Who We Are
The UC Davis Pre-Health Student Alliance (formerly AMSA ARC/UCD) is a partnership between the pre-medical and pre-health student organizations, fraternities, and sororities at UC-Davis and other local colleges in Sacramento. All are committed to expanding the educational influence of the annual pre-medical and pre-public health conference.
These organizations include: Pre-Med AMSA at UC Davis, Pre-Med AMSA at American River College, Pre-SOMA at UC Davis, FAHC (Filipino Association for Health Careers) at UC Davis, MAPS(Minority Association of Pre-Med Students) at UC Davis, Unite for Sight at UC Davis, Pre-Dental Society at UC Davis, Pre-Pharmacy Club at UC Davis, ARCC(American Red Cross Club), SAMA(Students Advocating Medical Awareness), The Golden Key Honor Society, The Prytanean Honor’s Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Kappa Gamma Delta at UC Davis, and Sigma Mu Delta at UC Davis.
The UC Davis Pre-Health Student Alliance’s objective is to introduce and support academic, admission, and preparatory opportunities for all students interested in health professions with a focus on those underrepresented in healthcare (with regard to gender, economic, social, educational, linguistic, cultural, racial, and ethnic background). We target universities, community colleges and high schools throughout the United States. The UC Davis Pre-Health Student Alliance aims to impact health education, increase diversity amongst the healthcare workforce, and inspire future leaders of healthcare through hosting the largest national pre-health professions conference.
The Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Professions Conference
Over the past twelve years, the formerly known AMSA ARC/UCD Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Conference has grown from a local community-college event, attended by 231 students in 2003, to a national venue, hosting some 8,823 attendees at the University of California, Davis in 2014. The conference not only maintains its reputation for being the largest pre-medical and pre-health professions gathering at an undergraduate institution, but also stands as the only two-day event of its kind, supporting URM students (underrepresented in medicine, as defined by the AAMC), interested in a career in medicine.
The unique character of the conference stems from the fact that it is entirely planned, staffed, coordinated, and funded by pre-medical and pre-health professions students keenly aware of the challenges facing their peers, who aspire to become health professionals.
The two-day event hosts an excellent selection of keynote speakers, Dean’s Panels, and 300 workshops covering a wide variety of health professional topics. Additional full day programs are run which focus on medicine, pharmacy, nursing, veterinary medicine, physical and occupational therapy, PhD graduate studies, optometry and public health.
Some key elements of the conference are the Pre-Health Professions Fair and the Dean’s Panels. During the fair, attendees are provided with an unparalleled opportunity to interact with school administrators from nearly all US medical schools and a wide variety of other Pre-Health Professional schools, including Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Nursing. During the course of a Dean’s Panel, medical school deans discuss their respective institutions – including admission requirements and qualities desired in prospective students – and take part in a moderated Q and A session. After this, attendees are given the opportunity to select from 300 workshops. Each session is an opportunity for attendees to explore the medical school admissions process such as crafting one’s personal statement, your specific healthcare school curriculum, summer programs, financial aid, study skills, the MCAT, NET, PCAT, DAT, GRE, career options, time management, and others. Many of the workshops are led by Deans of Admissions from the country’s premier healthcare schools, leading experts, and leaders in medicine.
In 2013, our conference improved its program in Public Health and expanded to include programs in Pharmacy, Dentistry and Nursing. Each of these healthcare profession programs run in parallel with our pre-medical conference, which includes their respective panels and workshops. The 2014 Conference expanded further by adding additional full day programming in the areas of veterinary medicine, physical and occupational therapy, PhD graduate studies, and optometry. The 2015 Conference will focus on improving and expanding our programming in each of the above areas, as well as adding in new interactive workshop opportunities.
The primary goal of the annual pre-medical and pre-health professions conference is to support the academic and admissions preparation of pre-medical and pre-health professions students. This is achieved by setting the following objectives:
- Provide the information and access necessary to help high-school students gain admittance to the colleges and universities suited to their pre-health interests, and to similarly support current community college students on their path to transfer to 4-year universities.
- Increase the number of URM and non-traditional students entering medical school and other professional health-related programs.
- Introduce students from high schools, community colleges, and state and private universities to career opportunities in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, and nursing.
- Invite keynote speakers who are national and global leaders in health care to share their inspirational stories.
- Ensure that the conference is always made accessible and affordable to attendees.
- Educate pre-health students about the health professions admissions process in order to help them become more competitive applicants.
- Provide opportunities for direct interaction between attendees and healthcare professionals at the pre-health professions fair. Provide opportunities for attendees to consult with admission officers.
- Invite health professional students with traditional and non-traditional backgrounds to speak with attendees.
- Address obstacles faced by women and men entering the health professions, including balancing family life with a demanding career.
- Provide information about financing a health profession education through various financial aid programs.
- Broadcast the conference live on the Web and archive recordings online for future access, free of charge.
- Educate attendees on changes in healthcare and healthcare policy, and raise awareness of healthcare disparities currently affecting our nation.
- Promote and maintain participation in the programs that enhance the quality of health care in the community.
- To invite speakers who represent a global professional community.
- Provide admissions and employment information for students interested in pursuing a career in dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing. Invite leading admissions representatives from each of these three professional groups to meet with students.
- Support students preparing for a career in research by holding informational and preparatory workshops led by prominent MD/PhD clinical researchers and PhD basic science researchers.
- Provide information on careers in public health by inviting speakers who are global leaders in the field, and by dedicating a portion of our conference to the promotion of public health professions education and education.
Commitment to Diversity
The UC Davis Pre-Health Student Alliance is committed to supporting and informing all California pre-health professions students by connecting them with high-ranking admissions decision-makers from health-education institutions from around the country. This commitment focuses especially on ethnically diverse and socio-economically under-served men and women who are shut out of the mainstream professional-school admission process. Thus, increasing the number of URM students entering health-professions programs is an ongoing priority for UCD PHSA.
The entire conference, including publicity and surrounding events, is planned, staffed, and financed by pre-health students. All are unpaid volunteers who are passionate about serving their peers, and the greater health professional community. Many of our coordinators are non-traditional students with a variety of professional and educational backgrounds, and who aspire to a range of pre-health professions. We work around the year to support the academic and individual preparation of our pre-medical and pre-health professional future colleagues.