Are you considering becoming a physician or physician assistant? What about a dentist, optometrist, or podiatrist? Or becoming the person who discovers a new treatment for diabetes or heart disease? The opportunities at MU will provide excellent academic preparation for health professional schools.
In selecting your undergraduate institution, you may be wondering, “How many of your applicants get into medical school?” However, the answer to this one question may not tell you the most important things you need to know. We suggest that you ask the following questions at each of the colleges that you’re considering:
What services are provided for pre-health students?
At MU, the MedOpp Advising Office assists all students who are interested in a career as a physician (allopathic, osteopathic, and podiatric), dentist, physician assistant, or optometrist. We will help you decide whether healthcare is the best field for you and assist you in meeting the academic and extracurricular requirements for professional school.
One-on-One Advising: Students are invited to make appointments with their assigned advisor to help tailor their candidacies for professional school to their interests. During these appointments, we encourage students to carefully consider the core competencies needed to be a successful healthcare professional. We also assist students in developing strengths and abilities through opportunities in the classroom, on campus, and within the local Columbia community.
Introductory and Developmental Workshops: We offer presentations specifically targeted to people who have just entered MU (or are new to the pre-med path) and others that will help you keep on track with your development. Our “What Every Pre-Health Professional Should Know” workshop provides a broad overview of what it takes to create a successful candidacy. Our “How to Arrange Experiences” workshop offers insight on how to shadow practitioners, gain clinical experience, begin volunteering, and join a research lab.
Application Year Programming: Students who are getting ready to apply for medical and dental school participate in the MedOpp Application Support Program (ASP), a series of seminars, personal consultations, and interactive workshops designed to prepare and assist students with the application process. Pre-medical and pre-dental participants in ASP may be eligible for a committee interview and resulting committee letter (see below). Applicants applying to optometry, podiatry, and PA programs are welcome to participate in the workshops and preparatory consultations but do not participate in the committee interview process.
Electronic Communication: MedOpp maintains a listserv with a weekly newsletter of events and announcements. We also maintain a Canvas site with a repository of handouts and resources for MU students.
Does your school offer a committee letter?
A committee letter is an overview and evaluation of your candidacy for medical or dental school written by a team of faculty and/or staff from your university. MU does offer a committee letter. It is generated through a committee interview, which mirrors a medical or dental school interview, and a comprehensive review of your CV, transcript, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. The committee interview and the committee letter are valuable features of your application to medical and dental schools. Not all colleges and universities offer a committee letter, so an applicant from MU has an important advantage. In addition, while the committee interview is not a practice interview, it does provide insight into what a medical or dental school interview will be like; we also offer debriefing appointments for students afterward to discuss their performance.