Dr. James Shinkle, Chair, Health Professions Advisory Committee
Department of Biology
How does Trinity advise and support students who may be considering careers in medicine?
Trinity University's Health Professions Advisory Committee holds regular meetings for potential pre-meds, starting with new student orientation. You will be assigned a committee member as your academic adviser. She/he will help you decide whether this is the best career for you, and if so how to meet academic and other requirements for med school. We offer orientation for the application process, reviewing of essays, and practice interviews. When you apply, the Committee writes a letter of evaluation and assembles a complete packet of materials which we send to all schools considering you for admission. Two different student groups maintain websites for potential pre-meds. They also plan many events on health-related issues, including readings and discussion of issues in contemporary medicine, study breaks and meet the deans of admissions gatherings. Students also organize physician shadowing opportunities, some with Alumni/ae.
Medically oriented professional schools recognize the desirability of a broad liberal education that includes a strong foundation in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics) including well-developed communication skills, and a background in the social sciences and humanities. Trinity's common curriculum incorporates all of these components. In addition, courses addressing the practice of medicine from economic, ethical, and societal perspectives are also offered.
Periodically, students are advised about the level of their performance relevant to their career goals, but every effort is made to support all Trinity students in obtaining entrance into the professional schools of their choice.
Does Trinity write letters for every student who applies?
This may be the most important question to ask. Trinity University's Health Professions Advisory Committee writes a letter of evaluation for every student who applies. Some schools have an internal selection process and will write letters, give practice interviews, etc., for only the highest-achieving students. Be aware that an extremely high acceptance rate may result from internal selection, so always ask about this.
What will I need to do in order to get into medical school?
If you take the required courses and do well in them, study hard for the MCAT and do well on it, have a consistent record of good work in human service internships or volunteer experiences, get some exposure to health care settings while in college, apply in a timely fashion to a reasonable mix of medical schools matching your interests and accomplishments, develop the kinds of relationships with your professors and others that will enable you to get good recommendations, practice your interviewing skills until you can interview well, and have a clear understanding of your motivations for medicine as well as the ability to articulate this in writing and in interviews, you will almost certainly be admitted to medical school, no matter what percentage of applicants from your college are admitted.