Moore Completes National Role in Advising Medical Students
LAST MONTH, PROFESSOR of Biology Ken Moore retired from his position as president of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP). His goal for the two-year term of service was to help ensure the quality of academic advising nationwide for students seeking careers in health care.
Quality academic advising is something about which the coordinator for pre-professional health sciences at Seattle Pacific University knows a great deal. He has acted as advisor to hundreds of students in a host of programs: "pre-med, pre-dentistry, pre-pharmacy, pre-vet, everything except nursing."
In his September 2001 State of the University address, SPU President Philip Eaton praised Moore and the rest of the science faculty for their consistent record in helping students succeed on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). "Based on the mean scores of all 1,311 schools with pre-med programs from 1997-2000," says Eaton, "SPU ranks between the 86th and 100th percentile in all categories."
Moore describes the MCAT as somewhat like the well-known Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), except that "it makes the SAT look like a Sunday school picnic." When professors take a personal interest in each pre-med student, he says, they help that student succeed on the MCAT.
In his 27 years at Seattle Pacific, Moore has also acted as a career advisor of sorts, continually asking students whether medicine is really their best career choice. "Some people come to SPU wanting to be doctors," he says, "but find they'd be happier in missions, math or humanities."
This process also helps students who decide to stay in pre-med programs. They get customized advice, which helps many ace the MCAT and be accepted to medical schools at a much higher rate than normal. "We make sure our students really want to be in the field of medicine and will stick with the rigorous program," explains Moore. "The ones that we've advised to stay with that path are the ones who take the MCAT. The advising is very effective."
About 75 percent of Seattle Pacific pre-med students are accepted to medical school, compared to only about 16 percent of pre-med students nationwide. "This year," says Moore, "we had an even more amazing percentage of acceptances. Eighteen of our students applied to enter graduate health science programs for Autumn 2002. Fifteen of these were accepted, two were put on the alternate list and one was rejected. These are incredible acceptance rates, and come in part from the careful screening we do."
What's the best medical profession to get into these days? "The one you enjoy the most," says Moore.
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