Students sitting at tables looking at laptops
Peer advisors and students meet at the Pre-Health and Pre-Law Advising Center in Sinclair Library.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa student Joshua Villaro wanted to become a doctor but needed serious, specific academic advising on how to get into medical school. So, in 2017, he turned to the UH Pre-Health Advising Center (PAC), which offers informational events and workshops like one on the ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

It was the first time Villaro learned of ʻImi Hoʻōla, a 12-month post-baccalaureate program in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health designed to provide educational opportunities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds deemed capable of succeeding in medical school.

“The workshops were invaluable in providing me guidance for my medical school journey, as well as introducing me to the ʻImi Program,” said Villaro. “I am very grateful to PAC.”

Chalk up another success story for the center under the Office of Undergraduate Education. PAC holds a series of pre-health and pre-law workshops every September and October at UH Mānoa, with events offered in collaboration with the Student Activity and Program Fee Board. The events are intended to help college students and non-traditional applicants explore, prepare for and apply to schools in health fields like medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, and the law.

PAC’s services and workshops are open to the public.

“Before deciding if a career in law or health is right for them, we want students to learn about these fields and what it takes to be competitive for these types of schools,” said PAC Director Kiana Shiroma.

Upcoming workshops in pre-health are Pre-Medical Orientation, Practice for Your Interview and Health Professionals Panel, while those in pre-law include Applying to Law School, LSAT 101 and Financing Your Legal Education.

“These workshops will help attendees learn more about various fields and ensure that they are taking the correct prerequisite courses, as well as gaining valuable experience and honing skills that will help them prepare for a career in health or law,” said Shiroma. “These events will also help attendees prepare their best applications possible to enter professional schools,” said Shiroma. UH professional schools include JABSOM, William S. Richardson School of Law, Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work’s Office of Public Health Studies and the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy on Hawaiʻi Island.

Schedule an appointment with PAC, call (808) 956-8646 for more info, or walk into the peer advising office during office hours at Sinclair Library room 108.

For a full list of workshops, see the PAC website.

Group of students on steps
Pre-Health and Pre-Law Advising Center peer advisors