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4 Factors Post-Bacc Admissions Committees Look For In Career-Changer Applicants


You’ve been working for a few years now, but you’re ready to make the change to medicine. Maybe you’ve always felt pulled in this direction, or maybe you’ve only been inspired lately. Whatever the reason is, you know you need additional preparation before you start applying to medical school. That’s why you’re looking at pre-med post-bacc programs.

There are many pre-med post-bacc programs aimed at people like you. These are competitive programs, however, so you’ll want to ensure you know how to present yourself before you apply. Here are four common factors post-bacc admissions committees look for in career-changer applicants.

Academic Background

Even if you finished undergrad years ago, post-bacc program admissions committees will want to see that you were a success in college. You don’t need to have graduated from a competitive college. You can even have taken night classes to complete your undergrad. Just ask former auto shop owner Carl Allamby, who became a doctor in 2019 at the age of 47 after taking night classes at Ursuline College and completing a post-bacc to prepare for the MCAT.

As long as your academic career shows steady upward progress, it should be considered a plus by post-bacc program admissions teams.

Community Service in a Health or Medical Setting

All medical school applicants, whether traditional undergrads or career changers, will need to show dedication to healthcare through community service, volunteering, and other relevant activities. Maybe you volunteered during the COVID-19 pandemic, or maybe you’ve served on the board of a local health care charity. You may even be a member of a volunteer ambulance service.

Whatever you can do to show that you have consistently pursued opportunities to serve others in a healthcare context will help your chances of getting into a post-bacc for career changers.

Drive and Achievement in Your Current Career

The next factor post-bacc programs will look at when you apply is how driven you are. This is usually reflected through achievement in your current career. This may seem like an odd requirement, given that you want to change your career. However, demonstrating energy and a commitment to excellence in your current career is crucial when applying to a pre-med post-bacc.

Do your best to show admissions committees evidence of your professional drive. Have you advanced from entry-level to executive? Have you won an award for performance, opened your own business, or otherwise stood out in your current field? List it in your application materials or describe it in your post-bacc application essay.

Strong Professional Recommendations

Virtually every pre-med post-bacc program asks that you submit letters of recommendation. When you’re changing careers, obtaining those letters may seem difficult at first. This is especially true if you’ve been out of college for many years and need to find academic recommendations.

However, do your best to get letters from people who are in a position of authority over you and who can speak to your intellectual capabilities, work ethic, and professionalism. If those people know you in relation to a healthcare-related activity or organization, that’s even better.

No doctor works alone, and post-bacc program admissions committees will want to know that you already have what it takes to forge relationships and work productively with others. You can do it!

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