Hear What Our Successful UCI Students Have to Say About Our Pre-Health Advisors

Testimonial Videos:

Elizabeth Ochoa – current postbacc. student

Bima Hasjim – Medical student at University of California Irvine

Ann Nguyen – Medical student at Saint Louis  University School of Medicine

Dr. Yas Sanaiha, Gen. Surgery Resdient ISUPPORT

My advisor has been an instrumental mentor and supporter throughout my pre-medical education and medical training. As the first physician in my family, I relied on my her for resources and suggestions for potential mentors to help guide my premedical education. My advisor continued to follow my progress in medical school and I always appreciated her thoughtfulness with unprompted and heart-warming emails before USMLE Step 1, our first licensing exam, and Match Day. Her positive energy and dedication as well as years of experience in advising medical students is a great asset to the new students in the post-baccalaureate program at UC Irvine  I look forward to hearing about the successes of future students in this program and possibly working with them as a general surgery resident at UCLA.

[Yas Sanaiha, UCLA General Surgery Resident Physician/ UCI Alumni 2011]


Simply put, I can confidently say that I would not be where I am today and I would not have been as successful in my endeavors if it wasn’t for my advisor. Not only was she able to help me graduate in 3 years as a Biological Sciences Major at UC Irvine, but sheDexter UCSF 062015 was able to effectively guide me through every step of the application procedure and was able to instill a sense of confidence in my younger self that me truly believe that I could do it. There is an air among her presence and demeanor that makes young professionals feel safe and secure – something that I believe is inherent in her motherly guidance. That essence in her daily interaction with students is the same reason why I, still to this day, refer young medical/dental applicants to her office – all of which who relay back to me how appreciative and glad they are to have met her. My advisor has been an integral part in all of our futures, and I’m sure (through personal experience of seeing others’ acceptances to high-ranking schools after they’ve met) that they would also say she was the catalyst to our successes in our professional life.

[Dexter Nguyen, UCSF Dentistry Class 2017/UCI Alumni 2012]


She was an excellent resource to turn to for advise on how to approach the medical school application process.  She was was extremely knowledgeable, caring, devoted, and supportive of my decision and was able to provide sage advice about how to tailor and improve my application, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. She and the other pre-health advisors in the Office of Biological Sciences have been nothing short of professional, helpful, and dedicated to the success of their students.

[Andrew Truong, SUNY Downstate Medical Center Internal Medicine Resident/UCI Alumni 2011]

Alexandra Ly yr3 university of colorado 2015 COMMITMENT

In 2010, I decided that I was interested in applying to medical school to pursue a career as a physician. After researching the application process, I learned that applying to medical school was a big undertaking. Since I had been out of the classroom for a while by this time, I knew I was going to need someone to help guide me through this whole process. Soon after,  I was first introduced to my amazing advisor. For the next 2 years, my advisor was the person that helped me piece together what became a successful application to medical school. After an unsuccessful first attempt with my application, I sat down with my advisor to figure out how I could turn that “no” into a “yes!”. I started meeting with my advisor pretty regularly and she helped me identify areas of weakness in my current application.  She gave me great advice on what additional classes I should complete to become a stronger applicant. She spent countless hours and multiple meetings editing my personal statement and fine-tuning my AMCAS application as well as my secondary essays. She offered advice on how to go about acquiring strong letters of recommendation to support my application and when my application was finalized she assisted me with narrowing down which schools and programs I would apply to. I am proud to say that after all of this hard work and effort, I matriculated to medical school in 2012 at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.   As I look back on this journey to medical school, I know part of the reason I am where I am today is because I had my advisors support and guidance along the way.

[Alexandra Ly, University of Colorado School of Medicine Class of 2016/UCI Alumni 2009]

LEADERSHIPKristin Ignacio UCSF Pharmacy 101915

My pre-health advisor had the vision to start the first Pre-Pharmacy Day in 2014; that vision became a beautiful reality as we (Pre-Pharmacy Society) co-hosted the successful 2nd Annual Pre-Pharmacy Day with her. The fruition of this event is a true testament to the passion, the drive, and the patience my advisor has. She truly helped lead our team of Pre-Pharmacy Society board members to fully realize our potential as leaders by giving us an opportunity to thrive. She provided enough guidance to give us a head start, but trusted us to make judgment calls on our own also in terms of hosting the event.

[Kristin Ignacio, UCSF School of Pharmacy Class of 2018/UCI Alumni 2015]

Testimonies are provided by UCI alumni whom have utilized the pre-health advising services offered by the Biological Sciences Student Affairs Office. Postbaccalaureate students have access to the same resources in addition to unique services offered by the program.