Freshmen and Sophomore Pre-Health Students
If you are pursuing pre-health requirements you must download and read the Guide One: Pre-Med & Pre-Health Planning at Johns Hopkins, which includes an overview of pre-medical requirements, academic planning suggestions, advanced placement credit, covered grades, medical schools that do not accept AP credit, recommended courses that fulfill pre-medical requirements, and student conduct responsibilities.
The American Association of Medicinal Colleges has compiled an incredible set of resources directed to premedical students! Aspiring Docs is an AAMC program to increase diversity in medicine, recognizing that it is vital for tomorrow’s medical students to be diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, religion, socio-economic status, and sexual orientation, as well as express diversity in experience and thought. Furthermore, having a diverse workforce of doctors is essential to providing the best care for all communities and improving the health of our nation. Visit Aspiring Docs at:
Aspiring Docs includes a popular blog called Aspiring Docs Diaries, which gives premedical students an inside look at what it is like to be a medical student. It also includes an online e-Guide for Pre-Med Students, Quick Answers to Common Questions about Getting Into Medical School, packed with answers to nearly 40 questions about preparing for medical school, applying, testing, financing, and what it’s like to be in medical school. In addition, the AAMC has also pulled together information from Aspiring Docs, MSAR, SMDEP, the MCAT exam, AMCAS, and FIRST into a single booklet which appears at www.aamc.org/aamcpremed. At the center of the booklet is a graphical depiction of one of the typical paths that we see students take on their journey to medical school. To get the graphic as a single, printable page visit www.aamc.org/premedpath.
Also included in this piece are the Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students that have been endorsed by the AAMC’s Committee on Admissions (COA). (They’re also available here: https://www.aamc.org/initiatives/admissionsinitiative/competencies/.)
Tips for Freshmen and Sophomores Planning to Pursue Pre-Health Requirements
Do Well Academically
As a prehealth student it is important that you perform at a high level academically. This is why it is essential for all premedical students to develop good study habits and a college lifestyle that is conducive to academic achievement. This includes (but is not limited to) setting aside enough time in your schedule to study and getting a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble in your first semester try to pinpoint your difficulties and remedy them. Many resources are available to you on campus if you need help including your academic advisor, your professors and teaching assistants, the Counseling Center, and this Office.
Get Involved, But Don't Overload
As a first-year student at Hopkins, we encourage you to pursue your interests both in the classroom and beyond. You should, however, be careful not to over-commit to involvements outside of the classroom. You do not want to be in a position where your out of class activities pull you away from the time necessary to excel academically. Try a couple of activities your first year and, if you find you have time for more, go for it!
Get To Know Your Professors
It is very important that you get to know your professors. This is particularly challenging, however, in light of the size of introductory classes. Do your best to get to know them as, it will not only help you academically, but also will provide you with letters of recommendation when you apply to medical or other health professions school. Make a point of stopping in to meet some of your professors during their office hours, even if you are in a large-introductory level course. You don’t have to have a major question to ask as a pretense to visiting with a professor; any specific question about a course, curiosity about your course work, or questions about a professor’s research interests are all legitimate reasons for visiting with a professor during his/her office hours.
Don’t Neglect The Importance of Healthcare Experience, Volunteering, and Demonstrating Desired Personal Attributes
The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) “reports that while physicians are certainly expected to be knowledgeable and skillful, they are also expected to be altruistic and dutiful.” Seeking out ways to develop these qualities is vital to becoming a competitive applicant.
Visit the Career Center sooner than later
Regrettably, students often overlook this valuable resource Johns Hopkins offer until later in their upperclassmen years. The Career Center provides a variety of services ranging from getting your resume or cover letter critiqued to landing your desired internship or summer position. For more information on programs, services and events the Career Center has to offer please click on the following link: http://jhu.edu/careers/
We look forward to meeting and working with you this year and through your tenure at Johns Hopkins!
The staff of Pre-Professional Programs and Advising are profiled HERE.