Pre-Health Covid-19 Resources
The Career Center is operating virtually. Student services, including counseling appointments, are available between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm (email, video and teleconference). Handshake is the primary portal for students and employers. Pre-Health students can send messages regarding questions or issues to firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to their counselor's email.
Below are answers to some common questions we have received with regard to the effects of COVID-19. Through these unusual and trying times and we will continue to do our best to inform and support you. We offer virtual drop-ins, for those with quick questions or unable to find an appointment time that fits your needs. Please refer to our appointments page for updates on days/times/links to the sessions.
For updates and answers to your questions please check these sites:
AACOMAS (DO applicants)
TMDSAS (Texas applicants)
US Medical School Pass/No Pass Pandemic Policy (fluid document; check frequently for updates)
US Dental Schools P/NP Policies (fluid document; check frequently for updates)
US Optometry Schools P/NP Policies (fluid document; check frequently for updates)
US Veterinary Schools P/NP Policies (fluid document; check frequently for updates)
US PA Schools P/NP Policies (fluid document; check frequently for updates)
Resources for a wide range of health professions
NAAHP (National Association for Advisors of Health Professions)
Taking P/NP grades during the 2020 fall semester is an option as many medical schools are continuing their willingness to take P/NP grades for coursework completed during the pandemic. However, we strongly encourage you to take grades in your science prerequisites if possible, particularly for CHEM 1A/AL, CHEM 3A/AL, 3B, MCB 102, Bio 1A/AL, Bio 1B, Physics 8A and 8B. If you are going to receive a C or above, we encourage you to take the grade. However, it is ultimately your decision.
Policies are posted on medical school websites and you should always refer to each school's website directly for their information.
For the next several years medical schools will have a question about how the effects of having to transition to remote learning affected your life, in which you can share your narrative on how it affected you and why you chose to take P/NP grades if you made that choice.
In addition, we have compiled this document which has links to helpful information.
Here are some of our recommendations:
Medical schools will evaluate the fact that your activities/internships/research opportunities were put on hold due to the shelter-in-place requirements of COVID-19 in the context of where you are in your academic journey and your circumstances.
-If you are early in your academic career (freshman/sophomore), medical schools will understand that you were unable to find or complete activities due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
-If you are a junior or senior and have been on the premed path from your freshman year and have been involved in medically related activities, and/or research, and/or community service and your plans or activities were put on hold, that demonstrated you were actively involved in gaining experiences and they will take that into consideration in a positive way especially if you were able to move to do something virtually where you were still able to help others.
-If you are a junior or senior and had planned on gaining medically related experiences in your junior or senior year and have not participated in any medically related experiences, medical schools might question that. There are exceptions to that and one reason might be a late decision to be premed.
-If you have any questions about your medically related experiences or lack of them during the shelter-in-place, please make an appointment with one of the prehealth advisors to discuss it.
If you want medically related clinical experience you can consider becoming an essential worker. It may require coursework and certification in a skill however, such activities can provide the experience you are looking for. Look into EMT training, CNA training, medical assisting, phlebotomy training, or clinical research coordinator position, to name a few options, which will allow you to gain patient care experience.
Some research labs are beginning to allow students to volunteer for research, some students are being allowed to train and work as scribes.
Please see the many virtual experiences possible by signing up for the Health and Medicine Career Mail and looking for virtual shadowing.
- Read books that provide insight about being a doctor, applying to medical school, or learning about other health careers.
- There has been an increase in virtual shadowing. Although medical schools may, or may not, take them into consideration as one of your activities, if you are learning from watching them, then it is probably a worthwhile experience.
- Listen to the All Access Medical School Admissions podcast, or other interesting podcasts
- Attend Virtual Fairs, virtual open houses, and other educational opportunities online (we’ll post these opportunities in our Health and Medicine Career Mail and on our Facebook page)
- Read medically-related books:
- Offer to do an online literature search for a professor or researcher who might need assistance.
- Operation Warm has a list of 25 ways to volunteer virtually
- Paper-airplanes.org invites volunteers to provide online tutoring to “bridge gaps in language, higher education, and professional skills training for conflict-affected individuals”
- Dosomething.org’s nine places to volunteer online and make a real impact.