What to Look For

1) Disregard claimed percentages on successful medical/dental school placements.

Students get into med/dent school because they have good GPA and MCAT/DAT scores, not because they attend a particular school, i.e. good students have a good chance of getting in, regardless of where they go. Don’t expect to get into medical schools just because you attend an undergraduate program affiliated with a medical school

2) A strong GPA, especially in the sciences, is necessary to be accepted into medical school.

No matter what undergraduate school you attend, the course work you must complete is dictated by what you need to do well on the MCAT/DAT and what medical/dental schools require.  (Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Genetics, Cell Biology, Human Physiology, General Microbiology, Biochemistry). These courses will be rigorous no matter what school you attend. NOTE: Choose a major you could envision a career in and will enjoy.  Med/dent schools absolutely do not care what your major is.  However, no matter what your major, you must take the recommended science courses and do well in them to be a successful candidate.

3) Then why choose one school over another?

One should look at the underlying support structure in place in a program to provide students with special opportunities that strengthen their application and to help students through the application process. Having strong guidance helps ease the worries about what to do and when to do it.  

4) Following is a list of what NMU offers its premedical/predental students. Note that pre-PA’s and pre-chiros can participate in anything that isn’t medical or dental school specific.  When you visit other schools or call them, be sure to ask if they have any of the following: 

 a) Formal preceptorship program (we assign juniors and seniors a physician/dentist with whom they can work on a personal basis, including attending surgeries, hospital rounds, patient visits in the hospital and clinic, etc. (qualified juniors/seniors)

 b) Clinical Conferences at UP Health System - Marquette..Every Friday we take students to listen to a medical presentation (and get a free lunch).  (juniors/seniors)

 c) Premed/Predent Club (they do various volunteer activities and outreach). Open to all students; it's a great way for the underclassmen to get to know upper level students.

 d) Advisory Board Packet and centralized location for letters of recommendation.  We take care of all the letters, including sending them to med/dent schools for the student on request. This takes a lot of the hassle out of the student’s hands.

 e) If one gets a Board interview, they receive a powerful letter of recommendation from the University as well as the opportunity to speak in front of a group of physicians and faculty. It’s good preparation for when the student gets interviews at medical schools.

 f) We keep the students well-informed as to when to register for the MCAT, when the AMCAS (M.D)/AACOMAS (D.O.)/AADSAS (D.D.S.), CASPA (P.A.)  applications are available online, etc. Meetings as scheduled for each class (freshmen through junior) as well as timetables and checklists to help them stay on track.

 g) A mentoring program for our applicants with 3rd and 4th year medical students from Michigan State University who are training at the UP Health System - Marquette hospital.

 h) We give several practice MCATs during the winter semester, a timed test in a group setting to help students get a feel for what the real test situation might be like. 

 i) Several MCAT/DAT review sessions with faculty. (Physics, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology)

 j) Interview seminar with MSU-College of Human Medicine Rural Program staff and medical students. The option for a mock interview is available to applicants.

 k) Volunteer opportunities are made available to all students through UP Health System - Marquette and many other organizations.  These volunteer activities are required for pre-professional health care students.

 l) Overseas medical mission volunteer presentations (open to all students)

 m) NMU Premed Academic Scholarships (juniors and seniors) varying from $500 to $2000.

 n) We continuously feed information to premed/predent students via email, club minutes, and a pre-med & pre-dental bulletin board. We keep students informed of visitors (Air Force, Army, Medical School Admissions, graduate program visitors for PA schools) who would make presentations of interest.  (all students)

 o) We offer a biannual, optional seminar course for freshmen and sophomores where physicians/dentists, and various other health professionals come in on a weekly basis to discuss a wide array of topics;  what medical/dental school is like; health related professions such as physician assistant, veteranarian, chiropractor; medical ethics. (freshmen and sophomores)

 p) We visit medical schools in Michigan biannually. (sophomores and juniors)

 q) Patient visitor program at UP Health System - Marquette (open to all students)

 r) Alpha Epsilon Delta Honor Society (soph and jr rep)

 s) Faculty accessibility...excellent at NMU

 t) Opportunities for undergraduate research....highly recommended for students to try.

 u) Except for intro bio and chem courses (lecture size about 150), most science courses will be small (30 to 40 students), as are freshmen English and math courses.

 

NMU is one of the least expensive universities in the state.  Remember that you will also be provided with a mobile device (notebook) at NMU, included in the cost of tuition but still resulting in lower tuition plus fees than nearly every other public school in Michigan.  The mobile device program is a requirement, but bringing another computer to campus is useful in that it can be permanently set up in your room.

NMU has excellent programs, faculty, students and, top-of-the line science facilities.

Remember though, all of the above helps students get through the process, but is not a guarantee for admission into medical school. You must maintain a 3.5 science GPA and get MCAT scores of 500 to be competitive.  Dental schools look for GPA >3.3 with 18's on the DAT.  It is your responsibility to do well in your classes, but we can help you with the details that will allow you to focus on the all-important course work, preceptorships and volunteerism.

If you want to discuss the program in more detail, or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call for an appointment.  Marsha Lucas, mlucas@nmu.edu

 

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