Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Postbaccalaureate Pre-Professional Program (P4)
P4 Alumni


Meet Our Alumni

The P4 Alumni base is growing each year and we are so proud to introduce you to some of our graduates and learn more about their journey!

As we always say, their success is our success!

Benji Kornbluth

Kornbluth_P4

Hometown: Englewood, NJ
Degree: BA Psychology
College: Muhlenberg College

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

Even before I ever stepped on the Thomas Jefferson University campus to interview for the Pre-Professional Post-baccalaureate program (don’t worry we just call it P4), I was able to feel the magnetic attraction of the strong community which I was soon to become a part of. Being one of the very few programs requiring an interview spoke volumes that I wasn't simply a name or a number on an application. Rather, I was seen as an individual with a unique history full of experiences, passions and goals. Jefferson invests in people and it is these individuals who come together to comprise the Jefferson family.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

As an institution entrenched within Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson’s far-reaching impact reverberates from its intimate campus throughout the city. Being in the heart of Philadelphia, surrounded by a wealth of diversity allowed me the opportunity to work with and alongside so many different people of varying cultures, classes, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, ages, genders, physical and mental abilities. The exposure to such diversity on a regular basis was an intrinsic route to personal growth, increased empathy and priceless knowledge. During my time shadowing in the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, I had the opportunity to add to my cultural competency through observation and discussion with physicians and their diverse patient populations. I was constantly inspired by the Jefferson health professionals’ kindness, patience, positive attitudes, professionalism and zeal for teaching, enlightening all those around them who wish to learn

The sense of community at Jefferson is palpable. The kindness, compassion, collaboration and drive to make a difference are on display daily by the faculty, staff, students and all those who are lucky enough to call Thomas Jefferson their home. As a post-bacc student, I had that opportunity and by joining and actively participating in many clubs and organizations, attending lectures by guest speakers and lecturers, playing intramurals, doing community service, shadowing in the hospital and spending long hours in Scott Memorial library shoulder to shoulder with Sidney Kimmel Medical Students, I took full advantage of the myriad resources Jefferson has to offer. This facilitated daily collaboration and conversation with Sidney Kimmel Medical College students, giving me intimate insight into what to expect as a medical student. As a post-bacc student I quickly learned that if I worked hard and took the initiative, the Jefferson community and the post-bacc family would support me both in and out of the classroom, supplying me with all the tools necessary for success.

Last, but certainly not least… can’t thank Dr. Byrne enough for her tireless efforts and dedication to her students.

Where are you now?

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai: MD program
MS2, Class 2021

Anything else you would like to add?

Like the people it invests in, Thomas Jefferson University is not placated by stagnancy, but rather ardently pursues development and growth. In doing so, Thomas Jefferson’s family continues to grow and increase opportunities for their students, patients and health 


Bailey Sparks

Sparks_P4

Home State: Maryland
Degree: BS Nursing
College: University of Maryland

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?
I chose P4 for the 1 year option as well as the linkage to Jefferson.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?
I’m a doctor! And I have Dr. Byrne and the P4 to thank for that!!

Where are you now?
I graduated from Sidney Kimmel Medical College in 2018 and am currently in my Internal Medicine residency at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).


Robert Arnold

Arnold_P4

Home State: Pennsylvania
Degree: BS Neuroscience/Psychology
College: Temple University

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

P4 negated any excuses that I had for not pursuing medical school. It allowed me to fill the missing science courses, network effectively, and guide me in preparation for the MCAT.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

The easy answer? It helped me get in to med school. The more complicated answer is that P4 taught me a lot of subtle professional etiquette that isn’t exactly taught in med school; but is still very much expected of students from Day 1.  Professionalism is HUGE in medical school and one would be very surprised to see how many students (both M.D. and D.O.) come freshly into their program lacking it

Where are you now?

I am a MS3 for St. George’s University, currently rotating at St. Peter’s for our pediatric clerkship.


