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Questions to ask a college pre-health advisor to assess a college for pre-med?

blue1516blue1516 35 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
What questions would be useful to ask the pre-health advisor to find out if a college is well organized in its advising, planning and opportunities for pre-meds? D is going to a meeting with the pre-health advisor at a college she is accepted to. How best to make use of her time?
Any other tips on how to evaluate colleges for pre-med? D already accepted to a few LACs with aid that make them affordable to us but there is no clear favorite for her yet.
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Replies to: Questions to ask a college pre-health advisor to assess a college for pre-med?

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 1833 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,856 Senior Member
    edited March 12
    Here are a few to start with:

    -Timeline of advising activities? (starting with frosh year course planning?)
    -How closely does pre-health advisor stay involved/work with academic (major) advisor?
    -Does advising office help with gaining EC experience? (shadowing, volunteer, research, summer programs/jobs) If so, how?
    -What type of MCAT prep assistance/course is offered?
    -Is study abroad possible? (courses satisfy med school requirements?)
    -What has been med school acceptance rate over last X years (by GPA/MCAT)? For students who aren't accepted what are the typical reasons?
    -Any special relationships with specific med schools? (early assurance programs, higher than avg placement)
    -Does pre-health advising office help find post-bacc programs and complete applications?
    -Does pre-health advising office help grads wanting to go to med school years after graduation?
    -What is process for getting committee letter (required med school recommendation)--do all students qualify? Is there a GPA and/or MCAT min?

    Make sure your D has reviewed the health advising website so that she doesn't have to ask questions that may be on there, aside from questions of clarification. They may have sample curriculums by major, past acceptance rates, study abroad info, already out there. Good luck!
    edited March 12
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  • blue1516blue1516 35 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    @Mwfan1921 Thanks! That is very helpful.
    Any different questions that she could ask a current student?
    Is it worth asking to contact an alumnus that is in med school?
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 1833 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,856 Senior Member
    I'd start by asking current ug students the following:

    -What have been your favorite pre-med required courses? Favorite other courses?
    -What resources does the school provide for academic assistance?
    -Where does the student body fall on the collaborative to cutthroat continuum?
    -Best professors?
    -Their experience with academic and/or major advisors, and pre-health advisors
    -What ECs have been most helpful, how did they get them?
    -Does pre-health advising office provide any special programming? Is it helpful?
    -What are you majoring in? Why did you choose it?
    -What is your plan B (C, D, etc.) if you don't get into med school?
    -Would you make the choice to go to this school again?

    Would definitely be helpful to speak with a former student who is now in med school too.
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  • happy1happy1 22407 replies2183 discussionsForum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 24,590 Forum Champion
    Just want to make a general comment that people be careful with medical school acceptance rates quoted by admissions. It may sound obvious, but it is very important to understand exactly what goes into the numerator and denominator of the ratio as not all schools calculate med school acceptance rate in the same manner. For example:

    --Some schools have more "weed out" classes than others reducing the number of students who continue on the pre-med path for four years (lowering the denominator).

    --Certain colleges have committees which pre-screen and recommend med school applicants. These committees generally only recommend students who have the stats, experiences etc. to make them very strong candidates for med schools. Students who are not recommended are left out of the equation. In contrast, other colleges support all of the students who want to apply to med school. So while the schools with the pre-screening will have a higher acceptance rate (because of the lower denominator), a schools that support all students may be preferable.

    --It is important to know what constitutes a med school acceptance for the med school acceptance rate. Some colleges just count US allopathic med school acceptances and other schools also include acceptances to DO, overseas med schools, podiatry etc. programs in the numerator leading to a higher med school acceptance rate.
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  • blue1516blue1516 35 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    @Mwfan1921 Thanks again for the great ideas!
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  • bopperbopper 13872 replies98 discussionsForum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,970 Forum Champion
    What type of volunteering opportunities are near campus?
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