From professional advice to community engagement, Pre-Health Week just what doctor ordered

Transylvania University pre-health students ventured beyond their classrooms and labs this week to learn about real-world opportunities.

Activities included outings on Tuesday to Mission Lexington—a downtown clinic that provides free medical, dental, vision and pharmacy services—and the 2nd Chance Clinic, which treats opiate addiction.

Daniel Cooper, a senior pre-med student majoring in biochemistry, said it’s valuable to get out into the community, especially for aspiring physicians, dentists and optometrists.

During the tour of Mission Lexington, students learned about the diverse population that uses the clinic and the volunteer and career opportunities to serve them. “I was surprised by the need for Spanish speaking individuals, such as medical translators,” Cooper said.

Learning about the community’s needs, after all, is vital for those going into professions that care for people.

Robin Prichard, coordinator of pre-health preparation programs, said, “We hope to connect Transy students to the community and give them opportunities to serve in the pre-health field. Many of them need volunteer hours and shadowing experience to apply to medical and graduate programs.” The tour already has resulted in at least one student signing up to volunteer at the Mission Lexington Dental Clinic.

Pre-Health Week also included Monday’s Health Professions Fair, where 80 students made connections with representatives from professional and graduate schools. Other events include Wednesday’s panel discussion with alumni in the medical field followed by a reception for participants to further connect with one another. Additionally, students on Friday will tour Transy’s Monroe Moosnick Medical and Science Museum, which gained national attention last year when Ozzy Osbourne featured it on “Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour.”

“Transy has such a large population of pre-health students that we decided to have a week that would be full of resources for them,” Prichard said.