Pre-medicine at George Fox
The Medical Professions at George Fox University
Nursing, Physical Therapy
- Students who wish to major in these and related areas typically spend two to three years at George Fox before continuing at the appropriate professional school.
- Prenursing advisor - Dwight Kimberly
Students who wish to major in pharmacy typically spend three to four years at George Fox before enrolling at a pharmacy school
Premedical, PreDental, and PreVeterinary
Students who wish to pursue a career in the health professions usually major in Biology or Chemistry. George Fox University offers all of the science and mathematics courses required by the various professional schools.
Students should be aware that, in addition to meeting the minimal entrance requirements into medical school, good grades (3.5 or above), and a strong performance on the national admissions tests (MCAT, DAT, VAT, usually taken in the spring of the junior year) are essential. Also necessary for admission are letters of recommendation and an interview with the professional school's admissions committee.
George Fox University is committed to the training of health professionals. This document is an attempt to summarize the resources available at GFU and the process for applying and being accepted into a health professional school. A very helpful book is the
Medical Professions Admission Guide, Strategy for Success,published by the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions. This book is available for check out from the science building office or can be purchased.
Premed advising - Paul Chamberlain, Jeff Duerr
Any of the biology or chemistry faculty are knowledgeable, available and willing to help students.
Faculty can give you advise on applying, interviewing, admission requirements such as course requirements, MCAT tests and other assistance.
RESOURCES IN THE SCIENCE BUILDING OFFICE, EHS 206
Catalogs and Information on schools
These are on file in the building office and can be checked out from the science department secretary.
Books and brochures on the health professions.
The Biology and Chemistry department keeps a number of books and brochures that students will find helpful on reserve in the science building office. These can be checked out from the science department secretary.
Especially helpful are:
Medical Professions Admission Guide, Strategy for Success
Medical School Admission Requirements
Write for Success: Preparing a Successful Professional School Application
The Medical School Interview
Meeting the Challenge of the MCAT
AMCAS (The American Medical College Application Service) applications.
This is the first step in applying to medical school. The science office provides applications on paper or computer disk, Windows only. The electronic application , AMCAS-E , can also be downloaded from the internet directly to your Windows based computer.
MCAT, DCAT test applications
These can be picked up from the science building office when they are received.
This site has information about he AAMCS and MCAT as well as other helpful information about getting into medical school
This site is very good for giving links to other helpful sites.
General and specific information sessions about health professions are held each year
The Health Professions Bulletin Board
Testing Dates will be posted on the bulletin board outside the science building office and announced on foxmail. Other information such as statistics on medical school admissions, MCAT deadlines, etc. will also be posted on this board.
- Study hard, learn about the profession, stick to your goal and apply early . If you are not admitted: 1) find out why; 2) try to do something to improve your chances next time, e.g. better test scores, talking additional science courses at George Fox or the medical school you wish to enter; and 3) apply a second or third time. The need to apply more than once is becoming more and more common as the average of medical students increases.
Talk to students here at George Fox and to George Fox students already in a professional program.
Practicing health professionals
Shadowing a physician, dentist etc. can be very helpful in determining whether you would really like to have a career in that profession.
- Admissions officers
Admissions officers of the professional school you are interested in are usually willing to answer telephone questions and arrange visits. It is highly recommended that you contact the admissions office of the school that you are applying to in order to obtain the latest information.
Additional resources may be found in the Murdock Learning Resource Center
STEPS OF ADMISSION TO A PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM
1. Your academic record
- 2. Your score on admissions tests
3. Your application
- 4. Your letters of recommendation
5. Your Interview
6. Some fields require that you have spent a specific number of hours with a practitioner
1. Your Academic Record
Know the course and GPA requirements for the professional schools you want to enter. It may be broken down into your GPA in science courses, all other courses and total, year-by-year. Most admissions committees want to see evidence that you can handle a respectable load of science courses. They are very willing to take into account improvement throughout your college career.
2. Health Profession Admissions Tests
There are admissions tests for the following health professions:
Veterinary Medicine VCAT
For some allied health professions AHPAT
You must register and pay a fee in advance in order to take the test
Registration forms may be obtained from the Science Building Office, Rm 206
Familiarize yourself with the details of the test itself:
The type of test:
Does it test content knowledge, aptitude, reasoning ability, or all three? For example, the Dental test has a visual aptitude section. Most tests attempt to measure verbal and quantitative reasoning skills as well as specific content knowledge appropriate to the discipline.
The types of questions
All have multiple choice, in addition there is a writing sample on the MCAT
Length of exam
Most are long. The MCAT takes nearly 6 hours
Prepare for the test!!!!!!
Long term study
What you have been doing all your life.
