Podiatric Medicine Virtual Fair – October 8th, 2020

Hi students,

If you are interested in podiatry, please see below:


Podiatry Fair_Oct_2020.png

“The American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine would like to invite you to register for the Virtual Podiatric Medical School Fair on October 8 from 11AM to 6PM eastern.


This is a free virtual event for all students who are interested in exploring careers in medicine.  We’ll be covering podiatric medicine as a career choice – from surgery to wound care to sport medicine, podiatric physicians provide a wide range of care for their patients.


Representative from all nine U.S. schools of podiatric medicine will be available during the day to chat.  Have questions about our COVID19 admissions modifications?  This is your chance to ask your questions! Additionally, we’ll have current students, faculty and DPMs available to share why they chose podiatric medicine.

See yourself in a white coat when you Discover Podiatric Medicine.  Registration is available here:


We look forward to meeting you then!”

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Pre-Optometry Virtual Fair – October 1st, 2020

What: Virtual Optometry School Fair- Meet Representatives from Schools & Colleges
of Optometry in a Live Virtual Setting

Where: Virtual (See registration link)

When: October 1st, 2020 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST

Register: https://www.careereco.com/Fair/EventDetails?fairId=c8a24ffe-e57f-4f06-9ee9-abf4014b2856

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MD Alumna Interview

Dr. Lauren Wingfield is a VT alumna who is currently working as an Emergency Medicine doctor.  She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, did her residency at VCU, and is now a medical education fellow at UVA to pursue her interest in academic emergency medicine.

1. What are some words of wisdom about the application process?  What would you have liked to know ahead of time?  What do with someone would have told you before applying?

Applying to medical school takes a lot of preparation.  I recommend waiting until you are truly ready and your application is as good as it can be.  For most people, including me, that means taking time after undergrad to get more experience.  I did a Master’s in Biomedical Science that really helped me prepare academically and get more hands on experience through volunteering.  I think one of the best experiences available to pre-medical students now is scribing where you get tons of exposure to patients, learn medical jargon, and spend a lot of time with physicians.  This experience will help you be more confident in your decision to pursue medicine.

2. What do you enjoy most about Emergency Medicine?

When I was in medical school I enjoyed all my rotations throughout the hospital but nothing was as rewarding and fun to me as working in the Emergency Department.  I love that each patient is a puzzle that I get to solve.  I have the privilege of taking care of patients of all ages and with all problems.  In the same shift I might see a critically ill gun shot victim, a child that needs stitches, a suicidal man, and a woman in labor.  There is never a dull moment!

3. How do you balance the demands of medicine with additional obligations and challenges?

Emergency medicine’s biggest challenge is the schedule.  Two thirds of all shifts are evenings, nights, or weekends.  The emergency department never closes which means I work holidays.  My schedule is a stress on my family.  My husband is an attorney so he has more of a 9-5 schedule.  Sometimes we have to get creative to spend time together which means we might go on a date on a Tuesday or plan a weekend together a few weeks in advance so that I can request those days off.  We also have a young daughter and a dog so it’s a constant balancing act and communication is key.

On the flip side of the crazy scheduling is that EM doctors generally work less hours than other physicians, typically less than fifteen shifts per month.  This means I can typically attend all doctor’s appointments for my daughter, take the dog for a bath or to the vet, and do most of the household chores during the day.  We make it work!

4. Did anyone encourage or discourage you from applying to medical school?  

I was surprised as a pre-med how many people told me to stay away from medicine, which I find really sad.  A lot of doctors I worked with told me to be a dentist because they have better hours and don’t have to work with insurance.  While they were right about the better hours, I wouldn’t change what I do for the world.  Loving what you do makes working all those nights and weekends an easy choice.  My advice is that if you love medicine, go for it!  All the weekends off in the world wouldn’t have made me happy doing something else.  Medicine has plenty of challenges but there are a lot of rewards too.

5. What advice do you have for applicants considering a career in medicine?

To me, being a doctor is the best job in the world.  There are challenges of course, which is why shadowing or volunteer experience is so important so that you see these first hand and can decide for yourself if the benefits will outweigh the cons.  If you feel the same way that I do, you should go for it!

Remember that applying to medical school is a marathon, not a sprint.  When I applied, I sent in my application on June 1st, the first day that the application opens.  I didn’t get in until June 20th of the next year!  Persistence pays off and getting a good mentor to help you go through the process is invaluable.  Talk to people who have gone through the process before you so that you can get all their tips.  If you don’t know anyone or know where to start, try the pre-medical office at VT or connect with me through Hokie Mentor Connect.  We can meet on Zoom anytime!

