Health Profession Advising Office History

In 1963, Dr. Miles D. McCarthy created the Health Professions Committee at California State University, Fullerton, to advise pre-health professions students. That year, he became the first official advisor for the office and held the post for over a decade. Dr. Albert Flores took over as advisor in 1989 and stayed for four years. Dr. McFarland followed Dr. Flores, advising students from 1993-1997. The office nearly closed in the mid nineties due to budgetary constraints, but faculty and students successfully fought to keep it open. Dr. David Drath became advisor in 1997 and remained in the position until 2008. The office has a highly successful record for helping students obtain entrance into professional schools.


The Beginnings

Article from the Los Angeles Times  Honoring Dr. Miles D. McCarthy
Written by Dave Reid
Edited by Lynell Newmarch

In 1976 Dr. Miles D. McCarthy, a popular Cal State Fullerton founding faculty member and an outstanding professor honoree for the entire CSU system, boarded the family camper along with his wife, Martha, and two children.

The McCarthy's embarked on a remarkable 15,000-mile odyssey throughout the United States that was to take them to more than 50 of the leading medical, dental and health professions schools across the nation. On this sabbatical trip, McCarthy met with admissions directors to tell them about Fullerton's outstanding Health Professions Program and of the promising graduates who would be applying to these medical schools. It was vintage McCarthy, whose personal touch on behalf of the university was a hallmark of his 36 years of service that continued until his death in 1995 at age 80. One of McCarthy's many legacies to the university was his founding of the Health Professions Program, which has guided and assisted students in gaining admission to the nation's leading schools in the fields of medicine, dentistry, pharmacology, optometry and other health-related areas. The program, which wasbegun by McCarthy in 1959, has helped more than a thousand students earn admission to health professions schools. Before the program started, not one student was accepted by a health professions school. In the 17-year period that ended with the 1994-95 school year, 86% of the 1,230 students recommended by the Health Professions Committee were admitted to professional schools.

"The acceptance of CSUF graduates into the major health professions schools of the United States and Canada is a fait accompli . . ." wrote McCarthy in a 1992 letter to Milton A. Gordon, President of Cal State Fullerton. In 1996, Fullerton students gained admission to such top medical schools as Harvard, Stanford, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and several UC campuses. Fullerton students have since continued to gain admission to top medical schools throughout the country. One of five individuals to preside over the university during its history, McCarthy arrived on campus in 1959 as one of the original five founding faculty members. The biology professor was named the Outstanding Professor in 1965 for both the campus and the entire Cal State system. McCarthy served as acting president for nine months in 1981, following the resignation of Dr. L. Donald Shields. He also held numerous other administrative positions, including Vice President of Academic Affairs. McCarthy's stature earned him the distinction in 1984 of having the university's Science and Letters building renamed in his honor — a rare accolade in the California State University system that is usually reserved for deceased persons.

Although granted emeritus status in 1983, McCarthy continued to teach at least one biology course each semester, including one during the summer of 1995, shortly before his death in September of that year. Among his other academic interests, he was an authority on the study and treatment of severe burns. He and his wife collaborated on several research studies in this field.

"There is no one in the history of Cal State Fullerton who has contributed more to its development as has Miles McCarthy," said former President Milton A. Gordon.