ODAMA is a resource I would recommend to any underrepresented minority that is applying to Jefferson or that is already here. I first visited the office when I was applying to medical school. Dean Ortiz sat down with me and really educated me about the admissions process and what to expect. I had read books and commentaries online about medical school but after speaking with someone at Jeff I felt I had a better sense of what the school was looking for and what it offered me as a student. Personally, I think the earlier you contact them the better. There is so much practical information that they can offer you that it will make you a better applicant for any school.
As a student here I’m still involved with the office through the Jefferson Boricua Latino Health Organization and the Student National Medical Association. After my first year, I realized that my training as a physician would not be complete if all I did was learn the facts that I needed to graduate. Both JBLHO and SNMA have provided me with incredible opportunities for community outreach and networking with medical students at other schools. From lunch time talks to community projects to medical conferences, ODAMA offers a wealth of resources and many opportunities to give back to our communities.
For those of us who chose to follow the same path as Hippocrates and William Osler, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. However, after all the early training and anticipation just to get into medical school, I have to admit that although my journey as a student of medicine has been challenging, it has been nothing short of rewarding. I chose to attend Jefferson Medical College for various reasons. Not many schools in the country boast a rich history, an excellent academic program, an abundance of alumni, prime location and top clinicians all in one. At this caliber, Jefferson Clinicians and students are placed in an extremely advantageous position to serve a diverse group of people at their clinics and outreach programs such as Jeff HOPE. These are some of the factors that led me to pick Jefferson. Furthermore, as a minority student, the support network provided by the Office of Diversity and Minority Affairs and the Student Affairs office is commendable. I have excelled and continue to strive for the best I can be because I am surrounded by the right people and have the right tools. As a 3rd year MD/PhD candidate, I maintain my journey as I slowly transition from student doctor to doctor. I can sincerely say that though the journey has been bumpy, I have enjoyed the ride so far and I am glad that this will be accomplished at Jefferson Medical College.
I feel so blessed to be a medical student at Jefferson. My last few years here have been enriched in so many ways through classes, time in the hospital, and most importantly through my classmates and teachers. Being medical students, we are required to study quite a bit, and with friends and faculty often reminding me to think about my patients and how great I will feel when I can treat them, studying was actually fun at times. Jefferson definitely fosters a learning environment that is patient-centered, and our mentors here teach and show us how we can care for all aspects of a patient's health. This is augmented by the diversity of students here, coming from all over the country and the world, each having a different story of where they come from and how their cultures/lifestyles affect their desires to become doctors. I am so thankful for the community here at Jefferson, and feel confident that here I will be taught how to be a great doctor.
As a West Point graduate and future Army Doctor under the Health Professional Scholarship Program, I could not be more pleased with my experience at Jefferson. Its great individual character almost overshadows its picturesque Center City Philadelphia location. You can easily find acceptance and friends that identify with and relate to you within its large, social, and supportive student body. This inviting atmosphere extends to the faculty who prove eager to get you to gain hands-on experience while teaching you clinical skills during your FIRST year. As the president of SNMA, a student organization with the mission to reach out to the underserved and underrepresented minority communities in medicine, I can truly say that Jefferson—especially within the Office of Diversity and Minority Affairs (ODAMA)—does not hesitate when it comes to providing institutional resources or funding for relevant issues in medicine. Ultimately, I am proud to say that my decision for Jefferson truly proved to be one made for an institution that really cares.