UofL Pre-Health Symposium arms students with skills to navigate higher education

The 2024 University of Louisville Health Sciences Pre-Health Symposium will take place on Saturday, February 10th in the Instructional Building of the School of Medicine. The goal of the Pre-Health Symposium is to provide all high school, community college, and university students, who have an interest in the health sciences, with the information and tools necessary to succeed in the professional and graduate school admissions process. The University of Louisville Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Public Health & Information Sciences will have representatives on hand to discuss with students the skills needed to navigate the road to higher education.

This year's Pre-Health Symposium will feature Dr. Trinidad Jackson. In May 2022, Jackson earned his Ph.D. in Public Health Sciences. He is currently the inaugural Assistant Dean for Culture and Liberation and an assistant professor at SPHIS; he also holds a joint appointment as a Senior Advisor within the government sector and is the CEO of a company that prioritizes culture, liberation, art and science. His keynote will address “Leveling the Scales” highlighting social justice and equity in healthcare.

To learn more about the Pre-Health Symposium, the University of Louisville School of Medicine interviewed Sharon Gordon, MS, the Pre-Health Symposium event coordinator.

ULSOM: What is the Pre-Health Symposium? 

Gordon: A forum to share information about the professional schools at HSC and the many STEM careers available to their graduates.

ULSOM: Why was the Pre-Health Symposium created?

Gordon: The symposium was the brainchild of two former students, one medical and one dental, to provide information to those who would one day follow in their footsteps.Their hope was to educate, provide resources, and the opportunity for guidance and mentorship to college students, in return leading to an increase in the number of applicants from populations typically underrepresented in professional school. The symposium has now grown to provide these same opportunities to all students in the area.

ULSOM: What is the ultimate goal of the Pre- Health Symposium? 

Gordon: To connect local and regional youth interested in STEM careers with UofL professional students and administrators to share information, resources and advice.

ULSOM: Who do you hope to reach with the Pre-Health Symposium? 

Gordon: The symposium is open to everyone, especially student populations that have been historically underrepresented in dentistry, medicine, nursing and public health. 

ULSOM: Who is the ideal participant for the Pre-Health Symposium?

Gordon: A local high school or undergraduate student with an interest in dentistry, medicine, nursing or public health.

ULSOM: What topics will be covered at the Pre-Health Symposium? 

Gordon: Social justice, health equity, STEM careers, resumes, personal statements, mental health, shadowing, volunteering, admission requirements.

ULSOM: What effect have you observed the Pre-Health Symposium has had on those interested in pursuing health and medical fields? 

Participants who have attended the Pre-Health Symposium leave the forum with more knowledge of what is required to obtain a successful career in the STEM field; including the classes to enroll in as well as the extracurricular activities to involve themselves in before they apply.  Our hope is that by sharing these resources with a younger population, that they are better prepared and more confident as they navigate the road to professional school.