6. What is your top tip for applicants preparing to take the MCAT?

Study!  This is not a test you want to take multiple times so spend a solid 4-6 weeks studying.  Take a lot of full-length practice tests.  I think a lot of people don’t commit to studying as much as they should or decide to take it cold without studying the first time they take it because you can repeat it but I think its better to really concentrate and focus the first time and be done with it!  Also, try to remember that the admissions committee will review your entire application, so if you score isn’t what you hope, don’t give up.

7. Did you have any fears going into medicine?       

Of course!  Being a doctor comes with a lot of responsibility so I had plenty of fear about that.  I also had imposter syndrome (and sometimes still do) despite completing my residency.  What helps me the most is having my friends from residency to talk to. You quickly realize that everything you’re feeling is the same as what they are feeling and being able to talk it out really helps me cope.  I also have a wonderful, supportive husband that is my biggest cheerleader when I need it.  Doing things I love like walking my dog and listening to my favorite podcasts help me manage my stress too.  It is important to have a life outside of medicine.

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Mock Multiple Mini Interview Series

Health Professions Advising at Virginia Tech is hosting a virtual Mock Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) series this fall.  Mock multiple mini interviews give students the opportunity to experience the MMI process firsthand. Participating students will have the opportunity to respond to a series of MMI-style prompts and receive feedback on their answers.

Dates/times are as follows:

Thursday September 10th, 9 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Friday September 25th, 3 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Monday October 12th, 2:00 – 3:15 p.m.
Thursday October 29th, 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Monday November 9th 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Monday November 16th 2:00 – 3:15 p.m.
Friday December 4th 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.

Preference will be given to juniors, seniors, and recent alum who have not participated in an MMI before and are interested in a healthcare field that utilizes MMIs in their admissions process. However, sophomores and freshmen may participate if slots are available.

Registration requests are due no later than Friday, August 28th at 12:00 pm (noon). Please check your calendar to ensure that at least one of the dates will work for you before completing this survey. You will be notified if you are selected to register by the close of business on Monday, August 31st. Selected applicants will be sent a link to formally select their date. Upon receipt of the link, date selection will occur on a first-come, first-served basis.

A wait list will be constructed in the case that not all of the originally selected applicants are able to register. If your name is pulled from the waitlist, you will be contacted individually with a link.

You can complete the registration request form here: https://forms.gle/GhFtMc9oDFKHhvPQ8 (You must have a vt.edu email address to register)


Please note that once you have been selected to register for a MMI and have registered for a date, any unexcused “no shows” or last minute cancellations will be documented in your file with the Health Professions Advising Office. Last minute cancellations due to scheduling conflicts are both unprofessional and disrespectful, as you would be taking this opportunity away from another student who may have been able to attend. It is also expected that you will dress in a business professional manner and that you will present yourself and represent Virginia Tech in a professional manner. If you are not certain whether you are able to meet these expectations, please do not sign up to attend this event.

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MD-PhD Alumnus Interview

Dr. Dick Wardrop is a graduate of Virginia Tech and later, the Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health.  He currently works as a Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics within the Department of Medicine at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine.

View question-by-question responses at the included links below.

1. What led to your interest in pursuing an MD-PhD vs. just an MD or just a PhD?  For those of our students who aren’t sure which route to take, what advice would you give? 

Question 1 Video

2. What do you enjoy most about your work in academic medicine?

Question 2 Video

3. I saw that you recently completed a diversity and inclusion champions training, which is wonderful.  What were the key takeaways and how do you employ them in your day-to-day work?  

Question 3 Video

4. Would you like to share any words of wisdom about the application process or personal statements with our future applicants?  And, is there anything that you wish you would you have known ahead of time?  

Question 4 Video

5. How do you balance the demands of your work with additional obligations in your life? 

Question 5 Video

6. What obstacles did you overcome in your career journey?  How did you overcome them?

Question 6 Video

7. What sorts of experiences do you perceive as especially important for students on a pre-health path?

Question 7 Video


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Physician Assistant Alumna Interview

Amy Chen is a 2018 graduate of Virginia Tech.  She took a gap year after graduation and is now attending Wake Forest’s PA program.

