FAU’s Pre-Health Professions Office hosted an inaugural Pre-Health Professions Summit on Oct. 6 to 8, on the Boca Raton campus as well as virtually. The three-day summit, themed “How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Healthcare and Communities,” featured healthcare professionals from surrounding universities and practitioners from the local community, such as doctors, pharmacists and dentists, who provided students with useful advice and tools to succeed in a post-pandemic world.
The summit was an interprofessional collaboration between multiple offices, community leaders and student organizations. The summit provided Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) pre-health professions students with the opportunity to interact with community healthcare leaders. Additionally, students gained a better understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on healthcare, as well as how they can move forward in their medical journeys. Students also had the opportunity to meet members of FAU’s Pre-Health Professions team.
“The Summit felt empowering,” said Gina Jones, director of Pre-Health Professions advising and continuing education programs at Florida Atlantic. “We were able to give students the opportunity to engage and to explore career options regarding research and medicine, as well as the opportunity to understand the imposter syndrome workshop. The pandemic affects medical students, the community and medicine. The workshops were highly interactive and informative.”
Featured guests included Dr. Joanna Drowos from FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine, Dr. Angela Hill from the University of South Florida and Dr. Darin Latimore from Yale University’s School of Medicine.
Earlier this year, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Sciences’ Pre-Health Professions leadership team attended the PATHS-First Look Immersion Program conference at the Yale School of Medicine (YSM) in New Haven, CT. The program connects pre-medical and science students from minority-serving institutions and local colleges with advisors who can provide information about Yale’s M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs.
During the four-day conference, the team had the opportunity to meet faculty, staff and students, as well as learn what Yale is doing to bridge the gap for students who are underrepresented in the health sciences. In recent years, Yale created the Program to Advance Training in Health and Science (PATHS) to provide training, mentoring and other resources to undergraduate and postgraduate students across the country who self-identify as being underrepresented in science and medicine and are interested in obtaining an M.D., M.D./Ph.D. or biomedical Ph.D. degree.
“We were pleased to welcome Dr. Latimore and his team to FAU’s campus,” said Jones. “They connected not only with our students in attendance, but also with staff and administrators throughout the university who attended his workshops.”
This summer, Biological Sciences major Dodlee Mosilme was selected to attend Yale’s Summer Enrichment Medical Academy (YSEMA). He was able to study chemistry and biology on campus, attend pre-health workshops and network with Yale medical students and doctors. During FAU’s Summit, he shared insights about his summer experience at Yale.
“My favorite part was the unique privilege to be surrounded by bright-minded students within this program,” Mosilme said. “I felt honored and fortunate to be part of a company filled with diverse, intelligent and driven students. Their determination to solve issues in our world and communities was remarkably inspiring.” Read more about Dodlee’s experience at YSEMA
During the Summit, FAU also hosted 12 Pre-Health Professions students in addition to some staff members from Florida Memorial University to campus to explore opportunities at FAU. The students participated in workshops, a university tour including the Schmidt College of Medicine, and had the opportunity to engage with pre-health student organizations.
Event partners and speakers included: Elevate Medical Student Organization, Yale University College of Medicine, FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, University of South Florida Taneja College of Pharmacy, physicians in private practice and various pre-health student organizations.
FAU received federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the United States Department of Education in 2017.