Hollins University - Roanoke, VA

  • BS

Be prepared with small classes, research, and internships. When it comes to selecting a college that best prepares them for the expanding health field and its graduate schools, many students seek the advantages a small university offers: small classes, a close working relationship with faculty, and liberal access to laboratories. Labs and teacher-student research are the center of the Hollins pre-medicine experience. According to Hollins chemistry professor and pre-med advisor Sandra Boatman, "Our women do not go through teaching assistants to gain access to our labs. They just go in and use them." Many science majors elect to carry out research during their senior year. With the entire Hollins science faculty holding Ph.D.s and actively engaged in research, science majors become familiar with both highly theoretical and experimental laboratory-oriented studies. For example, these former students presented papers on their research at Hollins' annual science seminar: Alyssa Bushey used immunochemical techniques to map the crayfish central nervous system using neutral red and octopamine.* Rediet Habtemarkos synthesized a number of organic ligands, complexed them with metal ions, and tested the ability of the complexes to bind to DNA.* Hillary Hatcher used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to clone a Lumbriculus variegatus gene homologous to the Drosophila engrailed gene. Julie Zalenka tested the ability of golden shiner minnows to learn to recognize skin cues from an aquatic predator, the northern water snake. * These students also presented their research at professional meetings. Hollins students are also expected to find internships during the January Short Term. Krista Thomas is a good example of a student whose undergraduate work experience helped her get into the graduate school of her choice. Krista said volunteering in a local Roanoke hospital and her internship on a pediatric ward at another hospital also helped her gain admittance to the physical therapy graduate program at the Medical College in Virginia. An important hurdle pre-med students must cross is the MCAT. Lena Speck, who went on to medical school at the University of Texas at Houston, was pleased with her performance on the test: "All the classes in the biology and physics departments prepared me for my MCATs," she said. Her Hollins classes prepared her for medical school, too. "At Hollins, the variety of classes and the individual attention I received were great. That, and my internship at Lewis-Gale Hospital's emergency room opened the doors for me." Pre-med advisors Rebecca Beach, associate professor of biology; B.S., University of Arizona; M.S., University of Connecticut-Storrs; Ph.D., University of Texas-Austin Sandra Boatman, Professor of Chemistry; B.A., Rice University; Ph.D., Duke University Necessary pre-med courses Medical schools seek broadly educated applicants that have a solid foundation in the natural sciences, strong analytical and communication skills, and extensive experience in the health professions in the form of employment, volunteer work, and/or internships. The following courses correspond to the academic requirements for admission to most medical schools: BIOL 220 and BIOL 236; CHEM 101 and CHEM 102 or CHEM 105 and CHEM 214; CHEM 221 and CHEM 222; PHYS 151 and PHYS 152 or PHYS 201 and PHYS 202 (all including laboratories). In addition, most schools require or strongly recommend some college-level mathematics (typically MATH 140). A few require MATH 241 and computer science, as well as one or two semesters of English. First-year students who wish to enter medical school in the fall following graduation from Hollins are strongly encouraged to enroll in either biology or chemistry and mathematics during their first semester. Students should consult the Medical School Admissions Requirements (published by the Association of American Medical Colleges) for the requirements and recommendations of specific medical schools.

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