"To find health should be the object of the doctor. Anyone can find disease."  —Andrew T. Still, MD, DO


"As a family physician, my job is listening to people's stories."
—Jon S. Hallberg, MD

Workshops

For dates/times/locations/descriptions of upcoming events, please visit our pre-health blog.

To sign up for an upcoming workshop, click here

Visit our YouTube channel for recordings of our latest workshops, events, and presentations.

 

WOW Pre-Health Orientation / Health Careers 101

For new incoming students, held during WOW. This presentation covers how to start out on the right foot at Cal Poly as a pre-health student.

Click here to view a recording of our 2020 Pre-Health Advising Orientation!

How to Become a Competitive Applicant

During your first or second year (or as soon as you decide to take on the endeavor of planning for a career in healthcare), plan to attend this workshop. This workshop will cover every part of the application and how you can begin to develop in the following key areas: grades, experiences, relationships with faculty, and inter- and intrapersonal skill development.

To learn more about what makes a competitive applicant to health professional school, please refer to the "Am I Ready to Apply?" tab of our Applying webpage and/or our response to the FAQ: "How do I become a competitive applicant for admission to a program?"

Beyond the Grades: Getting Involved Outside of the Classroom

Being a competitive applicant to a graduate program in health is more than just having good grades. This workshop covers what experiences you should be seeking to find, how to find them, and what to think about when selecting which experiences to participate in. 

To learn more about the various experiences available to you both on- and off-campus, please visit our Experiences webpage

International Health Experiences

There is a growing interest in participating in health-related experiences abroad. But did you know that there are various ethical guidelines and cultural considerations that you should be thinking about before participating in such an experience? This workshop will cover what to consider when selecting an international experience, and cover types of programs to participate with. 

Preparing to Apply: An Application Workshop

Now you’ve reached the point where you’re ready to apply (or close to it!), this workshop will cover the timeline and nuanced details and processes of putting together a complete application. This workshop is best suited for those students who plan to apply in the coming 1-2 years. As the application process can last up to two years, we recommend attending twice to ensure you get all the information you need. It never hurts to hear such detailed information more than once. Sign up for upcoming application workshops through our Calendly website. 

Click here to view a recording of our most recent application workshop, or here to view the presentation slides. 

For more information on the application process for health professional schools, you can also refer to our Applying webpage.

Writing a Compelling Personal Statement

Often considered one of the most challenging parts of the application to graduate programs, in this interactive workshop, you will:

  • Learn what admissions committees are looking for in a personal statement
  • Read and evaluate sample personal statements
  • Brainstorm content for your own personal statement

You are not required to come with a personal statement draft, but do bring something to write with (pen and paper or laptop/tablet).

Personal statement drafts will not be evaluated during the workshop. 

Sign up for upcoming personal statement workshops through our Calendly website. For more guidance and advice on developing your personal statement, please refer to the "Personal Statement" tab of our Applying webpage

Interviewing for Health Professions Graduate Programs

This workshop will help you to prepare for interviews with health professions graduate programs. You will learn how to put your best foot forward, while also evaluating your fit with the school/program.

To learn more about the interview process and how to prepare effectively, please refer to the "Interviews" tab of our Applying webpage.

Making Plan B: Post-Baccalaureate Programs

There is so much to put together to become a competitive applicant, that oftentimes students aren’t able to achieve this by the time they finish their 4-year degree. Students may need any of the following to be considered a competitive applicant: more classes, further education, better grades, more experience, higher test scores, more research, more community service, or something else completely. Sometimes you need to enhance your academic record, sometimes you still need more classes because you discovered your interests later in college. That is okay, there are still options for you. Post-baccalaureate programs are for these students and are an intermediary between undergraduate and graduate/professional education. This session will cover types of programs and how to find one that is a good fit for you. 

To learn more about post-baccalaureate programs, click here to read our "Overview of Post-baccalaureate Programs" article on the Cal Poly Pre-Health Blog.

Accepted Students Panel

Hosted every spring quarter, this session is a panel of Cal Poly students and alum who have completed the application process and have been accepted to a school of their choice for the following academic year. Professions featured each year may change but typically include a student who has been accepted to medical, dental, physical therapy, and nursing programs.

Click here to view a recording of our Spring 2021 Accepted Students Panel!

To read the profiles of several Cal Poly graduates currently enrolled in health professional schools or actively practicing in their field, please visit the alumni section of our pre-health blog.

Open House Orientation to Pre-Health at Cal Poly

This presentation happens every April during Friday of Open House for prospective/admitted students and their parents. This session covers the pre-health student experience at Cal Poly, including dispelling common myths about being a pre-health student.

Click here to view a recording of the 2021 Cal Poly Pre-Health Advising Open House presentation. 

Mock Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI)

Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI’s) are gaining in popularity among medical, dental, pharmacy and other graduate school admissions and are being used to assess a candidate’s readiness to begin graduate school & enter into the healthcare profession.  An MMI typically consist of 8-10 timed stations through which applicants rotate. At each station, an applicant is presented with a question, scenario or task. This type of interviewing is a very different format from the traditional 1:1 interview format and so it is important to become familiar with the structure and expectations of an MMI so you will be prepared for your actual interview day. We realize this may seem a bit intimidating, but rest assured that our goal is simply to provide you with this “practice” so you can gain some confidence going into an actual MMI interview.

