An increasing amount of college students are interested in going into a health profession when they graduate. Students carry a strong desire to pursue careers such as Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing, Physical Therapy, and Pre-Medicine. Meeting specific requirements for these health professions takes a lot of dedication. The requirements to get into a health professional school and medical school are enormous. Students who desire to pursue a health profession must complete specific prerequisite courses, many volunteer hours, and research experiences while maintaining a high GPA. Trying to meet all of these criteria is challenging. However, the SASC Pre-Health group is here as a resource for SASC students to help overcome various obstacles to help them reach their desired career paths. This upcoming year SASC Pre-Health has changed its name to SASC Emerging Health Professionals.
I joined SASC Pre-Health during my first year at CU. The reason that I joined was because I was interested in doing research and/or Pre-Medicine. Once I attended a meeting I was greatly impressed to hear inspiring insights from professionals. After each meeting, I became more aware of how I can be more prepared for graduate schools and professional schools before I graduate. The professional speakers were very welcoming and showed that they are willing to help students in any possible way. Guest speakers offered assistance reviewing resumes, allowing students to shadow their work, and specifically discussing how to be a competitive applicant to professional schools. Each guest speaker provides their own advice to assist students while they are still in their college journey. SASC Pre-Health has continued to evolve as it has also collaborated with Dominic Martinez, Senior Director of the Office for Inclusion and Outreach at Anschutz Medical Campus. He is an invaluable resource for undergraduate students and a long-lasting partner with SASC. We are hosting him for a meeting this semester to inform students about the UPP(Undergraduate Pre-Health Program) internship.
In the Emerging Health Professionals group, there are meetings hosted every semester. As a Pre-Health coordinator, I am responsible for organizing these meeting along with two other coordinators, Alan Jaimes and Tamanna Talwar. These meetings have guest speakers ranging from SASC alumni, Medical Students, Nurses, Dentists, and Pharmacists. Emerging Health Professions provides resources for students to help them feel more prepared when entering a health profession. As well as making students more aware of these opportunities, the goal is to also create a community within SASC. This student group provides a friendly, diverse, comfortable and supportive environment where anyone is able to ask questions. Thus, Emerging Health professions provide a space where students can feel like they belong.
We hope to continue to diversify the health professionals workforce as we host guest speakers that can help guide students to the right path. We like to invite guest speakers who reflect the experiences of SASC students. They are able to understand the struggle and challenges that these students face. These speakers share obstacles they experienced themselves and how they overcame them. As well as hosting guest speakers, we also collaborated with Health Promotions to have conversations about public health concerns and health inequity that impacts our communities. This is what makes our group unique.
I am happy that I became one of the Pre-Health Coordinators so that I can help students with anything they need. I hope that more students will be a part of SASC Pre-Health as its name will transition to “Emerging Health Professionals” and utilize it to become more successful in their academic journey. The Emerging Health professions group will continuously be a resource for more students undergraduate. We hope to see more SASC students in future meetings.