Margaret Diacont

Diacont_P4

Hometown: Nazareth, PA
Degree: BA Fine Arts
College: University of Pennsylvania

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I was a fine arts major in college and was looking for a program to complete my pre medical courses.  I learned about the program from a friend in the program.  I found the program to be just what I was looking for; offering premedical classes, advising, volunteering opportunities, and resources for MCAT preparation.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

The P4 program prepared me for the MCAT and allowed me to complete my premedical requirements.  I was also able to take the time to volunteer and strengthen my resume during the P4 program.  P4 also provided me with the advising and support to apply to and get into medical school at PCOM.

Where are you now?

I just started my 4th year of medical school at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.


Ryan Dwosh

Dwosh_P4

Hometown: Moorestown, NJ
Degree: BS Civil Engineering
College: University of Vermont

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I wanted to attend a post-bac program in Philadelphia

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

It helped me get into medical school. Thank you to everyone in the P4 program, I would not be where I am today without all of you.

Where are you now?

University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, year 1.


Debra Eckhardt

Eckhardt_P4

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Degree: BS Psychology
College: Ursinus College

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I had worked at Jefferson before joining the program and knew that the faculty at Jefferson was top notch. The P4 program was pretty new when I started. Because of that, there was a lot of potential for students to have a pretty large voice in how the program ran itself. I liked that the P4 program took student’s advice and experience seriously and tailored the program to meet the requirements of not only medical school admission, but also dental, PA and nursing school. The fact that a medical school has a post-bac program also gives students more opportunities than what would be available to them at other institutions. For example—Postbac students were allowed to join the same clubs and do the same activities as the medical students. This included shadowing, volunteering at the student run clinic and so much more. P4 students definitely left the postbac program with a leg up on other programs because of this unique experience.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

The P4 program really gave me the independence to explore what I liked and did not like in regards to all areas of medicine. It prepared me to STUDY HARD for medical school. It taught me how to manage time, how to be independent, how to set and ACHIEVE goals for myself. The P4 program really were two of the best years of my life and I wish I could go back to it all over again.

Where are you now?

I linked to PCOM’s DO program in 2016 and had to take a year off for personal reasons.  I restarted the DO program in 2017, and I stopped attending in February 2018. This was a personal choice for me. I got a taste of medical school and decided that this path just was not for me. During school, I cared more about the mental well-being of my colleagues and friends than I had cared about becoming a doctor. I had always wanted to go into psychology, which was the reason for me going to medical school, but I decided that a different path (PhD or PsyD in Clinical Psychology, or LPC) were more suited for my wants and needs. I am currently working at the Center for Autism and have plans to return back to school in 2019.


Shane Morris

Morris_P4

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Degree: BA History & Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
College: University of Washington

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

Choosing a post baccalaureate program is a big decision and those that make the leap to attend one are making a courageous choice to change careers or aspirations.  Some come alone, others bring family, but all come with the goal to make medicine their life.  Medicine is one of the most noble and competitive career choices out there.  As such, one needs to attend a University that allows for their students to succeed.  This does not just include academics, but in order to provide a competitive application, one needs faculty letters of recommendation, research experience, and medical experience, all of which Thomas Jefferson provides to those who are willing to work hard…no matter the starting place, experience, or background of the student.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

With a lot of hard work and the help of faculty, advisors, and colleagues, I was able to graduate from Thomas Jefferson with a very competitive science GPA.  Coming into the P4 program, I had almost no science background and felt that I may be behind some of my colleagues (especially with the anticipation of courses like Organic Chemistry and Physics).  However, most of us coming into the program didn’t have much of a science background.  The P4 faculty and advisors follow everyone closely and help to make sure that their students are as competitive as possible.  This includes the accessibility of the professors for tutoring, the advisors for medical and research experience, and the faculty for letters of recommendation.  As such, I was able to put together a very competitive medical school application and came back to Thomas Jefferson where I am currently a second year medical student looking at Orthopedic Surgery for residency.

