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Fall 2020 Freshman Premedical Orientation

HPPLC Director and Pre-med advisor Rachel Tolen welcomes new undergraduate students and shares information to help students prepare for medical school while completing their IU Bloomington undergraduate degrees.

Description of the video:

thank you so much for tuning in to this
presentation tonight
my name is rachel tolin and i'm the
director of the health professions and
pre-law center at
indiana university i hope you've had a
good experience so far
as an indiana university student
so i want to take a moment to take
attendance of everyone
who has tuned in tonight so we're going
to ask you to use your phone or a
to log your attendance so we're going to
show you a slide
and here's the slide
and you can use the qr code or the tiny
url here
and i want to give you a moment to go in
to log your attendance
all right thank you so tonight we are
going to talk about the things you
should do to prepare for medical school
many of the things i will outline you
will do over the next four years not
this semester
so do not feel that you have to do
everything immediately
in fact for your first semester your
most important focus should be on just
doing well in your classes
and making the adjustment to college
there is no rush to do very much more
than that
you will want to use this first semester
and first year in college to develop
your study skills
and select or confirm your choice of a
you are beginning college in a unique
historical moment
with many challenges posed by the
covid19 pandemic
but there are also opportunities
i would guess that some of you may be
feeling that things are not quite how
you envisioned
they would be when you imagined starting
we also have new opportunities
more than previous classes at iu you
will be asked to think always about the
welfare of others
for instance when you are asked to wear
a face covering
and keep socially distanced
you have the opportunity to adopt in
your daily life
the same kind of mindset and actions
that physicians put into practice and we
will talk more about the professionalism
that guides physicians later tonight
i want to tell you also that we are here
for you the health professions and
pre-law center is here for you
tonight you will hear from former iu
students who are now medical students
and residents people who are completing
their training
that comes after medical school in a
specialty area
and you will hear also from advisors at
the health professions and pre-law
who are here to support you
i hope that you'll feel a part of the
indiana university community
that surrounds you and is here to
support you in your goal of becoming a
one of the things that you will also
want to do is meet with your assigned
for many of you that is a university
division advisor
for some it may be an advisor in
business or biology
or another academic department if you
have specific questions about scheduling
or your choice of a major you will want
to see your assigned advisor
our office the health professions and
pre-law center provides training to
all across campus so they are
knowledgeable on pre-medical coursework
and many of the other steps you should
your assigned advisor can be a very
valuable resource for you
and that person can also help you fully
explore many of your other interests
besides the possibility of medical
tonight we are going to give you an
overview of the process of preparing for
medical school
you are all here today because you have
imagined yourself
in the role of caring for the health and
of others as a physician that's a very
admirable role to imagine for yourself
tonight we are going to talk about how
you can go about planning your college
so that you can meet that goal one day
because there are certain things that
you need to do
now i wondered if anyone who has tuned
in tonight
is concerned that they already made some
mistake or have some problem that will
prevent them from ever getting into
medical school
anyone worried they may not have all the
right classes
anyone worried they are already so far
behind in their homework
and reading that they will never recover
and never get into medical school
because of a bad grade
their first semester it would not
surprise me if some people felt that way
and i'm here to tell you not to worry
there's no way that by the second week
of classes
in your first semester of your freshman
year of college
you could have done anything that will
prevent you from getting into medical
as long as you are willing to work hard
it's impossible there is still hope for
there are a number of things you will
need to do to be successful
it will not be easy and you will have to
work very very hard
and you will need to develop very strong
abilities in a number of different areas
first and foremost you will need to get
a good
undergraduate education and build strong
skills in a number of different areas to
prepare for medical school
from the start your focus should be on
preparing for a career in medicine
not just on preparing to apply to
medical school
not just on what will look good on your
application later on
the key is getting a good education
one of the first questions freshmen
often have when they get to campus
is what's the best major for someone who
wants to go to medical school
actually there's no answer to that
question there's no
best major for medical school iu does
not have a pre-med major
and medical schools are not particularly
interested in accepting students who've
done pre-med majors
you will need to select one of the
majors offered at indiana university
traditionally specialized study in
has been carried out after a broad
course of study in college
and the completion of an undergraduate
often a degree in the liberal arts and
by a liberal education we mean an
education that broadens a student's
in the major areas of human knowledge
including the physical and biological
and academic disciplines exploring the
historical and cultural aspects of human
a liberal education begins with the
premise that one's world
and oneself are worth knowing and to
understand our world
