Thursday, June 2, 2016

Advice from Alums for Future Applicants

Pre Health Hoos who successfully gained admission to a health professional program during the 2015-16 application cycle offer reflections and tips for future applicants:

Preparation for the Health Professions
"Invest time in activities you are truly passionate about. For example, if you hate research - don't do
 it. You will be happier and more successful doing extracurriculars you genuinely enjoy whether 
 that is salsa dancing, baking, sailing, etc. It's also easy to get caught up in school and work. Make
 time for friends and family because mental health is also just as important as physical health. Work
 hard and enjoy the journey!"
 -Alice Xiang, UVA '15, Dentistry

"Invest deeply in things you are passionate about." 
 -April Hyon, UVA '15, Medicine
 "Above all else, stay optimistic and don't let disappointments cripple you."
 -Mandar Kulkarni, UVA '16, Medicine

"Don't get discouraged by a few below average grades. There is more to you as an applicant than
 your GPA. Schools also take into consideration work experience, essays, and life experiences. Keep
 your head up!"
 -Kohls Godine, UVA '14, Physician Assistant

"Explore your interests, take classes that interest you, and learn a lot / connect with your professors!
 It's the best thing you can do to set yourself apart from the start." 
 -Bakhtiar Chaudry, UVA '16, Medicine

"Do something you're passionate about that will make you stand out to admissions committees. Most
 importantly, be yourself."
 -Kathryn Brodie, UVA '16, Medicine

"Go an alternate route. Try a non-science major!"
 -Anita Chitnis, UVA '16, Dentistry

"Shadow and gain in depth experience in the field you wish to pursue to truly grasp what it is you will be doing. You will have to sacrifice certain things and there will be many road blocks and force that will attempt to make you practice and think about medicine and healing in a specific and rigid way. Never give up if your goal is to truly help and health those people in the way you want to, and in a way that aligns with your morals."
 -Frank Song Jr, UVA, Naturopathic Medicine & Clinical Nurtition

"Grades matter, but doing poorly in one or two classes is not the end of the world."
 -Ray Ramirez, UVA '15, Medicine

Application Process
"Apply early and don't rush it. It's an expensive process, so make sure you're truly ready to apply so
 you don't have to apply more than once."
 -Caroline Vines, UVA '13, Medicine
"It's okay to take gap year(s) before applying. Apply EARLY, and make sure your application is your
 best so you have no regrets!"
 -Katherine Ong, UVA '14, Dentistry

"Begin applications early and send them in right when they open. Don't be afraid to ask others for
! Also find some involvement in the community that makes you unique and that you are
 passionate about. It will help set you apart in interviews!"
 -Brittany Moncure, UVA '16, Physician Assistant

"Be patient with the process and double check each schools deadlines and requirements. Also don't
 spend hours checking emails for responses from schools because be making yourself go crazy."
 -Sarah Stallman, UVA '16, Physician Assistant

"Seek out mentors for letters of recommendation. Tailor all essays to the school's mission statement 
 and include specific programs of interest at that school."
 -Laura Walsh, UVA '12, Medicine

"Start your applications early so you aren't rushed!"
 -Katherine Black, UVA '15, Occupational Therapy

"Don't become discouraged in the grueling admissions process! Seek help from others. Do mock
 -Rachel Semus, UVA '13, Medicine