Cramming is not recommended
Almost useless. Can be stressful and counter-productive
Review booklets and practice exams
A recent exam is usually available for practice. We also try to have study helps available to students to check out. MCAT sends a practice exam when you register. All MCAT registrants should also order the MCAT Student Manual (One of these is also available in the science office) which explains the nature of the content areas of the test and the types of questions asked. We keep practice tests available in the building office.
Stanley Kaplan courses cost approx. $1000. They may help those who need the discipline of an organized review, practice taking timed multiple choice tests. MCAT officials estimate that 70% of MCAT test-takers have taken a review course. MCAT claims that they don't help, Kaplan claims they do. You must travel to a test site on a Saturday or weekday evening for several weeks prior to the test in order to take the course. Kaplan materials are also available without taking the course.
When should I take the MCAT or other admission test?
After you have completed the courses measured in the test. Ideally, in the spring of your junior year. This allows time for a retake if you want to try to get a higher score.
Should I retake a health profession admission test?
There is not a simple answer to this question. According to MCAR data, retakes average less than a 1 point gain. Those with low scores (<8) tended to gain more than a point. Retake a test only if you have taken specific steps to improve your performance.
The test information booklet will tell you what to bring in order to establish your identity. Be aware of this so you won't be stressed by it. Some admission tests have an elaborate test-day security system
Know how your scores are reported and scaled in relation to other test-takers
Your score is given as a percentile ranking, which indicates where you stand in relation to other test-takers. Therefore, a high or low score on your test does not necessarily mean you are better or worse than the rest of the group.
3. Your Application
Practice on a photocopy of the application
Make sure you know the deadline, and apply early!
The Early Decision Program (EDP) allows applicants to apply early at one school, and, if accepted, be notified of the school's admission decision by October 1. If not accepted under the EDP, applicants will automatically be placed in the regular applicant pool by the school and may then apply to additional schools. The Medical School Admission Requirement publication provides information on which schools participate in the EDP.
Have an adviser, friend, etc. review your application essay
It must be typed or computer printed on a laser printer
Some health professions use a common application service
Almost all U.S. medical schools belong to the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges). AAMC operates a common application service called AMCAS (American Medical University Application Service). You must first fill out an AMCAS application, send it to AAMC and designate the medical schools that are to receive it. The fee is $55 for the first school, with a decreasing fees for additional schools. When the medical schools receive your AMCAS application, they will send you a secondary application of their own if they are interested in having you follow up with them. These secondary applications also costs money.
AMCAS packets can be picked up from the science secretary, EHS 206. (If you are interested in a non-AMCAS school you must have your MCAT scores sent to those schools)
Some applications require you to collect your letters of recommendation in sealed envelopes and enclose them with the application. Others will want the recommender to send them directly to the school.
Allow enough time (2 - 4 weeks) for your recommenders to prepare their letters. Also include with the recommendation request a resume that highlights your accomplishments and experience. This will help the person writing the recommendation.
4. Your Interview
Seek interviewing advice from our Career Services Office.
Read the booklet "The Medical School Interview".
At the minimum, be prepared to answer questions about the following:
Why are you interested in a career in this profession? Why do you want to become a ? Your answer needs to be more sophisticated than-".... because I want to help people."
Be prepared for open-ended questions, such as, Tell me alittle about yourself/your family, or What is the most important thing you learnded growing up.
Be prepared to show some knowledge and understanding of major health issues, e.g., the Oregon Health Plan, Universal Health Insurance, AIDS, Death with dignity/Euthanasia, etc. Look at the editorials and letters to the editor of several issues of the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA.
Be prepared to state specifically what you have done to find out about a given health profession and the school that offers training in that profession.
Be prepared to show that you know something about the curriculum of the health professions school.
Be prepared to show your commitment to the profession. It is a long haul and medical schools are looking for people that are so committed they will stay to the end.
Be prepared to ask questions yourself if the opportunity arises
You want the interviewer to have a positive image of you. At the risk of offending some who know how to do this already: Polish your shoes, iron your clothes, cut/style your hair . Men wear a coordinated coat, shirt, tie, and slacks or suit. Women wear a dress or suit, no slacks. If you wear make-up don't overdo it and don't wear flashy jewelry.
When the entire committee considers your application file, the committee member that interviewed you will present their impressions to the committee.
There are reduced airfares available for students traveling to interviews in distant states.
5. Your Letters of Recommendation
Give your recommenders plenty of time to write their letters, at least two weeks.
Give them a list with addresses and deadlines
If there is a recommendation form, be sure to complete the top part and sign if requested.
Most health professions have a form that your recommender fills out. It asks, among other things, how long we have known you and in what capacity. It may ask us to rank you in comparison to some reference group - usually all people in a given course, all majors, or all those applying to a given health profession. Many forms have a box to check Highly Recommended, Recommended, Recommended with reservations, Not Recommended.