we must know something about its
physical biological
cognitive social and cultural dimensions
and you can recognize how medicine
involves all those areas
the physical the biological the
cognitive the social
and cultural medical schools have
continued to have
some preference for students completing
a broad liberal education
at the undergraduate level before they
specialize in medicine
now why would that be why do they feel
that students need this preparation
well consider the qualities that make
someone a good physician
what skills and personal qualities does
a good physician have
well first competency in science of
a strong foundation in the sciences is
important and
essential whatever else you have you
need that
it doesn't matter how compassionate and
kind you are
if you don't have a command of the
science behind medicine
forget it good physicians also need
decision making skills physicians need
decision-making skills to help them
choose a course of treatment with a
physicians also need analytical skills
they need to be able to analyze complex
from different points of view they need
problem solving skills those are
important in diagnosis and treatment
and they also need good communication
good communication skills are essential
in working with patients
an understanding of language use is
essential for physicians
now are people just born with all these
skills and qualities
no they learn and develop them and
medical schools have found that
future physicians can learn and develop
these skills
best through a broad undergraduate
in which they develop their intellectual
and the personal maturity needed to deal
with the many pressures
and demands they will face in
functioning as a physician
before they have to specialize in
medicine is in some ways unique among
it is firmly grounded in the sciences
centered on the human condition and our
vulnerability to illness
and medicine reflects very human
for life for health for well-being for
social fulfillment
this is undoubtedly why we value
medicine so much
and why so many people are so attracted
to a medical career
because medicine relates to many of our
most fundamental
hopes and wishes
many students think that they must major
in biology if they want to go to medical
but medical schools tell us something
different medical school admissions
officials tell us
that they do not have a preference for a
particular major
they want to make sure that you have a
strong foundation in science
but they do not require you to have a
major in the sciences
now you do not need to take my word on
what do i know why should you believe me
i'm not a physician i'm an
anthropologist by training
why should you believe well you might
want to take the word
of dr thomas lentz md chair of the
admissions committee at yale he writes
regarding your major it is a fallacy
that you have to major in the sciences
to be
accepted to medical school it is true
that most entrants have majored in
science but that is because most
applicants have majored in science
remember that all you have to do is
complete the basic pre-medical
in order to apply to medical school you
are then free to select whatever field
of study most
interests you if you are inclined
to study an area in the humanities by
all means pursue it
if you enjoy the sciences most major in
a scientific field
he also writes the worst thing you can
do is plan your entire undergraduate
with the sole goal of getting into
medical school
obviously you should be aware of the
requirements and make plans to satisfy
but do not become obsessed with or
preoccupied with
competition or grades or with what
particular courses
or activities might look best on your
please heed these words focus on getting
a good
education do not only focus
on what will look good on your
application later on
do not make this mistake
for medical schools the major you select
does not matter
as much as what you learn and the kinds
of skills and competencies you build
medical schools look at your application
for evidence
of competencies some of these are
competencies in the sciences
biology chemistry and physics some of
are competencies outside of the sciences
particularly social and cultural
you need to develop a wide array of
and this should be your focus think
about your whole education
as building skills that will help you
you must develop both your scientific
and skills in other areas
the point is that there is not one
particular major that is the best
the best major for you is one that
interests you and helps you develop a
wide range of intellectual skills
one of the most important things i'll
say is that your major
should be a field in which you excel it
should represent an area of strength for
ideally you should be earning strong
grades in your major
if you find you or not it could be an
indication that you are not
in the right major for you either
because it's not an
area of strength for you academically or
maybe it turns out to be an area that
does not interest you
as much as you thought
now although your choice of a major is
open there are some things that you
absolutely must
do you will need to take certain courses
that will be important for building the
competencies required for medical school
so now i am going to go to the health
professions and pre-law center website
because i want to show you where you can
find information
on preparing for medical school so
i'm going to show you a section on the
health professions
and pre-law center website here is our
and specifically if you go to this the
lc guidebook or hiplik guidebook
students often call us hipliq
you will find a section on medicine
it provides a lot of guidance on
preparing for medical school
specifically if you go to the academic
section and click on pre-medical
here you will find information on the
courses that are required
for admission to medical school and if
you scroll down
open up where it says course
requirements for the iu school of
here you will find information on the
courses required for admission to the iu
school of medicine
and other medical schools will want to
see the same
set of courses as well here you can see
that you will need to complete one year
