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Future Health Professionals Begin Advanced Studies

Advising Office, New Minor Give Students Edge to Gaining Admission

Oct. 1, 2014

Paul Nguyen

Class of 2013 alumnus Paul Nguyen, who earned his B.S. in biological science, launched his studies this fall at Chicago's Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

Since Kimberly Conway began studying veterinary medicine this fall at UC Davis, she's been immersed in hands-on experiences, working with dogs, cats, horses, sheep and rodents. She's also completed a rotation in the teaching hospital to become familiar with the clinical setting.

Future podiatrist Paul Nguyen also is having an eye-opening experience this fall at the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago.

"The amount of material and pace has been overwhelming. Every week, I either have one or two exams scheduled, and being 'on your game' is a must," said Nguyen.

Conway and Nguyen are among more than 50 recent Cal State Fullerton alumni admitted this fall to health professions schools here and abroad to earn degrees in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine and optometry.

Armed with a bachelor's degree or certificate in pre-health professions studies, they are now attending such institutions as: Harvard, Tufts, Drexel, USC, UCLA, UC San Francisco, UC Irvine, New York University, Penn State and St. George's, University of London, among others.

For more than five decades, the Health Professions Advising Office has helped hundreds of students gain admission to medical school and other professional schools for the health professions. Each year, more than 1,200 undergraduates in majors from the sciences to the humanities seek guidance and advice to become successful applicants.

"Our students are prepared for the rigors of health professional schools and have diverse degrees and backgrounds, which make them strong candidates for acceptance," said Christina A. Goode, director of the Health Professions Advising Office and professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

The new minor in pre-health professions, begun in 2013, helps to strengthen students' applications, due to the breadth of courses offered, and coordinates advising between their major and minor, said Goode, who added that the minor also creates a structured pathway for non-science majors to meet the prerequisites of health professions programs.

Conway and Nguyen credit guidance from faculty mentors and the Health Professions Advising Office for helping them prepare to succeed in their respective graduate programs.

"I've felt extremely prepared for all of the material I am learning in veterinary school because of my undergraduate education at Cal State Fullerton," said Conway, who earned bachelor's degrees in biological science and health science in May.

"The science courses I had at CSUF were challenging, but were taught in ways that made me think critically about the material. This type of thinking is vital in veterinary school, so I'm grateful that CSUF prepared me well for a rigorous graduate program."

Nguyen, who earned his B.S. in biological science in May 2013, said his undergraduate education also helped him get off to a good start in podiatry school.

"Without having a strong background in biochemistry, physiology and anatomy, I would be struggling," he said. "Every time I watch a patient examination as part of my training, I know that I will be doing the exact same exam in the future — as a doctor."

Media Contacts:
Christina A. Goode, Heath Professions Advising Office
Debra Cano Ramos



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