UVA Pre-Health Advising Blog
News and Opportunities for Students Preparing for Health Professional Programs
Save the date for the National Association of Medical Minority Educators Conference: "Championing Advocacy: Building Bridges Across the Great Divide"!
What activities did you participate in at UVA?
How did you prepare for the physical therapy school application process?
In what ways did UVA Pre-Health Advising support you in your journey? What was most helpful?
The PharmCAS (College Application Service) will transition to the 3.X application platform for the 2017-2018 admissions cycle that opens mid-July 2017. Below is information to help prepare for the changes ahead:
- First Designation Fee Change: The PharmCAS first designation fee is $175 for the 2017-2018 application cycle. Any additional designations will remain at $55.
- Re-Applicant Accounts: For the 2017-2018 application cycle, all applicants, including those who previously applied during the 2016-2017 application cycle will need to create a new application and send in all required documents. With the transition to the new technology platform, it was not possible to move data from the previous application.
- Welcome to PharmCAS 3.X Guide: The Welcome to PharmCAS 3.X Guide highlights only the most significant changes to the PharmCAS application in the 2017-2018 cycle. Review the PDF guide to learn how the application and related processes will evolve in the 3.X platform. Pharmacy programs may choose to collect additional data from applicants via school-specific (custom) questions, document uploads, or as supplemental materials outside of PharmCAS.
Save the date for upcoming Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Open House!
Date: Saturday, April 1, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM-4:00 PM
Location: Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Events, Demos, and Tours
For specific details and a full description of lectures and events go to: https://www2.vet.cornell.edu/education/doctor-veterinary-medicine/current-students/activities-and-events/open-house
The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences will host the “Steel City Health Careers Diversity Conference,” a day and a half exposure to the Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. The program features a screening of the film “Changing the Face of Medicine” with remarks by filmmaker Crystal Emery, admissions rep and student panels, an information fair with hands-on activities and informational workshops. The program is free of charge. Motor coach transportation will be provided from suburban Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Baltimore.
Schools featured include: School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, School of Dental Medicine, Graduate School of Public Health, and School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (which includes PT, OT and more!)
Date: April 14-15, 2017
Location: University of Pittsburgh
For any questions, contact Health Sciences Diversity at (412) 648-2066 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to register now!
The Summer Pharmacy Institute (SPI) allows students to explore different areas of the pharmacy profession, including a full day workshop devoted to current trends, research, and activities in each of the following focus areas: Hospital, Ambulatory Care, Industry/Research & Development, Community, and Professionalism in the Field. SPI attendees are typically on site from 9-4 PM each day. The last day of the institute is a half-day and will conclude by 1:00 PM.
Date: June 5th – June 9th
The Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine and Student National Medical Association cordially invite you to the annual Minority Association of Pre-medical Student Conference!
Pre-medical Students are invited to an informational session on what it takes to be accepted into medical school. These students will be given the opportunity to meet some of the faculty, staff, students, and physicians they could possibly working alongside in a few years. Speakers will be presenting invaluable information regarding admissions, diversity, and the current modern methods used in practicing medicine. There will be panels composed of current minority students and physicians to answer questions and discuss medical school experiences. Participants will also have the opportunity to participate in a suture workshop and tour MUSC's Simulation Center. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided to all who register.
Date: Saturday, April 8th, 2017
Time: 8:45 AM - 3:30 PM
Location: Medical University of South Carolina, Bioengineering Building, room 110, Charleston, SC
To register, go to: http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/com/SNMA/MAPSConference
Contact Meggan DeVeaux at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Calling all pre-dental students! Are you interested in a different type of international trip? Join a team of researchers, faculty, and students to Israel to be part of a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to better understand how knowledge in craniofacial development can inform us about archaeology and anthropology. The research team has published preliminary findings in Nature (28 January 2015) that has garnered interest around the world. Additional information can be gleaned from the project Facebook page
Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine is a partner in this dig and is organizing two volunteer student groups to assist in the research in the month of July.
Cost: $1,000 plus travel costs if the student wants to stay for 2 weeks or $1,500 plus travel for 3 weeks. Meals and lodging are included.
Deadline to Apply: April 1, 2017
For specific details and information, please contact Yvonne McDermott (firstname.lastname@example.org , subjection "Manot 2017"). Note that spaces filled up quickly last year for this opportunity.