general or inorganic chemistry one year
of organic chemistry one year of physics
and one year of biology
all with lecture and lab you will also
need to complete
coursework in biochemistry and
coursework in the behavioral
and social sciences specifically
psychology and statistics
you need to take a lot of chemistry so
you should start the chemistry early
so you can get through all of those
courses you do not want to wait until
your junior year to start taking
but if you are not in chemistry this
semester don't worry
you can talk to your academic advisor
about that
and you can start taking chemistry next
semester i would recommend that you do
taking chemistry next semester if you
there isn't only one correct order to
complete all your pre-med coursework
but generally many people complete the
inorganic and organic chemistry
requirements by the spring of the
sophomore year
and complete the biology requirements by
the spring of the sophomore or junior
and take physio physics in your junior
taking biochemistry perhaps also in your
junior year
the year you may wish to take the mcat
whatever you do do not view your science
as just part of a checklist of tasks to
get out of the way
before you rush on to medical school
your you should view these courses as a
means to develop
critical competencies in the sciences
to help you prepare for the mcat exam
and for medical school
most students find these courses much
more challenging
than they anticipated even the students
who made straight a's in high school
one of the things that is important is
that you plan to devote about 30 hours
per week
to outside of class to class preparation
reading studying writing papers and lab
students who are successful in gaining
to medical school usually are devoting
about 30 hours outside of class to
academic preparation on their own
also for admission to some med schools
you will need extra
courses besides those that i mentioned
many medical schools require one or two
semesters of english
you can look at our website for
information on
how to choose courses to fulfill english
a very small number of med schools have
a math requirement
and sometimes this is for calculus there
is really only a small chance that
you'll actually need to take calculus
you can refer to our website for more
information on pre-medical coursework
as important as completing these courses
in the sciences
is how you approach them
some students treat these courses as
sort of just a checklist
you don't want to do that these courses
are there to help you build competencies
in certain areas and that's how you want
to think about them
on the mcat there are four sections
two of the sections deal with content in
the natural sciences
including biology chemistry and physics
a third section focuses on behavioral
and social science content
reflecting a concern for the importance
of sociocultural and behavioral
determinants of health
and health outcomes what does that mean
well it's been recognized
that an individual's health is not just
determined by
genes and biology but cultural and
social factors such as diet
lifestyle access to resources and living
a fourth section of the mcat tests your
verbal abilities
and critical reasoning skills this
asks you to critically analyze
from a wide range of social science and
humanities disciplines
for this section of the mcat the best
way to prepare may be
to be adventuresome and wide-ranging and
your choice of courses
outside of the natural sciences
so coursework in anthropology culture
and communication
sociology and other disciplines that
emphasize cross-cultural analysis
may be particularly beneficial
there is also an emphasis on research
methods and statistical reasoning
in many of the questions on the mcat
if you plan to go straight into medical
school after you complete your senior
year of college
a good plan would be to take the mcat
early in the summer
after your junior year and be ready to
apply to medical school early in the
summer between your junior
and senior year to do that you will need
to complete
coursework in biology inorganic
organic chemistry biochemistry
physics psychology sociology and
statistics all before the mcat
those are a lot of courses so you should
know that
you do not have to apply after your
junior year if you don't want to
you can take a gap year you if you would
like you can wait and apply after your
senior year
you can have a gap year one year between
undergrad and med school
to work or do something else gain other
types of experiences
your pre-med coursework will give you
the basic content and the basic
you need for the mcat in the science
but the mcat is not just a test of
the mcat is a test of your reasoning
abilities in the sciences
and your critical reasoning abilities
the mcat requires you to be able to
independently apply
scientific principles in analysis and
problem solving
you will need to develop very strong
reasoning skills for the mcat
and this should be your focus in your
not just in your science classes but in
your non-science classes too
focus on what you are learning
later on as you prepare you should take
many mcat practice tests
so why is the mcat not just a test in
the sciences
why does a lot of it focus on your
verbal abilities and skills and critical
well a good physician must have good
analytical skills
and skills in synthesizing information
good physicians also need
good communication skills and you
typically develop these skills to a
greater degree
in reading courses in the humanities and
social sciences
earlier i said that an understanding of
language use is essential for a
just stop and imagine the thousands of
interactions a day that take place
between doctors and patients
in which patients describe their
and doctors must listen skillfully
and ask all the right questions and then
make sure
they communicate about the proper course
of treatment
to the patient and to other health care
the process of diagnosis
and treatment is highly dependent on
language on language
so it is through language that
physicians diagnose and prescribe
to treatment doctors need to understand
how their patients use language to
