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Gaining Experience

Gap Year Options

Before applying to a health professions program, many students will take one or more Gap or (Glide) year. There are many motivating factors as to why a student may seek a gap year. This may include gaining more exposure to the field, furthering studies, exploring opportunities before entering a rigorous program or working to save money in anticipation of the high costs of a graduate program. Ultimately, a gap year(s) will most likely enhance your candidacy by enriching maturity, knowledge and understanding. Below are some examples of the kinds of opportunities students can pursue.  Plan to speak with a career adviser to discuss various options and what makes the most sense for you as an individual.

Oral Health America Employment, Internship and Graduate Fellow Opportunities

Research Coordinator

‘Take 5’

Explore Health Careers

Master's in Medical Humanities Program

National Institutes of Health Office of Extramural Research: Grants and Funding

Kuchnir Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery Gap Year Program 

Cohen's Children Medical Center Child Life Internship 

Scribe America 

Post-Baccalaureate Pre-medical Programs

“Have you given any thought to a post-bac program?” You may have heard heard this question at some point on your journey toward medical, dental, or veterinary school.  Post-baccalaureate pre-medical  programs can be a great option for some students, but they can differ widely in the kind of assistance they offer.  Here’s a quick primer so that you can begin to consider which kind of program—if any—would best serve your needs.

There are a variety of different post-bac programs that prepare students with different needs. Post-bac programs can be divided into two main sections, "career changers" and "record enhancers." Career changers are for students changing careers and have not taken their pre-requisite courses during their undergraduate degree. Record enhancer programs are for students who have taken the pre-requisite courses but need to boost their GPA and thus take additional science based courses to highlight competencies. The AAMC provides a comprehensive database for post-bac programs available. The University of Rochester also has a Post-baccalaureate Pre-health Program that falls into the career changer category. 

It’s a good idea to meet with a career adviser to clarify which types of programs might best suit your needs. In addition, you’ll need to work through the answers to several questions:

  • Do I want to work while I complete my post-baccalaureate classes? 
  • Do I need to incorporate some additional experiences, such as lab work, clinical work, or altruistic work? Do I need the program to help me make these connections?
  • Where do I want to live? Am I able to relocate?  Will I do better work if I am living near friends/family/partners, or will I do better work if I am away from them?
  • What can I afford to pay? Am I willing to take out student loans?
  • Will I need financial aid? Does the program have financial aid available?
  • Would earning a master’s degree be helpful to my specific career goals?
  • What happens if I decide that medicine is not for me? Will this program turn out to have been a waste of time?

You should also keep in mind some questions to ask of post-bac programs:

  • What kinds of advising do you offer? How accessible are the advisers?
  • Will you write my health committee letter?
  • Do you offer MCAT/DAT/GRE support?
  • Is there a linkage program? How exactly does this linkage work? Who is eligible for the linkage?  
  • Are special programs offered for post-bac students?
  • May I speak with or email a current post-bac student?