Students Gain Early Insight into Medical School
Four Albright students were among 50 pre-med students from 19 colleges and universities to get an inside look at medical school and opportunities in primary care through Penn State College of Medicine’s annual Primary Care Scholars program, held May 21 to June 1.
This selective, two-week program allows participants to spend time with medical students and primary care physicians in a variety of practice settings, learn about the medical school application process and get introduced to curriculum.
Karen Campbell, Ph.D., P. Kenneth Nase Chair of Biology and health sciences adviser, said, “This annual program, to which we have sent Albright students for many years, provides an excellent opportunity for students to prepare stronger applications for medical school that better portray their interest and motivation. They gain feedback on their written personal statement, learn about interview skills, and have additional opportunity to experience clinical medicine,” Campbell said.
Biology and pre-med major Mara Trifoi ’20 was grateful for the opportunity to network with medical students at the Penn State College of Medicine. “I feel as though I gained a lot of insight on what other pre-medical students are doing to gain experience for medical school as well as what medical school truly entails,” Trifoi said.
Karen Alejandres ’19, also a biology and pre-med major, said she appreciated learning about the field of primary care medicine itself. “We heard various physicians tell their stories about why they chose to become primary care physicians. I really enjoyed learning the different opportunities primary care offers. If I choose this field, I can be involved in research, teaching opportunities, and even practice in hospitals,” Alejandres said.
In addition to hearing the personal stories and experiences of medical students and physicians, participants also had the opportunity to shadow a family physician, general pediatrician or general internist.
“Hershey’s strong emphasis on primary care is very well-delivered,” Campbell said. “Students gain a better appreciation for the role of primary care physicians in health care teams.”
For Alejandres, participating in the Primary Care Scholars program was one of the best experiences she’s had at Albright. “This program gave me hope that I, too, can reach my goals of becoming a physician and advocate for under-represented minorities.”