Pre-med Experience Program guides students in right direction for MD application

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Students for many years have applied to medical school, and entered into their interviews blindly, with little guidance, or assistance. Luckily, four years ago a UNBSJ student had the brilliant idea to create a program to assist these pre-med students in getting through their application without a hitch.

Juliana Prestes the president of the UNB AIDS/HIV initiative, created the program called the Pre-med Experience Program and each year Prestes hires a student to be the vice president of the program, who will work alongside her, mentoring and guiding students looking to become medical doctors.

The current vice president, Sam Backman, explains the program.

“ This program helps prepare students that wish to become future medical doctors of any discipline by guiding them through the med-school application process and by providing them with opportunities to engage with people in the medical community.”

Currently there are eight first year students enrolled in the program, but there is room for more.

“ Students who are interested in the program can schedule a time to meet with myself where they will look into what exactly it is that the medical schools are looking for and how they can become more successful when applying.”

In addition to academic support the program also helps students to get into the community to volunteer with different organizations across the city such as, AIDS Saint John, Red Cross, Horizon Health, and Saint John Ambulance.Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 12.26.12 PM

“They will also explore what various research, fundraising, and volunteer opportunities are available on campus and in the community. These opportunities provide students with the experience of working with all kinds of people in various socio-economic backgrounds as well does it allow them to make lasting connections with people in the medical community,” states Backman.

“With the help of UNBSJ’s academic advisors, students will take a look at what courses they can take to benefit them on their journey to medical school,” he adds.

Prestes, who has been through the medical school process in her home country of Brazil, and Backman, who is currently going through the application process, have a wealth of knowledge to be gleaned by students in pre-med experience program.

If you are a pre-med student, the opportunity is there, why not take it.

For inquiries about the program email Sam Backman at

Emily is in her fourth year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's a stern black coffee drinker and is a proud Acadienne. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find Emily listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation. If you ask her about parliamentary institutions, she won't stop talking.