One of Heidelberg’s newest organizations on campus is having a good first year. Heidelberg University Pre-Health Professionals, known as SCRUBS, was started by a group of sophomores who came together for a common cause.
“I saw a lot of need for this program,” said Lilly White, a chemistry major from Donnelsville, Ohio. She serves as the group president. The club brings together students interested in healthcare careers and helps students apply and prepare for health related professional schools.
Historically, Heidelberg students have a good acceptance rate into medical schools. This is due in part to Dr. Bryan Smith who works with students individually serving as the Pre-Professional Health Advisor. It is a long process including course selection, extra-curricular activities, graduate tests, applications, and interview preparation.
Students had never before come together on their own to study, plan events, or compare experiences. SCRUBS provides students a peer sounding board and accountability. “You have people you know you can talk to and help as a group,” said Brad Polecko, group treasurer. “You’re not alone.” Brad, a biology major from Medina, Ohio, plans to attend medical school to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine.
Currently, the group has 20 members and meets twice a month. Throughout the year they invited speakers including a doctor, a physician’s assistant, and a veterinarian. The professionals talked with students about their careers and gave advice. These speakers also provide students with networking and shadowing opportunities.
“Talking with professionals has been the most beneficial part of the group,” said Kaylee Loi, SCRUBS secretary. “This group isn’t just for doctors, it’s very flexible.” Loi is biology major from Fostoria interested in histology, and knows she would be working with doctors on a daily basis.
In the fall, the group traveled to Mount Vernon University for a medical school preview day. “I learned so much that day about the application process,” said vice president Cole Hetman, biology and Spanish major from Springboro, Ohio. “It was also fun to meet with other students.”
SCRUBS isn’t done for the year. They plan on purchasing MCAT prep books to use together and have mock med school interviews planned for the spring. With such a successful first year, the founders are excited for growth in members and opportunities.
“I really like collaborating with other students,” Lilly said. “It’s nice to have a group to practice with.” Throughout a complex and strenuous process, SCRUBS provides peers and friends to rely on.