For the thousands of students applying to medical school each year, minute details in the application process can quickly open or close doors. Applicants without access to the type of advising resources typically found at four-year universities can find the application process especially daunting. Now, a program at the MU School of Medicine helps aspiring med school students become more competitive applicants.
“The Mizzou MedPrep program at the University of Missouri makes the medical school application process easier for those whose path to medical school has taken a few twists and turns,” says Andrea Simmons, Mizzou MedPrep coordinator. “Through the program, applicants in their second careers or from disadvantaged backgrounds can find the same educational opportunities and support as traditional applicants.”
In addition to nontraditional students, Mizzou MedPrep helps those who are from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine as well as those from socioeconomically disadvantaged or rural backgrounds.
“It doesn’t matter if a student comes from a low-income family, has applied to medical school but was rejected or is a member of a particular ethnicity,” Simmons says. “They can still go to medical school and have successful careers.”
Currently, four Mizzou MedPrep workshops are available to students interested in health care careers. The workshop “Medical Explorations” is designed specifically for high school juniors and seniors. During the session, students get an overview of medical professions, physician specialties and medical school admission requirements.
Additional Mizzou MedPrep workshops are available for college undergraduates and graduates. In those sessions, medical school faculty members host one-on-one meetings with prospective students and review their transcripts, and resumes/CVs to identify areas for improvement. Students also receive tips on interviewing and drafting personal statements.
“The program is continually growing,” Simmons says. “We currently have 29 Mizzou MedPrep medical students enrolled at MU, and we recently had our first graduate. It is very exciting to see students respond well to the program.”
In 2016, the MU School of Medicine received more than 2,100 applications for the 104 seats in the Class of 2020.