Matt Chumchal, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, assumed the chair of TCU’s Pre-Health Professions Program (PHPP) on June 1. He succeeds Phil Hartman, Ph.D., dean of TCU’s College of Science & Engineering, and is only the fifth chair in the program’s 100-year history. Shauna McGillivray, assistant professor of biology, has been appointed associate chair.
Chumchal earned a doctorate at the University of Oklahoma, a master’s degree at TCU and a bachelor’s degree at Southwestern University. His research interests include mercury contamination of aquatic ecosystems and aquatic ecology. Chumchal has been on the biology faculty at TCU since 2007.
The PHPP assists students interested in careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, pharmacy and as physician’s assistants. The program’s acceptance rate to U.S. medical schools is approximately 80 percent over the last 18 years, which is close to twice the national average.
Students in PHPP receive rigorous and comprehensive basic science training, primarily through the efforts of the departments of biology, chemistry, physics and astronomy, psychology and mathematics. Through the Health Professions Advisory Committee they also receive guidance in the preparation of a competitive application package and the opportunity to participate in practice interviews with committee members.
The PHPP boasts a very active chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta, the national pre-health professions honor society (www.bio.tcu.edu/aed/aed.html) that sponsors a comprehensive hospital observations program. The national organization is housed on the TCU campus.