Tag Archives: Allopathic Medicine

Seven Ways to Spend Your Winter Break

Dear Pre-Med students,

The end of the semester is just around the corner, and you’re only a few days away from some very well-deserved time off. Not sure what to do over your winter break? The AAMC has seven suggestions for you.

  1. Make summer plans. Gaining valuable experiences and exposure to the field of medicine is important for showing admissions committees why this is the right career for you. It’s not too early to start researching and applying for summer positions or programs. One option is the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP), a free, six-week academic enrichment program held at 13 program sites across the country. The application for summer 2017 is open until March 1. You can search for more opportunities here.
  2. Read for fun. You probably read a lot for your classes all semester, so break is a great time to read something just for you. And it doesn’t have to be related to medicine. But if you’re looking for book recommendations for aspiring physicians, check out our list. Look up other recommendations and share what you’re reading on social media with #premedreads.
  3. Learn about the application process. If you’re applying to medical school in 2017, now is a good time to start thinking about your application timeline, personal statement, and letters of evaluation. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®) for information, resources, and tutorials specific to the application process. For a more comprehensive overview, we recommend The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions. (We have ordered a copy and it should be in the CCI to borrow by J-Term.)
  4. Reflect on why you’re pursuing medicine. One question that will be essential to answer when writing your personal statement and interviewing at medical schools is “why medicine?” It’s important to have an answer that’s specific and personal. If your answer is something general that could apply to many pre-meds (“I like to help people” or “I like science”), look closer at your experiences and the deeper reasons that keep you motivated to pursue this path. This will help differentiate you from the thousands of other applicants when it comes time to apply.
  5. Make a MCAT study plan. If you’re taking your MCAT exam in January 2017, you’re probably already planning to study over your break. Even if you’re taking the exam later in the year, you can start making a study plan now. Here are some tips to get you started with developing your own plan based on your study habits, schedule, and learning style.
  6. Volunteer. There are lots of opportunities to get involved in your community, especially around the holidays, such as volunteering at a food bank or sorting toy donations. Remember, you don’t just have to look for medically related opportunities for it to be to be valuable and meaningful experience. Here are some tips for finding volunteer experiences.
  7. Relax and recharge. Feel like you need a break? Taking a step back and not doing anything pre-med related is okay, too. Sleep in, spend time with family and friends, catch up on a TV show, or whatever else is going to help you start the New Year and new semester strong and motivated. Learning how to find balance is an essential skill that will help you be successful now, in medical school, and as a future doctor.

Free Kaplan MCAT Prep Study Break starts December 21

Kaplan has winter break goodies for everyone: 6 days of free, live MCAT help for students!

Free MCAT Prep Study Break, December 21-30

You can make the most of their winter break and get a jump on your MCAT prep. Kaplan’s top-rated experts will review high-yield science topics, offer a practice test, and teach time-saving strategies in livestreamed sessions.

Learn more here.

Stetson Powell Orthopedic Year Long Pre-Med Internship

Stetson Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is looking to hire six recent graduates and aspiring doctors for its year-long, paid internship program. This internship is designed to provide practical experience to college graduates bound for medical school. The interns work directly with the physicians and will learn how to take medical histories, document patient present illnesses, review X-ray and MRI results from the in-office X-ray and MRI machines, and to synthesize information into possible diagnoses. The interns will have the opportunity to attend both arthroscopic and open surgery of the shoulder, knee, elbow, hip, and ankle. They will engage in ongoing research projects with the goal of publishing their projects in peer-reviewed journals. Finally, the interns have the opportunity to learn the business side of medicine by sitting in on business and financial meetings of the group and occasionally assisting with the overall operation of the office. Our program started in 2005 and we are proud that all of our interns have been accepted into medical school.

The internship program begins each year on the first of June. Qualifications are students who have recently graduated from a university, taken the MCAT, and plan on attending medical school. Interest in Orthopedics is preferred, but not required as this experience will help all aspiring doctors.

More information about the internship can be found on their website http://www.stetsonpowell.com/internship/.

If you are interested in applying, please have e-mail a cover letter and resume to Andrew Bannister.

5 Things To Consider For a Productive Pre-Health Thanksgiving Break

1. Update Your Resume.

When applying for opportunities, your resume, cover letter, and application materials are your first impression. These documents will help you land an interview, so it is important to detail your experience and accomplishments clearly and concisely.

While there is no one right way to write a resume, there are guidelines you should follow to convey a positive, meaningful message. Additionally, for each position you apply for, you should write a new cover letter that is geared toward that specific job and company/organization.

To get started:

  • Review the Resume and Cover Letter Guide for all majors and industries. This guide outlines suggestions for formatting, organization, and content and can walk you through the process of creating either document. Included is also a list of action verbs.

  • Utilize the list of Core Professional Competencies to highlight the skills you have gained during your experiences

  • View resume samples here

2. Start a First Draft of Your Personal Statement.

It is never too early to work on your personal statement. Starting early can relieve a lot of stress when it comes down to the application cycle. Starting early allows you to have family, friends, and your advisors read it over. Expect there will be many drafts over time. Learn from the experts:

3. Volunteer.

Use your break to dip your toe into a service opportunity. Or research where you’d like to volunteer when you return to campus. Service of some kind is fully integrated into the health care professional’s undergraduate experience. Most applicants have a strong sense of service, of wanting to help others feel better, making health care work better, and, in many cases, giving back to their communities. There are many ways for you to engage in the community and you can design your own service path. Admissions boards value engagement in community service as a way to demonstrate respect toward others with very different life circumstances, empathy, and cultural sensitivity. They want students to demonstrate a desire to help others and sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings. Ideal applicants demonstrate a desire to alleviate others’ distress; recognize and act on his/her responsibilities to society, locally, nationally, and globally. The average medical school applicant has 100 hours of community service when they apply.

