Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Office of Admissions Discusses The Personal Statement In Latest Facebook LIVE Stream

The College of Human Medicine (CHM) Office of Admissions hosted its second Facebook Live stream last week, purposefully touching on a timely topic.

While the first stream, held last December, spoke generally about the entire admissions process, admissions counselor, Brian Urlich, joined the chat this time around to speak specifically about the personal statement.

With the AMCAS application opening this month, many applicants are currently working to organize their application and finish up their personal statement. In particular, Brian offered tips and insight on how to write an effective statement, giving consideration to theme, frame, and structure among other things. He also offered some do's and don'ts to follow as well. 

Admissions staff will be utilizing the widely-used social media platform's LIVE function to broadcast directly to potential applicants and offer in-depth insight on various themes and topics.

Following the initial stream's format, this broadcast once again included a quick Q&A after the main presentation. Followers had been asked to submit questions for several weeks prior to the live broadcast.

Follow the Office of Admissions on Facebook and Twitter for more updates and events.

A recording of the stream can be found below:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Admission Staff Discussing Personal Statement In Upcoming Facebook Live Stream

The College of Human Medicine Office of Admissions is excited to announce that we'll be hosting another Facebook Live stream on Wednesday, April 26th at 3pm (ET).

The topic of discussion for our second live stream chat is the personal statement. Admissions Counselor, Brian Ulrich, will be on hand to offer in-depth tips that touch on essay structures and topic ideas among additional information.

Mark your calendars!

With the AMCAS set to open in a few short months, a timely discussion on the personal statement for the next crop of applicants could be helpful for the next crop of applicants. Students across the country are working to finish their applications for submission and the personal statement is a topic for which we receive many questions.

The office's initial Facebook Live stream was held last December and took an overall look at the admissions process timeline.

Once again, followers can submit questions at any time leading up to the event via our Facebook page, Twitter page, or through email. Viewers tuning in during the event will be able to post additional questions/comments in the stream's comment section.

What is Facebook Live?
Facebook Live is a streaming service on the social media platform that allows users to broadcast live video to their news feed.

How can you participate?
Simply "Like" and follow our Facebook page. Send us your questions and tune in on the 26th! A video recording of the chat will be available to followers once the live stream has ended.

Interested in applying to the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine? Would you simply like to learn more about the nation's pioneer in community-based medical training? Feel free to contact us at any time to find out more about what it takes to become a Spartan MD.

Friday, April 7, 2017

College of Human Medicine Admissions Reps Heading Out for Road Trip Across Southern California

We're hitting the road!

That is, after a flight.

Admissions representatives from the College of Human Medicine (CHM) will be taking a road trip across Southern California this month to represent the college and further discuss the admissions process with interested undergrads.

To do that, representatives will be making stops at campuses in the greater Los Angeles-area as well as San Diego to attend several health career fairs and host a number of informationals.

"We want be able to connect with the pre-medical students in the state. We received  over 1200 applications from California in the 2017 application cycle, so I believe it is essential to reach out to prospective applicants there and provide them information about CHM and, in particular, our mission," states Elizabeth Lyons, admissions counselor and Director of Minority Recruiting.

Residents from California have consistently made up a big chunk of applicants to the College of Human Medicine, second behind only Michigan students. The admissions staff feels it's important to reach out to potential applicants from the Golden State so that those students have a better understanding of what the college has to offer while also giving tips on what makes a competitive applicant.

"Fit is very important and I think this trip is going to give us the opportunity to talk to prospective applicants about that fit with our mission at the various events we have attend."

Lyons adds that, "If applicants are truly interested in applying to the college, they will find our discussions very informative and, in turn, it will help them prepare an application that truly stands out to us at CHM.

To start the road trip, admissions staff will be attending the first of three fairs on the schedule. Reps will be in the Westwood area of Los Angeles at UCLA for the Spring 2017 Health School Information Fair on Monday, April 17th. Later in the week, they'll head east for The Claremont Colleges' Health & Science Professions Fair at Pomona College on Friday, April 21st.

The trip takes them south to wrap up the fairs at San Diego State University for the Catch The Wave To Success Pre-Professional Health Conference Graduate School Fair on Saturday, April 22nd.

