Pursuing a career in healthcare can be an extremely rewarding choice, but it can also be daunting at times. The Carthage Pre-Health Committee and The Aspire Center are here to support you on this journey. Below is information and advice on how to prepare for medical school. 

If you are interested in a pre-health profession but do not have a pre-health concentration listed on My.Carthage or need to change your pre-health concentration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Be engaged in both the Carthage community and the surrounding community

  • Join and be active in the Pre-Health Club and other student organizations/clubs. Learn about student organizations on The Harbor, Carthage’s student involvement platform. 
  • Get to know your academic faculty advisor. This faculty member can help you align your pre-health course requirements into your four-year plan.
  • Your letters of recommendation can be one of the most important aspects of your application, and demonstrate to your professors that you are a good candidate. Make sure that you present yourself to others in a professional manner.
    • Form positive relationships with your professors, be a model student, and come to class on time and prepared. Remember to engage positively both inside and outside of class with your peers and your instructors.
  • Have meaningful experiences throughout your time at Carthage:
    • Shadow health care providers in your field of interest. You must be prepared to demonstrate to an admissions committee that you understand what it will be like as a healthcare professional.
    • Volunteer and serve your community. Demonstrate to the admissions committee that you care about your community and others — these are the types of people that the professional schools want to be training.
    • Consider doing research or participating in a lab assistant position. This can help you connect what you are learning in the classroom to real laboratory experience.
    • Think about your summers strategically and as a time to engage in opportunities that will strengthen your professional school application.

Reflection

  • Reflect on your actions and engagement with others. Are you creating a positive perception of yourself?
  • Start reflecting on your personal statement early. It will help you realize the types of experiences you need to engage in and help you access these prior to your application.
  • Take time and space to reflect on your experiences and how these relate to your individual professional and personal development.

Research Professional Schools

  • Look at the recommended courses and know what Carthage suggests you take for your specific pre-health concentration.
  • Read through your specific pre-health concentration guide to gain insight into some of the most frequently asked questions relating to preparing for health professional school.
  • Talk and meet with the pre-health career specialist in The Aspire Center.
  • Look at your specific pre-health concentration timeline to identify key action steps and preparation activities for admission into pre-health professional schools.
    • Know your timeline: When and what standardized test do you need to take? When should you ask for letters of recommendation? When should you apply?

Additional Tips

  • Make sure you have a pre-health “concentration” on My.Carthage.edu. This can either be a specific pre-health field (e.g., pre-pharmacy) or generic pre-health. This is how we know you exist, so please make sure that you have this! If you do not have this concentration listed (or want to change it), you can connect with the Registrar’s Office.
  • Be willing to ask for help. There is no rule that says you should try to do this on your own. You chose a college like Carthage so that you are supported throughout your education. Let us support and help you. Ask for help when struggling with your courses, finding meaningful experiences, trying to determine what you want to do, etc. The Carthage community is here for you.
  • Give anyone writing you a letter of recommendation plenty of time to write it. Sit down with him or her to talk about why your want to go into this profession and why you are a good candidate. It will help her or him write a good letter for you.

If you have any questions, contact your academic advisor or the pre-health career specialist in The Aspire Center.