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Working with Pre-med Students

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Pre-med students are often interested in learning about opportunities related to research, clinical shadowing, service, and clinical volunteer roles. Students may seek guidance and resources related to  coursework, and medical school applicants may ask for help with application components such as letters of recommendation. Here are a few resources that may be helpful as you work with pre-med students.

On this page: Resources for Pre-med Students • Stanford Immersion in Medicine Series (SIMS) • Letter of Recommendation Tool • Volunteer GuideResearch Opportunities • Curricular Recommendations • Writing Letters of Recommendation • Referrals to Pre-med Advisors

Lori Lee works on a second casting of a piece featured in an exhibit of creative works by the School of Medicine community. Credit: Linda Cicero

Resources for Pre-med Students

If your student is interested in pre-med, be sure to connect then with our online resources for pre-med students, including our curricular recommendations for the MCAT and for medical school applications.

Building detail of Stanford Hospital at 300 Pasteur Drive. Credit: Linda Cicero

Stanford Immersion in Medicine Series (SIMS)

If you are a physician and are interested in having students shadow you, you can learn more about participating as a physician mentor through the SIMS shadowing program.

Peter Wegner's "'Monument to Change as It Changes,'' permanently installed at the Knight Management Center. Credit: Linda A. Cicero

Letter of Recommendation Tool

In collaboration with its Premed Advisory Committee, Academic Advising staff have created a tool for students and faculty to use when approaching letters of recommendation for medical school. 

Volunteers collect toiletry items that they assemble into care packs for the Stanford Ronald McDonald House and the local CityTeam shelters. Credit: Linda Cicero

Volunteer Guide

Beyond shadowing a physician, pre-health students should find and engage with opportunities to interact with patients in a clinical setting. You can explore potential organizations for your student through our volunteer guide.

Lakshminarayan Srinivasan, clinical instructor in radiology and research at the medical school, and Bryan He, graduate student in computer science, display images from their research on the brain using the HANA Immersive Visualization Environment (HIVE) in the Huang Building. Credit: Linda Cicero

Research Opportunities

Pre-med students are often interested in research opportunities. Learn more about how to support students through research opportunities on VPUE's Undergraduate Research website.

Curricular Recommendations

There is no pre-med major at Stanford, so many majors have cohorts of pre-med students. Pre-med students major in an area of interest and often complete requirements for medical school admission alongside major and university requirements, which often have some overlap with the pre-med curriculum.  You can learn more about course requirements for the MCAT and for medical school through our Academic Planning Guide.

If you are a course instructor for introductory science courses and have premed students concerned about their academic performance, you might consider sharing these Recommendations from your Pre-Med Advisors.

Writing Letters of Recommendation

To support premed students, faculty may be interested in information and materials related to letters of recommendation for medical school applicants. Stanford does not have a committee letter process for medical school applicants and Stanford applicants provide individual letters to medical schools in support of their applications. Because medical schools prefer specific numbers and types of letters (which varies from school to school), Stanford students are encouraged to cultivate relationships with faculty who teach them in courses in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, as well as others who they meet through roles they take on in public service, clinical settings, research, athletics or other endeavors.

The Letter of Recommendation Tool listed above was developed in collaboration with the Premed Advisory Committee, consisting of faculty and course instructors from the natural sciences, to assist letter writers and applicants. AAMC also has developed a set of Guidelines for Writing a Letter of Evaluation for Medical School Applicants that faculty and staff may find helpful.

Referrals to Pre-med Advisors

Academic Advising has a team of Pre-professional Advisors who are available to help students navigate the pre-med curricular and co-curricular offerings and ultimately, the medical school application process. Pre-med Advisors offer programming (including hosting professional school visits) and advising resources, and they are available for one-on-one appointments to meet with Stanford students and alumni interested in the health professions.

If you are working with a pre-med student who has questions or concerns related to their path to medical school, you are encouraged to refer the student to Stanford's team of pre-med advisors in Academic Advising. This advising team is available to support pre-med students and consult with faculty and staff when needed. Contact information and appointment calendars are available here: Make an Appointment.