Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Virginia - Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine Open House - 5/25

Prospective Student Workshop
May 25, 2018
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM 
Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
245 Duck Pond Drive Blacksburg, VA 24061

8:00 - 8:45 AM: Meet and Greet with light breakfast and coffee
9:00 - 11:00 AM: Informational Session
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Tours of the College of Veterinary Medicine

Please RSVP by May 18th: 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Clayborne Education: Summer MCAT Prep Program

Clayborne Education, a local Charlottesville test prep and tutoring organization, will be launching an MCAT prep program this summer.

Alina Nguyen, MCAT Director and UVA Biochemistry graduate, will be designing the curriculum and specifically tailoring to UVA students.

This program is designed to be completely customized to each student's educational background and MCAT prep needs. It includes:

  • free diagnostic test
  • free consultation to create a personalized study plan
  • one-on-one tutoring from a 100th percentile MCAT scorer
  • practice exams
  • all official AAMC practice materials
This program can be completed either online or in person.

Contact: 434-205-3601 // //

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Student Leadership Advisory Board Spotlight: Megan Plain, UVA '20

Megan Plain is a 2nd year pre-medical student in the College majoring in History and Cognitive Science. She is a member of the Women's Lacrosse team and a Member-at-Large on the Pre-Health Leadership Advisory Board. In this post, Megan describes her experience as a pre-health student and student athlete. 
What does a typical week look like for a women's lacrosse student athlete and how does it work with the pre-health track?
The typical week varies depending on the season. In the off-season, only 8 hours per week of mandatory team activity are allowed. 

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: Weight lifting from 2:30 - 3:30, Run / Practice from
    3:30 - 4:30. 
  • Tuesday: Morning practice from 7:15 - 9:0
  • Thursday: No team activities
This schedule offers us flexibility on both Tuesday's and Thursday's since we have almost the entire day available for classes. For a pre-med student, this is the perfect time to schedule labs required for biology, chemistry, physics, and organic chemistry.

When we are in-season, we are allowed a maximum of 20 hours per week of mandatory team activity. We usually play games on Wednesday and Saturday, which accounts for about 6 hours out of each game-day given the pre-game meal 3 hours before game time, followed with getting ready in the locker room with the team. We then have practice all other days of the week except Sunday, which include pre-game film and a once-a-week lift. In addition, we usually travel for half of our games, which requires time away from classes. As a result, it is important to plan accordingly with academic work to determine what can be finished on the road or what should be done on campus.

What resources have been critical to you in the first two years? 
One of the most helpful resources for me has been my own teammates. Beginning second semester of first year, upperclassmen were extremely helpful when choosing certain classes and figuring out how to manage both lacrosse and academics. Another important resource is our athletic academic coordinator, Kate Stephensen, who helps us ease into the life of a student athlete at UVA. She also provides us with academic resources such as tutors and group sessions for classes. First years also have time management tasks to help hold themselves accountable for the work they have to complete. She also opens different opportunities for getting involved in the university, which became helpful for me especially as a 2nd year. In addition, the Career Center has been a great resource to help plan out the upcoming years. It can be overwhelming to look at all the different classes you have to take for both the pre-medical requirements, as well as your major(s). As a result, meeting one-on-one with a pre-health advisor can help ease the stress of figuring out what classes should be taken in specific years, as well as find extracurricular opportunities that work with your schedule.

What is your major and what impacted your decision to pursue this major? 
I am pursuing a major in Cognitive Science - with a concentration in Neuroscience - as well as a second major in History. I had originally planned to apply to the Neuorscience major, but I then discovered the different opportunities Cognitive Science offered because of its diverse course options. Cognitive Science allows me to select classes in the four different core areas which is a benefit both for major credit as well as for my own experience. I think exploring different types of classes in college is important to discover your passions. For me, I discovered I actually enjoy linguistics classes, something I would never considered if I had pursued a different major. History, on the other hand, is something I find intriguing and also adds diversity to my course load. I think balancing your schedule with both science classes and another field of study can serve as a way to add variety and balance, providing a different stimulus and view point within your academic career.

Are you still able to participate in other extracurricular activities even with your practice schedule and course load? 
Absolutely. I try to participate in other activities or clubs in our off-season when I have more time available. Last fall, I was able to volunteer at the Innisfree Village with a program known as the Charlottesville Area Riding Therapy (CART). This is a non-profit organization which works directly with children and adults with special needs. The program was very flexible and I was able to choose the best times that worked with my schedule. Madison House is very helpful in finding different opportunities for pre-med student athletes that accomodates the tight time constraints of their schedules. Academic Affairs also offers many opportunities to get involved in organizations that work directly with different athletic teams and the NCAA. For example, Student Athlete Mentors (SAM) are athletes involved in each of their respective teams, and work as a support system for teammates to voice their concerns or frustrations with anything whether it be academics, athletics, friendships, or just life in general. Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) plays more of a legislative role and serve as representatives of the University. These are just some of the many organizations available for student athletes to get involve outside of athletics.

