After one year, individuals who have completed the Bryn Mawr Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program are well prepared to succeed in medical school.
Bryn Mawr offers a structured and comprehensive curriculum that fulfills all the premedical requirements you will need to apply to medical school. Over a 12-month period, you will carry a full-time load of courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. This typically involves a two-semester general chemistry laboratory course during the summer session, and biology, physics and organic chemistry laboratory courses per semester during the following academic year.
Unless you have already taken the full year of general chemistry in the past five years, students will begin the program in the summer and will complete the program the following May, and take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in May or early summer.
Bryn Mawr offers a structured and comprehensive curriculum that fulfills the premedical requirements you will need to apply to medical school. It is an exciting time in premedical/medical education because a report that was published recently from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) that recommended the development of innovative approaches to premedical education. The report, “Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians,” outlined a set of scientific competencies and quantitative skills that should be mastered by premedical students. This report was followed by another AAMC report, "Behavioral and Social Science Foundations for Future Physicians," which advocates that it is essential for physicians to have a conceptual framework in these disciplines to understand socioeconomic and cultural determinants of health and to address health care disparities.
The AAMC has announced that there will be changes to the MCAT that will be implemented in the spring of 2015. MCAT 2015 will include topics covered in general chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory biology, and introductory physics courses, and will also incorporate topics from biochemistry. In addition there will be a new interdisciplinary section entitled Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, that will cover topics from the behavioral science. Statistical reasoning will be incorporated into all sections of the new MCAT. The AAMC has provided additional information about the MCAT 2015 in the Preview Guide for the MCAT2015 Exam (Second Edition), which can be dowloaded from the MCAT 2015 web site.
We have modified our introductory biology course and our general and organic chemistry courses to include biochemistry; in fact, the second semester of the postbac organic chemistry sequence is focused on biological organic chemistry. We have also modified our physics course to include information about the life sciences. In addition we have offered and will continue to offer elective courses in statistics and the behavioral sciences.
Typical Course Schedule
Fall & Spring Semesters
Biology: Genetics & the Central Dogma; Biochemistry and Human Physiology
Organic and Biological Organic Chemistry
Optional new course: The practice of medicine (Fall semester only)
Optional Extra Summer Session
Biochemistry or Statistics
May/June or July
Take the MCAT
New Course: The PRactice of Medicine
In this course we provide a peak behind the curtain – to demystify medical training and offer insights about how to navigate the training process. We start with a discussion about the nuts and bolts of what medical school is like and discuss how one chooses not just a specialty, but a career path within that specialty. We discuss hot topics in health and healthcare and view them from the perspective of how the issues impact physicians and physician trainees.
The course includes sessions on end of life planning, balancing career and personal life, and a dialogue about the complex intersection between social problems and health. To offer some perspective on what its really like to train, practice, and live as a physician in the current healthcare environment, students engage in a series of (non-academic) readings, guest lecturers, and professional and personal illustrative stories.
The course is taught by two physicians who are former Bryn Mawr postbacs. Brendan G. Carr, MD, MS is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine & Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine with secondary appointments in the Departments of Surgery & Pediatrics. Sarah E. Winters, MD, MS, practices primary care pediatrics in one of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) core residency practices.
Like all of the undergraduate and graduate students at Bryn Mawr, you have the freedom to decide when to schedule your final examinations in many of your classes. This is one of the privileges of the College’s Honor Code, which allows students to govern themselves and take responsibility for integrity in their academic and social behavior.
The program can be adjusted to meet your individual needs. If you have previously completed one of the core course requirements as an undergraduate, you may take an elective course. Bryn Mawr’s academic departments offer many undergraduate courses that are of interest to postbacs.
Some of the more popular elective courses are: