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].

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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

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How to: Get into Undergraduate Research

 
Regardless of the health profession you are hoping to enter, you’ll find that grades alone are not enough to assure admission. Depending on your desired program and the schools you apply to, you may be expected to show experience in diverse areas such as community service, clinical experience, and leadership.
An additional area sometimes overlooked by students is conducting lab research during undergraduate studies. Several counselors we talked to mentioned that a good number of students still apply to health professions schools with little to no research experience, although this is quickly changing.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Interview Advice: What to Wear, What to Wear

“I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn’t itch.” Gilda Radner
Let’s face it, we live in a much less formal era than those preceding. The anomaly of casual Friday has become the norm in American culture. Many people work from home, conquering the world through a computer while wearing a comfy pair of sweatpants. This new trend can lead one astray when it comes to the medical school interview. The increase in informality is compounded by the fact that many of those being interviewed may never have had the opportunity to wear a suit for a formal event.
Often times, an applicant is left with an awful feeling shortly before an interview when they realize they may not be in compliance with the “dress code.” It can be distressing when you discover there are rules to the game but no one gave you a copy. Not to worry.

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