Author Links:

LinkedIn

All About Competency: Part 6

For future pre-health professional students, developing competencies and communicating them to admissions committees will be critical for success.

All About Competency: Part 5

Professionalism: the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize a profession or a professional person.
If you ever give this answer to anyone who asks you what professionalism is, then remember to cite Merriam-Webster [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/professionalism].

Read more

All About Competency: Part 4

Part 4: How Competencies Are Evaluated

(Part of this article is based on another article I have published: “Competency-based holistic evaluation of prehealth applicants” (The Advisor [NAAHP publication] 29(2): 30-36, 2009).)
If you’ve ever tried applying for a job for the government, you will often be asked by USAJobs.gov to self-assess your competency development as follows:

A – Lacks education, training or experience in performing this task
B – Has education/training in performing task, not yet performed on job
C – Performed this task on the job while monitored by supervisor or manager
D – Independently performed this task with minimal supervision or oversight
E – Supervised performance/trained others/consulted as expert for this task

Read more

All About Competency: Part 3

Part 3: Competency Mirror, Not the Carnival Mirror

Did you ever like carnival mirrors?  It’s often funny to see how these mirrors exaggerate various body parts to make you look like you have a short body (dwarfism) or an enlarged head (megaloencephaly).
The distorted view is often as entertaining as the game of comparison obsessively played by many prehealth applicants.  Way too often we measure ourselves by the schools we attend, the grades we made, the research we’ve performed, the clinical experiences we’ve had, the trips we’ve taken, and the clubs we’ve joined.  While often there may be some who enjoy one-upping others in their achievements, the echo chamber effect often makes it hard for individuals to really see the impression they make to others in the admissions process, and it really is this difference that can doom applicants.

Read more

All About Competency: Part 2

Part 2: Identifying and Evaluating Your Strengths and Weaknesses

What is your biggest weakness?  What is your greatest strength?

Ever been stumped by these questions on an interview?  Who hasn’t?  I assure you the range of answers given to these questions should be a subcategory in the LOLcats website.  I’ve heard way too many “I focus a lot on my studies” as answers to both questions.  Nevertheless, most companies and professional school admissions committees cite these questions (or similar variations) among their many sample interview questions.
Some of my advice on this topic can be found on the Kaplan Medical School Insider webinar [free pre-registration required], using the analogy that an applicant’s biggest weakness was (noting the pun) being overweight.  While that particular example is quite valid, this article focuses on helping you identify a weakness that answers this question honestly.

Read more

All About Competency: Part 1

Think that great grades = great doctor? In the 21st century, success will require you build competencies that you can apply to evolving technology. Part one of a six part series.

How to Work with Pre-Health Advisors and Committees

Have you ever noticed that many schools note that they want a letter of recommendation from a “pre-health advisor or committee if available to the student”?  In this article, I’d like to give you the basics of what a pre-health advisor is from my perspective and why they can be your ally in the application process.

Read more