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Priya Mathews
Priya Mathews

UMBC Major: B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Psychology
UMBC Graduation Year: 2009
Current Institution: Johns Hopkins University Medical School
Anticipated Completion Date: 2013


UMBC’s biology curriculum really prepared me for medical school, much more than I anticipated. Classes like Cell and Devo are a great preparation for what you will see in medical school, especially the exam style. Also, I didn’t fully appreciate UMBC biology professors until I got to medical school! Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up with people from all over the world, some of them already having Ph.Ds. But trust me—UMBC is a great place to start your biology career and you will be more than ready for medical school when it comes.


I wouldn’t be in medical school if it wasn’t for the Advising Office! The whole process of applying to medical school is exhausting and painful. But the application process is not the only time for you to take advantage of your resources. It’s never too early to stop by the office and talk to Ms. Roelke to see if you are on the right track and what you can do to strengthen your chance for being accepted. For example Ms. Roelke advised me to do more community service. The staff is there to help you, be glad that you go to a school like UMBC where they actually know your name! 


College is a time to grow academically and intellectually, but also as a person. Yes, you are a pre-med student, but most importantly you are a college student trying to figure out what you would like to do for the rest of your life. So have fun and explore different options. If you really want to stand out in an application pool of 1000s—do something that interests you personally! Because no matter what it is, your enthusiasm will be evident and medical schools are looking for people from diverse backgrounds. Try not to stress too much, especially when you hear admissions statistics. Do your best, have fun, and everything else will fall into place!


I absolutely have a newfound respect for medical doctors. I knew that patients put a lot of trust in their doctors, but for the first time I have experienced this just as a medical student. People are putting their complete trust in you, and it’s really a humbling experience. You are choosing to take a path that is certainly not an easy one, but it is one of the most rewarding professions. Shadowing and volunteering at hospitals is a great way to decide whether this career is one that you will be happy with. Good luck!

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