and be able to ask patients the right
so any courses that focus on language
on how humans communicate on social
can be very helpful and i would
encourage you to look for these kinds of
courses to include
in your education doesn't matter if the
courses have
anything to do with medicine you will
find such courses
across campus in many departments
communication and culture
anthropology sociology political science
linguistics folklore psychology many
other departments
it doesn't matter if the courses have to
do specifically with medicine
if they are teaching you about language
communication and social interaction
they can be very valuable for you
and preparing to become a physician
in addition to the competencies you
build through coursework
there are many other important
activities that will help you prepare
and build competencies that are
important for medical school
eventually we would encourage you to
shadow physicians
and get involved in volunteering perhaps
in a hospital setting
but this might not be possible right now
due to the covid19 pandemic
so we encourage you now to think about
the realities of what a physician does
and consider
how you think your own personality and
fit that role as i mentioned earlier
physicians must be guided by
professionalism in their actions
and i'm going to introduce you to
another pre-med advisor
david owen who will share some thoughts
with you about developing
professionalism david has
over 20 years of experience helping
students prepare for medical school and
he worked for many years at the
university of chicago
in the office of medical school
admissions as well
so he bases his advice on considerable
so david thank you rachel
one of the words you'll encounter early
and often as you prepare for korean
medicine is professionalism
in medicine this word has many facets in
the journal of american medical
association article
rem epsin and em heber describe it i
professional competence is the habitual
and judicious use of communication
knowledge technical skills clinical
emotions values and reflection and daily
practice for the benefit of the
and the community being served now this
might sound a bit daunting
and like it's for the future future
version of you but in reality most of it
applies to you now
professionalism isn't just something
bestowed on you at graduation from med
it's a mindset you adopt as soon as you
decide medicine is your career choice
let's unpack that quote for a moment
there are three components in that
that i'll highlight for you the first is
the habitual and judicious use
habits don't just happen they're
intentional behaviors which when done
often enough
become a habit so at the start of your
development of professionalism
you have to think about it you have to
to develop these skills it's also
judicious use
you won't stop thinking about your
behaviors at some point in the future
you continue to assess if your action is
appropriate for the situation
the second part of this is reflection
this is also intentional
in this context reflection is thinking
about your actions with others
and figuring out how your impact on the
person and how
you accomplished it how did the person
what did the person need and how did you
meet that need
for example if they were anxious how did
you help them feel less anxious and
perhaps develop perspective on the
maybe maybe you're volunteering at a
long-term rehab facility
you take care of your tasks with the
clients but you also hang around and
talk let them talk
tell them your story or talk to them
about their day
what was the impact in your life maybe
their room is cleaner
or they have fresh sheets but what did
staying to talk to them do for them
i encourage you to each month or more
often if you wish
think about someone's life you
positively impacted and write a short
about what they needed and how you
impacted them
save those stories this writing is like
except that you're digging into the
experience not just recording it
if you have students applying to med
school now i suspect most
will tell you that they wish they had
begun the reflection in writing
when they were starting college you'll
use these stories in your med school
but more to the point you're developing
the third part is for the benefit of the
and community you're doing this both for
the good you gain from it
as well as the good the community gains
from your efforts
a pragmatic and important example of
professionalism is all around you
the pandemic is present presenting
challenges for you as you enter college
but it also provides opportunities
for future health professionals you are
being asked to take certain actions
such as wearing a face mask social
distancing and monitoring your own
this gives you the chance to put into
practice the kind of ethical principle
principles that guide doctors and their
actions physicians must always be
thinking about how to act for the
of others so every time you take actions
help protect others such as putting on a
face mask
think about how you're building the
mindset you'll need as a health care
provider in the future
every time you take those actions think
about how
it could protect a friend's parent or
your fellow students especially those
who have medical conditions that make
them more vulnerable
think about how you are modeling good
behavior for your friends and others
who see you setting an example of how to
act in a conscientious
manner behaving in a professional manner
isn't always easy or convenient but it
is what you've decided to pursue
so begin now the intentional and
judicious use of your interpersonal
and reflect on your actions so by the
time you get to med school
your professionalism will be both
habitual and judicious
thanks for the opportunity to talk to
you and i wish you the best in your
thank you very much for sharing your
insights david
medical schools are also interested in
students who are committed to serving
others so now i would like to introduce
to amanda posto a pre-med advisor at
who has helped many students on their
journey to medical school
amanda rachel
thank you for inviting me to speak
tonight medical schools do desire
students who are committed to helping
