Authored by: Monica Nazir, First-Year Student at Eastern Mennonite University’s M.A. in Biomedicine Program
Comment: If you’d like to read more blogs by Eastern Mennonite University’s M.A. in Biomedicine program please visit their website: http://emu.edu/now/ma-biomedicine/
The process students must go through before gaining admission to a health professionals school is often just as stressful and taxing as attending one. For this reason, the choices made on the path to reach that goal are crucial. When I decided to attend EMU’s MA in Biomedicine program, I had certain expectations. I knew that the program was of a certain high academic caliber, having built up a reputation for preparing students well for medical school. After completing half a semester here, however, all my expectations have been surpassed.
The first and most prominent thing that truly blew my expectations away was the level of attentiveness that each of us in the program receives from faculty and staff. Because the program limits each incoming class size, the faculty and staff are easily accessible. In contrast to feeling like just another set of statistics at a big school, this program allows each student to feel like a significant contributing factor. It makes the process of getting to know professors much easier, and establishing connections with them is no longer a task, but comes naturally. Being on a first name basis with professors and faculty members is standard practice. Although this took me a couple of weeks to get used to, it has shifted how I view the professor-student dynamic. Rather than thinking of professor as the superior teacher and myself as the mere learner, EMU emphasizes a philosophy of learning where both professor and student engage actively and cooperatively in the learning environment.
Being a student in the Master’s in Biomedicine program has already, in just the few weeks I’ve been here, opened up a variety of opportunities to help me on this journey to medical school. At a recent graduate school fair, I spoke to many representatives from health professional schools from around the region and beyond. In many of these instances, the school’s representative knew of EMU’s Biomed program and gained more interest in our conversation at the mere mention of it. One medical school, in particular, was keen on offering further assistance to me as a Biomed student in search of shadowing opportunities, providing me with contact info for their recent grads who had opened private practices in the region. This kind of open door to a networking opportunity is just one example of what being an EMU student can offer, beyond just the classroom. In addition to exposure to a wealth of networking opportunities, I, like every student in the program, receive tailored advising personalized to our goals. This invaluable advising is a luxury that can only be offered in the midst of an intimate student body.
Among perhaps the best part of the program is the friendships that are established that are sure to last a lifetime. Being a part of a smaller program has afforded an environment in which it is feasible to get to know everyone else. Relaxing social activities are easy to plan, from movie nights to a night of good food and conversation. Aside from an encouraging peer group, there is an abundance of knowledge to draw on from the upper-class members who are continually available to assist. With such a rich assortment of resources available to utilize, I’m eager to see the prospects being a biomed student will afford.
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