HPME is a fantastic program that enabled me to pursue my scientific interests throughout my undergraduate years and into medical school. While an undergraduate, I deeply immersed myself in biomedical engineering and biomedical research. I was able to do so without worry because of the reduced pressures associated with being accepted into medical school.
My experiences during undergrad solidified my interest in research and helped me identify my career goal of becoming a physician-scientist. As my undergraduate years came to a close, I was highly encouraged by the HPME and the medical school administration to continue my research interests throughout the rest my medical training. At Feinberg, I participated in the Medical Student Summer Research Program (MRSSP) and the Research Thesis Program (RTP).
After my third year of medical school, I pursued a one-year research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) Research Scholars Program. At the NIH, I developed a strong interest in immunology and our ability to genetically engineer white blood cells to fight cancer. Because of this, I joined Northwestern’s MD/PhD program through a Northwestern-NIH Graduate Partnership Program so that I could continue conducting this fascinating research at the NIH.
Medical training can be a very long process. The accelerated nature of the HPME’s undergraduate training gave me the comfort to take a yearlong HHMI fellowship during medical school, which in turn provided numerous additional opportunities as I continue to work towards my ultimate career goal of becoming a physician-scientist.