New with a few questions


My name is Lydia. I am 25 and recently realized my passion for medicine after an undergraduate career studying Broadcast Journalism. I took a total of 2 science classes and calculus in college. My GPA is not terrible, but it is also not amazing (I believe around 3.3) and I do not feel it is competitive enough for medical school. I read somewhere that you can do a postgraduate program to get all pre-requisites and have a graduate degree as well. Is there actually something like this that exists? Also, one member wrote, “I would also add a couple of things. I would encourage you to shadow physicians and/or do some clinical volunteering. This might give you insight into whether you truly do want to enter medicine as a career”, in one of the threads and I want to know if anyone knows how to go about this. I know you can’t just walk in to a doctor’s office and say, ‘hey! I want to shadow you!’ I floundered around all during undergraduate from how to pick a good adviser, to resources on campus to scholarships; basically, if you could have a question about it, I did and still do. I do not want to repeat the same experience, so I am trying to get all my ducks in a row first. Right now I am living out of the country teaching English so I can’t very well go to a clinic or university to ask these questions, but I plan to go to school in the United States and I know things work differently there so I do not think it would be greatly to my advantage to go to a university to ask questions. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!



There are a variety of post-baccalaureate/gradua te program options for individuals interested in pursuing a career in medicine. AAMC has a nice list of post-baccalaureate programs. However, it’s important to note that many post-bacc/pre-med programs do not confer a degree or certificate upon completion. They are simply structured programs to allow for the completion of the necessary pre-requisites, often with the added appeal of academic support and pre-health advising. If you’re looking for a graduate degree, you would likely have to consider a special masters program, or a masters degree in a health-related field.

As far as shadowing or volunteering opportunities, I have yet to do any formal shadowing. I’m hoping to network with some providers once I begin my post-bacc program in May and line up shadowing opportunities in specialties where I have some interest, but little exposure. I have been volunteering in the emergency department at a local hospital for the past six months and the experience has been invaluable in making the decision to pursue medical school. Most large hospitals have an organized volunteering program, and you can often find contact information or application forms on the hospital website. Be honest with the volunteer coordinator about your objectives (clinical exposure, patient contact, observing MDs/DOs in action, etc.) and they will typically try to accommodate your interests.

Thank you for the information! I am not necessarily looking for a post-grad degree, but I figured there was no harm in asking if it was possible. I’ve been doing the math with my age and tests and school and everything and really been getting downtrodden about what age I will be when I can start actually practicing medicine, but everyone here is really helping to bolster my resolve. Thanks again!!