A flexible curriculum is possible!
Health Professions students may choose any major, but should meet with a Health Professions advisor and start planning a course of study as soon as possible. If you are interested in a medically related career, you should anticipate beginning your coursework during your first semester (depending on your major). Elon’s Health Professions advisors can assist you in selecting the course of study that can help make you a strong candidate for professional school and can prepare you for the rigors of study once you are accepted.
Students should select a major and obtain a baccalaureate degree in an area that is of greatest interest to them, keeping in mind that the minimum requirements for individual professional schools must be met. Health Professions students should obtain the specific requirements of the schools to which they anticipate applying. The ‘Prerequisites by Career’ tab can help you plan and explore those career paths.
Admission to programs in the health professions is highly competitive. Success involves being committed to your career goals and:
- A high grade point average (overall and in science and math)
- A high score on the appropriate professional exam (e.g., MCAT, DAT, OAT, GRE, etc.)
- Faculty recommendations
- Outside activities that demonstrate altruism and knowledge of the health profession (campus, work and internship experiences)
- An interview with the professional school admissions personnel
- Excellent communication skills.
Shadow a Health Professional
Shadowing is essentially observing a health care practicioner while he/she performs their day-to-day responsibilities in order to assess if a particular career is a good fit for you. Through shadowing you will hopefully get a better sense of what is required for the job as well as what the environment and people might be like. Since the health care industry is extremely diverse it is an excellent idea to shadow people in various professions, specialties and geographic locations. If you have additional interests, don’t just focus your shadowing on health care practitioners.
Shadowing can be done during the academic year, in your hometown over winter term, school breaks, or summer. Health care professionals are very familiar with the concept as many had to arrange this experience themselves. You are encouraged to set up your own shadowing experience at any time and should have multiple observation experiences in a variety of health care settings to ensure that a specific career track is right for you.
To make the most of your shadowing experience, look at the resources below. Please let Dr. Ketcham know if you need help with the process.
Get Real-World Experience
Health Professions students have many opportunities to gain valuable experience through service learning, individualized internships and study abroad. Contacts are made on campus, locally or through hometown health professionals. Opportunities have included:
- Volunteering and working at local clinics
- Assisting in an emergency room
- Serving as a pharmacy technician
- Working with the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity
- Other opportunities through the Kernodle Center for Civic Life.
Health Professions students are encouraged to pursue research projects and present their findings at institutional, regional and national conferences such as Elon’s Student Undergraduate Research Forum and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
Students can join the Elon Pre-Health Society, formally known as Lincoln Health Professions Society (named for a pathologist benefactor) in order to meet other students interested in a variety of health professions and participate in programs such as:
- Visits by representatives of various health profession programs
- Trips to local medical schools
- Practice Medical College Admissions Tests (MCAT) and assistance preparing for professional tests
- Guidance and information on the application processes
- Assistance with individualized internships
- Assistance with interview and writing the personal statement.