4. Shadow.

Again, consider using this time to research clinical shadowing experiences. A strong emphasis is placed on your clinical exposure to medicine and patient care, including time spent shadowing, working in clinics, and other patient-care settings. Clinical experience is defined as direct interaction with patients and hands-on involvement in the care of conscious patients in a health care related environment, attending to their health maintenance, progression, or end of life needs. The average applicant has 45-50 hours of patient contact.

5. Take a break, have fun, be yourself.

Spend time relaxing and celebrating with family and friends. After giving your all these last few months, you deserve it!

WT Internship for Pre-Medical Students with Dr. Rick Hodes in Ethiopia

This is an incredible opportunity for pre-medical students to shadow a world-renown Middlebury alum.

For 30 years, Dr. Rick Hodes ’75, has worked out of the basement of a crowded public hospital, treating patients with spinal deformities and heart disease, as well as a variety of other rare medical issues. The majority of these patients are impoverished children.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Hodes has forged strong partnerships to bring care to those in need. In 2006, he launched a spine program with Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei of Ghana and his FOCOS organization. The program has grown from 20 patients to over 400 new cases every year, and performs over 100 surgeries annually in Ethiopia, Ghana, and the United States. As the senior consultant at a Catholica medical mission, Dr. Hodes has worked with refugees in Rwanda, Zaire, Tanzania, and Albania. He also works with the cardiac center at AIMS Amrita Hospital in Cochin, India to serve cardiac patients.

Dr. Hodes is a CNN Hero, holds 5 honorary doctorates, and was awarded Mastership by the American College of Physicians. To learn more about his inspiring work, you can watch one of the four documentary films about him, such as HBO’s “Making the Crooked Straight” or “Zemene,” or read Marilyn Berger’s book, “This is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes.”

Students can learn more at https://rickhodes.org/ and https://www.ethiopianfamilyfund.org/medical-needs-dr-rick-hodes/.

Check out the trailer from the HBO documentary “Making the Crooked Straight“:

Dr. Hodes has hosted over a dozen Middlebury students over the past years, and the majority are now doctors! He is interested in welcoming a students for a month during Winter-Term.

Interested? Contact Pam Berenbaum and she will get you in contact with Dr. Hodes.


Health Professions Committee Process for 2019

Pre-Health students and alumni – the 2018-2019 Health Professions Committee (HPC) process begins in September!

If you are not 100% sure this is the year to apply, then we highly recommend doing a quick self-assessment to see if there are areas where your candidacy might be improved. Ask yourself if you are applying when you are the strongest possible candidate?

  1. Review the committee interview rubric and give yourself a score based on where you are now.
  2. The MSAR is an online database that enables you to browse, search, sort, and compare information about U.S. and Canadian medical schools. You will use it extensively as you build your school list, and since a membership lasts for one year, it might make sense to purchase permission at this point to get a sense for the sorts of metrics and experiences that medical schools value.
  3. If you are still not sure, we’d be happy to schedule a phone or in-person appointment with you.

The HPC Timeline has been updated online (available here) and you may begin the HPC process at any time.

Please make sure to thoroughly review the online timeline (a visual timeline is available here.)

Below are the NEXT STEPS in the HPC Process.

September 11, 2018 :: Applicant Information Meeting

October 2, 2018 :: Personal Statement Workshop

October, 2018 :: Testing

  •  Review the MCAT/DAT/GRE schedules to plan your testing date.


  1. Make sure you connect with your letter writers sooner rather than later and your letter requests have been sent via Interfolio. Please note: you will need to know at least TWO of your letter writers by November 15, 2018 and will need to declare them in the Committee Selection Form. At least ONE letter writer must be a science faculty who taught you in a BCPM course. Click here for the What’s Science and What’s Not classification. Your letter writers will need to have their letters uploaded to Interfolio by January 15, 2019. Please send this link to all of your letter writers. It explains what is required in their letters of recommendation.
  2. Middlebury HPC reviews all application material via Interfolio. Open your account with this link to connect your account to the HPC. At this point in the committee process, you do NOT need to pay anything for Interfolio. If you do not wish to pay $48 for the Dossier Deliver service , simply open up a free account.
  3. Begin requesting unofficial transcripts from any colleges outside Middlebury where you have taken four or more courses. They will need to be uploaded to Interfolio by January 15, 2019.


November 15, 2018 :: DEADLINE to join the Health Professions Committee process this year

All applicants will need to have informed our office by November 15, 2018 that they plan to go through the Health Professions Committee process this year. Anyone wishing to join after November 15, 2018 will need special permission from one of the advisors. Please complete the following items in order to be considered in the Matric 19 cohort.

  1. Submit your Committee Selection Form – this form notifies us of your official interest in joining the Health Professions Committee year.
  2. Have an active Interfolio account. Open your account with this link to connect your account to the HPC. At this point in the committee process, you do NOT need to pay anything for Interfolio. If you do not wish to pay $48 for the Dossier Deliver service , simply open up a free account.
  3. Submit a head shot (does not need to be a professional photographer, it is for internal use only) by uploading it to your Interfolio dossier by clicking on “Add document” and upload the image as a PDF. Please don’t upload it to your Interfolio profile as we don’t have access to see that.

Your next deadline isn’t until January 15th.

Save the Date for Fall Heath Professions Events!

Come meet the Health Professions Advisors at our fall Health Professions events!

Mary Lothrop and Hannah Benz

Can’t make an event but still want to meet the Health Professions (HP) Team? The HP Team serves both students and alumni who are considering careers in the health professions. We work with students at every point in the pre-health process, from academic advising, to securing research and clinical opportunities, and throughout the entire professional school application process.

Make an appointment.