New pre-medical counsel aimed to prepare students for medical school

The Oakland University College of Arts and Sciences has developed a new pre-medical council to aid students with the challenges associated with applying to medical school. 

The council will serve as an advising resource for pre-med students, and as a way for faculty and administrators to share information regarding academic programs and changes within the medical field.

The council was established in January and is composed of faculty members, professional advisers and alumni who are now practicing physicians. Representatives from varying departments were selected by Ronald Sudol, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Kathleen Moore, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Keith Berven, biology professor and pre-med concentration adviser.

“Attending medical school is a career goal that needs to be nurtured from the time a student enters as a first year undergrad, and that’s what we hope to accomplish,” Moore said.

The group was created in response to a recent increase in student interest within the pre-medical concentration, including the medicine, dentistry, optometry and veterinary programs. 

“It was time to make the pr-med concentration a broader effort,” Moore said. “Medical schools are taking a more holistic approach when considering an applicant. It’s not enough to have good grades and do well on the MCAT, they’re going to look at the bigger picture.”

According to Moore, students applying to medical school need to understand how to prepare for the MCAT as well as interviews. Students also need to display an interest in the medical field through consistent volunteer work and obtain letters of recommendation that set them apart from other applicants.

To address these challenges, the council plans on creating a pre-med center to offer workshops and advising beyond the curriculum. The center, to be located in Hannah Hall near the undergraduate labs, will provide assistance to faculty writing letters of recommendation. The group also plans on partnering with the Career Services office to provide mock interviews. The council is awaiting a budget approval, but hopes to hire a professional pre-medical adviser some time next year.

Thomas Loss, a senior majoring in biomedical diagnostic and therapeutic sciences, plans on applying to an allopathic or osteopathic medical school in the fall of 2013.

“OU’s biomedical diagnostic and therapeutic sciences program started to affirm my aspirations of becoming a physician.” Loss said. “There are so many uncertainties being pre-med student, and a council to help guide us through the process should make for a less anxiety-ridden application year.”

Contact Staff Reporter Katie Williams via email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @kwillicando