Anecdotes and advice about preparing for a career in health

Category: Alumni (Page 2 of 2)

Upcoming Events

While you’re getting settled in your first week of classes, don’t forget about all of the great pre-health events that are coming up, both on and off campus.

SOPHAS Virtual Fair Featuring SOPHAS Public Health Schools & Programs

Join the free SOPHAS Virtual Fair today and tomorrow! SOPHAS schools and programs will participate in a virtual graduate school fair for advisors and prospective students of public health. The fair will be conducted entirely online and participants will have the opportunity to chat live with admissions officers and program chairs, review information about specific degree programs, and upload resumes to share with admissions representatives. The event is free for prospective students and advisors. Register Here.

For questions or more information contact Tucker O’Donnell at or 202-296-1099 x.130.

Somerville Dog Fest

Love dogs?? Please see below for a message from the organizers of this event happening on Sunday, September 13:

This year’s festival is right around the corner and we would love to see your smiling faces again 🙂

If you are interested in volunteering please let me know [email] which of the following time slots would work best for you (You can choose more than one if you’d like) and if you have any previous dog training experience:




Thank you in advance for your help! The festival couldn’t happen without you!

Intro Meeting for All Pre-Health Clubs

  • Pre Med, Pre Dent, Pre Vet
  • Public Health at Tufts
  • Local health activism and service
  • Global health initiatives

Monday, September 14

7:00 PM in Dowling 745 

Hosted by the health professions advisors

  •  Meet the club officers
  • Learn about programs and activities
  • Sign up for email newsletters and reminders
  • Get involved

Dental Careers and Application Process Information Session at MIT

  • Who: The event is open not only to MIT students and alumni, but to any interested pre-dental students and alumni in the Boston area.
  • When: Tuesday, September 15, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Where: Room 2-103 (MIT Campus)
  • Description: Dr. Jeff Turchi currently serves as an Assistant Professor, Manager of Admissions and Recruiting, and Continuing Education Coordinator at Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine. He will be discussing the path to dental school and the application process, how to find the best school for you, the dental profession in general, and the unique qualities of Western University College of Dental Medicine. There will be a brief presentation and unlimited Q and A.
  • To Register: If possible, please email Jennifer Earls if you plan to attend:

Sheep on the Hill (Baaaa!)

On Wednesday, September 16, Dr. John Pollock and Dr. David Lee-Parritz will be bringing some sheep to Tufts to talk about agriculture, sheep physiology and biology, sheep handling and restraint, and the veterinary school process. **More details to come!


Dan Earley: My Time at Lahey

Our last post was about the Lahey Clinical Research Preceptorship from the perspective of someone who recently completed both the preceptorship and the Postbac Premed Program. Another former preceptor and postbac alum, Dan Earley, who has just begun medical school, talks about turning the preceptorship into a fulltime glide-year job:

As I start my first weeks of medical school, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on the last few years that got me here. Late in my senior year of college I started thinking about a career in medicine but as a Classics major with only a few science classes, I knew I had a long way to go. I spent the first 6 months after college reflecting if this was the path I wanted to take, and researching ways to achieve my goals. After getting into the Tufts Postbaccaulaureate program I started classes in January following my graduation.

During the 18 months of my postbac studies at Tufts I had the opportunity to take part in the Preceptorship program at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center. While my classes gave me the knowledge base I needed to start medical school, at Lahey I worked on a retrospective chart review comparing rates of glaucoma among patients with herpetic eye diseases.

Before starting the research project, I shadowed an ophthalmologist in clinic and in the operating room to learn about the different kinds of patients seen in that department. While I learned much from doing the project and eventually traveling to present our findings as a poster at a conference, the greatest experiences I had at Lahey came as I was finishing up my classes at Tufts.

I was offered a full time position at Lahey in the Ophthalmology Department, working as a medical scribe. I would be in the room typing the doctors’ notes as they examined patients. While this freed the physicians from being tied to the computers (a fact that patients appreciated), the nature of the job also meant that I learned first-hand about patient-doctor interactions.

I was also in the room for minor procedures. Many times this meant managing equipment and specimens if the doctor was keeping a sterile field, but it also could mean figurative and literal hand holding (any procedure near a patient’s eye can be stressful).

Some workdays were definitely crazy. A single emergency could easily put us behind the eight ball. I had heard statistics of long wait times in doctors’ waiting rooms. Now I have a better understanding of what happens to cause this.

Patients with retinal detachments and infections threatening the whole eye have to be seen. Emergencies can be disruptive to clinic flow, but taking care of those emergencies is a crucial part of the job. As the year went on I got better at talking to patients and explaining delays.

But by far patients were the best at keeping other patients calm. Several times I would overhear patients whom we saw regularly calm down anxious or frustrated patients in the waiting areas. Patients who had previously had an emergency, or patients who had been seeing this doctor for years would say “trust me, s/he is worth it.” Those comments were manifestations of the good relationship the doctors had built with those patients.

After treating two retinal detachments late on a Friday afternoon, the doctor I was working with turned to me and said, “Dan, we did good today.” I knew he didn’t just mean we had done a good job; he meant that our jobs made a positive impact in others’ lives. I have spent the last 3 years going from a Classics major to 1st year medical student, and moments like that one confirm I’m on the right path.

Lahey Hospital Burlington

Lahey Hospital and Medical Center. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia

Google Map to Medical School: Marian Younge

Recently, we hosted an event called “Google Map to Medical School” about different students’ paths to medical school. Panelist Marian Younge, a Child Development and Community Health alumna who graduated in 2013, shares that route that she took:

I came into Tufts thinking I would follow the traditional path to going to medical school: majoring in Biology, taking all my pre-med pre-requisites by mid-junior year and applying to med school during my senior year.

I soon found that this was not the right path for me. While I still enjoyed taking Biology, I decided that a major in the social sciences would give me a unique lens into my career as a physician.

I focused on gaining non-academic experiences that would expose me to the field and at the time, give me some much-needed affirmation that this was the right path for me. I served as president of the Tufts Minority Association of Pre-health Students, a group aimed at highlighting disparities in health and the importance of diversity in the health professions. I was also actively involved in the Tufts African Students Organization and was engaged in a variety of service projects.

After graduating from Tufts, I decided to work for two years to strengthen my application. I took a job as an AmeriCorps member for Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program where I work as a case manager for patients at high risk for opioid overdose death. In addition, I took additional science courses and prepared for the MCAT.

In my spare time, I volunteered as a college access counselor with Bruce Wells Scholars Upward Bound, a program aimed at helping first-generation, low-income students get into college. These service opportunities provided me an in-depth understanding of the challenges that face underserved communities and strengthened my resolve to work with this population as a physician.

I applied to medical school this past year and received some interview invitations as well as some rejections. But I was accepted to medical school and will matriculate this fall. Though my path to medical school was different from what I originally planned, it has allowed me to achieve my goal of becoming a physician.

One piece of advice I have for pre-med students is to be flexible and not to stress out too much. I spent a lot of time during my undergraduate years worrying about every single exam and grade. In the end, each one was only minuscule in comparison to my entire application package.

There are a lot of ways to get into medical school. There are always ways to strengthen your application and enhance elements that will make you an overall strong applicant.

Marian Younge, Class of 2013

Marian Younge, ’13

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