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Preparing for a Career in the
Health Professions

"Medicine is not only a science; it is also an art.
It does not consist of compounding pills and plasters;
it deals with the very processes of life,
which must be understood before they may be guided."
-Paracelsus

 

Practicing medicine engages mind, heart and body. On your journey in that direction, you will need to:

  • Develop intellectually including critical thinking, problem solving and synthesis skills
  • Build a strong foundation in the sciences, as well as perspective about the world we live in through an array of courses
  • Explore your motivation and test your interest through related coursework, and especially through experiential exposures in clinics, labs and other health contexts
  • Develop your empathy, generosity, and compassion through community service and leadership
  • Deepen your other interests and personal qualities—they will complement your health professions-specific training

 

The Dartmouth College HEALTH PROFESSIONS PROGRAM is here to help you every step of the way.

The Health Professions Program exists to guide and prepare pre-health students from first explorations in the field of study through graduate school applications and beyond.

WHAT are the Health Professions?

Health Professions include both clinical and non-clinical paths such as: Physician (Allopathic and Osteopathic), Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Physician Assistant, Midwifery (and others); as well as, Public health; health care administration; biomedical research; etc. The journey is rich, fascinating and also complex, involving academic engagement, extracurricular activities, personal growth, and the actual process of application to a graduate program.

WHO is a "Pre-Health" student?

Approximately 1000 Dartmouth undergraduates and alumni/ae each year have either definite or potential, interest in a career in the health professions. Pre-health students come from every background, and have a wide array of majors and academic interests, talents and skills! 10% of Dartmouth students choose to apply to medical school, but we support those with all career goals inclusively. It is not a one size fit's all journey--Pre-Health students have different timelines, pathways, starting points and destinations.

IS medicine the right path for me?

Exploring your interest is a very important part of the "pre-health" journey. The pre-requisite coursework is certainly essential, but often it is not what will confirm your interest. Students do things like: sign up for medical exposure through the Nathan Smith Society Shadowing Program right here at Dartmouth to volunteer in medical settings locally, at home, or abroad on off terms; take courses that explore the nature of medicine and society; take upper level science courses that are especially relevant; gain experience in scholarly/clinical research experiences; and service experiences to help confirm that medicine is a path for them!

HOW to decide which classes to take first, and when?

Because there are a number of pre-requisite courses and many starting places and timelines for arranging them, please meet with a Pre-Health Advisor either before courses even start, or in your first terms at Dartmouth. We are here to help individualize your choices and a plan that assists with your success! Your Undergraduate Dean is another resource for getting feedback early on!

Interested in starting your Pre-Health journey?

Meet with a Pre-Health Advisor! And explore our Overview and Tips for Getting Off to a Good Start pages!

Last Updated: 5/16/18