Behind the Scenes with Deans

Admissions Tips for The Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio

Get an insider’s perspective on the admissions process as Judianne Kellaway, MD talks about the admissions process at The Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. Below is a synopsis of the conversation.

An Introduction to Judianne Kellaway

Judianne Kellaway is the associate dean for admissions and outreach at the Long School of Medicine located in San Antonio, Texas. She has been working in the field of education and admissions for six years, providing guidance and support to aspiring medical students. Kellaway was born and raised in Houston, where she began her career as a kindergarten teacher for almost ten years. However, she felt a calling to pursue a career in medicine and eventually made the transition, despite the challenges she faced along the way.

Kellaway had to take science courses and multiple-choice tests, which were new to her, and did not get into her desired residency program on her first try. Despite these difficulties, she was passionate about her goal and persevered, eventually matching to a residency program. She wants to share her story and experiences with premed students, hoping that they can learn from her mistakes and make their own paths easier.

Kellaway has been involved in admissions in one way or another since 1994, and she loves it. She has a strong passion for helping people and is trained in ophthalmology, running a clinic with medical students and residents at the Long School of Medicine. Additionally, she devotes a significant portion of her time to the admissions process, helping aspiring medical students on their journey.

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What Makes A Pre-Med Applicant Stand Out? 

According to the admissions committee that Dr. Kellaway works on, there is no formula or mold for what makes a pre-med applicant stand out. Successful students are often characterized by their organization and discipline in attacking their personal plans. It is a personal journey to find out about medicine and to help people in ways that are special, important, and meaningful to the individual.

An applicant can stand out by conveying their journey in a compelling way, including reflection on their experiences and explaining why they are meaningful. This could be through their involvement in community service, such as volunteering at Habitat for Humanity or the crisis text hotline. The number of hours spent in the activity is not as important as the impact it had on the applicant and their desire to help others.

The personal statement should reflect on why the applicant is pursuing medicine and why they love it. By reflecting on these reasons, the applicant can bring a deeper layer to their application and make a stronger impression during an interview setting.

What Are Some Recent Changes to the Medical School Admissions Process?

The medical school admissions process has evolved over time. In the past, there was a limited understanding of what it meant to be a physician and how to prepare for the role. The traditional view was that becoming a physician involved practicing in a clinical or hospital setting. However, this view has changed over the years.

Today, the emphasis is not only on being a good clinician but also on leadership. Many of the qualities that make a good leader, such as the ability to look ahead, follow up, and achieve goals, are seen as important for a physician as well. This has led to a shift in the way pre-medical students prepare for the admissions process.

Many pre-medical students today see a need in their communities and take action to help those in need. They are creative in finding ways to make a difference, often by forming organizations or reaching out to different communities. This type of outreach and service is valued by admissions committees and helps applicants stand out in the process.

What Makes The Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio Special?

The Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio is known for its strong community and collaborative atmosphere. Students, faculty, and staff work together to create a welcoming environment where everyone’s voices are heard. The medical students are encouraged to find their own voice and are not intimidated to reach out to the faculty for help.

The school’s curriculum is modern and places a strong emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, with a grading system that encourages students to work together and learn from one another. The students have regular interactions with faculty and have access to a fantastic center for medical humanities and ethics that focuses on global health, community service learning, ethics, and arts and humanities.

The center offers students the opportunity to concentrate on a specific area of interest and engage in projects related to global health, ethical issues, or the arts and humanities. This program is very popular with students and provides opportunities for them to pursue their passions and interests.

What is Your Biggest Piece of advice for Medical School Applicants?

The Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio has a reputation for encouraging applicants to be unique and purposeful in their journey towards becoming a medical doctor. The admissions committee values applicants who are willing to step outside of their comfort zones and learn about individuals who come from different backgrounds and cultures. This approach is seen as a way to make the world a better place and is highly regarded by the committee.

It is important for applicants to show that they are dedicated to personal growth and development. This can be demonstrated through reaching out to a residential facility and giving back to the community, despite the residents being from a different religion or cultural background. The committee believes that this kind of interaction allows for the learning and appreciation of different perspectives, which can lead to a greater respect for diversity.

In addition, the admissions committee encourages applicants to try new things and to challenge themselves. This can be in the form of learning a new language, pursuing a personal hobby, or improving upon skills that will make them a better doctor. The committee values applicants who have taken the initiative to work on their personal attributes, such as improving their communication and social skills. Showcasing this kind of growth and self-awareness in the application can make a significant impact.

In conclusion, the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio values applicants who have a unique and purposeful journey, and who are dedicated to personal growth and development. By stepping outside of their comfort zones and learning about different perspectives, applicants can demonstrate their commitment to making the world a better place and their readiness for the challenges of medical school.

Additional Tips and Information for Applicants

A medical school focuses on two themes for its students. One of these themes is the valuable resource of time. The medical curriculum is intense and requires a deep understanding of the material. To help with this, the school provides students with opportunities to study and learn at their own pace, with plenty of resources and study materials available. They also prioritize listening to their students and gathering their input on changes and additions to the curriculum.

Another theme is allowing students to express themselves and carry on with their creative journeys. The school is located in a large city and has several community clinics, many of which were created by students who saw a need in their community. The students have also created organizations that support patient wellness, such as visiting patients in the hospital for a conversation as a human-to-human interaction. The school encourages students to continue their creativity and their drive to make a positive impact in the world.

In addition to the serious work of being responsible for patient health, the school also places an emphasis on fun and wellness. They have a strong wellness program and provide opportunities for students to bond and have fun. This helps alleviate the stress of the intense medical curriculum and creates a supportive community among the students.

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