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Non-Verbal Cues to be Aware of for Your Medical, Dental, Pharmacy or PA School Interview Part 1

By Sanam Darougar Farshidi While most applicants spend a significant amount of time thinking about what they are going to say in a heath professional school interview, less attention is given to the non-verbal cues that affect your ability to impress the admissions committee.  In the next two entries, we will discuss some of the important non-verbal cues that can help you ace your interview whether you are applying to medical school, PA school, dental school, or pharmacy school.  Lets begin by considering how your non-verbal communication can help you come across as confident: Exuding Confidence It goes without saying that confidence is key.  While an interview to determine your candidacy for medical school or PA school may be a tense experience, there are ways you can exude the confidence needed to impress your interviewers.  After all, how can you be trusted with managing patient safety and making split decisions about people’s lives, if you can’t even handle the stress of the initial interview? Being confident is an essential trait in medical professionals, so emitting confidence is a must in your interview for any health professional school.  Though the tips shared above are all ways you can appear more confident, other non-verbal cues can also transmit your level of confidence or lack thereof: Consider non-verbal verbals – Non-verbal communicative tactics include how you speak, intonation, and voice nuances.  In order to project confidence when you speak, be concise in your sentences and refrain from over sharing. Keep your tone of voice moderate, ensuring your voice is not too high pitched or so soft spoken it’s difficult to understand you.  If you have an accent,... read more

Adopting Good Body Language in the Medical, Dental, Pharmacy, or PA School Interview

By Sanam Darougar Farshidi You’ve made it to the medical school, dental school, pharmacy school or PA school interview, and you’ve spent countless hours preparing for what you want to say and how you want to say it.  You’ve carefully assessed every possible question you might be asked, and crafted answers that are sure to impress the interviewers. But did you know that only a small percentage of meaning in communication is in the words that are spoken, while the majority of meaning is derived from non-verbal factors? This means that people size us up and make decisions about who we are before we even speak. Communication is heavily weighted on non-verbal elements especially body language.  As a result, it’s vital that we are self aware of what our body is doing in our interactions, especially in something as important as a health professional school interview like medical school or PA school. What You Need to Know About Body Language Body movement is the first thing the interviewer will notice about you, and the last thing they remember after you’ve left.  In fact, body language is so important in communication, that each tip following this one is highly influenced by it because elements of body communication are woven into each non-verbal cue. There are far too many body language tips to be aware of in interpersonal interactions, but for the purposes of this list, we’ve honed in on the few key essentials: Posture – When the interviewer walks through the door to welcome you in, the way you sit is already sending them a message about who you are.  Do you slouch, or... read more

Healthcare Reform and Dentistry – What You Should Know for Your Dental School Interview

What You Need to Know About Healthcare Reform for Your Dental School Interview In recent years, dental schools are looking more and more at applicants’ knowledge and understanding of dental health care delivery.  As you prepare for your dental school interview, it is wise to consider these issues in general and how recent healthcare reform will impact dental care and the dental profession. To make sure you have the necessary preparation to ace your interview, try to gain a basic understanding of the issues revolving around healthcare reform’s impact on dentistry.  Avoid getting caught up in details and memorizing every fact about healthcare delivery in dentistry. Dental school admissions committees are not going to quiz you on your knowledge of details.  The goal is to demonstrate an overall understanding of the issues and formulate a position that shows the dental admissions committee your thoughtfulness.  In an attempt to help you prepare, below we have highlighted some of the key issues relating to the impact of healthcare reform on dentistry: Before we consider how healthcare reform will affect dentistry, it is worth looking at government programs designed to provide oral heath services for the population.  Government programs generally tend to cover healthcare services, including dental services, for vulnerable populations such as those who do not make too much money. There are two mechanisms through which the government provides oral healthcare services to low-income communities: Medicaid: Medicaid is a government program that pays for healthcare services for certain groups who are considered low-income and for individuals with certain kinds of disabilities. The program is funded by both the federal government and the state and run by... read more

