Gilbert Cisneros

Pre-med students have the opportunity seek advice from doctors.

Getting in to see the doctor got a lot easier for at least future and current premedical students attending the first ever Intermountain Pre-Med Conference at UVU on May 20-21.


The conference was mainly geared towards high school students and college students interested in medical careers. They were given the opportunity to hear from top-rated local physicians and also interact with medical school representatives while attending workshops on a variety of topics including cancer research, surgery, healthcare reform and how to prepare a competitive application to medical school.


Parents and faculty were also invited to attend the conference, which was hosted by the Utah Valley Pre-Med Club and the Center for Pre-Professional Advisement. It was held at the Sorenson Student Center.


Admission to medical school is a highly competitive process. Approximately half or more of the students who apply to medical school each year do not get accepted. There are simply more applicants than there are seats available. Because of this, it is vitally important that students who want to pursue a medical degree thoroughly prepare themselves to be competitive applicants during the premedical years of their career.


It is important to note that Medical schools determine their own individual requirements. The average accepted GPA is a 3.5 to 3.6 and the average accepted MCAT score is 30 out of 45. The usual medical college deadlines for applications fall on February 1.


It is highly recommended that the summer is the best time for students to begin the application process. Every student entering the medical profession ranges from 8 to 14 schools in which they apply. For this reason, the medical profession is very competitive by nature. It was also discussed that the new MCAT will include and especially determine how you communicate with your patients.


Many students and faculty do service and study abroad as part of enhancing their career as well.

Students raised their hands as Gina M. Moses, M.Ed. Associate Director, application services, asked how many were passionate about doing international missions and study abroad. The speaker stated that US News and World Report have listed on their websites the top medical schools nationally and internationally for those who wish to seek the top schools in which they are interested in applying.


“I am excited to attend because the conference will provide a great opportunity for pre-med students and physicians from all over Utah to come together and help one another become better physicians and medical school applicants,” said Zack Eyre, UVU student and current medical school applicant.


World-renowned cardiologist, medical researcher and member of the LDS Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Elder Russell M. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., provided the keynote address. Also an author of numerous publications and chapters in medical textbooks, Nelson has lectured and visited professionally throughout the United States.


Nelson is currently serving in a leadership position for the Society for Vascular Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery and the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery for the American Heart Association and the Utah State Medical Association.


Dr. Neil S. Whitaker, a regional chief medical officer for Intermountain Healthcare currently responsible for physician recruitment, clinical integration and best practice, quality, credentialing and compliance. Whitaker, who held a private medical practice in Provo, discussed the current healthcare in Utah.


For more conference information students are strongly encouraged to visit the Pre-Health website at for further detailed information. For additional information the Pre-Health Professions can be reached by appointment at 801-863-8425 and or email at [email protected].