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New club offers assistance to aspiring medical doctors

Are you a biology major or pre-med student seeking guidance with career decisions? NMSU’s Pre-Med Club may be just the thing for you. Being a medical student presents a variety of challenges and trials, but the pathway to medical school is quite a challenge in and of itself. During their undergraduate years, pre-med students must volunteer, shadow other doctors, and try to form long-lasting connections that will further their pursuit of a degree and a med school recommendation.

Pre-Med Club members Ariah Leday, left, and Sarah Manshad study together on campus. Leday serves as the club’s vice president for internal affairs and Manshad is the current club president. (Photo by Rosa Watson/Kokopelli)

Although it was just formed this semester, the Pre-Med Club already has 60 members. Club members meet every other week on Thursday night to provide information and inspiration to aspiring medical doctors struggling to find their path. The club is primarily led by six officers: Sarah Manshad, president, Henry Sienna and Makayla Richardson, vice presidents of administration, Chad Ericsson, vice president of external affairs, Ariah Leday, vice president of internal affairs, and Rowan Elaksher, treasurer.

“I have nobody in my family who went to medical school or knows much about it,” Ariah Leday explains. “They always just told me to get good grades. So I really want to know what I’m getting myself into and what I need to do to get there.”

These officers seek out hard-working students with direction and initiative. Sarah Manshad, president of the Pre-Med Club, says her main goal this year is to encourage guest speakers to talk about their experiences with finding a job in the medical field, and to give students career advice.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, a military recruiter presented the students with options for obtaining a full ride to medical school. Dr. Mai Ushi, a physician from Memorial Medical Center, is also planning to speak to the students. Dr. Graciela Unguez, an NMSU biology professor, will be giving a personal statement seminar at the end of November. Ross University Medical School students will also be visiting from the Caribbean to give advice.

“I didn’t plan on making this club,” Sarah Manshad stated, “It’s a lot of work. But there are so many students that are doing pre-med and there is so much work to be done, so I took it on and I hope it will be beneficial. We have a legitimate club and we want people to recognize that.”

The NMSU professors have also been a great support system for this up-and-coming organization. Dr. William Mayo, an organic chemistry professor here on campus, has volunteered to be an advisor to the students. Some professors have also offered to contact physicians about speaking to members of the club. They will also be collaborating with a panel of first-year students from the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, who will be leading financial aid and MCAT-prep seminars later in the year.

“I’m excited for the physicians, residents, and medical students to come in. I want to see what they have to say,” Rowan Elaksher said, describing her anticipation for the program. “I want to know how they coped with bad grades and studied for the MCAT.”

Any students who are interested in joining the pre-med club should send an e-mail to pmcnmsu@gmail.com, or check out the club’s official Twitter page, @PreMedNMSU.

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