How do I know that a career in health care is for me? How do I choose a career within health care?
Many students choose to pursue health care because they enjoy working with people and learning about the human body. When trying to decide what career within health care to pursue, the following suggestions should be considered:
- Explore: Do what you can to learn about the different health professions that are available. Attend workshops or seminars, research careers on the internet or shadow someone in the profession. "The more you know the better off you'll be.
- Determine what type of personality you have: Do you like to work with people and how much? Are you a team player? Do you work calm under pressure? Are you comfortable working with all types of individuals (young, old, disabled, dying, etc.)? What lifestyle do you envision?
- Do you have a love for learning? How well do you perform in the sciences? Are you willing to continue studying throughout your career?
When am I eligible to meet with the Pre-Health Advisor?
The Pre-Health Advisor is available to meet with students by appointments only. High school students (and their parents) are strongly encouraged to attend the President's Day Path to Health Professions event, or meet with the Pre-Health Advisor during Raider Open House. Appointments are also welcomed.
Once in college, it is recommended that freshman undergraduate students enroll in one of the pre-health learning communities (UVC 1010, UH 1010), in the fall and continue exploring the different health careers and pre-requisites needed. During a student's sophomore year, they are recommended to begin making one-on-one appointments with the advisor to review their progress and begin preparing for the following year. Junior year students should meet with the Pre-Health Advisor once per semester and attend the application workshops held during spring semester.
To schedule an appointment with the advisor, please call (937)775-4226.
What are some things a high school student can do to prepare for a career in health care?
- Get a head start on exploring different health careers and decide whether or not you enjoy the day-to-day responsibilities (consider volunteering or working in a health care setting)
- Develop an educational foundation that will prepare you well for college. Enroll in a college preparatory curriculum that includes physical and life sciences, preferably advanced courses if available. Students should take the following courses in high school: Mathematics (through pre-calculus), one year of Biology, one year of Chemistry, and one year of Physics.
- Take the ACT/SAT test seriously!
Should a high school student take Advanced Placement (AP) courses?
A student should always consider the opportunity to explore challenging material; however, it's important to remember that not all health profession schools will accept AP credit as fulfilling pre-requisites. Students always have the option of declining AP credits and taking the course in college.
What major should I choose?
Students should always pick a major based on an honest assessment of their interests and talents; one that they will enjoy, perform well in, and can provide them an alternate career to health care. While most students interested in heath professions major in biological sciences, this is not required. What is important is that the student demonstrates the ability to read, write, think critically and perform well in all the required sciences/pre-requisites.
While at WSU, who should I see for advising?
Undergraduate students interested in the health professions can seek guidance and advice from the Pre-Health advisor. In addition, each student has an academic advisor specific for their degree. If a student is also participating in the Honors Program, they would also have an Honors advisor assigned to them. It's important for students to remain in contact with their advisor throughout their undergraduate years.
How do I prepare for the required standardized test (e.g. MCAT, DAT, GRE)?
- Become familiar with the material to be tested. Never take the test before you complete the courses and topics you could be tested on.
- Take the practice tests to get an idea of the timing and format of the exam.
- Enroll in a preparatory course or purchase review books to help you organize the material.
- Develop study groups with fellow classmates.
How do I write an effective personal statement or essay?
First make it personal. You want to tell the reader "who you really are." For example, you might choose to write about your journey toward your chosen career, or a personal experience you've been through that made you who you are today. What was your motivation for pursuing this health profession? Use your personal statement to tell your story; something the reader won't necessarily get by reviewing your application.
Always have your statement or essay proof-read by many individuals. Don't be surprised if you write 5-10 drafts before you create a truly effective essay. Your essay should be error-free before submission!
Who should I ask for letters of recommendation?
Recommendation letters required for each professional program will vary and it is important that the applicant be familiar with the requirements. Generally, an applicant should seek a minimum of 3 letters of evaluation. These letters can come from science professors (individuals who taught you in more than one course are recommended), health professionals that have mentored you in the field, employers who can describe your work ethic and personality, or even your pre-health advisor. Often (as in the case with medical schools), the pre-health advisor will write a cover letter of evaluation that will supplement your other letters. It's important that an applicant not choose a family member or friend to write a letter of evaluation.
How should I prepare for an interview?
Students are encouraged to work with the Office of Career Services at Wright State to develop the skills necessary for an impressive interview. The Pre-Health Advisor as well as peer mentors are also available to provide assistance and guidance.
If you are offered an interview, you need to be aware that interview committees are made up of all different types of people, including health professionals, professors, students, community representatives, and others.
Aspects of Personal Effectiveness:
- Always make appropriate eye contact
- Arrive promptly (which is 15-30 minutes EARLY)
- Be reliable in keeping all appointments
- Have an appropriate handshake
- Have an appropriate greeting
- Be appropriately groomed and dressed
- Be appropriate in your use of humor and smiles, and in your emotions and moods
- Inspire confidence and trust
- Have excellent communication skills
- Stay on the topic asked by the interviewer (don't take control!)
- Maintain good body language and posture
- Don't talk too much
- Try to be up on current events in case you are asked about them
- Be prepared to talk about the negatives of your application
- Have several questions ready, in advance, to ask about their program