On Friday, February 23, over 500 prospective medical students gathered in Lerner Hall for the 2018 Medical School Fair. Hosted by the Premedical Association and the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program, the fair welcomed representatives from more than 40 medical, dental, veterinary, and allied health graduate schools.
“The fair is a great way for students to meet admissions deans before and while they apply to medical schools, and to become acquainted with the very people who will review their applications,” said Chelsea Faison, a Columbia Postbac Premed student and the Vice President of the fair’s operations.
Postbac Premed students and premedical undergraduates from Columbia University and Barnard College, as well as students from City College of New York, Hunter College, New York University, and Yeshiva University, spoke with admissions representatives and attended various panels at the event. At the Admissions Deans Panel, Columbia attendees picked up valuable advice from deans representing Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and the University of Rochester Medical School.
“We don’t want excuses,” said Dr. George Heinrich, Associate Dean of Admissions and Special Programs at Rutgers. “If you failed a course, don’t blame the professor—tell us what you learned from it.”
The deans also shared details about the application process, interview preparation, and other attributes they seek in applicants. Following the panel, all students in attendance were then invited to participate in various break-out sessions throughout the day. Students interested in osteopathic medicine participated in a session that included an overview of the profession and advice about the admissions process, and those wishing to take a gap year before entering medical school attended a panel featuring Postbac Premed alumni who shared their experiences. A representative from the Association of American Medical Colleges also spoke to potential applicants about medical school admissions, helping to clarify aspects of the sometimes intimidating process for students.
“Applying can be a daunting task for most people,” Faison said. “The Medical School Fair helps alleviate some of the stress of communicating with schools or finding more information about the curriculum and pace of classes from students.”