Tag: pre-health advising

Good Timing

by gwilson on Feb.23, 2010, under A Day in the Life...

snow dogsWhat a crazy winter it has been in Abilene!  It is snowing AGAIN, and McMurry’s classes will start at 11 this morning to give students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to take their time and travel safely to campus.  This make at least three “major” storms here this winter – enough snow and ice to delay or cancel classes.  Right now we are at 4 inches of snow and growing.  For a city where the average high temperature this time of year is in the 60s and low in the 40s, it has been a rude and rough winter.

Some people have all the luck.  Dr. Larry Sharp, our human biology guru and the pre-health advisor, was invited to tour one of the Caribbean medical schools this week.  So, while we are digging out and scraping ice, the only ice he’s worried about is for his tea as he watches tropical sunsets from his cabana.  The only scraping he’ll do is to get the sand off his feet after a walk along the beach. Why didn’t we have trips like this when I was pre-med advisor?

One connection we hope Dr. Sharp will make this week is with one of our graduates.  Dr. Cari Roark Sloma received her doctorate in medical immunology from the Mayo Clinic’s Graduate School.  After completing a special year-long post-doctoral program for medical scientists working with physicians and working in industry a couple of years, she moved her family to the Caribbean to join the faculty at one of the medical schools in the region.  Not bad for an El Paso girl who saw great success at McMurry in her academic and extracurricular activities – a very involved student who didn’t give up life to thrive in the sciences.  But she also took advantage of some special opportunities beyond our campus.  She was a participant in two NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer programs at TTU and Indiana after her sophomore and junior years.  Result?  A passion for biomedical research developed in Cari and led her to this time and place of her life.

Larry, give her a hug and tell her we’re proud of her!  Then, bring some of that tropical weather back with you to Abilene.  Please!

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PREP Class Update

by gwilson on Nov.14, 2009, under A Day in the Life...

Students scoring classmate's personal statements

Students scoring classmate's personal statements

This semester McMurry has taken preparation for the health professions to a whole new level with a new Pre-Professions (PREP) seminar course.  This elective course taught by Dr. Larry Sharp (see BIMS faculty or BIMS contact information for more on Dr. Sharp) is open to any student, and our hope is all those who plan on pursuing acceptance into a health professions program (medical, dental, physical therapy, pharmacy, etc.) will take the four semester sequence of seminars.

So, what’s been going on in the FIRST semester?  PREP students have been busy with group projects outlining the different disciplines of interest. Sixteen (16) groups presented PowerPoint lectures illustrating each discipline’s answers to the following questions:

  • What (Texas) schools offer your degree specialization?
  • What prerequisites are required? (Common and school specific)
  • What entrance exam is required?  What are the minimums required for scores/GPA?
  • What would be a typical “Day in the Life..” for a practitioner?
  • What courses would be taken while in the professional school?
  • Are internships required prior to application?
  • Are there additional courses/fellowships required?
  • What is the ratio of applicants versus offered seats?

Students in the PREP seminar class have also started working on their individual personal statements (not an easy task!).  Our experience shows statements that express well one’s motivation and convey the strengths and personalities of the applicant often take months and months of drafts and re-writes.  A separate blog on the way that has been approached is available at the SNCS website (, “PREP Class Working on Personal Statements”).

The PREP seminar also features a full slate of guest speakers during its hour-long weekly meetings.  So far this semester, students have heard from the following people:

  • McMurry Faculty, Dr Joel Brant – Graduate School opportunities
  • McMurry Faculty,  Dr. Timothy Renfro – Medical Physics
  • US Army Staff Sergeant, Sean Sullivan – Health Professional opportunities/scholarships
  • Ross University, Associate Director of Admissions, Tiffany Ciolek

 The slate of speakers will continue throughout the spring, as admissions advisors from Texas medical and dental and pharmacy schools come to Abilene to share their processes and expectations with future applicants.

In all these ways, McMurry is pro-actively preparing its students for that moment of truth when all their college experiences are distilled down into readiness for professional school application and matriculation.  Preparing the next generation of health professionals is a meticulous and deliberate process improved by the attention of knowledgeable and caring faculty.

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