This section will spotlight a student who has come through the Health Professions Advising office at CSUF on their journey to professional school, and wishes to share his or her experiences and advice with current and future students.
Hi, I’m Annie, 25, female and was an undergraduate at CSUF for 6 years (4 years to obtain my degree; deferred graduation to finish pre-med courses for the last 2 years). While at CSUF, I ultimately chose to explore the Health Science degree instead of settling for a Biology degree. The students and faculty that I have come across with during my time here were all supportive, but I can’t say that anyone really helped me get to where I am now. For 3 years, I was a part of the Health Science honors club, Eta Sigma Gamma. As soon as I found out that CSUF opened an AMSA chapter, I immediately joined as part of the first AMSA group at CSUF. I did not fill any lead positions, I was merely just a member reaping the benefits of what the club had to offer.
I chose to go into medicine because not only was there a yearning to help others, but I saw the goal as something that is mentally taxing and challenging, thus making the career that much more rewarding. I admired that it not only tested your own trust and confidence within yourself, but it constantly and consistently tests what you know. Peoples’ lives are literally in your hands and you have to be able to do what’s best in your own best judgment.
I volunteered at various hospitals since 2009. Eventually I ended up doing clinical care extender work at the Citrus Valley hospitals for 2 years. My first clinical job began in 2011 at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center. I was a part of the second group of scribes to have worked there. With persistence and hard work, I was given the opportunity to help start up the scribing program at Whittier Hospital Medical Center in 2013. Today, I am still with the scribing program until June 2015. Currently, I am chief scribe working closely with the medical director and C.O.O. of the AHMC hospitals.
The application process was tough for me. It took a lot of dedication to sit down for 4 hours a day to fill out these applications. I’m going to be very honest, I applied to nearly 40 schools, was invited to interviews at 7 schools, attended 4 interviews and turned down 3. I ended up getting accepted to the school of my very first interview in October, and was accepted to my second school of choice in January. It was a tough decision but I decided to attend Touro University of Osteopathic Medicine in Henderson, Nevada and I am extremely excited to start in August!
My advice to future pre-medical students is: keep going at it! Don’t quit! Ever! There will be people who will doubt you and there will be those who will tell you that “with your score, you’re not going to get anywhere.” Take it with a grain of salt if you must take a negative view from someone else’s perspective, but believe me when I say that you’re not going to get anywhere if you fall for those types of comments. Trust yourself. Work hard. Be persistent. If you want it enough, you will get there. And, please, do not ever settle for something that you did not initially have in mind. Keep striving!