By Magdalayna Drivas | Reporter
Midterms are quickly approaching, leaving many students feeling lost and overwhelmed. For pre-health students, there is a student support system to make tackling tests a little easier.
Medical Mentors provides a forum for pre-health upperclassmen to foster the success of all pre-health students through workshops, guest speakers and one-on-one mentoring.
Marshall, Minn., senior Kayla Murphy is co-president of Medical Mentors and has been mentoring students for over a year. Murphy said this semester the program is hosting around 30 workshops in addition to individual mentoring.
“We do workshops and panels about different topics related to pre-health. Some might be about internships, how to write a medical school personal statement or how to do your resume specifically for pre-health internships,” Murphy said. “We’re pretty much an extension of the pre-health office.”
More than 50 students currently serve as Medical Mentors. Murphy said the program is highly selective, with each mentor needing a nomination and a successful interview.
“Students get nominated to be in Medical Mentors based on their academic achievements or their participation in a pre-health organization and then we do an interview process,” Murphy said. “All of the students are vetted so they’re reliable mentors that know the information well that they’re sharing with other students.”
While students who are struggling academically should see their professors, Murphy said meeting with a Medical Mentor in addition allows students to create peer relationships within their field of study.
“We like to provide that student perspective,” Murphy said. “We can support you in maybe a more personal way than a professor, who can still support you in a personal way, but in more of a laid-back environment and a relationship with a peer.”
Murphy said the Medical Mentors program benefits not only freshmen but upperclass pre-health students as well.
“We get a lot of freshmen that come and just want advice on how to study. Some of the older students might meet with a mentor if they want advice on the medical school application process,” Murphy said. “We like to reach out to the different populations in pre-health.”
Bellaire senior Danielle Shahin is applying to medical schools and said the skills she learned from Medical Mentors gave her the confidence she needed to succeed in the real world.
“I wanted to practice with someone who had gone through it before,” Shahin said. “When I finally did my pre-health interview, it went really well. Now I have medical school interviews where I’m using the same tips my mentor gave me for my pre-health interview.”
Murphy suggests that any student who wants study tips, encouragement or simply just another student to talk to to meet with a mentor.
“If they’re feeling discouraged at all or they want some advice on study tips, or they just want to hear another student’s experience … I think it’s motivating to see somebody who’s gone through it,” Murphy said. “Meeting with a mentor who is applying to medical school and doing interviews or has already gotten accepted, I think that’s really encouraging for students.”