In April, PHSRC career counselors Dana Lovold, MPH and Fred Williams, MA had the opportunity to present at the Central Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (CAAHP) regional meeting in Milwaukee, WI. Fred and Dana have been career counselors in the PHSRC for 8 and 9 years, respectively, and have published and presented numerous times on the topic of personal statement writing. 

The PHSRC is excited to have our career counselors attend conferences like CAAHP to not only share their expertise, but bring back new insights from the conference to pre-health students at the University of Minnesota! 

Fred presenting at CAAHP

Read about their experience at the conference below!

During our presentation at CAAHP, The Stages of Development of the Personal Statement, we covered the stages of development of the personal statement and how we provide feedback and coaching at each stage.

Our session described strategies for assessing students’ writing and determining the best course of action to provide quality feedback. Advisors who attended the session practiced reviewing personal statements and applying the stages and the types of feedback. A few of our former students from AHS 3401: Writing a Personal Statement were gracious enough to share multiple drafts of their personal statements with this advising group for training purposes. Staff from the PHSRC regularly presents at regional and national pre-health advising conferences and continues to be recognized as a leader in the field of pre-health advising.  

Other major topics of the conference included Situational Judgement Tests, advising students from underrepresented communities, and coaching students through various phases of the application process. The keynote speaker, Sunny Nakae, Senior Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion, Diversity, and Partnership, and Associate Professor of Medical Education at the California University of Science and Medicine, presented on increasing access and equity for underrepresented, minoritized, and marginalized students in higher education.

It was great to be able to connect and network with other pre-health advising colleagues across the midwest, including Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and more. We also networked with admissions representatives from across the country and learned about admissions trends and updates from professional associations such as the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). It was also fun to enjoy the city of Milwaukee - dining at the 3rd Street Market, attending the Brewer’s game, taking pictures with the Bronze Fonz, and touring the historic site of the Pabst Brewery!

Written by Fred Williams, MA and Dana Lovold, MPH - both career counselors at the Pre-Health Student Resource Center.