We Need More Pre-Med Resources at Westfield State


Image credit: National Cancer Institute on Unsplash.

Erik Bass

Are you thinking about being pre med or are currently premed? I came to Westfield as a biology major on the pre-med track and felt confused on the overall premed process. Although the faculty are all amazing, medicine was not their area of expertise so the advice I got from the Biology department was limited. This prompted me to look on the Westfield State website which offered no information on the pre-med process. This led me to have to do a lot more research on my own which led me to think “is it like this at every school?”

Short answer is no, most schools have at least a resource page giving basic information and advisors to contact with questions, while more prestigious schools basically walk you through the process with experienced advisors that come up with a plan that suits you.  

This led me to do some more research and I found that the “Gold Standard ” for pre health programs was Princeton University. You may be thinking that “that’s obvious” but it’s important to note how excellent the resources are, from webpages with multiple documents providing useful information to excellent advising. It shows the disparities between prestigious well funded universities versus smaller state universities. Although you don’t have access to they’re advising, Princeton has been generous enough to make their pre-med page and documents open to be used by anyone. So I encourage all aspiring pre meds to check out this wonderful resource to help you stay on track.  

Fitchburg State University is a school with similar resources and financial funding to Westfield State University, and they provide a webpage for aspiring pre-meds and pre-health students. Fitchburg gave an overall program review and lists all the professions that their advising department assists students with, as well as going over the basics of what’s expected of a pre medical/health student if they wish to be accepted into their desired school. This shows that even one of our sister schools at least has a web page dedicated to this process to give students guidance while Westfield State has no such thing. This is an issue that I believe deserves attention as having these resources could change a lot of things for students here at Westfield looking to pursue this field.  

I believe this could change however and that we need more resources for current and incoming students.While Westfield State may not be able to provide the same level of intensive support that Princeton does, I believe we can improve by mimicking what Fitchburg has done and create a webpage for students. So I have linked a document of my own that I believe can be helpful to students and staff alike who wish to know more about the process. 


Works Cited 

“Academic Preparation | Health Professions Advising.” Princeton University, The Trustees of Princeton University, https://hpa.princeton.edu/prehealth-prep/academic-preparation.  

“Pre-Health Professions Advising.” Fitchburg State University, https://www.fitchburgstate.edu/academics/programs/pre-health-professions-advising.  

“Pre-Med Requirements: Courses You Need for Medical School.” CollegeVine Blog, 24 June 2021, https://blog.collegevine.com/pre-med-requirements/.  

Talbot, Cailey. “What Premed Extracurriculars Do Medical Schools Look for?” Med School Insiders, 12 Sept. 2022, https://medschoolinsiders.com/pre-med/premed-extracurriculars/.  

 Kowarski, Ilana. “What Is the MCAT Test like and How Do You Prepare for It?” U.S.News.com, 21 June 2022, https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-medical-schools/articles/what-is-the-mcat-test-like-and-how-do-you-prepare-for-it.  

Admin. “Admin.” Kaplan Test Prep, Admin Http://Wpapp.kaptest.com/Wp-Content/Uploads/2020/09/kaplan_logo_purple_726-4.Png, 16 Nov. 2022, https://www.kaptest.com/study/mcat/medical-school-requirements-prerequisites/#:~:text=Generally%2C%20the%20minimum%20course%20requirements,about%20one%20quarter%20require%20calculus.  

“Course Catalog: 2021-22.” Course Catalog: 2021-22 | Course Catalog | Amherst College, https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/college-catalog/2122?mmtid=634996.