How do you prepare for the Medical School Interview?

Dear Dr. Dale, I hope to interview for medical school during the next cycle and I was wondering how to prepare for the medical school interview? SH Illinois
Dear SH, It is never too early to prepare for the interview.Interviewing skills are like any other skill, they can be learned and even the best candidates can always improve their skillset in this area to optimize their success chances in the admission process.Before discussing how to prepare I think it is important to understand the purpose of the interview.According to Debbie Melton Director of Admissions at OHSU School of Medicine,
“We are looking for the applicant who has demonstrated a balance between having the academic horsepower to succeed in medical school and having tested their motivation and commitment to medicine.We want them to explore the health care field and solidify their commitment to becoming an MD, along with demonstrating their social consciousness by helping others.The power of the interview allows us to as…

Tips for Medical School Application This Cycle

Dr. Dale, I am thinking of applying to medical school this summer. Do you have any advice for me?
RT, Indiana
Dear RT, Before starting the application process to any professional school, make sure you are ready to apply. You are ready to apply when your application for graduate school is strong enough to meet your goals.If you are ready that is super. If not, focus on fixing deficiencies first before applying. For example, are you happy with your MCAT(DAT, GRE…) score?Are they competitive enough for your situation?If not remedying this before you apply makes sense.How many volunteer hours do you have? Most graduate programs publish average numbers of volunteer hours of accepted students.Community service, especially in a health care setting, shows the graduate school that you have made an informed choice by pursuing a career as a physician or other professional. How do you stack up? Talking to your advisor to make sure you are ready before applying is a good idea. So if after reviewing al…

Clinical Informatics and Bioinformatics - Career Options

Informatics is a career for the 21st century. Computer technology and the electronic medical record have changed the face of medicine forever.There are a wide variety of jobs in the industry for people coming from diverse educational and technical backgrounds. Informatics can be viewed as proceeding along a continuum from the cellular level (bioinformatics) to the personal arena (medical or clinical informatics) to population health (public health informatics).Professionals enterinformatics careers in several ways. A clinical background or degree (MD,RN…) can be a precursor to the role of Chief Medical or Nursing Informatics Officer.Biology or Computer Science education can facilitate a career in bioinformatics.You do not need to be a computer programmer or a clinician to enter the field but it may affect your role in the industry. Clinical informatics usually requires an advanced degree (master degree or higher). There is a clinical subspecialty of Clinical informatics that requires a…

Volunteer Work - What Counts?

Volunteer Work- What Counts?
Dear Dr. Dale, What sort of volunteer work/ internships count toward graduate school requirement hours?
Virtually all medical and allied health fields have a health experience or shadowing requirement. What is actually required varies remarkably from field to field. Physician assistant programs have one of the largest requirements for health care experience. Some programs require up 2000 hours of hands on health care experience. Sometimes this is gained by working In the field as an emergency medical technician or medical assistant. Many fields like occupational and physical therapy require shadowing of professionals in the chosen field. The hours required vary, but many programs have a minimum number of hours, often less than one hundred.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            …

Physical Therapy Requirements

Dear Dr. Robinson, I attend a private college near Chicago and my home is in Oregon. I am interested in becoming a physical therapist. I love biology but math is not my favorite subject. My pre-health advisor is unclear if taking calculus is in my best interest? What should I do? C.A., Oregon Proper course selection is key to getting admitted to your desired graduate health program. While premeds will take calculus many allied health fields do not require it. If you do not like math you should only take it if it is certain you need it. In the allied health fields, there is some school to school variation in requirements. To better answer your question I considered some places that you might want to apply to. In your home state of Oregon there is no state physical therapy program but there are 2 private schools. Some prominent schools in the Midwest include Washington University, Northwestern University, and Creighton University. Only one of these programs requires calculus, Northwest…

Sonography Career Options

Dear Dr. Robinson, I am studying biology and am considering pre-dental studies. However the length and the cost of this course of study is significant. My friend is pursuing an associates degree in ultrasound technology and says in two years they can earn a good salary. Wha do you think of this approach? S.F. Texas Both dentistry and ultrasound technician are great but very different career options. There are several educational routes to become a ultrasound technician. The shortest route for someone without another health related degree is an Associate of Applied Science in ultrasound technology. This would take about two years. Other educational routes to this career objective would be a bachelors degree or a one - two year certificate program if you already have a health related degree. Ultrasound technicians produce the images that are read by radiologists and it can be challenging interesting work. The job requires both technical skills and people skills. The average salary is a…