What We Do

The Center for Pre-Health Advising (CPHA) continues to be dedicated to inclusive, ongoing, personalized, and holistic relationships with advisees — wherever you are in the process of discovering your potential to serve others as a health care professional! We are here to support your successful pursuit of a career in a health care profession.

The support we offer is not interrupted by the pandemic.  Please find information on remote advising at CPHA here

Also, many are asking how to be involved and use time well during the pandemic. Please find our suggestions here.

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Pre-Health Orientation

“Preparing for Professional Programs in Health Care” is a great place to begin learning about all things pre-health. It is the most common way that CPHA “meets” with first year students. This online orientation (available to you as a Canvas course) introduces you to exploring healthcare careers, pre-health coursework, building experience outside the classroom, and possible timelines to health professional school exams and applications.

We designed the pre-health orientation with first year students in mind, but we encourage anyone with interest in a health profession to enroll at any point in your preparation. It is a great resource for everyone. Look for it in your Canvas course library after you sign up, which you can do here

CPHA Newsletter

The Center for Pre-Health Advising sends a bimonthly newsletter to pre-health students. Get information about pre-health events, opportunities, resources, and recommended reading. Look for it the second and fourth Thursday every month during fall and spring semesters and once a month during winter and summer breaks. Please sign-up to receive the CPHA newsletter here.

First-Year Advising

We are committed to providing excellent support to first year students. Mike Hill is our first year student specialist. He writes and runs the online pre-health student orientation (“Preparing for Professional Programs in Health Care”), offers drop-in advising for first year students every Friday during fall and spring semesters, and also runs Four Year (and More!) Planning workshops for first year students.

Please continue to use all of the resources that we offer first year students:

  • Preparing for Professional Programs in Health Care (sign up here). This orientation is a great introduction to all things pre-health.
  • First Year Fridays are drop-in hours dedicated entirely to first year students. Come and talk with Mike and other pre-health advisors 9 am to 12 pm every Friday morning during fall and spring semesters!
  • Four Year (and More!) Planning Workshops are offered fall and spring semesters as well. This is a time for you to begin planning your pre-health coursework and co-curricular experiences with the direct support of Mike and other pre-health advisors.
  • Quick question? Please email us at questions@prehealth.wisc.edu!

We look forward to meeting you in-person again when it is safe to do so! Stay well and protect the health of people around you.

Appointment Advising

First year student? Please see the First Year Advising tab for advising options.

If you are a second year, third year, fourth year, fifth year and or transfer student, please make an appointment to talk with us about your pre-health interests and plans using Starfish. And please monitor your email as you wait for your appointment to begin.

In the interest of public health, we will continue to meet with you remotely until it is safe to do otherwise. Please provide the following information in your appointment note:

  • Please indicate the type of remote appointment you want.
  • Please also provide two ways that your advisor can reach you (e.g., phone number, email address, Skype ID), in case there are any technical difficulties.

If you are an alum, please email us at questions@prehealth.wisc.edu, and we will help you arrange an appointment. We look forward to meeting with you remotely (by phone, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Skype). Please also continue to remember that there is no time limit to our services to you. We will be here to support you for as long as you want to work with us.

PERSONAL STATEMENT APPOINTMENTS

  • With CPHA
    • We will meet with you up to two times in appointments to work on your personal statement. Please do not schedule more than two personal statement appointments total, whether with one advisor or multiple advisors. If you no longer need an appointment, please cancel. Think of your peers who need our time as well.
    • Make an hour-long OR 45 minute appointment to work on your personal statement with us (not 30 minutes). You can schedule back-to-back 30-minute appointments, if you do not see where to toggle to a 60-minute appointment in Starfish.
    • Send your personal statement to the advisor you are meeting with (not the Questions Box) at least 24 hours before your appointment.
    • If you are an alum without access to Starfish, please email us at questions@prehealth.wisc.edu. We will help you find a time to meet with us!
  • With the UW-Madison Writing Center
    • In lieu of an in-person workshop, the Writing Center has made their Personal Statements for Graduate Health Professions Programs workshop (with attendant materials) available online.
    • The Writing Center also offers peer feedback groups for current students and alumni. Please sign up here.
    • In addition, the Writing Center offers 45-minute appointments for current UW-Madison students for you to work on your personal statement with them. This may be done via email or video chat. Please learn more and sign up here.
    • The Writing Center also offers a list of proofreaders and editors who are all graduate students or recent PhDs. They charge very low rates for their service. Check them out.
    • And for alumniMadison Writing Assistance offers individual remote appointments for you to work on your personal statement with a writing specialist.

Drop-In Advising

The CPHA Drop-In Advising Sign-Up form will open 10-15 minutes before each drop-in session begins, and it will close at the end of the session. The form may close prior to the very end of the session, if the number students and alumni waiting in the queue require until the end of the session to be seen.

Please read the instructions in the form carefully, keep your email open, and have a great conversation with an advisor when it is your turn to talk!

  • Mondays, 9 am to 12 pm
  • Tuesdays, 1-3:30 pm
  • Wednesdays, 1-3:30 pm

Alumni Advising

As a UW-Madison alum, you have access to all the advising services that The Center for Pre-Health Advising offers for as long as you want to use them. We are eager to work with you as you continue to take steps toward a health profession. Please get in touch with us! We are continuing to meet with advisees remotely as we all do our best to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of those who are mist vulnerable to this virus.

