Meet four University of Maryland undergraduates who plan to pursue careers in medicine.
For junior biological sciences major Breanna Boggan, the practicum required for the College Park Scholars Life Sciences program cemented her desire since the eighth grade to become a doctor and piqued her interest in surgery.
“I was able to see the daily life of a surgeon and it was an absolutely amazing experience,” says Boggan. “I saw the inner workings of the operating room and had doctors show me and tell me about the procedures they were doing and the reasoning behind using certain techniques.”
The scholars program also opened Boggan’s eyes to new perspectives on the medical field.
“It is really interesting to be able to hear the plans of my peers and how they decided that medicine was the career path for them,” says Boggan, who chose medicine because it combines her passions for science and helping others.
Senior biological sciences major Pradip Ramamurti, who was accepted to medical school at George Washington University as a sophomore, works as a medical scribe in the emergency services department at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney, Maryland.
“Being a medical scribe has allowed me to learn firsthand from trained physicians how to approach patient cases and the intricacies of the thought processes that go into being a physician,” he says.
Ramamurti has also conducted research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, helping to formulate a vaccine for cows with gut parasites. In 2015, he attended the Universitas 21 Undergraduate Research Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, and presented his Gemstone honors team’s progress toward repurposing a known drug to decrease the virulence of tuberculosis.
“The Gemstone living-learning community allowed me to meet people with similar interests immediately upon entering college, making it easier for me to excel academically and socially,” says Ramamurti.
During her time at Maryland, senior biochemistry major Marquise Singleterry has pursued opportunities to empower and advocate for others by becoming a teaching assistant and volunteering at a local pregnancy aid clinic.
“As I gained firsthand experience, I saw remarkable similarities between my passions of teaching and community outreach and the role of a physician,” says Singleterry, who is a member of the Gemstone Honors Program. “Pursuing a career in medicine has made my appreciation of science purposeful and my desire to impact lives in an engaging and practical manner not only attainable, but exceptionally gratifying.”
In addition to being captain of Maryland Dhoom, a nationally competing South Asian fusion dance team, Singleterry conducts research in the Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. There, she works to gain a better understanding of immunocompetence in cardiac allograft recipients.
Senior biological sciences major Garshasb “Gary” Soroosh and two classmates will send a microbiology experiment they devised to the International Space Station next spring to test how the weightlessness of space affects microbe gene expression.
“The overwhelming support, helpful tips and guidance we received from faculty members in several departments for this project humbled me,” he says.
Soroosh, who is president of the American Society of Microbiology Student Chapter at UMD and volunteers at free clinics in the College Park area, also spent the last five summers conducting research at the National Institutes of Health. He also volunteers at the Children’s Developmental Clinic on campus, helping an 11-year-old nonverbal child with severe autism reduce the frequency of his seizures and outbursts.
“The thrill of the challenge is what pulls me to medicine as a field, but the intrinsic reward of committing myself to improving the lives of others is what motivates me to pursue it,” says Soroosh.
Writer: Rachael Romano
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This article was published in the Fall 2016 issue of Odyssey magazine. To read other stories from that issue, please visit go.umd.edu/odyssey.