  1. What did you major in and what inspired you to choose this/these areas of study?

 I was a Biology major in undergrad, and I chose this major because I really enjoyed all science classes and in particular, found the upper-level classes to be very interesting. As a Biology major, the pre-requisites required for those upper-level courses (e.g. Cancer Biology, Pathogenic Bacteriology) were satisfied during my first two years, and it worked out that I was able to knock all the pre-requisites for PA school. That is NOT to say you can’t major in anything else; pre-requisites for PA school can always be completed with any other major.

  1. What activities did you participate in as an undergrad that shaped your preparation for PA school?

In undergrad, I was an active member of the Pre-PA Club and was also the President of the Pre-PA Club for 2017-18. I found this club to be very informative with its monthly meetings, which would either involve current PA students sharing their thoughts and inputs to the club members as well as having admission committees from various PA programs talk to us. We also organized trips to PA programs during their Open Houses to see them in person. It was definitely an organization that had provided me with plenty of resources.

  1. How did you prepare for your PA application process?

First and foremost, it is so important to find out the pre-requisite courses that are required by your PA program(s). Because they vary from program to program, I had to make sure that I took the courses that are required by some but not by others; that way, I was covering all of my ground. Secondly, racking up clinical hours. I worked both as a CNA and a medical scribe to achieve all of my hours as required by the programs, which was a huge component of the application process. Lastly, start CASPA early! It always opens in late April, and I started filling it out right away. Most programs are rolling admissions, so early is better!

  1. Were you successful on your first application attempt and if not, would you like to share your story with the students on how you recovered/planned for the reapplication?

I was successful on my first attempt, and my biggest advice is to know exactly which programs you’re applying for, have a strong personal statement (get as many people that you TRUST to edit it as possible), and truly be yourself during those interviews!

  1. What was your favorite undergraduate class outside of the PA prerequisite classes?

I’d probably give it to Pathogenic Bacteriology. It was a 4000-level class that I thought most closely mimicked what PA school classes might looked like. Dr. Melville was the professor for the course (he was phenomenal), and I enjoyed the challenges the class brought and the relevancy it was to real life!

  1. How many schools did you apply to and what criteria or resources did you use to select these schools?

I applied to 8 different PA programs, and some of the factors that went into coming down to these 8 programs were the curriculum, distance away from home, cost of attendance, and of least importance, prestige. At Wake Forest, it is one of the most renowned programs for incorporating the IBL curriculum, and this was the ultimate factor over choosing to attend other programs.

  1. Did you have to change any of your study habits when you entered PA school?

I have yet to change my study habits during this past first month of PA school. However, I expect some changes to take place as everyone has said that you continue to learn of other people’s habits/strategies that you may find beneficial and more efficient, and thus, incorporating those into your own study habits.

  1. What is your top tip for applicants preparing to take the admissions exam required for PA school?

Make sure you have a plan! I devoted a solid two months into studying and prepping for the GRE. A similar day would look like this: 2 hours of verbal, 2 hours of quant, an hour of reviewing the missed practice questions. I used Kaplan and ETS prep books.

  1. What helps you manage your stress and stay motivated?

I am a big outdoorsy person, and to de-stress, I usually take a little walk on the trails near campus or go on hikes. It is definitely important to engage in your interests and hobbies while in PA school so that you learn to balance school with personal and physical wellbeing. To stay motivated, I constantly remind myself that I am in PA school and am surrounded by all the classmates who are passionate about medicine and hope to one day become PAs. I am lucky!

  1. If you had the opportunity to talk to a potential PA student, what would you tell them off the top of your head?

Be passionate and compassionate. Medicine isn’t for everyone, and you truly have to have the heart for medicine, for healthcare, for patients, and for the community to be a passionate provider. Have a meaningful purpose for everything you do and be intentional in the things you do. Going to PA school and becoming a PA is most definitely achievable; be sure to use all the resources that are out there – talk to PA students and shadow PAs!

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Physician Assistant Virtual Fair July 22, 2020

Please see below for information on the PAEA Physician Assistant Virtual Fair.

What: Physician Assistant Virtual Fair – chat with program representatives and attend live presentations

Who: students who are interested in considering a career as a PA

When: Wednesday, July 22, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST

Where: Virtual (register here: https://www.careereco.com/Fair/EventDetails?fairId=397ea722-c960-47fb-a8d9-ab1a015dcd8c)

Posted in Open House, Pre Physician Assistant Information | Leave a comment