How Libraries Can Support Pre-Health Students & Advisors

Sponsored by JoVE
Recorded on 09/24/2019

Posted in Collection Development and Management


Pre-health sciences students face some of the toughest course-work in undergraduate education, and if they want to make it into medical school, they generally have to sit for the MCAT. To do well on this make-or-break test, many students enroll in private training programs or purchase additional studying tools on top of their already extensive coursework. These programs can be extremely expensive, adding to pre-health students’ already high textbook costs. Most campuses will have a dedicated advising staff for Pre-Health students who guide to resources and when to begin steps in the process, however there is room for the library to support as well.

In this webinar, Francisco Castellan and Aliya Bhimani discuss strategies for helping pre-health students navigate their intense work load and ways the library can serve this ambitious, though sometimes overwhelmed, population.

Topics include:

  • Examining a typical pre-health sciences student’s workload
  • The library’s role in supporting pre-health students
  • Resources available through libraries to assist students with MCAT prep


Francisco Castelan
Francisco Castelan attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received Bachelor degrees in both Psychology and Spanish. Mr. Castelan earned an MS degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While working at UW-Madison, he discovered his passion for helping college students explore and connect their strengths and interests toward their future careers. He brings more than 15 years of experience with health professions advising, including continued collaboration with the Tour for Diversity in Medicine, a non-profit organization. He currently holds leadership positions in the National Association of Advisors in the Health Profession (NAAHP) as a Co-Chair for the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) and serves on the board of Directors for the Southeastern Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (SAAHP).

Aliya Bhimani
Aliya Bhimani is the Director of Academic Advising in the Office of Academic Advising (OAA) at Rice University in Houston, Texas. In the OAA she leads a group of eleven professional advisors and two support staff that help students navigate their academic college experience. The OAA does everything from educating the community about academic rules and regulations, training and managing programs like the Peer Academic Advisors and faculty, and meeting one-on-one with students that are considering their academic goals, whether it be course selection, resources, applying to medical school, or beyond. Aliya has been at Rice since 2013; she came to Rice from Washington DC, where she worked in a similar capacity at The George Washington University. She has a BS in Communication Studies from The University of Texas at Austin and an MA in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University.