June Spotlight: Salwa Mohamud

Photo of Salwa

Salwa Mohamud is a rising senior at the University of Minnesota majoring in Biology, Society and Environment and pursuing a minor in leadership. 

Read about Salwa's journey as a pre-dental student, her experience in undergrad, how she's building her portfolio of experiences, and the message she'd give her younger self.

Studying Sustainability and Health in Southern France

AHS 3003 students with the UMN flag

Students in AHS 3003: Sustainable Approaches to Health in France returned from their time abroad in southern France a few weeks ago. A few of the many highlights from the trip included exploring Europe's oldest medicinal botanical gardens to learn how herbs can be used to promote health, visiting an olive grove to hear about the interconnectedness of food, health, and the environment, and hiking a portion of a UNESCO World Heritage trail with a friendly donkey named Nelson!

Click to link to hear about these experiences and more from course instructors Dana Lovold, MPH, and Karin Hamilton, DVM, MPH. 

May Spotlight: Adam Elmi, BA

Adam at graduation

Adam Elmi, BA, graduated earlier this month from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology, Society, & Environment. He also worked as a North Star STEM/MnDRIVE research fellow in the U of M Neuromodulation Research Center. 

In his spotlight, Adam talks about his research experience with North Star STEM, his pre-med journey, and his advice for balancing your schedule as a pre-health student.

PHSRC in Ecuador

AHS 3004 students on the equator

What did students in AHS 3004: Health in Ecuador do during their time abroad?

Read a few highlights from the trip from course instructors Tricia Todd and Scott Simpson, including hearing first-hand experiences from physicians, learning about traditional Indigenous birthing methods from a practicing midwife, and more!

April Spotlight: Ntxhee Xiong, MS. Ed.

Ntxhee's headshot

Ntxhee Xiong, MS. Ed. is the Assistant Manager for the Health Profession Pathways Program in the Pre-Health Student Resource Center. Ntxhee has a Master of Science in Education with a focus in Student Affairs Administration for Higher Education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Read Ntxhee's spotlight to learn about her career journey and her role leading the PHSRC's Health Profession Pathways Program.

Gaining Healthcare Experience in AHS 1613

Hospital graphic

If you’ve started thinking about how you’ll gain healthcare experience, AHS 1613: Experiences in Healthcare & Public Health is the course for you! The course gives students credit to gain volunteer hours in a healthcare setting, and then reflect on their experiences and takeaways in class. 

Read about the experiences AHS 1613 students participated in, and how the course helped them reflect on those experiences to prepare to apply for a health program. 

March Spotlights: Health Profession Pathways Program Coaches

Image from the Meet the Coaches event

This month, the PHSRC is spotlighting a few of the Health Profession Pathways Program Health Science Coaches. The Health Science Coaches are all students in a health professional school at the University of Minnesota, like the Medical School, School of Dentistry, College of Pharmacy etc., and who also have shared identities with Pathways students. 

Click the link to read about the journeys the Health Science Coaches have taken to their health program, why they became a part of Pathways, the insight they have for pre-health students, and more!     

Obtaining Strong Letters of Recommendation

Image of letter and a typewriter

Who should you ask to write a letter of recommendation for a health program, and when should you ask them? How does the letter get submitted? 

This week, PHSRC career counselor Scott Simpson breaks down some of the most commonly asked questions about the process of obtaining letters of recommendation. 

February Spotlight: John Ward, MD

Dr. John Ward

Our February spotlight is John Ward, MD. Dr. Ward was one of the leaders for AHS 3001: Health and Medicine in India, one of the four global courses run by the PHSRC. Students in AHS 3001 travel to India for two weeks over winter break and learn form a number of physicians, explore the Sustainable Development Goals, practice yoga, and more! 

Dr. Ward shares about his path to medicine, his experience in medical school and residency, his time in India with AHS 3001, and his perspectives on the value of learning abroad.

The Medical Humanities 

Medical Humanities image

Did you know that students who major in the humanities do just as well in medical school as their peers who focus on STEM subjects? And that physicians with Medical Humanities training have lower rates of burnout? 

This week we’re featuring a guest blog post about the field of the Medical Humanities, written by Matthew Reznicek, PhD. Learn how studying philosophy, sociology, literature, and the arts can make you a stronger health program applicant and a better health professional. 

Headshot of Dr. Hamlar

January Spotlight: David Hamlar Jr, MD, DDS

Our January spotlight is David Hamlar Jr, MD, DDS. Dr. Hamlar is a speaker in the Future Physician series and has participated in numerous events hosted by the PHSRC over the years. 

Check out Dr. Hamlar's spotlight to read about his journey to practicing both as a dentist and then a physician, a meaningful patient interaction from his career, his remarkable military service, his advice for pre-health students, and more.

