Pre-Professional Health Pathways at EOU

Pre-Professional Pathways

In The College of Science, Technology, Mathematics, & Health Sciences

EOU’s Pre-Professional Healthcare pathways prepare our students for future Graduate and Professional programs, across numerous healthcare fields. Students who take part in these pathways are prepared academically through rigorous coursework that includes the most common program prerequisites. These courses ensure students are ready to seek acceptance and excel within any program they choose to enroll in.

Resources for Pre-Professional Students

While the pathway into Graduate and/or Professional Healthcare programs can take many shapes and be done in many different ways, students seeking entrance into such programs need to start the process as early as possible, to ensure they cover their bases sufficiently. Taking part in key experiences and opportunities is oftentimes vital for students looking to enter healthcare programs. By starting those early, students are better able to spread those experiences/requirements out, in order to not overwhelm them. 

Below is information that all EOU Pre-Professional students can reference to ideally aid them in their preparation for their future program(s) and healthcare field. 

ALL Pre-Professional Students:

Healthcare Shadowing:

Many healthcare programs highly recommend and/or require that students complete so many hours of shadowing within their field of interest, for a variety of reasons. Even for the programs that don’t require it, shadowing is highly beneficial as it gives prospective students the opportunity to see firsthand the roles and responsibilities of the profession they seek to enter and the healthcare field as a whole.

Below is a list of local clinics/organizations, within Union County, that students could potentially shadow at; along with contact information. Clinics are organized by occupation/healthcare specialty.

*Every clinic/organization reserves the right to accept or reject students for shadowing purposes and can have their own separate application requirements and/or approval process that students must follow.

Occupation/ClinicLocationContact InformationHealth Professions
Grande Ronde Chiropractic ClinicLa Grande541-963-0339
Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT)
Acupuncturist (LAc)
Chiropractor (DC)
Kehr ChiropracticLa Grande541-963-9632
Chiropractic Assistant (CA)Limited X-Ray Machine Operator (LXMO)
Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT)
Chiropractor (DC)
Dentistry & Orthodontics
McLean Family DentalLa Grande541-963-4000
Dentist (DMD)
La Grande Family DentalLa Grande541-963-5632
Dental Assistant (CDA)
Dental Hygienist (RDH)
Dentist (DMD)
Koza Family Dental CareLa Grande541-963-4962
Dental Assistant (CDA)
Dental Hygienist (RDH)
Dentist (DMD)
Mark L. HarrisLa Grande541-963-0924
Dentist (DMD)
Sea Brite DentalLa Grande541-963-2741
Dental Assistant (CDA)
Dental Hygienist (RDH)
Dentist (DMD)
Eli Mayes DentalLa Grande541-963-8585
Dental Assistant (CDA)
Dental Hygienist (RDH)
Dentist (DMD)
La Grande OrthodonticsLa Grande541-624-5225
Dental Assistant (CDA)
Dental Hygienist (RDH)
Orthodontist (DMD)
Dental Surgeon (DDS)
Joseph D. Martinez OrthodonticsLa Grande541-963-3525
Dental Assistant (CDA)Orthodontist (DMD)
Heart n’ HomeUnion CountyMcKayla Neal
(541) 962-3070
Registered Nurse (RN)
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Optometry & Ophthalmology
La Grande Family Eye CareLa Grande541-963-3788
Optometric Assistant (OA)
Optician (CPO/CPOA/CPOT)
Optometrist (OD)
Apple Eye CareLa Grande541-962-7753
Optician (ABOC)
Optometrist (OD)
William Pettit, MD (GRH Specialist)La Grande541-963-3119Opthomalogist (MD/DO)
WalmartLa Grande541-963-5460
Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)
Pharmacist (PharmD)
SafewayLa Grande541-663-2706
Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)
Pharmacist (PharmD)
Red CrossLa Grande541-963-6332
Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)
Pharmacist (PharmD)
Physical Therapy
Mountain Valley TherapyLa Grande541-962-0830
Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)
Athletic Trainer (ATC)
Occupational Therapist (OT)
Physical Therapist (DPT)
Northeast Oregon Physical TherapyLa Grande541-963-9340Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)
Physical Therapist (DPT)
Veterinary Medicine
Grande Ronde Animal HospitalLa Grande541-605-0833
Veterinary Technician (CVT)
Veterinarian (DVM)
Valley Veterinary CareLa Grande541-963-0287
Veterinary Technician (CVT)
Veterinarian (DVM)
Animal Health CenterLa Grande541-963-6621
Veterinary Technician (CVT)
Veterinarian (DVM)
Grande Ronde Hospital (GRH)
*agreement is available for EOU Pre-Professional Health Club (PPHC) members!
Union CountyMcKayla Neal
(541) 962-3070
La Grande Family MedicineUnion CountyMcKayla Neal
(541) 962-3070
Registered Nurse (RN)
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Physician Assistant (PA)
Medical Doctor (MD/DO)
EOU Student Health & Counseling CenterEOU541-962-3524
Licensed Psychologist
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
HEAL Clinical EducationVirtualWebsiteMANY

