1 Drexel Drive
New Orleans, LA 70125
- Full-Time Staff
- Ms. Quo Vadis M. Webster, MA, LPC
- Director of Premedical Program
(504) - 520-7437
What Xavier students interested in medicine, dentistry, etc.* should do
SUMMER BETWEEN FRESHMAN & SOPHOMORE YEAR
Things you should already have done during your Freshman Year:
- Completed all of the Freshman Premed Workshops offered in the Fall and Spring.
- Completed the One-on-One Freshman Premed Assessment Meeting offered in the Spring.
- Downloaded the "High School Information Form" from the Premed website, completed the form, submitted it to the Premed Office. Keep a copy for your files so you can use it later if necessary.
- Downloaded a copy of XU's "Post-Secondary Experiences Form" form, completed it, had it critiqued by personnel in the Premedical Office, and kept a copy on our computer so you can update it as you participate in more activities while enrolled at XU. You may download the Sample Post-Secondary Experiences Form to use as a guide (do NOT copy the entries from the sample).
- Prepared a copy of your "Career Essay" (aka "Personal Statement"), had it critiqued by personnel in the Premed Office, and kept a copy on your computer so you can update it as you progress through the University. NOTE: Complete Questions to Answer Before You Write Your Personal Statement/Career Essay to help generate ideas and foster reflective thinking as you prepare to write your Personal Statement/Career Essay (no need to submit your responses to the PM Office for review).
- OPTIONAL, BUT BEST TO DO AT LEAST ONE SUMMER YOU ARE AT XAVIER BEFORE SUBMITTING APPLICATION TO MEDICAL, DENTAL, etc. SCHOOL: Apply to summer programs which provide exposure to medical fields, academic enrichment, or research.
What to do during the summer:
- Subscribe to Newsweek, Time,or a similar WEEKLY publication and start reading FROM COVER TO COVER EVERY WEEK to cultivate your critical analysis and reasoning skills for entrance exams such as the MCAT, DAT, etc. and to prepare you for professional school interviews.
- Put your critical thinking skills to the test by doing practice problems for the non-science sections of the MCAT, DAT, etc. If you plan on taking the MCAT, you can start developing your skills for the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section of the test (go to https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/prepare/ for MCAT info; also search the internet for section-specific practice materials). If you plan on taking the DAT, you can start developing your skills for the Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Reasoning, and Perceptual Ability sections (go to http://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/dental-admission-test/ for DAT info; also search the internet for section- specific practice materials). If you plan on taking the OAT, you can start developing your skills for the Reading Comprehension and Quantitative Reasoning sections (go to http://www.ada.org/en/OAT for OAT info; also search the internet for section-specific practice materials).
- Revise and submit your Personal Statement and Post-Secondary Experiences Form to the Premedical Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for review.
- Check your e-mail frequently.
Things which you are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to do during the Summer:
- Attend a summer program which provides either exposure to the health professions or research experience.
- If NOT attending a summer enrichment or research program that includes a clinical component (i.e. patient contact), participate in patient care opportunities (e.g. hospital volunteering, nursing home volunteering, health professional shadowing, etc.) that demonstrate your sincere interest in the field which you are pursuing.
- If you decide to enroll in summer school, please continue to make your academic performance a PRIORITY! Be reminded that if you do not attend a formal summer program, you should STILL participate in a sustained medical/clinical experience as mentioned above.
Resources for Gaining Experience in the Health Professions
- Summer Programs: The Premedical Office forwards any information received regarding summer enrichment and research opportunities to students via email; students should also actively seek out information by attending premed meetings, performing internet searches, and meeting with representatives from health professions and graduate schools when they visit Xavier.
- Shadowing: Shadowing a physician, dentist, or other health professional is a great tool for career exploration. The earlier you can take advantage of shadowing opportunities, the more insight you will have as you move towards the professional school application process. Please review the "Get Experience" fact sheets made available by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
- Volunteering: Volunteering in an environment where you serve a patient population can help you to cultivate your commitment to serving others AND demonstrate your interest in becoming a health professional to admissions committees. To learn more about volunteering and the types of experience you should consider gaining, please review the "Get Experience" fact sheets made available by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
- Job Training: Training in Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Medical Scribe, or a similar patient-care field can afford you endless clinical experience, paid or volunteer. For example, a student may obtain nursing assistant certification during the summer months and use that certification to get valuable experience in hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, etc.
- Lab Experience: If you are interested in getting lab experience, you can do so by participating in a summer research program or by securing a position with a faculty member on-campus. Please review the "Get Experience" fact sheets made available by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Health professions admissions committees seek applicants who can not only handle the academic rigors of medical, dental, etc. school (as evidenced by undergraduate academic performance and MCAT, DAT, etc. scores) but who also demonstrate a sincere interest in the "helping" professions by way of their post-secondary extracurricular experiences (i.e. experience gained since graduating from high school). To understand how important these experiences are, one need only look to the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) source made available by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). For each U.S. and Canadian medical school listed in MSAR, there is a section entitled "Percentage of Accepted Applicants with Relevant Medical, Volunteer, and/or Research Experience." Most medical schools listed in the current publication indicate that 75% or more of ACCEPTED students had engaged in Community Service/Volunteer Work that was medical/clinical.
It is clear that medical, dental, and other health professions schools do NOT underestimate the importance of experiences that demonstrate a sincere interest in the health professions---as a result, neither should YOU!!! Please plan accordingly NOW to engage in relevant experiences well BEFORE submitting your application to health professions schools the summer between junior and senior years. Simply saying that you want to be a doctor, dentist, etc. is not enough; you must convince admissions committees (and yourself) that you are serious about your intended profession by engaging in relevant experiences.
In addition to exploring the variety of enrichment and research opportunities that the PM Office shares via email, we continue to encourage you to actively seek out, for example, volunteer opportunities, at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, physical rehabilitation facilities, home health care agencies, private practices, etc. Remember, for shadowing/mentorship opportunities, your personal physician, dentist, etc. is always a great starting point! Please be sure to keep a record of ALL post-secondary experiences that you engage in on the Post-Secondary Experiences Form.
*MODVOP = Medicine (M.D.), Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Optometry, and Podiatry. These are the main fields for which Xavier's Premedical Office provides advice and assistance. If you are interested in another type of health profession, please be sure to review the requirements and to discuss your progress toward satisfying those requirements with the Premedical Office throughout enrollment.