|Good luck, Jacqui, on your applications to medical school!|
Many students who take Spanish community service learning classes are also interested in going on to medical school. I agree with them that being able to use Spanish in a clinical setting--not just a Spanish classroom--is a great asset when applying to medical school and beyond. I would suggest that all students who want to combine premed and Spanish study what Jacqui Kukulski has done.
- Study abroad. (Just be sure you truly immerse yourself in the language and culture. You need to make an effort to do this; it doesn't just happen.)
- Get actual work experience using your Spanish in a health-care setting. Jacqui did this as part of her "Spanish in the Community" community service learning work. She made the effort to find a place for herself at the Frances Nelson Health Clinic, even though they are not an official community partner.
- Build your resume in a way that truly highlights your accomplishments. Jacqui's resume doesn't have the traditional "work experience" section. Instead, she has a section called "Experience" and this is how she listed her work in Frances Nelson:
Frances Nelson Health CenterLastly, really take advantage of your reflective essays to connect your learning in the community with your medical school aspirations. Jacqui did that in her blog posts and on her final thoughts about her experiences in the course:
September 2011 - Present
- Translate between patient and doctor/nurse/receptionist
- Make calls to Spanish speaking patients about appointments
"At Frances Nelson Health Center I learned to communicate with people formally and lots of medical Spanish vocabulary. I learned how a clinic works as well as the problems associated with it. I also learned about the culture of minority groups and the laws in the United States regarding them which allows me to understand the stresses of the Latino population better. I blogged as my honors project and through this project I was able to give detailed attention to how the system worked. I was able to pay close attention to the bedside manner of some of the doctors which I will either try to either emulate or avoid depending on the patients response to that particular doctor. By writing for the blog I was able to take a second look and really understand all the inner workings of the clinic and the lives of the patients."In cover letters and interviews, all Jacqui needs to do is cull specific examples from her blog posts and reflective essays to support her statements above, and she will definitely stand out among the crowded field of students applying for medical school. How will you stand out?