5 Ways UC Davis is Preparing a New Generation of Health Professionals

The third week of fall quarter at UC Davis kicked off with the 14th annual Pre-Health Conference. Nearly 3,000 students interested in health care careers had the opportunity to meet with professionals and learn about a variety of medical-related fields, including veterinary medicine, occupational therapy, dentistry, nursing and more.

This year’s theme, “Many Paths, One Goal: Uniting our Future Health Professionals,” focused on intraprofessional education and the need for a collaborative, One Health approach to health care.

One of the really cool things about the Pre-Health Conference: it’s by students for students. Organized and presented by UC Davis pre-health student volunteers, the conference gives them valuable leadership experience and in turn they help peers find their passions and explore career options.

The Pre-Health Conference is just one of many UC Davis programs that help prepare students for their future careers. Here are five more:

1. Hands-on Workshops

Medical professional demonstrating how to suture
Experiential learning helps students gain familiarity with the working life of health professionals. (Cody Snapp/photo)

Hands-on learning generates excitement and introduces students to new skills they may need for their careers. For example, one popular workshop offered at the conference teaches students how to suture wounds, an important skill and a fun learning experience.

2. Question and Answer Panels

Panels are a valuable way to get pressing career questions answered. (Cody Snapp/photo)

UC Davis’ Health Professions Advising program provides students with year-round sessions and panels that discuss everything from whether to pursue a Ph.D. vs. M.D. degree, to how to be successful in a health career. Professionals share anecdotes and impart advice, personal experience and other useful information.

3. Test Prep and Exam Tips

students listening to speaker
 The Pre-Health Conference and career sessions offer tips for taking medical admission exams like the MCAT. (Cody Snapp/photo)

I’ve found that exam preparation helps me feel more confident about test day. So it’s really beneficial to have representatives from admission test preparation companies like Kaplan and Princeton Review, as well as the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) present at the Pre-Health Conference and many of our career sessions. They provide insightful tips on how to approach exams that students must take to pursue their medical dreams, like the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Often, they offer discounts on tutoring classes. As sponsors, they also help make our programming possible.

4. Networking

students visiting a conference booth
Opportunities for jobs, internships, research and graduate school are waiting for those willing to get their name circulating. (Cody Snapp/photo)

Networking is arguably one of the most important parts of preparing students for their future. Students here make career connections on and off campus with faculty, guest speakers from industry and, of course, participants at the Pre-Health Conference like the AAMC. UC Davis regularly brings employers to campus through our Internship and Career Center, making this a great place to hone our networking skills and professional interactions.

5. Variety of Academic Paths

nursing student
Health-related educational tracks give students exposure to an array of options. (Cody Snapp/photo)

Uncertain about your career plans? No problem. UC Davis offers many health-related educational tracks, so you can explore a variety of career options. For example, with the One Health Institute here on campus, students can learn about working in cross-disciplinary collaborations happening at UC Davis and around the world.

As for me, I’m a first year managerial economics major. I want to work in marketing and possibly with food, so I’m focusing on agricultural business. In my short time here, I’ve already been able to meet so many diverse and interesting people. Networking on campus is what connected me to my internship and gave me insight into what I want to pursue as a career.

Lily Coates is a first-year student majoring in Managerial Economics, and an intern with the College of Biological Sciences.


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