Making the Most of a Premed Event

Why you should attend premed conferences and recruitment fairs, and how to get the most out of them.
students talking to school rep at a career fair

Premedical conferences or workshops typically include presentations on topics related to preparing to apply to medical school and having a career in medicine. At premedical or health professions recruitment fairs, you can meet medical school representatives, ask them questions, and gather information about their schools. In addition to medical schools, organizations like the AAMC often attend these fairs to provide information and answer questions about their premed services and resources.

Why should I attend?

Attending a premed conference or recruitment fair is a good way to learn about the process of applying to medical school, admission requirements, and resources all in one place. You’ll likely meet lots of medical school representatives and have the opportunity to talk with them about their schools.

Are there registration fees?

Most premed events are free to attend, although some may charge a small registration fee. Most fairs and conferences will publish their programs and fees in advance of the event, which will help you decide which ones are best for you to attend.

What should I wear and bring with me?

It’s a good idea to dress professionally in business attire for most events. Wear comfortable shoes because you may be walking and standing a lot. Bring a small notebook, or a note-taking app on your phone, so you can review your conversations and key information later. You may even want to bring business cards or copies of your resume to share with medical school representatives. Lastly, it may be a good idea to bring a bag with you to carry items you gather from booths, although some tables may have bags as a giveaway, or sometimes bags are included with conference registration.

How can I find out about events near me?

Ask a pre-health advisor at your school about fairs and conferences in your area. Medical schools near you also may host local events. Additionally, many conferences stream presentations or have recordings available online after the event. It’s also becoming more common to find events that are completely virtual. Follow AAMC Premed on Twitter to see occasional announcements about events around the country. In addition, see our Premed Calendar.

How can I prepare before I speak with schools?

If a list of schools attending is provided in advance, take some time to visit their websites or profiles in the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR). This can help you plan and prioritize which schools you are interested in talking to. Plus, you’ll be able to skip asking basic questions about school size, admission requirements, or other information readily available. It will also give you insight into special programs or features of the school that you can ask about more in depth. Asking specific and thoughtful questions about a medical school not only lets schools know that you’ve done your research, but that you’re interested in their school particularly and will make your interaction with them more memorable.

Sample questions for research or to ask during the event: 

  1. What is the mission of your school?
  2. What makes your medical school unique?
  3. Why do you think students choose your school?
  4. Are there special or combined programs offered?
  5. What does a successful applicant look like at your school?
  6. What is the median range of MCAT scores and GPAs of applicants accepted to your school?
  7. Can you talk about diversity at your school and what you do to promote it?
  8. Is there required premedical coursework that I should take?
  9. How does your school prepare students for selecting a specialty and applying for residency?
  10. What are the opportunities available for research?
  11. When does patient interaction begin?
  12. In addition to academic support, are there services or resources available for students who become stressed, experience anxiety, or need help?
  13. Can you speak generally about your curriculum and approach to teaching/learning?
  14. How are students evaluated through their coursework?
  15. What would you like me to know about your school that I can’t find out from your website or MSAR profile?

For more potential questions to ask, see this list of 35 questions compiled by medical students.

 

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