International Pre-health Society offers guidance for students
A new student group hopes to remind pre-med students that going to medical or dental school is not the only option for a rewarding career in healthcare.
The International Pre-health Society (IPS) aims to provide students with information about various career fields related to health and to raise awareness of global health issues.
Senior Dae Keun Suh and 2010 graduate Chris Jonguk Chung founded the group last sermester. Chung is currently a student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Dental School and Suh aspires to become a cardiologist or orthopedic surgeon.
Though the name of the group may be slightly misleading, IPS welcomes all students who are interested in health-related careers, be it a medical doctor, physical therapist or veterinarian. There are currently around 100 members of the club.
“Initially, our focus was on international students who wanted to go to medical school, but since the application process itself is no different for internationals [than for] non-internationals, we later decided to broaden our perspective to include everyone who is pre-health,” Suh said.
Collaborating with the Washington University School of Medicine, IPS provides a Premed Peer Mentoring Program (PPMP) where undergraduate students are matched with current medical students. The goal of this program is to foster a long-term, personal relationship to guide undergrads through the process of preparing for medical school. Thus far, 40 medical students have been matched with 60 undergrads.
“I’m really grateful for this mentorship program,” junior Yejin Kim said. “The advice and information you get is extremely relevant, and my mentor gave me some very helpful perspective, even in our first meeting.” Kim is an international pre-med student.
Throughout the semester, IPS will also host several lectures given by various healthcare professionals, professors and faculty.
In addition, IPS plans fundraising events to raise awareness for global health crises. One event IPS is working on involves playing soccer to raise money for Grassroot Soccer, a nonprofit organization that uses the positive and unifying power of soccer to provide youth in Africa with the education, skills and support conducive to living HIV-free.
Furthermore, IPS is dedicated to service. Last semester, IPS teamed up with the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) at the Medical School to give free Hepatitis C screenings. Over 50 people, most of whom were uninsured, were screened and given follow-up support.