Our program thrives on feedback from graduates, unsolicited comments that help us shape and improve our program. It is one of two things we ask of every BIMS graduate: stay in touch and let us know what we are doing well and where we need change. The other thing we ask is for them to be successful and change the world.
So it is not a surprise that we have heard back from a student who is in his first year of medical school. He provided his topic list for the first week or so of medical school, with a comment that a week of medical school includes a semester of biochemistry. That, and the emphasis on metabolism and physiology, are signals to us to be sure our pre-med students are advised into particular courses and that our required courses emphasize important topics. We want our students to be successful and prepared. So every comment from alums is considered valuable to that end.
Next week, I will be giving the welcome for the faculty to the students of McMurry at our Fall Convocation. The key point I will make is that faculty are not the enemy – we are the allies who work with students to achieve success. The enemies are laziness, distraction, and lack of discipline that cause students to lose their focus on what is important to their future. They need to devote everything within them to growth of body, mind, and spirit during their four years of college. We, the faculty, are devoting our efforts to help this happen; they need to do their part as well.
Faculty are in an unusual position of giving away to students everything they have learned in order to allow their students to achieve greater things than they thought possible. It is an unselfish and totally satisfying career. But I digress… :) Suffice it to say that this week’s feedback from our med student alum is rewarding – a student says “thanks” and moves forward to achieve his dream. Our program learns valuable information that can be applied to give others that same advantage in professional school. And the sweet rewards of being a college faculty member are realized.
“On behalf of the Joint Admission Medical Program Council, I am pleased to inform you of your acceptance into the Joint Admission Medical Program. As a participating JAMP student, you are a member of an elite group of highly qualified students selected to participate in this program.
As a participant of JAMP you will be matched to one of the participating Texas medical schools for your first summer program internship. The summer program dates range from May 23rd to June 25th or from May 30th to July 2nd.
Congratulations and welcome to the JAMP family. The JAMP Council, Staff and Faculty Director at your university are proud to have you as a participant in this exciting program.”
Bryce says he is “definitely excited!” He must maintain a 3.25 GPA and complete two summer internships at two different medical schools in Texas. “Then, I’ll be good to go!”
When you see Mr. Stash, please congratulate him on this achievement!
(Story provided by Dr. Larry Sharp)
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 (http://blogs.mcm.edu/sncs/, “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.