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Premed association prepares students for medical school

The University Premed Association is a student-led organization for students from any field of study who are interested in learning about opportunities in the medical field.

Kamron Hamedi, a senior premed major who serves as the liaison between the Student Leadership Council and all the university associations, said the PMA isn’t limited to premed/predent students. “Any other major that is interested in going to [medical] school, even if they are not a premed major, would definitely benefit from the speakers,” he said. “It’s not unusual to have engineering majors, music majors, English majors apply to [medical] school.” Hamedi said the PMA gives students the opportunity to do mock interviews like those required to get into medical school.

The association hosts special speakers from different corners of the medical field who tell students about options available to them after graduation. He said the PMA invites students to join during the association’s exposition at the beginning of every academic year. Students who choose to join the PMA pay a yearly $15 fee to help buy thank-you gifts for special speakers, pay for yearly visits to a medical school and offset costs of the association’s Christmas party and end-of-the-year banquet.

Caroline Johnson, a senior health sciences major, serves as the PMA’s treasurer. She keeps records of all the funds that come in and go out to pay for expenses.

Emmaline Johnson, the president of the PMA, invites professionals who have experience in the medical field to come speak to members of the association.

Al Squire, executive director of the Greenville Health System’s MedEx Academy, spoke to the association on two occasions about summer internships for students hoping to get into medical school.

Hamedi said many premed students aren’t aware of all the job opportunities available to them after graduation.  Because of this, Johnson invited a registered nurse to speak to the association last year.

Judah Smith, a sophomore premed major, said the PMA gives students networking opportunities with people already in the medical field as well as with their fellow students. “Networking is a really good skill to develop and practice for those internships and resumes,” Smith said. “We need that community of diverse majors and different students with different backgrounds to really fall back on and support each other.”

He said the PMA took a group of its members to the Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education in North Carolina where they could see what medical school is like. “You get that chance to visit prospective [medical] schools and go behind closed doors where you wouldn’t as an individual,” Smith said. He said he enjoyed being able to talk about what he saw with other members of the group and hear some of their thoughts about the school.

Smith was part of a discussion panel two weeks ago where he shared past internship and job experiences as well as tips for new students on how to apply for jobs and do well on interviews. He hopes to be an encouragement to incoming freshmen who may be nervous about taking on what he called one of the hardest majors available.