“I don’t know how anyone gets in on their own. It’s impossible,” says Schnabel. She notes that even before he became IHP director two years ago, Rabquer, as her academic adviser, was invaluable in helping her prepare for her medical career. “Every question I had, he came at with ‘My wife is a doctor and she …’ or ‘I had a student who did this …’ I could just tell that he had been advising med students for years. It was such a huge boost to my confidence to have this person who knew how I should do what I should do and knew exactly what to say.” Originally hired as the Biology Department’s physiologist, Rabquer did his doctoral and post-doctoral work in hospitals and is enthusiastic about Albion’s role in supporting what hospitals do. He has opened a joint teaching and research lab with associate
NUMBERS Over the past three years, Institute for Healthcare Professions graduates have matriculated at graduate and professional programs in the following fields: Human medicine – 27 Physical therapy – 9 Nursing – 8 Dentistry – 6 Occupational therapy – 4 Physician assistant – 3 Pharmacy – 3 Veterinary medicine – 2 Other programs – 15
professor of kinesiology Heather Betz, expanded the IHP speaker series for the entire campus, and with professor of psychology (and former IHP director) Barbara Keyes launched “Camp Med,” a three-day, college-level course for high school students. “We work with students in high school and with alumni who have been gone for years,” Rabquer says. “We work with students when their plans change, as they hit a roadblock, when they’re not getting the grade they need. We’ll build a plan for four years at Albion, or extending well past graduation.” Speaking of alumni, Rabquer notes that hundreds of doctors, dentists, researchers, and other health professionals are needed to provide the thousands of job-shadowing, internship, and patient-interaction hours required for graduate program applicants. Albion’s alumni network also opens a wide array of career options, bringing students into university research, hospital clinic, and private practice settings. Of course, alums also visit campus to share their expertise. “Alumni are vital to the success of the institute,” Rabquer says. “They help our students identify their passions and solidify their career choice.” And, as it turns out, even their stories of struggle can provide inspiration. “An alumnus who has had a phenomenal 50-year career met with our seniors this year,” Rabquer says, adding that when the alum was in their shoes, “he hadn’t been accepted to med school and didn’t know what to do. It’s important for students to see that even when things don’t go your way, they can still turn out awesome.”
VETTING A POSSIBLE PATHWAY With just 30 veterinary schools in the U.S., Albion’s rate of one new DVM candidate per year is remarkable, especially considering what it takes just to get to the application process. Local veterinarian Jennifer Aschenbrener notes that most of the eight to 10 students in her annual quarter-credit Introduction to Veterinary Medicine IHP course are thinking about the profession, but by course’s end only one or two are still on the path. Aschenbrener packs in everything from academic planning to financial management (student debt can reach into six figures), animal diseases, and communicating with clients to help her students prepare for a rewarding—but very rigorous—career. “It’s not all puppies and kittens, unfortunately,” she says, “but veterinary medicine is an amazing profession when you know what you’re getting into. The Institute for Healthcare Professions provides an excellent opportunity for students planning to attend veterinary school.”
One could almost call that a second opinion, but it speaks to the same prognosis: that the Albion/IHP prescription remains just right.
Aschenbrener (far left) and her students recently visited an alpaca farm through a connection with professor of education Suellyn Henke.
Spring-Summer 2018 | 33
Io Triumphe! The magazine for alumni, parents, and friends of Albion College