College of Human Medicine Assistant Dean for Admissions To Host Workshop at Nation's Largest Pre-Health Conference

The largest pre-health conference in the country is just around the corner, with CHM's head of admissions scheduled to lead a workshop. The 12th Annual UC-Davis Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Professions National Conference will be held just 15 minutes outside of Sacramento on October 11-12.

The two-day event will cover health professional topics just as varied as the selection of keynote speakers, panels, and workshops. Our very own Joel Maurer, MD, FACOG, Assistant Dean for Admissions at the MSU College of Human Medicine, will be speaking at the conference for the fourth consecutive year.

"I always look forward to describing the mission of our college, as I believe there are certain components of it that should truly resonate with most people who attend. Since we typically matriculate 15-20% out-of-state applicants (much higher than most state-supported medical schools), I like to encourage them to at least look at us," says Maurer.

The AMCAS Personal Statement, What's Up with Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Preparing Gay Students for Medical School are some of the topics Dr. Maurer has spoken on in past UCDPHSA conferences.

This year, he'll be giving a workshop on preparing the written AMCAS application. Dr. Maurer enjoys the workshops in particular because presenters, as experts on the topics, can usually address any question fielded, which is of clear benefit to the attendees.

"I really enjoy getting the opportunity to help counsel premedical students who need some friendly advice about the medical school admissions process," Maurer states.

Beyond its reputation for being the largest pre-medical and pre-health professions gathering at an undergraduate institution, the conference also emphasizes its support for URM students (underrepresented in medicine, as defined by the AAMC) interested in a career in medicine.

"For this conference, the vast majority who attend come from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and under-represented backgrounds in medicine. So to be able to reach out to this demographic with some tangible advice and encouragement is really satisfying," affirms Maurer.

Just over 200 students attended the first conference in 2003. Over the last 11 years, the UCD Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Conference has steadily grown, hosting over 7,400 attendees last year at the University of California, Davis.

One of the premier elements of the conference for those thousands of attendees will be the Dean's Panels, lining up administrators—including Dr. Maurer—representing schools across the country.

Elaborating on his experiences, "Most students at this conference are really positive and enthusiastic. For others, it can be overwhelming. I’ve been the recipient of hugs and tears, of joy and heartbreak."  

Whether it's supporting that joy or relieving that heartbreak, Dr. Maurer is eager to help spread the proper messages, which include some insight into our great institution at CHM.

"There’s a lot of representation of medical schools that attend and promote themselves:  allopathic, osteopathic, off-shore; so we’re part of the diversity that attends," he declares.

"There are a lot of west-coast schools there, so geographically we offer something a bit different.  Our community-based model of education is also very different from most other schools in attendance, so I can really play-up the wonderful things about this model to conference attendees."

Something else that makes the conference unique is the fact that it is "entirely planned, staffed, coordinated, and funded by pre-medical and pre-health professions students keenly aware of the challenges facing their peers, who aspire to become health professionals."

The UC Davis Pre-Health Student Alliance is a partnership between the pre-medical and pre-health student organizations, fraternities, and sororities at UC-Davis and other local colleges in Sacramento.

See Dr. Maurer's presentation from last year's conference.

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