Patient Care Experience Resources

While not every program requires Patient Care Experience (PCE) (aka hands on experience with patients), students who take part in such opportunities often find that it helps them determine if that healthcare field is right for them.

Many programs view PCE differently from Healthcare Shadowing and can prefer/require it. Oftentimes, in these cases, there tends to be a certain hour requirement within particular PCE positions that the program(s) is looking for. Students should make sure to review each program and their requirements/preferences for these hours and/or positions carefully, as they can widely vary between each program.

Common positions students seek to gain PCE hours are typically within the Allied Health Professions area, which can require a certain amount of training. Below is information on potential training programs/positions  you could pursue:

Certification & Training Options
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A):
Oregon Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Programs
Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (NHA)
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA):
(different certification options) CMA vs RMA vs CCMA
Medical Assistant (MedCerts)
Clinical Medical Assistant (NHA)
Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT):
Phlebotomy (NPA)
Phlebotomy Certification (NHA)
Phlebotomy Course (MedCerts)
Phlebotomy Course (CareerStep)
Certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT):
Oregon Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Programs
Oregon ‘Intensive’ Hybrid EMT Course (NCOAE)
Oregon EMT Online Course (AHATS)
Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT):
Pharmacy Technician (MedCerts)
Pharmacy Technician Program (OSPA)
Pharmacy Technician Certification (NHA)
Pharmacy Technician Training Program (OHSU)
Other Options:
Medical Scribe – Scribe America
Medical Scribe Programs (MSTI)
Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) (NHA)
Certified EKG Technician (CET) (NHA)
Certified EKG Technician (CET) (MedCerts)
Surgical Technologist (MedCerts)
ALL Pacific Medical Training Programs
ALL Career Training Programs
ALL MedCerts Training Programs
ALL Career Step Training Programs
ALL National Healthcareer Association Training Programs

Community/Volunteer Service Resources

At its core, healthcare is a service based industry. Without experience providing true community/volunteer services, students in professional programs often struggle to connect with their peers, patients, and the overall mission and outlook of healthcare providers.

While most programs don’t require a certain amount of community/volunteer hours, it’s beneficial for prospective students to have enough experience that they can reference when asked. Ideally, finding a volunteer organization or project that aligns with the students interests and passions is best, as it’s traditionally more sustainable and meaningful.

OrganizationLocationContact InformationNotes
Blue Mountain Humane SocietyUnion County541.963.0807 
Support Us
Center for Human DevelopmentUnion CountyContact CHD
Student Practicum Program
Community Connections (of NEO)Union County(541) 963-7532
General Website
Volunteer Application
La Grande Food Bank (NTUC)Union CountyFood Bank Services
Volunteer Agreement
Next Step Pregnancy and Relationship CenterUnion County(541) 963-6918 
General Website
American Red Cross*local & state/nationalGeneral Website
How to Volunteer
*for information on EOU’s Red Cross Blood Drives, contact McKayla Neal at
Habitat for Humanity | Grande Ronde Valley*local & state/nationalGRV Contact Info
General Website
Meals on Wheels*local & state/nationalGeneral Website
Sign Up to Volunteer

Enrichment Activities (i.e. Clubs/Societies, Research, Summer Programs, etc.)

