Skip to main content

Students talk shop with med schools at health fair

February 23, 2010

University and community college students curious about a career in dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy or one of the many other health professions will have a chance to talk shop with representatives from more than 40 health-related professional schools on March 2 at Arizona State University.

The annual Health Professions Fair is open to undergraduate and graduate students from any of the ASU campuses, along with community college students and the public. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Memorial Union, Ventana Ballroom, on ASU’s Tempe campus.

"Students enjoy coming to this for the direct connections with administrators from the wide variety of schools present," said Phillip Scharf, director of ASU’s Office of Pre-Professional Advising in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "And the representatives from the schools enjoy it because they find the students to be highly motivated and prepared."

This year, among the schools scheduled to participate are: the University of Southern California, Universidad Autonama De Guadalajara, University of Michigan Medical School and Palmer College of Chiropractic. Also, Saint Louis University, Creighton University, Drexel University College of Medicine, University of Chicago-Pritzker and University of Iowa-Carver College of Medicine.

Medical recruiters from the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy are scheduled to be attendance as well, along with several Arizona schools, including A.T. Still University, Midwestern University, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, W.P. Carey School of Business and University of Arizona. More schools are listed at

"The health fair provides a great opportunity for students to begin researching professional schools," said ASU senior Brad Pfeifle, a biology major, who attended last year’s fair. “Representatives from the schools are eager to share their knowledge and experiences with their program, revealing in-depth information with a personal touch that cannot be found through Internet research.

"Although my experience at the health fair did not cause a change in my career path, it motivated me to build my application," said Pfeifle, who is president of the ASU Pre-Dental Society. "The representatives made me realize how competitive the application process is, and provided suggestions as to which areas of my résumé should be focused on to strengthen my application."

"Medical School is very competitive," stressed Scharf. "Last year there were approximately 42,000 applicants for 17,000 available seats. Here we help students get as much of a leg up on the competition as possible."

At last year’s Health Professions Fair, students from all four ASU campuses, representing more than 35 majors, attended.

“Students interested in health professions can major in any area,” said Scharf, adding that at ASU, most pre-health students major in biology, chemistry, psychology, physics or engineering. However, it is not unusual for an English, political science or sociology major to be accepted into a health-related graduate school, if the student receives acceptable grades in the required undergraduate science work, he said.

The Pre-Professional Advising office provides an array of services to students in addition to the fair. While the focus is on pre-health and pre-law, advisors provide assistance with majors, course selection and access to beneficial extra-curricular activities.

For more information about the Health Professions Fair or the Pre-Professional Advising office, contact (480) 965-2365 or visit


Written by Daniel Moore ( for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Carol Hughes,