University Career Center

We celebrated MLK Day 2020 by recognizing some of our talented Wolverines who are currently in medical school.

 

Wolverine DOCTORS in Training

 


Kathleen Abenes

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Class of 2020 ⏤ MD/PhD

University of Michigan, Class of 2016 ⏤ BS Biomolecular Science and Biopsychology, Cognition, Neuroscience

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

There's time to take great classes outside of the sciences while still being pre-med.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Don't spread yourself too thin. Extracurricular activities are important for getting into medical school, but dive deep and focus on one or two that you're really passionate about rather than being minimally involved in lots of projects.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Summers in Ann Arbor working as an Academic Peer Advisor for New Student Orientation.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

Resident Advisor for the Women in Science and Engineering Residence Program, FEMMES, Academic Peer Advising


Caleb Cheng

University of Michigan Medical School, Class of 2027 ⏤ MD/PhD

University of Michigan, Class of 2017 ⏤ BS Microbiology

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

Grades and scores are just one part of your life/journey to medicine. There's so much more out there that I want to try/do. But now that I'm in med school, I don't think I'll ever have as much time as I did in undergrad again to do those things. I wish I took more time to explore/learn things that are not medicine/things that go onto med school apps.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Have fun and explore!! It may seem like a huge deal to get a 4.0, 520+ MCAT, hundreds of shadowing/volunteer hours, research, find rec letters, and do all that by the end of junior year to apply and get right in to med school. If you can do that while having fun that's awesome! But for others, taking one or more years off after college to just be a bit more relaxed throughout your undergrad journey and even have some time to try out different jobs/opportunities/careers may be a really good option. Once you start med school, you'll question your decisions about getting into medicine. A lot. And it helps to have had the experience to know that medicine is definitely your calling.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Finding out we had a snow day (first one in 30 years) at a Super Bowl Party I was at in 2015.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

ACCESS, Life Sciences Orchestra

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I did research, was pretty involved in my church (Harvest Mission Community Church), I also volunteered at Hope Medical Clinic. Trained for and ran 2 marathons, played a lot of ultimate frisbee, and just goofed around a lot in general too.

Anything else you would like to share?

Feel free to hit me up with any questions you have! calcum@umich.edu


Katarina Fabre

Indiana University School of Medicine, Class of 2021 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2014 ⏤ BS Biophysics

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

Take advantage of electives to explore what interests you outside of medicine.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Get involved in research!

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

The friendships

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

Women's Club Water Polo

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

Research


Ronus Hojjati

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Class of 2023 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2018 ⏤ BS Biopsychology, Cognition, Neuroscience (BCN)

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

I wish that I had more clearly known that it's possible to make it to medical school with a variety of experiences and that there is no one right way to do things. There is an underlying emphasis on "checking certain boxes" during undergrad (research, volunteering in a healthcare setting, etc.) but having started medical school, it has become clear that everyone here has had a very unique path to get here. It helps to remember that there is no one right way to do things, and therefore no point in stressing if your path looks different from that of your peers.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Supplement your medical studies and pre-med extracurriculars with lots of other things you enjoy doing (arts, volunteering, etc.)- there will be plenty of time in medical school to focus specifically on medicine. Take classes in a wide variety of disciplines and make the most of expanding your non-medical knowledge as well. In addition, pay attention to your own learning style and use that when deciding which schools to apply to. Medical schools have such a broad range of curriculums, with one notable difference being frequent testing versus spread out tests, and early clinical experiences or lack thereof. It's a tremendous help to be at a medical school where the curriculum fits your learning style, so carefully read school websites when deciding where to apply.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

My best memory at UM was probably putting on the Persian Students Association annual culture show as the President of the organization at the end of my senior year. The show had a great turnout and was a huge success, and show participants had a lot of fun. The event was a great way to cap my time at UM and celebrate Persian culture.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

Persian Students Association, Central Student Government Student Organization Funding Commission, MEDLife

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I took one gap year, where I moved to San Francisco, CA and worked at the genetic testing company Invitae.