What about studying abroad? Are there opportunities for pre-health student athletes abroad? 
Yes! Many of my teammates have found study abroad programs specifically during the summer session. I personally will be heading to Switzerland this summer for a six-week program through the School for International Training. Although study abroad opportunities may be a little more challenging to find given a student athlete's limiting schedule, programs are definitely available that are pertinent to your plan of study. I found the Study Abroad office to be very helpful in identifying programs that piqued my interest and worked with my schedule.

How has being a student athlete prepared you for a career in healthcare? 
Being a student athlete requires discipline, time management, and resilience. All of these attributes will be extremely helpful in healthcare given its demanding and intense schedule. Success in the medical field is also reliant on teamwork, which is at the heart of athletics. As part of a sports team, athletes are able to understand how to respect each other and incoporate each person's different attributes to further the success of the team. This is a aquality that will be vitally important in the medical field. Being a student athlete has given me the confidence and work ethic to chase any dream. It's really easy to lose faith when things aren't going well, but, in an intense athletic competition, you have to pick yourself up and make things happen in order to come away with a win. In the medical profession, and in life, working hard and having confidence in yourself is so important, especially when you are impacting someone else's life and well-being. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Advice from Alums for Future Applicants

Pre-Health Hoos who successfully gained admission to a health professional program during the 2017-18 application cycle offer reflections and tips for future applicants

Preparation for the Health Professions
"Pursue the things you are passionate in. This might mean joining a lot of clubs, or maybe joining just a few and finding one you really click in. Be dedicated, and don't sweat minor setbacks. If you do your best, the end result can't be all that bad!"
-Timmy Nguyen, UVA '18

"Note that the journey to medical school is a long process. You will definitely thank yourself later if you engage in activities that are sincerely meaningful to you. This will show on your application and in your interviews!"
-Prinyanka Vuppala, UVA '17

"Be true to yourself."
-Siva Rajamarthandan, UVA '16

"The journey to reach your goals may look different from what you anticipated. Every diversion can be an opportunity to learn and expand your understanding. These diversions have enriched my story and carved my path."
-Karla Platzer, UVA '11

"I wasn't pre-med while I was an undergraduate, but for students who are thinking about medicine later in their college careers, begin getting clinical exposure as early as possible to see if healthcare is something you really want to do."
-Christian Gigante, UVA '16

"Do only the things you love and are passionate about because those are the things you will be able to discuss in interviews."
-Alana Ines Castro-Gilliard

"Don't give up. It's hard but worth it."
-Ashli Everstine, UVA '17

"Pre-health culture these days is dominated by a "box-checking" mentality. Grades, MCAT, volunteering, leadership, research, etc. But becoming a doctor, and demonstrating a real passion for medicine is about way more than checking. Yes, you need good grades and a good MCAT score sure helps, but don't do things simply because medical schools want you to. Do things you're passionate about. Things that will help you build skills that will contribute to your ability to become a physician. The check boxes will fall into place from there."
-Jesse Persily, UVA '18

"Work on creating a holistic application with non-medical community service / activities you are legitimately passionate about rather than just focusing on resume boosters."
-Alexa Dzienny, UVA '18

"Talk to as many health professionals as possible about their experience to make a more informed decision about your own health profession choice."
-Mitchell Popielec, UVA '18

"If you do your best, you will achieve anything you set your mind to. Also, do not be confined to school. Make sure you have something to do that's NOT academics or career related. My thing is CrossFit, both as an athlete and coach."
-Hannah Hardy, UVA '18

"Don't be afraid to explore different academic disciplines. Majoring in religious studies made me stand our during the application process and gives me a unique and sought-after perspective entering the physical therapy field!"
-Laura Guy, UVA '17

"Be true to who you are and why you are pursuing graduate school. Don't be fake or try to be the applicant you think schools want. You want to attend a school that truly believes you will thrive there by being who you are."
-Besty Pettit, UVA '17

"No one's path is the same. Everyone acts like you have to hit exactly X, Y, and Z in that order but it's so inaccurate. You can take that path. Or you can do them backwards and upside down! Do what's right for you at the time that it's right for you. Being pre-med is stressful and trying to check boxes off of someone else's list makes it worse. And make sure to add in plenty of nights with friends to keep yourself balanced!"
-Danielle Hafer, UVA '17

