First biomedical science class graduates

In April, 12 members of the Oakland University College of Arts and Sciences will walk across the stage as the first graduates of the new biomedical sciences program.

Introduced in 2012, the biomedical sciences program was designed to accommodate the modern medical student.

Dr. Amy Banes-Berceli, in partnership with three other colleagues, developed a rigorous curriculum composed of basic biomedical science classes as well as pharmacology and sociology sources to mirror the new MCAT requirements.

Each element of the program, including the courses, was designed to give students in the program the tools for the proper foundation for their future studies and graduate endeavors.

The individuals in the 2016 class of Biomedical Sciences will graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences with a biomedical science degree, which is equivalent to a bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degree combined.

“The graduation of these students is extremely significant,” Banes-Berceli said. “This is the first program of its kind in the entire state if not entire region to adjust the program requirements to the needs of the students.”

The new program is designed to mirror a medical school curriculum with the integration of changes in active learning activities, critical thinking practices and working with applied knowledge.

The changes to the program give students the opportunity to get an idea of what to expect in medical school classes as most of the graduates are pursuing a pre-med route. Aside from class design, all exams are modeled after the step-one exam which each student will encounter later in their medical career.

Of the 12 members, nine are pre-med, two are pursuing graduate school for biomedical science research and one is pre-dentistry.

Aside from the course specifics, Banes-Berceli and her colleagues are working to implement peer mentoring programs and groups with Oakland University alumni and specialists in the biomedical science field from Wayne State, Michigan State, University of Michigan and Central Michigan University in order to keep their students connected to field professionals.

From this they have already made moves to keep in contact with the graduates as a method of assessing the program and its needs.

“They’re a tight-knit group of students,” Banes-Berceli said. “We are very proud of them and all of the hard work they have done. They’ve done a fantastic job. This is a very challenging and rigorous program and we are hoping to watch it grow as time passes.”

The graduates will be honored with a private reception in addition to their traditional commencement ceremony at the end of the semester.

For more information about this program or to follow up on the graduates, contact Dr. Banes-Berceli at [email protected].