Roxanne Ilagan

Wayne State University School of Medicine, Class of 2023 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2016 ⏤ BS Neuroscience

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

I would put less pressure on trying to be a 'traditional' student; no one has a specific timeline they have to follow. I wish I didn't get too caught up on trying to balance too many things at once including school, clubs, and MCAT. My grades suffered for a bit and I ended up taking the MCAT when I wasn't ready, causing me to retake it. I wish I knew how many students take gap years and how advantageous it could be to have extra time.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Make sure you hit all the boxes, i.e. shadowing, volunteering, and clinical experience, but don't rush into the application if you don't feel ready. The application process can be tolling--it's time consuming, expensive, and stressful, especially if you don't succeed your first time. I would definitely not try to rush into the process and would definitely advise not to rush into taking the MCAT. However, if you do these things, like I did, there's definitely many ways to improve your application. Medical schools understand that you can make mistakes but also understand you can always grow. I graduated with a GPA and an MCAT I wasn't happy with, but was able to improve both and obtain more medical-related experiences with time which drastically strengthened my app.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Going to football and basketball games with friends. I used to camp out early in the cold before basketball games to secure a first row spot in the Maize Rage!

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

Filipino American Student Association (FASA), Michigan Quizbowl, Michigan Pops Orchestra

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I completed a 2-year Masters of Science in Basic Medical Sciences through Wayne State's SOM and spent an additional year scribing full time in an ER. In addition, I spent more time volunteering and shadowing.


Saba Javadi

University of Toledo College of Medicine, Class of 2020 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2015 ⏤ BS Biopsychology, Cognition, Neuroscience (BCN) and Spanish

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

There are many avenues into getting accepted into medical school. If you don't ace every test or get the best marks in every science course, your doors to becoming a doctor will not close.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Take lighter courses when you are completing your pre-med reqs. Get involved in a research project that will last you throughout your undergrad career, allowing you to bond with a mentor who can guide and nourish your learning along the way.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Meeting my closest friends and promoting our heritage as a member of the Persian Students Association.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

I was the Residential Coordinator of Barbour, Newberry and Fletcher and an RA for 2 years. I was very active in the Persian Students Association.

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

Completed a one-year Masters in Biomedical science

Anything else you would like to share?

Succeeding on the MCAT is very important. I would devote an entire summer to just doing practice questions. Also don't hesitate to look into special Masters programs that are meant for premed students.


Bianca Jenkins

Central Michigan University College of Medicine, Class of 2020 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2013 ⏤ BS Neuroscience

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

It's totally okay to major in something that isn't science-related. In fact, sometimes it makes you stand out more during the application process. Today, medical schools are looking for well-rounded future doctors which can be shown through more unique majors like women's studies, linguistics or even music!

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

I know schedules are difficult to organize, but try to take an anatomy class and/or a microbiology class. They will be very helpful in medical school!

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

I have too many great memories to pick just one! Football tailgates, summertime at Dominick's, late nights at Pizza House, living in the same city as my best friends... my time at the University of Michigan shaped the person I am today.

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I joined AmeriCorps for a year when I graduated and worked at MetroTeen AIDS in Washington DC. Then I went to Case Western Reserve University for a Master's in Medical Physiology.

Anything else you would like to share?

Remember that scores and grades aren't everything. In fact, my UM pre-med advisor told me I wasn't going to get into medical school and it was a serious blow to my self-confidence. If being a doctor is truly your dream and passion, you'll find a way to make it happen. I took an unconventional path to medical school, but here I am graduating as an MD in 2020!


Lynn Kriengkrairut

University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Class of 2021⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2013 ⏤ BS Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Continue to pursue interests and hobbies outside of school. Don't just do things so they will look good on your resume; do them because you are passionate about them and genuinely find them worthwhile. Your passions are what make you unique and what will likely prevent burnout as you pursue the rigorous nature of the medical field.

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I was an Ice Dancer for Team USA throughout undergrad and afterwards as well. I then skated as a principal ice dancer in the ice dance company Ice Theatre of New York and thereafter worked as a Registered Behavior Technician, practicing ABA therapy with kids with autism.

Anything else you would like to share?

My fiancee is Jhojan Obando, one of the assistant coaches for UM Men's Soccer, so I enjoy coming back to Ann Arbor as a UM soccer fan whenever I get the chance! Go Blue!


Vivek Krishnan

Wake Forest School of Medicine, Class of 2023 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2017 ⏤ BS Neuroscience and Spanish

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

I wish I had known about all the resources available to pre-meds - both at U of M and elsewhere, that would have made the process a lot easier for me.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Do not feel rushed to get through the process. Take some time to pursue interests in undergrad that you will not have the chance to do so in the future. Use the time between undergrad and med school to engage in activities that will build your confidence as an individual, and increase your capacity to be resilient.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Football Saturdays spent with friends that I will share a bond with for a lifetime

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

optiMize, KDSAP

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I took two gap years - one planned, and one unplanned after not getting a single interview during my first cycle. I worked as a Nursing Assistant, volunteered as a Spanish Medical Interpreter, and volunteered as an ESL Teaching Assistant at a high school. After gaining admission, I backpacked solo through South America for 5 months before the start of medical school.