Come out to Unmasqued, UVA's inaugural Global Health Gala this Thursday 3/16 from 8-11PM in Newcomb Ballroom!Join eleven global health CIOs on grounds for a night of unity to learn about ways to get involved with current projects, enjoy catered food, and dance lessons from UVA Ballroom and Salsa. Buy tickets here!
Saturday, March 25, 2017
- Meet faculty
- Tour the new facility
- Address questions about the admissions process
- Meet current students
- PhysicalTherapy (DPT)
- Occupational Therapy (OTD)
- Physician Assistant (PA)
- RN to BSN
- Master of Healthcare Administration
- Osteopathic Medicine
- Physical Therapy
- Physician Assistant
- Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Clinical Research
- Public Health
- Biomedical Sciences
The program exposes college students to a formative experience that combines academic instruction with leadership and professional development in an interdisciplinary environment. Over the course of this four-day program, students will:
- Participate in interactive and interdisciplinary labs, workshops, seminars, and case studies related to health professions and their individual program of interest
- Build relationshsips with leaders in the healthcare profession and be assigned an academic adviser
- Discover how to become more competitive applicants for health profession admissions
- Explore a variety of health profession career opportunities
- Learn how to improve of strengthen professional admission test taking skills through a PCAT, MCAT, and GRE review session
All applicants will be evaluated, but preference for admission to the program will be
underrepresented minorities, first-generation college students, and financially disadvantage.
Application deadline: Wednesday, March 15th
The ADEA AADSAS application opens on June 1 and complete instructions will be available on ADEA GoDental in late March.
Important Dates and Updates for the 2018 Application Cycle:
- June 1: 2018 ADEA AADSAS applicant opens for applicants, by noon
- June 15: ADEA GoDental Virtual Fair from 2:00 - 8:00 PM (dental school admissions officers available to speak with students). Registration is now open.
- Applicants can match their courses to fulfill prerequisite course requirements for a particular school before submitting their application to a dental school
- Applicants reapplying to 2018 AADSAS will not be able to carry over their information from the previous cycle. However, moving forward, re-applicants will have that capability for future application years.
- OptomCAS Application
- Optometry Admissions Test (OAT)
- Interview Skills
- Financing Your Education
- Shadowing an Optometrist
In addition, faculty and students will lead tours of clinical facilities and classrooms. Attendees will have an opportunity to speak directly with current students, faculty, administrators, and alumni throughout the day.
Reservations are requested. For more information and RSVP, click here.
During March 2017, Kaplan is offering three different types of free MCAT, DAT, GRE, PCAT, and OAT practice for UVA students.
- 5 minute pop quiz
- 20-minute workout
- full length practice test
In addition, every time someone practices at this link, Kaplan will donate to help the Boys and Girls Club earn scholarships.
Summer Innovation Associate Interns Needed!
The internship is a semester long program for up to 6 undergraduate/graduate students interested in joining a fast-paced, start-up styled team in higher education. Goals of the program include:
- Develop, support, advance community outreach and pipeline programs within the District of Columbia, middle schools, high schools to begin to scope out talent pipeline partnerships.
- Benchmark diversity strategies across the country and across different sectors (tech, education, business) and adapt them to the school of medicine
- Build a supportive community on campus that connects students, faculty and staff and feature our diverse populations
- Work with our renowned Georgetown Experimental Medical Studies (GEMS) Program.
- Launch an exciting social media campaign to build an incredible community on social media spotlighting students and diversity and inclusion work at the School of Medicine.
Program Dates & Benefits:
Summer Dates: June 12 - August 11, 2017
Compensation: $11.50 per hour
Mentorship: Direct mentorship with supervisor and 1-1 career coaching and development.
Prime Networking Opportunities
Apply online here!
If you have questions, please call 202-687-1406 or email Jasmin Lara at email@example.com.
Applications are due by April 28, 2017 at midnight, however early applications are encouraged as they will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
More details and RSVP
Want to enhance your candidacy for admission before applying?
Did you know 73% of 2015-16 UVA applicants accepted to allopathic medical schools
completed one or more bridge years?
Three new questions will be implemented for the upcoming 2017-18 veterinary school application:
- There are many career choices within the veterinary profession. What are your future career goals and why?
- In what ways do veterinarians contribute to society and what do you hope to contribute?
- Considering the breadth of society we serve as veterinarians today; what attributes do you believe are essential to be successful within the veterinary profession? Of these attributes, which do you possess and how have you demonstrated these in the past?
