Pre-Health and Pre-Med College Pathways

Many students begin their college admission journey thinking they want to study biology or chemistry, and pursue medicine after college.  It’s a long path – four years of college, followed by four years of medical school, with years of residency and internship ahead.  According to the pre-health advisor at Pepperdine University, only about 25% of students who enter college on the pre-med path complete college that way.

Most pre-med students consider this career option because they love science.  But in my interview with Dr. Joon Kim, who directs the postbaccalaureate program at Keck Graduate Institute (in the Claremont College consortium) and Dr. Lesa Weber, a dentist-turned-college-counselor on the Magellan team, we talked not only about the different options for students who love science, but also who makes the most successful medical school applicant.  The American Association of Medical Colleges lists the top competencies of medical students, which go far beyond a deep interest in science.

Joon and Lesa generously gave great advice for pre-med or pre-health high school students in this wide-ranging conversation.  And if you’re patient enough to watch until the 25 minute mark, you’ll see one of Lesa’s and my tips on how students can connect yourself and your interests with each college in admission essays – and colleges care more than ever before how interested you are and how strongly you can articulate how you’ll contribute to their campus community.

I’ve known Joon for almost 10 years, and have referred many pre-med college students to him for guidance.  Lesa joined the Magellan College Counseling team last summer.  She moved back to Texas after spending several years in California, during which time she earned her Certificate in College Counseling.  In this interview, you’ll see both her personality and her expertise.

Magellan’s process is a little bit different, because we take advantage of having multiple counselors on our team to help our students present the best version of themselves.  Each of our students has a lead counselor, but in our biweekly team meetings, we share information and rely on each other’s experience as we help each student build a balanced college list.  Additionally, we circulate our students’ essays within our team for feedback, emulating how admission offices, who don’t spend time with each applicant as we do, review students’ essays for the first time.

I hope you’ll find this interview with Lesa and Joon helpful, especially if you are interested in the pre-med or pre-health pathways. 

Thank you for relying on Magellan College Counseling for up-to-date information about how the world of college admissions is changing!




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