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Student Profiles

Kerrick Akinola

Kerrick Akinola

1. What was your academic/professional background before coming the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical program at American University?

I graduated from the US Naval Academy (USNA) in 2008 with a degree in chemistry. My grades were average, as I focused more on the military aspect of the school than the academic. One is required to complete at least 5 years of active military duty in the US Navy or US Marine Corps upon graduation; I picked US Navy and served on active duty for almost 6 years. While on active duty, I was a member of two different ships and went on two deployments, visited almost a dozen countries, met a lot of amazing people both abroad and in the Navy, and completed a lot of interesting assignments.

2. Why did you choose the AU post-bacc program?

I had a desire to go into medicine while I was at USNA, but I don't think my commitment to the idea was that strong. It wasn't until after I graduated and was on active duty that I realized that my desire to go into medicine was deep and sincere. I knew that my grades in undergrad weren't competitive enough for medical school, so I decided to complete a post-bacc program during my last two years in the Navy. My last assignment in the Navy was near the greater Washington DC metro area and I discovered the AU program. I liked it more than the others because it was more flexible than the others, and allowed me to take graduate-level classes in the evening. That fit best with my schedule, as I was still in the military and had a family at the time. Additionally, since I complete all of the normal prerequisites for medical school during my undergrad years, I could build my own curriculum to suite my interests and needs. With Dr. Arneson's help, I was able to pick graduate-level classes that I felt would help me in medical school or that I found interesting. I was fortunate to take courses such as neurobiology and immunology while in the program.

3. What clinical and/or research experience did you obtain while a post-bacc student at AU?

While in the program, I shadowed a hospitalist at a local medical center for a month. I also shadowed and observed a DO who worked in a local naval clinic. That was particularly interesting, as I was able to see osteopathic manipulative techniques (OMT) done on actual patients. The AU program also offers opportunities to shadow in the DC area, so one should definitely look into that if you're having trouble finding shadowing experiences on your own.

Rachel Buckle

Rachel Buckle

1. What was your academic/professional background before coming the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical program at American University?

I started at AU in August after graduating from Princeton in June with a degree in psychology and a certificate in gender and sexuality studies.

2. Why did you choose the AU post-bacc program?

I chose AU because the program allowed me to really mold the program to fit my needs. The advising was wonderful and really helped me navigate the difficult waters of medical school application. I also really loved the opportunities I could pursue while living in DC.

3. What clinical and/or research experience did you obtain while a post-bacc student at AU?

I was able to work as a research assistant at the Behavioral Pharmacology lab on campus and I was also a patient care volunteer at Children's National Medical Center.

Meredith Gleason

Meredith Gleason

1. What was your academic/professional background before coming the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical program at American University?

I attended the University of Richmond and earned a Bachelor's of Arts in Latin American & Iberian Studies in 2009. Then, I earned a Master's of Arts in Hispanic Literature in 2012 from the University of Texas at Austin. I joined Teach for America and served in the DC Corps from 2012-2014 as a high school teacher. I was inspired by the health conditions of my students to pursue a career in medicine and joined the post-bacc program in the summer of 2014 when my time with TFA came to a close.

2. Why did you choose the AU post-bacc program?

I am a very independent and "do-it-yourself" person, so the program at AU appealed to me because it was not as strict as some other area programs. I liked that the program was flexible with my needs and let me make my own plan - with guidance, of course. For example, I had taken a few science classes in college and I was able to progress to more advanced courses instead of repeating them. Additionally the program left plenty of room for structuring my studies and I found the balance between my DIY-spirit and the requirements of the program to be perfect for someone returning to school after having some professional experience. I was not the oldest person in any of my classes - as I had feared - and I was able to form a really strong community with my post-bacc peers.

3. What clinical and/or research experience did you obtain while a post-bacc student at AU?

Our advisor, Dr. Arneson, regularly notifies the post-bacc students of various clinical and research opportunities, as well as other non-medical employment opportunities for which we are strong candidates. I worked as a scribe in an emergency room through a connection with a classmate. Additionally, I was put in contact with a local opthalmology practice and found a job as an Ophthalmologic Technician in the year between finishing my post-bacc courses and (hopefully) attending medical school. I also secured a part-time position with a local test prep company through the post-bacc program.