February 9, 2021 | By Chuck Carlson
In an effort to assist students as they pursue their interest in medical careers, Albion College’s Lisa and James Wilson Institute for Medicine is offering a unique post-baccalaureate certificate in pre-medical studies.
The one-year, record-enhancing program will start this summer and is open to students who have received their bachelor’s degree. It offers the opportunity to help them develop their pre-med skills in preparation for applying for admission to medical, dental, veterinary, physical therapy, physician’s assistant or pharmacy school.
“I hope it helps establish Albion as a leader in pre-medical education,” said Dr. Brad Ranquer, director of the Wilson Institute. “The program will highlight what we have to offer in undergraduate and post-baccalaureate education and it can also serve as a model for other liberal arts schools as they develop their post-bacc programs.”
Students will begin their studies over the summer with a 10-week public health internship at The Philadelphia Center, which will allow students to develop and build upon skills working with diverse populations in public health and human services settings.
Rather than research-based or shadowing experiences, Rabquer said these internships will immerse students in hands-on, real-world experiences, integrating urban living, academic study and professional development with every student’s experience.
Those students will then come to campus next fall where, along with academic work, they will receive individualized academic advising; preparation for taking the Medical College Admission Test; assistance with clinical shadowing and more.
Wilson Center assistant director Maggie Godfrey said some 30 students from around the country -- including from Boston University, Texas A&M, University of Michigan, the University of California-Davis and Albion -- have applied or are in the process of applying to the program.
“This is appealing to students from larger universities who don’t have access to these kinds of academic experiences,” Rabquer said.
He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a rise in medical school applications and that Albion is in a position to help fill that need.
“People are thinking about their responsibility to others following the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “This comes with a demand for programs like ours to best assist students in preparing for health-related graduate and professional programs through academic advising, extensive application preparation and experiential learning opportunities individualized to meet the needs of each post-bacc student.”
For a preferred internship at TPC, applications should be submitted by Feb. 15. The final deadline is April 1.
The Wilson Institute program is one of several new programs being developed at Albion. Others include a 2+2 nursing program in partnership with Oakland University; a public health concentration with an experiential learning requirement; a standalone accounting master’s degree; and a combined bachelor’s and master’s program in accounting.