The road towards medical school can be a very difficult one to navigate, especially for rural and underserved regions. CHSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) aims to bridge that gap for pre-med students, currently working on their undergraduate degree, by offering a virtual Pre-Med Boot Camp to help guide students towards a career as a physician. The Boot Camp just received its second grant from the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium (CVHEC) to continue offering this valuable event.
Earlier last year, CHSU-COM received a $5,000 grant from CVHEC for a virtual Pre-Med Boot Camp that took place in June 2020, where they had over 30 Central Valley pre-med students in attendance online. This year they received an additional $5,802 in grant money to host another virtual Pre-Med Boot Camp in March 2021.
The effort is spearheaded by the project Principal Investigator, Samuel Kadavakollu, PhD, MSc, Associate Professor of Biomedical Education and Director of MCAT and Preparatory Programs, and the project Co-Principal Investigator, Kevin Steed, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Education. Their leadership and meticulous preparation of the boot camp curriculum has been instrumental to the continued success of this event.
“We aim to bring a taste of medical school, MCAT instruction, and some advice for students interested in pursuing medicine through four weekend workshops, held virtually by CHSU faculty,” said Dr. Kadavakollu. “It’s a significant guiding experience for the students as they direct their vision towards health care and medical school in particular.”
To date, six pre-med students who attended the first Pre-Med Boot Camp offered at CHSU in the summer of 2019 have been accepted into medical school.
Since many attendees are still completing their undergraduate programs and plan to take the MCAT in the future, completing the boot camp means they can rest assured that they’re more prepared for applying to medical school.
Additional data regarding medical school matriculation of the Pre-Med Boot Camp attendees will be published in the future.
Over the course of the four-weekend boot camp, pre-med students participate in activities revolving around MCAT studying tips and test taking strategies, as well as receive Anatomy and Physiology MCAT concept reviews. They are provided with MCAT study materials, including a practice test and a study book, to keep as they continue to prepare for the test.
Pre-med students also have the opportunity to hear directly from current medical students about their experiences in applying to and attending medical school. They receive an overview of CHSU’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program and learn more about osteopathic medicine’s distinct pathway to medical practice. Additionally, they meet with the CHSU-COM Admissions team to ask any questions they may have about the admissions process and pre-requisites.
Throughout this boot camp, pre-med students get a unique insight into what the state-of-the-art CHSU Simulation Center has to offer and watch a demonstration of the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality technology current CHSU-COM students use to study anatomy.
This is all at no cost to local pre-med students, thanks to the generous CVHEC grant. CHSU-COM hopes that these boot camps will continue to be a prime resource for those who are interested in medical school and encourage new health care professionals to stay in the Valley, where there currently is a severe shortage of physicians.
“As was observed during last year’s boot camp, it is a tremendous opportunity to interact with and showcase our devotion to providing service and outreach to this region as a new osteopathic medical school,” said Dr. Kadavakollu.
More details about how to register for the virtual 4-weekend Pre-Med Boot Camp can be found at osteopathic.chsu.edu/premed-bootcamp.