Future Doctors of America

<p>Hi guys! I'm a new member of this site so I'm still learning my way around, but I figured that this would be a good place to mention what I had in mind. </p>

<pre><code>I am a Junior attending Concord University. My field of study is Pre-Professional Biology, also known as Pre-Med.

I'm wanting to start an organization at my college called Future Doctors of America. I know the name isn't totally original, but it's probably the closest description of my idea. This club would include all students looking to pursue a career in the medical field directly, or one of the many branching fields, so primarily pre-vet and pre-med students; there would be room for other groups that weren't necessarily looking to become a "doctor" per se.

I think that including a variety of scholarships, internships, study sessions, seminars and "field trips" would all be a vital part of the club and would also allow it to receive widespread attention and get this thing a little more common within the college community. I think that it would also be awesome if it would inspire some high schools to start similar programs so that there would be a "'bridge" for involved high school students that would allow them to continue the same, but more advanced program, in college.

I think that this would be a pretty good way to begin a career in the medical field and would have the potential to offer some great opportunities to prospective students. My only issues is, I have no idea how to get the thing going. I know that I would first need to speak with some of my professors and perhaps the Dean of Students, but I wanted to present the idea to everyone here first to see if what I'm envisioning has the chance of becoming a reality.
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<p>Any comments, criticisms, or advice is greatly appreciated :)</p>

<p>you'd probably be better off trying to bring a pre-med chapter of AMSA or some other organization than starting one from scratch. You could get the ball rolling, but I don't think you could have something as fleshed out as your describing before you graduate if you're already a second semester junior.</p>

<p>Concord doesn't have a pre-med club?</p>

<p>Concord University does offer pre-med, but unfortunately there isn't a "club" in which one could join. That's where I hope FDA would come into play.</p>

<p>I agree that the entire program wouldn't be complete and running by the time I graduate, but I'm hoping that I could get it started and somehow remain a member while in med school. If not, I'm sure there would be a student that is driven enough and willing to continue the work when I'm gone.</p>

<p>regardless, still much easier to bring a chapter of a national organization to your campus than to completely build one from scratch.</p>

<p>I'll def look into it! Thanks! :)</p>

<p>At my undergrad a pre-med friend and I re-founded a pre-professional club. I went to a small, rural college so we lumped all of the professions together (med, pharm, vet, PT, dental, etc.). The club existed before, but the students running it my freshman-junior year were all pre-med, only did events about twice a year and only sought out pre-med activities. My senior we (friends that were pre-med, pre-vet and me as pre-pharm co-presidents) overhauled the club and made it friendly to all pre-professionals and actually DID stuff... which sounds like something you are interested in doing. The upside of having it as a pre-professional and not exclusively pre-med is that you have opportunities to learn about and get involved in other health professions on top of your own.</p>

<p>To get started, see your office of student activities. They will direct you to someone that is in charge of overseeing student activities and they can get you started. You may need a faculty adviser, so start scoping one out early. We also had to write a constitution, but the office gave us a template for that.</p>

<p>Here's a quick and unorganized overview of what our pre-professional club did:</p>

<ul>
<li><p>Brought in speakers. Tons of them. Just talk to local vets, physicians, PTs, pharmacists, vets, etc. Let them know what your club is about and chances are they will be more than happy to come in and either present or answer questions to interested students.</p></li>
<li><p>Our best speaker was a local PA who came once every six weeks or so to walk us through a surgery. He brought videos and instruments and walked us through all of the steps. I am not a med student, but I went to every one of those and so did many non pre-med students. They were a lot of fun and just interesting in general. We also brought pizza and pop for students. The bottom line is that you should encourage people to attend events that are not related just to their potential profession.</p></li>
<li><p>... speaking of food. Your meeting/event attendance will increase exponentially if you advertise FREE FOOD. See if you can get funding for your organization through the school. You may have to apply for that funding or some grants to get the money, but it's worth it. Get people to come to events by bribing them with food and then those that are interested will continue with the club.</p></li>
<li><p>We also made a compendium of local health-related volunteer, work, intern and shadowing opportunities for students and faculty advisers to use. This helped a TON since many students don't know where to start when it comes to finding these opportunities.</p></li>
<li><p>We would work with other organizations like Peer Health Educators and the student coordinators for the American Red Cross blood drive to volunteer and get events going.</p></li>
<li><p>If your school is close to med/pharm/vet/PT schools, try setting up a mentoring program. My pharm school had a "Pre-to-D" program that pairs first year pharmacy students with pre-pharmacy student in the pre-pharmacy club on campus, and I'm sure there are other similar programs in other professional schools.</p></li>
<li><p>If you're worried about recruiting members, go to intro level biology and chemistry classes in the fall. Ask the professor if you can make a quick announcement before class starts advertising the club and have some contact information available (flyer, sign-up sheet, etc.) for students that are interested. This may not work for larger schools, but at our smaller school we already knew all of the bio and chem profs so they had no problem letting us recruit.</p></li>
<li><p>We had an officer/representative for each profession. That person was responsible for finding and advertising club events/activities/opportunities related to that profession. It worked out really well for us. You may want to have one actual president or two co-presidents though. If you have too many officers it can get confusing and hectic. People will generally either all try to take charge or will all try to skip out of responsibilities, so having a designated (elected) leader really helps.</p></li>
<li><p>^^^ All of this looks great on applications as well.</p></li>
</ul>

<p>Good luck. I hope this info helps. Feel free to post here or PM me if you have any more questions.</p>

<p>^^ Holy cow, I didn't realize how long that post was going to be. Tl;dr!</p>

<p>Haha it is a super long post but it's very informative and inspiring. I'm very glad to see that someone else has attempted and established something like this.
I got to a fairly small school as well so I'm pretty confident that it would take no time for it to develop into the thing I want it to.
I actually do intend on including all pre-professional students and not limiting it to just the pre-med/pre-vet students because I want it to be an opportunity everyone can take advantage of.
I have talked to a representative of our local SGA and I'm convinced that I could get funding from the school and use the money to start something with some grad schools (vet, med, dental, etc). I could also do fund raisers and perhaps even get some donations of alumni and such. I really don't think getting the money would be an issue, however where to use the money is what is in question. I'm going to some professors tomorrow to talk with them about it so I'm sure they could help point me in the right direction as to where to apply the funds.
Guest speakers, trips to grad schools and hospitals, and perhaps even giving an allotted amount of money to qualifying students as a grant are all things that I want to include. My main purpose is consolidating the vast amount of opportunities into one place and help students make a decision in what they want to do..hopefully even inspire some students to take up the career.
I think that somewhere down the line I would like to talk to guidance councilors of nearby high schools to begin a similar program so that, as someone mentioned in a previous post, hs students will have a place to go and review readily available information if in case they took interest in the medical field.</p>

<p>Haha mine turned out to be pretty winded too :P</p>

<p>I think most schools that "pre-pharm", "pre-med" etc. days. Students can visit, get a tour, find out what it takes to get into that program, and a get lot more info. Go to schools' webpages and "like" their admissions pages on Facebook to check out upcoming events. To my knowledge most schools also have email lists that you can sign up for that will email you events as well (interview workshops, preview days, deadlines, etc). These email lists really helped our club stay on top of things. Each officer signed up to get emails from local professional programs and then relayed upcoming events to the club. It's a really easy and quick way to stay on top of things/</p>