Lisa Lavelanet

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Class of 2020 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2016 ⏤ BS Neuroscience

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

To start building relationships with potential letter of recommendation writers from the moment you decide to pursue medicine

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Try to get some clinical experience, and while you are there, let people know you want to pursue medicine and you might find someone who will let you shadow them

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Playing for Michigan Quidditch

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

Michigan Quidditch


Jessica Liang

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia, Class of 2022 ⏤ DO

University of Michigan, Class of 2016 ⏤ BSE Industrial & Operations Engineering

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

I'm a non-traditional student in that I didn't discover my passion for medicine until my senior year of college. I wish I had taken the time to get to know the science faculty professors more. I would've gotten great letter or recs and mentorship from them.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Know your professors! They are brilliant, inspiring people.

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I worked as an MA, took my remaining med school prereqs, and studied/took the MCAT


Mark-Anthony Lingaya

University of Michigan Medical School, Class of 2023 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2018 ⏤ BS Evolutionary Anthropology

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

Don't compare yourself to your peers. Run your own race and give it your all.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Take advantage of all the different resources and opportunities at this institution. Med schools like resourceful individuals and those who are passionate in all that they do.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

My best memories at U of M would definitely have to studying/doing research abroad in Tanzania.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

Studying abroad, RA, volunteering with Meals on Wheels/Alpha House, research


Mustafa Baaz Mohamed

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Class of 2020 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2014 ⏤ BS Neuroscience

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

The step up in intensity in the studies going from undergraduate studies to medical school

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Be excellent in whatever you're already doing, try and be a leader, enjoy your time off before medical school, don't feel rushed to go straight to medical school out of undergrad (the truth is a lot of people take time off in between)

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Rushing the field in 2011 when we beat Ohio State.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

ResStaff, Alternative Spring Break, Muslim Students Association, Ypsilanti Health Initiative

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I took 2 years off, 1 year was spent working with City Year Detroit (a division of Americorps), and another year just traveling.

Anything else you would like to share?

Be yourself on the interview trail and remember that when you're being interviewed, you are also interviewing them. Be humble and a good listener in the process towards applying to medical school. Many people are going to give you advice and you owe it to yourself to hear those people out.


Taylor Morgan

University of Michigan Medical School, Class of 2024 ⏤ MD/MPP

University of Michigan, Class of 2018 ⏤ BS Biochemistry

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

I wish I would’ve known that you can literally major in anything. It doesn’t even have to be a science.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Major in something you’re actually interested in. Take time off if you need to and don’t feel bad for doing so.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Graduating.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

BUMA, Pretty Brown Girls, SIBS, MSTEM

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I took one gap year and worked at a holistic clinic during.


Folake Olojo

Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, Class of 2022 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2016 ⏤ BS Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

I wish I would have known how to study better.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Clinical experience, research, community service, and leadership positions are important areas to think about during undergraduate years. Medical school applications ask many questions about these areas.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Joining a sorority and performing in step shows and stroll offs.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Leaders and Best, BIG SIB, Michigan Gospel Chorale, Supervisor at Telefund.

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

Scribed in the Emergency Room at St. Joseph Hospital and worked at a PR firm


Ahmed Owda

Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Class of 2021 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2017 ⏤ BS Neuroscience

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

You don't need to have a science major to get into medical school

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

There is no rush to get into medical school

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Senior year, the last 2 months overall were incredible

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

H.E.A.D.S.


Olivia Rivera

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Class of 2022 ⏤ MD/ML

University of Michigan, Class of 2018 ⏤ BS Neuroscience

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

Take time to relax and explore your passions; you only get more busy as life goes on.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Find mentors early! A good mentor, especially one who can relate to your circumstances or obstacles, is one of the best resources to have at any stage of life.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Game days! The energy and excitement in Ann Arbor on Saturday’s in the fall is incomparable.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

ResStaff - a challenging but really rewarding experience. Highly recommend.


