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

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

 

Premed

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

SPRING SEMESTER JUNIOR YEAR

(updated 6/24/14)

 *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.

Things you should already have done:

  • Turned in a completed copy of your "High School Info Form". The form can be downloaded from the Premed website.
  • Updated your Post-Secondary Experiences Form and submitted it for critique to xupremed@yahoo.com. You may download the Sample Post-Secondary Experiences Form to use as a guide (do NOT copy the entries from the sample).
  • Prepared a good Personal Statement/Career Essay which was revised as many times as needed after being critiqued by the Premedical Office at xupremed@yahoo.com.
  • Decided which review course you will utilize for MCAT, DAT, etc. preparation (REMINDER: Students are encouraged to take the MCAT for the first---and we hope ONLY time---in May).

Things to do on a regular basis throughout the semester:

  • During the first week of the semester, print off your Bannerweb transcript and use it to complete the GPA Worksheet. Be sure to refer to the Assessment Overview before completing your GPA Worksheet. See SAMPLE GPA Worksheet A and SAMPLE GPA Worksheet B for reference. The "Assessing Chances" document is available only in the Premed Office and provides some guidance in determining your progress.
  • STUDY FOR THE MCAT, DAT, etc. so that you'll be prepared to take April-May (MCAT) and April-June (DAT, OAT, etc.).
  • Attend all meetings for Juniors Premeds.
  • Check your e-mail frequently.
  • Keep your grades up.
  • Think about applying to summer programs which provide exposure to the health professions or research experience.

JANUARY-APRIL (Study for the MCAT, DAT, or similar admissions test)

  • If you are taking the MCAT, you are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to enroll in a review course.
  • Attend all of the review classes and spend an additional 10+ hours/week studying outside of class.
  • Keep your grades up.

MARCH (Meet with Premed Adviser to choose the schools to which you will apply)

  • In the second week of March, meet with a Premedical Adviser on an individual basis so the two of you can jointly choose the schools to which you will apply. The following is an outline of the meeting...
    • Things to do AT LEAST A DAY BEFORE the meeting:
      1. Pick-up a copy of our general advice "Selecting Schools" and its supplements from the Premed website.
      2. If you are applying to medical school, prepare a tentative list of 10 schools to which you will apply. If you are applying to any other type of health profession school (e.g. dental, podiatry, etc. school), review reference materials in the Premed Office and/or research the individual schools on-line, etc. and pick at least 3 schools that you will apply to.
      3. Pick-up a copy of Questionnaire #1 for Schools Meeting Form , complete it, and bring to the interview.
      4. Pick-up a copy of Questionnaire #2 for Schools Meeting Form , complete it, and bring to the interview.
      5. Bring the COMPLETED items above with you at your scheduled meeting time.
    • Things you will do DURING the meeting:
      1. Discuss your responses to the completed Questionnaire #1 for Schools Meeting Form .
      2. Obtain Premed's comments about the schools to which you intend to apply.
      3. Make modifications in your list if necessary and complete Questionnaire #2 for Schools Meeting Form. Keep the latter document so you can use it when you actually apply.
  • IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE JUNIOR PREMED SCHOOL SELECTION MEETING: Review the Junior Premed To Do List that was discussed during the meeting to make sure you stay on track with junior year application tasks!
  • In the last week of March, begin thinking about which 15 entries on your Post-Secondary Experiences Form should be put into the "Work and Activities" section of the AMCAS form (for medical school) or similar forms for other schools.
    • Choose the 15 items you think would be most important to include on your application. Please note that you should generally give preference to items which extend over longer periods of time or concern NON-ACADEMIC activities.
    • Keep the list available so that you'll have it when you begin working on your Medical, Dental, etc. school application in MAY.

Advice for Entering Post-Secondary Experiences on AMCAS and Other Professional School Applications: Most medical, dental, etc. school applications (e.g. AMCAS) limit the number of experiences that you can enter when you apply during the summer between junior and senior years.  AMCAS, for example, limits you to fifteen (15) entries in the Experience section; as a result, it is CRUCIAL that you choose wisely which experiences should be included on your actual professional school application.  Here are some guidelines to assist you with prioritizing your post-secondary experiences for entry on professional school applications:

  • Please be aware that activities that have lasted over a longer period of time are going to carry more weight than activities that last only one or two days. 
  • Some of you have multiple entries for organizations like honor societies, Greek organizations or various departmental/campus clubs (member, leadership position, community service activities, etc.).  If you have more than 15 total entries, these could be combined into one entry since they can be considered one activity. Then in your description you could delineate each facet of your participation. 
  • It’s obvious from the PSE forms that have already been critiqued, that in post-Katrina New Orleans there have been numerous opportunities for community service through neighborhood clean-up.  Several PSE forms have contained multiple clean-up entries, each one of one day’s duration.  It is strongly suggested that you look for ways to combine these (easily accomplished if they were all done with the same organization) or, if that’s not possible, just list the most recent one. 
  • Another area that needs some attention is the Honors/Awards category.  Several PSE forms that have come in for critique had page after page of scholarships and honor societies listed.  It is strongly suggested that you look at these to decide which one or, at the most two, you would like to list for scholarships and honor societies.  Your academic record will give those who evaluate your application much fuller information about your scholastic achievement than lists of scholarships and honor societies will. 
  • Under no circumstances should you be listing things like Pell Grants or the fact that you were approved for a loan to finance your education.  These are NOT honors – they are part of your financial aid package. 
  • As the name suggests, the experiences listed in this section are to be ones that you have engaged in AFTER your high school experience.  Please do not be tempted to “pad” your listing with experiences that are from high school.
  • If, after applying the guidelines already listed, you still have to choose among experiences to include on your professional school application, choose in favor of…
  1. experiences that have involved clinical or research experience to show that you have some sense of the demands and rewards of a career in the health professions;
  2. work experiences that have helped you to develop people skills, responsibility, organization, time-management,         etc.;           
  3. significant leadership positions; and
  4. community service activities that have involved working with people, the development of communication and other important professional skills.

Special Message about “Experiences” from the Medical School Admissions Requirements, 2012-2013, page 12

Your undergraduate years offer wonderful opportunities to become involved in a wide range of extracurricular activities, and certainly at least a few of them should involve the medical field…

These pursuits provide you with the chance to learn more about the medical profession – and yourself…

Admissions committees evaluate your experiences using at least three different criteria, and a greater value is assigned to certain types of pursuits than others.  Specifically, admissions committees look at the length of time you’ve invested, the depth of the experience, and lessons learned—in relation to any particular activity—so that a day-long blood drive or one-time-only shadowing experience is less enlightening than semester or year-long commitments.  By the same token, active participation in an activity is viewed as more instructive than a passive one (such as observation).  Most important, though, admissions committees want to know what students learned from their experiences, and you should therefore be prepared to address these kinds of questions about your community, clinical, or research experiences in your application materials.

BE WARY OF THE CHECKLIST APPROACH

Do NOT approach your extracurricular activities with the idea of “checking off” a wide range and number of pursuits in order to impress the admissions committee.  Three or four in-depth experiences from which you gained valuable lessons are far more significant—and telling—to admissions officers than dozens of short-term involvements.

 

 

 

 
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