In addition to those three fairs, the College of Human Medicine will also be hosting a few informationals across area campuses. Students from the University of Southern California (USC) can meet with admissions reps at the main campus that Tuesday, April 18th.

On Thursday, April 20th, those interested at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science will also be able to learn about the college and meet with admissions staff.

Beyond those events, Lyons points out that they'll also be meeting with some SoCal residents who already know a thing or two about the college.

"Along with meeting prospective students, we'll also be reconnecting with some of our CHM alumni and hosting for the very first time a meet and greet for our accepted applicants in the area," she says.

"I’m very excited to see and hear about all the new and exciting experiences our alumni have been a part of in California. We also look forward to meeting our accepted applicants again and answering any questions they may have about the MSU CHM to help them make that final decision."

At the moment, the college's admissions office is working on scheduling possible additional events. Stay tuned.

For residents and students in Northern California, not to worry. Moving ahead, CHM admissions is also working on making stops across the area come the fall and are schedule to attend the UC-Davis Pre-Health Conference in October. More information and a schedule will be forthcoming at a later date.

For this trip, the following is a full* detailed schedule:

Monday, April 17th
Spring 2017 Health School Information Fair at UCLA
Ackerman Ballroom
11am - 3pm

Southern California Alumni/Accepted Applicant Meet & Greet (Invite Only)
Santa Monica

Tuesday, April 18th
Informational at University of Southern California
Hedco Neuroscience Building Room 100
12pm - 2pm

Thursday, April 19th
Informational at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
Keck Auditorium
12pm - 1pm

Friday, April 20th 
The Claremont Colleges Health & Science Professions Fair at Pomona College
Smith Campus Center
Edmunds Ballroom
11am - 2pm

Saturday, April 21st
Catch The Wave Pre-Professional Health Conference Graduate School Fair
San Diego State University
Union Courtyard
2pm- 4:30pm

*Schedule subject to change and additional events may be added.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Next Class of Spartan MDs Ready To Move Onto Residency Positions Following Match Day

The results of the 2017 residency match process are in and over 96 percent of the College of Human Medicine's graduating students secured a match.

In total, 200 students matched for postgraduate medical training positions at teaching hospitals throughout the United States.

Residency placements were confirmed for students through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) as well as for those who participated in the SOAP/Post-Match, Military Match, and Advanced/Independent Matches.

Of note, 42.5 percent of students chose primary care residency programs, similar to prior matches. The top six specialties placements changed a bit from last year, however, when pediatrics was at the top spot.

The top six overall specialty placements this year are as follows:
1. Family Medicine (38 graduates)
2T. General Surgery (23 graduates)
2T. Internal Medicine (23 graduates)
4. Emergency Medicine (20 graduates)
5. Pediatrics (19 graduates)
6. Obstetrics-Gynecology (14 graduates)

Interestingly, those 38 graduates were among a total of 3,237 medical students to match with a family medicine residency program. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, that's the most in family medicine’s history as a specialty.

Psychiatry, Anesthesiology, Neurology, Radiology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, and several surgery specialties including Orthopedic Surgery are also some specialties that were represented in choice.

Close to 40 percent of the class will be staying in Michigan after graduation. Of those heading outside the state, Spartan MDs will be placed on all coasts and practically everywhere in between, from California to Connecticut, New York to Florida.

But before they head out to make us proud, graduating seniors had the opportunity to celebrate those results with friends and family on Match Day, held this year on March 17. Match Day is a rite of passage that's celebrated across the globe.

At noon, students opened their envelopes and learned the location and specialty of the residency programs where they will further their training.

While every Match Day is special, this year's rendition was unique for several reasons.

The NRMP recently announced this year's results were the largest in its history. A record-high 35,969 US and international medical school students vied for 31,757 positions, the most ever offered in the Match.

In the last six years, positions in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics have all increased.

Closer to home, the College of Human Medicine implemented a Match Day tagboard for the first time so that students, friends, and family could celebrate "together" from across all seven of the college's community campuses or anywhere at all.

