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Health P.A.S.S.

Get a head start in getting into medical school with Des Moines University’s Health P.A.S.S.

Health P.A.S.S. program dates: June  2015

Des Moines University’s Health Professions Advanced Summer Scholars program – the DMU Health P.A.S.S. – is a great way for promising college sophomores and juniors to prepare for and enhance their chances of getting into medical school and other health professions programs. The three-week program is high-quality, hands-on and FREE.

Health P.A.S.S. will provide participants with well-rounded perspectives on what it’s like to be a medical school student in osteopathic medicinepodiatric medicine and surgeryphysical therapy and physician assistant studies. In the program’s courses, clinical opportunities and practical exposure, students will gain the confidence that they can achieve a degree and career in any of Des Moines University’s four clinical areas – and the knowledge they need to get started. In addition, Des Moines University will cover the full costs of participants’ meals, materials, travel and accommodations in a residence hall at nearby Drake University.

Enrollment is limited to 12 students. Preference will be given to qualified applicants from populations under-represented in medicine and health care, including under-represented minority, low-income and/or first-generation college students. Students must have a minimum cumulative college grade point average of 3.0. The deadline for the application is February 15, and all related materials must be received by March 2.

Read about Health P.A.S.S. students’ experiences in the DMU Magazine.

Key components of the Health P.A.S.S. program include:

  • Lectures and presentations by top faculty on topics in the basic sciences, anatomy, medical procedures, musculoskeletal injury and research
  • An introduction to physical diagnosis and related procedures
  • Hands-on lessons in suturing, casting, surgery, and osteopathic manual medicine
  • Shadowing of doctors and other care providers in the DMU Clinic on campus
  • Participation in the Diversity & Health Film Series, which focuses on cultural competence in the health professions
  • Information sessions on professions in medicine and the sciences
  • Information sessions on how to plan academically and financially for medical school
  • Medical school mock interviews and tips on the application and admission process
  • Individual meetings with admissions advisors and Heart 2 Heart Mentors, who are current DMU students
  • Meaningful, informal interactions with DMU faculty, students and staff.
  • Fun evening and weekend events, including trips to local restaurants, sporting events, shopping, and an amusement park.

How to apply

Applications will become available beginning December 1, 2014, for the program that begins in June 2015. In order to be considered for the program, students must complete and submit the following:

  • Application for Health PASS
  • Health PASS application essay questions:
    • What do you hope to learn, achieve or gain from being a part of Health PASS?
    • Tell us about your desire to work in the health professions. What interests you, what motivates you, and/or what fears or concerns do you have?
  • Official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended
  • Parents’ 2015 (or most recent) Federal Tax Returns (only if identifying as economically disadvantaged)
  • Two letters of recommendation: one from a college/university science or math professor with whom you have taken a course, and the second from any professor with whom you have taken a course

Letters of recommendation may be submitted online at

Transcripts and letters of recommendation not sent electronically may be mailed to:

Des Moines University – Health PASS
Office of Admission
3200 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50312

For questions, please call 515.271.1499 or email

What previous Health P.A.S.S. students have said

It was awesome to get to interact with students and get their perspectives and advice. I especially enjoyed the interactive experience in the anatomy lab with the PA students.

I have never met such kind and caring people. The faculty and staff clearly hold their students as their top priority, and did everything they could to make everyone comfortable and accommodated.

Such an amazing experience! I don’t think anything else could prepare me as well for grad school as this program did!

The DMU student involvement was great in helping us understand what our lives would be like as students. The variety and number of students involved gave us an in depth understanding of student life.

The program was well thought out and well rounded. I feel that I had an in-depth view into the programs DMU has to offer. The activities allowed me a little look into the students’ life at DMU.

This program helped me learn so much more about osteopathic medicine- I think it was an eyeopener to all of us when we realized just how much Des Moines had to offer. Des Moines was an absolutely wonderful city, and I really believe it is one of the greatest kept secrets. I didn’t know much about Des Moines, but now that I have been there and experienced everything, I can’t stop telling people how amazing it is! I will definitely be applying to DMU, and I plan on telling everyone interested in medicine about it as well.