMMC).
"Those programs are for students who did not decide to choose the medical school, vet school or other professional school route until late in their under-gradate career or after graduation," the AAMC says.
The group also says the programs are helpful for pre-health track students who need to finish some of their requirements for getting into medical school.
"In recent years, more and more people have decided to apply to medical school after having tried another career path, and they are often successful applicants," says Robert Resnik, associate dean for admissions and financial aid at the University of California-Berkeley.
He points out that returning adult or post-bacc students often show the kind of determination and maturity that medical schools value.
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