As a community-based medical school, the college hosts celebrations across the state. The social media stream helped unify posts from across celebrations and social media platforms. Using the hashtag #MSUMDMatch, people posted celebratory pictures and messages to congratulate the soon-to-be physicians.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Early Data Shows Students Grasping Content Faster, Scoring Higher In New Curriculum

With the first semester of the new Shared Discovery Curriculum in the books, data is showing that students are getting a good grasp on the content they're learning at a faster pace, consuming the material 50 percent quicker.

“Students even at seven weeks were already clinically performing essentially at the level of students
who were at the end of their first year in the previous curriculum,” said Dr. Aron Sousa, senior associate dean for academic affairs for the medical college. “It’s the experiential learning aspect of the program that’s making this happen.”

Among the many differences between what has been the traditional model of medical education and the College of Human Medicine's Shared Discovery Curriculum include early and ongoing clinical experience for students that integrates the basic and clinical sciences. Whereas schools typically split the learning of the sciences and the clinical experiences, students in Shared Discovery are learning with a hands-on approach.

The competency-based medical curriculum focuses more on learning through clinical experiences beginning within weeks of the first day. This provides an environment for students much closer to residency rather than the settings of a traditional medical school curriculum.

The implementation of learning societies, small groups of students, clinical faculty, basic and social scientists, have allowed students the ability truly absorb information more efficiently.

See "Evolution and Revolution: 5 Takeaways from the New Shared Discovery Curriculum"

It's working.

Sousa says that students are also scoring higher on progress tests that are similar to board exams. While the average score on these tests is 45 for students with a full year of medical school under their belt, the average score for students in the Shared Discovery curriculum is 41 after just a single semester.

A progress suite of assessments gives pace to what the students learn. From the first weeks of medical school and through regular intervals, the assessments enable students and their faculty to verify the achievement of competence and readiness to move through the curriculum.

While the data is still early, it is promising. If the efficiency of the new curriculum holds up, the implications for students could mean entering residency sooner and thus, paying less tuition.

Read the official announcement for more information.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Admissions Office Hosts First Facebook Live Discussion, Q&A; More Sessions to Come

The College of Human Medicine (CHM) Office of Admissions used Facebook Live to hold the department's first stream this week. Admissions staff used the live broadcast to connect with potential applicants and thoroughly discuss the medical school application process, from A to Z.

Elizabeth Lyons, Admissions Counselor, detailed the different phases of the application and also offered tips and advice for students who may potentially apply to medical school.

Along with providing that overview, Elizabeth also talked about factors that make applicants competitive and traits that sit well with the College of Human Medicine, in particular.

Joined by Francisco Velazquez, Communications Coordinator, the staff members also facilitated a quick Q&A. The Office of Admissions had asked Facebook and Twitter followers to submit questions for a week prior to the stream.

The team also announced that they will be going "live" again in the new year. Follow the Office of Admissions on Facebook and Twitter for more updates and events.

A recording of the stream can be found below: 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Office of Admissions Hosting Facebook Live Stream Discussion

The College of Human Medicine (CHM) Office of Admissions is hosting a Facebook Live stream on Wednesday, December 7th from 7pm-8pm (EST).

Representatives from the admissions office will be on hand to discuss the college and selection factors, while also offering admissions tips and a Q&A. Staff will answer questions directly from personal submissions.

Followers can submit questions any time prior to the stream via our Facebook page, Twitter page, or through email. Viewers tuning in during the event will be able to post additional questions and comments on the stream's comment section.

What is Facebook Live?
Facebook Live is a streaming service on the social media platform that allows users to broadcast live video to their news feed.

How can you participate?
Simply "Like" and follow our Facebook page. Send us your questions and tune in on Wednesday! Once the broadcast has ended, followers can view the recording on our page.

Interested in applying to the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine? Would you simply like to learn more about the nation's pioneer in community-based medical training? Join us for a closer look and find out what it takes to become a Spartan MD.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

AAMC Honors College of Human Medicine For Service Efforts Across Michigan

The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (CHM) received the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service. The award was presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) on Nov. 13th in Seattle at their annual Learn Serve Lead meeting.

