In essence, post-bac, in the medical community, means any program or classes that you take after graduating from undergrad for the purpose of getting into medical schools.
The reason there is confusion over the term is because there are many different types of post-bac programs.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, there are four types of post-bac programs within the medical community.
1.Career-Changers: These types of program are for those who did not initially want to become a doctor in undergrad. Oftentimes, the people who apply to these programs are working professionals who now desire to become physicians. To apply to these programs, you usually cannot have taken a lot of the required science courses for medical school.
2.Academic Record-Enhancers: These types of program are for those who wish to strengthen their medical school resume. They are for students who have completed or almost completed all of their prerequisites for medical school, but their statistics is not as strong as they desire. They can take classes in these types of post-bac programs to attempt to raise their GPA, gain more clinical experience, etc.
3.Groups Under-represented in Medicine: These types of program exist to help under-represented groups gain admissions into medical school.
4.Economically or Educationally Disadvantaged Students: These types of program exist to help disadvantaged students gain admissions into medical school.
To learn about the exact programs that are may be available for you, visit AAMC’s page regarding post-bac programs.
Does undergraduate institution affect medical school admissions?
If it does, it matters very little. Some medical schools will say they give little preference to undergraduate college and others say they give no preference. Of course it is more impressive for a student to have a 4.0 from Harvard then a 4.0 from a small town college, but generally, where you attend undergrad does not largely affect medical school admissions.
Regardless of your college choice, GPA (overall and science) and MCAT score are the two most important factors. Medical schools will almost always take a student from a small college with a high GPA over a student from an Ivy League with a low GPA.
As a pre-med, you should not think too much about the college you attend, but how you do at the college that you chose.