Photo of a woman holding a test tube

Applying for Summer Research Programs

Are you hoping to get involved in research this summer? Many applications for summer research programs and internships are due in February, so now’s the time to apply! 

This short post includes resources for how to started and a short list of summer research programs to look into.

Ryan Fauglid's headshot

December Spotlight: Ryan Fauglid

Our December spotlight is Ryan Fauglid (he/him), the PHSRC Student Communications and Operations Assistant. Ryan is a third-year Strategic Communications major in the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communications with minors in Public Health and Spanish. He is passionate about health communications, with goals of increasing health literacy and promoting public health initiatives.

Ryan's spotlight features his reflections on changing both his major and health career goals, working in communications, and co-founding UNITY Health, a pre-health student organization. 

Graphic of a man holding a pencil looking at a checklist

Choosing Schools: Where Should You Apply?

Just like many students apply to multiple colleges for undergrad, many pre-health students apply to multiple medical schools, dentistry schools, nursing schools, or other schools for the health career they've chosen to pursue. But, what's the best way to choose which schools to apply to? 

In this post, you'll learn when you should start researching schools, how to narrow down your options, how many schools you should apply to, and resources to help you organize the schools you're considering. 

Rahma's headshot

November Spotlight: Rahma Ali

Our spotlight this month is Rahma Ali. Rahma is a junior undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts majoring in Biology, Society, and the Environment and pursuing Leadership and Public Health minors. 

Click the link to read Rahma's feature, and learn about her passion for working one-on-one with patients, her experience as a student in the Health Profession Pathways Program, her trip to Ecuador with the PHSRC, and her wisdom on networking.

picture of a journal

Gratitude: Practices to Impact Your Health Career & Beyond

For many, gratitude enters the spotlight this time of year. This week, the PHSRC wanted to write about what it means to practice gratitude and the impact gratitude can have on everyone’s lives, and specifically the lives of health professionals. 

What gratitude practices might resonate with you? Click the link to find a few ideas!  

Jonina's headshot

October Spotlight: Jonina Oskarsdottir

Our October spotlight is PHSRC Teaching Assistant and Peer Advisor Jonina Oskarsdottir.

Jonina is a senior majoring in Biology, Society and the Environment and minoring in Public Health. She has had her heart set on being a dentist since high school, and her ultimate goal is to specialize and become an Endodontist or Orthodontist. Click the link to hear how Jonina became interested in dentistry, has found experiences in healthcare, and balances her many roles with her courses.

Pathways student in MLS facilities

Health Career Feature: Medical Lab Sciences

This week, the PHSRC is highlighting a health career you may not have heard of before: medical laboratory sciences (MLS). University of Minnesota Medical Lab Sciences Admissions and Recruitment Specialist Sheri Beck and Professor and Program Director Donna Spannaus-Martin, PhD, MLS(ASCP)cm explain what MLS is, how to know if it'd be a good fit for you, how to apply to pursue MLS at the U of M, and some information on available scholarships. 

Click the link above to learn about Medical Lab Sciences!

September Spotlight: Casey Hokanson

Casey Hokanson in a white coat

Our spotlight this month is Casey Hokanson, a first-year medical student in the University of Minnesota Medical School. Click the link about to read read how Casey explored health careers and decided to pursue medicine, and how he has found medical school so far. 

Casey engaged with the PHSRC in many ways during his undergraduate years, and we're thrilled to now have Casey featured on our Wall of Success. Stop by our office in room 2-565 Moos Tower to check it out, and head over to our Admitted Student Stories for more. 

Briana's Experience in Ecuador with AHS 3004

Briana standing in the jungle, looking at the camera

Since students are now able to apply for our health-focused global programs, the PHSRC is excited to share student experiences from traveling abroad with us on past trips. This week, Briana shares a few of her memories from traveling to Ecuador in AHS 3004: Health in Ecuador - Humans, Animals, and Ecosystems. 

Learn more about all of the global programs led by PHSRC staff and health professionals and attend an upcoming information session to hear about upcoming application deadlines for 2023-2024 programs. 

August Spotlight: Hannah Lehmann, DVM, MPH

Dr. Lehmann and a dog and a cat

Hannah Lehmann, DVM, MPH is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. In this month's spotlight, Dr. Lehmann shares about her journey to veterinary medicine, her experience in AHS 3002: Global Health in Thailand, and her insights for pre-health students.

Click the link to read about Dr. Lehmann's path to veterinary medicine, her memories from traveling with the PHSRC, and her current role as a veterinary corps officer at Joint-Base Lewis McChord, Washington.

