The Health Professions Club at MSU is a collection of students who are pursuing careers as doctors, physicians assistants, pharmacists, or almost any other professional healthcare occupation. Members have the opportunity to meet and interact with other students who share their interests, as well as people in the community who are already engaged in the field of healthcare and medicine. We include students from any course of study, although most of our members come from the biological and health sciences as well as hard sciences. If you need help with studying for the MCAT, the application process, or opportunities to get involved in the community, we are the club to go to.
Bozeman under the Big Sky
(photo courtesy montana.edu/prospective/)
With the retirement and aging of the baby boomer generation, health professions have a bright future, with above-average growth in jobs and income along with low unemployment rates. While medical school graduates enjoy these benefits, there are currently not enough available positions in medical schools to fulfill the demand for physicians. This causes another problem, where an increasing number of pre-medical students wish to compete for those positions and thus the acceptance rates for many medical schools have dropped below their already very low levels. Students who wish to go into medicine are faced with these very low acceptance rates, and therefore need to try even harder than before to make themselves stand out. In the resources section, there are some links and tips to help you achieve that.
The Bozeman Deaconess Hospital main campus at Highland Park
(photo courtesy bozemandeaconess.org/reports/)
As a WWAMI partner, Montana State University offers a chance for students from Montana to go through their first year of medical school right here in Bozeman. WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) is a program affiliated with the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSoM) in which the curriculum is decentralized to cover the five-state region, as UWSoM is the only medical school that serves the northwest states. In Montana, thirty students (previously twenty) are guaranteed placement into the MSU WWAMI program.
This leads to a unique setting here at MSU where pre-medical students have resources at their fingertips that students at many other universities simply don't have. The curriculum for students in the pre-medical program here (and other students in the Cell Biology & Neuroscience, Biomedical Science, Biochemistry, etc. programs) includes many courses that prepare students for medical school, such as immunology, neurophysiology, cognitive neuroscience, an array of anatomy/physiology classes, and even an honors seminar titled "The Art and Science of Medicine."
MSU WWAMI students 2012
(photo courtesy montana.edu/wwwwami/)
A note from the president:
Over the next year, I have several goals for HPC: to increase our presence in both the MSU and Bozeman communities, to ensure that HPC has a secure future, to coordinate more effectively with other campus organizations to maximize our efficiency, and to increase peer-to-peer networking and discussion in the pre-health community.
To meet the first goal, I feel that we will need to actively pursue both on-campus and off-campus health events. Partnership with community health groups and local schools will be necessary to do this, so a large amount of effort will be put into establishing those connections.
The first goal will help to provide a basis for the second, which is to secure HPC as a more established organization - by increasing our presence, we will increase the Club's ability to operate more effectively in the future. Another necessity for the future of HPC is to increase enrollment and recruitment capabilities, so I will be pushing recruitment as much as possible. MSU already has a great pre-health program and great students to match it, but I think we can do even better on the student side. We can easily pull students to the program who may not have previously even been aware of it - I didn't even know HPA existed until late in my sophomore year!
Another goal I would like to pursue is interaction and coordination with other campus clubs (such as Pre-Dent, AED, and Community Health Club), which will allow us to more effectively plan events and fine-tune our workings. With so many clubs and organizations here at MSU, we have virtually endless resources to find out what works for student-run groups and what doesn't, simply by talking to other people. I would love to hear from any of our members (or anyone really) about either personal or vicarious experiences that would benefit HPC.
Finally, I would like to increase our independence as a club - as a student organization, I feel the onus is ours to bear for the majority of the operation of HPC. In doing so, we will also create a more tightly knit student community, where students at the start of their college career will be more empowered to network with their more experienced peers. This will allow not only for new students to gain a better understanding of the pre-health process, but also for older students to review the process they have gone through (which may help you organize your story for when interview time comes around!).
I hope we will have a successful 2013-2014 year, and at least meet some of the goals I have outlined.
Have a great summer everyone!