Where are you now?

I’m currently a second year medical student in Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. 


Laura Steel

Steel_P4

Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Degree: BS Communications
College: University of Pennsylvania

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I chose the P4 program during its first year in existence because I saw an opportunity to stay in the city of Philadelphia while being part of a smaller cohort with individualized attention to my premedical studies. As someone familiar with the university, I was thrilled to learn of the new post-baccalaureate premedical program and knew that, coming from a school like Jefferson, it had a lot of potential.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

I was fortunate enough to link at Jefferson for medical school where I not only met lifelong friends but mentors who helped me discover my interest in a career in women’s health.  The P4 program allowed me time and resources to explore various medical fields as well, through shadowing and volunteering in the hospital. Since I stayed at Jefferson after finishing the program, I was able to continue to foster these relationships and mentorships.

Where are you now?

I graduated from Sidney Kimmel Medical School at Thomas Jefferson University in May and began my residency in OB/GYN at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in June!


Evan Cauterucci

Cauterucci_P4

Hometown: Bluebell, PA
Degree: BS Marketing/Advertising
College: Pennsylvania State University

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I chose the P4 program because I was looking for a postbac program in Philadelphia with ties to a well-known university. I was also looking for a program in an urban environment that would possibly have connections to schools in the surrounding area.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

The P4 program provided me with a solid science foundation which prepared me immensely for dental school. Coming from a business background, I was a nervous about how difficult science courses typically are. The P4 program understands that everyone enrolled comes from a different background and ensures that they have success in whatever graduate school they decide to pursue.

Where are you now?

I am currently in my junior year of dental school at Temple University - Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry.


Emilee Rutherford

Rutherford_P4

Hometown: Doylestown, PA
Degree: BS Psychology/Communications
College: DeSales University

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I chose to attend Jefferson’s P4 program because of the university’s exceptional reputation, the welcoming faculty and staff, and the central location of the campus. I believed the P4 program would provide the best education and opportunities for success as a future healthcare provider.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

The P4 program provided me with a solid foundation of basic science knowledge, networking/shadowing opportunities, community service involvement, and individualized assistance with my applications to Physician Assistant programs.

Where are you now?

I am currently pursuing my Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Thomas Jefferson University. My expected graduation date is August 2018.


David Schultz

Schultz_P4

Hometown: West Chester, PA
Degree: BS Psychology
College: James Madison University

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

A good friend of mine was attending Jefferson Medical School at the time I was considering post-baccalaureate programs. He referred me to P4. When I researched the program, I found that Jefferson was providing dedicated classes and resources to a small cohort of career-changers like myself in a healthcare centered environment. This contrasted with other options which had the look and feel of undergrad, designed with the intent to “weed out.” In the end, I went with Jefferson because of their reputation across all healthcare professions and their exclusive focus on providing a pathway to get there.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

In a few words, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the P4 program. I followed the accelerated (1-year) path and linked directly into Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.  Four years later, I’m now a doctor at my top choice for residency. Jefferson provided me with the tools and resources that sent me on this trajectory.

Where are you now?

I graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and went full circle from a psychology major to a psychiatry residency. I matched at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC.


Caitlin Green

Green_P4

Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Degree: BS Human Development & Family Studies
College: University of Rhode Island

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I love the location of Thomas Jefferson University, as well as the vast opportunities for shadowing/volunteering available through Jefferson Hospitals and organizations. I chose the P4 program specifically because of the faculty I had met during my interview, the challenging curriculum, and because of the great experiences past family members have had as Jefferson students.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

I would not be on the path I am today without the P4 program or its faculty. From an education standpoint, the P4 program’s curriculum provided me with core knowledge I am confident will aid me in the future as a medical student and a physician. However, the program truly gave me so much more than an exceptional pre-professional education; the confidence I gained through the encouragement of the faculty, and the opportunities that were available as a student at Jefferson have been invaluable. I am incredibly thankful to have chosen the P4 program for my pre-professional education.

