Pre-med/med school Q&A

December 28th, 2009

Since Oregon State is a research university and students interested in the medical professions are on the rise, I thought we could get some information from Chere Pereira, Chief Premedical and Predental Advisor here at Oregon State. I recently threw a few questions Chere’s way to see what she had to say.

Which medical schools do most OSU pre-med students attend?
Our graduates attend medical schools all across the country, with the majority of them at OHSU (the only medical school in the State of Oregon).

What makes OSU graduates so successful in getting admitted to med school?
OSU students get off to a good start, getting the right information from the very beginning about what it takes to be a competitive medical school applicant. Then they get the support they need through all aspects of the application process.

Are there any characteristics that make for a successful med school applicant?
There is no single cookie-cutter best-med-school applicant. Medical schools are looking for excellence and accomplishment, and both depth and breadth. Students must excel in academics and communication skills, have very good health care experience, a commitment to community service and an understanding of health care issues.

Are there any unique things about OSU that help our students?
Research opportunities, a broad choice of majors that work well for medical school preparation, experienced and accessible premed advisors, Premedical Orientation course, Application Seminars, Scholarships for premed and medical students….
these all help our students become fantastic med school applicants.

Are there any trends regarding entrance to med school either nationally or regionally? There is a shortage of health care providers. Medical schools are increasing their class sizes, and new medical schools are opening.

What majors are best suited for students interested in medical school? Are activities important? Students can apply to medical school with any major, as long as required courses are completed. Most OSU students choose a science major (Biology, Biochemistry/biophysics, Microbiology, Chemistry, Zoology). Others choose applied science (EXSS, Nutrition) or engineering (Bioengineering, Radiation Health Physics) or liberal arts (Spanish, Psychology, etc).
Activities are very important, and students should pursue areas of personal interest . Medical schools are especially interested in applicants who have challenged themselves outside of their comfort zone. Looking for opportunities to work with people who are different from themselves, to learn more about the human condition, is very important.

Is there anything else that you would share with someone considering OSU for pre-med?

Get A’s- here are the keys to your success:
Self Assessment

What is a good way to learn about other health professions?
There are many outstanding career opportunities in the health professions, and there are excellent websites that will give you insight into some of these. is a good place to start. Also consult the Occupational Handbook at .

For more information about health careers in Oregon visit the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) website at . On campus every year the College of Science sponsors a Health Professions Career Fair in April and this is an excellent opportunity to talk to people who represent many different health careers. Examples of some excellent career options to consider are Audiology, Medical Informatics, Anesthesiologist Assistants, Pathologist Assistants, etc.

Thanks to Chere for her insight. For more frequently asked questions about medical school visit the College of Science med school FAQ website.


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