As a professor of biology and the University's chief health professions advisor, Dr. Sean Coleman has helped dozens of University of the Ozarks students achieve their goal of attending a professional school within the health care field.
Dr. Coleman, who earned his Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the University of Iowa, has taught at Ozarks since 2000. During that span he has played a significant role in helping numerous Ozarks students gain entrance and succeed in medical, pharmacy and dental schools across the country.
"There is no single, magic formula for getting into professional schools, but there are some general things you can do throughout your college experience that will enhance your chances of not only getting accepted, but also succeeding," Coleman said.
Here are eight tips from Dr. Coleman for incoming college students and college underclassmen who are interested in gaining acceptance into a professional school in the health care field.
- Hone your time management skills. Good time management skills will allow you to enjoy the social aspects of college while also maintaining high academic standards. Succeeding in medical, pharmacy or dental school is all about time management and juggling the rigorous academic demands. College is the ideal place to develop those vital skills.
- Study to learn, not just to ace an exam. One will give you a grade and the other will provide you a lifetime benefit.
- Professional schools look for leadership; Get involved inside and outside your discipline.
- Professional schools look for caring and compassion; Volunteer as often as you can. Make it a life-long commitment, not an application-filler. Ozarks provides numerous opportunities for community service.
- Professional schools look for experience; Take advantage of research and shadowing opportunities. At Ozarks, students have numerous opportunities for research projects and internships and they can earn junior-level credit for shadowing professionals in a variety of fields. It is important that, for example, if you want to become a physician that spend a lot of time with physicians while they’re on the job. Schools want to make sure you don’t just like the idea of being of doctor, but that you like the reality of the career. This is important for your own clarity too.
- Take advantage of all the opportunities available to you at Ozarks. The wide-ranging liberal arts curriculum, small class sizes, various academic and social organizations, and the numerous internship and travel abroad opportunities at Ozarks provide a limitless number of possibilities to experience and grow from. Get involved and engaged in these wonderful opportunities.
- Get to know your professors; They are willing to help. Whether you need extra help in a class, assistance in securing a summer internship, or a reference for the medical school application, the professors at Ozarks are eager to assist you.
- Enjoy your college experience! College is a time of self-discovery, transformation and growth. Appreciate, savor and make the most of these wonderful years.