The Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 23, 2000
October 23, 2000
VOL. 30, NO. 8


Premed Post-Bac Program Is Set

Students will fulfill their science requirements in individualized approach

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The university is in the process of establishing a Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program. Housed in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the program will be highly selective and is envisioned to quickly become one of the nation's "elite" centers for preparatory medical studies.

It is expected to commence in the summer or fall of 2001.

David Trabilsy, the former assistant dean of admissions for the School of Medicine, has been named the program's director and will report to Steven David, the Krieger School's associate dean for academic affairs.

David Trabilsy, former assistant dean of admissions at the School of Medicine, will head the new offering from the Krieger School. Students will take core courses and others as needed.

Trabilsy said the program will not be remedial in nature but rather will provide an opportunity for "talented and focused individuals" without the necessary science background to fulfill their premed requirements at an institution known for its excellence in medical education.

"We are looking to establish the premier post-baccalaureate program in the country," Trabilsy said. "The program's essential focus will be on completing the basic premed requirements, but we also hope to tap into the vast resources that Hopkins has to offer in areas such as medicine and public health. That is what I feel will be most appealing to prospective students--the resources that this great university has."

Trabilsy said he wants to customize a program of study and mold the resources of Hopkins around each student. The initial class will contain approximately a dozen students, Trabilsy said, but he foresees the program growing over time.

Students will take science courses on the premed track side-by-side with undergraduates at the Homewood campus. Scheduling details are still being worked out, Trabilsy said, but it's expected that students will attend on a full-time basis. The program will be based on a 14-month core, with additional time if needed, based on the students' academic background and the interests they wish to pursue at Hopkins beyond the required science courses.

The Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program is intended for those coming directly out of college or graduate study and or for those with established professional careers.

"What is very appealing about this program is that these are individuals who bring with them a wealth of experiences and maturity into an academic environment," Trabilsy said. "We feel these are people who are going to make unique contributions, not only to the premed experience but also in medical schools, as well as in their health careers. What I personally would like to see are opportunities created for them to build on their previous experience, whether they have been lawyers, teachers, engineers or come from the world of business."

Trabilsy said that incorporating the program's students into the traditional study body will add an "extra dimension and nice dynamic" to the classroom.

Trabilsy describes the representative applicant as a "bright and determined individual" who has thoroughly thought out the demands of a medical education.

"When you consider the two, possibly three years from when they commence study in a post-bac program to when they will be entering medical school, and then the four years of medical school and three to five of residency, you realize how highly committed these people are," Trabilsy said. "These are special, accomplished people who we feel will become future leaders."

Trabilsy served from 1987 to 2000 as director and then assistant dean of admissions for the School of Medicine. Prior to coming to Hopkins, he was director of admissions at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Steven David said the selection of Trabilsy was a "natural" given his almost 20 years of experience in the area of medical school admissions.

"He knows what medical schools need and can make sure it is provided," David said. "We hope under his guidance that this will become the best program in the country to enable top students who, for whatever reason, did not take science courses in college to begin their science background."

There are currently fewer than 75 such post-baccalaureate programs in the country. Established ones on the East Coast include those at Bryn Mawr College, Columbia University, Tufts University, the University of Pennsylvania and Goucher College.

Nationwide applicant pools for post-baccalaureate programs have been in decline, mirroring the decline in medical school applicant pools. However, Trabilsy said he is confident that Hopkins will emerge as a success story in this particular area of education.

"I would have to think twice about doing this elsewhere, but because it's Hopkins and because of our reputation for medicine and premedical education, I feel we will be successful," Trabilsy said. "Clearly, what will help to us become established very quickly is the Hopkins name."

Trabilsy said development of the program will be an ongoing process with the involvement of Steven David and the chairs of the science departments involved.

"Everyone has been very receptive so far to this new program," Trabilsy said. "There are details that need to be worked out and we are in the process of doing that right now."

For more on the program and to inquire about applying, contact Trabilsy at 410-516-7748 or