The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

How a Post-Bacc Program Can Help You Achieve Your Dream

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Caleb Marsh, the Admissions Director of Temple University’s CST Post Baccalaureate Pre-Health Program. He has 18 years of combined experience as a Health Profession Advisor at multiple universities including Baylor University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Temple University. 

Today Dr. Erkeda chats with Caleb about how a post-bacc program can help pre-med and non pre-med students alike towards their dream of becoming a healthcare professional.

  • [00:37] Caleb’s Career and Background
  • [01:40] Temple University’s Post Baccalaureate Programs
  • [05:41] Ideal Candidates for Post-Bacc Programs
  • [10:18] Clinical Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • [14:35] How to Impress Virtual Interviewers
  • [17:27] Best Advice that Caleb Has Received 

Why Enroll in a Post Baccalaureate Program? 

A post-baccalaureate program is meant to further prepare students for medical, dental, pharmacy or other health professional schools. At Temple University, there is a basic track for non pre-meds and an advanced track for pre-meds. Students who lack the required science subjects can enroll in the basic health sciences course for admission to a health professional school. Meanwhile, the advanced health sciences course can help science majors enhance their academic credentials.

Ideal Attributes Students Should Have 

Students should remain persistent in the face of challenges. Setbacks will naturally occur so resilience is necessary. It’s also important for students to have a first hand understanding about their desired profession. Familiarize yourself with the work environment and responsibilities of a doctor through experience. Admission boards will know that you are serious because you’ve made an effort to gain exposure. Students should not be shy about asking for help because this leads to greater learning.

Opportunities and Virtual Interviews During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the pandemic still ongoing, it’s difficult to seek out clinical experiences. Virtual shadowing is a socially distanced option to learn albeit less immersive. Working as a scribe, emergency medical technician (EMT), trainee, or volunteer may also be worthwhile. Be realistic about your working hours. Get creative about how you can expose yourself to the field of medicine. 

To get ready for online interviews, you don’t need to make fancy preparations. Dress appropriately, maintain good eye contact, and keep distractions to a minimum. Try to interact as if you were in the same room as your interviewer. Highlight your passion for medicine and the experiences you’ve had to show your commitment. Admission committees understand that the pandemic has taken its toll on everyone. Focus on finding work opportunities and on expressing your unique self during interviews.

Learn more about Temple University’s Post Baccalaureate Programs by visiting their website:

Got questions, feedback, or suggestions? Send a message to Dr. Erkeda DeRouen’s Instagram or MedSchoolCoach’s Instagram

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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