In recent years, MSU’s aspiring health professionals have been rising above and beyond in their education, with students getting into postgrad health professions schools with high acceptance rates.
Over the last five years, on average, 83 MSU students have applied to health professions schools, with large acceptance rates of 74 percent for medical schools, 71 percent for dental schools and a 62 percent for physician assistant schools. These rates are much higher than the 35 percent national acceptance rate to osteopathic (modern medicine) schools for 2015. Students who applied to other health profession schools, such as pharmacy, optometry and chiropractic schools had an acceptance rate of 88percent, compared to acceptance rates to allopathic (alternative forms of medicine and healing) and dental schools nationwide in 2015: 35 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
The success MSU’s health program students are enjoying, according to Director of the Health Professions Advising Office Sheila Nielsen, is due to the students’ strong work ethic along with a helpful infrastructure that lets them know “where and how high the hurdles are” and provides information on what classes will be required to meet medical school admissions requirements. However, in addition to a personal drive to succeed, the Health Professions Advising Office has provided invaluable assistance to roughly 500 health field students through the years since its creation in 2004. In 2011, the acceptance rates for health field students were 60 percent for medical school, 75 percent for dental school and 89 percent for physician assistant school, where national acceptance rates at the time were between 36 to 46 percent.
Between 2009 and 2011 MSU students secured a third of the 30 medical school seats available from WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho), a partnership between the University of Washington School of Medicine and the states whose names form the acronym to allow cost-effective medical school and facilities for students, with two goals in mind: the first goal being to make medical school possible for students in the WWAMI region, and the other being to encourage those students to practice in rural communities.