New advisory center offers help for medical majors

For students seeking future employment in the health and medical fields, there is now help to navigate the waters of classes, internships and medical school applications.

The Pre-Professional Health Advisory Center, manned solely by director Mindy Maris, is in place to help students become competitive applicants in the eyes of medical schools and future employers, she said.

“Bradley students have been advised academically, but there hasn’t been a full-time professional on campus before,” Maris said.

The center is intended to be a comprehensive resource for students, she said, and there are many different ways to achieve that.

“My job is to build this center from the ground up, and right now it’s only me,” she said. “But there are many different models, and we’re going to proceed very cautiously to see what best serves the students.”

Maris said the students that have sought out advising have spanned the spectrum of colleges and majors.

“I have been really pleased that so far students of all majors and all grade levels have been coming for advising,” she said. “They mostly tend to be from the sciences, but we have been meeting with students from all colleges.”

Maris said she has long-term plans in mind for the center.

“I have my first-year goals that I want to do, but I’ve got five and 10 year plans, too,” she said. “I’m really excited to build this center and turn it into a robust resource for the students.”

So far, students who have used the center said they have appreciated the help.

“The presentations the center has given have really helped me to understand where I am going and what I should be doing right now,” junior health science major Sadie Salsman said. “I have tried to do research on my own, but the center has been very informative and made it simpler to find accurate information. I have had no idea where to even start when picking a graduate school, and [Dr. Maris] really gave me direction in that.”

Junior biology major Shelby Spierling said Maris helped her look into how to spend her preparation time efficiently.

“Dr. Maris helped me look into some different MCAT study books, she put me in touch with Navy recruiters to help me explore different military opportunities,” she said. “She has helped me realize different things I will need for my medical school application. I made the joke to her that she is going to be my new best friend because she has been so helpful already and I can tell she is a great resource.”

Maris said students can come for advice at any time, but they should start as early as freshmen year to reap all the benefits the center will offer.

“I feel like Bradley students are very well prepared academically, but applying for medical schools is not always transparent,” she said. “So I’m excited to shepherd them through the process and give them a leg-up.”