HPME is a phenomenal program and I am extremely grateful to Northwestern University and Feinberg School of Medicine for allowing me this unique opportunity. As an undergraduate student I was able to freely explore my interests in basic science, public health and clinical research without the tremendous pressure of having to apply to medical school. I studied biological sciences as my major but I was also able to study abroad, complete a global health minor, do a public health internship under a Northwestern Summer Research Grant and be very involved in South Asian cultural groups on campus. For me, this flexibility would not have been possible in the traditional, pre-medical undergraduate track. Each of these experiences has been invaluable and has contributed significantly to my personal development as a student. They not only helped me define my interests and but also helped to develop life-long relationships with peers and mentors.
Ultimately, my experiences solidified my interest in academic medicine and my desire to become a physician-scientist. I began working in an immunology laboratory as an undergraduate and as my project developed I received the Alpha Omega Alpha Student Research Fellowship. I was also fortunately accepted into the MD/PhD training program at Northwestern. This allows me a chance to continue my research and scientific development in addition to my clinical training. I hope that one day this will help me engage in meaningful translational research where I have the ability to both see patients and explore the basic biology of diseases. Medical training is lengthy and I plan on using the year HPME helped me save during my undergraduate towards my PhD work. The mentorship and advising that HPME provides has been invaluable for me in helping make informed career decisions and find my interests within medicine.