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August 8, 2016

MedPrep Interview

MU Program Helps Nontraditional Medical School Applicants Succeed

Mizzou MedPrep provides one-on-one resources to students from diverse backgrounds

For the thousands of Missourians applying to medical school each year, minute details in the application process can quickly open or shut doors. Applicants without access to advising resources typically found at four-year universities can find the application process especially daunting. Now, a program at the University of Missouri School of Medicine helps medical school applicants navigate the application process and be more competitive applicants.

“The Mizzou MedPrep program at the University of Missouri makes the medical school application process easier for those whose path to medical school has taken a few twists and turns,” said Andrea Simmons, Mizzou MedPrep coordinator. “Through the program, applicants in their second careers or from disadvantaged backgrounds can find the same educational opportunities and support as traditional applicants.”

Currently, four different Mizzou MedPrep workshops are available to students interested in health care careers. The workshop, “Medical Explorations,” is designed specifically for high school juniors and seniors. During the workshop, students get an overview of medical professions, physician specialties and medical school admission requirements, in addition to taking a medical school tour.

“The purpose of Mizzou MedPrep is to provide help to applicants, such as those underrepresented in medicine, socioeconomically disadvantaged, rural and nontraditional, with the same opportunities traditional applicants have,” Simmons said. “It doesn’t matter if a student comes from a low-income family, has applied to medical school but was rejected, or is a member of a particular ethnicity. They can still go to medical school and have successful careers.”

Additional Mizzou MedPrep workshops are available for college undergraduates and graduates. In those sessions, medical school faculty host one-on-one sessions with prospective students and review students’ applications to identify areas of improvement. Students also receive tips on interviewing and drafting personal statements for their applications.

“The program is continually growing,” Simmons said. “We currently have more than 30 Mizzou MedPrep medical students enrolled at MU, and we recently had our first graduate. It is very exciting to see students respond well to the program.”

More than 400 students have participated in Mizzou MedPrep since its inception in 2011. The next workshop, “Mizzou MedPrep I,” takes place Thursday, Aug. 11, to Friday, Aug. 12, at MU.

In 2016, the MU School of Medicine received more than 2,100 applications for the 104 seats in the class of 2020.

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