Saturday, April 8, 2017
- Monday, February 27th - Gibson 211
- Tuesday, February 28th - Gibson 211
- Wednesday, March 1st - Gibson 211
Applications accepted on a rolling basis.
Looking for funding to present your research at a conference? Look no further. The Undergraduate Research Network has funding for students to attend research conferences. This grant is designed to provide funding for travel, lodging, and meals related to a research conference or workshop. Students must be presenting at the conference or workshop to be eligible. This event may be at another institution, but the grant will only apply to domestic travel. Approximately two to three awards of up to $300 will be granted on a competitive basis. Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students at UVA. For more information, visit this website or email Sabrina Yen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb. 26 through March 4.
Join Peace Corps at UVA for Peace Corps week. Events include a potluck with returned Peace Corps volunteers, a cross-cultural connections and mindfulness workshop, and a screening of “Girl Rising,” a documentary about the transformative power of education in the lives of nine girls from around the world. Visit our Facebook page for more information about the events.
- Get insight from LMU's DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (DCOM)'s Admissions Office on what they look for in medical school applicants.
- Take part in simulated medical school lectures and labs on topics such as medical gross anatomy, molecular fundamentals of medicine and neuroanatomy.
- Learn about the best types of study skills for the MCAT
- Take part in a mock medical school interview
- Talk with current DCOM students to see what medical school is really like!
Offered at no cost to accepted applicants. Participants will be housed in LMU residence halls and all food will be provided. Space is limited.
- 3rd or 4th year student
- Minimum cumulative or science GPA of 3.3
Application deadline: May 15, 2017
In addition to the application, the following materials should be submitted:
- Official transcripts from all colleges attended
- Personal statement detailing why you feel compelled to study medicine and become a physician
- One letter of recommendation written by a science faculty member
Questions? Contact Holly Napier at holly.napier@LMUnet.edu or 423-869-6027
October 13-15, 2017.
Prospective CGI U applicants must develop a Commitment to Action: a new, specific, and measurable plan to address a challenge in one of CGI U's five focus areas:
Education, Environment & Climate Change, Peace & Human Rights,
Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.
Those interested in submitting an application can directly apply through the CGI U website
UVA's Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity is now accepting applications for potential new members. Applications being accepted until 2/28 at midnight. PhiDE fosters future physicians through philanthropy, fellowship, and education.
Top three reasons to join PhiDE:
- Extensive network of pre-medical students, medical students, and physicians (90 chapters in 7 countries)
- Fellowship with other UVA pre-medical students through social events
- Professional development in preparation for medical school
If you are passionate about becoming a future physician, please consider applying!
Contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
The Global Health & Innovation Conference is the world's leading and largest global health conference as well as the largest social entrepreneurship conference, with 2,200 professionals and students from all 50 states and more than 55 countries. This must-attend, thought-leading conference convenes leaders, changemakers, and participants from all sectors of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.
Date: April 22-23, 2017
Location: Yale University, New Haven, CT
Interested in presenting? Two types of presentations are currently being accepted.
- Social Impact Pitches and Innovation Prize applications are currently being accepted. February 20 is the final 250-word abstract submission deadline.
- "Innovative Initiatives" Information Session applications are accepted on a rolling application basis, and the presentation slots are nearly filled to capacity.
Learn about the GHIC experience: Watch a new short video about the conference here.
Click here to learn more about the conference and register now!
The Global Studies Program is hosting two events to help students who are interested in applying for the major (GDS, GPH, GSSJ, or GES).
Sunday, February 19, 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Center for Global Health (next to OpenGrounds)
For students seeking help with your personal statement or resume!
Tuesday, February 21, 6:30
For anyone considering the Global Studies major!
The Lincoln memorial university – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine cordially invites you to attend the Physician Assistant Program Information Session!
Date: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00pm
Location: Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee
Learn about physician assistants and speak with current Faculty and Students and see the state-of-the-art facilities!
LMU-DCOM PA was established on May 2009, on the campus of beautiful Cumberland Mountains serving as the backdrop, and LMU-DCOM is one of the newest and most prominent buildings on campus. Quality educational programs are delivered through experienced faculty utilizing innovative teaching methods and state-of-the-art technology. LMU-DCOM is fully committed to meeting the health care needs of the community and beyond with excellence in teaching, patient care, and services.
To register for the event, please click here for online registration form.
