Friday, November 15th, 2013

Free Time in Medical School?!: Being a Tour Guide Director

Jennifer Tran

It’s already November and I can’t believe that the semester will be done in a few short weeks! Even though I have been in school since mid-July, it seems like it was just yesterday that I was starting my second year of medical school. Since the last time I posted, I have finished the renal and hematology/oncology units and am now in the midst of the endocrine unit. My days are filled with learning hormones and their associated diseases when the specific hormone is deficient or excessive, such as diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, and so much more. Despite all the time that I spend in class and while studying, I still make time for the things outside of medical school that I am passionate about. Consequently, I am one of the Tour Guide Directors for the year and work closely with the Admissions Office at VCU School of Medicine.

As a tour guide director, I, along with 39 of my classmates, give tours to prospective students on medical student interview days. In addition, we also facilitate different recruitment events throughout the year for high school and college students and provide special tours for alumni. Along with some administrative work, I have also been able to learn more about the medical school admissions process. After experiencing it firsthand as an applicant, it has been eye-opening to see how the admissions process literally takes a village to coordinate and ensure that each interview day runs smoothly.

Being a tour guide director has been a valuable experience for me because I am able to share what makes VCU such a great fit for me with other prospective students. From the tours where I am able to talk about VCU’s rich history as the oldest medical school in Virginia to the small group settings where I am able to answer individual questions about clinical experience and other aspects of the application, I have enjoyed meeting potential new classmates and bonding over our common goal of going into medicine. Moreover, I am able to show off the McGlothlin Medical Education Center, which has been the new home of the medical school since March 2013. Most of all, I am able to illuminate what I love most about my school and hopefully capture the energizing and supportive environment that I have come to live by on a daily basis as a second year medical student.

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