The Office of Health Professions Advising (OHPA) believes that advising is an important part of the pre-health student’s preparation for professional school. Each pre-health advisor is a member of the National Association of Advisors in Health Professions (NAAHP) and its regional body the Southern Association of Advisors in Health Professions (SAAHP). Pre-health advisors annually participate in continuing education events (webinars, workshops, etc.) to stay current with the trends and best practices in advising pre-health students.
Our students have a reputation for being positive change agents in our campus community and in their professional programs. In order to best prepare for an advising appointment with us, we recommend that students remember the acronym P.R.E.P:
REFLECT- Is this major/path still right for me? Am I competitive? What are my barriers to success and how can I address them?
ENGAGE- Share this plan with advisors and mentors. Create realistic action plans.
PRACTICE- Register for classes at your registration time. Find ways to demonstrate your passion or commitment to this plan.
Advising Freshmen: We believe that all prehealth students should have a great start at our university, which is why we recommend that prehealth freshmen students meet with a prehealth advisor once per semester. Our discussions will include assessing your adjustment to college, finding organizations and activities that are meaningful to you, and keeping you aware of your academic competitiveness. We seek to make you aware of the road ahead and map out a strong first-year experience both inside and outside the classroom. Prehealth advisors lift course registration pins for College of Arts and Science 1st year students (freshmen and transfer) only, however, if you are in a different college, we will still advise you on your pre-health track-related questions. Schedule an appointment or come to on-call or drop-in advising.
Advising Sophomores: By your second year, students have had a year of foundation science coursework and student involvement behind them. Our office supports pre-health sophomores by working with them to design an individualized academic and co-curricular plan to help them towards their goal of pursuing the medical profession of their dreams. Sophomores are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with a pre-health advisor in the fall of their sophomore year in order to help get feedback and advice about future activities and a competitiveness check.
Advising Juniors: Your third year (junior year) is often referred to as “The Application Year” in our office. As advisors, we understand your years of preparation both inside and outside the classroom, your demonstrated passion, and the student’s desire to put forth their best professional school application. From our applicant workshops, our junior seminar application course, we strive to help our applicants navigate the application process. Our conversations during this year include: selecting schools and programs that fit your application, preparing for your standardized test (MCAT, OAT, PCAT, DAT, etc.), tips on writing your personal statement, and so much more. Our office recommendation is that pre-health juniors come in for an advising appointment once per semester during their application year, also utilizing our walk-in advising times for quick questions if needed.
Advising Seniors: Whether it’s helping you prepare for interviews, deciding between acceptance offers, or planning a meaningful gap year, we are here to help! We have workshops and seminars for seniors and recommend that seniors come in for an appointment with their pre-health advisor at least once during the school year.
Make an appointment with a health professions advisor here: http://appointment.as.ua.edu