The Pre-Med Scholars program, based in CBS Student Services, recently received a regional Innovation Award from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). The award honors advisors, faculty or administrators who use unique and creative means to enact excellence in advising at their institution. Led by Lisa Novack, Coordinator of Pre-Health Initiatives, the program helps undergraduates plan for their transition from CBS to medical school.
“CBS Pre-Med Scholars is unique in that it builds a community of students who are all working toward the same goal of a career in medicine,” says Novack. “The students who participate in this program actively support one another and share resources.”
Nikki Letawsky Shultz, assistant dean for Student Affairs and International Programs and director of CBS Student Services, knows working in this team-focused environment is key for students transitioning into the world of healthcare.
“I think a quality unique to the Pre-Med Scholars program are those connections CBS students create with one another in a supportive, rather than competitive environment,” says Letawsky Shultz. “These skills are an important part of being part of a healthcare team so it helps them to become more comfortable with the interconnectedness in the health professions.”
In addition to helping students prepare for a career as a physician through the Pre-Med Scholars program, Novack works with students to plan out their future in healthcare in her role as Coordinator of Pre-Health Initiatives. This includes discussing prerequisite coursework, planning for health professional program applications, understanding requirements for entrance exams such as the MCAT and guiding students toward healthcare and volunteer experiences in their undergraduate career, including internships and research opportunities.
Novack has been part of the CBS Student Services office for five years. She developed the Pre-Med Scholars program in fall 2012 in response to the interest of many CBS students who want to pursue a career as a physician, which currently serves over 100 CBS undergraduates.
– Lance Janssen