Here is a list of questions HCMP interns and coordinators have been asked throughout the years.
Q1: Approximately, how many people are accepted into the program?
A1: The number of people offered admission to the program varies from semester to semester depending on preceptor and coordinator availability and support. The quality of the applicant pool is also a factor.
Q2: What if I haven’t finished my 80 hours of volunteering by the time I apply?
A2: As long as you finish your 80 hours of volunteering before the semester you become an intern, you can apply. Make a note on your application that states you will finish your hours by the end of the semester and by the start of shadowing.
Q3: Can I submit my employment hours at the hospital or clinic in place of my volunteer hours?
A3: You may go ahead and submit your hours and write them in the appropriate place in your application. However, those hours will not count towards the volunteer hours requirement.
Q4: Do I need the medical terminology class? I know medical terminology from volunteering/employment.
A4: Medical terminology is one of the required classes in order to be considered for this program. You will need this course in order to interact easily with the preceptor. Even if you have some prior knowledge of medical terminology, it is best if you took this course. Furthermore, we have now an online option that you may go through to familiarize yourself with medical terminology and that online course can be used to satisfy your medical terminology requirement. The medical terminology class should ideally be completed at the time of application and must definitely be completed by the start of shadowing. Lack of the medical terminology class will pose a slight disadvantage to your application.
Q5: Do I need to have already taken the required courses by the time I apply?
A5: You can be taking the courses during the semester you are applying. You will need to have the courses completed before the semester you start as an intern. If you have not completed the courses at the time of application, this will also pose a disadvantage to your application as a whole.
Q6: Can I ask a teaching assistant to write my professor evaluation form?
A6: It is preferred that you have a professor write your evaluation. Just make sure that your T.A. gets his/her faculty to sign it as well. You want to make sure that you get a recommendation from someone who knows you well and can relate to us the type of person you represent. The reason why a professor recommendation is preferred is that you are required to get recommendations letters from professors when you apply to medical school or any professional school. You should already have begun interacting with your professors. You should ask your professor whether he or she could write a positive recommendation for you.
Q7: Is CPR certification a requirement?
A7: CPR certification is not a requirement for applying to the program.
Q8: Should I have taken the other highly recommended biology courses like vertebrate physiology?
A8: Those classes are suggested coursework to make it easier on an intern when a doctor discusses a patient’s condition. You must have the required lower-division biology courses completed by the time you are an intern.
Q9: How do I fit 8 hours of shadowing into my schedule for next semester?
A9: It is suggested that a student have two 4-hour blocks or a one 8-hour block during the week. This is the minimum of eight hours devoted to shadowing per week. This does not include invitations by doctors or staff to attend conferences and other events. In addition to the weekly HCMP meetings that interns and coordinators attend, there is sometimes other HCMP business that has to be dealt with during the week.
Q10: Is the coordinator role important? Can I just intern for one semester and leave the program?
A10: This is a two-semester program. The coordinator role makes this program dynamic and catalytic by fostering leadership skills developed as an intern. A student interns for one semester and becomes a coordinator the following semester. You must be in Austin and affiliated with the University of Texas to coordinate the program.
Q11: Do I need to be a student taking classes in order to become an intern?
A11: You could have already graduated from University of Texas at Austin but remain associated to UT as a student, faculty, and/or staff and can still become an intern. As long as you plan on staying in Austin for two semesters following graduation, you can apply for the program.
Q12: Where do I get verification of my volunteer hours?
A12: You can ask the volunteer department to give you a printout of your hours. It only takes a couple of minutes.
Q13: Do you have any suggestions of when I should start working on my application?
A13: Start NOW!! Other applicants may already be thinking of asking the same professor and/or specialty area supervisor as you. Professors are not only writing recommendations for this program but also for graduate school, medical school, and other programs. It takes time for professors to write letters and deal with other teaching matters. Start thinking about your class schedule for the next semester and what to write for the essay. You can order your transcript from Main Building.