Pre-Med Mentoring Club
by Diana Chung
Courtesy of www.itt.edu
The newly-formed Pre-med Mentoring Club aims to provide a way for undergraduates to
gain a more hands-on approach to practicing medicine before entering medical school.
Formed by USC Junior Michael Cooper and Arielle Sommer, a second-year student from
the Keck School of Medicine, the club invites guest doctors and medical students to explain
basic procedures in general medicine, specifically emergency medicine cases.
A distinctive feature of the club’s first general meeting was the firsthand account from a
medical student on how to apply for medical school and a general layout of what to expect from
“Arielle is mentoring on the part about the medical school because she is a student and
did very well. The first time was just a brief overview, but we’ll go into primary and secondary
applications and then interviews, such as on what you should be doing. But we’ll also keep the
clinical side too because I know students aren’t only interested in what [they] have to do to get
into medical school but what am [they] looking forward too,” Cooper said.
The first general meeting also featured two doctors from the Department of Emergency
Medicine of Los Angeles County and the USC Medical Center, Kim Newton and Maureen
McCollough, who lectured on common medical terminology and described their experiences as
emergency medicine physicians in a question and answer session.
Cooper said, “We have two physicians who are willing to not just give a short
presentation on what to do to get into medical school. In effect, what they’re telling you
is exactly what they do every time a person comes in the ER: immediately check the vital
responses, check your air, breathing, circulation, etc. You’re actually kind of simulating cases
and that’s what I was trying to bring, because you want to be able to see patients and act like
you’re a doctor.”
Using the medical information given in the lectures, the club plans on encouraging
members to experience a first-hand account of practicing common medical methods.
“I wanted to do a suture day using oranges peels, because [although] the texture is
different, it’s really easy to suture; skin is really hard. I want to do more practical stuff like
splinting, which is a really useful skill, or tourniqueting, which people don’t know how to
do [because] they don’t know how to tie it properly. We also want more medically-oriented
[material] too, like a brief overview on a part of a system,” Cooper said.
By showing the types of work doctors perform after undergraduate work and medical
school, the speakers provided an extra incentive for students learning material in their general
Cooper said, “When you’re sitting grinding out your homework and learning about flora
and fauna in biology or models in organic chemistry, [you] can get bogged down. But being able
to see that if I keep trying, I’ll be able to see some really cool procedures and do some amazing
things, is like a carrot that I wave in front of my face to keep moving forward. I also think it’s
pretty amazing [to see] what procedures mankind has come up with so that we can survive.”
For more information, contact the club at email@example.com.