Post-Baccalaureate Premedical student, Ja'Nia McPhatter, recently shared with us why she relocated to St. Louis and chose WashU for her post-bacc pre-med studies.
What drew you to St. Louis?
I'm from a little town called Newcastle, Pennsylvania. I was looking into a post-baccalaureate program to be able to apply to medical school with a stronger application and I came across University College at Washington University in St. Louis. I reached out to an advisor who told me a lot about the school, told me some great things about what was going on here, where she saw me continuing my career in medicine, and how I would be able to do that by attending University College. She told me a lot about what to expect and what the environment was like here at WashU and she made a timeline for me of how long it would take to complete the program.
She even had another student reach out to me who had already completed the program which really helped by giving me the ins and outs of what to expect, what the post-bacc pre-med program was like, and what she thought about the program.
The Post-Bacc Pre-med program offers three different curriculums; a traditional, enhancement, and blended curriculum. Which curriculum did you decide on?
I'm in the enhancement curriculum which is for students who have already completed a lot of their prerequisites for medical school. For someone like me, this curriculum will help make my application stronger, make sure I have the courses I need, and maybe enhance any parts of my application that would otherwise be lacking. It's really to improve what I already have and make me a great applicant.
How has this program helped make your application stronger?
University College actually helped me obtain a clinical research position in the Pediatrics Infectious Disease unit through WashU's work-study program. It's really nice to be able to work at a place where one day you see yourself. Even if it's not Washington University School of Medicine where I end up going, it's just nice to be in that environment and around people who you will be surrounded by in medical school.
Tell me about your relationship with your advisor, now that you're a student.
I have a very good relationship with my advisor. I know if I ever need anything, I can go to her, and she has my best interests at heart. I really appreciate her for that because it means a lot to have that guidance. When you go to a school known for getting students into medical school, or not only that, to where they want to be in life and setting them up for their career of choice, it helps when you have somebody who can guide you along the way, be honest with you, and give you constructive feedback when you need it. I think that is important, especially for someone like me who wants to go into medicine. You want to go in with your best application possible, and you want to make yourself known and be a good applicant.
What would you tell someone who is considering relocating to St. Louis to attend University College?
I think it will be one of the best decisions you'll ever make. I don't think you'll regret it. Having a Washington University degree is very valuable. I think people know Washington University and they know when someone comes from this university, they are getting a great applicant, they're getting a great worker, they're getting somebody who is really prepared and really going to work hard at whatever career they are in.
About the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program at WashU
University College at Washington University in St. Louis offers a Post-Bacc Pre-med program that allows students with a bachelor’s degree to either obtain their pre-health prerequisite course work or enhance their current science record to make themselves more competitive for medical school admissions. This well-rounded program not only helps you fulfill admission requirements, but it's tailored to your needs with a robust offering of courses; clinical and nonclinical volunteer opportunities; research opportunities; MCAT preparation; advising; and a supportive, active community that shares the same goals.