Inaugural Class Graduates on May 12 From U.Va.'s Post-Baccalaureate, Pre-Medical Program for "Career Changers"

May 11, 2007 -- Fourteen students make up the inaugural graduating class of the University of Virginia's new 12-month Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program for "career changers" — college graduates and professionals with strong academic records who want a fast track to medical school. 

The program offers a three-semester curriculum of optimally sequenced courses in pre-med science requirements; an MCAT preparation course; intern opportunities at the U.Va. Medical Center; and dedicated advising by U.Va. medical faculty. These characteristics combine to make the program unique in Virginia or at any major university in the South, according to William Fornadel, director of the program, which is offered by the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

In a few weeks the graduates will take the MCAT, beginning the year-long medical school application process.

"What’s especially exciting about this program," said Sondra Stallard, dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, "is how it brings together the University’s outstanding undergraduate classes and preeminent teaching hospital and medical school in order to address a critical personnel shortage in the medical fields. People with strong academic or professional records now have an express route to change careers in order to pursue medical careers."

Graduation ceremonies will be held on May 12, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in Zehmer Hall, 104 Midmont Lane, near the intersection of Alderman Road and Lewis Mountain Road.