Pre-health students learn about becoming physicians


Pre-health students filled Sid Richardson Lecture Hall 3 Wednesday evening to hear Dr. Heather Volkman, D.O. speak about the road to becoming a physician and hear her advice on making the journey as smooth as possible. 

“The road to becoming a physician can be discouraging in that it’s just long and [involves] lots of hard work,” said Volkman. “It isn’t really intelligence that you need, yes you need a little, but determination is 90 percent of it.”

Volkman shared with students her own road through medical school, emphasizing the importance of studying, the application process and both the sacrifices and rewards of becoming a physician.

She then took questions from students, ranging from her own day-to-day life as a dermatologist to the changing politics in the medical field.

Volkman was brought to campus by the Pre-Health Professions Institute and the TCU chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta, a national honor society for pre-professional health science students.

AED focuses on bringing pre-health students together and helping them learn about the medical field and their place in it. The organization offers a medical observation program, has a big/little mentorship program for incoming freshmen and reaches out to the community through its philanthropic efforts.

AED also hosts a speaker every other Wednesday relating to the field of medicine. The speaker is brought to campus to enlighten students on entering the medical field.

Laila Abdeljalil, AED president and junior biology major, said the speakers can assist pre-health students in figuring out if a career in medicine is right for them.

“It’ll give them insight into if this is actually something they want to do or not,” Abdeljalil said. “Having these speakers come in and talk about their experiences can show students if that’s actually something they want to do with their lives.”

Jill Fritchen, coordinator for the Pre-Health Professions Institute, said that members can get as little or as much from the organization as they want.

“If somebody’s pre-dental they may just go to the meetings where there’s a dentist or an oral surgeon speaking, but some of our students go to every meeting,” said Fritchen. “They all take what they can from it.”