PHSRC Hosts Emerge Students

Students in the School of Dentistry

On Friday, July 28th, students in the 2023 Emerge Summer STEM program spent a day with the Pre-Health Student Resource Center learning about health sciences programs at the University of Minnesota, and what their journey could look like as a pre-health student. 

Learn about the Emerge Summer STEM program and the Health Profession Pathways Program, and the activities they engaged in with the PHSRC, from listening to a panel of health sciences students, visiting the UMN Clinics & Surgery Center, learning from the School of Dentistry and College of Pharmacy, and more. 

July Spotlight: Jordan Arntz, BS

Jordan in a cap and gown

Jordan Arntz, BS, recently graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and is planning to apply to medical schools. Jordan was one of the Pre-Health Student Resource Center Teaching Assistant and Peer Advisors, and supported other pre-health students by leading peer drop-in sessions, tabling at PHSRC events, and assisting with AHS 1101/1102, 1611, 1612, and 1613.

In this post, Jordan shares about her pre-med journey, her experience working with the PHSRC, her plans for the future, and her advice for pre-health students. 

Research Advice From a Recent UMN Grad

Ali presenting his research

This week, recent University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts graduate Ali Mashadi, BA, shares about his journey as a pre-med student, his experiences getting involved in research and eventually presenting nationally, and how he brought these experiences into his medical school applications. Ali offers his advice for pre-health students who also hope to contribute to research during their undergraduate years. Find links to learn more and get involved in research at the University of Minnesota at the end of the interview.

Click the link to read about Ali's experiences and insights!

June Spotlight: Sustainable Approaches to Health in France

Students at the Arc de Triomphe

In May, students in the AHS 3003: Sustainable Approaches to Health in France course led by Karin Hamilton, DVM, MPH and Dana Lovold, MPH traveled to Montpelier in southern France to explore health and the Sustainable Development Goals. They looked at the progress Montpelier and France have made with the Sustainable Development Goals and compared that with the US and Minnesota’s progress with these goals. Students also explored France’s culture through various activities and excursions.  

Read about their adventures in France and the other opportunities you have to learn abroad with the PHSRC!

Writing About Your Experiences

Image of a woman in scrubs with a clipboard

As a pre-health student, you probably know that there are a lot of pieces to put together to create a strong application to a health program, including gaining experience. But, health program admissions committees aren’t just looking to see what you’ve done; they’re looking to see how you reflect on the experiences you’ve had, and connect them to the health profession you want to enter. And when it comes time for you to write about your experiences in your application, you have the opportunity to show admissions committees these reflections.

Click the link for tips and information on writing about experiences!

May Spotlight: Zoe Marquis-Kelly, BA

Zoe's headshot

Zoe Marquis-Kelly is the Administrative and Data Coordinator in the Pre-Health Student Resource Center. She works to collect and synthesize data concerning the University of Minnesota’s pre-health student population, as well as scheduling pre-health courses and helping with office operations. Zoe has a liberal arts background and graduated from St. Olaf College with bachelor’s degrees in History and French.

Read about Zoe's experience in the Office of Academic Programs at the UMN School of Nursing, and her reflections on the years she spent in France as an English-language teaching assistant. 


Fred presenting at CAAHP

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! Click the link to read about their experience.


April Spotlight: Scott Simpson, MS

Headshot of Scott Simpson

Scott Simpson, M.S. is a Senior Career Counselor in the Pre-Health Student Resource Center. Scott has a M.S. in the Counseling and Student Personnel program from Minnesota State University-Mankato, and a B.S. in Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

Read about Scott's path to his current role, his perspectives on the value of exploring health careers, and his insights on building a strong application to a health program. 

These Students Learned About Health in Ecuador with the PHSRC

students at the pamba mesa

When asked about their biggest life goals, a lot of people will answer “travel!” But, easier said than done, especially when you’re already spending a lot of time and money on college. And for pre-health students, spending a whole semester abroad can be challenging. That’s why the PHSRC offers global courses each spring! Students have the opportunity to spend a week abroad, but stay on campus for the rest of the semester learning about health topics and issues in the region they’ll travel to. Read PHSRC Director of Communications and AHS 3004: Health in the Andes course instructor Laura Fyfe's highlights from their spring break trip to Ecuador.

How'd They Do It? Read Some Admitted Student Stories!

Bin in a white coat

There is no right path to a health profession program–no perfect path, and no one path! Every student in a health program has a unique story on how they got to where they are. What will be the story of your journey to a health career?

Check out the stories of Bin, Lauren, and Kayla, and others on our “Admitted Student Stories” page. 

You can also stop by our office at 2-565 Moos Tower to see our Wall of Success, featuring students that have worked with our office who were accepted to health programs.