Pre-Health Club guides Eckerd students toward careers in medicine | Culture

The Pre-Health Club is now officially student run. In previous years, prior to COVID, faculty member Steven Denison, professor of biology, chaired the club. Now, however, students are the board members of the club.

“Students can represent students better [than anyone else],” Lisa Benecchi, junior in biology and co-president, said.

For this academic year, all positions of the club are filled except for a co-event coordinator. The club is looking for another event coordinator and new secretary when Perekhodko graduates in May.

“It’s a student-run club [so] We have more insights on how to cope with stress whilst being a support group through sharing experiences and being a collaborative environment and network,” Aarushi Gandhi, sophomore in biology and co-event coordinator, said.

The club staff span multiple fields in the pre-health realm, including pre-vet, biomedical research, pre-nursing, pre-PA and pre-med students. As of right now, there are approximately 200 students in the club mailing list. Their missions include seeking to network, guide and support pre-health students at Eckerd College. Lisa Bonner, assistant professor of chemistry, and Denise Flaherty, associate professor of biology, are the faculty advisors for the club.

“[We’re] a club that is designed and built around helping those who are interested in any form of pre-health professions,” Aiden Houck, junior in biology and co-president, said. “Vet school, dental school or med school.”

Though the medical field is renowned for its cut-throat environment, the Pre-Health Club aims to provide a supportive and collaborative environment by incorporating the Eckerd’s values ​​of being warm and welcoming.

Events that are currently scheduled include MCAT Mondays (held for the rest of the semester from 6 pm to 8 pm at CMLS 099), guest speaker events, tours of hospitals or veterinary clinics, monthly vent and share sessions, mock interview practice and student experience sharing. One of the core skills that are essential for future pre-health workers is networking. The Pre-Health Club plans to facilitate internships, volunteer and research opportunities both on campus and with the greater St.Petersburg/Tampa Bay region.

In the future, the club hopes to assist pre-health students in preparing for examinations. They also seek to establish a mentor-mentee program under the club, where mentors (juniors or seniors) can help other students in their academic careers at Eckerd.

The club promotes volunteer opportunities with the St.. Petersburg General Hospital, SPCA Tampa Bay Veterinary Center and Pasadena Veterinary Hospital were all presented by the club members. On-campus research opportunities highlighted include the Herpetology Lab, Animal Studies Research Collaborative and Marine Mammal Pathology Lab.

“Even if you’re a marine science or animal studies or art major, everyone is free to join,” Bennechi said. “There are no requirements to enter the club.”

Students interested can contact any of the members to be added to the mailing list or the @ec.prehealth handle on Instagram.

“Students can always reach out to our research and internship coordinators with any request,” Gandhi said. “We are here to help students with their application to grad school and help them build their network inside and outside the school.”


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