As pre-med Students, we all put in countless hours into boosting our credentials as we progress towards the goal of getting into medical school after undergrad. However, there are often roadblocks that appear, such as not being able to get into medical school directly after we receive our Bachelor’s Degrees.  At this point, it is essential to have a solid plan B that allows pre med students to bounce back and succeed.  Here are a few alternative options for those who may find themselves in this situation, or for those who don’t want to go to medical school right after undergrad:

Post Baccalaureate Program:

Applying to a Post-Bac program offers a wonderful opportunity for aspiring doctors to boost their résumé and re-apply at a later time.  For those who have already taken all pre-requisites required by medical schools but were not able to obtain a competitive GPA, Post-Bac programs are designed in part to enhance their academic standing in the eyes of Medical Schools. Along with this, Post-Bac programs are also mindful of those who may not be at an economic advantage during the application process. A typical Post-Bac program lasts from 1 to 2 years depending on the course load. If you are willing to pursue your education further, applying to a Masters or PhD program are also extremely viable options.

Medical Internship/Researching/Volunteering:

Extracurricular activities that relate to the medical field are essential in order to show medical schools that you are truly passionate about your future profession.  If your resume is lacking in these areas, it will most likely benefit you to be more involved in medical activities at your college.  An internship, research position, or volunteering activity will allow you to gain knowledge that you would not be able to obtain in the classroom. These activities will also help you make vital connections with healthcare professionals, which could serve as a huge advantage in the future.

Pursue Another Medical Career:

The unfortunate truth is that many pre-med students do not get accepted into an MD or DO program.  However, if you are truly passionate about having a career in a medical field, there are plenty of options that do not require a medical degree! Here are a just a few other career options:

  Physician Assistant (PA): A Physician Assistant is a nationally certified and state –licensed medical professional.  Most PA programs take 3-4 years to complete and require the majority of pre-requisite courses that medical schools require.  In addition, a PA performs many of the same tasks that doctors do. However, the difference between a doctor and a PA is that doctors work autonomously and PA’s work under the supervision of a doctor.

Physical Therapist: A Physical Therapist’s job is to help those who have suffered an injury that impairs their ability to move by helping with pain management and rehabilitation.  PT’s normally review the medical history of a patient and then design a program that allows them to build up their strength in order to increase movement and lessen pain. To become a Physical Therapist, one must obtain their Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT), which usually takes 3-4 years.

Medical Social Worker: A Medical Social Worker is tasked with the responsibility of working with patients and families who are affected by an illness, which allows them to better cope with their medical problem.  This career focuses on the psychological sector of the medical field and can be very rewarding. The typical education of a Medical Social Worker is Master’s Degree in Social Work.