Additional Preparation for Health Sciences Careers and Testing
The admission exams for advanced studies are not to be taken lightly. These exams cover material from most of your courses beginning your first semester. Be sure to keep all of your notes and texts for additional study and review prior to taking these exams. The earlier you being to prepare the better off you will be. All of these programs are highly competitive and you will need to both maintain a high GPA, and score well on these exams to be considered for admissions.
For careers in Medicine and Dentistry you will also want to look at the “Collaborative Programs” available to TAMIU students some of which can be applied for as early as your senior year in High School. There are also a number of study guides and programs available for students interested in these fields.
You need to be sure to register for your exam well in advance of the application period. Most students will take these exams during school year within one year of the application deadlines. Be sure to check the deadlines for individual schools or programs you intend to apply to.
Web Links for the Admission Exams for Health Sciences Programs
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
Dental Admission Test (DAT)
Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)
Additional Preparation for Advanced Studies
For all students interested in the Health Sciences it is important for you to be well prepared for the challenges before you. You need to take the initiative to get to know your instructors and take advantages of research opportunities related to your field. Building relationships with your professors is important and they can assist you when you need a letter of recommendation. Be sure to research your field and potential schools that you are interested in. Be sure to note any organizations you can become involved with and opportunities for students.
You will need to demonstrate your commitment to the field by participating in pre-health organizations on your campus. At TAMIU we have the TriBeta/Biology Club, an American Medical Students Association Chapter (AMSA), and the Pre-Dental Club for you to consider. All of these organizations are very active in our community, and you will be able to meet other students with similar interests. Through these types of organizations you will establish a record of service, extracurricular involvement, potentially leadership roles, and tutoring. You will also be better able to balance your academic and personal life.
For any career in the health sciences you need to be prepared for the challenges before you. Though coursework and exam preparation is important, advanced studies in the Health Sciences are unique with difficult professional challenges which cannot be duplicated in a classroom. One of the most important steps you can take in preparing for an advanced degree in the health science is to gain experience in your chosen field. Experience can be either in the form of a paid position or a shadowing/volunteer experience.
Medicine and Dentistry
If you are interested in either medicine or dentistry speak with local practitioners about their careers and profession to gain insight into your career of choice. You may also be able to shadow these individuals. Shadowing will allow you to better understand the day-to-day activities of a medical professional and allow insight into your career of choice.
Tips for shadowing:
For those interested in a career in pharmacology you can also gain valuable experiences through both volunteer and/or work experiences. Be prepared to volunteer at a local hospital to better understand patient care. You can also gain valuable experience working at a community pharmacy. You will be able to discover first-hand the glimpse of a pharmacist in action. At times you will be able to work directly with the pharmacist in a manner similar to shadowing.
Working directly in a pharmacy, you will learn the laws governing various forms of medication, how to check if there are conflicts in medications prescribed to a particular patient, gain a better understanding of the labels associated with medications and the general activities of a pharmacist. Be sure to take the time to ask questions and take notes when working with the pharmacists. Again, you will need to respect the privacy of patients. In all health sciences, the patient’s rights must be protected at all times.
For those interested in a career in physical therapy you can gain valuable experiences through both volunteer and/or work experiences. Be prepared to volunteer at a local hospital to better understand patient care or sports therapy clinic. You will be able to discover first-hand the glimpse of a physical therapist in action. At times you will be able to work directly with the physical therapist or athletic trainer in a manner similar to shadowing. Work study in an athletic training department can also be a great learning tool for a student.
At TAMIU the Head Athletic Trainer is Ernst Feisner who covers all of TAMIU’s sports and student-athletes during season and off-season. The department is vital to student-athletes in respect to injury prevention and rehabilitation of injuries. To contact Ernst Feisner about work study or volunteering you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call his office at 956-326-2905.
It is imperative for students to create a resume for not only schools applying to but also in applying for positions in the career workforce. There are many different formats and designs for resumes but they all should have the basic categories listed in them including:
1. Contact section: Who are you and how can you be reached?
1. Contact Information
Start with your most recent degree or the program in which you are currently enrolled. List other degrees or relevant education in reverse chronological order.
Include research positions held, including the professor who was your supervisor, project title, and duration.
Include internships, location, responsibilities, supervisor name and duration.
Memberships in professional associations and/or clubs within the university. Be sure to list the offices held.
For more information see: http://www.govtjob.net/ResumePrepTip.htm
Asking for Letters of Recommendation
When asking for a letter of recommendation you want to be sure that you know the professor you are requesting the letter from, and to ask if they are willing to write you a positive letter of recommendation. Most professors will let you know if they do not feel they can do this. There are a few tips for helping them write you the strongest letter possible: