Chaminade University students with dreams of someday attending medical school went to Arizona this spring. Sponsored by the Office of Health Professions and Undergraduate Research, about a dozen students explored the campuses of Grand Canyon University (Phoenix), Midwestern University (Glendale), A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) and A.T. Still University-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA). In addition, students attended a graduate fair at Grand Canyon University.

Chaminade students at A.T. Still University“This trip was both life-changing and a huge eye-opener for me,” said Chaminade first-year student Hi’ilei Ishii-Chaves. “During the course of this trip, I felt that I really stepped out of my comfort zone.  I built new relationships, tried new foods and participated in events I would never do.” Ishii-Chaves is seriously considering ATSU but needs to do further research on whether becoming a medical doctor or an osteopathic doctor is the better fit for her.

Chaminade student Rea Mae Garcia enjoyed the problem-based learning style that she experienced at ATSU in which students were presented with a patient with real complaints.  Patient vitals and lab work results were shared, and students had to figure out causes for the complaints. She was also fascinated by the anatomy laboratory.  “I got to hold the kidney, the brain and the brain stem,” she said.  The ATSU visit finalized her decision.  “When I went back to the hotel that night, I wrote out interview questions and tried to answer them…I love it there, and I hope to go there for medical school,” Garcia emphasized adamantly.

Accompanied on the trip by Mrs. Patricia Lee-Robinson (associate provost and director of the Office Health Professions Advising and Undergraduate Research) and Dr. Amber Caracol Noguchi (Health Professions advisor), the students connected with Chaminade alumni for dinner.  The Chaminade alumni, who were also current medical students, shared their wisdom on the challenges faced and the strategies used to overcome them.

Chaminade students at Midwestern UniversityChaminade student Angela Williams was reassured by Chaminade alumna Jacquelynn Pratt ’06 who explained that life as a medical student was not easy and gave Williams some survival tips.  “I learned that her (Jackie’s) biggest struggles were with weather adjustment and homesickness,” reflected Williams. “I am afraid that I will face the same problems.  However, studying and socializing in the new school will hopefully keep me busy.”

Chaminade University has formal articulation agreements with ATSU-ASHS and ATSU-SOMA, which are both in Mesa, Arizona. Articulation agreements permit early admission for qualified Chaminade applicants to health profession programs. ATSU-ASHS agreements have opened doors for Chaminade students seeking the degrees of Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.), Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.), and a Master of Occupational Therapy (M.S.).  ATSU-SOMA offers a pathway to a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree.

“This trip helped me focus on my goals and career,” wrote Williams. “I am so glad that Chaminade University has articulation agreements with many schools around the nation including ATSU-SOMA.  I appreciate this given opportunity and would like to express my heartfelt gratitude by saying thank you.”


The Office of Health Professions Advising and Undergraduate Research (OHPAUR) assists students interested in healthcare careers, regardless of their major. Services include: advising, test preparation, summer programs, guest speaker presentations, professional seminars, community service activities and internship/shadowing opportunities. OHPAUR also maintains articulation agreements with four ATSU campuses, as well as Boston University School of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Pacific University, Samuel Merritt University, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, University of Dayton and Western University School of Health Sciences.