The Summer Diabetes Research Program at UVA is a 10-week summer internships for undergraduates with a focus on diabetes research. The program is sponsored by a NIH NIDDK R25 training grant, UVA Department of Surgery, Echols Scholars Program, and Department of Biomedical Engineering. Students will be compensated a $3,000 stipend over the course of the ten-week program.
Objectives and Goals
The objectives of the program are to train the next generation of scientists and engineers to build and sustain an interdisciplinary research pipeline in the field of diabetes research and treatment through participating in challenging diabetes-related projects supervised by research mentors from UVA. It includes seminar-based lectures, individual student-tailored research projects, and clinical immersion. Specific emphasis is given to students from traditionally underrepresented racial, gender, and ethnic groups in the STEM and biomedical research fields.
Types of Research Projects
The research projects that students can be involved in include:
- islet transplantation
- islet physiology
- tissue engineering
- beta-cell proliferation
- microfluidic and nanotechnology technology
- biological imaging
- and many other topics.
In addition, students can have opportunity to learn biosafety basics, common laboratory skills, animal modeling, biostatistics, career development, literature review, patient-based clinical observation, and others.
How to Apply
The application package includes:
- application form
- essay (<600 words)
- two letters of recommendation
Application deadline: March 15, 2017
Notification of application decision will be sent sometime in late March. The program will begin in late May and wrap up in early August.
Interested applicants can access the Internship application and essay prompt by logging into your Handshake account and searching job posting #635148 ("Diabetes Research Summer Internship Program, Dr. Yong Wang, UVA, Director of Translational Research at Dept. of Surgery and Transplant"). All application documents should be submitted to Dr. Yong Wang, MD at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or greencard holder due to NIH-sponsored funding.
The Kenneth L. and Lorraine M. Harkavy Scholarship will be awarded to a rising 4th-year majoring in a science, or a rising fourth-year nursing student. Recipients must demonstrate merit and achievement in the arts. Achievement in the arts can be supported by describing work in academics or community activities that involve general knowledge and intellectual skill which require the arts, music, linguistics, literature, or public speaking. The committee will award $5,000 for the 2017-18 academic year.
Application Deadline: March 30, 2017 by 5pm Eastern Time
international student advisors.
The Enrichment Summer Program (ESP), sponsored by the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, provides academic advancement and career knowledge for undergraduate students interested in veterinary medicine. There is no fee to participate in this program. ESP is open to undergraduate students who have selected veterinary medicine as a career choice and plan to apply to a professional program in summer of 2017 for entrance in fall of 2018. The program focuses on developing well- qualified prospective students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Benefits of the program include:
- Receive intensive preparation for professional school
- Obtain exposure to the diverse professional opportunities in veterinary medicine
- Develop more efficient study and test strategies
- Gain field and clinical experience with multiple species of animals
- Engage in specialized science disciplines
- Spend time with faculty mentors
- Attend seminars on communication, leadership, and preparing for the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS)
Program Dates: June 4- June 23rd
Location: Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine
The deadline to apply is March 15, 2017. Click here for more information and to apply now!
- Connect a LinkedIn profile to their fair profile
- Upload resumes/CVs
- Upload a profile photo
- Save resources and videos from booths to their own personal “briefcase”
- Link to each school’s MSAR profile from each school’s booth
- Use a promo code for a discount on MSAR subscription and the Official Guide to Medical School Admissions so they can prep before the fair (code available after completed registration).
- Chat live with medical schools to learn more about their programs and what makes them unique
- Watch presentations and informational videos and check out a ton of resources to help you on your journey to medical school
Date: February 16th
Click here to register now! Also, for more information to prepare for the fair see: The Dos and (Don’ts) of Attending a Virtual Medical School Fair.
This symposium reflects the commitment of the University of Virginia to host authentic and thoughtful dialogue on the impact of unconscious bias on the health and wellness of individuals, populations, and communities. The program brings together nationally-known experts with members of the University and larger community to share knowledge and experience and to take steps to develop problem-focused solutions. The multi-disciplinary approach will allow for a comprehensive understanding of where bias originates, why it exists, and how to mitigate its influence on our actions and interactions with others, as well as to minimize the impact on health and wellness overall.
Date: March 15-16th
Location: Newcomb Hall
The registration cost is $25 for students
Register here: https://cmetracker.net/UVACME/Catalog?sessiontype=C
**The UVA Vice President of Student Affairs, Pat Lampkin, has graciously offered to pay participation fees for up to 25 students. Indicate your interest using this form.
