Pre-Health Specialized Studies ’17
Medical Scribe, Scheie Eye Institute
Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate Programs, University of Pennsylvania ‘17
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Howard University ‘14
“The flexibility of Penn’s Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate Programs was one of my biggest deciding factors. Penn was the only school that had something for people like me who were in between Core and Specialized Studies,” reflects Dominique Alexis (Specialized Studies ’17). Dominique came to Penn with some science background after studying psychology as an undergraduate, and she was able to customize her curriculum to fit her academic needs.
During her time at Penn, Dominique regularly utilized one-on-one advising with the Pre-Health team. “The program has four advisors, so someone was always available in person or via e-mail. Even though I completed my studies, I still reach out to my advisors for advice on my medical school applications. They always tell me that I have their support as long as I need it.”
Having a keen interest in serving communities in need, Dominique also took advantage of shadowing and volunteering opportunities with local clinics and community health organizations. Among her many experiences, she completed clinical research with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and volunteered with Cut Hypertension, which provides blood pressure screenings in West Philadelphia barber shops. “I want to help underserved communities reach health equity and close health disparities,” she adds, “It’s the kind of work where I feel I can have the most impact.”
With connectivity in mind, Dominique became the vice president of the Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate Programs Society and co-founded the Pre-Health physician shadowing program. “My goal was to make our student community tight-knit and demystify the process of finding shadowing opportunities. Through our network, students can find experiences that match their interests and future goals.”
While a student, Dominique also worked part-time as a medical scribe at the Scheie Eye Institute, where she was brought on full time after completing her courses. Working closely with specialists in Penn Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology, she gained hands-on patient care, research and medical writing experience.
“I have grown since I’ve been here and I feel prepared for medical school, from an academic and personal perspective,” Dominique continues, “I took a step back and realized that medical school is a long haul, and if I take my time, I won’t get burned out. As soon as I did that, I was much happier, and my grades improved.” She advises, “Everyone’s journey is different, so make the most of yours.”