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TEMPLE'S POST BACCALAUREATE PREMEDICAL PROGRAM BECKONS NON-TRADITIONAL APPLICANTS TO TUSM
February 22, 2012
CONTACT: Christopher Guadagnino, PhD
Applying successfully to medical school is a highly challenging and competitive process, leaving many talented applicants with excellent academic credentials and substantial volunteer and life experiences unsuccessful. For those students with a non-traditional background or in need of additional science course work, the process is even more daunting, with less likelihood of success.
Temple University School of Medicine has a program designed especially for these non-traditional candidates – the Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program – which can open the door to a medical career that otherwise might have been closed. “These are bright men and women who would otherwise be missed if you looked only at the traditional, just-graduated-from-college medical school applicant pool,” says Grace Hershman, MEd, director of the program. Post-bac programs like TUSM’s are designed for individuals wishing to change their career direction, but need to complete the science courses required for medical school application, or for students wishing to enhance their existing fund of scientific knowledge and academic credentials to enhance their competitiveness for a successful application to medical school.
Unique in the Nation
TUSM’s Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program offers the unique distinction of a guaranteed admission into Temple University School of Medicine upon successful completion of a one-year selective program and achieving certain academic benchmarks. “We have a seat in TUSM for everyone who successfully completes our rigorous program in one year,” says Hershman.
Temple’s program is distinctive in other important ways. While most premedical post-bac programs are offered at universities, Temple’s is housed at the School of Medicine, and includes an MCAT preparatory program; workshops, seminars and tutorials with TUSM faculty and students; as well as mentored clinical shadowing experiences. The program’s small class size facilitates personalized advising, individualized and group tutoring and support services to help students develop key professional and academic strengths required for successful matriculation into Temple’s School of Medicine.
“The Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program at Temple University School of Medicine exemplifies all that is best at Temple as a world-class academic medical center – with renowned basic science faculty and high-caliber leadership of Temple University Hospital physicians involved in the post-bac student clinical shadowing, clinical vignettes and seminars,” says Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACS, Senior Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, Temple University; Dean, Temple University School of Medicine; and President and CEO, Temple University Health System.
Nurturing Talent from Different Backgrounds
The post-bac program at TUSM offers two tracks – a Basic Core for “career-changers” who need to take the science courses required for medical school application, and an Advanced Core for “career-enhancers” who wish to buttress their existing science credentials.
As an undergraduate at University of Florida, Jonas Reid double-majored in Music and Mathematics, while also taking pre-med coursework. “There were so many things I was passionate about during college, but I always knew I wanted to pursue medicine as a career,” says Reid.
“My premed course grades needed to be more competitive for medical school, and I knew I wanted to move forward quickly. Temple’s post-bac program was the most academically satisfying and fastest way for me to get on the path I am now,” notes Reid – now a second-year TUSM student. “During the program, I got to know what our community of physicians was like, and their values reflected many of my own feelings. When I entered Temple medical school, I knew the language of medicine and I was able to hit the ground running,” adds Reid.
Record of Success
TUSM post-bac program’s entering class of 2011 had over 600 applicants, of whom 49 were selected, ranging in age from 21 to 35. Classes are equally represented by men and women, and about half of the students come from states other than Pennsylvania, from as far away as Florida, Missouri, Michigan and California.
“We look for well-rounded individuals who have a passion for service, as demonstrated in their volunteerism and community activities,” says Hershman. “We’ve had nurses, musicians, opera singers, athletes, accountants, and journalists.”
Hershman proudly describes the success of the program, now in its fourth year, as directly attributable to the guidance of dedicated faculty and administrators. Since the program’s launch, 86 percent of its students have successfully entered TUSM. The inaugural class recently sat for the USMLE Step 1 (United States Medical Licensing Examination – the gold standard in medical education) with a 100% passing rate.
“No other pre-med program has as much energy invested in the success of the post baccalaureate population as ours does,” Hershman proclaims. “They’ve chosen Temple, and we’re committed to them and their success as part of the Temple family.”
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