  • To make an appointment, please email us at questions@prehealth.wisc.edu, and we will help you arrange an appointment. We look forward to meeting with you remotely (by phone, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Skype).
  • Write to our questions box at questions@prehealth.wisc.edu.
  • Enroll in an application course. Ask about this by email (questions@prehealth.wisc.edu) or in an appointment!
  • Sign up for the pre-health orientation, if health care is a new interest!

Personal Statement Advising

With CPHA

  • We will meet with you up to two times in appointments to work on your personal statement. Please do not schedule more than two personal statement appointments total, whether with one advisor or multiple advisors. If you no longer need an appointment, please cancel. Think of your peers who need our time as well.
  • Make an hour-long OR 45 minute appointment to work on your personal statement with us (not 30 minutes). You can schedule back-to-back 30-minute appointments, if you do not see where to toggle to a 60-minute appointment in Starfish.
    • Send your personal statement to the advisor you are meeting with (not the Questions Box) at least 24 hours before your appointment.
    • If you are an alum without access to Starfish, please email us at questions@prehealth.wisc.edu. We will help you find a time to meet with us!

With the UW-Madison Writing Center

  • In lieu of an in-person workshop, the Writing Center has made their Personal Statements for Graduate Health Professions Programs workshop (with attendant materials) available online.
  • The Writing Center also offers peer feedback groups for current students and alumni. Please sign up here.
  • In addition, the Writing Center offers 45-minute appointments for current UW-Madison students for you to work on your personal statement with them. This may be done via email or video chat. Please learn more and sign up here.
  • The Writing Center also offers a list of proofreaders and editors who are all graduate students or recent PhDs. They charge very low rates for their service. Check them out.
  • And for alumni, Madison Writing Assistance offers individual remote appointments for you to work on your personal statement with a writing specialist.

Health Professions Shadowing Program

The Health Professions Shadowing Program (HPSP) is a two-week residential program for students from groups who are underrepresented in health care. Students accepted into the program spend over thirty hours shadowing providers at UW Health and affiliated area clinics, visiting healthcare facilities and learning about current trends in health care from providers in the community. The program supports students who are first generation, ethnic and racial minorities, from rural areas or socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. HPSP takes place each year in the first two weeks of August.

Application Courses

The Center for Pre-Health Advising offers Canvas courses that provide guidance and support as you learn about and apply to health professions programs. Each course is a incredible resource library for your application. Dr. Dija Selimi writes and runs them and is available for questions through the courses. Please talk with a CPHA advisor about being enrolled. You can also email us at questions@prehealth.wisc.edu to inquire. We currently offer the following:

  • Applying to Dental Programs
  • Applying to Medical Programs (MD & DO)
  • Applying to Physician Assistant Programs
  • Applying to Physical Therapy Programs

And we are developing:

  • Applying to Occupational Therapy Programs

Pre-Health Workshops

CPHA offers workshops during fall and spring semesters for first year students and for students and alumni who are preparing for the MCAT.

Four Year Planning Workshops for First Year Students

Are you a first year pre-health student looking to make a four-year plan? Come and do that at one of CPHA’s Four  Year (and More!) Planning Workshops. You will hear a brief presentation from Mike Hill, the CPHA First Year Specialist, and then work on your plan with him and other pre-health advisors. These workshops give you time to begin to think through and learn about pre-health courses and co-curriculars (e.g., volunteering, shadowing, research, and student org involvement) with the support of pre-health advisors in the room.

MCAT Study Prep Workshops

CPHA and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) Office of MD Admissions offer MCAT Study Prep Workshops to support CPHA and SMPH’s shared vision of increasing equity and diversity in healthcare.

All students are encouraged to apply. We will also give priority to those who are from communities who are historically underrepresented and underserved in healthcare, including underrepresented students of color as well as students from first-generation, rural, and low-income backgrounds.

In addition, participants must have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 or be on track to have a 3.0 GPA by the end of the year in which they participate in the workshops.

The content of this workshop series focuses on the nature of the MCAT and resources available for MCAT study. The goal is for students who attend the workshops to prepare individualized study plans for the MCAT.

Advising & Confidentiality:

We are here to support you in reaching your goals, including navigating academic or personal challenges as they relate to pursuing professional programs after graduation. While our advisors are able to keep most conversations private in accordance with FERPA, sometimes information disclosed during advising or in personal statements requires us to communicate with other support offices on campus (such as the Dean of Students or the Title IX Coordinator).

Why are we required to discuss certain situations with other offices? Due to various federal, state, and UW policies, we are not Confidential Campus Resources when it comes to incidents such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, or sexual discrimination.

Two examples of Confidential Campus Resources are University Health Services and the McBurney Disability Resource Center. To learn more about efforts related to campus safety and expectations of faculty and staff, please speak with your advisors or visit the Title IX information page and Clery Act information page.

The goal of communication is to ensure a safe and healthy campus community, and to ensure that students receive the information they personally need to be safe and healthy. However, we understand that you may have questions or concerns about these policies. Please do not hesitate to bring these up with your advisor.