Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pre-health individuals around the world encountered a range of challenges. Research and internship opportunities were cancelled, clinical experience was unreachable, and prerequisites became more demanding in a remote setting. I myself was working in a research lab in Switzerland when the pandemic was declared, resulting in my career-altering internship to be cut short six months. My life-long friend, Alejandra, had the same experience and reached out to me with an extraordinary idea to unite and empower pre-health individuals on a national level. With my skills in event planning combined with her vision, we built the National Pre-Health Conference (NPHC): a 3-day virtual event for pre-health individuals to explore medical careers and learn how to pursue their professional goals, particularly during these uncertain times. We held our inaugural conference with the theme A Future in Medicine in 2020 with over 1000 attendees from around the country. In 2021, we held our second-annual conference with the theme Unity in Healthcare with over 1000 attendees as well. In addition to planning the second-annual NPHC, I employed pre-event and post-event surveys to assess the confidence level of attendees before and after the conference in healthcare experience, research experience, standardized testing, community service, academics, essay writing, and completing graduate/professionals school applications. We found that NPHC improved the confidence level of attendees in all categories. Overall, understanding how NPHC benefits pre-health students will help our team improve for future conferences.
- National Pre-Health Conference: Inspiring the Next Generation of Healthcare Professionals