Where are you now?

I will be attending Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University this coming summer, 2018.


Nick Benvenuto

Benvenuto_P4

Hometown: Langhorne, PA
Degree: BS Agribusiness Management
College: Pennsylvania State University

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I chose the P4 program because of the small cohort size and frequent interactions with faculty members, both within the P4 program as well as the medical college. As an adult student, I very much desired smaller class sizes, which really allowed me to engage in the coursework and facilitated my learning. Additionally, being a P4 student at Jefferson allowed me to take advantage of medical college programs such as JeffHOPE and Refugee Health Partners, where I was able to participate as a member of the clinical team seeing patients. These are invaluable learning opportunities for a pre-medical student that other universities – without a conjoined medical college on campus – simply do not offer.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

Over my two years as a P4 student, I came to love being at Jefferson and decided I wanted to stay for my medical education.

Where are you now?

SKMC – 4th year student


Molly Benoit

Benoit_P4

Hometown: Palm City, Florida
Degree: BA Political Science
College: University of Florida

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

Many factors played into my decision to attend the P4 program to complete my medical school prerequisites. One of the most significant driving forces was meeting Dr. Byrne—her belief in my ability to succeed was apparent during my interview. I also wanted to attend a program that had all-post bac student classes, I was uninterested in competing with undergraduates. In the P4 program, everyone helped each other—sharing notes, flash cards, study groups. There was a sense of community and no competition. The location of the P4 program was also very important; other programs I considered were not located in cities/towns with same clinical resources as Philadelphia (although outside of New York and Boston, I’m not sure any city has the same level of resources as Philly). The built-in MCAT prep course with Kaplan also helped me decide to choose the P4 program—knowing it would not conflict with my classes was important.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

I would not be about to start medical school without the P4 program—I did not know how to study until this program. Studying science is different than writing papers (my whole undergraduate and graduate career); I found the techniques that worked for me and applied the ones that worked best for the MCAT. The advising from Dr. Byrne and Dr. Heine were invaluable, especially their willingness to read every word of my personal statement and AMCAS application. The accelerated program also forced me to perfect my time management and prioritization skills.

Where are you now?

As of August 13, 2018, I will be a MS1 at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami in Miami Florida. [I was offered admission at the University of Miami, the University of Florida, and George Washington University. I was offered but did not accept an interview at the University of South Florida.]


John Masterson

Masterson_P4

Hometown: Wayne, PA
Degree: BS International Business & Finance
College: Temple University

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I chose Jefferson because I wanted to fulfill my premed requirements at a reputable institution

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

It was my first introduction to the world of medicine and biomedical sciences

Where are you now?

I am attending medical school at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine


Zak Merritt

Merritt_P4

Hometown: Elkins Park, PA
Degree: BS Physics
College: Grinnell College

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I was attracted by the 1 year accelerated track and its association with a good medical school.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

It got me into medical school! I felt well prepared to tackle the basic science courses at SKMC and Dr. Byrne is an amazing advisor!

Where are you now?

I graduated from SKMC and will be going to Montefiore Medical Center for my residency in internal medicine.


Jacqueline Early

Early_P4

Hometown: Warwick, Rhode Island
Degree: BS Psychology
College: Boston College

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I was looking for a program that was focused on the students. I wanted to make sure that wherever I went I would be a part of a community, and that it would allow me to collaborate with others and learn. Also being in Philadelphia is the best!

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

The P4 program was a great way to cover my prerequisites and allow me to network with people within the Jefferson community. I was also able to get some great advice on how to apply and set myself up for success in medical school.

Where are you now?

