Exploring Health Professions

Although many of you will ultimately choose to apply to medical or dental school, there are a variety of health careers to consider. This is your chance to explore your options. 

Many Boston College graduates have pursued careers in chiropractic medicine, optometry, and podiatry. Physician assistant programs and physical therapy have become increasingly popular the last few years, and students with a strong background/interest in chemistry have pursued pharmacy degrees.

Great resources for exploring many health professions include the BC Career Center's Healthcare & Nursing page and ExploreHealthCareers.org, a resource for health careers information and interactive tools for exploring health career paths, and finding schooling and funding opportunities.

Pre-Health Program Affiliated Student Groups

Mission Statement

The STEM and Health Organization for AHANA (SHOfA) is an emerging organization dedicated to serving students on their journey towards their accomplished careers in STEM and healthcare fields despite the social pressures they may face on campus. The goal of SHOfA is to increase recruitment and academic success of underrepresented students, as well as educationally and economically disadvantaged students, who are interested in pursuing careers in the STEM professions. Each event organized by SHOfA is set to inspire students to thrive academically and emotionally during rigorous coursework. These events will be especially beneficial to students pursuing degrees in the STEM fields, taking a STEM course, enrolled on a Pre-Health Track (such as pre-medicine, pre-dental, pre-veterinary, graduate school in the sciences, public health, nursing, etc), or students interested in increasing racial diversity in the sciences. The ultimate goal is that students within the organization feel well supported and develop the confidence to continue on STEM and health tracks in order to serve as mentors for the next generation of students. SHOfA aims to ultimately create a highly qualified and diverse workforce in STEM. Through SHOfA, a community of students, alumni, professors and faculty are brought together in order to encourage one another to achieve academic success as BC eagles.

SHOfa Membership Sign Up Form

Apply to be on the SHOfA E-Board

Initiatives

Alumni Mentor-Mentee Program

BC alumni and other professionals with careers in Health and STEM fields will be matched with upperclassmen juniors and seniors who are interested in majoring in a STEM topic or enrolling onto a pre-health track. Mentor-mentee pairs will decide on their own how often they would like to meet throughout the academic year. The program requires that each pair meets at least once a month throughout the semester. The goal is to introduce upperclassmen to STEM networks inside and outside the BC community and develop a mentoring relationship with well qualified STEM professionals.

Alumni Mentor/Mentee Sign Up Form

Peer Mentor-Mentee Program

Upperclassmen juniors and seniors either majoring in a STEM subject or enrolled on a pre-health track will be matched with underclassmen sophomores and freshmen interested in majoring in a STEM topic or enrolling onto a pre-health track. Mentor-mentee pairs will decide on their own how often they would like to meet throughout the academic year. The program requires that each pair meets at least once a month throughout the semester. The goal is to introduce underclassmen to peer role models who will encourage them and offer advice on how to succeed in the sciences on campus while combating lack of racial representation in the classroom.

Peer Mentor/Mentee Sign Up Form

Alumni Networking

Alumni in the STEM and pre-health fields will be invited on a monthly basis to speak to students about their career path. They will also address the challenge of diversity in STEM fields and help encourage students to overcome such barriers. Alumni may return to Boston College to participate in panels and Alumni Networking fairs targeted for undergraduate students.

Join the SHOfA Alumni Community

Motivational Workshops

Workshops will be hosted by either SHOfA executive board members, BC upperclassmen, professors, faculty or guest speakers. They will explore studying tips, interview skills, resume construction, networking, self-care, racial trauma, and how to find solidarity in minority groups in the STEM field.

Pre-Health Seminars

In these seminars, professors and BC faculty will discuss each pre-health track application process. Points of discussion are deadlines, standardized testing dates, average standardized testing scores, topics to include in personal statements, resources for standardized testing help, and classes needed for each pre-health track. Students may make appointments afterwards to meet with the faculty in order to develop their personal timeline to stay on track throughout their time at BC.

The Mendel Society aims to serve Boston College undergraduates who are interested and passionate about pursuing the Pre-Health track. The following committees work to guide and further the knowledge of all the students interested in these fields:

Medical School Admission Night Committee

The Medical School Admission Night Committee annually organizes an event with Admission Deans from Harvard, Tufts, BU, UMass, and Kaiser Permanente. Each dean presents the ins and outs of applying to medical school, preparing for the MCAT, and building a strong portfolio.