It is essential to provide a recommender some information about yourself, your courses, activities, interests, scholarships, awards, etc. It can also be helpful to give the recommender your essay, or at least a statement about why you are interested in the particular profession.
Some Health Professions Schools require a "committee" letter. The George Fox pre-med advisory committee can provide such a letter.
It is not necessary to give us a stamped addressed envelope to mail the recommendation, but some faculty may ask for it.
Schools are looking for persons highly committed to the medical field. Thus it is always helpful if you have had some experience, paid or voluntary in the health field. It is also wise to show active involvement in organizations etc. on campus. Even though good grades are essential, demonstrating that you are a well rounded individual with a variety of interests is also important.
You have the best chance of being admitted to a health profession program in the state where you are a legal resident. If you are claimed as a dependent of your parents' tax forms you are usually considered a resident of the state where they reside and pay taxes. But is is possible to establish residency. Most state-supported professional schools will not consider residents of other states, except MD-Ph.D. applicants and under-represented minorities. OHSU will accept out of state applications.
WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education).
Some states do not have state-supported professional schools for certain professions. Oregon, for example, has no state supported physical therapy school (the one at Pacific University is privately supported).
If there is no state-supported professional school in your state for the profession you are interested in, you may be able to apply to programs in other states through
WICHE is essentially a reciprocal exchange agreement among several western states to accept applications from students for programs that one state has, e.g., Pharmacy (which Oregon has), that another state doesn't have. In return, those states will accept applications from students for programs that they have, e.g., Physical Therapy, (which Oregon doesn't have as a state-supported program).
For most health professions you can be any major you wish as long as you take the required courses for you particular area. The majority of students do major in Biology or Chemistry.
Students are admitted because they are competitive with the rest of the applicant pool.
George Fox has had an excellent success rate (approximately 80% compared to a national average of 50%) of its students being accepted into medical school. In particular those students who have done well at George Fox University (GPA's of 3.5 or greater) have have a success rate of over 95%. Understand that there are no guarantees for admission to medical school. It takes intelligence, hard work, and perseverance.
Some of our graduates who have persevered:
Fred Van Gorkum Veterinarian, missionary, Ethiopia, Africa DVM, University of Washington
David Olson Hospital administrator MPH, University of Washington
Mary Kay Evans Physician, Vancouver, WA MD, Loma Linda University
Matthew Haehlen Dentist DDS, Oregon Health Sci. Univ.
Susie Dillon Physician, Boise, ID MD, Oregon Health Sci. Univ.
Toby Long Family Physician, Eastern Washington MD, Oregon Health Sci. Univ.
Tim Janzen Family Physician, Portland, OR MD, Oregon Health Sci. Univ.
Tim Peters Family Physician, Silverton, OR MD, University of Kansas
Steve Gilroy Dentist, Newberg, OR DDS, Oregon Health Sci. Univ.
Emil Heinze , MD, Loma Linda University
Nathan Sundgren Medical Student, OHSU
Andrea Mayer, MD, University of Washington
Predental, Premedical, Preveterinary
George Fox University offers all of the science and mathematics courses required by the appropriate professional schools. Students who wish to pursue a career in medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine usually select a major in biology or chemistry. It is important to consult with your academic advisor early in setting up a plan for a strong program. Students should be aware that, in addition to meeting the minimal entrance requirements into medical school, good grades (3.5 GPA or above), and a strong performance on the national admissions tests (MCAT, DAT, VAT, usually taken in the spring of the junior year) are essential. Also necessary for admission are letters of recommendation and an interview with the professional school's admissions committee.
Even though specific requirements differ with each medical school the requirements uniformly include the following:
Biology Credit Hours
BIO 101 General Biology 4
BIO 102 General Biology 4
CHE 111 General Chemistry 4
CHE 112 General Chemistry 4
CHE 325 Organic Chemistry 4
CHE 326 Organic Chemistry 4
PHY 201 General Physics 4
PHY 202 General Physics 4
One year of mathematics, which is usually fulfilled by:
MTH 201 Calculus I 4
MTH 202 Calculus II 4
Other courses highly recommended are:
BIO 310 Developmental Biology 4
BIO 322 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 4
BIO 330 Animal Physiology 4
BIO 350 Genetics 4
BIO 370 Microbiology 4
BIO 420 Cell Biology 3
CHE 310 Analytical Chemistry 4
CHE 340 Biochemistry 3
CHE 410 Advanced Chemical Measurements 3
PHL 230 Ethics 3
PSY 150 General Psychology 3
PSY 311,312 Human Development 3, 3
SOC 151 Sociology 3