Approaches to a career in medicine can be many and varied.
That was the underlying theme of “The Persistence Factor: Alternative Pathways to Your Medical Career,” a Nov. 12 panel discussion aimed at prospective medical school students.
Presented by UC San Diego Extension, the 90-minute discussion was recorded by UCSD-TV for future airing.
Serving as moderator was Leslie Bruce, Director of Healthcare Leadership at UC San Diego Extension.
An audience of some 45 attendees heard from the following panelists:
- Clinton Adams, DO: former Dean of Western University, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
- Rodney Hood, MD: Community physician; former President, National Medical Association; Graduate (’72), UC San Diego School of Medicine
- Carolyn Kelly, MD: Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs, UC San Diego School of Medicine
- Jose Gerardo Lopez: Graduate, Class of 2014, UC San Diego Extension Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program
A sampling of observations by the panelists:
Dr. Clinton Adams:
Dr. Rodney Hood:
- “If you can demonstrate drive and persistence, that says to an admissions officer, ‘This is somebody who really wants to go into medicine.’ ”
- “We look for students who believe in the osteopathic philosophy. We try to make sure you care about the whole patient.”
- “We emphasize the humanistic, caring touch, but believe me, the rest of our curriculum is about the same as other MD schools.”
Dr. Carolyn Kelly:
- “Medicine has changed drastically since I was first getting started. I’ve witnessed a lot of change and I know a lot of colleagues who are disillusioned.”
- “I look for two words: respect and passion.”
- “Do not go into medicine unless you have a passion for healing and listening. ... Some of our patients just want to have someone to talk to about their health problems.”
Jose Gerardo Lopez:
- “We look for a sense of knowledge of what a lifetime career devoted to serving others really means.”
- “The applicant who doesn’t demonstrate that they care is unlikely to be a successful applicant to our school.”
- “In addition to competence, we look for caring, compassionate, life-long learners.”
- “When I was growing up, I discovered I enjoyed taking care of my family members. After a while, I realized it’s in my nature.”
- “I took anatomy in high school, and it was pretty exciting to me.”
- “I decided I would do whatever it takes to go to medical school. After you complete the post-bac, pre-med program, it makes you feel like, ‘I can do this.’ ”