The Ins and Outs of Getting Letters of Recommendation for Medical School

For a free 20 minute consult, please call 1-888-839-9997 or email us at info@admissionshelpers.com One of the most important elements of a successful medical school application is the letter of recommendation. Recommendation letters provide extensive insight about you and help medical schools gauge your ability to excel in medical school as well as your preparedness for becoming a physician.  Below we address some of the key issues relevant to obtaining and sending your letters of recommendation: Who to get letters of recommendation from: There are many individuals from whom you could request a letter of recommendation.  In general, your letter writer should know you well and be able to comment in a substantial way about your ability and aptitude for medical school and the medical profession. Most medical schools require 3-4 letters of recommendation and generally expect two of these to be from professors with whom you have taken science courses.  We recommend getting letters from the following: Science professors: This should preferably be with science professors in challenging upper division courses that are related to the medical field.  A letter of recommendation from a microbiology or medical genetics professors will help more than a letter from an entomology professor.  Also get your letters from professors with whom you took courses at a four-year institution. Physicians: It is always a good idea to get a letter of recommendation from physicians who you have shadowed or volunteered with. Research faculty: If you have done substantial research with a faculty member, that faculty member can be a good source for letters of recommendations. Others: Other individuals who can comment on your intellect, compassion, curiosity, work ethic, maturity, or responsibility are valuable.  For example, if you have participated in a community service or leadership activity,... read more

Healthcare Reform for the Medical School Interview

Introduction and General Points Medical schools love to assess an applicant’s knowledge and views of the healthcare system during the medical school interview. Both traditional medical school interviews and multiple mini interviews may include questions or scenarios about the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) and its impact on how we deliver healthcare.  In fact, medical schools are not the only ones asking about the ACA. PA schools, pharmacy schools, and sometimes even dental schools, like to discuss the possible implications of the new law on their profession with prospective students. Applicants frequently want to know what’s important to understand about the new healthcare law.  Before we get into discussing the law and covering its main components, its important to point out the following: Do not drive yourself crazy trying to learn all the details of the law: As it turns out the ACA is a very long bill with thousands of pages of regulations and there is no way you are going to know all of it.  Admissions committees don’t expect you to know all the details but rather to have a basic grasp and to have a position. Learn the basics and spend some time thinking about it: Instead of trying to learn all the details, try to grasp the basics of the act and spend some time thinking about the act, formulating an opinion about it, and considering its implications. Before you go into your interview, read current events related to the Affordable Care Act: Interviewers may ask you to state your opinion about a recent event in the news that pertains to the Affordable Care Act.... read more

How to Ace the PAT Section of the DAT

How to Ace the Perceptual Ability Test on the DAT – A Student to Student Guide By Jason Steiner When initially studying for my PAT section, I did everything wrong. Thankfully, I was able to learn from my mistakes before my exam and recovered enough to score a 26 on the PAT. My hope in writing this blog post is that I will save the reader from making the same mistakes I did, as well as some panic and time. I will start with what I did wrong, move on to what I did right, including some section-by-section advice, and conclude with what I would do differently. It is also important to note that I never scored above a 23 on any practice exam. Do not get discouraged by low scores. Use them as motivation to do better. On my very first PAT section I scored a 15. Scoring low initially only means that you have a high ceiling! What I did wrong: Where to begin? The first wrong thing I did was initially use one source to study from. After reading a few dated reviews, I purchased Crack DAT PAT, thinking it would be all I would need. I do not regret making this purchase, but it was misleading for the hole punching and top, front, end (TFE) sections of the PAT. The hole punching section was only misleading because it was much easier than the real DAT. The Crack DAT TFE problems are seriously dated. Almost all of the questions on the Crack DAT TFE sections of each practice test can be solved using the line-counting method.... read more

Completing the Secondary Application for Medical School, Dental School and PA School

Secondary Application Tutorial Part 1     Secondary Application Tutorial Part 2     Secondary Application Tutorial Part 3     Secondary Application Tutorial Part 4   Need help with your secondaries to medical, dental, PA, or pharmacy school?  Check out Admissions Helpers’ Secondary Application Editing Service! Helpful Tips for Completing the Secondary Application There are so many layers to the application processes to medical, dental, PA and pharmacy school that its easy to get confused. There is the primary application processed through centralized application services like the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) or the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) and common to all programs. Then there is the individual school application which is frequently referred to as the secondary or supplemental application. Applicants often get stressed out because the supplemental applications to medical school, dental school or PA school have their own essay prompts and can be tricky to answer. Here we would like to offer a few basic tips to help you navigate the secondary application process: Tip Number 1: Timing — The first point to keep in mind with the secondary application is timing! After you submit your primary application, you will get inundated with secondaries and its easy to sit on them or to get too caught up trying to make sure they are perfect. With secondaries you do not have to be as meticulous as with the personal statement. Its still important to pay attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation and sentence structure but do not go through 10 iterations of each secondary essay you draft. We suggest getting each secondary out... read more

