By Jenica Chandran, Staff Writer
Hofstra's Annual Health Professions Night, an event aimed at helping pre-medical students learn more about the medical field, took place on April 7th at the Netherlands Core. Similar to a college-fair event, students were able to meet one-on-one with professionals who specialize in a variety of health-related fields.
"We understand that every pre-health student here at Hofstra is not looking to go to medical school, so we try to bring in people from various fields that can help them learn more about what they want to do. We also had people come in who can help the pre-professional students with their applications and admittance into schools," said Christine Hickey, Graduate Assistant at the Center for University Advisement.
Students who attended the event were given an edge by getting the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Hofstra's own medical school faculty. Because of the various components that make up the application process to medical school, the event featured Hofstra medical school faculty, English professors to help with writing statements, financial aid personnel and pre-health advisement deans.
Jackie McDermott, a junior majoring in Biology, spoke with Dr. Patrick Gannon, a professor and Chair for the Department of Science Education at Hofstra's Medical School. "I enjoyed chatting with him about various potential research opportunities that are available on Long Island. He was also very informative about the new types of learning strategies that are going to be implemented in the medical school," she said.
Also at the event was Dr. Thomas Kwiatkowski, Doctor of Emergency Medicine, Medical Director of the Patient Safety Institute and Assistant Dean for Education/Simulation at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. His involvement with the medical school included visiting other medical schools and observing their curricula, as well as creating a program for Hofstra students that was centered on patient-centered care.
Students were also given the opportunity to learn how these medical careers affect the professionals on a more personal level.
Doctor of Chiropractic medicine and guest speaker at the event, Dr. Chris Wildneauer told students how he integrated his career into his personal life. "I practice what I preach to my clients. I avoid medicine until it's absolutely necessary and I go to my own chiropractor once a week. I believe that one must sustain structural, mental and physical health. You must stay in good shape, as you never know what shape your patient will be in."
The event also featured current medical school student and Hofstra alumna, Lisa Terrana. She is a third year medical school student at Stonybrook University with a B.A. in Biology and Philosophy from Hofstra. She was able to relate her more recent experiences as a Hofstra pre-health student with others. Her college degree showed students that it is possible to have a diverse college curriculum and still be successful as a health professional. "I gained a lot from my philosophy concentration. It helped me in my interactions with my patients and my mental stamina," she said.
Terrana advised students that the key to being successful in the medical field is to stay motivated and passionate, "A lot of people try to scare you. If you love it and want to do it, you will be able to do it. Don't let someone scare you away. You can always rise to the challenge."
Students who attended the event also received realistic advice from the health professionals about the current conditions in medical school and in practicing medicine. Many of the health professionals reminded students to stay true to their passions and hobbies, even if it's not in the sciences.
Dr. Mike Serotoff, Doctor of Emergency Medicine and resident at Albert Einstein Hospital in the Bronx, recommended students to be open-minded: "Dabble in everything, such as research, clinical experience, and also find a co-curricular that you are passionate about. Don't give up."