volunteering allows you to evidence that
commitment and build skills that will
help you
in your future work with patients many
students come
and talk to me and ask where should i
what would look best to medical schools
medical schools want you to be
self-directed they want you to choose
where you think it would be most
important to volunteer where you could
have the greatest impact
so right now i'd like you to take a
moment and just imagine
if you were given the power to change
one thing in the world
what would you choose if you had the
power to change one thing in the world
what would it be think about it
now that you've thought about that
question think about ways you might be
able to make
at least a small impact a way that you
could volunteer in your community
that could have a small impact on that
problem that matters to you
due to the covet 19 pandemic it may be
challenging to volunteer
in the same ways as in the past and you
may need to wait until later
to do more volunteering also it's
important to start slow
and give yourself time to adjust to
college life during your first semester
at iu
here are some ways that you could
consider volunteering
if you're home now or when you go home
be an
active helpful member of your community
volunteer to cover child
care for family members or neighbors or
deliver groceries to the elderly
if you're part of a religious community
see if there are ways that you can
provide support through them
check with organizations where you
volunteered in the past to see if you
can step back into previous roles
mutual aid usa can connect you with
community-led responses to the kovid 19
pandemic in your area
your local chapter of the united way can
help connect you with non-profits and
opportunities in your community you
might donate blood
and volunteer with a local blood drive
food pantries soup kitchens homeless
shelters are in need of volunteers
you can find your local food pantry at
and meals on wheels america can help
connect you with meal delivery programs
you might help in the upcoming election
and help register voters on campus
or volunteer to be a poll worker you
will have your own ideas too
give some thought in the coming weeks
and make a plan for one or two
where you could contribute when you're
home for virtual learning
or during the winter break again
start slow and give yourself some time
to adjust to college life too
we are here to help you think about the
impact that you can make in your
whether that's on campus or in your own
in your home
in your hometown and the impact you can
make in the lives of others
thank you very much for sharing your
advice amanda
so at this point i know that some of you
could be feeling a little overwhelmed or
not not
know what you should do and i want to
introduce you to someone who has been in
your shoes
andre small just graduated from iu
in may 2020 and he's starting at harvard
medical school this fall
and he's going to share some advice with
all of you
andre hey everybody
welcome to iu bloomington and
on embarking on your pre-medical journey
i vividly remember sitting anxiously in
the imu auditorium
among a sea of students aspiring to
attend medical school one day
it was both daunting and exciting
i met with rachel tolen shortly
afterward explaining to her that i was a
first generation college student
had no physicians in my family and a
meager science background
medical school seemed like an
unattainable goal
many of you may feel similarly there are
some things i've learned along the way
that i think will help you rise above
any obstacles
and succeed in achieving your medical
school dreams
first commit yourself to this journey
this was the key characteristic i found
that set the ones who were successful
apart from those who were not so
what does commitment look like
looks like walking across campus on a
friday afternoon after a long week of
labs exams research and volunteering
to attend your professor's office hours
while your friends are back preparing to
go out for the night
sacrificing summer vacations and spring
break trips with friends
in order to gain clinical experience or
research projects walking straight
through a crowd of students headed to
the tailgating fields
on a saturday morning so you can go take
an eight-hour practice mcat exam at the
and then spending the next day reviewing
every single question
remember that as pre-medical students
your undergraduate career will look very
differently than other students from
different majors
it will be challenging yet rewarding
second have fortitude
how will you respond when you get a low
exam score
will you throw your exam in the trash
and hope to perform better next time
or will you critically analyze every
and address your misunderstandings at iu
you will be faced with an endless number
of distractions
it will take an enormous amount of
discipline to avoid them
and your friends and family may not
it may be uncomfortable for some of your
peers when you are consistently
outperforming them
on exams due to your work ethic and they
may try to make you feel guilty
about the time you are investing in
i encourage you to unapologetically
to be the best student you can be
compare yourself
only to the student you were yesterday
and always keep in mind
where you want to be at the end of these
four years
lastly be in love with the process
you all are not merely college students
you are future physicians think of
and carry yourself as such continually
remind yourselves how fortunate you are
to wake up every day and have the
opportunity to chase your dreams
your medical training will be long
the temptation to believe your life will
begin once you get into medical school
or once you become
a physician your life is now
and you want to enjoy every step of the
when you're studying for organic
chemistry or physics don't be the
student who complains about how
seemingly irrelevant a concept is for
your future career
instead take pride in your ability to
learn how to solve
complex problems and build strong study
habits that will serve you well beyond
your time
at iu even though it was a grind
i reminisce about my iu days with such
