Hastings College student Brooke Snyder spent the summer of 2013 at the University of Virginia Medical School in Charlottesville, Va., participating in a Summer Medical & Dental Education Program.
It’s a fancy name for medical school boot camp.
The Biology major from Mitchell, Neb., started her mornings with 8:30 a.m. lectures in chemistry, physics or biology, continued the morning with discussions led by medical specialists and spent afternoons in sessions preparing for the medical school application process.
“In those lectures, we met with the Dean of the UVA Medical School, various admission committee members and interview committee members,” she said. “We also learned Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) preparation tips and team-based learning techniques, and about various medical school curriculums and the new health care policy to be implemented in upcoming years."
She said her favorite part of the program included going to the hospital and observing different clinical settings such as primary care, cardiology, operating room and autopsy.
It was no summer at the beach, but Brooke wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.
“I have learned that entering into the medical field in the real world is a life time commitment," she said. "The hours you would work will not be typical, nights and weekends. Also, you have to have the passion to be constantly learning and keeping up with new technologies and advancements that are coming into the field.”
Brooke, who learned about the opportunity through her advisor and Hastings College Biology professor, Dr. Amy Morris, felt she could compete in the setting with students from institutions across the United States.
“I am very glad to say that Hastings College has prepared me extremely well for this program,” said the aspiring oncologist. “I had an internship during J-term at a hospital, which has helped me immensely. I would not have been able to gain the experience that I have been fortunate to have anywhere else but Hastings College.”