Pre-Med/Mentorship Committee

The Mentorship Committee aims to foster communication and guidance among Boston College students on the pre-health track. Underclassmen are matched with upperclassmen that share the same concentration and major so that monthly they can meet to discuss relevant topics like going abroad as a science major, finding an internship/shadowing experience, taking the MCAT or DAT, etc.

Pre-Vet Committee

The Pre-Vet Committee seeks to encourage Boston College students to pursue veterinary medicine as a career by exposing its members to the varied and abundant opportunities present in the veterinary field.

Pre-PA Committee

The pre-PA committee aims to serve as a resource for undergraduate students considering the PA career by creating a community of pre-PA students and PA alumni on campus.

If you are interested in joining the Mendel Society or have any questions please reach out to georgide@bc.edu.

Mendel Society Executive Board

  • President: Despina Georgiadis '21
  • Vice-Presidents: Cedrick Chiu '22, Sam (Juho) Jang '23
  • Treasurer: Tyler Marcoux '23
  • Medical School Admissions Night Committee: Israel Ibarra ‘23, Amitha Patel '23
  • Pre-Vet Committee: Isabella Minacapilli '21
  • Pre-PA Committee: Amanda Bourne '21, Jennifer Kenney '21, Emily Laughinghouse '22
  • Pre-Med Mentorship Committee: Trevor Hale '21, Hae Young Yi '23

During the fall of 2020, due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, EagleShadow was launched to assist BC undergraduates and alumni with obtaining an understanding of the medical profession through "virtual shadowing". Affording participants with the opportunity to "virtually" observe and interact with physicians through the evaluation of actual case studies and virtual engagements, students can view a perspective of the lives of practicing physicians. Specialities as well as medical school experiences are shared, including immersions in internal medicine, sports medicine, surgery, toxicology, cardiology, pediatrics, among others. Participants receive a certificate of participation verifying "virtual" shadowing hours from the EagleShadow leadership as well as a journaling experience to discern a deeper understanding of the profession, which can later be used to complete graduate school applications and essays.  

EagleShadow Members

Founders: John Dempsey, Victoria Wittigen, and Daniel Pacella

Health Professions

Allopathic Medicine (MD) is an inclusive profession that offers varied opportunities including:

  • Clinical practice
  • Medical administration
  • Public health
  • Medical education
  • Biomedical research


Ideally, all physicians aspire to be:

  • Altruistic, compassionate, trustworthy, and truthful in their relationships with patients, patients’ family members, and professional colleagues
  • Knowledgeable about the scientific basis of medicine and the normal and abnormal functioning of the body
  • Skillful in communicating with and providing care to their patients
  • Dutiful in working with other physicians and health care professionals to promote the health of individual patients and community members


National associations include:

  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
  • American Medical Association (AMA)
  • American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)

Resources

"Dentistry is the branch of the healing arts and sciences devoted to maintaing the health of the teeth, gums and other hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity and adjacent structures. A dentist is a scientist and clinician dedicated to the highest standards of health through prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases and conditions."
(Source: ADEA.org)

National associations include:

  • American Dental Association (ADA)
  • American Dental Education Association (ADEA)
  • American Student Dental Association (ASDA)

Resources

  • A D.O. practices the full scope of medicine in all existing specialties of the medical field.
  • Osteopathic physicians receive the same medical training as their allopathic (M.D.) counterparts, plus an additional 200 hours of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) – a hands-on therapy that is used to diagnose and treat illness and injury.
  • A D.O. is trained to focus on the whole person, working with patients to achieve high levels of wellness and disease prevention.


National associations include:

  • American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medical Schools (AACOM)
  • American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
  • Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA)

Resources

A Physician Assistant (PA) is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional. PAs practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers. They practice and prescribe medication in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and the uniformed services. (Source: AAPA.org)

National associations include:

  • American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
  • Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA)
  • Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)

Resources

Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to improve public health. They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals.

National associations include:

  • Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)
  • Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS)
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians (AAWV)
  • American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)

Resources

Stay Up-to-Date

The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions defines allied health as the segment of the health care field “that delivers services involving the identification, evaluation and prevention of diseases and disorders; dietary and nutrition services; and rehabilitation and health systems management.” (Source: ExploreHealthCareers.org)

Allied Health Professions include:

  • Emergency Medical Technician - National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)
  • Genetic Counseling - National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC)
  • Occupational Therapy - American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

Resources