"Get to know your professors, find mentors you admire, seek leadership positions in organizations you are passionate about (doesn't have to be healthcare)."
-Sandy Hoang, UVA '17

"Do not give up if you haven't performed as well as you hoped whether with your grades of your MCAT score. If you work hard and remain dedicated, you can achieve your goals. Figure out what went wrong and put all of your effort into fixing the problem. In the end, your weaknesses can become your greatest strengths."
-Chioma Elechi, UVA '11  

Application Process
"The application process is long and hard. Make it easier on yourself by valuing quality of schools over quantity. To avoid draining yourself mentally and financially, select schools based on where you think you are likely to get in AND enjoy yourself. No point in applying to 30 schools that aren't reasonable."
-Nayla Labban, UVA '18

"Start early on your application! The earlier you start writing your statement and completing parts of the application, the better, as the application can feel very overwhelming if you try to finish it all in one go."
-Jackie Lee, UVA '17

"Don't be afraid to ask for help. The application process can be lengthy and confusing, but there are so many resources to turn to if you are feeling overwhelmed."
-Joanna Hsu, UVA '18

"Apply to all your state schools, pre-write your secondaries as much as possible, and don't compare your application process to anyone else's -- focus on your journey!"
- Savannah Barkdull, UVA '16

"Make your application unique. Don't stress about doing everything everyone else does!"
-Emily Mosher, UVA '16

"The application cycle feels incredibly long and daunting. Keep your head up and surround yourself with supportive people. I found I made new friends just by supporting each other through the application."
-Peyton McElhone, UVA '18

"Do your best to stay positive! Everyone applying to professional schools is different, which is something to celebrate. Remember you have strengths unique to you alone - present this side when applying to schools. They want to see why you are special!"
-Kathleen Kelly, UVA '18

"Write a cohesive personal statement. During interviews, find a connection between you and the interviewer and be the interviewer's friend! In the end, you'll get matched into medical schools that'll fit you best."
-Sandy Hoang, UVA '17

"Consult advice from current students who are already in your desired program; they have the best advice and will be happy to provide guidance."
-Kathryn Veltman, UVA '18

"Make sure to stay on top of the application. At times (especially during secondaries), there's a lot of things coming at you fast, so stay organized and keep pushing, and you'll get through it. It's a stressful period but it's over before you know it."
-Hans Prakash, UVA '17

"Don't stress out too far in advance. When the admissions process is laid out in front of your, it can seem pretty daunting, so take it one step at a time. Don't start worrying about the interview before even taking the admissions exam. Focus on one thing at a time and by the time you get to the next step, you will feel more prepared."
-Amber Watkins, UVA '18

Monday, April 30, 2018

Congratulations '17-18 Applicants!

Pre-Health Advising would like to congratulate UVA applicants who gained admission to a health professional program during the 2017-18 application cycle!

This is not a complete list of UVA applicants who were admitted. If you are a UVA grad who would like to be recognized here for successful admission to a health professional program in the
'17-18 application cycle, please complete this form

Athletic Training
Mitchell Popielec, College of Arts & Sciences '18

Jason Gong Zhang, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Karla Platzer, College of Arts & Sciences '11
Kathryn Veltman, College of Arts & Sciences '18

Chiropractic Medicine
Hannah Hardy, Curry School of Education '18

Alana Ines Castro-Gilliard, College of Arts & Sciences
Alayna Vaughan, College of Arts & Sciences '16
Alexa Dzienny, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Alice Burgess, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Arvin Daneshmand, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Ashli Everstine, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Ben Cardenas, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Betsy Pettit, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Charlotte Chambers, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Chioma Elechi, College of Arts & Sciences '11
Christian Gigante, School of Commerce '16
Connor Liggett, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Corinne Vennitti, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Danielle Hafer, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Delfina Bur, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Emily Harris, College of Arts & Sciences '16
Emily Mosher, College of Arts & Sciences '16
Erica Talbot, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Eric Fromke, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Hans Prakash, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences '17
Irene Lee, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Jackie Lee, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Jacob Hughes, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Jesse Persily, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Joshua Ferey, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Kamila Moalem, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Kathleen Kelly, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Mavra Masood, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Nayla Labban, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Peyton McElhone, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Priyanka Vuppala, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Robert Roth, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Sandy Hoang, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Sarah Shan, College of Arts and Sciences '17
Savannah Barkdull, College of Arts & Sciences '16
Siva Rajamarthandan, College of Arts & Sciences '16
Tania Rodriguez-Caprio, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences '15
Vida Motamedi, College of Arts & Sciences '16
William Pavlis, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Zack Dailey, College of Arts & Sciences '17

