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Building a Competitive Application

Health Profession Programs are looking to ensure that you will be a great student who succeeds in their program (i.e. can you do it?) AND that you will make a quality healthcare provider (i.e. should you do it?). When assessing these factors, programs will look at many different factors. This hollistic review process means that there is not one specific set of requirements that make the perfect candidate. However, information below will help you identify ways to showcase that you CAN succeed at their institution and SHOULD be an healthcare provider that will be directly responsible for the health and wellness of others.

 

Can you do it?
(Will you be able to withstand the rigor of their program? Will you not just survive, but will you thrive at their institution? Will you be able to pass your board examinations? Do you know what it takes to be a professional in the respective field?)

This is mainly determined through means such as:

  • Strong Science GPA and Overall GPA
  • Strong Test Score (MCAT, DAT, GRE, PCAT, OAT)
  • Successful completion of all or most prerequisite courses 
  •  Multiple pre-health semesters*- to show admissions committees that can handle academically rigorous coursework
  •  Healthcare related activities such as:
    •  Physician Shadowing
    •  Clinical Volunteering
    •  Summer Volunteering
    • Work Experience in a Healthcare Setting
    • There is no "best" healthcare activity as each student will internalize an experience differently. These experiences are necessary to help you understand what the role entails, the environment healthcare professionals work in, the patients they see, brief insight into the challenges and successes, etc. You should participate in experiences you enjoy and continually reflect on how this experience is making you a better future healthcare provider and/or professional school student. Hint: try to correlate experiences to the Core Competencies listed in the bullet below.

 

Should you do it?
(Are you someone who people would want to go to for care? Do you showcase the skills of an outstanding professional and future healthcare provider? Will you dignify the profession?)

This is mainly determined through means such as: 

  • Healthcare related activities such as:
    •  Physician Shadowing
    •  Clinical Volunteering
    •  Summer Volunteering
    • Work Experience in a Healthcare Setting
    • There is no "best" healthcare activity as each student will internalize an experience differently. These experiences are necessary to help you understand what the role entails, the environment healthcare professionals work in, the patients they see, brief insight into the challenges and successes, etc. You should participate in experiences you enjoy and continually reflect on how this experience is making you a better future healthcare provider and/or professional school student. Hint: try to correlate experiences to the Core Competencies listed in the bullet below.
  • Additional co-curricular activities such as: 
    •  Leadership Opportunities
    •  Community Service
    •  Research
    • And more!!! There is no "best" co-curricular activity as each student will internalize an experience differently. You should participate in experiences you enjoy and continually reflect on how this experience is making you a better future healthcare provider and/or professional school student. Hint: try to correlate experiences to the Core Competencies listed in the bullet below.
  • Meeting Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students (these are helpful for all pre-health students not just pre-med students)
  • A well written and reflective personal statement
  • Strong Letters of Recommendation/Evaluation that support the information provided in your application and personal statement

* pre-health semester: we recommend a minimum of 4 semesters of 8-11 credits of science coursework in 14-16 credits overall for first degree seeking students and a minimum of 4 semesters of 11-12 credits of science coursework for second degree seekers

Additionally, health profession programs are generally looking for students who exibit the following:

  • Good communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Humanism/ Concern for others
  • Flexibility
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Passion for healthcare

 

GPA and Test Scores for Matriculants

School

Overall GPA

Science GPA

Average Exam Score

Medical School (M.D.)

3.70

3.64

31.4 MCAT

Medical School (D.O.)

3.52

3.45

27.2 MCAT

Dental School

3.55

3.47

19.9 DAT

Veterinary School

3.56

 

>309 composite

Physical Therapy

3.57

3.42

>300 composite

Occupational Therapy 3.20    

Pharmacy School

3.36

3.23

54th pctl PCAT

Optometry School

3.43

330 OAT

Physician Assistant School

3.53

3.48

>300 composite

Podiatry School

3.50

3.20

21.4 MCAT

Audiology Programs 3.50 >300 composite

Chiropractic School

2.75

Not required

updated 01/08/2015