For Jordan Sell, a rising third-year student, Chicago feels like home. After growing up in the Twin Cities area and earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, Sell chose Feinberg because of the curriculum’s focus on clinical experience and Chicago’s Midwestern feel.
Now preparing for his third year of medical school, Sell has taken advantage of the wide range of opportunities at Feinberg; serving as a coordinator at Devon Clinic and co-president of the Emergency Medicine Interest Group, and earning a second-place prize for his ultrasound-guided IV implementation project at Research Day 2019.
“Don’t be afraid to pursue experiences outside of the standard curriculum,” Sell said. “Even though the coursework is challenging and time consuming, there are tons of experiences that can be even more valuable to your education, and can help remind you why you are going into this challenging and rewarding field.”
Read a Q&A with Sell below.
Why did you choose Feinberg?
I chose Feinberg because it was where I had the best experience on interview day. I fit in well with the other students and the faculty were very welcoming during my visit. Also, the emphasis on early patient interaction and research fit my interests.
The Education-Centered Medical Home (ECMH) program caught my interest and has turned out to be an amazing experience working with older students and physicians while learning and practicing clinical skills. The Area of Scholarly Concentration (AOSC) program also was very appealing to me, because I did a lot of research in undergrad and wanted to continue basic and clinical research in medical school.
Moreover, the city of Chicago is a fun and exciting place to live and train. There is a diverse patient population that we serve at Northwestern, and there are plenty of ways to have fun outside of medical school. The outstanding reputation of the school only adds to the appeal, and as I am from the Midwest, it also allowed me to stay close to my family and a familiar environment.
Do you participate in any organizations or societies at Feinberg?
I have been a coordinator at Devon Clinic, a free clinic run by medical students serving a South Asian population in Chicago. As a coordinator, I was involved with recruiting students to volunteer, creating patient schedules, and overseeing the patient care at the clinic.
I have also been co-president of the Emergency Medicine Interest Group for medical students. We organize talks with emergency physicians on various topics and different events, like IV insertion and ultrasound practice sessions.
What has been your most rewarding experience?
My most rewarding experience so far in medical school has been volunteering at and serving as coordinator for Devon Clinic. It has not only been a great opportunity to learn and practice my skills in patient care, but more importantly has allowed me to help a population who have limited access to medical care.
I studied abroad in India during undergrad and learned a lot about the culture and healthcare system. Devon Clinic allowed me to work with an uninsured South Asian population and provide care in an environment where I could have more independence and practice my skills in a real-world setting.
Another great experience was my AOSC project, where we designed a simulation-based mastery curriculum to train nurses to use ultrasound-guided IV. Placing IVs is critical for patient care in the hospital, but lots of patients have difficult placements, which can lead to delays in care and increased costs. After our intervention, we saw improvement in skills and an increased utilization of bedside ultrasound, showing an improved efficiency of care.
What advice would you give to prospective medical students?
Don’t be afraid to pursue experiences outside of the standard curriculum. Even though the coursework is challenging and time consuming, there are tons of experiences that can be even more valuable to your education and can help remind you why you are going into this challenging and rewarding field.
Also, if you’re having trouble choosing where you want to go to medical school, I would recommend going to where you think you will be the happiest. Most schools will give you an excellent education if you put in the effort, but you want to enjoy the experience as much as possible. For me, Feinberg was the place where I thought I would have this perfect combination.