Central Prepares Students for Medical School

Five Central graduates celebrated together at the University of Iowa white coat ceremony earlier this year. Left to right: Ashley Radig ’16, Sam Palmer ’17, Abby Fyfe ’18, Nick Lind ’06 and Andie Arthofer ’17.

Five Central graduates celebrated together at the University of Iowa white coat ceremony earlier this year. Left to right: Ashley Radig ’16, Sam Palmer ’17, Abby Fyfe ’18, Nick Lind ’06 and Andie Arthofer ’17.

An astounding 58 percent of Central College graduates who go to graduate school do so in health-related fields.

Four Central alumni who are now at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine talk about how Central helped prepare them for medical school. Pictured from left to right:

Nick Lind ’06, a Central cultural anthropology and religion major from Fort Dodge, Iowa, says his well-rounded undergraduate experiences result in both a richer life and a better shot a graduate program.

He credits Central faculty mentors with developing his interpersonal, writing and leadership skills. “That kind of one-on-one influence is something you rarely get at a large institution, where most science classes have 100 to 500 students,” he says. “Study abroad, service work—those experiences can help you get in, too.”

Andie Arthofer ’17 majored in exercise science at Central.

“My Central classes in exercise science helped me develop a passion for preventative, lifestyle-focused medicine,” says the Dubuque, Iowa, native. “Based on my study abroad experience in Merida, Mexico, seeing firsthand how professionals from all cultures and specialties can work together, I plan to pursue the global health distinction certificate.”

Abby Fyfe ’17 grew up in Pella, Iowa, and majored in biochemistry at Central.

“Doing research at Central and the competitive internships I was able to get because of the research were the biggest things that prepared me for medical school,” she says.

Sam Palmer ’17 majored in biology and biochemistry at Central.

“My classes and independent research experiences encouraged self-directed, lifelong learning,” says the alumnus from Pella, Iowa. “I spent a semester abroad in Wales, sang in the A Cappella Choir, completed a cancer research internship with a Central alumna, conducted independent chemistry research and was a teaching assistant for introductory biology labs, all while completing a double major and minor. In the always-changing field of medicine, diverse experiences and self-directed, lifelong learning are vital for success.”

Several factors make Central graduates highly sought after by graduate school programs:

  • Savvy students. Central students are aware of the growing demand for health care workers, which are expected to climb 18 percent during the next 10 years due to demographic changes.
  • A liberal arts education. Central students think broadly and critically, and their communications and interpersonal skills and extracurriculars stand out.
  • Faculty mentoring. The opportunity to complete honors projects or research in one-on-one collaborations with professors gives Central students hands-on experiences that they might not get at larger institutions and often result in strong recommendation letters from faculty.
  • Strong preprofessional advising. Central’s pre-health advisor works with students to help them plan their education, complete applications and arrange interviews with professional schools.
  • Real-world experiences. Central’s Center for Community-Based Learning helps arrange service learning opportunities where students can test their interest in health care and other careers. The Center for Career and Professional Development helps students prepare resumes or hone interview skills to graduate programs.
  • The Health Professions Club. This club matches underclassmen to upperclassmen with similar interests and connects students to professional schools and practitioners.
  • Central’s affiliate relationships with healthcare graduate programs at Allen College, Palmer College of Chiropractic and Washington University in St. Louis give Central students an advantage into programs at those institutions.


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