joy and contentment
you want to be able to look back and
have no regrets about the decisions you
and be able to truthfully say that you
gave it your all
you all are at an amazing institution
that has
all the resources you need to succeed
it will be up to you to learn how to use
i'll leave you with some wise words from
the great kobe bryant
when you retire and the championship
trophies are sitting there
and dust collects on them you really
want to create something that stands the
test of time
the most important thing is to try and
inspire people
so that they can be great in whatever
they want to do
so even in your own pursuit of
remember that you are setting an example
every day for those around you
recognize the power in that and help
others along the way
i am excited for you all best of luck on
your journeys
thank you very much andre and good luck
in medical school this year
so i want to take a moment and pause
here to talk about something else
one thing i've often pondered is what
does it mean when an incoming
freshman student says they are pre-med
since pre-med is not a major at iu what
does it mean to say you are pre-med
in advising i've found that students can
many different things when they say they
are pre-med
in some cases i found it means i was a
really good science student in high
school and my teachers told me that i
should be a doctor
sometimes it can mean i want people to
look up to me and respect
sometimes i found it means i've never
been to a doctor who looks like me
or speaks my language and no one from my
local community
has ever become a doctor i want to show
others from my community that they can
do it
other times i found it means i lost my
and i want so badly to be able to change
that situation
i'd like to suggest that you think about
what it means to you
when you say you are pre-med
one of the things that you have to do is
just decide whether you want to be a
to help you think about what this career
is like we've invited
some former iu students to share their
so now i'd like to introduce you to
another iu alum
who graduated from harvard medical
school dr
raymond parish he is now a resident
in internal medicine at massachusetts
general hospital in boston
where he has been taking care of covid19
in the icu he has plans to pursue a
in pulmonary and critical care medicine
following residency so dr parrish
so being a doctor is an amazing
it is an incredibly unique blend of
mastering scientific concepts and
technical skills while also being this
delicate art of getting to know people
building relationships with people that
can last even decades
in the process of training to be a
doctor from the very beginning as a
pre-med at iu
through medical school and now near the
end of my residency
is one that really transforms to
everything about you
you know beyond just making you
qualified to do a job becoming a doctor
changes you
it's certainly a challenging process but
every step
really expands the limits of your
capabilities and
ultimately makes you see the world
differently it encourages you to always
think in terms of
okay here's the problem how can i use
all of my skills to fix it
and that applies to your life very much
you know
even more so than uh your work day today
and as you likely know becoming a doctor
is a very challenging journey
from the very beginning it challenges
you and continuously pushes your limits
for the most part though succeeding
largely comes down to dedication and
putting in the hard work necessary to
get there
when i was in your shoes i certainly was
not the smartest or
the most prepared to be pre-med at the
beginning of college but i learned the
ropes from
older students and those that came
before me and many of the excellent
mentors around iu's campus and
just focused on working hard at what i
was doing kind of one day at a time
and it really comes back to what
motivates you to want to be a doctor
because that motivation is
what will keep you going when the work
is hard and the path is challenging
the journey is absolutely worth it
though the first
time you walk into the hospital and meet
a patient you're
actually able to help them because what
you've studied all these years and what
you've learned is
the best feeling in the world some of
these patients that
really stick out in my mind or some of
the patients i've cared for during the
cold pandemic
especially those patients i've cared for
in the icu
they were extremely ill some nearly
dying and
it really took all of my knowledge and
all of the skills that i built
all of these years even dating back to
some of the fundamental concepts i
learned in
you know the physics classes and organic
chemistry classes you all are
about to start taking in order to help
these coping patients get through this
terrible disease watching them
get better because of my interventions
and talking with them and working with
their families through these challenging
you know even now starting to see them
come into my clinic fully recovered
and back to their lives is what makes
this kind of thing all worth it
we all have you know different reasons
for getting into this
but those kind of things are what we all
have to look forward to
at the end of this and make every single
hard night of studying
for all of us here is extremely worth it
you know that's the kind of reward
that's waiting for all of you at the end
of this journey so
hang in there guys and best of luck this
is only the beginning of
an amazing adventure thank you so much
dr parish for sharing your experiences
and thank you for all that you do to
take care of patients
now i'd also like to introduce you to
another iu alum
dr kayla zorn she just completed a
general surgery residency at tulane
and now she has just started a vascular
surgery fellowship
at loyola university in chicago dr zorn
hi everyone my name is kayla zorn i
graduated from indiana university
undergrad in 2011 and went on to
study medicine at indiana university in
and graduated in 2015 after that i
a career in general surgery at tulane
in new orleans and i just finished my
residency there and graduated
this past june and now i'm starting a
