Path to a health-care career can start at N.C. State

For some, the realization comes early in life that they aspire to a career caring for the health of others; they simply know how they want to spend their lives. Others, after considerable deliberation, decide later in life to pursue a health-care career. No matter. Once the path is chosen, it must of necessity include a solid grounding in science.

CALS has long provided that grounding for those who wish to pursue post-graduate education for careers in human medicine, nursing, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy or physical therapy. CALS has historically offered strong undergraduate programs in disciplines such as biochemistry, biology, genetics, microbiology and zoology.

CALS also works with students and alumni to help ensure that graduates are accepted to post-graduate programs. That effort begins with Dr. Anita Flick, who directs CALS’ Health Professions Advising Center or Health PAC. The number of students served by Health PAC has risen steadily since the program was started in 2006. The program now works with about 5,000 students and alumni annually.

How do students who take advantage of Health PAC fare when applying to medical schools? Each year, about 500 students who have made use of Health PAC guidance apply to post-graduate health-care related programs. Close to 85 percent of students who use the Health PAC process and receive the highest recommendation or are recommended without reservation are admitted to medical school. That 85 percent acceptance rate compares to an acceptance rate of roughly 40 percent for all N.C. State University students who apply to medical school and for students nationally who apply.

Clearly, Health PAC works.

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