The AAMC honored the community-based medical school for outstanding contributions to medicine and community service. In particular, the AAMC acknowledged CHM's efforts to improve health in Flint as well as in rural communities across the state.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha—pediatrician and assistant professor—exposed lead poisoning in Flint
College of Human Medicine staff played an integral part in exposing toxic levels of lead in Flint’s water supply. Subsequent measures by CHM to aid local communities have also been carried out in maintaining the college’s public health–focused initiatives. Partnering with the Flint community also led way to the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a collaboration with Hurley Children's Hospital.

Flint is also home to the Late Clinical Experience for students selected to the Leadership in Medicine for the Underserved Program.

In addition to the college's efforts in Flint over the last year, the school was also acknowledged for reinforcing collaboration in rural areas by way of the Rural Physician Program and the Rural Community Health Program. The initiatives aim to relieve rural physician shortages and provide enriched clinical experiences with community service opportunities unique to rural settings.

Students from the Leadership in Rural Medicine Program
The college has many diverse partnerships and has worked within communities throughout Michigan for decades, since its founding in 1964 as a national pioneer in community-based medical training.

To learn more, please see the official announcement

Friday, November 4, 2016

Student Post: Keeping Medical School Motivation

Approximately 60-80 hours per week.

That’s an average of how much time a medical student spends studying. I remember first hearing this at orientation and thinking there was no way that could be possible.

Now having one year of medical school under my belt, I learned how accurate that statement truly was. Between classes and clinical training sessions, the 60-80 hours a week flew by. I was trying to absorb all the new information and become the clinician I always wanted to be.

Moving from my first year into my second, I found myself hitting a wall when it came to school. Spending time reading about different drugs and diseases felt disconnected from the patient-physician experience. It was becoming harder and harder to get up early for a long day of studying.

With domain exams every 2-5 weeks and Step 1 on the horizon, I didn’t have time to waste. I needed to reignite the spark that first got me interested in medicine.

I found that getting involved with the community was one of my main motivators. Spending my time as a health educator gave me the opportunity to share the knowledge that I learned in school and also get to know the community better.

It was interesting to relate the health issues they face, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, to topics that we learned in class. It was more motivating to study knowing my knowledge could directly help others.

While connecting with the community re-energizes me, everyone finds their own way to cope with hitting a wall while studying.


Many students were enthusiastically involved with volunteering in undergrad, and they bring that same passion to medical school. Each break there are international service trips where students get clinical experience while exploring a new country.

Local involvement is also very popular. Below is a group photo of first and second year College of Human Medicine (CHM) students helping at an oral health fair in Flint. Other students work with kids in the community, such as through Big Brothers Big Sisters and Girls on the Run.

Professional Events

Learning more about your future profession is always a great motivator! There are opportunities to shadow local physicians or attend interest group meetings in order to discover more about a particular specialty.

Many students attend professional meetings to network and learn about other opportunities in the field. Below is a picture of students attending the American Medical Women’s Association Region 6 meeting.

It can be motivational to get a glimpse of what your future could be, and reminded of why you are working this hard.

Running Away from It All

Sometimes you need to run away…and some students are doing that in local marathons and half marathons!

Students frequently destress together through physical activity. Yoga, weight lifting, running, and bouldering are just a handful of the activities that students do together. Being able to clear your head can allow you to approach the material with a new outlook. It also helps to prevent burnout, and helps with retaining information.

Some CHM students recently completed the Detroit Half Marathon
In the end, every student finds their own way to reconnect and rekindle their internal motivation. Whether it’s being involved with the community or letting off some steam, it’s important to reconnect with yourself from time to time.

Even before medical school, you should find the activities that are important to you and make sure to prioritize them even when life gets crazy.

Anne Drolet is a second-year College of Human Medicine student from Clarkston, MI. Anne will be lending her voice as a student blogger to periodically offer tips on the admissions process as well as an inside look at the College of Human Medicine.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

3 Additional Details To Pay Attention To On Interview Day

The medical school application cycle follows a process that is made up of several different phases. Now that applicants are submitting secondary applications from individual schools, we've transitioned into the interview phase.

