The Center for Premedical and Health Profession Studies was launched Jan. 28.

Paving a professional path

Center for Premedical and Health Profession Studies celebrates official opening

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8:40 a.m., Feb. 12, 2013--The Center for Premedical and Health Profession Studies at the University of Delaware celebrated its official launch at an open house on Monday, Jan. 28, in UD’s Career Services Center.

The new center assists students who are pursuing careers in the health professions, including medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, physician assistant, advanced nurse practitioner, pharmacy, and physical and occupational therapy. The center supports all pathways for premedical studies and provides advisement and referral services for students pursuing careers in other health-related professions.

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At the open house, center director David Barlow noted that several medical institutions were present or represented, including Christiana Care Health System, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, American University of the Caribbean, St. Georges University, and the University of South Florida Select Program.

In all, some 60 faculty, staff, students, administrators and clinicians turned out for the open house, which highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of premedical studies and careers in the health professions.

The new center grew out of a task force appointed by former provost Tom Apple. Interim Provost Nancy Brickhouse, who helped implement the group’s recommendations, said, “Today, the work of many people is coming to fruition. The task force consisted of 17 people, including not only students and faculty from UD but also representatives from Christiana Care, Thomas Jefferson University, and others. They recommended that the center be created to take what we had been doing well and do it better.”

Brickhouse referred to the center as “a very student-centered effort that will provide the right structure for helping students to succeed.” She also pointed to its location in UD’s Career Services Center as being ideal for visibility and traffic.

Joann Browning, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, said, “We look forward to referring our students here, knowing that they will get the mentoring, advisement, direction, and guidance they need to realize their dreams. 

“The College of Arts and Sciences has been involved in premedical advisement for quite some time through the Medical Scholars Program. We’re delighted to see that kind of experience enriched, expanded, and brought to students across the University.”

Kathleen Matt, dean of the College of Health Sciences, said, “It’s symbolic that UD is doing this — it shows that we’re leaders and out in front of where health care is going.

“People are entering the health professions from many different areas, including not only science but also the humanities and other fields.  This center will bring students from across the University together as undergraduates, and those relationships will take them into their careers where they’ll be members of interprofessional teams providing health care.”

Matt also pointed to the center’s role in “tagging into partnerships that will create a touchstone for students.” Developments like the University’s new Science, Technology, and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus will set the stage for experiential learning through translational research and meaningful collaborative projects with tenants such as a pharmacy, a medical aid unit, and radiology, sleep, and blood processing labs.

About the Center for Premedical and Health Profession Studies 

The Center for Premedical and Health Profession Studies guides and supports a community of pre-health profession students in their academic and extracurricular preparation to enter medical, dental, or other healthcare professions programs. In this capacity, the center encourages and supports all University of Delaware students, campus organizations, and academic units on campus.

The Unidel Foundation Inc. provided funding for the first three years of the center’s operation. 

For more information, contact Laura Pawlowski at ljp@udel.edu or 302-831-4535 or David Barlow at barlow@udel.edu or 302-831-3030.

Article by Diane Kukich

Photos by Evan Krape

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