Our mock MMI will consist of 6 stations and end with a "written reflection" station for a total of 7 rotations.  Each station will consist of a prompt that will be posted outside of an office door.  When directed, you will have 2 minutes to read the prompt and then enter into the individual office. An evaluator will be inside the office to listen to you as you respond to your prompt or to observe you in carrying out a task as directed by the prompt. Each station will be timed (approximately 8 minutes) and you will be directed when to stop and move from one station to the next. At the end of the mock MMI, we will ask for you to complete a self-reflection evaluating your own experience and then we will schedule a time for you to meet with one-to-one with a pre-health advisor in the following weeks to receive some constructive feedback on how well you responded to the station prompts and recommendations for how to improve your overall performance.

Types of stations that may be used include:

  • Ethical dilemmas or questions about policy or social issues. The instructions describe a situation and then ask the candidate to discuss the ethical or other issues involved. The interviewer may follow up with questions designed to probe the applicant’s response.
  • Interactions with an actor. At these stations, the applicant is provided with a scenario involving an individual who is played by an actor. The applicant may need to give the individual bad news, confront the person about a problem or gather information. An observer present in the room will rate the applicant based on his or her interaction with the actor.
  • Standard interview questions. An MMI may include one or more stations with traditional interview questions such as “Why did you apply to this school?” or “Describe an obstacle that you have overcome.”
  • A task requiring teamwork. Since the ability to work as part of a team is essential to medicine, some stations involve two applicants working together to complete a task.

Benefits to participating include:

  • Understand the basic structure and types of questions asked in MMI's
  • Practice with interviewing under a time limit and going through a series of stations without breaks
  • Receive 1:1 personalized written and oral feedback on how you performed and recommendations for improving your performance

Dates and times of Mock MMI's will be announced via our pre-health blog

To learn more about the interview process and how to prepare effectively, please refer to the "Interviews" tab of our Applying webpage.

Dinner with a Doctor

A few times each academic year, Cal Poly Pre-Health Advising works with Dr. Bruce Jones (a retired orthopedic physician) to host a pre-health professions Dinner with a Doctor event at his home in Templeton, CA. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a tasty meal, interact with your Cal Poly peers, and informally chat with Bruce and a co-host (usually another local physician) about your health profession career interests. Come and hear about their experiences of practicing medicine, and gain insight into what a career in medicine really entails. 

Here is a quick BIO on Dr. Jones:

  • Dr. Bruce Jones practiced as a primary care physician for 7 years and as an orthopedic physician for 33 years. He graduated from Wayne State University Medical School in Detroit and completed his Orthopedic Surgery residency at Washington University in St. Louis. For the last several years, he specialized in joint replacement surgery. 

Dates and times for these events will be announced via our pre-health blog

Pre-Health Pasta/Pizza/Pizookies

Get your pre-health questions answered, make some new friends, and take a break from the rigors of your schoolwork to enjoy some delicious, free food! These events are held quarterly in the designated pre-health dorm, but are open to any and all Cal Poly pre-health students. 

Bring your questions about course registration, extracurricular experiences, strategies for success, or any other topics you'd like to talk about, and get to know your pre-health peer advisors outside the formality of an office setting. 

All food is prepared and provided by the pre-health peer advisors and the hosting dorm's resident advisors. 

Event dates and times will be announced via our pre-health blog

"Black Men in White Coats" Documentary and Panel Discussion

Documentary Description: "Fewer black men applied to medical school in 2014 than in 1978. Only two percent of American doctors are Black men, and Black men have the lowest life expectancy in the United States. Why is it easier to visualize a Black man in an orange jumpsuit than it is in a white coat? What if we had a medical workforce that reflected our patient population? This documentary dissects the systemic barriers preventing Black men from becoming medical doctors and the consequences to society at large... It’s time to end this crisis and get more Black men in white coats!" Click here to watch the trailer.
 
Panel Discussion: Dr. Joye Carter, forensic pathologist for San Luis Obispo County and the first African American to be appointed as a chief medical examiner, and Dr. Joel Lopes, chief of the Department of Anesthesiology at Colquitt Regional Medical Center, discuss the Black Men in White Coats documentary, along with the systemic barriers they faced in medicine and how to make the field more equitable moving forward. Click here to view the recording of the Black Men in White Coats panel discussion.

Related Content

Statement of Solidarity

The Cal Poly Pre-Health Advising Department reaffirms its commitment to making anti-racism a priority.

Statement of Solidarity

Drop-in With a Peer Advisor

Drop-in with a pre-health peer advisor to discuss health professions prerequisites, finding extracurricular experiences, entrance exam preparation, and more!

Pre-Health Peer Advising

Pre-Health Events & Workshops

View and sign up for upcoming application workshops, personal statement workshops, presentations, and other events hosted by our office!

Pre-Health Events

Pre-Health Blog

Visit our Pre-Health Blog to stay up to date on pre-health events, opportunities, articles, workshops, and more!

Cal Poly Pre-Health Blog

Pre-Health Reading List

With less extracurricular experiences available during the pandemic, reading is a great way to continue developing yourself as an applicant.

Pre-Health Reading List