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The Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Certification Program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center Strengthens Admission Qualifications for Entrance into Medical School

Reeves, Rustin E. PhD; Vishwanatha, Jamboor K. PhD; Yorio, Thomas PhD; Budd, Michael PhD; Sheedlo, Harold J. PhD

Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31815c641c
Educational Strategies
Abstract

The Post-Baccalaureate (postbac) Premedical Certification Program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center provides an opportunity for individuals to enhance their credentials for entry into medical school by offering a challenging biomedical science core curriculum in graduate biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, and pharmacology. In addition, students (called postbacs) receive instruction in human gross anatomy, histology, and embryology with first-year medical students. More than 90% of the students accepted into the postbac program have applied to medical school previously but have been rejected by admission committees at least once, primarily because of low cognitive scores. In spring 2001, seven postbacs completed the program, of which only one was admitted into the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM), the medical school affiliated with the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Three postbacs went to other medical schools. Thirty-one completed the program by spring 2006, of whom 13 were admitted to TCOM, and eight to other medical schools. After six years, 101 postbacs have completed the program, and 70 have been accepted into medical schools. Postbacs admitted into TCOM have performed well compared with their medical school classmates. Overall, average scores for postbacs are above those of their medical school classmates. In addition, postbacs have taken class leadership positions, served as tutors and mentors, and have served as school ambassadors for new applicants. The postbac premedical program has proven to be very successful in preparing students for the rigors of a medical school curriculum by allowing these students to develop the skills and confidence necessary to compete.

Author Information

Dr. Reeves is course director of the structural anatomy graduate course, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Vishwanatha is associate dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and director, Post-Baccalaureate Program, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Yorio is dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and cofounder, Post-Baccalaureate Program, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Budd is director of clinical education, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Sheedlo is director of anatomical sciences and laboratory coordinator for the graduate structural anatomy course, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Reeves, Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, University of North Texas Health Science Center, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76107; telephone: (817) 735-2050; fax: (817) 735-2610; e-mail: (rustyr@hsc.unt.edu).

© 2008 Association of American Medical Colleges