outside the classroom

Learning From Fellow Postbac Students

At Bryn Mawr, you will be welcomed into a collaborative premedical education community in which postbac students help one another reach their full potential. In the process, many postbacs have formed lasting friendships.

You’ll be encouraged to form or join informal study groups, in which students help one another strengthen their understanding of the material presented in classrooms and labs.

If you wish to explore a medical issue or specialty area in depth, you can join one of the many topic-oriented focus groups led by students who share similar interests. For example, recent interest groups have focused on biotechnology, ethics, emergency and wilderness medicine, infectious diseases, integrative medicine, international health, neurology and psychiatry, pediatrics, public health, surgery, women’s health, and women’s issues in medicine.

Typical topic-oriented focus group activities led by students have included organizing field trips to various medical institutions in the region, inviting speakers from the medical community to campus for informal discussions about issues, and forming journal clubs to discuss the latest advances reported in the medical literature as well as trends in various specialty areas.

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Learning From Leaders

Bryn Mawr offers a variety of lectures and other special programs that bring prominent physicians, researchers, and policy-makers to campus as guest speakers. Organized by the Postbac Premed Program Office and other departments of the College, these events broaden students’ exposure to diverse viewpoints. Events include the annual Bernard Rothenberg Lecture in Biology and Public Policy as well as presentations by Hepburn Fellows.

Hands-On Learning

Bryn Mawr has forged relationships with organizations in the surrounding community and Greater Philadelphia region that welcome the meaningful contributions our postbac students bring to the health and welfare of their patients. Volunteer experience will not only enrich your postbac year; it also is a powerful way to demonstrate your commitment to the delivery of health care as you apply to medical school.

We maintain a database of organizations, with contacts and links to their Web sites, making it easy to apply to volunteer with a program that fulfills your interests and applies your skills. In addition to general hospital, emergency department, and research-oriented volunteer opportunities, you’ll find organizations dedicated to underserved populations, children, women, seniors, people living with mental illness, and terminally ill patients in hospice.

Our students have gained valuable first-hand knowledge and experience at a variety of health care organizations, including:

  • Action AIDS
  • Catholic Workers Free Clinic
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Chinatown Pediatric Services
  • ElderNet/Lower Merion-Narberth Coalition on Aging
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Homeless Health Initiative
  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Jeff HOPE, the network of community health clinics at Thomas Jefferson University
  • Jefferson and Visiting Nurse Association Hospices
  • Maria de los Santos Health Center
  • Philadelphia Love Project, a program started by postbacs to work with the homeless in Philadelphia
  • Prevention Point, a nonprofit public-health organization committed to protecting the health and welfare of drug users and sex workers, and
  • Various ambulance and hospice programs in the Philadelphia region

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Interdisciplinary Learning
The College’s interdisciplinary centers provide unique opportunities for Bryn Mawr students, including postbacs, to interact with faculty and guest speakers who have a wide range of perspectives on current issues. In addition to formal presentations, guest speakers who are prominent in health care are invited to interact with postbac students in the classroom.

By helping students and professors to think and act beyond the boundaries of individual disciplines, the College's four Centers for 21st Century Inquiry—Center for Science in Society, Center for International Studies, Center for the Social Sciences, and Center for Visual Culture—are at the forefront of a new movement in higher education.