PBPH, University News

2023 PBPH Success Stories

The Post Baccalaureate Premedical (PBPH) Program at Northwestern Health Sciences University helps students prepare for their next step in healthcare: medical school, dental school, PA school, and more.  It’s our favorite time of year, when we share the PBPH success stories of students starting their new professional programs! 

This fall, 34 PBPH alums are starting their next chapters. They came to NWHSU for different reasons. Some needed to complete pre-requisites and hadn’t ever taken college-level science. For others, their GPA from undergrad wasn’t competitive. Maybe they weren’t even quite sure which health career was right for them.  

Each of these students worked hard and put in the time, and this fall it’s all paying off. Congratulations to the medical school class of 2027, and to all our successful students this fall—we’re excited to see what you accomplish!

(Want more inspiration? See our class of 2026 PBPH success stories.)

Medical School (MD and DO)

  • Natalie Bous, Ross School of Medicine
  • McKenna Dallmann, Des Moines University
  • Madeleine Dumke, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
  • Alexis Hernandez, Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Alexander Higgins, University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth

Future Dr. Higgins has had a passion for taking care of others for as long as he can remember. “Maybe that comes from being the oldest of four siblings or having a brother with disabilities, but I have just always felt so fulfilled by being able to care for others.”

His biggest challenge getting into medical school was his undergraduate GPA. “I graduated with a 3.0 Science GPA and a 3.3 overall GPA. NWHSU helped me boost those numbers, and show that my undergraduate GPA was not representative of my ability to do well in classes,” he explained.

The courses in NWHSU’s PBPH program helped prepare Alexander for medical school and boost his GPA, but for him, the connections with professors were the most important part of his experience. “The professors at NWHSU have so much experience and knowledge on what makes a competitive application for graduate programs and the interview process. Also, I think being able to get a committee letter from the professors I had at NWHSU played a huge part in my getting into school,” he shared. “The professors at NWHSU are invaluable and I don’t know that I would have been able to get into medical school without them!”

  • Raghuram Inturi, Carver College of Medicine University of Iowa
  • Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University
  • Hamza Jamal, Louisville University School of Medicine
  • Arash Kardoust, University of Minnesota Medical School, Twin Cities

Future Dr. Kardoust studied American literature and culture at UCLA, which helped him understand his identity as an immigrant in the U.S. and build his language skills. He was also pre-med, and always intended to apply for medical school, but his GPA in science classes wasn’t what he wanted.

After undergrad, Arash worked in security, taking on multiple leadership roles. “I became deeply invested in leadership philosophy and practical skills,” he explained. “I realized I enjoyed working with the public and leading a team. Supporting others in becoming the best versions of themselves brings me a deep sense of joy and accomplishment. Through these experiences I have learned a lot about myself and am forever indebted to those who allowed me to lead and support them.”

Arash came to NWHSU’s PBPH program to enhance his GPA and rebuild his study skills and confidence before applying to medical school. “The PBPH environment is priceless and is a product of the caring, supportive, and extremely knowledgeable professors that make up the faculty,” he shared. “I am still in awe at how amazing the faculty is at teaching, coaching, and supporting each and every student. I owe my success to the students I grew beside and the professors that continually invested in my growth!”

Now, Arash is ready to be the doctor he always wanted to be. “I intend to become the compassionate and competent physician who can bring calm to a patient and his/her/their family amidst the chaos that life can bring,” he said. “What excites me most about my future career is having the privilege to be a part of people’s lives in such a meaningful way. I hope to also spend time helping with medical humanitarian efforts. As a refugee, I have seen what lack of care can mean. I want to help provide care to all, especially those in underprivileged communities or those in crisis beyond the United States’ borders. I am confident that the skills I will build will help me have a positive impact on those I serve.”

  • Grant Kim, University of Minnesota Medical School, Twin Cities
  • Halie Langanki, University of Minnesota, Medical School Twin Cities
  • Syriah Leftwich, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • JoAnna Lund, Xavier University School of Medicine
  • Isa Miyamoto, A.T. Still University – School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
  • Jenna Schaefer, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
  • Madison Schumacher, University of North Dakota School of Medicine
  • Stephanie Smith, University of Minnesota Medical School, Twin Cities
  • Ronald Thao, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
  • Emma Young, A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dental School (DDS/DMD)

  • Salma Hassam, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry

Future Dr. Hassam studied psychology in undergrad and came to the PBPH program six months later. “The most important way the program helped me was in changing my understanding of what graduate school truly was. I came in thinking that the classes would be like my undergraduate classes, however it allowed me to change up a lot of the strategies I used and my study style,” she explained.

Salma has dreamed of being a dentist for a long time, and is excited to work in the community after graduating.

  • Marion Mines, Kansas City University College of Dental Medicine

Future Dr. Mines studied biology and chemistry in undergrad, and came to NWHSU to improve her GPA and prepare for the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). The PBPH program helped refresh her knowledge, while supporting her in raising her GPA and scoring higher on the DAT. The accelerated courses also helped her prepare for the rigors of dental school classes.

Marion has been interested in dentistry since childhood. She worked as a licensed orthodontic assistant for four years, which confirmed for her that dental was the right career. “I am most excited to be a face of relatability in those communities who may have never experienced a dentist who looks like them,” she shared. “I am also really excited to close the gap when it comes to access to care (as I plan to work in an area that is considered a ‘healthcare desert’).”

  • Patricia O’Shaughnessy, A.T. Still University Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health
  • Elijah Suh, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry

Physician Assistant School (PA)

  • Leila Berg, Rocky Mountain College
  • Mark Byaliy, Augsburg University
  • Michelle Garber, Yale University
  • Ella Motzko, Augsburg University
  • Sabrina Ratsamy, College of St. Scholastica
  • Liz Sager, St. Catherine University
  • Andrea Sebion, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine
  • Libby Segar, College of St. Scholastica
  • Kira Smiley, Bryant University
  • Payden Ware, Carroll University
  • Adam Weber, College of St. Scholastica

Veterinary School (DVM)

  • Brel Bemis, University of Arizona Veterinary School

Are you ready to join these amazing students as a PBPH success story? Learn more about our program and visit us to learn how NWHSU can prepare you for your next step.