Excited to have chosen Feinberg to complete her medical education, Sarah Uttal, a first-year medical student, found the Career Advising event on Monday inspirational.
During the gathering, a panel of medical school alumni bestowed career advice on current students.
As she has begun her first year, Uttal thought the advice about pursuing a dual degree was helpful.
“I’ve been contemplating doing a second degree while in medical school and it was good to hear the experiences and opinions of the alumni,” said Uttal. “They suggested that obtaining a second degree can be very helpful if it aligns with our career goals.”
Kicking off the event, Diane Wayne, ’91 MD, vice dean for Education, greeted medical students representing each class at Feinberg.
“I like to have alumni talk about Feinberg and what a Feinberg education means,” Dr. Wayne said. “As a student you have some idea of the big picture so you know that you are building toward something, that you are getting somewhere. Our alumni help us show students the true and lasting value of a Feinberg education.”
Dr. Wayne turned over the program to Benjamin D. Singer, ’07 MD, ’10 GME, post-doctoral fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, to moderate the panel of young alumni: Anthony D. Yang, ’02 MD, ’09 GME, assistant professor in Surgical Oncology, Clara Schroedl, ’06 MD, ’09 GME, instructor in Medicine-Pulmonary, and Benjamin Kim, ’03 MD, ’06 GME, assistant professor in Medicine at University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.
Throughout the event, the four Feinberg graduates shared their secrets to success and views about life after medical school.
Dr. Singer spoke about essential behaviors and skills students need to exhibit to succeed in medicine. As he learned as a resident and fellow, these include being “nice, hardworking and smart.”
Building upon his remarks, Dr. Schroedl said, “You have to learn how to use your intelligence wisely. I think as a student the most important thing you can do is to take initiative, do something before somebody even asks you to do it. Look something up and present it the next day on rounds. Go the extra mile for your patients.”
Dr. Kim stressed the importance of students developing strong connections with classmates, faculty members and mentors.
“The relationships that you form here at Northwestern are enduring. The teaching, the values and the practices your mentors exhibit and instill in you will carry with you for the rest of your life,” he said.
Other topics addressed during the panel included finding the right specialty and taking advantage of the myriad resources at Northwestern.
“Get involved in different things; put yourself out there for opportunities,” said Dr. Kim. “Find out what makes you passionate about being a doctor and what gets you up in the morning. Find the thing that when you start talking about it gets you really excited and motivated. Find your passion and pursue it, pursue it hard.”
Student Genevieve Umeh left the session in a very positive frame of mind.
“They talked about how qualities like being nice and hardworking will help you to have a successful career and that those attributes can be learned just like any other skill,” she said. “But, what I really took away from this event was feeling more at ease knowing that all my career goals will be met because of the great resources at Northwestern that are at my disposal as a student.”