two-year fellowship in vascular surgery
at loyola
university in chicago um
so i'm here to just give a little bit of
advice to
you guys who are starting your
undergraduate careers
and are thinking maybe you want to go
into medicine
it's definitely a hard path but it's
really rewarding and i want to share
with you a few pieces of advice i got
along the way
i think that one of the most important
things when you're starting your
undergraduate career is to know that
your gpa
is going to be made in your first three
so after that if you've done a great job
it's going to be really
hard to hurt your gpa
but it's also going to be hard to make
it better that's just because with
the more and more credit hours that you
get it's going to be harder to
make a bigger impact on your gpa so
make sure that when you start off you
are working really hard
you don't need to be worried if one
class is difficult
but you don't want an entire semester to
be ruined because it's going to be
really hard
to improve your gpa after that
the next thing that's really important
not only in undergrad but
throughout your entire career is
mentorship so
i am a very shy person
and it was really scary for me to go up
to people and
ask them for advice especially you know
these doctors that
have done so much training and just were
like idols to me
but it's been one of the most important
things that have impacted my career
along the way
luckily with iu um you have great people
there that can help you
rachel was my mentor and she reached out
to me to talk to you guys today
um i also was part of the hudson and
holland program this hudson holland
scholarship program and dan woodside
was one of my mentors who even when i
matched into fellowship i emailed him
and i stayed i still stay in close
contact with him now
do what that does is it will expose you
to the career of medicine
i really didn't know what it meant to be
a doctor
other than you know going to my doctor
and so by finding a different physicians
different types of physicians that you
can shadow
you'll get a little glimpse into the
world to help you know
if that's something that you're
interested in and when you shadow these
people make sure you ask them
what they like about their specialty or
medicine in general
what they don't like about it i can
almost guarantee that every physician
you talk to is gonna say that they don't
like paperwork
there's a lot of paperwork if you don't
like doing paperwork don't go into
because god will follow you for the rest
of your life if you don't like taking
don't go into medicine because you're
gonna have a test every year for the
rest of your life
most likely um another thing
that's really important for undergrad is
extracurricular activity so
you don't necessarily have to do
something in the world of medicine
i volunteered and taught swimming
lessons with special needs kids
um i was a volleyball coach during
college i actually played club
a little bit i.e too if you're
interested in research
getting involved with research is really
important but regardless of whatever
is um extracurricular activities will
not only
provide you with the opportunity to find
mentors but also show that you're
a well-rounded person and if you do
decide to go into medicine
they're going to be looking at that to
know that you're
you know not just focusing on school
you're not just
an amazing student that's it but that
you have other
interests or other parts of your life
that you can excel in
as far as medicine is concerned i think
that one thing
i didn't really understand when i first
started looking at
what it would take to be a doctor is how
the process is so you'll go through four
years of undergrad
and in your fourth year you'll take the
and applied for medical school then
after that medical school is
four years so typically the first one
and a half to two years is
all in the classroom so you're taking
lectures on anatomy physiology
you're learning a lot of information
very quickly the second half of medical
school is your clinical years
where you will chat or you'll work on
and you'll go through different
specialties so surgery pediatrics
neurology etc
and your fourth and final year typically
you can kind of tailor to what your
interests are
and then after that you go on to
residency so
not only do you have four years of
medical school but then you also have to
complete a residency to be a physician
and those depending on the specialty
range from
three years to seven years
after that so i did my general surgery
residency that was five years
and i could go out into the world and be
a general surgeon
right now but i want to specialize a
little bit more
and do vascular surgery so i'm adding
another two years to my training
so total amount of time
after undergrad training was 11 years
it's a long time it's definitely worth
um but you know it all starts
right now for you guys and it's really
important for you
to explore the field
get exposure to it and set yourself up
for success
thank you dr zorn for sharing your
advice and thank you for all that you do
for patients
all right before we close i want to tell
you more about the services
of the health professions and pre-law
center and other steps you should take
when it comes time to apply you should
make use of the services of our office
the process of applying as to
professional school is complicated
but we are here to help you can schedule
appointments with advisors through the
student appointment scheduler
go to the hiplik website for more
information on that
you have to submit your application a
year in advance at least
so for instance if you want to start
medical school
in fall 2024 you should complete the
pre-med courses needed for the mcat by
spring of 2023
take the mcat in summer of 2023
and apply in the summer of 2023
applications for most schools are done
through one
centralized online application service a
common app
you submit this application online and
it is sent to the schools where you want
to apply
and we can help you with this process
the application asks for information on
your experiences and activities
but you will not just list them you will
write about each activity
