Pre-Health students juggle Tech, requirements

Photo by Ben Keyserling

As students pursuing both a degree from Tech and acceptance into medical school, Pre-Health students have to work to keep up with their hectic schedules, somehow fitting in coffee breaks and naps between hours of organic chemistry and biology labs.

To them, the reward of entrance into medical school is worth any amount of exhaustion or stress. Pre-Health students at Tech have their eye on the ultimate prize.

As a school known for engineering, one might not expect Tech to produce many future doctors. Furthermore, Tech is noticeably absent from the ranks of colleges with medical schools. Despite all this, Tech is still home to a growing population of Pre- Health students.

“I know the general population does not generally think of Tech as a pre-health institution, but the truth is that it is a very strong school for students interested in medicine. Tech provides a strong base in critical thinking and research, a plethora of volunteer opportunities and a wide variety of classes for electives,” said ‘13 Tech alum Anna Sulimirski, currently studying at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

Tech’s Pre-Health program is made to prepare its students to take the MCAT and get into medical school. Medical schools require students to take certain courses, so many students have to take extraneous courses outside their normal course load.

“Tech really cares about its students and I think I am somewhat prepared for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). I haven’t started preparing for the MCAT, but the rigorous courses at Tech will probably make me invincible against a nationally standardized exam. Probably,” said Thomas Ng, a second-year BMED major.

“After joining the Pre-Health community here at Tech, I learned that there’s actually a lot of resources for Pre-Health people. One in particular for Pre-Health freshmen is the Pre-Health Living Learning Community which I got to be a part of this year as a Peer Leader in Montag Residence Hall,” Ng said.

Medical schools also pay a lot of attention to extracurriculars in admission

“I gained invaluable experiences through my extra-curricular activities on campus,” Sulimirski said. “Medicine is team-based, so you have to be able to work with a variety of people…I learned how to manage my time and maintain school-life balance. This is extremely important in med school when you have much more information to learn in very short period of time. Overall, they also just helped me be a happier person! No one wants a sad doctor.”

Beyond just doing well in school, Pre-Health students have to worry about how well they look on applications.

“Be passionate and work hard. It’s that simple. If you are meant to be a doctor, you have an internal drive, a compassionate heart and a curiosity that extends beyond the classroom. Do what you what you love, and those characteristics will shine through,” Sulimirski said.

Sulimirski believes that it was her diverse application, which accurately depicted her strengths and passion, that made the difference in her admission into medical school.

She credits Tech with prepraring her for the rigor and stresses that come with medical school which has ultimately led to her successes. Sulmirski has no regrets with her Pre-Health experience at Tech.

Sulimirski says of her preparation, “I would say my everyday life is the equivalent of a Tech finals week.”