Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Public Health, & Other Health Professions
Location: Carson 125
The single most important advising tip for first-year students is to seek the guidance of a Pre-Health Advisor. This should be done early in the first term in order to plan a four-year schedule for completing the required coursework. Misinformation may be passed along by fellow students, so it is critical that students rely on HPP for information about the complex academic and extracurricular path to a health profession.
Students interested in pursuing a curriculum that will prepare them for medical, dental, or veterinary school, or other graduate schools in the health professions, should contact the Program Coordinator, Rae Stokes, at Health.Professions.Program@dartmouth.edu or by calling the number above.
Some important tips for students considering the pre-health track:
- Dartmouth does not have a single, set pre-health curriculum, but does provide a wide array of routes students can take to fulfill requirements.
- There are a significant number of pre-health requirements which can limit flexibility in course selection and options for off-campus programs.
- Students arrive with different backgrounds and levels of preparation, so will move through the process at different rates. HPP advisors and faculty in academic departments can provide individualized advice about course selection and sequencing.
- Students who do not have a strong background in the sciences are strongly encouraged to take a preparatory course, like Biology 2 or 11, before beginning the required pre-health courses. If opting for BIOL 2, please make your advisee aware that Biology 2 does not count for major credit.
- Students are cautioned against taking two lab courses in the fall of the first year. In general, students are encouraged to enroll in one lab course per term until they have demonstrated the ability to handle the coursework.
- Students should NOT use the NRO (non-recording option) in a course required for med/vet/dental school admission and should be very cautious about using it in any natural science course.
- In some departments, students may be granted course exemptions based on placement exams or previous academic experience (e.g. AP and IB scores). These exemptions allow students to enroll in advanced courses and also satisfy med/dental/vet school matriculation requirements.
- Decisions about course selection and sequencing can have implications for when students are ready to take entrance exams (like the MCAT) and therefore when they will be able to apply to pre-health programs.
- Students who are considering withdrawing from a course after the add/drop period should discuss this in advance with a pre-health advisor.
- Students who are struggling in the required science courses should seek advice from a pre-health advisor. They should also take advantage of the resources offered by the Academic Skills Center and by faculty and academic departments.
- Students CAN recover from one or more low grades in their first year. It is not uncommon for students to need to learn new study and learning strategies. Campus advising and resources can help students be successful even after an initial bump.
- Students are encouraged to join the Nathan Smith Society which is a student organization that serves all students interested in the health professions. http://www.dartmouth.edu/nathan-smith/