The medical school interview season for most medical schools across the nation generally runs from September to March, give or take. Now full steam ahead into interviews, each school has begun the process of hosting hundreds of applicants.

While this portion of the process is where colleges really get to gauge who they believe are the best fit for their school before making final decisions, applicants are also served an opportunity to get a better feel for where they will possibly train for the next four-plus years.

During interview season at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (CHM), applicants do multiple mini interviews (MMI)​ with various people connected to the medical. Beyond the MMI, prospective students are also paired with current students for personal interviews as well as lunch, where applicants have time to be candid.

All in all, the interview day is a good time for the applicant to get some truly in-depth information that may not be readily available on a website or pamphlet.

It is generally expected of the host school to devote a portion of their interview day(s) to curriculum and how students are evaluated. Medical schools—and to a larger degree, medicine, overall—are currently undergoing some big changes.

The MCAT was updated just last year to reflect the changing philosophical landscape and many schools are updating their curricula to modernize their medical training.

Here at the College of Human Medicine, we've just implemented our Shared Discovery Curriculum, which is a radically different model of medical education in comparison with what's come to be traditional.

For instance, Shared Discovery does away with long lectures and evaluates students with our progress assessment suite. Small groups, feedback, and this more collaborative relationship with faculty/staff is a bit different than the traditional combination of class time and quizzes/exams.

While we think this new model of education is truly an innovative approach to medical school, we understand that this type of curriculum may not be for everyone. For others, the excitement is mutual.

Some questions to ask yourself include:
  • Does this curriculum fit my learning style?
  • Does this curriculum lend itself to my ultimate goals?
  • How does this curriculum prepare students for residency? 

Don't hesitate to ask school representatives about certain aspects of the curriculum that interest or concern you. Curriculum and evaluation are good topics to discuss.

This one may be obvious but it's worth diving into a bit. Each school has their own identity and ambitions so the environment for students can certainly vary from school to school.

 Pay attention to how faculty/staff and student ambassadors represent the college. Interview day(s) will give applicants the opportunity to speak face-to-face with representatives about what they enjoy most about the school and what the future holds for their program.

It would also be a good idea to watch how the faculty and staff interact with the students. Moreover, recognize how the students interact with each other. Some schools may be a bit more relaxed in nature. A discussion with students may give applicants a better idea of how collaborative—and/or competitive—the student body is at that school.

The College of Human Medicine encourages a cooperative and collaborative environment, but we also provide individual attention. It's important for applicants to understand how students are supported, especially when confronted with the more grueling portions of medical training. 

How schools emphasize health and wellness should be something to consider, so ask how students support each other and recognize how schools ensure a comfortable, helpful environment.

The CHM Office of Student Affairs and Services, for instance, has an Assistant Dean for Student Wellness and Engagement who is also the Director of Student Counseling. Learn what programs, mentorships, and tools are utilized to ensure this is a place where students can thrive.

Some schools also have a variety of student groups and organizations. Reach out to identify how students interact and study. Continuing the discussion with students, feel free to ask about community setting and student life.

The first thing an applicant will notice about a school is naturally its physical surroundings. Is this somewhere you can see yourself living for the next 2-4 years?

Using the College of Human Medicine as an example again, each entering class is split up between two locations for the first two years—Grand Rapids and East Lansing. While Grand Rapids serves as the second largest metropolitan-area in the state, East Lansing is very much a Big Ten college town.

All accepted applicants will receive the same resources and training regardless of location, but the external resources at each site differ a bit. From there, students can have the option of heading out into one of seven different community campuses. This is one of the benefits of training at a community-based medical school. 

Some medical schools, however, may only have one, main location. And that may be perfect for you. Think about what options are afforded to matriculating students and what types of areas you would like to live in for the foreseeable future. Does the school you are interviewing at fit those criteria?

Take yourself into account and think about your hobbies. Ask students what they do in their spare time and what is available to them. Consider affordability and commute. Consider how active life is around the school.

There are number of factors that applicants should take into account on interview day. As much as schools want to learn more about you as an applicant, students need to learn more about the school as well.

Indeed, it's all about fit on both ends.