Student Learns of Acceptance to Medical School at 2017 Med School Fair

Student Learns of Acceptance to Medical School at 2017 Med School Fair

May 4, 2017

Alexandra Naides received her acceptance to Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
The Medical School Fair was attended by students from Columbia, Barnard, and across the New York Metro Area.
Postbac Premed Student Learns of Acceptance to Medical School at 2017 Medical School Fair

This year’s annual Medical School Fair, which featured representatives from more than 50 top medical schools, was marked by a momentous surprise for one exceptional Postbac Premed student. Alexandra Naides, who completed the Columbia Postbac Premed program in the spring of 2016, received her acceptance to medical school in person from the Associate Dean of Admissions at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

Naides had recently applied to the School, and visited their table at the fair to speak to Dr. George Heinrich, Associate Dean of Admissions and Special Programs, so she could express her enthusiasm and deep interest in the program, and let him know that she was eagerly awaiting word from the admissions committee. In response, Dr. Heinrich informed her that she had been admitted to the fall of 2017 entering class, and that he had the pleasure of informing her in person—the first time he had ever done so. 

“To say I was stunned would be an understatement. My first reaction was ‘Are you serious?’—it was just so unexpected. I’ve been on cloud nine ever since,” Naides said.

Dr. Heinrich also took part in the Admissions Dean’s Panel alongside Dr. Rona Woldenberg from Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine on Long Island, Dr. David Neumeyer from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, and Dr. Barbara Beckman from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. 

The deans shared candid advice about the admissions process and took questions from attendees. Many students wanted to know about the interview process, a crucial aspect of the application. Dr. Beckman offered her perspective, explaining that when conducting an interview, she thinks like a patient. “I ask myself, ‘Can this person calm me down?’” 

Dr. Beckman explained how familiar she is with the Program and that they look forward to receiving applications from nontraditional students, who possess unique strengths. 

“Columbia Postbac Premed students can’t help but have more experience to bring to the table when compared to traditional applicants,” Dr. Beckman said.

Dr. Heinrich declared Columbia’s Postbac Premed Program “the best in the country” and praised the work of Associate Dean of Students Andrew Sunshine, Director of the Program, and the entire advising team.

“I have seen advising across the country, and believe [the advising in the Postbac Program] is singular…terrific,” Dr. Heinrich said.

Naides is currently in her glide year, working part-time at a lab at the Columbia University Medical Center, as well as volunteering. She is interested in pursuing surgery, but is eager to explore her options once she begins at Rutgers this fall.

The 2017 Medical School Fair, organized by the Columbia University Premedical Association (PMA) and the Columbia University Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program, is an annual event that draws hundreds of attendees from Columbia University, Barnard College, and other New York Metro area colleges to meet with admissions representatives from more than 50 top medical schools from across the country and around the world.