Pre-Medicine in a Pandemic
Hanan Mohammed is a current freshmen at the University of Michigan- Dearborn. When she's not pursuing her journey in medicine, she enjoys spending time with her family, learning new languages, and travelling. She is passionate about reinforcing the patient-physician relationship, promoting interdisciplinary learning, and developing avenues for adequate global medicine.
In the midst of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, my pre-medical journey took a big hit. As a freshman in college, I had initially intended to shadow multiple doctors of differing specialties to see which profession I liked best. However, with the new age of social distancing, this quickly became impossible. In a desperate, last-minute attempt to salvage my necessary shadowing experience, I resorted to the world’s best information epicenter: Google. After a few Google searches, I landed on the website of an organization that arranges virtual pre-health shadowing opportunities for all students. It sounded way too good to be true, but I decided to give it a try regardless.
After only one session with Dr. Keerti Shah, I realized I had hit the jackpot. Not only did the organization connect you to multiple mentors with different specialties, but they also offered free award certificates, multiple volunteer opportunities, and a chance to join the student volunteer team. Additionally, the pre-health speakers themselves were extremely helpful, offering advice and tips to future students. Among the advice that Dr. Shah shared, what stood out to me was that average grades and test scores were not a fatal blow, but a possible chance of redemption. In order to make connections with mentors and professionals, sometimes all you need to do is send a cold email. Lastly, perhaps the most important thing she shared was “You can do it. You will get into medical school. You’re going to do this”, an affirmation that is simple yet powerful. Often, in the journey of balancing leadership positions, excellent grades, extracurricular opportunities, mentorship experiences, and more, we feel overwhelmed and incapable. But as Dr. Shah mentioned, all it takes is the simple confirmation of “Yes, I can doit” to refocus and renew your determination.
Pre-Health Shadowing (PHS) is a wonderful non-profit organization created by students to provide opportunities for pre-health students to gain experience and education in the world of careers available to them in health and medicine. Students who are interested in developing their skills and knowledge in project management should volunteer with PHS! Another way to gain experience is actively participating in shadowing sessions and taking advantage of the live sessions through notetaking and asking questions directly to the speaker.