Health Professions Advising at Franklin & Marshall, a division of the Office of Student & Post-Graduate Development, serves F&M students and alumni who are considering careers as healthcare providers. “Pre-health” students are headed toward medical, dental, and veterinary school, as well as programs qualifying them to become physician assistants, physical therapists, pharmacists, optometrists, leaders in public health, and a variety of other healthcare professionals. There are many decisions to be made along the pre-health path—choosing courses and timing the courses wisely, securing clinical and research opportunities, and navigating the application process. The first decision, of course, is whether or not to pursue a health profession at all, based on your interests and personal strengths. As your home base for the pre-health experience at F&M, Health Professions Advising is here to help you with all of these choices, both big and small.
Winter break is coming . . . a chance to catch up on sleep, beat siblings at games of Wii and grandparents at gin rummy (or vice versa!), reconnect with friends from high school, and hopefully enjoy some home-cooked meals. At my house, I’ll be getting frustrated over tangled strings of holiday lights, getting the inexplicable need to watch football out of my system, and getting excited for Santa’s arrival with my seven-year-old son. My pre-health advisor hat will be hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that I’ll be suitably refreshed by the time I put it back on in 2014. It did occur to me this morning, however, that the break might also be a good time to do some things you haven’t had time to do during the semester. Pre-health things . . .
AAMC = Association of American Medical Colleges. For anyone aspiring to allopathic medicine (becoming an MD some day), the AAMC is the governing body of the U.S. medical schools you’ll apply to for that important next step in your education. There are many reasons to spend some time on the AAMC website. Here are just a few. . .
If you’re a sophomore who attended the recent pre-health meeting then you heard a version of this little speech of mine before. Still, it bears repeating. As a pre-health student, you are no different than anyone else in that you think long and hard (most of you, at any rate) about your choice of a major and the possible consequences of that decision. The most commonly heard questions among pre-health students are “should I major in a science?” and “can I major in something other than science?” You also grapple with what criteria to use when choosing between two or three of your favorite subjects . . .
“It’s never too late” . . . “Think when, not if” . . . and “Hey, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over” . . . These are things I hear myself saying on a fairly regular basis. To be candid, I sometimes wonder if I’m building up false hope. Is the end goal of admission to health professional school really possible for all F&M graduates as long as they’re fully committed? Is “it’s never too late” a helpful reminder or a mere platitude? It could only be a meaningless cliché if everyone already knew it, I suppose, and given the number of pre-health students I see who are ready to throw in the towel, “it’s never too late” is far from a universal belief. So is there a way of getting from college to health professional school for nearly everyone, really? Yes. How do I know? Because post-bac programs make it so.
This week has been rough. Last week, too . . . This whole time around the middle of the semester is always this way. Pre-health students become frequent, harried visitors at my drop-in hours, each with a unique situation, each with a cause for frustration, anxiety, and disappointment, sometimes to the point of tears. . . Today I think it’s important to remember a few basic tenets of pre-health existence. Hopefully these will cheer up those of you who are stressing out. They may be helpful points to return to in the coming months and years as the pre-health workload piles high. They’re especially crucial to recall during rough patches.