Advice from SLU alumni


"If your dream is to go into the field of medicine, do not give up on it! I felt that I had to go straight from undergrad to medical school, but the norm is to take gap year(s) to study for the MCAT, do research, work as a scribe, gain experience, etc. If you know you want to attend medical school, make sure you know what courses are required and be sure to take the MCAT/ apply early in the application cycle. Also, make sure to research and learn about all healthcare professions (ex, PA, NP, PT, Psychology, Social Work) to make sure you find a field that matches your professional and life goals."

-- Danielle Clifford '17, fourth year medical student at SUNY-Upstate


"There is not a “one-size fits all” model for pursuing a health career, whether that be going to medical school (MD/DO), PA school, nursing, vet school, etc. There are boxes to check off for sure, but there is so much wiggle room in terms of all the things you can do which I feel like is not often realized—I skipped out on a whole lot because I was worried I had to do certain healthcare related things, and ended up not truly enjoying those experiences because I felt like I simply had to do them. Do the things you’re passionate about, even if it does not necessarily “check off a box”—admissions committees will see that passion and will notice that (likely more so than any other experience you did because you simply felt like you had to)."

--Colin Hart '19, second year medical student; UMASS Medical School in PURCH (Population based, Urban, Rural and Community Health) program


"Volunteer in the field you believe you want to go into and start setting yourself apart from other applicants as soon as you can. With that, don't forget to make time for yourself, because your mental health is extremely important when pursuing medicine."

--Samantha Ribeiro '15, MD; first year resident in Pediatrics at University of Buffalo


"Get connected with a pre-health advisor during your first semester. They are a wealth of knowledge and resources to help you plan your St. Lawrence pre-health track and have valuable advice on courses/extracurriculars/etc."

--Josh Elmer '20, first year medical student at at Temple University/St. Luke's Medical School


Physician Assistant

"Get your feet wet in as many hands-on clinical experiences as possible! Once in PA school, the key to success is being comfortable with being uncomfortable -- medicine is an ever-changing field and the learning will never end, so get into the mind set that there is always room for learning from your mistakes as a means to grow. In your clinical year, ask LOTS of questions, and take whatever opportunity comes your way." 

--Corinne Niekrewicz '15, PA; Physician Assistant in Gastroenterology at Danbury Hospital


"Accumulate volunteer experience to understand what it may be like to serve an underserved population.  Find direct patient care experiences that allow you to work with a variety of patient populations and gain certain skills that are highly recommended by physician assistant schools.  Arrange shadowing opportunities in multiple specialties with a physician assistant to understand job responsibilities and communication among a healthcare team.  Develop relationships with professors in undergrad as well as a physician assistant in order to receive recommendation letters."

--Christian Jennette '19, working as a Patient Care Technician while applying to Physician Assistant programs



"Search the admission sites of accelerated nursing programs to determine the required prerequisite courses. This will allow you to plan out your school semesters and take advantage of fun opportunities (i.e. study abroad!).  Utilize your networks! Chat with an RN, PA, NP, or MD to identify which profession best aligns with your career goals and approach to patient wellness.  If you have the chance to shadow or work as a nursing aid, I would highly recommend you capitalize on this opportunity in order to preview a “day in the life” of a nurse.  Nursing is a profession that will open many doors. Whether your career goal is to provide direct patient care, work in the pharmaceutical or insurance industry, teach, or be an administrator, nursing makes it all possible!"

--Emily Riley '12 RN, BSN; studying to become an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner


"My biggest advice for students interested in nursing is to receive your Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and work per diem while at SLU. This allowed me to really appreciate the RN role and helped guide me to pursue a career in nursing."

--Sarah Wright '19 BSN; soon to begin work as an Emergency Department nurse


Physical Therapy

"Specifically for PT, I would highly suggest researching the various types of settings and try to get as much experience in these settings as you can during your shadowing hours. It's hard for me to think about which setting I want explore for my clinicals and I wish I had researched more about the different PT settings prior to my admission to UNE. There's quite the large world of physical therapy out there, so don't tie yourself down to the idea of just one setting!"

--Hannah Jones '19, second year student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of New England