Skip to Main content

Hear from Former ASU Students in Medical School

Norbert Rios

Year Graduated ASU: 2007
Medical School: University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston
Medical Area of Study: Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)

How did the pre-health professions program at ASU prepare you for medical school?

I’m going to have to say that with Dr. Marsh, Dr. Jones, Dr. Dowler and Dr. Wilke as my professors, ASU was challenging and, all in all, very effective in preparing me for medical school.

Dr. Jones helped prepare me really well for my first board regarding parasitology. I do not mean to single out professors because it was the entire census of professors as a whole that prepared me really well for medical school. Some classes, of course, were not as pertinent as others, but thinking outside the box is more important than people imagine.

What advice would you give other students at ASU who want to go to medical school?

From my understanding, anatomy is not a required course for a biology degree, but I feel it should be. After taking the course and tutoring it, I was way ahead of most students in my medical school class.

Melissa Warren

Year Graduated ASU: 2007
Medical School: University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston
Medical Area of Study: I am interested in pediatric oncology or combined internal medicine and pediatrics.

How did the pre-health professions program at ASU prepare you for medical school?

While at ASU, my professors and mentors helped prepare me in many ways.  Mock interviews were set up to help prepare for medical school interviews. I had an upper-level mentor who helped guide me through the application and personal statement and I was a member of Tri-Beta, which brought in physicians of various fields to educate us on medical school and practicing.

These are just a few examples, but I know that ASU absolutely prepared me for medical school and I would not change my undergraduate education whatsoever.

What advice would you give other students at ASU who want to go to medical school?

Enjoy the time you have now and spend it doing things you love. Also, college is the best time to really perfect your study skills and figure out who you are and how you work in order to really excel in medical school.

Now is also a great time to take advantage of the available classes and go beyond what is required. Not only will the extra classes increase your knowledge, the added stress will also help lessen the transition into medical school, where you are faced with much more material than what you have been used to. Med school is great – don’t stress and have fun!

Jason Bodiford

Year Graduated ASU: Spring 2008
Medical School: University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston
Medical Area of Study: I have not decided what area of medicine I want to specialize in.

How did the pre-health professions program at ASU prepare you for medical school?

I believe the most difficult aspect of the medical school process is being accepted. Once you are in medical school, hard work will get you the rest of the way.  

So, let me explain how the pre-health professions program at ASU helped me to get accepted to medical school. I actually did not decide to apply to medical school until my junior year. At that time, I spoke with a professor who gave me advice on which classes to take in my remaining time at ASU, when to take the MCAT and when to be interviewed by the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC).  

Around the same time, I spoke to Dr. Jones and Dr. Wilke to get information about the medical school application process. I spent time working with Dr. Wilke, setting up the anatomy lab and grading papers for him. This allowed me to spend more time with him and I got to learn more about applying to medical school.  

I also did research with Dr. Jones and was active in a student organization (Tri-Beta), for which he was the faculty advisor. Because of this, I spent a lot of time with Dr. Jones and he gave me a great deal of advice about applying to medical school. He also critiqued my personal statement for my application.

Dr. Wilke and Dr. Jones both gave me a lot of advice for my medical school interviews. During my HPAC interview, I received a great deal of constructive criticism that helped to better prepare me for my future medical school interviews. I know I would not have been accepted to medical school without the help of the amazing professors at Angelo State University.

What advice would you give other students at ASU who want to go to medical school?

There are certain things that you pretty much have to do if you want to be accepted to medical school. First, you have to keep your GPA high and it is even more important to keep your science GPA high. Do not slack off in any of your classes.

Second, get involved in extracurricular activities early. JOIN TRI-BETA. It’s the best student organization at ASU and it’s the best chapter of Tri-Beta in the country. (Sorry, I’m a little bit biased.) Try to get involved in multiple student or volunteer organizations, where you can get leadership roles and community service experience.

Medical schools always like to see evidence that you enjoy helping people. They also like to see that you can be involved in a lot of different things and manage your time well. Time management is extremely important in medical school.  

Third, you must shadow doctors or get some experience working in health professions. The earlier you start shadowing and the more shadowing you do, the better. If you can get a part-time job at a doctor’s office or a hospital or as an EMT or something, that would be great.

Fourth, you must do well on the MCAT. In recent years, the average score for students getting accepted to medical school has increased pretty significantly. So, it is essential that some preparation is done before taking the MCAT. It would be best to take an MCAT review course, such as the Princeton Review or the Kaplan Review. But, if that is not possible, then make sure to use some review books or flashcards to study before taking the MCAT. I believe for Texas medical schools, the average MCAT score for the entering class of 2008 was 31. So, I would recommend re-taking the MCAT if you score below a 30 the first time. With that being said, I would recommend taking the MCAT during March or April of your junior year so that there is still time to re-take the test if needed.  

Fifth, make sure to spend a good amount of time when writing the personal statement for your application. Be sure to include specific examples of why you want to become a doctor. It is really important to make sure there are not any grammatical errors. Get at least three people to read it. The first person should be someone who knows you well and can make sure the essay accurately reflects you as a person. The next person should be someone who knows the medical school application process, so they can make sure the essay has the elements that medical schools look for. The last person should be an expert in grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc.  

Lastly, it is important to submit the application early and complete all the secondary applications soon afterward. I would recommend submitting the TMDSAS primary application by the middle of July at the latest, but preferably in the month of June. Medical schools begin giving interviews around the beginning of August, so it is best to get your applications submitted before then.  

The next step in the process is the interviews. Dr. Wilke has some helpful advice on how to do well in the interviews.