What is the Pre-Health Advising Credential?
Some medical schools require or highly value a holistic committee letter of evaluation from the undergraduate institution. The University of Virginia does not offer a committee letter. In early 2016, the Health Professions Advising Task Force at UVA proposed the creation of a document which would help contextualize UVA applications from the pre-health advisors' point of view. The Pre-Health Advising Credential came out of this recommendation as a pilot project for 2017. It will be sent alongside regular letters of recommendation and serve as a lens by which to view UVA applications to medical school.
How will it help UVA applicants?
While there are minimal requirements to participate in the Pre-Health Advising Credential pilot, participants and non-participants will be encouraged to engage with pre-health advising prior to their application. We hope the Advising Credential will provide additional incentive for students to engage with advisors and attend events/workshops. The more students are engage with Pre-Health Advising, the more likely they are to have gained the right tools and information for a successful medical school application.
What are the requirements for participation?
- Participants must be UVA students or alumni applying to medical school in the 2017-'18 application cycle.
- Students who are interested in participating in the Pre-Health Advising Credential pilot must indicate their interest at Advising Credential Interest by midnight on Wednesday, February 8, 2017.
- A random number generator will be used to select thirty (30) participants from those who've expressed interest. Participants and non-participants will be notified of their status on Friday, February 10, 2017.
- Those selected to participate must complete an online Advising Credential Self-Reflection requires applicants to rate and reflect on seven Leadership Competencies identified by the UVA Division of Student Affairs.
What is the timeline for the Pre-Health Advising Credential?
Events in blue are required for participation. All other events are optional and highly encouraged for all 2017/2018 applicants. Workshops and events are open to all students, all years.
February 8: Deadline for applicants to indicate interest at Advising Credential Interest
February 10: Participants and non-participants will be informed of their status
February 14: Application Series: Letters of Recommendation Workshop
February 21: Application Series: Personal Statement Workshop
March 14: Bridge Year and Your Career Event
March 22: Deadline to complete Advising Credential Self-Reflection
April 11: Application Series: School Selection Workshop
April 18: Application Series: Interviewing Workshop
May 15: Deadline to open Interfolio account
June 15: Pre-Health Advising Credential upload to Interfolio
Why are only 30 applicants able to participate?
The proposed Pre-Health Advising Credential requires significant resources to support applicants to medical school. Our three advisors currently allocate their time to other applicant needs. If this pilot project is beneficial to students, we will advocate for more resources to expand this option to more applicants.
For more information, visit Pre-Health Advising Office Hours in Monroe 261, Monday - Thursday,
1:30 - 4:30pm or make a half hour appointment to speak with a pre-health advisor at www.virginia.joinhandhshake.com.
The American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine invites you to the 2017 Discover Podiatric Medicine: Take the Next Step interactive workshop. Take the Next Step is an exciting day inside the world of podiatric medicine. The free, day-long seminar will feature:
- Lectures on practice and surgical techniques
- Interactive activities led by current podiatric medical residents and physicians
- Opportunity to meet with podiatric medical college admissions professionals, current residents and local podiatric physicians
- A free Sample Lesson and Study Approaches for the New MCAT, hosted by ExamKrackers
Those who register by March 1st will receive a special gift upon arrival to the workshop.
- Tour the campus
- Observe a demonstration of Osteopathic Principles & Practices
- Network with current students a faculty
- Learn an overview of the curriculum and admission requirements
Lunch provided for all guests.
Deadline to register: Monday, April 3rd
What led to your initial interest in the physician assistant career? What motivated you to pursue it?
My first exposure to the PA profession came when I saw a dermatology PA for a routine check up as a teenager. At the time, I was considering medical school but I became intrigued by the PA profession as my PA explained her role in the healthcare team and educational background. I shadowed multiple PAs and this reinforced my interest in the field. I ultimately chose the PA profession because I liked the high levels of face-to-face time with patients, the accelerated education/training, the flexibility to change specialties, and the opportunity to be a unique, yet important, part of the healthcare team.
What did you major in and why did you choose this area of study?
