2.) What exactly does the program offer and what got you interested in it over other schools?
Brown puts a strong emphasis on global and community health (providing over 80% of healthcare to uninsured in Rhode Island through their free clinics) and also on primary care. At the same time they're well known for their world-class research (in everything from Surgery to Neurosciences and Biophysics) and for enabling their graduates to get into a wide variety of competitive residencies in every speciality and subspecialty of medicine. Since I knew Brown was one of my top choices for medical school, I jumped at the opportunity to apply for early admission through the EIP.
3.) What was the application process like?
The Early Identification Program application was similar to the AMCAS process that most students experience - just earlier. I began the application process in January of my Sophomore year by applying for nomination from the URI Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC). I completed an AMCAS-like application (with all the little questions about life, background, activities, etc. and also personal statements), interviewed with the HPAC, and was nominated to then go and interview at Brown. I had two interviews: one with a local physician on the Brown Med admissions committee and the second with the Director of Admissions, Barbara Fuller. After that came several weeks of waiting (the hardest part!) and then the amazing news.
4.) What do you hope to do in the field of medicine and why?
I'm not sure what I will specialize in yet. I've had some great exposure to Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine (through shadowing and volunteering as an EMT with URI EMS) and really enjoyed both. But I'm fasinated by other specialties too, such as Palliative and Critical Care, and Surgery. Thankfully I don't have to decide yet!
5.) Please provide a brief background on yourself (how you got to URI, what you do/study here, etc).
I grew up in Rhode Island, not too far from URI. Due to my younger brother's anaphylactic health problems when he was young, our doctor (a Brown graduate) suggested my mom try homeschooling us for a few years, until he became stronger. As it turned out, it was a great fit for us, and I ended up being homeschooled right through high school. The flexibility ensured that I was always challenged, and let me try some unique opportunities along the way. Here at URI I study Applied Math, Physics and Thanatology. (If you don't know what thanatology is, check out our program!) I also TA for the Physics Department, work for the Pre-Health and Honors Programs, volunteer as a EMT at URI's Emergency Medical Services and try (though not always successfully) to keep up with friends here at URI and around the country.
6.) Do you have any advice for students considering medicine?
Definitely get exposure to the medical field as early and often as possible. Shadowing a physician or doing research in a hospital is great. But if you don't have the resources or connections to do that right off the bat, start with anything. That "boring" job as a greeter in your local ER gets you in the door. Once the doctors and staff realize you're excited and dedicated they'll start giving you more interesting things to do. Also consider volunteering as an EMT, etc. Certainly focus on doing well in classes and academics (though you don't need a 4.0!), but also always look for ways to volunteer and gain medical exposure and experience. It will keep you sane despite the long hours of studying, help you decide what areas of medicine interest you (or if the field does at all), and definitely be a great adventure!