Monika Rizk Salib

George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Class of 2023 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2014 ⏤ BS Neuroscience

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Take your time exploring yourself, your interests and your passions. Try as many new things as possible. There is no rush in this journey. Do things you actually enjoy! Every experience, no matter how significant or not it seems, will inform your education and future clinical practice. Medical school will always be waiting for you.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

I very frequently reminisce about my times studying in the beautiful law library, followed by study breaks at Dominicks' (and football Saturdays).

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

MEDLIFE, Detroit Partnership

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

During my five gap years, I spent my time working.


Ronak Sutariya

Georgetown University School of Medicine, Class of 2023 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2018 ⏤ BS Neuroscience

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

Looking back, I realize that my sole focus was to get into medical school and I structured my schedule and all my classes around that. While this was important, I wish that I did a minor in something other than science. I choose all my classes to raise my science GPA and to make myself look stronger but sacrificed the opportunity to learn something new and interesting outside of medicine. Additionally, I regret not pursuing clubs outside of medicine also. I love to play sports & mountain hike and Michigan offers plenty of clubs outside the scope of medicine.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

While having good grades and a good MCAT is important, your application to medical school is so much more than that. You can have a 4.0 and a 520+ MCAT but if you don't have any research, volunteering, and/or clinical experience, schools won't look at you as highly as someone who is well rounded. Go experience life outside of school! Volunteer at something you are passionate about. While research isn't necessarily a requirement, if you like it, go do it! Schools are more and more moving away from the traditional high grades/high MCAT scoring and moving towards a more holistic view of applicants. It's important to show schools that you are someone who can not only succeed in school, but also bring new viewpoints, ideas, and experiences to your potential cohort. Clinical experience (I believe anyway) is highly important. Not as a way to boost your chances of getting in, but to experience what medicine is and how it works! If you are working this hard to get into medical school, you should first know what you are getting yourself into. Ask to shadow any doctor that is available (not just UM but also the other surrounding hospitals in AA) and go see what their job truly is. There is so much more that goes on outside of the patient encounter in medicine and this is a great way to see that. You can also incorporate what you learn during your observation into your application. Lastly, it is okay to not go straight through. In fact, almost a majority of students don't. Having a gap year (or years) in which you are doing something meaningful to you, improving upon yourself, and living life is great!

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Two memories are tied for 1st place for me. (1) During my freshman year, the Superbowl was right before midterm week. Right when the game ended, we all got a email saying school was cancelled because it was going to snow over a foot overnight and even more the next day. Everyone got out of their dorms, grabbed whatever flat surface (lunch trays from Bursley) and went sledding all night. (2) During my senior year at Ricks in the middle of March Madness. Jordan Poole hits the last second game winner from 30+ feet out and the entire place erupts. Never seen so many people throw their cups up in the air at once.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

I was mainly a part of the American Medical Student Association where I as the PR chair my sophomore year, the fundraising char my junior year, and president my senior year. I additionally apart of the Indian American Student Association and Neuroscience Student Association.

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I took one gap year in which I attained my Master's in Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University.

Anything else you would like to share?

Don't forget to experience life! Go travel or go study abroad if you want to! Don't be so focused into getting into medical school that you miss out on life experiences that you can only do once!


Jeremiah Whittington

University of Illinois College of Medicine, Class of 2023 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2015 ⏤ BS Biomolecular Science

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

The MCAT will be one of the most challenging exams of your career. But challenging because no one guides you on how to correctly prepare for it. Doing well in your pre-medical prerequisites is important to build a strong foundation for the MCAT. Its not just good enough to get an A in a class, but you have to understand the material from its core and integrate material among multiple topic domains for long-term retention. I would recommend getting a high-yield, easy explained MCAT review book and read it as you are going through your coursework. This will help in the long run immensely.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

One subject I wish I would have had taken during undergrad was some sort of medical microbiology/pharmacology course. This course is important as a lot of students, including myself struggled with this block. It demands a lot of rote memorization, but being exposed to the material in college will make learning this material a lot more bearable in medical school.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Going to Michigan Football games and meeting my fiancé.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

I was mostly involved in University Housing as a Resident Advisor.

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I received a masters degree in physiology from Georgetown University. In this program, I took classes with medical school students so I was able to show admission committees that I could handle the rigors of medical school. I also worked for a year during the the application cycle.

Anything else you would like to share?

You will be surprised by the number of people who were rejected from multiple medical schools and/or are re-applicants. I applied twice to medical school and had to retake my MCAT twice. Even though this process maybe discouraging, medicine is a field where you will constantly have to reevaluate your strengths and weaknesses. There will always be someone more/less qualified than you, but your ultimate priority is to put the best version of yourself in the application and trust the process. You will be a physician as long as you don’t quit.