I majored in Kinesiology and minored in Spanish! I would highly recommend Kinesiology to anyone interested in the healthcare field. I knew I was going to take many Biology courses as pre-requisites for PA school so I chose Kinesiology because it was a good complement to the nitty-gritty, rigorous, biology/chemistry classes I took. With Kinesiology I took classes that were multifaceted and oftentimes more clinically applicable than my basic science courses. I loved my Kinesiology classes like Nutrition and Contemporary Health Issues - classes that were both extremely interesting and relevant to me. The Kinesiology program is also smaller and all the professors are wonderful and approachable!
I minored in Spanish because I fell in love with the language in high school and didn't want to lose my proficiency in college. I would recommend minoring in a subject that you are truly passionate about, regardless of its connection to medicine. In my interviews, I spoke more about my Spanish classes than my pre-requisite courses and I definitely believe this skillset/passion helped me stand out.
What activities were you involved in at UVA?
I was involved with Future Physician Assistant Society, Madison House Medical Services, Greek life, Seeds of Hope, and Relay for Life. I also volunteered as an EMT with the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad.
Did you take a bridge year before starting PA school? If so, what did you do during that time and how did it help you prepare for your next step?
Yes, and I highly recommend a bridge year to pre-PA students. Although there are certain pre-requisites that all PA schools require (such as 2 semesters A&P), most programs vary in terms of math, psychology, english, and biology electives (cell bio vs. genetics, etc.). Because of this variation its very difficult to take all the pre-reqs in 3 years in time to apply by the start of 4th year to avoid a gap year. Taking a bridge year not only gives you more time to complete all the programs' pre-requisites, but it also allows for more time to accrue clinical hours, which is arguably the most important part of PA school preparation. You are allowed to apply to some programs with unfinished pre-reqs and/or patient-contact hours, but its such a competitive application process that finishing up everything you need and taking a gap year is worth it in my opinion.
I used my gap year to gain more clinical hours, complete my PA school application, and interview at programs. I continued to volunteer with the rescue squad and got a job as a medical scribe working in a doctor's office. I accrued 1,600 total patient-care hours by the time I submitted my application in June. I interviewed at PA programs from August to December. Taking a gap year was very helpful because it allowed me more time to focus on preparing for and traveling to my interviews. It's also refreshing to have a break between UVA and PA school, which will be very rigorous and time-intensive.
What distinguished your bridge year experience from other options you might have pursued?
I got most of my direct patient contact hours as an EMT so I chose to scribe because it was a change of pace from what I was used to. I really liked scribing for a family practice because it allowed me to work regular hours and get paid (unlike EMT) and the company gave me days off to attend my interviews without question. I also learned so much working in a family practice office because they see such diverse cases and patients. Since I accompany the physician to see every patient, I also began to truly understand the physician's thought processes and clinical decision making, which is invaluable experience.
How did you prepare for the PA application process?
- Pre-requisites: I started taking pre-requisites my first year so early preparation is key! I had an excel document that had listed each PA program and their pre-requisite courses (you can find this on the program's website). I mapped out which semesters I would take all my pre-requisite courses then updated it as needed.
- Direct patient contact hours: I volunteered as a physical therapy technician during my second year because I wanted to start getting experience but couldn't get into an EMT class at the time. I took an EMT class my third year and accumulated the majority of my hours with the rescue squad as a third and fourth year.
- Professional networking: Another part of PA preparation is professional networking for shadowing opportunities and letters of recommendation. I reached out to PAs that I had personally seen or that my family knew. I shadowed 5 PAs in different specialties. Not only did this reinforce that PA is the path for me, but it gave me something to discuss in my application essays/interviews. One of the PAs I shadowed wrote me letter of recommendation for my application.
- Interviews:I complied a list of common interview questions (from google searches) on a word document and typed out my response to each question as well as a bullet point list of specific things about myself/experiences that I wanted to communicate to my interviewer if applicable. You definitely don't want to sound too rehearsed, but its easier to prepare thoughtful, coherent answers ahead of time and have those in mind. I interviewed at 10+ schools and skimming over my notes before each interview allowed me to feel calmer and more confident.
Have you been accepted to a PA program thus far? If so, do you know where you plan to attend?
I've been accepted to multiple programs. I will be attending Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. I begin in May 2017!
What advice do you have for others considering a career as a PA?
- Organization and planning is key! I made an excel document that listed my top 10 programs and their pre-requisite courses, clinical hour requirements, whether or not they require the GRE, their CASPA application deadlines, and whether or not they require a supplmental application.
