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Advisers in the Health Care Professions Visit GW

Recently, members of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) had the opportunity to visit universities in Washington, D.C., and learn about the medicine and health programs that their students will soon be considering. The visits took place during NAAHP’s national meeting “Capitolizing” on Health Professions Advising: A Monumental Job.

NAAHP is an organization of more than 1,850 health profession advisers at colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad. The group makes it possible for advisers across the nation to function together and speak with one voice.
More than 100 advisers were seated in Ross Hall 201 at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) to learn about programs and admissions requirements for the Milken Institute School of Public Health at GW (Milken Institute SPH), School of Nursing, and the Doctor of Medicine (MD), Physical Therapy (PT), and Medical Laboratory Sciences programs at SMHS.

“As you may or may not know, GW has a number of schools that train health professionals,” said Lisa Schwartz, EdD ’10, assistant professor of integrated health sciences at SMHS, introducing the panel.

Speakers included Ellen Costello, PhD, director of the PT program at SMHS; Marcia Firmani, PhD, MSPH, interim chair of the Department of Integrated Health Sciences at SMHS; Kevin Nies, MEd, director of MD admissions at SMHS; Anthony Spatola, director of enrollment management at the GW School of Nursing; and Heather Renault, director of admissions at Milken Institute SPH.

The panel members addressed questions on each program’s admissions requirements and what makes the ideal candidate at GW. Costello discussed the universal importance of being able to effectively communicate in the health professions.

“We conduct interviews as part of our application process, which is an opportunity to observe how individuals communicate,” she explained. “If you’re in PT, nursing, medicine, and you’re in a clinical field, you really better be able to talk to your patients and clients.”

Nies emphasized the desire for MD students at SMHS to be “physician-citizens” and the importance of prospective students to have service experience on their applications.

Following the panel, guests had the opportunity to gather more information regarding each program in concurrent drop-in sessions and tour the Clinical Learning and Simulations Skills (CLASS) Center at SMHS before attending a reception at Milken Institute SPH.

To learn more about NAAHP, visit