Alexander Worix

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Class of 2021 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2015 ⏤ BS General Biology and Spanish

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

I wish I knew that it was okay to not go straight into medical school right after college. It would have taken a lot of pressure off of me if I took my time with my pre-med courses and worried about the MCAT after I graduated.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Do not rush and take the MCAT before undergrad is done. It is okay to take a year or two off in order to really master the MCAT and have a competitive application. Everyone tries to take it at the end of their junior year. I tried this as well but it did not work for me at all. You really need to know yourself as a person and student. I ended up completing a post-baccalaureate program which included MCAT prep after I graduated from U of M and it was one of the best decisions I have made before entering medical school.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Any moment I had with my friends. I truly made life-long friends from this university who I still go out of my way to visit and spend time with in-between the busy life of medical school.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

Model United Nations, Enspire, and UROP

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

MEDPREP at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Anything else you would like to share?

Yes, you have to get good grades and yes, the MCAT needs to be good but neither having a 3.5-4.0 GPA nor a below average MCAT is not the end of the world. Just remember a lot of these medical schools also want well-rounded students who know how to conversate appropriately, are involved with their community, and are leaders.


Arthur Z Yan

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2020 ⏤ DO

University of Michigan, Class of 2014 ⏤ BS Biomolecular Sciences, MS Biological Chemistry

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

Don't be afraid to be non-traditional in your pre-medical career, take classes in what interests you not just the basic sciences

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Be involved, if you have a specific interest or general interest in medicine, show the programs you will be applying to. Unfortunately, you won't be able to talk to every medical school directly, so show them through your undergraduate experiences.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

Either playing the intramural basketball championship at Breslin or watching Michigan beat Notre Dame in the night football game when Denard Robinson threw that amazing touchdown.

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

TKE fraternity, UROP, Dance Marathon, Relay for Life, AAA, Biomedical Graduate Student Council

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

Got my Master's degree in Biological Chemistry through the University of Michigan Medical School and performed a year working as a lab technician in the Department of Pathology and Department of Biological Chemistry

Anything else you would like to share?

Go Blue!


Zhongyuan Zhang

Boston University School of Medicine, Class of 2023 ⏤ MD

University of Michigan, Class of 2017 ⏤ BSE Biomedical Engineering

What do you wish you had known when you were a pre-med undergrad?

I wish I had known earlier to not make getting into medical school more than what it actually is. Sure, matriculating at a medical school pretty much promises of you becoming a doctor, but make sure that that's what you really want. Don't just do it because of peer or family pressure. It took me quite a while to figure that one out, by going into PhD and coming back to medicine. And when you are set that medicine is what you want to pursue, still don't treat it as if it were the ultimate goal of your life, because it's not. Life goes on no matter what. Many of my classmates went on to do kinds of amazing things before they became my classmates. Don't close the door on opportunities, life is so much more than just getting into medical school.

What advice would you give to current pre-med students?

Enjoy life as a college student, and don't just label yourself "pre-med". Do things you truly enjoy instead of doing things for the resume or the extracurricular activities section in the application. If you genuinely have passion in something and invest time and effort into it, it will show, and it will tell a story to the admissions committees. You don't have to check every box everybody else is checking, just be yourself. Remember, it's usually not about collecting all five of the infinity stones, like Thanos, but it's about the pursuit of your own identity, and this goes beyond just medical school applications.

What's your best memory of your time at UM?

The first night at Rick's with friends ; )

In what student organizations were you particularly active while at UM?

I had a leadership role with the Michigan Photography Club, and we organized many photoshoot outings, workshops, exhibitions, and made many friends. I also actively participated in many volunteer events with Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society.

If you took one or more gap years, what did you do during that time?

I took two "gap years", in quotation marks, because I was technically doing a PhD program at Hopkins, researching on cancer liquid biopsy technologies with regards to prostate and bladder cancer. It was an eye-opening and extremely valuable experience from which I really grew a lot both as a scientist and as a person. Through the two years, I learned numerous research lab skills, the rigors of scientific investigations, and more importantly, how to think and communicate as a scientist. Even though I eventually decided that research work as a PhD was not the one that could satisfy my personal aspirations the most like medicine does, all of the things I learned and the connections I built will stick with me the rest of my life.