and what you learn through the
the application also requires you to
write a personal statement
also part of this process will be an
where you will be invited to interview
faculty of the medical school and we can
help you prepare for all of these steps
also as part of the application you will
have to submit letters of recommendation
from your professors so you will want to
get to know your professors
make use of your professors from the
smaller non-science classes
where you can get to know your
professors better and obtain
letters of recommendation as well as of
course your science professors
and you can refer to our website for
more information
on recommendation letters
our office also offers a low-cost prep
course for the mcat
exam we hire experienced iu instructors
to teach in each area of the mcat
and you may be interested in taking this
course later on
if you decide that you don't want to go
to medical school you want to go to law
our office also provides support for
pre-law students
if you decide you want to be a physical
therapist or a dentist for instance
our office can help you prepare for
those fields
as well we are here to help you
throughout your college career and
that is the purpose of the health
professions and pre-law center
all right we are almost at the end of
our time tonight
i have just some final thoughts now for
you to consider
medicine will change by the time you
graduate from medical school
diseases change treatments change
our knowledge of biology and genetics
and we've seen this dramatically this
year due to the covid19 pandemic
the way that medicine is organized is
always changing
according to the changes going on in our
medicine may seem to be based on
timeless biological principles
but it is not medicine is always
practiced in a particular
social and historical context which is
always changing
so you must be prepared to deal with
again we've seen this dramatically this
year due to the pandemic
the best thing you can do now is get a
good education to help you deal with
the best way to prepare for change in
your career and profession
will be to get the skills you will need
continue to learn throughout your life
and throughout a long career
as a physician
being a better educated person will help
so use your time here at indiana
university well
each of you is here because you have
imagined yourself
in the role of caring for the health and
well-being of others
and in doing so that you would make a
promise to be there
for other people at possibly the most
difficult times of their lives
the practice of medicine touches on many
of the most personal
and elemental aspects of the human
our physical vulnerability to illness
our fears and our mortality and it takes
a special kind of person
and a special kind of dedication to
imagine yourself
taking on that role for you
the first question should be do i really
want to be a doctor
the major questions you have to ask
yourself are
is medicine for you do you really want
to be a physician
you have four years to answer that
question by the way
you do not have to know that tonight
i have to tell you also that not
everyone who starts out in college as
ends up going to medical school
but learn one important thing now do not
let your self-worth be defined
by being admitted to medical school
remember that you are more than that
remember also that there are many ways
to work in health care
and you want to find the best fit for
also many of you are here tonight
because you want to help people
you have basic human values that lead
you to want to serve your communities
know that there are many ways to do this
and you might be someone who comes up
with an entirely new idea
to help your community
in the next four years you have the
opportunity to learn about so many ways
to help better humanity
that is something that indiana
university does
exceedingly well
some students get so focused on going to
medical school
that they actually overlook many of the
other ways that they could help people
so don't make this mistake
i have one more recommendation for each
of you tonight
after this presentation just take a
and sit down and write for yourself
about why you want to be a doctor
it can be a few sentences or a paragraph
you may find yourself filling up a whole
have you had a personal experience with
illness that has
influenced you do you just love science
did you really like your doctor growing
up and you always admired them
and wanted to be like them
be honest write it for yourself you
don't ever have to show it to anyone
but we recommend for everyone that they
start a file on their computer start a
file on your computer for this for a
pre-med journal i recommend this to
every student
this can be a very valuable tool if you
start this file on your computer you can
go there at any time
to write about any thoughts you have
about what excites you about medicine
how you got interested in becoming a
when you are volunteering with community
you can write about your experiences in
your journal
this journal can be very helpful when
you write your personal statement later
for your application and when you get
ready for interviews
it will be a very valuable resource for
you when you get ready to apply
you can get started on this process
tonight if you want
three years from now you may go back and
read what you wrote your freshman year
maybe you will say wow was i naive
maybe you will say i still feel that way
i know that this is the right decision
for me
your college education your future as a
medical student
and a physician can only be enriched by
taking some time now
for self-reflection and an honest
of your talents interests abilities and
you will be happy one day if you have
taken some time to do that
your patients will be happy also you can
a better doctor one day if you take the
time to do this now
you have the next four years to get a
good education
and that is the very best thing that you
can do
for yourself and the patients that you
may treat one day
so that's the end of this evening's
thank you so much for joining us and
good luck to you all

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