by Peter Stokes
If you’re a junior or senior even considering applying to medical or dental school this summer, in order to be admitted in 2013, then make sure you come to one of our mandatory workshops for applicants that are coming up soon. For medical school, you have a choice of any of 5 different workshops. There is one workshop for dental applicants; if you really can’t make it, let us know in advance. The workshops are listed on the pre-graduate/professional school advising calendar, here: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices/gradprof/calendar.html#medprograms
At the workshops we will explain the application process in detail. We will also explain the process that you go through with this office this spring. Basically, after you’ve come to a workshop, you’ll meet with a pre-health advisor for an in-depth conversation about the things you’ve done in the classroom and extra-curricularly, and you’ll also meet for a relatively formal interview with a faculty or staff member who has generously volunteered time to help with this process. That latter interview will serve as valuable practice for you; it is good preparation to have to talk about yourself and reflect on why you are pursuing this field and the choices you have made in preparing for it.
Before you meet with your pre-health advisor, we also require you to prepare some documents. We ask you to respond to a questionnaire, designed to help you reflect on your application and what your strengths are. We ask for an expanded resume, very much along the lines of what ultimately you will enter into your actual application. And we ask you to calculate your science GPA. All of these things are designed to help you submit a good, thoughtful application later. They also help us write an official, Penn HPAB (Health Professions Advisory Board) letter in support of your application, as is expected by medical and dental schools for those still in undergrad, which goes out along with the letters written by your teachers and mentors and so forth.
So in exchange for attending a workshop and two interviews, preparing some documents, and meeting some necessary deadlines, you get a detailed, official letter written to advocate for you, as well as extensive guidance and support in putting together your applications thoughtfully and well. We look forward to working with you!