Premedical Office
Xavier University
1 Drexel Drive
Box 120C
New Orleans, LA 70125

Full-Time Staff
Quo Vadis Maria Webster, MA, LPC
Premedical Adviser
(504) - 520-7437
Part-Time Staff
JW Carmichael, Jr.
Director of Premed Program
Professor of Chemistry



What Xavier students interested in medicine, dentistry, etc.* should do


(updated 6/23/14)

 Things you should already have done during the past two years:

  • Completed ALL Freshman and Sophomore Meetings.
  • Completed the One-on-One Sophomore Assessment Meeting in the Spring.
  • Downloaded a copy of XU's Post-Secondary Experiences Form, completed it, had it critiqued by personnel in the Premedical Office, and kept a copy on your computer so you can update it as you progress through the University. 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.
  • OPTIONAL, BUT BEST TO DO AT LEAST ONE SUMMER YOU ARE AT XAVIER: Attend a summer program which provides 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.
  • Read at least two novels. (This, like reading Newsweek or Time will also help with the MCAY, DAT, etc.)
  • Put your critical thinking and verbal reasoning skills to the test by doing as many practice verbal reasoning passages as possible. Two examples of practice resources are 1) 10 Actual, Official LSAT PrepTests (the reading comprehension section offers good practice for the verbal sections of the MCAT, DAT, etc.) AND 2) Examkrackers 101 Passages in MCAT Verbal Reasoning. NOTE: If you will be taking the newly revised MCAT in 2015 or later, please formal utilize study materials that are SPECIFIC to new test.
  • Check your e-mail frequently.
  • Apply to Early Medical Admissions Programs by May 15th per instructions discussed during One-on-One Sophomore Assessment Meeting in the Spring.
  • Attend a summer research or enrichment program.
  • If NOT attending a summer enrichment or research program, participate in medically-related opportunities (e.g. hospital volunteering, nursing home volunteering, health professional shadowing, etc.) that demonstrate your sincere interest in the field which you are pursuing.
  • In August, submit your updated Post-Secondary Experiences Form via email to xupremed@yahoo.com, per the email instructions forwarded to rising juniors near the end of the summer. Make sure that...
    • It does NOT include any high school activities and
    • That it DOES include what you did every summer since graduation from high school--i.e. all jobs you have held since high school, summer programs you attended, etc. It is okay to include what you will be doing this summer.
  • In August, submit your updated Personal Statement via email to xupremed@yahoo.com, per the email instructions forwarded to rising juniors near the end of the summer.

Things which you are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED if you have not previously done them:

  • Attend a summer program which provides either exposure to the health professions or research experience.
  • Engage in medical/clinical experience that gives you the opportunity to interact with patients and demonstrates your interest in medicine, dentistry, or other health professional field (e.g. volunteering in a hospital, clinical, nursing home, etc.).

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 "How Do I...Shadow a Doctor" , a fact sheet 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 "How Do I Find...Health care-related Volunteer Opportunities?", a fact sheet made available by the AAMC.
  • 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 "How Do I...Get Lab Experience?", a fact sheet made available by the 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.

This document made available by the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) provides useful information for securing experience in the health professions. 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 fields for which Xavier's Premedical Office provides advice and assistance.



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