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Charles Drew's Pulse: The Unofficial Lifeline Guide for Columbia's Pre-Meds

Charles Drew's Pulse: The Unofficial Lifeline Guide for Columbia's Pre-Meds

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Published by cucharlesdrew
PULSE: THE UNOFFICAL LIFELINE GUIDE FOR COLUMBIA’S PRE-MEDS

About “Pulse”:

The Charles Drew Pre-Medical Society’s “Pulse: The Unofficial Lifeline Guide for Columbia’s Pre-Meds” was completed in the Spring 2011 semester as an online publication written by over forty Columbia pre-medical students, current and former. This publication aims to provide open and honest advice by Columbia pre-meds for Columbia pre-meds based upon their own experiences, discuss mistakes they feel they have made along the way that might help their peers, and leave a legacy for future generations of pre-meds to follow.

Its completion is due to the hard work and endless dedication of creator Princess Francois, CC’11 and co-collaborators Antoinette Allen, CC’12 and Jasmine Alves, CC’13 along with editors Christina Ortiz, CC’12 and Kwanza Price, Post-Bacc, 11.

We hope this guidebook will be updated periodically as we anticipate that both the needs of students and the premed curriculum will change. Treat this guidebook as a window into these other resources and think of Pulse as your student-written survival guide to navigating—and excelling at—your pre-med career and a stepping stone to your ultimate dream: the M.D.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email cucharlesdrew@gmail.com.
PULSE: THE UNOFFICAL LIFELINE GUIDE FOR COLUMBIA’S PRE-MEDS

About “Pulse”:

The Charles Drew Pre-Medical Society’s “Pulse: The Unofficial Lifeline Guide for Columbia’s Pre-Meds” was completed in the Spring 2011 semester as an online publication written by over forty Columbia pre-medical students, current and former. This publication aims to provide open and honest advice by Columbia pre-meds for Columbia pre-meds based upon their own experiences, discuss mistakes they feel they have made along the way that might help their peers, and leave a legacy for future generations of pre-meds to follow.

Its completion is due to the hard work and endless dedication of creator Princess Francois, CC’11 and co-collaborators Antoinette Allen, CC’12 and Jasmine Alves, CC’13 along with editors Christina Ortiz, CC’12 and Kwanza Price, Post-Bacc, 11.

We hope this guidebook will be updated periodically as we anticipate that both the needs of students and the premed curriculum will change. Treat this guidebook as a window into these other resources and think of Pulse as your student-written survival guide to navigating—and excelling at—your pre-med career and a stepping stone to your ultimate dream: the M.D.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email cucharlesdrew@gmail.com.

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Published by: cucharlesdrew on Aug 05, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/29/2012

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Name: Ruqayyah Abdul-Karim, CC’10
Major: Anthropology
Extracurricular Activities: Multicultural Recruitment Committee;
Undergraduate Recruitment Committee; Black Students
Organization; Senior Class Council
Random Fact: I spent six months as a morgue intern performing
autopsies at a prominent New York City hospital.

There comes a time in the life of every pre-med‖student‖when‖the‖question‖‚What‖am‖I‖doing‖with‖
my‖life?‛‖goes‖from‖innocent‖inquiry‖to nagging anxiety. For those who plan on taking time off
before applying to medical school, research is a popular option. The Post-Baccalaureate Intramural
Research Training Award (IRTA) Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a great option
for students with a background in the basic sciences to work in a research lab. Most fellowships are
one to two years long and fellows are granted access to every opportunity that an institution such as
NIH has a chance to offer. However, if pipettes and PCRs‖aren’t‖really‖your‖thing,‖there‖is‖a‖more‖
non-traditional path.

The Department of Bioethics at the NIH Clinical Center runs a two-year pre-doctoral fellowship
program. Prior experience in bioethics is not necessary to apply and students from all majors are
welcome. The fellowship is a great opportunity for premeds in the humanities and social sciences.
However, that said, there has been a growing emphasis placed on training basic science majors who
are interested in the ethical uses and applications of the technologies they develop. Since the

department‖is‖located‖in‖the‖nation’s‖largest‖clinical‖research‖hospital,‖much‖of‖the‖research‖focuses‖

on issues surrounding human subjects research, genetics, and health policy. The interdisciplinary
makeup of the field of bioethics is reflected in the backgrounds of the faculty members who work
there, ranging from physicians and nurses to philosophers and lawyers.

Fellows participate in the activities and the intellectual life of the department and study ethical issues
related to the conduct of research, clinical practice, genetics and health policy. For a typical fellow,
this research yields multiple publications in premier academic journals. Fellows conduct their
research under the guidance of senior faculty, participate in weekly bioethics seminars, case
conferences, ethics consultations with researchers at the NIH, IRB deliberations, and clinical rounds
and have access to many other educational opportunities. The independent research projects, both
conceptual and empirical, are chosen based on your own interests in collaboration with your research
mentor. The department is also invested in seeing their fellows succeed professionally, and frequent

Beyond the Gates: The Journey Continues…

120

lectures from medical school faculty involved in bioethics research provide countless opportunities
for networking.

Working in this environment has truly helped me understand the connection between research and

the‖way‖in‖which‖patients’‖lives‖can‖be‖shaped‖through‖both‖social‖policy‖and‖scientific‖innovation.‖
I’ve‖also felt myself grow both intellectually and professionally in the time that I have been here. The
spirit‖of‖the‖department‖is‖one‖of‖‚combative‖collegiality,‛‖which‖I‖compare‖to‖my‖time‖in‖
Contemporary‖Civilizations‖in‖that‖you’re‖expected‖to‖think‖analytically and defend your opinions.

To learn more about the two-year NIH pre-doctoral fellowship, you can visit
https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/postbac_irta or contact Becky Chen (bioethics-
inquiries@mail.nih.gov) for more information. To learn more about the NIH IRTA basic science
research program, visit their website at: https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/postbac_irta.

Beyond the Gates: The Journey Continues…

121

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