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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Getting the Most Out of Your Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences

 
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) make up a major portion of the pharmacy school curriculum, and are an opportunity for pharmacy students to see the practical application of what they have learned in their classroom coursework. Most schools require a total of one year of APPE, although some schools may require more or longer rotations. APPE rotations provide students with opportunities for active learning through exposure to actual pharmacy practice settings and allow students to refine and reinforce their knowledge and skills in patient care, problem solving and decision making.

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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 hope to enter, conducting lab research will enhance your application. Learn how admissions committees view research experience and how to get it.

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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Personal Statement Myths

You have read every thread on SDN about personal statements, but you still aren’t sure what you should or should not do. A ton of conflicting information is “out there” and whether you are applying to medical school, pharmacy school or anything in between, you need to be aware of some common myths about what you “must” do.
I hear about most of these myths from medical school applicants: “But my advisor said I should NEVER write about that!” “But, my fourth cousin once removed who is in medical school at a top 10 school said I shouldn’t do that.” Like everything else in the medical admissions process, personal statements have few absolutes or formulas so always take such definitive advice with a grain of salt. So, what are some of the myths I hear most often?

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7 Top Tips to Get Stellar Letters of Recommendation

How to Get Stellar Letters of Recommendation

No matter what type of health professional school you are targeting, you will need to obtain letters of reference. Dr. Lisabetta Divita provides tips on getting the best letters possible.

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.

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Student Hosts

 
So you’ve scheduled an interview at your dream school and bought your plane ticket, but where will you stay the night before the interview?
Interviewees have several options available to them when choosing lodging.  Oftentimes, the obvious choice is a hotel room located close to the school, but this option can be expensive.  Staying with a student host can be a great alternative.
If you have browsed the Student Doctor Network Forums, you are probably aware that student hosting exists, but you might not understand exactly how it works or why it’s a good option.

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