UMBC Major: Biological Sciences
UMBC Graduation: 2007
Current Institution: University of Maryland School of Medicine
Anticipated Completion Date: 2013
Soon after I arrived at medical school I realized how well UMBC had prepared me for my current studies. I transferred to UMBC from a small school in North Carolina, and I’m so glad that I transitioned to medical school from a larger university. At UMBC, I learned time management skills and how to absorb a large amount of material quickly and effectively. With my first round of exams, I could see how relevant my UMBC coursework was to my current classes and how well the faculty prepared me for what I’m doing today. Even the electives I took at UMBC helped me to round out my education and develop a point of view on different topics.
As a working student, I was appreciative of the efficiency of the Advising Office staff. The information available to me helped me to make my own decisions while feeling nurtured at the same time. The HPEC process was extremely helpful and made the AMCAS application almost easy. By the time I completed my personal statement, it had been reviewed and edited multiple times so I knew it was good!
Every UMBC student should consider becoming involved in research while an undergrad. There are many opportunities to work with great faculty on topics that are very relevant. I have found that there is very little time for this in medical school and wish I had taken advantage of research opportunities while at UMBC. I am happy that I participated in a service-learning placement at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center while an undergrad. It was very good exposure and allowed me to see things from a first-hand perspective.
Medicine is a wonderful field with plenty of opportunities to create the experiences you want to have. But it is a massive amount of work so students considering medical school should be absolutely certain that this is the field for them. I think it’s a good idea to travel or work a bit before entering medical school so you are sure that nothing else will “fit” as well as a medical career. Take the time to know yourself. The knowledge will help you during the interview process, during sleepless nights of studying, and when interacting with fellow students. The diversity and camaraderie among the students goes beyond “typical” academics and makes for very interesting classes…and it makes it fun, too!