Author: Raia Khan
Raia Khan is from Texas and is a high school junior at Westlake Academy. She has already started to prepare herself and is wanting to pursue a career in the medical field. Her aunt’s dedication to medicine inspired her to learn more, which she is still holding onto today.
On December 28, I had the pleasure of attending a virtual shadowing opportunity conducted by Dr. Ayah Bilbeisi. Dr. Bilbeisiis a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) with her own private practice in Iowa. Through Pre-Health Shadowing and Zoom, over 200 students from all around the world were able to connect with her and learn from her expertise. She led the students through her past memories of becoming a successful dentist, starting from her high school years.
The students and I were attentive as we listened to her advice and suggestions regarding undergrad. I felt reassured on a lot of the topics I already knew like the classes that I should take in college that would help me in the future. For example, she emphasized taking histology, anatomy, and physiology, which are not in the required classes for pre-med students. In addition, she suggested that we take a course that we would be interested in. From my previous experience in shadowing, I knew classes related to the human body would be beneficial but Dr. Bilbeisi specifically gave priority to taking classes that may be outside of my comfort zone. This surprised me at first because most mentors guide their students to be intelligent and bold but I soon realized that the other classes would focus on developing a well-rounded student. As I reflected on how I am preparing for college, I realized that most of my activities were academically driven. So by noting Dr. Bilbeisi’s advice, I am planning to branch out and pursue more of my interests in the time I have left in high school and in college.
Dr. Bilbeisi’s lecture opened my eyes to the variety of careers in the medical field. Personally, I am planning to go to college in the near future and continue my path to become a Doctor of Medicine (MD). The shadowing opportunity with Dr. Bilbeisi was still informative as many of the requirements for dental school overlap with the requirements of MD school, and she provided valuable tips regarding college courses. As a high school student, I believe I am more prepared to start my college career and pursue my dreams in medicine and health care after my time with Dr. Bilbeisi.