I can help you in all aspects of the application processes to medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, PA, PT, optometry and podiatry schools, including writing personal and disadvantaged statements, filling out primary and secondary applications, choosing schools, choosing letter-writers, and practicing for both standard interviews and MMIs.
Based on my experience as a basic biomedical researcher, I also can help you with the application process to graduate biomedical research programs, including those conferring Ph.D.s. My research career entailed writing numerous journal articles and grant proposals, and these skills, in turn, have helped me support pre-health and biomedical students and clients with their writing.
Here's what went into preparing me for these roles:
I was born and raised along the western edge of Philadelphia, PA, in a mixed blue-collar, white-collar neighborhood. I attended a highly diverse public high school known more for its athletic prowess than its academic success. I then attended Haverford College, at the time a small liberal arts men's school located five miles outside Philadelphia. Here, I majored in biology because I loved the way life could be understood in such intimate chemical detail. I then moved to Pasadena, CA, to attend CalTech, from which I received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry; I minored in Neurophysiology. After CalTech, I was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX, and then at UC San Francisco.
In 1986 I was hired as a member of the San Francisco State University biology faculty and ran a research laboratory. In 1993, I shifted my focus to teaching, which I had greatly enjoyed as a tutor in high school and at Haverford. At SF State I have taught biology courses at all levels of the major’s and non-major’s curriculum.
In 1995, having by then developed a strong interest in teaching and understanding molecular medicine, I was invited to become SF State's Health Professions Advisor. As I began to understand the health professional schools’ preparation and application processes, and work closely with pre-health students, I realized that I was well suited for this undertaking because:
I also began to better understand the US healthcare system, including its towering strengths and appalling weaknesses, and wanted to do something to improve it.
As an extension of my role as SF State’s Health Professions Advisor, from 2006 until 2015 I was the Director of SF State's Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program, a collection of three post-bac programs that collectively admits about 160 students each year. The PHPCP focuses on helping pre-meds, pre-dents, pre-nursing students and a smaller number of students wanting to enter other health professions (pharmacy, veterinary medicine, PA, PT, optometry and podiatry). It has an overall 80% success rate in helping its students gain entry to these health profession schools. Part of this success is based on the Health Professions Colloquium, a special course that I developed to help students prepare for the health professional school application process, with emphasis on writing personal statements, filling out primary and secondary applications and practicing interviews.
When I'm not working I’m involved in activities that help me develop the feeling and expressive side of myself. I’ve participated in expressive painting workshops, and I write a bit of poetry. I’ve been studying Japanese formally and informally for the past few years, and have a beginner’s skill level. I speak Spanish at a conversational level, and thanks to my students, I can say “hello”, “goodbye” and “thanks” in about a dozen languages. Lastly, I love day-hikes and often walk the hills near my home in San Francisco.
Having recently retired from duties as Health Professions Advisor and Director of SFSU’s Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program, I look forward to using my extensive experience in both healthcare professions admissions and graduate admissions to help you gain acceptance to the best programs in healthcare and the life sciences for you.
Is a Postbac Program Right for You?, a podcast interview