FAQ & Suggestions

FAQs and Suggestions

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: In a traditional cycle, students can apply and retain their Intern position as long as you finish your 80 hours of volunteering by the time you begin your Intern semester. 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.

*For the Fall 2024 intern application, 20 hours of work completed in a clinical setting can count toward the 80-hour requirement.

Q3: Where do I get verification of my volunteer hours?

A3: You can ask the volunteer coordinator/department to give you a printout of your hours. Please be sure to request a valid document with the organization’s official header and signature.

Q4: Can I submit my employment hours at the hospital or clinic in place of my volunteer hours?

A4: Only 20 hours will count towards the volunteer hours requirement, but you may still submit your hours and write them in the appropriate place in 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 letter of recommendation?

A6: It is preferred that you have a professor write your letter of recommendation, however, HCMP will accept letters from research PIs and work/volunteer supervisors for the Fall 2024 cycle. Unfortunately, this does not include undergraduates even if they are in a supervisory position such as UGTA or FRI mentor. This also does not include Graduate Teaching Assistants. Recommenders can be affiliated with other institutions. 

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. Asking your professor(s) if they are willing to write a positive recommendation for you now will give you head-start on your medical school applications. 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.

Q7: Is CPR certification a requirement?

A7: CPR certification is not a requirement for applying to the program.

Q8: How do I fit 8 hours of shadowing into my schedule for next semester?

A8: It is suggested that a student have two 4-hour blocks or 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 another HCMP business that has to be dealt with during the week.

Q9: Is the coordinator role important? Can I just intern for one semester and leave the program?

A9: 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.

Q10: Do I need to be a student taking classes in order to become an intern?

A10: You could have already graduated from University of Texas at Austin but remain associated with 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.

Q11: Who can I reach out to if I have any questions about the program?

A11: Feel free to email us at admissions.hcmp@gmail.com!

Suggestions

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.

Students applying to the Health Careers Mentorship Program are expected to submit a professional application. Members of HCMP look strongly at dedication in volunteerism in the medical field and in other areas due to the fact that the program had its origins in the volunteer department at Brackenridge and the Seton Children’s Hospital.

HCMP also encourages students to have a well-written essay that clearly answers the question. A resource for help constructing your essay is the Undergraduate Writing Center that offers a free service for UT students. A light schedule is recommended for the semester that the student is applying due to scheduling eight hours a week of shadowing times with preceptors. All applications and supporting documents must be turned in by the deadline.

Looking for volunteer opportunities? Here are just a few in the Austin area.

Seton/Ascension Hospitals
People’s Community Clinic
Hospice Austin
Austin Volunteer Healthcare Clinic
Heart Hospital of Austin (requires 6 month commitment)
St. David’s Hospitals

Interviewees
Students selected for an interview are expected to exhibit professionalism during the interview. This applies to both attire and mannerisms. Students should be familiar with their application and essay. Interviewees must have a familiarity of medical ethics and current events. Also, students must be willing to be flexible in their schedule as the doctors’ schedules may change on a weekly basis. Again, HCMP looks at maturity and volunteerism. Interview questions should be answered thoughtfully and sincerely.