Students in Pursuit of Medical School

Students at PASE are a part of the Mini-Med program at Rutgers University. Where they will learn about the medical field and different medical professions.


Ayesha Flores, Staff Writer

The Mini-Med program is a four-week program run by Rutgers New Jersey Medical School that is offered to students who are in high school. The purpose of the program as stated by Rutgers is to offer a unique opportunity to learn from faculty about various topics such as cardiology, psychiatric, immunology, insight into medical education and patient care, as well as the admissions process into medical school. Normally students would go to Rutgers every Wednesday for nine weeks from 5:30 to 9 p.m. but due to COVID-19, this year the program was still offered remotely. The application process is simple and can be easily completed and a response is expected within a week or two.
I applied to the program for the first time this school year. There was some hesitation in the beginning with the fear that I would struggle with the courses since it would be done remotely and I am an interactive and hands-on learner but this was not the case. I was accepted into the program for cohorts too which would be from Wed Oct 28 to Nov 18. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Multiple other students were accepted into the program including Naydelin Guzman who I was able to interview and question about the program.
The first meeting was held on Wed, Oct 21 at 6 p.m. There were over a hundred people at the meet including participants, staff, and medical students. The first part of the meeting was a homeroom welcome session which started an hour before the actual lecture, the medical students introduced themselves and participants were able to ask any questions until 7 p.m. The second part of the meeting was with Dean Heinrich where he talked about multiple topics including colleges, medical school, and the application process. He gave us an insight into what they look for applicants when they apply to their school. Participants were also able to ask questions for the rest of the meeting.
The next two weeks of the program consisted of homeroom beginning at 6 p.m. followed by a faculty lecture at 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Before homeroom, our school participants are asked to attend a meeting at 5:30 p.m. for attendance then again at 8 p.m. We are also asked to fill out a sheet after class, which asks what we learned from the week’s meeting. My homeroom consists of two teachers which are both medical students and 8 other participants. In this hour they present that week’s presentation and explain it to us in-depth. It is an interactive presentation and participants can ask any questions if needed. The faculty lecture from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. is where a faculty member informs us about that week’s topic. The first week we heard from a psychologist and were able to learn about the career and what they did to get there. The second week we heard from the admission staff and were informed about the application process to college and medical school. Participants are encouraged to participate and ask any questions in all meetings so that we can gain as much information as we can.
Although the program is done remotely, the educators in charge still make it as interactive as it could be. I have an opinion about the program but I wanted to know what other participants thought. I was able to interview Naydelin Guzman, a senior at our school and I wanted to know what she thought. When asking what made her want to participate Naydelin replied with “I wanted to gain more experience in the medical field” which is also a reason for me to participate. I asked how the program has been going so far since being online which she responded with “it’s been alright doing the program online. It’s not the same as doing it in person but I have adapted to it”. I wanted to know if she found anything about the program difficult, Naydelin responded with “there is no specific event that is difficult about the program”. Since the program is different due to the fact it being remote I asked if there was anything she would change about it, to which she responded with “No, I don’t think I would change anything about the program”. Since our school is being done remotely the staff at our school have helped us differently and although I believe they are helping as much as they can I wanted to know what other participants had to say about that. Naydelin’s response was “they are doing their best”. By making us do the mandatory check-in before and after the program. With the program being done remotely I wanted to know if participants saw this as an advantage or disadvantage. Naydelin stated, “doing the program online is an advantage because we are doing the program safe from home”. Although the program is being remotely done, I know that other participants and I are grateful for still being able to take part in this program. I would encourage future interested students to take advantage of the opportunity and learn something from it.