An increasing desire from healthcare programs is to see proof of enrichment activities on a students resume and experience lists. Such activities can include, but are not limited to, clubs/societies, summer programs, research groups, etc..

EOU offers a wide array of student clubs/societies that students can take part in, including several health/science based options, such as: Pre-Professional Health Club, Pre-Health Society (NEOAHEC based), Pre-Veterinary Club, Chemistry Club, Psychology Club, Math Club, and the Science Journal.

The activity(ies) a student joins does not have to be health/science based. The key is finding ones the student enjoys and can show active and consistent involvement in. The ultimate goal is to showcase the ability to manage an academically rigorous schedule, while also being able to take part in extracurricular activities that the student enjoys and is passionate about.

Below is information on a variety of activities that students can participate in that often count towards enrichment experiences:

EOU Club/SocietyServicesOrganizationContact Information
Pre-Professional Health Club (PPHC)Healthcare Shadowing
Volunteering/Community Service
Professional Development
Healthcare Speakers
Program Tours & Presentations
EOU Center for Student InvolvementMcKayla Neal
(541) 962-3070
Pre-Health SocietyMentorship Match
Mock Interviews
Personal Essay/Statement Writing
MAPPD Application Tracker Acct.
(541) 962-3070
Pre-Veterinary ClubVeterinary Shadowing
Volunteer/Community Service
Professional Development
Program Tours & Presentations
EOU Center for Student InvolvementDr. Laura Mahrt
(541) 962-3022
Biology/Tri-Beta ClubResearch Scholarships/Grants
Research Awards
National Convention Research Presentation
Subscription to BIOS (Biology Journal)
Leadership Development
UG Research Submission
Dr. Laura Mahrt
(541) 962-3022
Chemistry ClubField Research
Professional Conference Attendance & Presentation
Professional Development
Program Tours
EOU Center for Student InvolvementDr. Anna Cavinato
(541) 962-3561
Psychology ClubEOU Center for Student InvolvementDr. Zoe Johnson-Ulrich
Math ClubEOU Center for Student InvolvementDr. Amy Yielding
(541) 962-3314
Science JournalEOU Center for Student InvolvementDr. Amy Yielding
(541) 962-3314
Research, Professional Development, & Internship/Fellowship Programs
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) – Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
American Dental Education Association (ADEA) – Enrichment Programs
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Summer Research Internship Program
Association of Schools & Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) – Summer Programs
National Eye Institution (NIH) – Internships & Student Programs
Emergency Medicine Project Healthcare – Summer Volunteer Program
Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)
Student Opportunity Center
U.S. National Science Foundation
Atlantis Clinical Shadowing Fellowship
Enrichment Programs – Explore Health Careers
Project Horseshoe Farm
Teach For America
EOU Departments with Research Opportunities:
Health & Human Performance

Choosing the Right Major

One of the most rapidly expanding career fields today is that of the health sciences. At Eastern Oregon University students planning to enter a professional program in the health care field take their foundation courses through the pre-professional sequences.

While there is no “best” major to gain entry into a professional program that requires a degree, many EOU students complete a Biology or Chemistry-Biochemistry degree, as they already encompass many of the prerequisite courses.

Upon admission to EOU, all new students are assigned to an Academic Advisor. If at any time a student chooses to change their current EOU major, they may contact their current Academic Advisor, or email for assistance.

Pre-Professional Health Advisor: McKayla Neal

McKayla Neal

Biology, Chemistry-Biochemistry & Pre-Professional Health Pathways
Phone: 541-962-3070
Office: BH127
Make an appointment: Navigate or Bookme