Gelare Ghajar-Rahimi, College of Arts & Sciences '16 

Amber Watkins, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Kalie Leone, College of Arts & Sciences '17 

Celina Hu, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Timmy Nguyen, College of Arts & Sciences '18

Physical Therapy

Emily Mulhern, Curry School of Education '18
Joanna Hsu, Curry School of Education '18
Laura Guy, College of Arts & Sciences '17
Molly Donovan, Curry School of Education '18 

Public Health
Cristalle Madray, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Kathleen Kelly, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Kayla Holston, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences '18 

Surgical Assisting
Emily Keeton, College of Arts & Sciences '18
Veterinary Medicine
Carly Levinstein, College of Arts & Sciences '18

Summer '18 Pre-Health Common Read: Black Man in a White Coat

This summer, join other Pre-Health Hoos in reading

"Black Man in a White Coat examines the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. As Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural, and economic factors at the root of many health problems in the black community. These issues take on greater meaning when Tweedy is himself diagnosed with a chronic disease far more common among black people. In this powerful, moving, and deeply empathic book, Tweedy explores the challenges confronting black doctors, and the disproportionate health burdens faced by black patients, ultimately seeking a way forward to better treatment and more compassionate care."

New York Times Bestseller
TIME Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2015
Booklist Editor's Choice Books 2015 Selection
O, The Oprah Magazine, "10 Titles to Pick Up Now" for September 2015
Goodreads "Best Books of the Month" Selection for September 2015
and more

Read with #prehealthhoos this summer and 
Stay Tuned for Fall 2018 Common Reading Discussion Groups!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

UVA Undergraduate Research Launch Event - 4/29!

Sunday, April 29th
2:00 - 5:00 PM 
Lower Garden IX (near West Range)

This Sunday, UVA's undergraduate research journals are co-sponsoring a
Launch Event to distribute free copies of this year's issues! 
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend
+ there's free food!

Participating journals include
 The Oculus (interdisciplinary)
Spectra (engineering) 
Conflux (public health)
Movable Type (media studies)
Virginia Review of Politics (politics)
The Wilson Journal (international affairs) 

These journals contain some of the best undergraduate research on Grounds and can be a very useful resource for students interested in research opportunities, so please stop by!


If you'd like to be featured in next year's issue of The Oculus
journal staff are currently accepting DMP papers, theses, and other research for
the spring submission cycle until May 6th

Mark Your Calendar - June 30th Health Professions Fair in Washington, DC

Saturday, June 30, 2018
Washington Hilton
1919 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC

The National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) welcomes you to attend the Health Professions Fair where you can network with professional school representatives from over 200 programs - all in one place!

Student Registration and Check-In
2:30 - 3:00 PM

Student Speaker
3:00 - 4:00 PM

Fair Open to Students
4:00 - 6:00 PM


Register here!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine Open House - 4/28

Saturday, 4/28
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This program includes a review of
  • Curriculum and innovative teaching style
  • Admissions criteria and class demographics including residency matches for the class of 2018
  • Tour the state of the art simulation classrooms and facilities, Anatomy Labs, and library resources
  • Student life panel discussing highlights of classes and expectations of training, lecture and lab formats, forming study habits, support groups, and taking time to de-stress
  • International rotations and service to underserved area
Students and parents interested in learning about the unique teaching and training of Osteopathic Physicians are encouraged to attend.

Register here

Marshall University School of Medicine Summer Program July 22-26th

July 22nd - 26th, 2018

The Marshall University Joan C Edwards School of Medicine is accepting applications for the 2018 Project P.R.EM.E.D program - Providing Real World Experiences for future Marshall Educated Doctors.

This program is designed to expose, recruit, retain, and support ethnic minority college freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors from historically disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds. It provide excellent exposure to the health professions and medical school process, exposing participants to life as a medical student.

  • Tour the Joan C Edwards School of Medicine
  • Attend medical school classes and meet faculty participating in medical research
  • Participate in hands-on activities with physicians, physician residents, and medical students
  • Meet medical school and university administrators as well as community leaders
  • Receive a medical student mentor who will serve as a personal guide during the undergraduate experience
  • Grade point average of 3.0 (program will work with students that may be a bit under 3.0)
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year in college
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member or university administrator
  • Personal statement
  • US citizenship or permanent residency required 
Deadline to apply
April 30, 2018

More information and application
Questions? Contact Dr. Shelvy Campbell at