My Pre-Health Journey
Writing to you all after a very fun-filled weekend! On Friday, we had our first snowfall, so a few friends and I decided to take advantage of the bus to the Dartmouth Skiway and the fresh snow. It was awesome! Then we had our annual (but my first) snowball fight at midnight on the Green. And on Saturday, I went up to Killington with some friends—about a 45-minute drive—and would recommend it to any future Dartmouth students. Check out these photos below!
On a different note, I wanted to talk about my pre-health journey and what resources are available at Dartmouth. As someone who is very undecided on what they want to pursue, or if they even want to go into medicine, let's just say I've taken advantage of a lot of different things on campus.
First, I'll talk about classes. Last term, as you may know, I took a computer science course, biological anthropology lecture, and a seminar on authenticity. I fell in love with all three of them (which made the decision a little harder) so I wanted to try three (more) new things this term. After consulting with my general and pre-health advisors, I decided on BIOL 11: Emerging Infectious Diseases, SOCY 2: Social Problems, and GERM 7 Diversity in the Media—my first-year mandated seminar. Particularly, I'm really enjoying my biology class because it takes a whole different approach as an introductory course. So far, we've learned about some of the general basic information and experiments about bacteria and viruses and will eventually go into about ten specific diseases—one for each lecture to ensure necessary details. The professors are super engaging, and I've particularly enjoyed the quantitative perspective and using mathematical models. The course has opened my eyes to careers besides medicine in the health field, and I will be continuing this conversation with the PINE program, allowing you to take your professor(s) out to lunch once a term.
Outside of the classroom, I've engaged in many of the available resources as well. Aside from the wonderful advising team with whom you can schedule 1-on-1 meetings, I've also been in contact with my pre-health advisor, an upperclassman who offers advice in a more casual setting over lunch or coffee. They often help with guiding you through classes, extracurriculars, and some of the stigma/rumors that surround pre-health.
In terms of extracurriculars, I'm involved in research through the engineering school about modeling some of the decision-making systems in healthcare with Professor Marrero. Although we are just in the beginning stages, it's been very interesting preliminary work and I'm excited to get to know him as a mentor. I'm also involved in the shadowing program at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center where undergraduates can shadow one medical professional once a term with 140+ professions to choose from. This term I'm shadowing a rural health doctor in Vermont, one of the few opportunities outside of DHMC. Apart from that, I'm involved in DREAM (a Village Mentoring program), on the club alpine ski team, a Model UN committee lead for the World Health Organization, and work in Admissions—all of which work towards exploring existing and new passions.
Hopefully, this is helpful for those of you with an interest in pre-health, even if it's just a budding one. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions—and my best piece of advice: don't close a door you don't have to yet.
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