Mount St. Joseph University

Want to be a doctor? HPAC helps Mount students prepare from “Day 1”

Academics, Biology, Press Releases


File Under: athletic training, biology, hpac, pre-professional studies

Professor and student.

R.J. Wissner didn't plan to be a doctor when he first came to the Mount.

"It wasn't until I started rotations for my major, that I realized that's what I wanted to do," said Wissner, a 2012 athletic training alum.  

Wissner is now a first year medical student at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB). He says the Mount's curriculum and small size prepared him for med school at KCUMB, but not everyone has been as fortunate. "You have to make sure it's (medical school) is where you want to be," he said. "Some of the other students realized too late that they were in med school because that's what their parents wanted for them."

Wissner returned to the Mount to talk to students who are in medical school, veterinary school, pharmacy school, and other professional study programs. The Mount's Health Professions Advisory Council (HPAC) is a core team of professors who work with students early in their academic careers who have career goals which might include: chiropractic medicine, dentistry, medicine, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public health, and veterinary science.

"Students need to be proactive and ask a lot of questions about what they need to do to get all the requirements they need and to be ready to take graduate entrance exams," said Tracy Reed-Kessler, Ph.D., an HPAC advisor for biology majors. "We offer individualized attention to support students who see medical careers in their futures."

Wissner told Mount students in a Q&A format about his experience preparing for the MCAT and the first year of medical school. "It's important that they prepare well in advance," he said. "The Mount gives them great tools to prepare for their post-graduation success."