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What inspires pre-healthcare alums and students?

Healthcare professions take many forms, and opportunities at Beloit College help you prepare for them all. Four healthcare students and recent alums talk about what propels them toward careers as a dentist, physician and medical interpreter.

And this is just a sample; other students are preparing for futures in nursing, public health, healthcare administration, physical therapy and more.

Uzma Sayed’21

Uzma Sayed?21 at her internship site at a pediatric dental clinic. Uzma Sayed’21 at her internship site at a pediatric dental clinic.In Afghanistan, we do not have access to good doctors, especially dentists. Dentists in my country have minimum access to the right kind of tools and technologies needed for dentistry. When I was growing up in Afghanistan, I did not have access to good dental care. By the time I was 12 years old, my teeth were filled with many cavities. I also had to watch my mother struggle with dental problems.

As an Afghan woman, becoming a dentist is really important to me. I was very fortunate to come to the US and have the opportunity to see other dentists and explore the field. Thankfully, I also had the opportunity to shadow one of the best dentists in the United States. My hope is that I can take my experience back to my country and help others receive the care they deserve.

Dulce Saenz’20

Dulce Saenz at the Vissum ophthalmology hospital in Alicante, Spain as a part of her study abroad... Dulce Saenz at the Vissum ophthalmology hospital in Alicante, Spain as a part of her study abroad program.I am a biochemistry major at Beloit College and my healthcare career goal is to be a plastic surgeon. I am interested in the healthcare field because I enjoy the sciences, I enjoy helping others, I am motivated to restore faith in humanity that there are good people in this world, and I enjoy meeting individuals and listening to their life stories.

Most importantly I am motivated to help create a bridge between impoverished communities and medical care. Ever since I could remember I would go to the doctor appointments with my parents and translate the consult for them. It was a difficult task for a child to do but as I kept doing it, I got better at it. Being bilingual, I am able to translate from English to Spanish, which I believe will be a useful skill in the healthcare setting to reduce language barrier and miscommunication between the patient and healthcare provider.

The way Beloit College has helped me understand more about the different healthcare careers, medical school requirements, and possible healthcare experiences is through the HPAC (Health Professions Advisory Committee) made up of Beloit faculty members and the Pre-Health Professions club. Through these two organizations, I am able to keep track of the medical school requirements I have to complete like shadowing physicians, having research experience, volunteering in the hospital, have clinical experience.

In the Spring of the 2019 school year, I studied abroad in Alicante, Spain. Through my study abroad program CIEE in Alicante, Spain they were able to connect me to a private ophthalmology hospital called Vissum, to do an internship. I was able to rotate with different doctors from the different specialties of the eyes. I also learned about the various complications that can occur to the eye site.

Melissa Pelkey’19

Melissa Pelkey was able to volunteer at a clinic in Guatemala through the Rural Health Experience... Melissa Pelkey was able to volunteer at a clinic in Guatemala through the Rural Health Experience Shadowing Program made possible with funding through the Weissberg program.I became interested in medicine, as it is a field that combines my scientific curiosity, my passion for human rights, and my interest in culture and communication.

Beloit has prepared me well for medical school by providing a very broad education. As a biochemistry and Spanish double major, I have both the STEM and communication backgrounds I need to be a successful doctor. Due to the liberal arts mindset at Beloit, I also took many classes in psychology and sociology which are both topics on the MCAT exam.

Outside the classroom, Beloit supported my preparation through the FEG and Weissberg grants, which I used to volunteer in healthcare in rural Guatemala. I participated in the LAPC’s fall break trip for pre-health students and found the Rural Health Experience Shadowing Program with their help. The LAPC also helped me to start volunteering at Beloit Memorial Hospital which led to my employment there as an ER Tech in my senior year. Lastly, my research on antibiotic resistance through the Biomedical Scholars Program has been an important part of my medical school application as has my work founding the Pre-Health Professions Club at Beloit.

Overall, the wealth of experiences Beloit has provided me outside of the classroom along with my liberal arts education have made me a competitive applicant for the medical schools I am currently applying to.

Mauricio Sosa Cardenas’19

Mauricio Sosa Cardenas?19 became a certified medical interpreter though his Duffy Community Partn... Mauricio Sosa Cardenas’19 became a certified medical interpreter though his Duffy Community Partnerships field placement at Community Health Systems.I am interested in medical interpretation because it is a way for me to directly help vulnerable communities and make enough money to sustain myself.

Beloit College prepared me for this path day one when I was taught about my own privilege as an English-speaking college student in a world full of injustices. Beloit College also helped me prepare for this career by giving me the networks in the area to gain skills and knowledge in the field of medical interpreting.

Specifically, the Duffy Partnerships program provided me hands-on experience with medical institutions where I was able to gain the trust of providers, and eventually interpreting directly with patients. This experience helps a lot when talking to other organizations post graduation who usually require experience in addition to a bachelor’s degree. Getting to know other peers with similar goals and passions for helping make the world a better place has also motivated me to continue my work as an advocate for the Latinx community, and a way to find resources like other job opportunities and even housing options!

July 12, 2019

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