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Former consultant Yuri Castano is a Postbac Premed student.
Yuri Castano

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico
Undergraduate College: University of Pennsylvania
Major: Latin American and Latino Studies

Path to the Postbac Program:

  • Political science researcher
  • Strategy and management consultant
  • Emergency Department research assistant

"After college, I worked as a strategy and management consultant, first for the Boston Consulting Group, and then as an independent contractor in the K-12 education sector. I also continued to pursue my love of the outdoors, which included kayaking on Lake Superior and off the Apostle Islands of northern Wisconsin and mountaineering in Mexico.

"I was drawn to medicine out of a desire to make a practical and meaningful contribution to people's lives in a dynamic environment that requires me to continuously learn new things."

Lauren McCollum, poet turned Postbac Premed Program Student
Lauren McCollum

Hometown: Knoxville, TN
Undergraduate College: Princeton University
Major: English and Creative Writing
Graduate Degree: New York University; Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing-Poetry
Path to the Postbac Premed Program:

  • Poet
  • Veterinary assistant
  • Organ donor

Postbac Graduation Year: 2009
Medical School: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

“I was first inspired to pursue medicine while working as a veterinary assistant. A few years ago, however, a much more compelling reason to pursue medicine arose—I was a liver donor for my sister who has a rare metabolic disorder. My sister, who also received a kidney donation from my father, is doing very well thanks to an amazing team of doctors, nurses, and medical students. This experience inspired me on many levels and although my decision was a complicated one, organ donation played a significant role in my decision to pursue a career in medicine.”

Former linguist is currently a Postbac Premed veterinary student.
Rachelle Meyer

Hometown: Hong Kong
Undergraduate College: Columbia College
Major: Psychology

Path to the Postbac Program:

  • Linguist
  • Event coordinator
  • Animal shelter volunteer

"I have always loved animals and known that I want to help them. I was just not sure how. While volunteering at a local animal shelter the summer after my junior year of college, I realized that my answer was a career in veterinary medicine. Since I’ve been in the Postbac Premed Program, I have volunteered as a veterinary assistant at a New York City animal hospital, served as the VIDA campus representative and worked on a farm. I also co-founded the University’s Postbaccalaureate Preveterinary Association. I love working with other preveterinary students, and I am excited about the start of my career in veterinary medicine."

Classical violinist Ben Robison is a Columbia Postbac Premed Program student.
Ben Robison

Hometown: East Lansing, MI
Undergraduate College: Cleveland Institute of Music
Graduate Degree: Stony Brook University; Doctorate of Musical Arts

Path to the Postbac Premed Program: 

  • Classical violinist
  • MacArthur Foundation grant recipient, Digital Media and Learning Competition
  • Co-founder and director of two nonprofit organizations
  • Musicians' Alliance for Peace and Fractor, Inc.

Postbac Graduation Year: 2009
Medical School: Stanford University School of Medicine

"For the past 30 years, creativity through music has been my motivation. Although that is still true, I decided to pursue a career in medicine to learn how the human body’s biological response to creativity can heal."

Peter Sloane is a brewmaster and lighting designer turned Postbac Premed student
Peter Sloane

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
Undergraduate College: University of Chicago
Major: History
Path to the Postbac Premed Program:

  • Theatre lighting designer, carpenter
  • Charter boat deckhand
  • Brew master

"While I attend the Postbac Premed Program part time, I am working as an over-hire technician at a New York City theatre and as a brewmaster for a local brewing company. I am also volunteering as a research assistant in pediatrics. I decided to pursue medicine because it was closest trade to theatre production—it combines on-your-feet, hands-on work which the performance, or practice, requires and relies heavily upon the participation of the audience, or the patient."

Former psychologist Daisy Tsao attends the Postbac Premed program
Daisy Tsao

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Undergraduate College: University of California, Los Angeles
Major: Psychology
Graduate School: Pennsylvania State University, Clinical Psychology

Path to the Postbac Program:

  • Planned Parenthood speaker
  • Graduate student therapist
  • Clinical researcher, child psychology

"The study of abnormal behaviors has always fascinated me, which made the field of clinical psychology seem like the perfect fit for my interests. When I began to study mental disorders and meet with clients in therapy, however, my lack of scientific knowledge regarding basic biological functions frustrated me. Many of my cases involved chronic physical ailments, and I wanted to understand their development and role in a person's sense of wellbeing. I decided to pursue a career in medicine to understand the biological approach to defining and treating mental disorders and continue my study of health and healing."