- Get good letters of recommendation. I highly recommend getting at least 3 LORs - 1 from a professor, 1 from a supervisor who oversees your clinical hours, and 1 from a PA. These cover all your bases. It may seem obvious, but having a PA write the LOR is much preferable to a physician.
- Apply early in the application cycle. I can't stress this enough! The earlier you submit your application - especially if all your pre-reqs, hours, and GRE are completed - the better your chances of being invited for interviews. CASPA opens in late April each year. I finished all my applications, including supplementals, by mid-June.
- Shadow! Even though not all schools require it, I had over 80 shadowing hours in 5 different specialties. Shadowing is an easy thing to do over summer and winter breaks and shows schools you are committed to and knowledgeable about the PA profession.
- Make your application essay unique. Its hard to stand out but try your best! For example, I opened my essay talking about my freckles. It was unexpected but I connected it to my exposure to the PA field and subsequent healthcare experience. A couple schools mentioned my essay which shows they actually do read them!
- Get involved with the Future Physician Assistant Society. Not only are they a great resource but it looks good on your application.
In what ways did UVA Pre-Health Advising support you in your journey? What was most helpful?
- I met with an advisor to go over my resume and application essay, which was definitely one of the most helpful things in preparing my application materials.
- I also signed up for the "Pre-Health Pulse," which is a newsletter than contains many helpful blog posts, links, and upcoming workshops.
Lauren is happy to speak with UVA students considering a PA career. If you'd like to get in touch with Lauren, please contact a UVA Pre-Health Advisor.
Thursday, March 23rd
2:00 - 4:00 PM
Friday, April 21st
11:00 - 5:00 PM
This day will include lunch, a presentation from the Dean of Admission on "The Ideal Candidate" and you will get to participate in hands-on activities such as carving wax teeth or a chance to drill on a plastic tooth in the DentSim Lab.
VCU ASDA Predental Membership - 2017
- Discount on VCU Pre-Dental Day
- VCU Dental Student Mentor
- Discounts on DAT Preparation Programs
UVA Scribe applications for the Spring 2017 hiring round are now open. Search keyword "scribe" on Handshake to access the application. Email email@example.com for more information. Applications are due Sunday, February 5th at 11:59 PM..
The theme of this year's conference is "Aqui Estamos: Our Journey and the Climb to Greater Heights." We aim to highlight our commitment to the discussion of the state of health care for all people in our community and to proudly proclaim that we are here to shape the future of health care for the betterment of all. We invite pre-medical students to join us in being part of another amazing conference where young healthcare professionals can focus on their professional development and learn to engage in meaningful dialogue with our healthcare leaders. With that in mind, we announce our keynote speakers: Dr. Darrell G. Krich, MD and Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD.
Conference Highlights For Undergraduate Students
- Pre-Medical Workshop
- Exhibitor Fair
- Research Forum
Date: April 7th-9th, 2017
Location: Hempstead, NY
Click here for more information and to register now!
Do you know the difference between allopathic and osteopathic practices?
Visit LUCOM for the annual spring Open House this March:
9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Center for Medical and Health Sciences
Hear from the Office of Admissions about:
- Admissions requirements
- Class demographics
Meet the faculty and learn about:
- Our curriculum
- Medical outreach opportunities
- Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)
Meet current student doctors and learn about:
- Lecture and lab formats
- Forming study habits and support groups
- The importance of taking time to de-stress
Seeking summer opportunities? Consider volunteering with Hands on Peru, a 5-10 week program that provides housing, meals, and shadowing opportunities. No background knowledge in Spanish necessary to participate. Spring break sessions available as well.
If you have questions and would like to hear from a UVA student who previously participated, contact Hannah Chung at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other questions? Contact Katie Baric, Hands On Peru coordinator, email@example.com.
More information: handsonperu.org
The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, was one of President Obama’s major achievements as president and continues to be an incredibly controversial and partisan issue. Now, with President Trump and a republican-controlled congress promising a repeal-and-replacement of the law, what is next for the Future of Healthcare in the United States? In this flash seminar, three experts in the healthcare industry try to break down what the Affordable Care Act is, and what a possible replacement may end up looking like. The seminar will be led by Dr. Rajesh Balkrishnan, Professor Carolyn Engelhard, and Professor Tanya Wanchek.
Date: Thursday, February 2nd
Sign Up For the Flash Seminar Here. Space is limited. Location will be emailed out to registered participants if selected.