As graduation approaches and I prepare to apply for medical school, I reflect upon a time when I was genuinely overwhelmed about getting enough experience to be a competitive applicant. As any pre-health student can attest to, there is so much importance placed on getting involved in leadership, research, and patient care, all while keeping the GPA up. I have come to realize just how many opportunities are available at Chapman through its tight-knit community of caring faculty and staff. I hope that my story provides some ease for students who are in the same boat that I was.
As a freshman Health Sciences major, I started by becoming a COPE Health Scholar at St. Joseph Hospital—a program that Dr. Sumida recommended to me. I was able to get clinical exposure and take care of patients in departments such as the Pulmonary Renal, General Surgery, Oncology, ICU, and Emergency departments. After completing the program, I had over 290 hours of patient care and an ardent desire to become a Physician. Now, as a Senior, I work as a First Aid Team Member for Special Events at Chapman University through the Department of Fire and Life Safety.
My clinical exposure was sufficient, but I lacked leadership and research. After approaching Dr. Frisch with my concerns, he invited me to be a part of his Bone Metabolism Lab, where I have researched about Postmenopausal Osteoporosis. I have presented my research twice at the Chapman Student Scholar Symposium, and I will be presenting at the Experimental Biology Conference in April of 2020 with hopes to publish before I graduate. With this experience under my belt, I was granted a position to be an undergraduate research assistant at UCI Medical School in the Department of Immunology.
When Dr. Richards asked me if I would be interested in a Health Sciences Internship, working as an intern in the Anatomy Lab for Spring 2019, I was excited because I loved anatomy when I took it as a Sophomore. I made a special connection with the students in the lab and discovered that I was an excellent leader and teacher. I was pleasantly surprised when Dr. Richards asked me to be a Supplemental Instructor for Anatomy Lecture the following year.
I was also a part of the American Medical Student Association, but with a confidence boost in my leadership ability, I applied to be the Public Relations Executive Board Member. As PR for AMSA, I advertise for the club and run their Instagram. We have many fun events that help other pre-med students make vital connections to get involved.
I have seen myself come full circle in four years thanks to the Chapman community and all of the support I have seen from the Health Sciences Department. I started out wondering if medical school would be attainable for me, but I now have higher hopes that I can get in, and mentors by my side to help me along the way. These are just a few of the many opportunities that are available; take advantage!