Medicine can be a career that is both challenging and highly rewarding.
Health care is an ever-changing field of practice where lifelong learners provide timely, efficient and state-of-the-art patient care in an environment where knowledge, technology and social requirements are changing rapidly.
Alvarho Guzman is someone who is up for that challenge. As for the high rewards gained from this career path, Alvarho replies that it meets his passion for service to humanity. In this profession and the continuous learning cycle, Alvarho will be able to provide an expanded contribution to society and extend his career and life enrichment.
“I'm a non-traditional medical student with a social science degree,” Alvarho tells me of his background. “I ultimately chose medicine because it is truly a profession that embodies service to humanity, lifelong learning, and a relentless pursuit of self-improvement for the betterment of the patient and those around you. I decided to become a doctor because I wanted to give every individual the opportunity to spend life's most precious moments in the company of their loved ones.
“Because I was not premed during my undergraduate years,” Alvarho continues, “I took the totality of my medical school prerequisites in your Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program after my undergraduate studies.”
Let’s hear what this outstanding Fall 2020 graduate of our program has to say about his academic journey with us.
What drew you to UC Berkeley Extension?
Initially, I was drawn to the program because of its close proximity to my home; I lived in Oakland at the time. The program also offers a career-changer pathway for nontraditional students interested in medical school.
Beyond those two factors, UC Berkeley Extension has a fantastic reputation as an educational institution that prepares its students for success, so choosing this program for my post-baccalaureate was very easy.
What were some of the gems you received from our program?
I received unparalleled support from my advisers, instructors and fellow students. The staff understands that most of their students work full-time jobs and have obligations outside of school, so they are highly supportive and understanding of an individual student’s circumstances.
The close-knit environment between students and instructors also facilitated a productive and engaging environment for learning and studying. The instructors are always willing to meet with students, so I was very fortunate to develop good relationships with them, some of whom wrote me letters of recommendation for medical school.
Lastly, the advisers are phenomenal and will go above and beyond to ensure their students' success. In terms of preparing for and applying to medical school, navigating my coursework and offering support in every capacity, my advisers were instrumental in my matriculation into medical school.
How did our coursework prepare you for medical school?
The program amply prepared me for medical school. The academic rigor was challenging, as expected from an educational institution such as UC Berkeley Extension.
The coursework substantially prepared me for my MCAT and current medical school classes. Because of the close-knit, supportive environment, I was able to form successful study groups with other motivated students and my instructors were always accessible to answering my questions and concerns.
I see you are an M.D. candidate at Albany Medical School—Congratulations!
Thanks, it's going great! I just took my first exam and did really well.
Any advice to our current or prospective Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program students?
I cannot praise the advisers enough and thank them for all of their help throughout my medical school journey. Dr. Tiffani Quan is heaven sent. So schedule an appointment with her as soon as possible!