Instructions for Completing the AADSAS Application

Look No Further. Get Started Today. 888-839-9997 20 Minutes Free Consultation How to Complete the AADSAS Application If you are in the process of applying to dental school, you probably know there is more to the primary application than just the personal statement. The Associated American Dental School Application Service (AADSAS) application has many different sections that ask you all sorts of questions from personal biographic information to your manual dexterity skills to your professional experiences. Most dental school applicants spend a great deal of time on the AADSAS personal statement, but sometimes, they underestimate the importance of the other components of the AADSAS application. How you complete the other sections of the AADSAS application is a lot like what you wear to the interview. It says a lot about your professionalism and attention to detail. So here, we will provide some tips and pointers to help you put together a clean, professional, and well-presented AADSAS application. We will start with some general pointers and then review how to complete the different sections of the application. 1) General Point: One important point that cannot be overemphasized is to pay attention to grammar, capitalization, and punctuation! Grammar: Following rules of grammar in this section is very important and poor grammar will count against you. Make sure you pay attention to your grammar the same way you would in your personal statement. Punctuation: Applicants sometimes forget to pay attention to the importance of punctuation. In sections where you are writing in full sentences, you want to use periods to separate ideas the same way you would in any other writing. In... read more

5 Steps to Ensure Acceptance to PA School

What you should do to ensure that you can get into a PA program In the last several years as the demand for physician assistants has increased, so has competition for entry into PA programs. Many PA programs are now faced with the daunting task of choosing a handful among many qualified applicants. In this competitive landscape, how do you ensure that you are competitive enough? Below we outline a list of five key steps you should take to make sure that you are considered competitive in the eye of PA school admissions committees: 1) Do well in academics: Because PA school is academically challenging and competition is intense, getting accepted requires doing well academically. This means achieving a good science GPA as well as a good overall GPA. It is especially important to perform well in the prerequisite courses for PA school. Although these prerequisites vary from school to school, most schools require 1-2 courses in biology (often genetics and microbiology), 1 year of chemistry, 1 semester of biochemistry, anatomy and physiology. Many schools also require additional courses in mathematics and the humanities such as psychology and English. To get an academic edge among applicants, it may help to take additional science/medical courses such as pharmacology, pathology, or medical terminology. Although minimum GPA requirements for schools may be as low as 2.5 – 2.75, competitive applicants generally have higher GPAs (3.3 or above). 2) Gain hands-on clinical experience: PA schools emphasize hands on clinical experience and many schools require it. This includes any experience in which you are involved in patient care and playing an active role in... read more

Premedical, Predental, and Pre-PA Shadowing Experiences Abroad

Pre-Med Shadowing Experience Overseas Medical school admissions are more competitive than ever, and students are expected to go above and beyond in the pursuit of their future careers. Many pre-med students maintain a hefty list of extracurricular and volunteer activities, both within and outside of the healthcare environment, in order to satisfy increasingly selective admissions committees. A crucial method by which pre-med students augment their applications and interviews is by participating in a practice known as “shadowing.“ What is pre-medical shadowing? Shadowing involves observing health professionals performing their day-to-day duties within the clinical environment. Doctors mentor students as they perform their rounds on the wards. In some instances, students are able to observe procedures in the operating room. Local pre-med shadowing opportunities are sometimes available, but they are often dependent upon students having personal connections to the health community. While some students have family members in healthcare or have a foot in the door through volunteer work at a nearby facility, other students struggle to find relevant shadowing experience. To fill the gap, many companies have begun looking further afield, pairing global health education with clinical shadowing experience. Gap Medics, which offers overseas shadowing internships to aspiring doctors, nurses, physician assistants, dentists, and midwives, is one of such companies and has bases in Africa and Asia. It is constantly adding to its list of destinations for clinical observation. The Benefits of Shadowing Overseas Clinical Experience At its core, shadowing allows students to get up-close and personal to the clinical environment. By observing, asking questions, and speaking with patients and doctors, students gain a level of understanding and familiarity that... read more