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Students Gain Extra Preparation for Medical School by Joining FGCU’s Pre-Med Club

Photo courtesy of Hamlet Felix

After coming to FGCU in 2020, Pre-Med Club President Hamlet Felix noticed there was not a Pre-Med Club on campus. So, he set out to make one. At first, he struggled to build the club with multiple members of the officer board changing throughout the years. 

Now, the organization strives to achieve three main goals for its members: educate on everything pre-med oriented, provide members with networking experiences and help students know when they should start applying for medical school. 

“I think that knowing when the application cycle starts and how the application works is one of the most important goals. Sometimes students end up wasting their time doing unnecessary things or maybe they’re doing it too late,” Felix said. “Networking opportunities, like shadowing clinical experiences and education on the application and the MCAT are the goals.” 

The club hosts a general body meeting every month and plans workshops a few times a month. During the workshops, the members are taught about a specific topic in the medical field. The officer board meets every few weeks to plan volunteer and clinical shadowing opportunities for the members. 

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Members often work with Interim Medical Director Tod Winslow at Student Health Services on campus. 

“We’ve established what Dr. Winslow calls a preceptorship at Student Health Services. So, it’s not like shadowing but he grades the members on how they interact with the patients,” Felix said. 

The officer board also provides its members with guest speakers. 

“We had an OBGYN talk to us through a Zoom meeting. She talked about what her life was like as a pre-med, how medical school was, what she does and what she can or can’t do as an OBGYN,” he said. “We’ve also had emergency room doctors come in and talk about what they do and what the emergency room life is like.”

As president, Felix works to oversee all of the projects, encourages people to brainstorm project ideas and makes sure that the other officers on the board are getting experience as leaders themselves. 

“Another important thing is having the right people in the right positions. Through my experience, many people have cycled through the board. The right people have pushed the club to where it needs to be today. So, I’ve had many social media people, but the one that I have right now [Abvia Gigante] has been doing such a great job. I feel like just through her we have gained at least 50 percent more members per year than we usually do. Just from her posting on social media every day and advertising,” Felix said. 

Junior Wellsley Hoopes was first introduced to the Pre-Med Club by a student in her biology study group last semester. She decided to attend a meeting. 

“They just teach you a lot about how there are different ways you can get into medical school,” Wellsley said. “There’s a lot of different opportunities that aren’t presented to you, you need to research to figure it out. But I have learned about websites where you can figure out what medical schools require and you can practice the MCAT exam to see what score you get.”

Felix hopes that within the coming years, the Pre-Med Club will make FGCU another pre-med location. 

“Maybe we don’t have a medical school, but there’s a lot of good leaders here. There’s a lot of connections in the community,” he said. “Let’s say I don’t get into FSU but I’m like ‘Man, where do I go?’ Well, FGCU has consistent internships at these places, I have my shadowing taken care of and I have opportunities to be involved in my community at the university. That’s what I want. I want to see the club not just grow in size but grow in production.”

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About the Contributor
Alexandra Cavalier, Eagle News Assistant Assignment & Features Editor
Alexandra Cavalier is a junior majoring in journalism. She is from Bradenton, FL, and has been interested in journalism since she joined the yearbook staff during her freshman year of high school. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in publishing. When not planning her next story, you can find her studying art history or watching movies.

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