Resources for Pre-Health Students

Are you interested in medicine but do not want to take the long path and 663go through medical school to reach your dreams? Have no fear, the medical field is extremely broad and you can still have a career within the health field without having to go to medical school. Pretty exciting right? Without further ado, let us talk about some of the resources UC Davis offers if you are considering a health profession.

One of the resources you should visit would be Health Professions Advising (HPA). Joanne Snapp, the Director of Health Professions Advising, has many resources about different health professions. Some of these professions may include Dentistry, Nursing, Physicians Assistant, Occupational Therapy, Veterinary Medicine, Clinical Lab Specialist, Genetic Counseling, and many more. Joanne Snapp also has many workshops that are geared towards specific professions as well as general workshops for anyone interested in health professions. She also lists out required and recommended courses, success stories, process of applying/interviewing, and information about different schools. All this information is accessible on the HPA website where a student is also able to schedule an appointment.

Another helpful resource that is available to you is the Internship and Career Center (ICC). If you are interestedcommunity_outreach in health professions, the best way to “try out” the career is through an internship. This way you would be able to experience the daily life of that profession and see if that is something you would enjoy doing for the rest of your life. Speaking from experience, internships were the key elements that guided me to my current career path. I have participated in multiple internships where I was able to gain hands-on-experience that I would have never learned from a textbook.

In October, UC Davis co-sponsors The Annual UC Davis Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Professions National Conference, which is a great resource to gain knowledge on different health professions. This is the largest pre-medical and pre-health conference in the nation and it is a completely student run organization. This year around 2,000 speakers will be attending from various schools and programs such as Pharmacy, Nursing, Public Health, Podiatric Medicine, and many more. The conference offers more than 350 workshops where you are able to gain insight and engage with speakers on a more personal level. I would highly recommend attending this conference, as it will expand your knowledge and allow you to get a wider understanding of the various health professions available.

The UC Davis Study Abroad is another useful resource because they have medical-internglobal health internships. Their internships are across the global and some of the locations may include: Bolivia, South Africa, India, Peru, and many more. This is great opportunity because you are able to travel as well as gain hands-on-experience in diverse locations, which is great because when the student comes back to the United States they have a new health perspective as well as increased cultural-sensitivity.

The last valuable resource is health professions student organizations. UC Davis offers hundreds of different student organizations and these organizations help you get involved. By getting involved, you surround yourself with other students who have similar career goals and they are able to give you tips and encouragement along this career journey.

As you can see, UC Davis highly values pre-health students and wants to offer many ways for students to find their own success as a health professional. Most of these resources are free of charge so make sure you take advantage of these wonderful opportunities while you still have the chance!

Rufa Pazyuk
BASC Peer Adviser
Second Year, Biological Sciences Major


Finding a Balance

It’s not uncommon for me to have a date with Peter J. Shields that lasts five hours. Sometimes during midterm weeks, we go on many dates. Do we get tired of each other? Of course we do. However, our relationship is important. Without the countless hours I have spent at our campus library, my knowledge and my grades would be suffering.


To ensure that I maintain a strong relationship with Peter J. Shields, I have learned to balance my schoolwork with extracurricular activities. It is important to avoid overwhelming yourself in schoolwork to the point that you no longer find your courses rewarding. Instead, find opportunities to get involved in clubs and activities that give your eyes a break from studying.

When I’m not at Peter J. Shields, I’m at the ARC playing intramural sports or listening to guest speakers at Pre-Dental Society meetings. There are hundreds of extracurricular activities at UC Davis. I’ve decided to highlight a few opportunities that may interest students in the College of Biological Sciences (CBS).

1. Interested in a volunteering abroad? There are multiple groups on campus dedicated to improving health in impoverished countries. I recently traveled to Liberia, Costa Rica with Spreading Smiles, a student-run organization unique to UC Davis. In Liberia, we traveled to churches, promoting oral hygiene techniques and providing non-invasive dental cleanings. Through out the school year, we fundraise through car washes and bake sales. Check out other awesome volunteering groups such as Project Rishi, Global Medical Brigades, and Global Dental Brigades.

2. Interested in getting to know your classmates outside of lecture? Join a club related to your major! It’s awesome surrounding yourself with people of similar interests and career paths. Our very own peer adviser, Wilson, is a member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) at UC Davis. ASM organizes guest speakers, field trips, and other group activities relevant to microbiology. There are other major clubs for CBS students such as the EXB Club, NPB Club, Bio Boosters (a great opportunity for biology majors), Genetics Club, and MCB Club.

3. Interested in applying your scientific knowledge to broader societal issues? Join the Environmental Science and Policy Club at UC Davis. This club gives CBS students the opportunity to diversify their knowledge through exposing members to topics related to social sciences and politics. If environmental issues are not your strongest interest, browse other clubs like Student Reproductive Coalition, Universities Allied for Essential Medicine, and Team HBV.

4. Interested in applying your scientific knowledge to something revolutionary? Explore the numerous undergraduate research opportunities available at UC Davis. Research gives students hands-on scientific experience and helps students develop relationships with renowned faculty members.

Becoming involved in extracurricular activities helps you meet new people, diversify your knowledge and experiences, and strengthen your resume. While I’ve only highlighted a select few of the extracurricular activities available at UC Davis, check out the Center for Student Involvement webpage to find an activity that fits you!

Jennifer Hofmann


Exercise Biology

BASC Peer Adviser