A group of students that help make up the Newman University Medical Professionals Club participated in a casual gathering of Newman medical professional alumni on Monday, Oct. 25 in the Tarcisia Roths, ASC Alumni Center.
The theme of the evening's event was job shadowing; what types of shadowing are available and best practices on landing a shadowing opportunity. Speaking to the students were five Newman alumni who are currently in the medical professional field: Diana Crook, M.D.; Brad Dart, M.D.; Jason Eubanks, O.D.; Susan Giovanni, D.O.; and Andre Thibault, DDS.
President of the Newman Medical Professions Club Katie Detmer expressed that the goal of the evening was, "to get to know the alumni and find out how they can help us get to where we want to be."
Detmer is a junior at Newman majoring in biology. As a pre-med student, she knows how important it is to be headed in the right direction. "As president of the club, I help anyone that’s pre-med. Our goal is to help them get into their professional schools and to provide resources for them to get there."
The planning began at the beginning of the school year. Director of Development for Sciences and Health Sciences Therese Wetta, ASC worked with Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Sarah Strole to organize the gathering, including contacting the alumni, securing the appearances and making other crucial arrangements.
The doctors present offered a great deal of important advice to the students, ranging from taking full advantage of education opportunities to real-life career scenarios.
Crook told students, "It's challenging, it's hard to get shadowing time with doctors, because we’re being asked by all kinds of students, especially in master’s programs. Contact us through all means possible, especially through office managers, and don’t be afraid to call again and again." Being specific in phone messages is also important to Crook and other doctors. She advised students to "identify that you want to shadow. Even more specifically, give us time frames so we can plan ahead."
Eubanks explained to students that shadowing in his office is done in 2 to 3-hour time blocks. He also advised students to keep an open mind and shadow in a variety of fields. "Shadow everyone you can because what they do is very different," he told students. "You'll also have to decide if you want to open or be part of a private practice, work in a hospital or a more corporate setting. It's also a good idea to sit down with the doctor during office hours to see what else is involved in the business."
Thibault had similar advice for the students. "To shadow me, just call me up and let me know. I will say that, if you shadow somebody who’s a specialist, you’re not going to get the same flavor as someone who is in general dentistry," he said before giving the students an option of helping them find a general dentist to shadow if they were interested in seeing a larger scope of dentistry.
Another overall theme of the discussion was the time and financial commitment that goes into working in the medical profession. Dart explained to the students that his time is very full. "Professionally, my time is really split into four parts: practicing medicine, administration, education and business." His days are made up of meetings, surgeries and appointments, but he makes it a point to "still find time to make it to all my kids' activities and school conferences."
Giovanni spoke about the financial commitment, telling students that she had her loans paid off in 18 months. "Commitment is important. My husband and I lived off his salary and used mine to pay off the loans so that I could practice medicine without having the strain of debt on my shoulders."
Overall, the gathering was successful in letting the students get to know some of the alumni, to learn about what their futures could hold and to understand how to use the benefit of job shadowing to help with their education.
The Medical Professions Club meets on a regular basis to plan events for students. The club members serve as mentors and help other students discover how to get into the medical schools they are interested in.