Post‑Bacc

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Student Stories: George, Heritage University

Student Stories

I completed a post-bacc program at Heritage University in Toppenish, Washington. The name of the program is a Master of Arts in Medical Sciences program or rather the MAMS program. It is a one-year program, 2 semesters, that I started last fall.

What My Post-Bacc Goals Were

My goal going into the post-bacc was to not only boost my science and overall GPA but also find a linkage program that would allow me to gain admission into an affiliated medical school.

I had a list of over 20 programs that I was looking into across the nation. I ended up applying to only three of them due to GPA requirements and other elements that were important to me in a post-bacc program. The two biggest priorities for me were: a program that had all science courses that would raise my science GPA, and a program that provided a linkage or had classes at the associated medical school.

The MAMS program allowed me to take medical school classes, such as Scientific Foundations of Medicine, with current medical students. It also allowed me to be part of the community of the medical school. Most of our classes were at the medical school and the post-bacc students got to know the medical students, professors and faculty. This helped me understand what life would be like as a medical student. This was incredibly valuable and meaningful to me.

How the Academic Side Went

Academically speaking, the MAMS was about as hard as I expected it to be. It was medical school-level courses along with some easy courses to help boost your GPA. I gained research experience by conducting research and presenting it in the form of a poster at a couple of events.

At Heritage University, the post-bacc faculty has a lot of overlap with the medical school faculty. The faculty has the students’ best interests at heart and are dedicated to getting their students into medical school. I personally got to know all of the faculty around the medical school and was on good terms with them. I also got to know the medical students and my MAMS classmates really well.

I really appreciated the relationships built with my MAMS classmates as we were all driving towards the same goal of getting into medical school. We supported each other throughout the process, and I found it really helpful to be surrounded by such dedicated individuals that shared a goal with me.

Why I Chose a Post-Bacc With a Linkage

Going into the MAMS, my GPA and MCAT score were not up to medical school standards. Heritage University’s linkage program allowed me to show the admissions committee at the associated medical school that I had what it takes to succeed in medical school. My undergrad GPA and MCAT score were low due to personal reasons and Heritage University gave me the opportunity to prove my potential regardless of my prior track record.

I worked really hard and excelled in the post-bacc program. The committee noticed, and I was admitted to the medical school.

Living Arrangements and Financing the Post-Bacc

I lived alone in an apartment near the campus. Life can be quite isolated and individualistic as I was focused on doing my best and getting into medical school. I was able to finance my post-bacc program through FAFSA graduate loans (granted by the government).

My Advice for Students Considering a Post-Bacc

Look for a post-bacc program that has direct linkages with medical schools. Sometimes students successfully complete post-baccs and still struggle to get into medical school. That linkage program allows you to have a back-up plan and a chance to get into medical school. Work your hardest and test yourself. The right post-bacc can show you if you are made for medical school and really help shape your life.

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