3rd year of medical school at Sidney Kimmel Medical College


Michael Reynolds

Reynolds_P4

Hometown: Malvern, PA
Degree: BS Finance & Economics
College: Villanova University

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I chose the P4 program at Jefferson for multiple reasons. First of all, when compared to other post-baccalaureate programs, I thought the P4 program offered me the best chance for success in regards to being accepted into medical school.  In particular, the P4 program’s linkage with Sidney Kimmel Medical College was very appealing to me because it enabled me to attend my ideal medical school while also allowing me to avoid a gap year. Another reason I chose the P4 program was the comforting and supportive environment that I felt on interview day. The faculty and administrative officers were kind, down to earth, and appeared to have my best interests in mind. I realized that the P4 program had the atmosphere and support that I wanted while working towards my career goals. 

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

The P4 program exceeded my expectations and made my career goals possible. After completing the P4 program’s one year accelerated program, I successfully linked with Sidney Kimmel Medical College where I am currently in my fourth year of medical school.

Where are you now?

I am currently a student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.


Deirdre Martinez-Meehan

Meehan_P4

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Degree: BS Psychology
College: Ohio State University

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I liked how small the class sizes were; I wanted to live in a diverse and happening city, and I just had a good feeling about the whole thing (the people I met during my interview.)

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

I went to Ohio University for my undergraduate degree. I studied psychology. Then I went to the P4 program, after that I went to Dartmouth for my graduate degree in public health, then I decided to take a gap year, and now finally I am going to med school! During this gap year I have worked on the West Side of Cleveland at the West Side Catholic Center in the Moriah House family shelter. I have worked as a family and youth case manager, working to ensure the physical, social, and mental well-being of our residents. different aspects of medicine and really engage with peers and multi-disciplinary teams.

Where are you now?

I will be attending the University of Pittsburgh! Can’t wait to start!

I am so grateful for the support I received in the P4 program, through all the peaks and valleys (and there can be many on this road!). It really meant a lot that I had people in my cohort that cared about me not only as a student but as a person. The P4 faculty and staff understand that you may not be the “average” pre-medical student, that you have different needs, goals, and responsibilities. This aspect was invaluable to me as a P4 student.


Caroline Dunne

Dunne_P4

Hometown: Ramsey, NJ
Degree: BA International Relations
College: Bucknell University

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

I wanted to attend a program that was small, with very involved advisors and faculty, and near and/or associated with an academic medical center. Jefferson’s P4 program met all of those criteria!

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

In any program, your success, in terms academics and getting into medical school, will be determined by the hard work and dedication that you put into it. I feel that the P4 program gave me the support, environment, and academic setting that allowed me to excel. The classes are small, and the teaching faculty and advisors feel very invested in their students’ success. The structure of the program allowed me to have sufficient classroom time as well as enough independent time to study on my own. The MCAT prep included in the program was also an integral part of my success.

Where are you now?

Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University


Katelyn Koons

Koons_P4

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Degree: BS Mechanical Engineering
College: Johns Hopkins University

Why did you choose to join the P4 program?

Jefferson has always held a spot in my heart. I did research here with Dr. Larry Harshyne in high school. Moreover, it’s a good place to learn. You can fail here, find the right help, and improve upon yourself to succeed. You’re supposed to make mistakes and learn from them; at Jefferson, you have the support of your team and professors to learn better and to figure out what went wrong. Many schools say they will help you succeed, but Jefferson actually follows through with that statement. They meet with you one-on-one. Professors know who you are and are always open to help. I still talk to Dr. Byrne, and I don’t think I could have achieved what I have had she not been there for me. I studied in an extremely competitive environment in undergrad. At Jefferson, people share their notes and try to help each other. That is a skill more people need in the healthcare field in my opinion, and I’m lucky to be a part of it at Jefferson.

Read More

How has the P4 program helped you on your path to your current program/career?

It helped me become a bigger part of the community at Jefferson. I did research, shadowed, and worked here.

Where are you now?

SKMC! Woohoo!